recipes

wine pairing lineup
Oct16

Everyone knows that British Columbia is Canada’s wine region. Vineyards may not be open this late into the year but you can expect any local venues to be stocked up with wine from around Kelowna. Here are just a few ideas of what types of wine and food pairings to try.

Savory Squash + Pinot Gris

Squash is in season so you will probably be able to find it on many-a-menu these days. Any savory squash meal should pair well with Pinot Gris. Pinot Gris is rich and spicy and quite popular in B.C. so you’ll find it everywhere. It pairs well with the rich creaminess of squash-based meals (think: pasta, warm salad, or soups).

Meat and Potatoes + Rioja

Steak and potatoes. Sausage and potatoes. Red meat stew. These are perfect cold weather meals because they fill you up and make you feel warm and cozy as the nights get chilly. Try pairing these meals with a Rioja, which is a deep, leathery red with hints of cherry. Want it sweeter? Open a newer bottle. For more savory, pick a Rioja that has been aged.

Apple Cinnamon + Riesling

Cinnamon will be making a grand appearance in a big way in many desserts and even breakfast/bunches. You might find it with apple or pumpkin, which are in season. But what wine goes best with apple cinnamon tarts after a long day? Try Riesling, which is equal parts sweet and acidic—a perfect counterpart.

Turkey Leftovers + Grenache Rosé

If you’ve already celebrated (Canadian) Thanksgiving, you most likely have a fridge packed full of delicious turkey leftovers. You might be finding yourself adding it to everything: soups, salads, sandwiches. How about accenting the inevitable turkey overdose with some nice Grenache Rosé? The ruby rose colour and heightened acidity make it a great fall pairing.

Vegetable Stew + Pinot Noir

Vegetable stew is great to make in bulk and freeze or refrigerate for easy fall meals. Pack it full of lentils, mushrooms, carrots, potato, corn, and anything else you desire. Vegetarian stew lasts longer in the fridge than meat-based counterparts so you don’t have to worry about rushing through it. Pinot Noir is so food friendly it goes with nearly anything but it will keep this particular meal company with it’s rich fruity character.

Lamb + Zinfandel

Thinking about ordering rack of lamb for a luscious, fall meal? Try pairing lamb-based recipes with Zinfandel, which is a perfect fall wine that also goes great with sweet potatoes. Zinfandel has hints of dark fruit and a smoky zest but you can also find earthier varieties.

Looking for a fantastic Fall getaway? Contact us and ask about our vacation properties here in beautiful British Columbia.

pumpkin baking
Oct09

Going away for the weekend doesn’t have to mean living off crusty gas station cookies when you get the inevitable sweet tooth. We believe that home baking can travel with you anywhere, which is why we’ve compiled this list of 4 pumpkin-themed baking recipes that are uber easy to make. Bake and pack them beforehand…or, stay in one of our luxury vacation homes with a full kitchen suite.

  1. Pumpkin Granola

Oats, pumpkin seeds, and pumpkin puree are the star of this granola dish. Plus, coconut oil, maple syrup, honey, and brown sugar add all the sweetness you could possibly desire. The whole thing takes about 10 minutes to prepare and then another hour to bake, so consider making it the night before if you want a get-up-and-go treat first thing in the morning.

Full recipe on Tasty Kitchen.

  1. Baked Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

Pumpkin can be used in the main course, too. If you have some picky eaters in the family, try this pumpkin mac and cheese dish. No one can say no to mac and cheese! Other than the usual mac and cheese ingredients that you would expect, you will also want to pick up some pumpkin puree and ground nutmeg. This easy lunchtime treat takes just under an hour to make.

Full recipe on The Bossy Kitchen.

  1. Easy Pumpkin Spice Muffins

This recipe takes only 45 minutes to complete with minor prep time of about 10 minutes. A perfect afternoon craft! You also get about 18 muffins out of it, making it perfect to share with friends or family. All you need is pumpkin spice cake mix (or similar cake mix of your choosing), pumpkin puree, cinnamon chips, and chopped pecans. Makes a perfect dessert!

Full recipe on AllRecipes.

  1. Pumpkin Smoothie

If you’re a fan of pumpkin spice lattes, you might want to try this pumpkin smoothie. Pumpkin puree, Greek yogurt, apple cider, milk, maple syrup, and pumpkin pie spice to taste. Pumpkin smoothies are great for a midday snack or even a quick breakfast. Don’t forget to pack your personal (1 serving) blender so that you can make smoothies on the go, no matter where you are. We highly recommend it.

Full recipe on Express Life.

Need somewhere to stay for a quick week/end getaway this Fall season? Contact us to learn about one of our many vacation rental properties, from cottages to larger group facilities.

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.

Ham Dinner
Apr06

The Perfect (and Easy!) Ham Dinner Recipe for Easter

Who doesn’t love an excuse to bake a delicious ham for friends and family? Making a ham can seem quite intimidating. After all, that’s a whole lot of meat! But a good ham dinner doesn’t need to be a huge ordeal. Try this 4-ingredient recipe and a few easy sides for the perfect holiday meal.

Baked Orange Honey Ham
From: Honey and Birch

Citrus flavor and sweet honey are a magnificent, tangy combination. To get started, you only need a 10-pound spiral-cut, precooked ham, some honey, some orange juice, and some orange zest. Because the ham is already cooked and cut, you will save a ton of time in the kitchen. That way, you can spend it entertaining your guests and catching up with family.

Heat the oven to 320°F (120°C). Place the ham in a deep dish, cover with foil, and bake for 1 hour. Heat the orange juice, honey, and orange zest in a pot over low heat. After 1 hour, remove the ham and uncover (discard the foil after this). Cover the ham in half of the glaze and then return to the oven for another 15-minutes. Pour the remainder of the glaze over the ham immediately before serving.

Need Some Easy Side Dish Options? Try these.

With ham at the center of the meal, you’ll want to fill the empty table with plenty of fresh vegetables and hearty carbs to compliment it. Here are just a few ideas.

Green Bean Casserole
From: AllRecipes

Use fresh green beans rather than canned for even more crunch and flavor to this side dish. The casserole base comes from butter, flour, salt, sugar, onion, sour cream, cracker crumbs, and shredded cheese. Mix together, bake, and enjoy.

Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes
From: Good Housekeeping

Sour cream, whole milk, unsalted butter, and sharp cheddar cheese give these mashed potatoes a tangy twist. Boil some red-skin potatoes and simmer on low heat for 15-18 minutes, checking every so often to see how tender they are. Drain, mix in the rest of the ingredients, and add salt and pepper to taste.

Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan-Panko Crumble
From: Epicurious

This recipe is easy to make in advance and store, taking one thing off your busy plate if you are hosting a big dinner night. Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) and parmesan make this a unique and savory dish that will impress anyone bored of the same-old-same-old.

Baked Pineapple
From: The Spruce Eats

Baked pineapple is a traditional ham-main side dish. The citrus of the ham glaze and the citrus of the pineapple will pair well together here. Bake pineapple with lemon juice, eggs, flour and sugar and then top the whole shebang with a cheesy pecan streusel crust.

Bon Appétit!

Now you have a whole ham dinner, including mains and sides. Not feeling up to an elaborate side dish? Green salad with vinaigrette or roasted mixed veggies works in a pinch. Serve your favorite Okanagan red or white wine and voila, a delicious ham meal for you and yours.

BONUS: Need some dessert? Try these family-friendly baking ideas.

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!