Recipes

Smoothie bowl
Sep04

It’s September now, which means back to school! You had time for sleeping in and slow brunches all summer…but now it’s time to hustle! As soon as that alarm clock rings, you’ll need to start thinking about what you can prepare quickly and easily day-after-day.

That’s why we love breakfast smoothie bowls. It doesn’t hurt that you can use fresh Okanagan fruit from the local markets, too. Here are a few super easy recipes to make before school or work.

Berry Breakfast Smoothie Bowl

This one takes only 5 minutes to prepare. Super easy! You’ll need a blender but a small, personal blender or immersion blender works if you don’t have a full-sized one with you. The only ingredients you need are frozen banana and frozen berries, a milk or milk substitute, and some protein powder (optional). Eat it as is or sprinkle on some topping, like sliced fresh fruit, chia seeds, coconut, or whatever else you want!

Try it here: Minimalist Baker.

Strawberry-Banana Smoothie Bowl

This one is paleo and vegan friendly, though you can add dairy milk if you prefer. Strawberries and a banana or two make up the base of the smoothie and unsweetened coconut milk keep it smooth and creamy. You can use fresh in-season fruit or frozen fruit, whatever you desire.

Top it with dried fruit, like banana chips, and granola to add some special crunch. Once it’s in the bowl, you can decorate it however you please. If you want extra fruit, nuts, or seeds on top—go for it!

Try it here: Bakerita.

The Enlighten Smoothie Bowl

The original recipe is vegan so this one is great for lactose intolerant individuals or those who don’t consume animal products. The base is made with a few iced cubes, a frozen berry blend, and ½-1 banana, depending on what you prefer. A bit of peanut butter gives some added protein. You can substitute peanut butter for protein powder but make sure to add a bit of water, too, to keep things smooth.

Decorate the top of the bowl as you see fit: almonds, hemp hearts, cacao nibs, nut butter, currants or raisins, or kiwi slices!

Try it here: The Simple Veganista.

Green Breakfast Smoothie Bowl

This smoothie starts out with a healthy dose of mango, pineapple, avocado, and spinach. The avocado and spinach are the “greens” in this recipe but most of the flavor comes from the fresh fruit so you don’t have to worry about feeling like you are drinking salad for breakfast. Use coconut milk or almond milk to keep everything blending smoothly.

Add flax seeds to the mix if you have them but they are more for nutrients than flavor so it’s okay if you don’t have any on hand. Granola and a drizzle of honey make a great topper for this one.

Try it here: Natasha’s Kitchen.

Need to slow things down after the back to school rush? Try a lovely weekend away in one of our vacation properties. Contact us for details and availability options.

Easy Cocktails
Aug14

What takes any summer vacation up a notch? Some amazing summer cocktails (or mocktails, if you want)! If you are staying somewhere away from home, like one of our premium vacation rentals, you will probably want something easy that you can throw together with minimal supplies and prep. So here are 5 of our favourite easy summer cocktail recipes. Mix, stir, blend, and shake away!

  1. Jam Cocktails

By Dessert for Two

First, pick your favourite jam—and if you are vacationing in B.C., you can probably find something homemade at one of the farmer’s markets. Then, place a few tablespoons of jam in a jar and add 1-2 shots of vodka and some lemon juice. Shake well before straining and serving over ice. Garnish with fruits and mint according to what type of jam you picked.

  1. Easy Pimm’s Cocktails

By Taste.com

Add sliced oranges, lemon pieces, and cucumber to a significant portion of Pimm’s and then leave the whole thing in the fridge to chill for a few hours. Serve the mixture with tonic water, sparkling water, ginger ale, or lemonade, depending on your preference. Add some more fruit for garnish and voila—super easy fruity cocktail. Pimm’s can also be replaced by gin, vermouth, and an orange-based liqueur.

  1. Malibu Sunset Cocktail

By The Cookin Chicks

This is a super easy three-ingredient recipe, requiring only Malibu Rum, pineapple juice, and a bit of grenadine. You can add cherries or pineapples as a garnish, but this is wholly optional. Fill a glass with ice and add in the rum and the pineapple juice. For a “sunset” look, pour the grenadine in slowly and watch the colours set.

  1. Summer Solstice Wine Cocktail

By Boulderlocavore

What better to drink in Wine Country than a wine-based cocktail? First, combine cherries, peaches, and a Pinot Noir and muddle all the ingredients together. Then, add a few ice cubes and shake. Strain this mixture into glasses filled with fresh ice and top with Italian Soda (recommended: Blood Orange flavor). Try selecting a wine from a local vineyard for a location-specific twist.

  1. Strawberry Basil Vodka Cocktail

By Garnish with Lemon

This is the most ingredient-intensive cocktail on this list so save it for a night you are feeling adventurous. You’ll need strawberries, basil leaves, lemon juice, simple syrup, vodka, elderflower liqueur, and prosecco. Muddle the strawberries, basil, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Then, add ice, vodka, and elderflower liqueur and shake it. Strain everything into an ice-filled glass and add in the prosecco.

These summer cocktails are sure to add a little spice to your vacation plans. Don’t have any plans yet? Contact us about our vacation cottages and rentals across B.C. and we’ll help you find the perfect fit.

Tomato Soup Recipes
Apr09

How to Make the Best Tomato Soup

It’s spring time in the Okanagan and tomatoes are in season! Our favourite way to use these tasty vegetables is to turn them into a fresh, fragrant soup – just perfect for lunches or chilly evenings. We’ve rounded up some of the best tomato soup recipes for you to try:

Tomato Soup Recipes

  • Roasted Tomato Soup with Herbed Croutons 
  • You will just love this Roasted Tomato Soup that uses all fresh ingredients and tells you to how to make the best croutons from scratch. There’s nothing else to say about this simple yet effective recipe; try it out for yourself at thoughtsoverchai.net.

  • Spiced Vegan Lentil Soup
  • Sometimes lentil soups can be hit or miss! We recommend trying this recipe but substitute out that can of diced tomatoes for some fresh local Okanagan produce. And of course, the other advantage of this recipe is that it is vegan –  so can be enjoyed by everyone. Check out the full recipe and other ideas at cookieandkate.com.

  • Best Ever Vegetarian Tortilla Soup
  • This recipe is a yummy treat which is served with radish, roasted chili, feta, avocado, lime and corn tortillas. Rachel also notes that charring the vegetables is the trick to getting a smoky broth – perhaps you could also roast fresh tomatoes rather than using them out of the can?  Worth a try!  Check out this delicious twist on the classic tomato soup at rachaelhartleynutrition.com

What’s your favourite tomato soup recipe?  Or perhaps you have an alternative way to use these delicate vegetables that you think we should know about? Share your ideas in the comment box below.

Fancy cooking up these delights in the comfort of a home away from home?  If your answer is yes then please get in contact today to book your summer vacation at La Casa Cottage Resort – we would love to have you here!

 

Written by Hannah Poaros

Kale Green Smoothie
Mar12

5 Kale Smoothie Combinations for you to try

Kale is in season in the Okanagan so head down to your local grocery store and pick up some beautiful fresh produce! When most people think of kale, they picture horrible green drinks that taste of vegetables.  However kale can be made delicious when added with the right ingredients. It is extremely good for you and health-conscious individuals love it because of the low calorie count, zero fat and high levels of fibre.

Kale Smoothie Recipes
Why not try one of these combinations?

These high energy smoothies are the perfect way to kickstart your body – let us know which is your favourite! We are sure that you’ll agree with us when we say that these are way better than eating kale on its own…

Fancy drinking these smoothies on your own patio next to a turquoise swimming pool with the Okanagan sun burning down on you?  If this image sounds ideal, contact us today to book your summer vacation at La Casa Cottages – we would love to have you here!

 

Written by Hannah Poaros

Parsnips Recipe
Feb12

Make Parsnips the star of Winter in these recipes

Canada’s winter is long and cold so is the ideal time to get experimental in the kitchen.  Parsnips, due to the chilly temperatures, are now in season in the Okanagan so why not try out different ways to use this sweet root vegetable?

Parsnips are high in fibre, potassium and vitamin C!  This means that there are so many health benefits that come with eating them.  Why not take a look at some of these recipe suggestions below?

The suggestion to make a parsnip bruschetta almost seems bizarre to those of us that have visions of the traditional mozzarella, basil and tomato type dish. However we urge you to try this.  Parsnip puree (made with sea salt, garlic and butter) served with rocket leaves and parmesan shavings on a warm ciabatta roll… Does it really get better than that? Check out the full recipe on bbcgoodfood.com .

Now most of us probably already know how to make roast parsnips (or think we do!), but no-one does it better than Jamie Oliver! Check out his suggestions for cooking the ultimate honey roast parsnips. If you’re not a fan of honey, then he also mentions how adding parmesan and flour can really crunch those parsnips up! Please visit jamieoliver.com for more information on these variations.

You might not think that parsnips are a dessert item, but they really can be! Because of their sweeter taste, parsnips go well with spices such as cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg – add these together with flour, eggs, sugar and (another surprising ingredient) butternut squash to make a rather delicious winter dessert. To look up the official recipe and ingredients list, please check out this link via delish.com – we fully recommend.

 

These mouthwatering recipes are sure to get you inspired in the kitchen! The question is: which one will you try first?

For other recipe recommendations, please check out our related blog posts here.  We love to see our guests getting creative in the kitchen – send us a photo on Facebook or shoot us a comment below so that we can see how you are spending your winter days!

If you’re already thinking of summer, then don’t forget to contact our reservations line on +1-888-226-5566 to book your cottage vacation at La Casa Cottages – we’d love to have you!

 

Written by Hannah Poaros