wine weekend

One night when I was around 11 years old, I heard a steady knocking coming from our basement as I got ready for bed. I don’t know what spooky things I was expecting to find, but I do remember holding my breath as I tip toed down the stairs.

It was just my dad hammering some DIY-wine bottle racks together; nothing frightening (although, I guess Dad with a hammer could be a bit of a scary sight). Thus my first exposure to wine appreciation was at home—kid-Katie thought white wine was pretty tasty, but red was revolting. Am happy to report that my taste buds have evolved.

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Beach Riesling

lake ontarioNHAfter sleeping through alarms and a later than anticipated start, we arrived in Prince Edward County in time for lunch at Norman Hardie’s.  We snagged a seat in the shade, and pizza hot from the wood oven arrived soon after with some cold County Chardonnay. The winery was hopping for a Monday. Amidst the soundtrack of clinking glasses and wine chatter, we mapped out our next stops in the county.  With only a short day to get away to one of our favourite places in Ontario, we planned to squeeze in as many wineries and breweries as we could before hitting the beach.  But we never made it past Norm’s. Continue reading

Coffees & Curios at CC’s Corner

CC's Corner (6)In January, I asked Tristan to come with me to check out a new coffeeshop I had heard of in Richmond, in rural Ottawa. He made fun of me for suggesting a coffee spot that was more than a ten minute drive away, but he’s since become a proud member of their caffiend club and we’re both big fans of the quirky spot. I wrote about Cameron and Savannah, and their winning combination of coffee and curios at CC’s Corner over at Apt613. Continue reading

Adventures In Your Own Back Yard

chinatownWhile I think Ottawa has something to tout for every season (then again, I’m pretty into championing my hometown), signs of summer definitely breathe new life in to the capital. The arrival of warm weather after a chilly start to spring is especially exciting; it seems like everyone in the city is thrilled to be outdoors. Jacket and scarf have been shed in favour of a sundress and sandals. It seems cliché, but it’s hard not to get caught up in all the weather talk when the seasonal transitions seem to happen so quickly, and the transitions are so beautiful. A perfect time for adventures in your own backyard.SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCI spent the last week living in Ottawa’s Chinatown, while I house/cat sat for my cousin (thanks, Anne!). While I’m no stranger to the area, it was swell to play house outside of the burbs and we had a great time acting like locals (and posing in front of murals like tourists). I think I consumed just enough pho and ramen to turn in to a bowl of Asian broth–all things in moderation?adventures in your own backyard (4) Continue reading

Out Like A Lion [Cream of Walnut Soup]

slow thaw (12)Driving in the sunshine today–I had the windows down and radio turned up–it felt an awful lot like the big thaw was on the way (granted, I was still wearing my big winter jacket). And then a few hours later the sun dipped behind the clouds and winter let us know she wasn’t quite ready to pack up and go.slow thaw (6)slow thaw (1) So it would seem that winter will be going out like a lion. Spring has been postponed; it’s #winterforever, if you’re into prefacing your thoughts with a pound sign. The snowbanks are shrinking, though we welcomed the first day of spring last weekend with a slushy snowfall. I can’t deny that I am eager to be able to run out the door without all the layers this winter weather requires, but I don’t mind the cold. It’s a little more conducive to sitting at my desk and getting work done. Or making rich desserts. Both of which I would like to count as being productive.espresso(Or! Great weather to do fun Ottawa things: we stayed warm last week by ducking into the National Gallery, one of my favourite buildings in Ottawa (the M.C. Escher exhibit is fairly mind boggling) and running across the street to peek inside the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica (it’s certainly not on the same level as the Notre-Dame, but it’s pretty and I couldn’t believe I had never been inside), before getting cozy for dinner at town, where I tried bone marrow for the first time and had a delicious cocktail made up of whiskey, nebbiolo and sherry– that’ll warm up your innards.).slow thaw (2)slow thaw (3)slow thaw (5)slow thaw (11)The recipe for this walnut soup Click to continue reading…

stage cues & déja vus

currently.

currently.

stage cues& deja vus (2)chai spicesSo much changes in 365 days, and yet I feel like I’m in almost exactly the same spot as last year. (Recap: Jamaican vacation feeling like a different lifetime ago, catching up on school work, time for a musical!) I joined Orpheus onstage for the first time last year, and had such a ball that I auditioned again this season – it’s another very silly show: Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein, and we just had our third show today (!!). If you happen to be in town, there are six more shows and you can get tickets here…let us entertain you!

Surprise flowers on opening night from the lovelies co-workers.

Surprise flowers on opening night from the loveliest co-workers.

There are rainbows in the costume department.

There are rainbows in the costume department.

And like last year, I find myself enamoured by these bright March days. Still cold, but the sun shines longer and it’s glorious– I’m always reminded of this Dickens quote during these end of winter days.NGCstage cues& deja vus (1) Continue reading…

Home for the Holidaze

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With almost a month off from school over the holidays, I somehow thought the break would seem long and luxuriously slow-paced. holidaze (13)holidaze (14)I should have known better. Of course, it feels like it all sped by. Time flies when you’re hosting wonderful house guests, starting small oven fires (with some dope granola), slinging growlers at a hopping brewery, making merry with people you love…and having oh-so-much fun. Click to continue reading…

Going Beyond the Pale [Beer Brownies]

btp (20)Beyond the Pale Brewing Company turned two last weekend! (Come celebrate our beerthday with us!)btpbtp (25)
There was a post from the brewery at the top of my Facebook newsfeed one morning in July; they were looking to hire. I didn’t know much about BTP except that I loved their beer and their ‘help wanted’ ad made me chuckle, and so I sent off my application (which included some brewtal beer puns). A couple pints and two interviews later, I found myself working at this great little brewery in Hintonburg.diving for mash
After spending the first part of my summer travelling and being funemployed, starting at BTP certainly felt like a change of pace, but a mighty fun one. (My mum, who hated me going around saying that I was “funemployed”, likes to joke that I became “funnERemployed”.) Compared to my past few summers at a student government job it was a huge change of pace. …I sell beer. I don’t brew (yet?!), although I do occasionally zest the grapefruit that goes in to Pink Fuzz, so I like to think I have some part in the beer creation. Sometimes muscles are sore at the end of a long day (beer is heavy!), and some of the initial novelty of working at a brewery might have worn off a little bit, but overall it’s just been a ton of fun. The friendly bunch at BTP was super welcoming and has been a hoot to work with. I’m learning more than I thought I’d ever know about beer, I get to talk to people all day who are as excited about the craft brewing scene as we are, put my social media addiction skills (#employability?) to good use (you can follow along with the brewery here, here, and here), and it’s been great to meet all these wonderful people in an industry that I’m happy to be a tiny part of.btp (11) Click to continue reading…

Quitters

quitterhands(Accompanying soundtrack.)DSC_0987DSC_0992quittersDSC_0166Earlier this year, Ottawa-based chanteuse Kathleen Edwards announced that she was going to be taking a break from the music scene and that she was planning on opening a coffee shop in Stittsville. Since I just live a suburb over from ‘beyond the fringe’, I was stoked to check out Edwards’ Quitters Coffee. Star power aside, Quitters brings some serious coffee shop appeal to the suburbs. The great folks over a Apartment 613 have my full post, so grab your coffee and click on over there — happy caffeinating!

[February 2015, update: Quitter’s now has a liquor license…oh baby.]
quitters.
Quitters Coffee Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Cardamom and Cloves [Moroccan Carrot and Red Lentil Soup]

c&cCardamom and Cloves brings a world of spices to Ottawa’s Little Italy. Nestled among the restaurants on Preston Street, Jodi Samis’ shop has pretty much every spice you could ever think of needing to get cooking.
SONY DSCSONY DSCWith jar upon jar lining the shelves you’re also bound to find ingredients you didn’t know existed, but Jodi will be happy to educate you. I met my parents at the shop last week for a workshop dedicated to a spice that’s ubiquitous in many kitchens, but that I honestly couldn’t have told you much about: cinnamon. As we sipped our apple cinnamon infused water, Jodi cooked and taught us about some of the history of the spice, the differences between “true” cinnamon and cassia, as well as some of it’s lesser and more commonly known health benefits. Jodi has a whole bunch of great workshops (only $10!) lined up this fall, AND (bonus!) there’s a great little deal on Groupon right now — go spice things up!Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetSONY DSC Click to continue to recipe