berkeley birthday

In contrast to the chilly October weekend that just passed, my twin brother and I celebrated our birthday last year in sunny California. Between hiking along the coastal beaches and under sequoia canopies, and roaming the hilly street of San Francisco, we spent a night and a day with most of our family in Berkeley.On our birthday-eve (not something we typically celebrate!), we wandered through town in time to hear the tower bells on campus, and back too late for the farmer’s market. Upon having our ID checked at Jupiter, we were challenged to a birthday beer race by our server (we lost, obviously). There were birthday candles floating in our stout which was a big enough win for me. We ate pizza and then my brothers and I fell asleep while watching Harry Potter in the motel room; a great way to ring in another trip around the sun.

Before driving across the bridge to San Francisco the next day, we had a late lunch at Chez Panisse Cafe. I will attribute the same-day reservation that my parents made to being a birthday miracle.

My mum had introduced me to the name Alice Waters and her restaurant Chez Panisse many years ago. When the assigned reading for my high school French class was Marcel Pagnol’s Marius & Fanny, the connection to the character named Panisse, in my mind, was the Californian restaurant. I thought it was an exciting coincidence at the time. (It’s not a coincidence, of course.)

The significance of Alice Waters’ influence on American cuisine is expansive – extending far outside of Californian kitchens, into farms, schools, and global communities. Many more skilled writers and cooks than I have described her impact in the industry and beyond. I’ll just add that it was a real treat to sit in the sunlit café on my birthday, with some wonderful people, eating delicious, simple food that was a testament to all the good things I had heard before getting there. Another birthday candle, this time in my persimmon pudding, was icing on the (birthday) cake. I can’t wait to go back.cali bday (1)
We left with one of Alice Waters’ cookbooks, with recipes ordered by season and ingredients. It’s almost encyclopedic, and wonderful to flip through for inspiration. The recipe I’m sharing is certainly not Continue reading

“Gin-stagrams” [G&T sorbet]

Spotty lens, Seattle scene

Spotty lens, Seattle scene

So one day, I’m strolling through a surprisingly balmy Seattle park, and the next I’m running back inside for an extra layer as I rush off to my first day of school. One day I’m sipping on cool, boozy sorbet, and the next I’m craving the cozy familiarity of a pumpkin spice latte. Excuse my Ottawa Valley girl talk, but like, woah. …Where was the transition between seasons? Not that I’m relegating G&T slushies/sorbet to the summer months, but for now they will probably be saved for rare, special homework-free weekend celebrations. G&T It feels like I’ve been (happily) on the go since I returned from Spain, and I was tiring myself out (happily) traveling before that. So I really cannot complain, but as I start getting lost in readings, labs, and field work things might start slowing down and you might see a little less of me around here as I try to focus on that school work. However before I go, I’m excited to tell you guys that I’m the “official instagrammer” for Ottawa Tourism this weekend! You can follow along on my staycation adventures in the capital at @kshap17 and @ottawatourism. Are there any Ottawa moments you think I should share with the social media world??G&T slushieAnd lastly, of course, this awesome gin & tonic sorbet. A fool proof recipe that can be found over at The Boys Club. If you’re a fan of the classic cocktail, then this is for you. Enjoy the taste of summer a little longer. Cheers, and happy weekends. xo
(This one is dedicated to my girl, Dylan– happy belated birthday!)20130905-221529.jpg