Recipes

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.

Homemade Road Trip Snacks
Jun11

There’s nothing quite as satisfying as settling in for a summer road trip surrounded by your favourite treats. It’s easy to stock up on chips, candy, and pop but why not try a healthier route this year? These homemade road trip snacks are a better alternative to prepackaged junk. 

What are we looking for in homemade road trip snack ideas? 

 

Sure, anything can technically be a road trip snack so long as it doesn’t take up too much room. But we are specifically looking for road trip snacks that:

  • are easily portable 
  • don’t create much waste
  • non-messy and doesn’t leak  
  • don’t spoil quickly
  • no utensils needed 
  • Healthy (ish)! 

With saying that, let’s dive in! 

DIY Trail Mix 

This is one of the easiest and most filling options for a DIY road trip snack. Go to the bulk section at your grocery store and pick from their selection of nuts, pretzels, crackers, dried fruit, cereal, chocolate, candy, or anything else you want to add. You can make this snack as healthy as you want by adding more nuts and fruit and fewer sweets. You can also make each road trip guest’s baggy a bit different. If Jen loves M&Ms, add some extras to hers. If Bill hates pretzels, leave them out for him. Be sure to use reusable Tupperware or lunch baggies to keep this treat eco-friendly. 

Dehydrated Fruit Pieces 

You can buy these pre-made or make them yourself. We’re a fan of homemade dehydrated fruit because you can use fresh, local produce and make more for your buck. Apples, strawberries, bananas, apricots, and cherries are all popular fruits for dehydrating. You can dehydrate your fruit with a variety of tools: specialty dehydrator appliances, an air fryer, or even your oven. You can even go all out and make dehydrated fruit leather snacks

Baked Kale or Potato Skin Chips

Potato chips and other salty fried snacks are a popular road trip treat. However, they are often over-salted and packed with bad fats. Making your own chips using kale or potato skins is a healthy alternative. Whichever you decide to use, kale or potato skins, making chips is as easy as coating them lightly in oil, adding a pinch of seasoning (salt or your choice), and popping them in the oven for a bit. Remember: these snacks might be brittle once prepared so packing them in a bag is ill-advised. Try a sturdy Tupperware container instead! A piece of paper towel at the bottom will soak up excess oil until you’re ready to eat them. 

Fun Flavoured Popcorn

Popcorn is a super easy pack-and-go snack but you can make it even better by experimenting with different flavours. Try Salty Spicy PopcornCinnamon Honey Popcorn, or Cheddar Cheese Popcorn. Google search “popcorn + [your favourite flavour profile]” and something will probably pop up. If not, invent it yourself! If you aren’t feeling particularly crafty you can also buy flavour shakers for your popcorn. This works particularly well if your road trip crew can’t decide on one flavour—get a few of each! 

Articles you might also like: 

What Are Your Best Roadtrip Tips? 

Let us know using #LaCasaCottages on IG or Facebook and tag us in your post. Need help planning your BC road trip? Contact us

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.   

blender soups
Dec18

We always recommend bringing a blender when you travel to one of our vacation properties. That’s because there are so many recipes that can be made with this one simple tool. It’s easy to pack and endlessly diverse, whether you want to make dessert smoothies, creamy blender-made soups, or blended cocktails. An immersion blender is particularly easy to pack and works great for soups of all kinds.

As the weather dips in December, you and your family are probably craving something warm and rich to eat. Blenders are great for whipping together easy soups. Here are a few of our favourites:

1. Easy Carrot Soup

This uber-filling soup makes for a perfect winter dinner. Cut up 2-pounds of carrots and boil them with the other ingredients in full-fat coconut milk and water. After about 10-15 minutes of simmering, the carrots should be tender enough to blend. Poke them with a fork and insure the prongs go through easily before introducing the blender.

Curry paste and onion make up the base of this flavourful dish. Additionally, you can add in some cilantro, toasted almonds, or chile oil.

Get the full recipe here.

2. Tomato Basil Soup with Asiago

This twist on traditional tomato soup is a welcome chilly weather meal. You can use canned tomatoes for the base or boil and peel 3-pounds of fresh tomatoes for an even richer flavour. Though the recipe calls for chicken broth, you may substitute vegetable broth in order to make the recipe suitable for vegetarians.

The grated asiago cheese gives this dish some zest. Save a bit to sprinkle on top of each bowl directly before serving. You can also garnish with croutons if you choose!

Get the full recipe here.

3. Butternut Squash Soup

The most challenging part of this recipe is peeling the squash, removing the seeds, and quartering it all. If you don’t have time for this, you can use frozen or canned squash as a substitute. But fresh always tastes best! You will need 3 cups of squash and 1 peeled, decored, and cubed apple to make up the bulk of the soup.

You will want to saute some onion in butter while the squash and apple are steaming. Then, blend it all up with the rest of the ingredients and voila!

Get the full recipe here.

Stay Warm and Fill Up!

Hot, fresh, and quick blender-made soups are the perfect winter recipe. They are easy to make and can be adjusted to accommodate what you have on hand if you are in a rental suite and away from your kitchen.

Ask us about spring vacation rental bookings now to secure your first choice of luxury cottages before they book up. Or, sign up to our newsletter to watch for special deals. 

Healthy Smoothies
Nov06

As the weather goes down, so does our body’s natural immunity. Wintertime tends to mean: being indoors more, where germs travel more easily; a lower body temperature, making you vulnerable; and germs get tougher as the weather gets chillier. That’s why you should try to incorporate vitamins and minerals into your diet that boost immunity and help keep you healthy! Smoothies are an easy way to do this. Here are a few nutrient-rich smoothie recipes to get you started:

  1. Citrus Immunity Boosting Smoothie Recipe

Citrus fruits have a ton of vitamin C so this recipe is a perfect, healthy choice. The vitamin C in citrus fruits are also proven to slow aging and prevent cancer. Oranges and mangoes are the primary ingredients, which is great because mandarin oranges are in season. Lime juice and coconut water finish this recipe off. With no yogurt or milk, it is also low calorie.

Full recipe here.

  1. C-Blast Smoothie

Pink grapefruit, pineapple, and strawberries are all packed with vitamin C. Because most fruit is out of season, feel free to sub in frozen or canned varieties where applicable. This blend included half-a-cup of non-fat Greek yogurt, too, which makes it more filling—perfect for breakfast or a midday snack to tide you over until dinner.

Full recipe here.

  1. Immune Boosting Winter Citrus Smoothie

Mangos, turmeric, ginger, a pinch of cayenne, oranges make the base of this rich, delicious wintertime favorite smoothie. Try swapping in blood oranges, Cara Cara oranges, or mandarin oranges to change up the flavor a bit. You can even mix varieties in the same dish. This smoothie is perfect for winter blues, with plenty of vitamin C and antioxidants.

Full recipe here.

  1. Superfood Power-Up Smoothie Cups

This smoothie cup contains coconut milk, oatmeal, raw honey, chia seeds, vanilla, quinoa, as well as an assortment of spices that you can modify based on what you have on hand. We suggest using turmeric, which is known to help control blood pressure and boost your body’s natural restorative properties.

Full recipe here.

Want to tap into some sweet, sweet Okanagan produce for your healthy smoothie recipes? Book your summer vacation plans with us now at La Casa Cottage Resort.

Stay fed, stay healthy.