The Okanagan

Oct01

What is your favourite part of October is it Halloween, Costumes, Candy, or Pumpkin Spice Drinks? My favourite part of October is Hot apple ciders and picking the perfect pumpkin at Davidson Orchards!

I personally have been going here since I was just a baby – it is a tradition to go each year and pick out a few pumpkins to bring home and carve!

Starting October 1st Wednesdays – Sundays 10am -4:30pm.

You can jump on a tractor that takes you on a tour and drops you off at the patch to pick the perfect pumpkin’s. Once you have taken all your family, and friends pictures with your favourite pumpkin in the patch you can jump back on the tractor to ride back to the parking lot where you can take it home and carve it.

Tractor Tour Pricing with Pumpkin Picking $10

Tractor Tour Only: Adults $8 and Kids $5 (no pumpkin included)

Davidson Orchards is an experience in it’s own, not just picking pumpkins, riding tractors, petting zoom, drinks and snacks as well.

Located just 45 minutes from La Casa Cottage Davidson Orchards is a must see this October!

Recipes to make with your Pumpkin:

Pumpkin Seeds recipe here!

  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt, plus more for serving
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, melted coconut oil or nut oil like walnut
  • 2 teaspoons your favorite spice blend such as curry powder, harissa and chili powder
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Fill a medium saucepan with about 2 cups of water and season with 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil.
  3. Meanwhile, scoop the seeds from your pumpkin. Add the pumpkin seeds to a bowl filled with cold water and swish them around until the seeds float and are mostly clean.
  4. Add cleaned seeds to the boiling salted water. Simmer for 5 minutes. Drain and pull away any remaining pumpkin attached to the seeds.
  5. Scatter the seeds onto clean dishcloths and pat them very dry. Mound the dried seeds onto the prepared baking sheet. Add the oil and any spices on top then toss until well coated. Spread the seeds into one layer. Bake, stirring the seeds at least once, until fragrant and golden around the edges, 10 to 25 minutes, depending on how large the seeds are.

Pumpkin Bread recipe here!

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1½ sticks (¾ cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 15-oz can 100% pure pumpkin
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Generously grease two 8 x 4-inch loaf pans with butter and dust with flour (alternatively, use a baking spray with flour in it, such as Pam with Flour or Baker’s Joy).
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk until well combined; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until just blended. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until very light and fluffy, a few minutes. Beat in the pumpkin. The mixture might look grainy and curdled at this point — that’s okay.
  4. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined.
  5. Turn the batter into the prepared pans, dividing evenly, and bake for 65 – 75 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the loaves cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Fresh out of the oven,the loaves have a deliciously crisp crust. If they last beyond a day, you can toast individual slices to get the same fresh-baked effect.

Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The bread can be frozen for up to 3 months. After it is completely cooled, wrap it securely in aluminum foil, freezer wrap or place in a freezer bag. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

Aug25

Here at La Casa Cottages we offer a fully equipped kitchen and a BBQ. While visiting the beautiful Okanagan be sure to stop by some of our amazing Farmers Markets so you can fill your fridge up with fresh, local produce. Sign up for Farmers Markets coupons here!

Fun Facts!

  • Did you know there are over 145 Farmer’s Markets in BC?
  • There are over 2,000 Orchardists in the Okanagan

Just to name a few of the fruits that grow here in the Okanagan:

  • Cherries
  • Apples
  • Peaches
  • Grapes
  • Plums
  • Pears
  • Elderberries
  • Apricots
  • Raspberries

A few of the near by markets are:

Vernon Farmer’s Market – More information to found here

When? Monday and Thursdays 8am-1pm

Where? Kal Tire Place

Kelowna Farmer’s Market – More information to be found here 

When? Wednesday and Saturday 8-1pm – 0utdoor in the summer and Indoor in the winter (April-December)

Where? Corner of Dilworth and Springfield

When? Sunday 9-3pm

Where? Kerry Park

Enderby Farmer’s Market – More information to be found  here

When? Friday 8-12pm (May-October)

Where? Cliff Ave + Belvedere St

PeachLand Farmer’s Market –More information to be found here

When? Sundays 10-2pm (June-September)

Where? Heritage Park, Beach Ave

Penticton Farmer’s MarketMore information to be found here

When? Saturday 8:30am-1pm (April-October)

Where? 100 Block of Main St Downtown

 

What are some of your favourite items from the Farmer’s Market?

Aug16

A must add to your bucket list this summer is the Penticton channel spanning 4 miles long for hours of fun with friends and family!

Option to bring your own floatie or rent through Coyote Cruises offering tubes for you and your family as well as a shuttle to bring you back to where you started. To book ahead visit Coyote Cruises

This is a great way to spend your afternoon, floating freely and enjoying time with friends and family! We have created a list of things that we recommend bringing to make your experience on the channel seamless!

  1. Life Jacket – Depending on the water levels the channel can be fast or slow moving so we recommend bringing a life jacket for yourself and of course for everyone else who will be joining you!
  2. Water Proof Phone Case – We all love to take pictures during these amazing experiences and to make sure your phone stays safe from water we recommend bringing a waterproof case or carrier
  3. Lots of water & Ice (cooler if you want) – It gets HOT here in the Okanagan and our bodies need lots of water to keep us hydrated during those hot days, if you have a small cooler we recommend putting ice and a few snacks in it in case you need a snack mid float!
  4. Speaker – Bring a speaker along with you so you can listen to music with friends and family we recommend a waterproof speaker so it is safe from the splashes!
  5. Water Proof Dry Bag – This is a great item to have whether you are renting a kayak from La Casa or floating the channel it can hold all your items and keep them dry!
  6. Sun glasses – Those rays are strong don’t forget the sun glasses at home!
  7. Sun Screen – Protect your skin nobody likes to burn on vacation!
  8. Leave valuables at home! Unfortunately what drops in the channel stays in the channel unless you have scuba diving gear then you might be in luck!
Aug09

BBQ Rentals on Lake Okanagan

Nothing beats the smell of a BBQ as your walk by your neighbours house, invite got lost in the mail? No worries you can enjoy your own BBQ with friends and family with a unique, fun experience on a boat BBQ Boat Rental listed as a “unique experience for all ages”

The “Eco-friendly boats hold up to 10 passengers per boat and are equipped with all the added features that add to the fabulous setting like our electric motors, low-smoke grill, under seat storage, pillows and circular table” this is an experience you do not want to miss out on! Located approximately 45 minutes from La Casa! You can pick up all your BBQ goods right on site at the La Casa store before you hit the road. Prefer food to be prepped and ready for you upon arrival inquire about the catering they offer prior to booking to see if this is a option for you!

Some FAQ answered from Maeg’s website more can be found here:

  • No boating licenses required!
  • You must be at least 21 years old or must have a parent or guardian present. ​​
  • How long is it? The rental period is 2 hours. A Lake Tour is 45 minutes.
  • Can we drive the boat ourselves? Yes you drive the boat yourself. The driver must be at least 21 years of age and have a valid drivers license. A licensed captain is also available for a $100 fee.

See picture of Maeg’s boat rental below!

Maeg's BBQ Boats

Aug02

Come summer there is nothing better than a cold drink on your patio, who are we kidding… a cold drink tastes good no matter where you are from boats, beaches, backyards to on the couch watching your favourite movie!

Can’t go wrong with a Mojito (what’s your favourite lime, raspberry, strawberry, blueberry?)

Add these items to your next shopping list:

  • Fresh Mint
  • Soda Water
  • Simple Syrup
  • Lime Juice
  • Rum

Have a blender in the pantry? Pina Colada is a must on your list of cool summer drinks!
Add these items to your next shopping list:

  • Rum
  • Cream of coconut (not coconut cream)
  • Pineapple juice
  • Ice
  • Frozen pineapple
  • Lime Juice

Prefer something a bit less sweet – try the Gin Basil Smash

Add these items to your next shopping list:

  • Gin
  • Lime Juice
  • Basil leaves
  • Lemon juice
  • Simple syrup

My mom’s personal favourite – no recipe here call it a family secret shared to all of you who are family here in the LaCasa Community!

Add these items to your next shopping list:

  • Whipped Cream Vodka
  • Orange Juice OR Pink Lemonade
  •  Ice

My personal favourite the Empress Gin Cocktail – add all the ingredients to martini shaker and shake and pour into your favourite glass or red solo cup.

Add these items to your next shopping list:

  • Empress Gin
  • Fresh Lemon Juice
  • Egg whites
  • Simple Syrup
  • Ice

Shaken, Stirred, Poured, Over Ice.. Whatever you choose – Enjoy!