Food and Drink

Jun11

Use these tips to host the best BBQ party this summer. 

Summer is here and the outdoors are calling. Hopefully, most of you have got your first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and are anticipating your second (if applicable). In the coming months, we might even have the go-ahead to mingle with family and friends. 

As gatherings safely restart, you might be thinking of a few outdoor events with which to test the waters. And a BBQ party in your backyard or at a public park is a great place to start. 

Here are a few ideas to plan and host the best BBQ event of the season. 

Pick Guests Wisely

We’re just getting used to hanging out in crowds again. Let’s keep it simple for the first few attempts! Invite your family and a few close friends and keep it at that. A private Facebook group can be a good way to keep tabs on who has RSVP’d. 

Provide Dietary Options

Have meat- and plant-based options and ask your guests ahead of time if anyone needs a special menu (gluten intolerance, vegan, dairy allergy). The same applies to desserts. There’s nothing worse than being the only one who can’t partake in the cupcakes or brownies! 

Decide: BYOB?

Make sure your guests are crystal clear about whether the BBQ is a dry event, BYOB affair, or an open bar situation. Be sure to provide the basics, like a source for water and maybe some soda in a cooler. 

Weather Check

Obviously, you’ll want to aim for a sunny day. But sometimes Mother Nature doesn’t perform as promised. Email or text your guest list a day or two before with a weather update, letting them know what to expect and what to bring—be it sunscreen or umbrellas! 

Game Plan

Bring a few things for people to do, if they are so inclined. A deck of cards, a few sets of dice, or pen and paper for charades can go a long way. Keep it simple, as people may get caught up in socializing and not tap into them at all. Still, it’s nice to have for any lulls! 

Side Dishes

A build-your-own salad is always an easy side. Just chop some veggies and provide a few dressing options. Or, consider having people bring their own dish, salad, or snack while you provide the main course. 

Venue Rules

You’ll want to check any venue rules before you solidify your plans. Does the location have limitations on gathering sizes? Are fire bans in effect in your area? Is the site dog-friendly or not? Be aware of these for yourself—but don’t forget to inform your guests, too! 

DIY DJ

Have a game plan for playing some tunes while your guests mingle. A Bluetooth stereo will do the trick but be sure it has enough juice to get you through the evening. A battery pack, extension cord, or camping generator will do the trick in most circumstances. 

What are your best BBQ tips? Let us know in the comments.

If you’re staying with us at La Casa Cottage Resort, ask us which of our luxury vacation cottages have BBQ access! Our friendly travel advisors are always happy to help. 

June 2021 Kelowna Events
May28

Looking for something to do in the Kelowna area this spring? As more people get the CIVID vaccine and the weather heats up to accommodate more outdoor events, Kelowna is in full swing when it comes to concerts, theater, and food. Keep reading to find a few cool things to do in Kelowna this June.

June 2021 Events in Kelowna

Golf & Tacos – Early Summer Group Lessons
Tue., Jun. 1, 4:00 – 7:30 p.m. (recurring)

Kelowna Driving Range powered by Toptracer
3810 Casorso Rd, Kelowna, BC

Golf & Tacos is about reducing the barriers that prevent women from taking up the sport early in their careers, and creating experiences that keep them in the game for the long run. Golf & Tacos is rolling into the Okanagan and ready to kick things off with our first season in 2021. Whether you’ve played for years, or picking up a club for the first time, there’s a place here for you. This event requires preregistration.

1. Saturday Night Trivia at Creekside Pub and Grill
Sat., Jun. 5, 8:00 – 10:30 p.m. (recurring)

Creekside Pub & Grill-LRS
3929 Lakeshore Rd, Kelowna, BC

Tremendous Trivia and Creekside Pub and Grill are returning with their weekly trivia show, every Saturday night at 8:00 PM.
It is free to play with purchase, immensely entertaining, and designed to appeal to players of all ages and abilities. In addition to random draw prizes, there will be weekly winner gift certificates and a trophy for the winning team!

2. Earth to Table Vegan Market
Sun., Jun. 6, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

House of Rose Winery
2270 Garner Rd, Kelowna, BC

Join us for a vegan farmer’s market! Vegan vendors, vegan food trucks, and vegan wine! Live music will occur from 11 until 2 pm by Mary L, a fabulous singer/songwriter. Family-friendly and dogs (on leash) are welcome.

3. Metabridge Live Convention
Wed., Jun. 9, 6:00 p.m. – Fri., Jun. 11, 12:00 p.m.

Manteo Waterfront Hotel & Villas
3762 Lakeshore Rd, Kelowna, BC

Metabridge Live is Canada’s leading technology retreat for Scale-up Founders & CEOs. This flagship event brings together a curated group of executives from across Canada to the Okanagan for 2.5 days of roundtables, experiences, and C-level events. Joining the group are seasoned entrepreneurs, investors, and mentors to help these scaling companies navigate growth beyond regional boundaries.

4. Fathers Day ‘Big Reds’ Dinner
Sun., Jun. 20, 6:00 p.m.

Mission Hill Family Estate Winery
1730 Mission Hill Rd, West Kelowna, BC

Celebrate Father’s Day with a big and bold dinner at Mission Hill Winery. Our culinary team will prepare a four-course dinner featuring a main course of mouth-watering meats straight from the BBQ. Each course will be paired with one of our big reds, to complement the bold flavours in the dish.

5. Life Worth Living Concert – Ben Klick
Fri., Jun. 25, 5:00 p.m.

Camelot Vineyards
3489 E Kelowna Rd, Kelowna, BC
Ben Klick is a fun-loving entertainer and storyteller with a huge heart for my family and community. Over the years, Ben has achieved multiple British Columbia Country Music Awards, International Country Music Awards, named a Distinguished Alumni at Okanagan College, and a Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for my work within the music industry.
From out of town but don’t want to miss out? Book in to one of La Casa Cottages‘ luxury vacation rentals so that you can take part in the festivities this spring and summer!
Simple Baking Ideas
Apr30

Here at La Casa Cottage Resort, all of our luxury vacation cottages have full-sized, well-equipped kitchens for your personal use. However, it can still be a challenge thinking up what to make in a kitchen that isn’t your own. What ingredients do you buy? Will you have time to use them all? That’s why these simple baking ideas are the perfect holiday vacation treat.   

Easy Chocolate Mug Cake  

  • 1 large egg  
  • ¼ cup half and half  
  • 2 T. butter  
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla  
  • ¼ cup white sugar  
  • ¼ cup flour  
  • 2 T. cocoa powder  
  • ½ tsp. espresso or Turkish coffee  
  • ½ tsp. baking powder  
  • ⅛ tsp. salt  
  • 2 T. white chocolate chips  
  • 2 T. toffee chips  

A mug cake is the perfect low hassle, no mess baking treat that doesn’t stick you with a bunch of leftovers. With this recipe, each makes just one serving so it’s the perfect bite-sized snack to sweeten up your vacation evenings. You can swap out “optional” ingredients like espresso, white chocolate chips, and toffee chips with whatever flavours you want. Try icing the top and decorating it with candy, like M&Ms.   

Learn how to make it at Hilda’s Kitchen Blog 

3-Ingredient Cookies  

  • 2 ripe bananas  
  • ½ cup oats  
  • ¼ cup chocolate chips  

What can be better than something SO easy to make that it only takes 3 ingredients? These chocolate oat cookies are the perfect weekend-away treat and they only take about 20 minutes to prepare. You can swap out chocolate pieces for raisins or other dried fruit if you like. Any extra oats, bananas, and chocolate can be used to make delicious breakfast oatmeal the next morning, too. Zero waste!   

Learn how to make it at All Recipes 

Brownies in a Jar  

Jar  

  • 2 1/4 cup Sugar  
  • 1 1/4 cup Flour  
  • 2/3 cup Cocoa  
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder  
  • 1 tsp Salt  

To Bake  

  • 3/4 cup butter  
  • 4 Eggs  

Brownies in a Jar, sometimes called “Mason Jar Brownies,” are a great way to pack your favourite dessert with you while you travel. Essentially, you pre-mix all of the dry brownie ingredients into a jar and throw the whole thing in your suitcase. Then, it only takes adding a few eggs and a bit of butter to get them oven ready.   

Learn how to make it at Apron Free Cooking.   

Easiest Jello Dessert Ever  

  • 3 Jello cups   
  • 1 TBS blueberries  
  • 1 TBS blackberries  
  • 1/2 TBS raspberries  
  • 2 strawberries large size and sliced  
  • 2 tablespoons whipped cream (ready to use)  

This recipe is a bit of a “cheat”—there’s no baking involved and most of the ingredients just need to be mixed together. What makes it special, though, is that it calls for fresh fruit. If you are visiting one of our vacation properties in the Okanagan, fresh and local fruit will be a-plenty! Head to one of Kelowna’s farmer’s markets to hunt down the best-of-the-best produce.   

Learn how to make it at Adrian’s Best Recipes.   

Food for Travelling
Feb26

What is a road trip without a cooler full of snacks for the drive? And why settle for dry cookies and soda if you’re travelling by plane? There must be a better way! Follow this guide to become the master of the Travel Snack. In this article, we’ll cover non-perishable travel food, food to eat while travelling in a car, and meals that travel well. Everything you need to know to stay nourished in motion.   

What is the best food for travelling?  

The best food for travelling will be something compact, something that can last without refrigeration, and something that won’t leak or spill. However, you’ll also want something healthy. Part of the challenge of eating on a trip is finding healthy food items that travel well. After all, you could just pack potato chips and candy…but you’d probably feel pretty sick a few hours in.   

How do you pack food for travel?  

Try to use reusable containers, where possible. Plastic or glass Tupperware with well-sealing lids are best. If you need to wrap something, consider using “beeswax” wrap as a more sustainable option than plastic. If you have room in your vehicle, consider packing a cooler with a few ice packs to keep everything fresh. This will also lessen the likelihood of the food being damaged by a sudden turn or brake.   

What can you NOT eat on a road trip?   

You’ll want to avoid any food that sloshes, sticks, or otherwise makes a mess. Also, food that might get damaged by the journey is a no-go. Food to eat while travelling in a car needs to be sturdy, well packaged, and hearty. Some people made ahead meals for travelling…and sometimes this works! Often, though, you’re plagued by big messes and cold leftovers. Stick to something simple, like sandwiches!  

What should you eat on a flight?  

Depending on the length of the flight, you might not need to eat at all. Or you might be served an in-flight meal. However, if you feel like you will need food with you, consider options that will make it through security (no liquid) and won’t bother the other passengers with strong scents. Focus on non-perishable travel food if you are packing for longer than a day’s trip.   

A sample road trip grocery list might include:  

  • Trail mix, dried fruit (apricot, banana)
  • Granola bars, pretzels
  • Fruit that doesn’t crush or bruise easily (apples, plums, mandarin oranges)
  • Breakfast shake or smoothie
  • Snacking vegetables (sliced carrots, sugar snap peas).  

Sample food to pack when traveling abroad:  

  • Anything from the above road trip grocery list
  • Dried oatmeal packets for quick meals
  • Wrapped sandwiches for the plane (nothing smelly, no eggs!)
  • Homemade baked goods that remind you of home 

It’s never too early to start planning your next trip. Think La Casa Cottages for a luxury vacation experience right here in the Okanagan.   

Valentine's Day Cocktails
Feb12

Ahh, Valentine’s day—love is in the air! And it can also be in your best martini glasses with these 5 Valentine’s Day cocktails!   

What is a Valentine’s Day cocktail exactly? Well…anything that feels romantic. We know that’s broad, but Valentine’s Day drinks are a “you’ll know it when you see it” kind of deal. Typically, they will be sweet, maybe pink or red in color, and will have a feminine flourish.   

Here are our picks:  

The Pink Rose  

  • 50ml French dry vermouth  
  • 25ml Kirschwasser (cherry brandy)  
  • 1 tsp Natural raspberry syrup  
  • Garnish: Brandied cherry  

Roses are a common theme around Valentine’s Day. They are given as gifts and adorn hallmark cards celebrating the season. This drink plays on that theme with its pinky-red hue. Raspberry syrup and a brandied cherry will make it as sweet as your S.O.   

See how to make it at Taste Cocktails 

Seductive Strawberry Cocktail  

  • 2 Strawberries  
  • 1/2 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice  
  • 1-1/2 ounces Kentucky straight bourbon  
  • 1/2 ounce Bénédictine liqueur  
  • 1 barspoon simple syrup to taste  
  • Strawberry for garnish  

Made with strawberries and champagne, this cocktail screams Valentine’s Day! The luscious red colour pairs well with the season. Plus, you’ll have strawberries left over for chocolate fondue. The bourbon gives it quite a kick and makes it something that everyone will enjoy.   

See how to make it at All Parenting.   

Sparkling Frosé  

  • ½ Bottle of Sparkling Ice Cherry Limeade  
  • 8 Rosé Ice Cubes  
  • 1oz lemon juice  
  • Mint, for garnish  

Rosé slush is just a great idea all around. This rich, sultry cocktail can be easily adjusted for potency by adding or removing the number of rosé cubes before you blend it together. The Sparkling Ice Cherry Limeade can be substituted for your favourite sparkling fruit beverage if you don’t have any on hand.  

See how to make it at Moscato Mom 

Blushing Geisha  

  • 4 ounces Ty Ku Liqueur  
  • 2 ounces pomegranate juice  
  • 4 ounces rose nectar  
  • Garnish: lime wedge  

This drink is as beautiful as it is tasty. The main ingredient, Ty Ku Liqueur is made with pomegranate, honeydew, yuzu, and Asian pear and is considered an aphrodisiac. Replace the rose nectar with rose simple syrup if you can’t find any (hint: your best chance is probably a natural food store).  

See how to make it on The Spruce Eats 

Chocolate Cherry Delight  

  • 6 ounces chocolate almond milk   
  • 4 ounces cherry juice  
  • 3 ounces vodka  
  • honey for garnish  
  • dark chocolate sprinkles for garnish  

Chocolates are a traditional romantic gift so why not have a cocktail to match? This rich, scrumptious drink is perfect for Valentine’s Day. Use honey or simple syrup on the rim of your martini glasses to make the chocolate sprinkles stick.  

See how to make it at One Country 

Give these Valentine’s Day cocktails a try and let us know what you think!

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be the only time you celebrate your love. If you’re thinking about a spring or summer getaway, maybe an anniversary or birthday, book with La Casa Cottage Resort. We have luxury vacation rentals that will make any trip special.