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Baking with Kids
Mar23

Baking with the Kids: 5 Recipes that are Easy for the Whole Family

Whether you are vacationing together or just enjoying some downtime at home, baking is a great family activity. It’s easy, fun, and the end result is having a bunch of sweet treats to share. These recipes are so easy that all ages can participate, so it’s great family time fun.

  1. Microwave Fudge

All the tools you need for this one is an 8X8 glass pan, a microwave-safe bowl, and a microwave. Melt the chocolate chips into the condensed milk and butter in the microwave in a bowl. Cook them for 2-3 minutes, checking every minute and stirring as needed. Add vanilla and salt. Stir well. Then pour into the pan and chill for 2-3 hours. Bonus fun: The kids can lick the bowl clean because there are no raw eggs in this recipe!

Full recipe: Microwave fudge by SheKnows

  1. Eggo S’mores

For a fun twist on a classic, use mini Eggo waffles instead of graham crackers when making s’mores. If you can’t find mini waffles, you can get regular toaster waffles and cut them into 4 pieces. You can also try flavored waffles, like cinnamon sugar or blueberry, for some added flavor. Melt marshmallow and chocolate between two mini waffles and then brush the waffle tops with melted butter, cinnamon, and sugar.

Full recipe: Eggo S’mores by Delish

  1. Easy Cornflake Tart

For these, you can make your own tart shells or buy them pre-made. If you decide to make the pastry from scratch, you will need 320g of ready-rolled shortcrust pastry. Melt butter in a pan with syrup, sugar and a pinch of salt. Fold the Cornflakes into this mixture. Put jam in the tart shells and then fill with the Cornflakes mixture. Bake for 5 minutes. Let cool and serve with custard.

Full recipe: Easy Cornflakes Tarts by BBC Good Food

  1. Slow Cooker Gooey Brownie Cake

We recommend that all of our guests pack a slow cooker. A single kitchen item can be used for all sorts of meals  and even desserts. This slow cooker brownie cake is a perfect set-it-and-forget-it treat. Line the slow cooker with foil and butter the foil. Whisk together melted butter, sugar, cocoa powder, flour, eggs, vanilla, and salt. Fold in some chocolate chunks. Pour the mixture into the cooker and leave it on low for 3 hours.

Full recipe: Slow Cooker Gooey Brownie Cake by Food Network

  1. Easy Gluten-Free Shortcake

Here is an easy gluten-free baking idea for those who have food sensitives or anyone who might be health conscious. Preheat the oven to 450. Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar together. Beat cream and eggs together in a different bowl. Then, mix the wet and dry bowls together. Make 1 1/2-ounce balls, place them on a baking sheet, and flatten each. Brush the raw cookies with cream and dust with some coarse white sparkling sugar. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes.

Full recipe: Easy Gluten-Free Shortcake by King Arthur Flour

Vacation baking is a perfect leisure family activity, especially when the recipes are this easy. Put aside a day of a long weekend just for baking and try out one or two of these tasty treats. Then you’ll have snacks to pack with you for the rest of your trip.

Looking for more tasty cottage cooking ideas? Check out our Slow Cooker recipes!

Spring Break
Mar16

Spring Break Activities in the Okanagan – Something for Everyone!

Spring Break is here! The exact dates vary from place to place, so be sure to check your local grade school or university’s annual holiday calendar before making concrete plans. Once you know when it’s safe to pack up and go, be sure to take advantage of these Okanagan-based activities for your family’s time off.

Outdoor Activities

Spring is in the air. It’s the perfect time to start venturing outside after a long winter season. Here are some activities to choose from if you want to have fun and get some early vitamin D.

  1. Spring Ski Trip

Pack your lighter gear and get ready for a goggle tan! All of Big White, Silver Star Mountain, and Apex Mountain offer Springtime skiing options. If you are going as a whole family, remember that kids 12 and under ski for free at Big White.

  1. Kangaroo Creek Farm

If you’re Spring Break lands in March sometime, you may be able to visit Kangaroo Creek Farm, which opens for the season around that time. Here you can see kangaroos (duh) as well as sugar gliders, pot-bellied pigs, emus, parrots, peacocks, goats, chickens, capybaras, and Patagonian Cavies.

Indoor Activities 

Still a little too chilly outside for your liking? There are plenty of fun things to do between the comfort of four walls. Here are some of our favorites.

  1. Go to a Movie

There are plenty of theaters to choose from in the Kelowna area, including Landmark Cinemas (multiple locations) and Grand 10 Theater (near Orchard Park Mall). There is also a 2-dollar movie night on Thursdays at Encore Theatre in West Kelowna. Springtime is when movie releases start picking up for the warm weather season, so you’ll have plenty to choose from.

  1. Visit the H2O Adventure and Fitness Centre

The H2O Adventure and Fitness Centre offers a wave pool, hot tub, steam room, diving boards, and water slides. It’s the perfect indoor-activity-that-still-feels-outdoorsy. Children 2-years-old and under get in free. Children under 8 years of age must have a caregiver within arm-length reach at all times.

A Night Out

For some, Spring Break is synonymous with partying. Be smart, be safe – but enjoy yourself! Here are some fun nights out you can plan for yourself and a group of friends.

  1. Go Out Dancing

There are plenty of nightclubs downtown Kelowna where you can dance the night away. Each has a distant vibe and theme. Get dolled up and check out Level, Sapphire, or Flashbacks – they are all within walking distance of one another so you can bar-hop if you aren’t feeling it.

  1. Kelowna Comedy Club

Check out Kelowna Comedy Club’s weekly shows and pick something that looks interesting – or, go into an open mic completely blind, order a round, and hope for the best! They sometimes host wine tasting comedy shows so take a look at their events calendar to see if they have an one coming up!

Still looking for more inspiration? Check out last year’s Spring Break blog, or take a look at Tourism Kelowna’s Events Calendar!

Family Vacation
Mar02

Planning a Family Vacation – What You Need to Know

Family vacations give parents and kids alike a great opportunity to relax, recuperate from the stresses of school and work, and make lasting memories together. Planning a family vacation, however, can be time-consuming and stressful.

Here are a few things you should keep in mind while planning your family trip.

  1. Set a Budget

The first thing you should do is decide how much you want to spend on this trip. There are plenty of websites that can give you estimates for how much different locations costs for a family trip. Narrow it down to what you can afford to spend. You will be able to easily budget for “known” expenses like plane tickets, lodging, events, and other travel related expenses. However, you will also have to decide how much “free money” you will bring per day. This is for things like eating out or shopping for souvenirs. This is also what makes or breaks a trip budget usually. Don’t forget to have emergency money ready in case something happens during the trip (an unexpected expense or accident).

  1. Book Everything Early

Family vacations are usually centered around designated weeks off for the local school system. Sometimes you share these prime vacation dates with nearby cities, the whole country, or even multiple countries. This is why it’s wide to book flights, lodging and activities as far in advance as possible so that you aren’t fighting for space at the last minute. As soon as you receive the school year calendar, start thinking about when you want to travel and where you want to go.

  1. Pick Accommodations

Depending on where you are going and what your budget is, you may have plenty of accommodation options to choose from. You can get a villa or vacation home, a hotel/motel, stay at a resort, lodge on a cruise ship, Airbnb/VRBO a private space, rent or buy an RV, stay in a tent if camping is an option, and much more. You should pick your accommodation based on (A) Your budget, (B) How many rooms or beds you require, and (C) Where you are going.

  1. Make an Itinerary

What time do you need to leave for the airport? What airline are you taking? When will you arrive at your destination? Do you have any layovers? How are you getting to the hotel? Are you renting a car once you arrive? Building an itinerary of the basics will help you stay organized. Plus, you can print it off and distribute it to members of your family so that everyone stays on the same page through the trip. This will also help prevent any miscommunication, as all the details are written where everyone can see them.

  1. Plan Daily Activities

Depending on the type of trip, you will want to plan 1-2 activities for the family to do together per day. This might be something elaborate like going to an amusement park or it might be something simple like cooking dinner together. Family vacations should be about spending time together so it’s nice to have some activities around which to center that. Be sure to leave some space open every day for lounging, walking through town, or doing something spontaneous. Everyone will appreciate having some “them time” available here and there to read a book or take a nap by the pool.

If all of this sounds a bit much to take on, try using a travel agent. They can take care of the basics for your family vacation so you can focus on making each day special and unique.

Get planning your family summer getaway now, and check out our great selection of cottages!

 

cocktails
Feb27

Easy DIY Cold-Weather Cocktails

Hopefully we are nearing the end of all this cold, but until then, here are some ‘warm-you-up’ cocktails, perfect for a cozy night at home.  Nothing can keep you warm while it snows quite like a hearty winter cocktail. These 7 cocktails are perfect for the cool weather season and super easy to make yourself at home.

  1. The Winter Bramble Cocktail

This wintry-themed cocktail features your choice of gin, Crème de mûre, lemon juice, blackberries to muddle and as garnish, and homemade Cinnamon and Star Anise Syrup that can be mixed in or drizzled on top. Vibrant, bold, and tart, this drink is perfect for warm evenings by the fireplace.

  1. Sex on a Snowbank

This 3-ingredient cocktail is super easy to whip up so long as you have a blender and some ice on hand. You only need Malibu Rum, cream of coconut, and some shredded coconut for the rim. This frothy, ivory drink just screams winter wonderland. Blend the ingredients together and serve in a martini glass for an uber-elegant look.

  1. Chocolatey Winter Cocktail

If you’re a fan of hot cocoa, you’ll love this next winter-themed cocktail. Notes of chocolate, nutmeg, and vanilla will remind you of your favorite wintery baked goods. It’s simple to make, too. Boil milk, half and half cream, sugar, nutmeg, and vanilla extract in a saucer. Turn off the heat and add some cocoa powder. Add vodka.

  1. Winter Sangria

The best part of sangria is that slight modifications can make it perfect for any season. This winter variety has a flavor profile with cranberries, pomegranates, and cinnamon. Typically, sangria is made with red wine but there are white wine varieties, as well. Use fruits that pair well with the wine you are using and make sure it has time to sit and soak up the flavors.

  1. Winter Spiced Negroni

Made with Infused Navy Strength Gin, Campari, Antica Formula, and hot water – this wintertime cocktail is super easy to throw together. Make the infused Gin yourself with your choice of gin, 4 cloves, 2 star anise, 1 liquorice stick, and 1/2 tsp of allspice and let it sit for 24-hours. This spiced drink is rich and warm, perfect for the holidays.

  1. Winter Waltz

Winter Waltz is a twist on the Sazerac containing Angostura Bitter, Rye Whiskey, Amaro Averna, and All Spice Dram. Warm, golden, and savory, this is the perfect snow-day drink. Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker, fill with ice, and shake vigorously until the shaker gets frosty. Strain into a lightly chilled martini glass and enjoy.

  1. Winter Ginger Recipe

Ginger, apple, and cinnamon are the perfect winter flavor trio. Spicy, sweet, and hearty, this cocktail is sure to keep you warm this snowy season. Start by simmering Ginger Liqueur, apple juice, and hard apple cider. Let the mixture cool before pouring into a brandy sniffer. Garnish with a cinnamon stick. Voila.

Hopefully these special seasonal cocktails bring you warmth and comfort as the weather dips. Another tip to get your head out of the cold? Look ahead to the warmer weather and start planning your cottage vacation! Sign up to our newsletter and be first to know about new sales and promotions!

 

Romantic Restaurants Kelowna
Feb10

4 Romantic Restaurants in Kelowna for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is upon us and whether you are a Kelowna local or visiting from afar we know you will be looking for the best romantic restaurants in town.

Bouchons Bistro

Located on Sunset Drive, a short walk away from the waters of Lake Okanagan, Bouchons Bistro is a sophisticated French Bistro that has been a fixture in Kelowna since 2004. And no one does romance quite like the French. Parisian décor cocooned by a soft, rich ambiance awaits you as you pour through their extensive wine menu featuring offers from both British Columbia and France.

With their robust brunch and dinner options, you can book your reservation for mid-afternoon or late-night. Try the Cassoulets (rich, slow-cooked casseroles), Foie gras de canard (Duck Foie Gras), or Lapin à la moutarde (Rabbit in mustard sauce) for an authentic French meal.

The Bohemian Cafe & Catering Co.

In the heart of downtown on Berard Avenue, The Bohemian Cafe & Catering Co. is perfect for a romantic breakfast, brunch, or lunch. Open until 2 – 2:30 PM daily, this café has an award-winning menu (Best of Kelowna) filled with locally sourced options. If “sustainable” is the three syllables that warm your cheeks on V-Day, then Bohemian Café is for you.

A warm, bright atmosphere will make you feel like you’re eating at your home-away-from-home. Choose from homemade back bacon, homemade breadstuffs, and homemade jam to complete the cozy, romantic feel.

RauDZ Regional Table

Nestled right on Water Street, with the lake but a stone’s throw away, RauDZ Regional Table is the perfect date-night spot. Reclaimed heartwood pine tables, photographic artwork adorning the walls, and 100% local wine offerings work together to create the perfect Valentine’s Day in Kelowna experience.

Share a double chocolate mashed potato almond brioche with almond milk cremeaux, warm chocolate sauce, brittle cocoa tuile, and raspberry sorbet. And don’t forget to try a gin and tonic with RauDZ Creative Concepts’ farm-to-flask gin, The Whole Truth.

West Coast Grill + Oyster Bar

Right off of Harvey Avenue on Abbott Street, you’ll find West Coast Grill + Oyster Bar, featuring beachy, relaxing, and upbeat décor. The extensive food menu boasts Ocean Wise sensibilities, gluten-sensitive choices, and vegetarian options. The pacific fish fritters and/or calamari are perfect for sharing between a couple.

Dine on Thursday for their “Two can dine for $45” special. This includes your choice of four chef-inspired entrees, a salad each, and a shared dessert. Signature drinks include a rich and spicy WCG Caesar and a fresh, fruity gin-based Pimm’s Cup.

 

Sure, Valentine’s Day can be corny and corporate. But when you focus on time spent together–over good food, no less!–it can be something really special. Take this Valentine’s Day to tell your special someone all the things you love about them over a romantic dinner and drinks.

 

Planning a special anniversary? La Casa Mirador is open to book all year round and can sleep up to 28 people!  Contact us to start planning your next big event!