Author: La Casa

Traditional Holiday Treats
Dec15

Christmas is chock full of traditions, from tree decorating to gift giving, carol singing and of course, eating. Every family has their own version of a traditional Christmas dinner. Today we are looking at some long-standing Christmas desserts! These sweet creations have been around for ages (literally), so we thought it would be fun to take a slightly closer look at these time-honoured treats.

  1. Christmas Puddings

    Perhaps one of the most iconic Christmas desserts (alongside the fruit cake), this sweet treat has been around since at least the 15th century. While it has certainly changed since then (this pudding started out more savoury than sweet), and the ingredients and way we make it has shifted over time, it still remains a top pick at Christmas dinners, especially amongst the British! Check out some great recipes here.

  2. Fruit Cakes

    Though it receives more than its fair share of mockery, the fruit cake has a long and esteemed history. With roots going as far back as the Ancient Romans, this holiday dessert has the depth and strength to withstand a few jokes! There are a lot of recipes and variations out there, including the Italian panforte & Germany’s stollen. Take a look at Alton Brown’s famous version, and let us know if you have a favourite go-to recipe!

  3. Mince Pies

    Like the first 2 desserts on our list, mince pies have been around for centuries, though they have undergone some major adaptations along the way. Also like the first 2 desserts, this treat gained some notoriety during Oliver Cromwell’s time in power, when these tasty treats (among other Christmasy traditions) were made illegal. Today, recipes abound for these tasty pies, and they have become ubiquitous on Christmas tables, especially across the UK.

  4. Trifle

    This decadent yet simple layered dessert is another one with a long standing history. Soaking left over breads, cake, and fruit in alcohol was a way to preserve them. It also made sure that no ingredients went to waste. This was meant to be a simple, throw together dessert, and even the name ‘trifle’ seems to reflect that! From classic to creamy, chocolate or berries, there is no lack in mouth watering trifle recipes to try!

  5. Pumpkin Pie

    Pumpkin pie may be seen as a traditional Thanksgiving dessert in Canada and the USA, but it is also one of the most popular Christmas desserts. Originally from central America, pumpkins were first brought to Europe in the 1500’s. These gourds easily made their way into traditional British pie cooking culture; however, it still took a few centuries to become the dessert that North Americans savour today. Fun fact – pumpkins were originally called ‘pumpions’, from the french ‘pompon’, owing to their adorable pompom resemblance! Take a look at one of my all-time favourite pumpkin pie recipes!

We are officially in holiday mode over here, and would love to hear about some of your favourite Christmas treats! Leave us a comment if you would like to share! If you are a serious Christmas planner and are already thinking about next year don’t forget to check out La Casa Mirador for a larger gathering! The full professional kitchen and stunning lake views are a great addition to any holiday tradition! Get in touch if you have any questions.

Festive Winery Events Around Kelowa
Dec01

This holiday season we are slowly seeing the welcome return of some traditional festive vineyard events. Things may look a little different due to COVID-related restrictions, but we are sure there will be plenty of holiday excitement and cheer.

Take a look these 5 exciting events happening around Kelowna in December!

  1. Season of Trees at Mission Hill

    This is a holiday event with a large dose of good will. As a proud sponsor of Festival of Trees Kelowna, Season of Trees at Mission Hill is a fundraising event for BC Children’s Hospital. This is Mission Hill’s 5th year as the events’ lead supporter. A ticket to Season of Trees includes an exclusive behind the scenes tour, a seated wine tasting paired with festive bites, and of course, the brilliantly decorated trees on the covered Terrace and Loggia.

  2. Camelot Vineyards Outdoor European Christmas Market

    Visit Camelot Vineyards December 4th and 5th for their traditional European Christmas Market! Treat yourself to some authentic gluhwein, grab a bratwurst and a beavertail, and take a peek at all the local vendors for stocking stuffer inspiration!

  3. Grizzli Winery Holiday Market

    During the month of December you can head over to Grizzli Winery for their Indoor & Outdoor Holiday Market! Check off your holiday shopping list as you peruse the artisan vendors, sip mulled wine, say hello to Santa, sing along with the carollers and stroll through the dazzling light tunnel. The indoor market is open weekend 11am-4pm and the outdoor market is open weekends 11am-9pm and weekdays 4pm-9pm.

  4. Holiday Fire Pits at Ex Nihilo Vineyard

    Thinking of checking out Ex Nihilo Vineyard this December? Book a holiday fire pit and enjoy the rustic outdoors with a bucket of s’mores, a glass of wine (red, white, or mulled if you’re feeling extra festive), candy cane chocolate peanut brittle (yum!), and Italian smokies!

  5. The Market at Quails Gate

    Celebrate the holiday season with a visit to Quails Gate this December. Warm yourself around the fire with complementary mulled wine and enjoy the local entertainment and artisan market. If you feel like making the evening extra special, head to the tasting room for the Festive Foch Flight, where each hand selected wine is paired with sweet dessert bites.

We hope that you are as excited for the holiday season as we are! If you want to make a weekend out of it, check out our cottages for families and small groups, or La Casa Mirador for a larger gathering! Get in touch if you have any questions!

Winter Long Stay Rentals at La Casa
Nov22

Are you working remotely and looking for a change of scenery? With so many of us getting close to 2 years of remote work, the idea of a location change may sound pretty appealing.

Did you know that La Casa has a number of cottages available for reasonable monthly rates during the off-season?

I know – the Okanagan in winter might not have been the first thing to pop into your mind. Most of the time when we think about the Okanagan we are picturing hot days on the lake, warm and sunny vineyard tours, cycling, camping, and patio season. We know our community is popular during the summer season, but we are here to tell you that the off-season can be pretty magical as well!

When you’re not working, use your free time to head over to one of the local ski hills and hit the slopes. If you’re not into downhill, cross-country & snowshoeing are also an option! There are also plenty of breathtaking winter hiking routes, including John’s Family Nature Conservancy, Bear Creek Provincial Park and the Kettle Valley. And lets not forget the over 40 wineries around Kelowna! The hours will be shorter through the winter, but you’ll beat crowds & get to enjoy the unique view of all the snow-covered vineyards!

Back at the cottage you can cozy up by the fireplace, play a game, watch TV, or just sit back and enjoy the sunset behind the snowy hills. Since most of our cottages have 2-3 bedrooms, there is plenty of space to relax, work, and sleep. And with our fully equipped kitchens you can do all the home-cooking you want. Save On West Kelowna even delivers!

If you are interested in getting away for a month, or 6, get in touch! Monthly rentals generally run from November through May, with flexible move-in/move-out dates within this time frame.

Give us a call or send us an email to rentals@lacasacottageresort.com and we will be happy to help you find the right cottage for you!

Ham Dinner
Apr06

The Perfect (and Easy!) Ham Dinner Recipe for Easter

Who doesn’t love an excuse to bake a delicious ham for friends and family? Making a ham can seem quite intimidating. After all, that’s a whole lot of meat! But a good ham dinner doesn’t need to be a huge ordeal. Try this 4-ingredient recipe and a few easy sides for the perfect holiday meal.

Baked Orange Honey Ham
From: Honey and Birch

Citrus flavor and sweet honey are a magnificent, tangy combination. To get started, you only need a 10-pound spiral-cut, precooked ham, some honey, some orange juice, and some orange zest. Because the ham is already cooked and cut, you will save a ton of time in the kitchen. That way, you can spend it entertaining your guests and catching up with family.

Heat the oven to 320°F (120°C). Place the ham in a deep dish, cover with foil, and bake for 1 hour. Heat the orange juice, honey, and orange zest in a pot over low heat. After 1 hour, remove the ham and uncover (discard the foil after this). Cover the ham in half of the glaze and then return to the oven for another 15-minutes. Pour the remainder of the glaze over the ham immediately before serving.

Need Some Easy Side Dish Options? Try these.

With ham at the center of the meal, you’ll want to fill the empty table with plenty of fresh vegetables and hearty carbs to compliment it. Here are just a few ideas.

Green Bean Casserole
From: AllRecipes

Use fresh green beans rather than canned for even more crunch and flavor to this side dish. The casserole base comes from butter, flour, salt, sugar, onion, sour cream, cracker crumbs, and shredded cheese. Mix together, bake, and enjoy.

Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes
From: Good Housekeeping

Sour cream, whole milk, unsalted butter, and sharp cheddar cheese give these mashed potatoes a tangy twist. Boil some red-skin potatoes and simmer on low heat for 15-18 minutes, checking every so often to see how tender they are. Drain, mix in the rest of the ingredients, and add salt and pepper to taste.

Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan-Panko Crumble
From: Epicurious

This recipe is easy to make in advance and store, taking one thing off your busy plate if you are hosting a big dinner night. Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) and parmesan make this a unique and savory dish that will impress anyone bored of the same-old-same-old.

Baked Pineapple
From: The Spruce Eats

Baked pineapple is a traditional ham-main side dish. The citrus of the ham glaze and the citrus of the pineapple will pair well together here. Bake pineapple with lemon juice, eggs, flour and sugar and then top the whole shebang with a cheesy pecan streusel crust.

Bon Appétit!

Now you have a whole ham dinner, including mains and sides. Not feeling up to an elaborate side dish? Green salad with vinaigrette or roasted mixed veggies works in a pinch. Serve your favorite Okanagan red or white wine and voila, a delicious ham meal for you and yours.

BONUS: Need some dessert? Try these family-friendly baking ideas.

Indoor Activities
Mar30

5 Family Friendly Indoor Activities for Your Weekend Away

If you are taking a trip during cooler weather or you are unlucky enough to get stuck with a rainstorm, you might need to rely on some family friend indoor activities. Sometimes it’s just not practical or desirable, for whatever reason, to spend your whole time away outdoors. Luckily, there are plenty of fun things a family can do inside.

  1. Play a Board Game or Card Game

Playing a board game or card game is something that anyone can get behind because there are so many options to choose from. Every vacationer (or staycationer) knows to throw a deck of cards in your duffle bag, just in case. If you want a board game but didn’t pack one (many of the boxes are quite large), you can look for “board game rental” stores or boardgame cafes and just use what they have available. Or, you can check out a local thrift store and see if they have a board game section (they usually do!).

  1. Go to an Indoor Swimming Center

A swimming center is the perfect indoor activity with elements of the outdoors baked in. For a typically low entry fee, you usually get access to a whole host of facilities. Call or check the website of nearby swimming venues to see what they have to offer. Some may have a wave pool, a kiddie pool, a hot tub, a steam room, diving boards and slides, and pool toys. They often sell snacks or have a vending machine so that you can grab a treat on your way out. Swimming – or simply relaxing in the hot tub – is a great activity that everyone in the family can enjoy.

  1. Have a Movie Night

You can take your family to a local movie theater or host a makeshift movie night at your accommodation. If you decide to stay in, you can pack some movies in hardcopy or on a flash drive or sometimes even rent them from the TV service you have at your lodging. Call your accommodation venue ahead of time and ask what they recommend for movie watching so that you know how to pack or prepare. Make some microwave popcorn and serve juice or soda pop. It’s the perfect lazy day in together.

  1. Do Some Baking

Baking is a great family activity because everyone can get involved and do their part. Make it even more fun by choosing cookies or cupcakes that can be decorated afterward. That way, everyone can spend time icing them and decorating them as they like. Need some quick, kid-friendly baking ideas? Check out Baking with Kids: 5 Recipes that are Easy for the Whole Family . Pick a day near the start of your vacation to do some baking together. That way you have snacks for the rest of the trip.

  1. Go Souvenir Shopping

When you visit somewhere new you might want to take home something to remember it by. Or maybe you want to pick up a gift for a friend or loved one to bring them back to let them know you were thinking of them while away. Souvenir shopping is a great indoor activity because it is a cool way to get to know the area where you are staying. You will often see t-shirts and magnets sporting key components of the town. Looking to save money? You can just window shop! Souvenir shops are flashy and fun, meaning that even browsing is enjoyable.

We love the outdoors and recommend enjoying the sun and fresh air as often as possible. But sometimes weather or other barriers get in the way. Luckily, there are plenty of fun things to do as a family indoors. So being stuck inside shouldn’t put a damper on your night – in fact, it can be a lot of fun!