Food and drink

B.C. Wine and Snack Pairings
Sep10

Keep reading to get our recommendations for the best B.C. wine and snack pairings this season.

If you’re visiting B.C., you’ve probably already heard that we are the wine country of Canada. British Columbia hosts around 929 vineyards currently as well as over 350 licensed wineries. There are 4,130 hectares of wine grapes growing across B.C. in any given year. 

Now that it’s fall, you’ll want to shirk the light, floral flavours of spring. Here are some great B.C. wine and snack pairings with an autumn twist! 

Pumpkin + Viognier 

Pumpkin is a staple of fall and often shows up luxuriously spiced in baked goods like pie, cookies, and tarts. The rich, sweetness of pumpkin will pair well with a nice viognier. Luckily, B.C. wineries like Volcanic Hills have many options for you to pick from. 

Try: Pumpkin Pie Bites from Tasty + Viognier from Volcanic Hills Winery (West Kelowna)

Apples + Gewürztraminer

Gewürztraminer is the third most popular wine grape grown in B.C., right after the uber-popular Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. It used to be known for being super sweet but has been trending towards dryer flavours, making it a great option for fall. Gewürztraminer’s fruity profile pairs well with apples, which can be plucked right from the tree at one of the Okanagan’s U-Picks!

Try: Easy Apple Crisp from Little Sweet Baker + 50th Parallel Gewürztraminer (Lake Country, BC).

Figs + Port

Port (AKA Vinho do Porto or just Porto) has relatively low acidity and tannin, making it a great pairing for both cooked or raw figs. Port also has a slightly higher alcohol percentage, ranging closer to 20% than the usual 10-13%. Figs are a ton of fun to work with in the kitchen and a quick search for “fig appetizer ideas” will open your mind to the world of the edible fruit of Ficus carica.

Try: Fig Appetizer With Brie And Spiced Honey from Just a Little Bit of Bacon + Vintage Okanagan Tawny Port from House of Rose (Kelowna, BC).

Sweet Potatoes + Zinfandel

Sweet potatoes, venison, and game meats are just a few hearty fall flavours that pair well with the dark fruit, spice, and oak of a good Zinfandel. Enjoy black cherry, blueberry, and hints of vanilla with your favourite easy sweet potato snack. 

Try: Baked Sweet Potato Chips from Minimalist Baker + Black Sage Zinfandel by Black Sage Vineyards (Okanagan Valley, BC).

Ready for a Visit to Beautiful B.C.?

What do you think about our choice of B.C. wine and snack pairings for fall? Let us know or let us know what other local topics you want us to cover. 

Let Breakaway Vacations help you book your stay. We have luxury vacation cottages and overnight rentals for all group sizes and budgets. Talk to one of our friendly travel experts to get started. 

You might also like: The Best B.C. Wine and Why We Love Them.

Best Cocktails In Kelowna
Aug20

Are you visiting one of our luxury cabins in Kelowna, B.C.? You might want a fresh, exciting night out while you’re in town! Take a night to yourself to discover the unique, sultry cocktail bars across the city. Here are a few of the best cocktails in Kelowna…and where you can find them. 

Rember: Cocktails change year-over-year and sometimes season-over-season. If you can’t find something we’ve suggested on the current menu, ask the bartender! They might be able to make it special for you or suggest an alternative cocktail. 

Micro Bar Bites

Micro Bar Bites is an intimate dining experience located right downtown Kelowna on Water Street. They have bottled beer and homemade cocktails on the menu. The duck fat & rosemary popcorn really can’t be beat as a quick appetizer for the table. They are also dedicated to supporting local produce suppliers! 

Our favourite cocktail: Y’all Can’t Handle the Truth. This is a RauDZ Creative Concepts exclusive with TWT gin, Pimms, cucumber oleo-saccharum, lime, and Okanagan Spirits Taboo Absinthe rinse. See their whole menu here.

Jack’s 

Jack’s, AKA Jack’s on Bernard, is a Kelowna cocktail bar with a rock-and-roll vibe, as emphasized by their drink menu named after famous songs and 90’s nostalgia. They have an amazing menu of food including three different types of flatbread (yum!). Ask for their Featured Flatbread to get a seasonal surprise. 

Our favourite cocktail: Detroit Rocket City. Cucumber-infused Absolut Vodka, watermelon, lemon, and hibiscus foam. See their whole menu here.

Social 

Social 242, AKA Social Lounge & Grill, is located on Kelowna’s beautiful Lawrence Avenue and boasts a menu packed with daily deals, vegan menu options, and plenty of beer and wine to choose from. For dessert, or paired with your cocktail of choice, try their Amaretto Creme Brulee or Hazelnut Espresso Cheesecake. 

Our favourite cocktail (and don’t let the name fool you): The Mediocre Caesar. A classic Caesar with all the fixins’—cheese, pickles, olives, and sausage. Did we mention CHEESE? Check out their full menu here.

Cantina del Centro

Cantina del Centro is a Latin American-inspired cocktail bar and eatery with locations in both Kelowna and Nelson. The Kelowna venue, located on Bernard Avenue, is just a stone’s skip away from Okanagan Lake. Their specialty is Mexican street food and they offer an extensive tequila and mezcal list.

Our favourite cocktail: Sin Cara Mezcal Margarita. Sombra mezcal, Haskap, lavender, vanilla, and lime. 

Mid-Town Station

Mid-Town Station opened in November 2019 as a partner venue to the Train Station Pub, another local Kelowna staple. This Landmark District go-to gathering spot does everything from dinner, brunch, take-out, and even catering. They also have a loyalty reward program for frequent guests. 

Our favourite cocktail: Okanagan Sangria. Smirnoff green apple vodka, lillet blanc, maraschino liqueur, white wine, lime juice, white cranberry juice, float of Okanagan spirits cherry liqueur, and soda. 

What do you think about our list of best cocktails in Kelowna? Ready to visit and find your new favourite cocktail bar and drink? Come stay with Breakaway Vacations—luxury vacation rentals for any budget.

Jun28

B.C. has mild, warm weather and long summers that make it perfect for farming culture. You’ll see local B.C. produce at farmers’ markets and in grocery stores (both corporate and boutique). If you’re visiting British Columbia, say at one of Breakaway Vacations‘ luxury vacation cottages and rental, you might even get the chance to pick these products up right from the source!   

Here are 4 local B.C. produce and products to look for while you’re here.  

Donia Farms’ Grass-Fed Milk, Butter, and Yogurt  

Donia Farms is a third-generation family farm located in South Surrey, near Vancouver. Their website is packed with love, carefully detailing the special ways they care for their animals, what they feed livestock, and recipes to use with their produce. Their logo is an iconic staple in Canadian supermarkets: a calm bovine bent down, feeding. They specialize in grass-fed milk-based products, including milk, butter and yogurt.   

BCB Honey Farm’s Raw, Clover, and Raspberry Honey  

BCB Honey Farms is also located in Surrey, B.C., and makes an appearance at many of the local farmer’s markets around the greater city area, like the West End Farmers Market and Kitsilano Farmers Market. Not only are they dedicated to providing delicious, raw honey, but their mission statement also includes a desire to foster a healthy bee population for generations to come. They make regular honey or flavoured honey, including clover and raspberry varieties.   

Morningstar Farm’s Little Qualicum Cheeseworks  

B.C. actually has many cheese makers scattered throughout the province. If you’re visiting the Islands, including the Parksville area, you might want to check out Morningstar Farm’s and/or Little Qualicum Cheeseworks. Morningstar Farms is a 90-acre dairy farm that specializes in Swiss-style artisan cheese. They now offer many varieties, like bleu claire, caerphilly, caraway jill, curds. Feta, island brie, and more. Their produce is sold in many locations across Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland, and the Sunshine Coast—the details of which are listed on their website.   

Sirene Chocolate Bars and Cocoa Powder  

Some things we just can’t grow in B.C….like cocoa beans. However, there are local companies dedicated to ethically sourcing ingredients before putting them to work in a Canadian kitchen. Sirene Chocolate sources their beans from Guatemala, Tanzania, Ecuador, Peru, Uganda, and Mexico. Once they get their hands on the beans, they turn them into delicious bars and powder in their custom chocolate workshop located in Victoria, B.C.  

Have you tried any local B.C. produce or products that you want to scream about from the rooftops? We hope so! If not, come stay with us at Breakaway Vacations‘ and we’re sure you’ll find what you’re looking for in the bustling local markets.  

You might also like Pender Island Attractions: 10 Things to See & Do

Summer BBQ
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 Breakaway Vacation, ask us which of our luxury vacation cottages have BBQ access! Our friendly travel advisors are always happy to help. 

Simple Baking Ideas
Mar12

Here at Breakaway Vacations, 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

Are you going to try any of these simple baking ideas next time you are on vacation? If you do, tag us on social media using  #BreakawayVacations.

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 Breakaway Vacations for a luxury vacation experience right here in British Columbia.   

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 romantic getaway, maybe an anniversary or birthday, book with Breakaway Vacations. We have luxury vacation rentals that will make any trip special.   

BC Winter Wines banner
Jan22

One thing you should know about travelling to B.C. is that we are called “wine country” for a reason! We grow and produce many wine varieties right here in the Okanagan, some of which have won international awards for their quality. It’s always wine season in B.C! Now that it’s cold out, there are just certain wines that hit better. Here’s everything you need to know about winter wine in British Columbia.    

What is a “Winter Wine”  

Simple! Any wine that you enjoy drinking in winter. Sure, this can be applied to almost anything. But certain varieties pair well with in-season foods like hearty stews, bold spices, and red meat meals.   

Does B.C. Make Wine in the Winter?  

Yes! Ice wine (sometimes spelled icewine) is made with grapes that are frozen on the vine. Ice wine can be made with Riesling and Vidal grapes (most popular), Cabernet Franc, Gewurztraminer, Merlot, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay. The Okanagan is one of the best places in Canada to grow such grapes, as the climate is perfect for these unique fruits. Ice wine is traditionally quite sweet and pairs well with desserts.   

Which B.C. Wineries Make Ice Wine?  

B.C. wineries that have produced ice wine in the past include: Gehringer Brothers Estate Winery, Inniskillin Winery, Jackson-Triggs Winery, K Mountain Vineyards, Mission Hill Estate Winery, Mount Boucherie Estate Winery, Nk’Mip Cellars, Peller Estates, Quails’ Gate Estate Winery, See Ya Later Ranch, Soaring Eagle Estate Winery, Summerhill Pyramid Winery, Tinhorn Creek Vineyards, and Willow Hill Winery.   

Ice Wine VS Winter Wine: What’s the Difference?  

Simply put, ice wine is made in winter; winter wines pair well with popular winter-season food choices. Ice wines can be winter wines and winter wines can be ice wines but there doesn’t have to be a correlation! Ice wine can keep for 10 years (corked), so you can drink it year-round. Meanwhile, many wintertime wine favorites are bottled in Spring or Summer.   

What Makes a Good Winter Wine?  

Winter used to be considered a “red wine” season (except, of course, Champaign for New Year’s). However, the truth is that white wine can be a winter wine, as well. A good winter wine pairs well with the hearty, spiced, red meat-centric meals of the cooler season. Acidic wines, for example, tend to work best with the typical dish served around the holidays. Any wine with a big, bold flavor will do (thick: full, oaky chardonnay).   

What are the Best Winter Wines in B.C.?  

Here are a few of our favourite B.C. winter wines. If you are travelling to the Okanagan to stay at La Casa Mirador (our season-round rental), then you should endeavor to check these out!   

Shiraz/Syrah   

This dark and full-bodied red makes for a perfect cold season wine. It pairs well with beef, venison, and lamb dishes. You can expect flavors of blueberry and blackberry along with ripe tannins.   

  • Hester Creek Syrah-Viognier   
  • Quails’ Gate The Boswell Syrah   
  • Vanessa Vineyard Right Bank   
  • Stag’s Hollow Syrah   
  • Black Hills Syrah   

Chardonnay  

Surprise! White wine can be a winter wine, too. Look for chardonnays with buttered, oak influences. Chardonnay, with its trademark fruity sweetness, will pair well with almost any dessert.   

  • Mission Hill Family Estate’s Grand Reserve Chardonnay  
  • 50th Parallel Estate Chardonnay   
  • SpearHead Chardonnay Clone 95  
  • Mission Hill Reserve Chardonnay  
  • Quails’ Gate Chardonnay – Stewart Family Reserve  
  • Tinhorn Creek – Chardonnay  

Cabernet Sauvignon  

With Cabernet Sauvignon, you may detect hints of green pepper, tobacco, cassis, dark fruits, and vanilla. Some varieties will be opulent and fruity and others will be savory and smoky.   

  • Cassini The Aristocrat Limited Edition Cabernet Sauvignon  
  • Burrowing Owl Cabernet Sauvignon  
  • Nk’Mip Cellars (Inkameep) Qwam Qwmt Cabernet Sauvignon  
  • Painted Rock Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon  
  • Burnt Timber Estate Winery Monarch Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon  
  • Quails’ Gate Cabernet Sauvignon  

Want to experience B.C. wines first-hand? Our luxury Okanagan cottages are booking for summer 2021—and they fill up fast! Contact us for a reservation today.   

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. 

Winter activities
Dec04

You don’t need to be cooped up indoors during your stay at a Breakaway Vacation property in Parksville or Qualicum Beach from November through January. Vancouver Island, while renowned for its summertime affairs, has plenty to do even when the snow starts falling. Plus, you won’t have to fight the typical warm-weather crowds! Here are a few winter activities you can look forward to in the area.

  1. New Year’s Day Annual Polar Bear Splash

Don’t mind the chill? Want a challenge? Join the Parksville community on New Years Day as residents and visitors alike participate in the Polar Bear Splash. Dash into the winter-chilled ocean at Parkville Beach to brave the cold.

  1. Sports at Oceanside Place

Oceanside Place is a sports and ice area that is perfect for the whole family. They have an active skate schedule on their website if you want to pop by. You can also catch an Oceanside Generals game, if you want to watch the local hockey team.

  1. Winter Hiking

There are plenty of hiking areas that are open year-round, like Little Qualicum Falls, Top Bridge Park, Englishman River Falls, or Rathtrevor Beach. Most are empty during the winter months even though they are open, meaning you can have the trails and scenery all to yourselves!

  1. Take a Pacific Rainforest Adventure Tour

These are available year-round and offer trips suitable for families and seniors. You can pick the theme of your tour, ranging from nature tours to wine tours. The Salmon Spawning Tour is only available in October and November, making it a winter-exclusive activity!

  1. Horne Lake Caving, Winter Edition

We love caving year-round but winter caving tours tend to be less crowded and offer a different experience due to increased levels of moisture for the season. Horne Lake Caves offers October through January bookings with limited availability, so call ahead and save your spot.

  1. Visit Grotto Spa

The Tigh-Na-Mara Grotto Spa just outside of Parkville was named one of the top spas in Canada by Spas of America in 2018! Check out the large mineral pool, the relaxation lounge, various spa treatments, and finish your night with a meal from the attached Cedars Restaurant & Longue.

Vancouver Island has many, many things to do in the winter months. Want to hear more about where to stay to access these winter activities? Reach out to the Breakaway Vacation staff, we would be happy to help.