Fauxtography: Summer in the City

duskcanalchamplainLike all good things, my summer vacation came to an end with a return to school last week. I was funemployed for the first couple months of the summer, and for the first time in a long time had (almost) zero commitments. It felt a little weird at first: no set schedule, no job (no pay-cheque) and no classes, but I adjusted pretty quickly…it was glorious.gatineau I decided to fill some of my free time with a class (couldn’t resist some kind of organized activity, I guess.), and signed up for a beginner photography class at SPAO.national gallerymaman Ever since starting this little blah-blah-blahg of mine, I’ve wanted to set some time aside to properly figure out what I’m doing with a my camera, and this summer seemed like as good a time as any to get the basics under my belt. I’m still learning (but when aren’t we?), and I don’t think I’ll ever call myself a photographer, but hopefully the quality keeps improving around here. My favourite aspect of the class was that it set aside some time to go out into the world with the sole intention of taking pictures. This meant tinkering around with my camera of course, but it also meant that I got to enjoy even more of Ottawa’s summer beauty through my lens. backyardDSC_0891I took an awful lot of pictures of flowers. And Dunlop. Flowers and Dunlop together! And food, of course.dunlopSONY DSC Click to continue reading

Laura’s Kingston Kitchen [Chia Power Doughnuts]

kingstonkingstondwight!Knowing me as well as she does, Laura made breakfast our first order of business after I arrived in Kingston. Having taken a 6:30am train from the mess that is Union Station in Toronto, I was thrilled to get caffeinated and fed on the patio at Pan Chancho. pan chanchoI’ve been to Kingston several times, but it was my first time visiting since my friends had finished school at Queen’s and it was my first time seeing lovely nurse Laura in her ‘adult’ life– it might have also been the first time our visit didn’t involve dancing the night away at one of Kingston’s fine bars and spending the rest of our time recovering. We must be getting a little wiser.

There wasn’t a whole lot going on in town, so we picked a couple recipes from the Oh She Glows cookbook, headed out to do groceries and spent the afternoon catching up while cooking. It was so nice to just be in the kitchen chatting, accompanied by Laura’s adorable cat (named Dwight, as in Schrute Farms) and good music (or a new guilty pleasure by J. Lo). After a grey morning, Kingston gifted us with a perfect summer evening, so we took our feast down to the harbour for a picnic.picnicharbourpicnicWe made most of the next morning’s breakfast before heading out to see a movie (I think we were feeling pretty organized). After waking up around 6am with Dwight on my legs (turns out I’m a scaredy cat and was afraid to move him off me), I fell back asleep and woke up way later to see Continue reading…

Strawberries & Scones

wimbledon breakfastIt was an exciting time for Canadian tennis at Wimbledon this year. With Milos Raonic and Eugenie Bouchard getting close to glory in the singles draws, Daniel Nestor (an unsung hero in Canadian tennis, I think) making it to the semi-finals with his partner in the mixed doubles, and Vasek Pospisil making up one half of the winning men’s doubles team, we had a lot to cheer about. (And with the World Cup on at the same time, there might have been a couple days that were spent almost entirely switching the channel between soccer in Brazil and tennis in England. The most wonderful time of the year.)

Federer and Djokovic delivered a tight and entertaining final. Poor Dunlop (our poodle – yes, named after the tennis ball brand) kept having his morning nap interrupted by our cheering and gasps as we watched the game.dunlop I’ve been a Federer fan ever since I started paying attention to tennis, so the end result was a bit of a heartbreaker, but Djokovic is so great to watch as well that I was just happy it went to five sets. Yay for tennis!wimbledon breakfastNo Wimbledon breakfast would be complete sans-strawberries. I made tiny strawberries and cream scones à la Joy the Baker, and the simplest strawberry jam à la Marilou (I’ve translated her recipe at the end of the post). I also made blueberry lemon scones. Coincidentally, when I posted about Wimbledon two years ago (two years! what?! I remember writing that post from my office cubicle at the time…oops!), I posted a recipe for blueberry buttermilk scones — maybe next time I’ll branch out. Let’s pretend blueberries are a Wimbledon tradition, too. wimbledon breakfast Continue reading…

Sevilla, tres veces [salmorejo cordobés]

When spending a night in Sevilla seems old hat, you know you’re spoiled.sevilla1salmorejo1While living in Huelva last year, going to Sevilla somehow became part of the travel “routine”, just a necessary stop to catch a plane or a train onto the next destination.
But, of course, Sevilla never gets old. Even the city’s oldest landmarks can fill you with awe, whether it’s your first or fifth time strolling by. The city is small enough that you can get around on foot all day–soak up the sun and the culture while working up an appetite to stop for tapas and cold drinks along the cobblestoned streets.sevilla4sevilla3sevilla2 Continue reading…

On Tinder and Salad

So, I have Tinder. And I’ve been using it. But, that is a story for another post or even another (anonymous?) blog. My mum is my number one reader here (hi, ma!).

Anyway, the other night I was out for dinner and my date (a very nice guy, in case you’re reading! Edit! I’ve been told by a guy friend that calling a date a “very nice guy” is “brutal” and if I want a second date I should at least say he was charming. So, you were nice AND charming…) who had found my blog before he met me, asked me what my favourite food to make was. And what did I say? Salad. …I then proceeded to rhapsodise about the different kinds of salads I liked to make, about my current favourite with warm potatoes and arugula and black olive tapenade (seriously, that will be another post), before deciding that I should probably stop gushing about vegetables.jerusalem salad Continue reading…

From Madrid to Granola

Madrid sunshinemadrid poodleAfter a rather unfortunate (read: embarrassing and expensive) start to my travels, a weekend that revolved around a brunch reservation in Madrid was wonderfully restorative.  The concept of brunch seems to be taking off in Spain’s capital and my friend Britney picked out a fun little spot: The Toast Cafe (this seems like a trendy name for a Spanish brunch spot, actually), where their brunch menu includes a primero plato of a massive fluffy pancake AND a segundo plato of picante huevos rancheros…we practically rolled out of there we were so full by the end of it.thetoasthuevos rancheros at toast cafeThe sun was shining, brunch was bright, and we wandered around the city until an equally delicious dinner.  It was all about catching up and good food. Mostly talking about boys…so, a weekend of food and girl talk. Priorities! (Gracias, mi hermana!) Continue reading…

Winter Brights [Opening Night and Citrus]

wintercitrus1citrustart1Hello again! It’s been a month since I last managed to blog (what a funny verb), and I didn’t even have time to notice. Now, February 2014 will forever go undocumented on Kate’s Plate. How devastating. With nine days spent in gloriously sunny Jamaica, and the rest spent desperately trying to stay organized with school, rehearsals for a musical and napping on the sofa in front of the Olympics (I was competing against my dog for a medal in couch surfing), February seemed even shorter than usual. februaryAnd now! We’re in the home stretch of this semester, Jamaica feels like a million years ago, and our musical opened last night (!!). If you’re in Ottawa and you want to have a good laugh, come check out the Orpheus Musical Theatre Society’s production of Monty Python’s Spamalot! We had so much fun with our first audience last night and we can’t wait for more! There are eight more shows running until March 16th.spamalot One thing that hasn’t really changed since I last posted is the season. We’ve still got a bit of winter left (which I am loving, though I know that’s not the popular opinion), but the days are longer and the sun has been shining. It’s been exactly as Dickens put it: “It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” Perfect. (Thanks, Corinne for reminding me of that one!)wintercitrus2citrustart2 So, things have been a little hectic around here, but happily so. Without sounding too twee (or trying to, at least), within all the running around I’ve been finding a lot of joy and gratitude in stopping to appreciate the little things; these sunny March days and colourful fruit have been at the top of my list of oh-so-lovely things.

I just wanted to say hi after a little impromptu break:) Hope February treated you well! xo

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Winter Light [Oatmeal Spice Pumpkin Muffins]

winterlight1winterlightIt’s early days, but I’m going to go ahead and guess that “polar vortex” will be one of the biggest buzz words from 2014. Normally a steadfast staple and clichéd topic for small talk, we have somehow sensationalized the weather. winterlight2Yes, it’s been cold. Frigid, even. But isn’t that just “winter” in this part of the world? In any case, this Friday we’re ringing in the weekend with balmy temperatures — only -7°C! It’s the first day in a couple weeks that I left the house without Continue Reading…