a cup of kindness

bubbles at home (1)Realizing that I would want a splash of milk in my first coffee of 2016, Tristan and I just dashed to the grocery store (crazy busy, of course). We came back home, hastily popped a bottle of bubbly before T had to head to work, toasted, and now I’m sipping alone until friends come over. Just me, vintage Beyoncé, and a glass of sparkling. It’s a nice pause as 2015 fades out.

Though it’s certainly too late for your celebrations at this point, I wrote a little thang for Ottawa Magazine — some top Ottawa sommeliers and sommelières have some recommendations for next time you’re picking up a bottle of bubbly or if you’re wondering what wine trends might be coming up in the new year. Continue reading

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

Peras al vino especiado

cook & tastecafe con lecheThough it was a little bit of a splurge given the student budget I was travelling on, my day at Cook & Taste Barcelona was well worth it in my books. My friend Jane and I got up early to grab our cafes con leche on the way, and then arrived at Cook & Taste’s lovely space in the heart of Barcelona’s gothic quarter. (SO lovely. I wanted to stay and live in their kitchen.)cook and taste (5)cook & tasteWe started with a little exploring through La Boqueria. I had walked through Barcelona’s famous market a few times before, but it was great to go with our guide/teacher/food-guru for the day, María José, as we stopped to speak to each of the vendors while buying our ingredients. Jane had to jet off to Italy, so I was on my own for the cooking part of the day but my “classmates” were all super fun and friendly. I made friends with a lovely Dutch couple as we prepared mussels for the paella, and seemed to mistify a couple of nice older men from Scandinavia as to why on earth I was traveling by myself, chatted with a fellow Canuck about a certain crack smoking mayor that was making headlines at the time, and bonded with the two Aussie sisters who were charged with making sure everyone had full wine glasses. Everyone was kept busy with tasks in the kitchen and the day went by quickly. Though I had made a couple of the dishes on our menu before, it was great to follow along with a professional. We spent a couple hours getting everything ready, and then enjoyed our delicious little feast starting with tortilla de patatas con pan con tomate, salsa romesco with seasonal vegetables, the showstopping giant pan of paella de marisco, and finishing with these beatuiful burgundy pears.cook and tastecook and taste Click to continue reading…

Wine County, Ontario

PEC (1)pec (1 of 1)Fall colours, summer sunshine, French onion grilled cheese, scenic drives, good people, and (of course) delicious wines. Not a bad way to spend a Monday.devil's wishbonepec (1 of 2)PEC (2)hinterlandWith vineyards in the region just starting their harvest, we made it down for a quick winery blitz in the county. (Thanks to Devil’s Wishbone, Exultet Wines, Lighthall Vineyard, and Hinterland Wine Company for the hospitality and wine chats on our short tour!) As usual, Prince Edward County left me wanting more. Cheers, PEC. Hope to see you again soon! exultetpec2poppy cafepecounty

La Sangria de Mama

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(I tried to blog at airports, but wasn’t having much luck actually posting what I was writing, so here is a belated post, maybe two, now that I have internet!)

Just said goodbye to my family and waltzed through security. Am now waiting to board my flight (thank goodness for free wifi at YOW) with butterflies in my stomach. I am so excited for this little adventure; when I decided to stay home for my undergrad, I planned that hopefully one of those years would be spent abroad. At the same time, I am definitely a bit of homebody and saying goodbye to my family at the airport made me tear up! And so here I am waiting for a flight to Madrid and re-reading the metro directions to take me from Madrid to the train to Huelva.

My mum organized a great send off party for me last Saturday. It was a lovely group of some of our new and old friends, and my family all together. There was a stellar band, Go Long(!), awesome and silly sing alongs, lots of tapas, and delicious sangria. We figured you couldn’t have a fiesta without it!

Serve a white and red sangria beside each other in transparent glass jugs or punch bowls so you can admire how pretty your drinks are before they disappear.My mum threw a lovely party (more on that later!) for me on Saturday and she made lots of delicious sangria…there wasn’t any left at the end of the night. These recipes will get you in a fiesta mood!

(Go Long(!) is having a CD release party for their debut album on Sunday September 30th…if I were in Ottawa I would definitely be there, so go enjoy this great trio!)

Mum’s Sangria(s)…

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