November 2016


Holiday Crafts for the Whole Family

You’ve rented the cottage. The family has arrived. Now it’s time to make some memories. Crafts are a great way to get everyone together. Whether you are making ornaments or gifts, grab your hot glue guns and ribbon and create something beautiful this year. Here are three great crafts for the whole family to enjoy:

Take a clear plastic ball and fill it with different items to use as an ornament and a gift. Fill a plastic ball with colourful beads and some string for children to make necklaces and bracelets. You could also fill them with great smelling bath beads or bath salts for Mom. Tiny toys, coloured pompoms and googly-eyes – let your imagination go wild.

Make snow globes from different size jars. Baby food and mason jars are perfect for creating tiny winter wonderlands. Simply clean the jars. Dab a bit of waterproof glue in the center lid. Add a teeny Christmas tree, a sleigh or even Santa. Fill the jar with glycerin and water. Add glitter flakes. Seal the lid on tightly and invert. You can make more elaborate scenes in the bigger jars.

Christmas Light Balls are a great way to liven up the outdoor space of the cottage. Cut chicken wire twice as long as it is wide. Wind the ends together to form a cylinder. Next tuck, wind and squish the ends of the cylinder until it forms a rough ball. Use LED lights and leave the plug end out. Weave the lights in and out around the whole ball. Make multiples for a stunning winter yard. Plug it in and enjoy.

Two little twin boys lying in autumn leaves in colorful clothing. Happy siblings kids having fun in autumn forest or park on warm fall day. With hats and scarfs

Paper bags decorated with bows, jingle bells and candy canes make wonderful gift bags. Fill them with small gifts, tape them shut and set them under the tree. Kids really enjoy this craft.

Make crafts and memories for the holidays and let CanadaStays help your family find their perfect vacation rental for your family holiday! Whether it’s taking a trip to rent a cottage in Niagara, planning to rent a Muskoka vacation rental, or even renting a chalet in Mont Tremblant, CanadaStays will always be there to help it make it feel like home.

Top Five Holiday Recipes

Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day – all of these holidays are reasons to celebrate with family and friends. Celebrations include favourite meals, family recipes and traditions. Maybe you like to venture out and tweak the recipes or find new ones. Here are the top five holiday recipes to help you get prepared for the festivities:

1. Stuffing is as much a staple of Thanksgiving as the turkey. This year try making Sausage, Apple and Sage Stuffing Muffins. Bread cubes, seasonings, Italian turkey sausage, apple and celery are mixed with chicken broth and eggs. Put the mix in muffin tins and bake. Serve them piping hot.

2. Sweet Potato Casserole is as varied as your cousins. Some use marshmallows, others pecans and still others maple syrup and brown sugar or cinnamon. Whatever way you choose to serve it, this is a must-have for holiday meals.

Two little twin boys lying in autumn leaves in colorful clothing. Happy siblings kids having fun in autumn forest or park on warm fall day. With hats and scarfs

3. White Wine Brine for your turkey will leave your family begging for more. Brine your turkey in a bottle of Pinot Grigio, fresh thyme, lemons, garlic, black peppercorns and vegetable stock for at least 24 hours. Longer is better! After pouring off the brine, bake your turkey and watch your loved ones go wild. Tip: If you like a crispier skin, pour off the brine, pat the turkey dry and let it set in the refrigerator overnight.

4. Try Oreo Acorns for a fun dessert the kids can make. Crush a bag of Oreo cookies. Mix with a block of cream cheese. Shape into ovals. Dip the top into melted peanut butter chips. Add a pretzel stick for the stem.

5. Pakistani Coffee with Cinnamon and Cardamom is a sweet, sultry way to end the meal. Made with simmered milk, coffee, spices and sugar, this is more than just coffee.

Gather your family for a culinary surprise over the holidays! Try mixing things up from the traditional menu this year. To really spice things up this year, try renting a chalet in Whistler, or even try renting a chalet in Banff or if the cold doesn’t interest you try a booking a vacation rental in Jamaica! No matter, CanadaStays can help you!

A Cottage Life Christmas

Why in the world would anyone want to leave their snug familiar surroundings to rent a cottage for the holidays? More space, different things to do and luxurious kitchens to cook in are a few reasons. There are so many good reasons to rent a cottage for Christmas and New Year’s.

Think about the fiascos of years past. Do you remember when everyone piled in at your place to spend the Christmas holiday? While it was fun, it was also crowded. Couples were on air mattresses and kids piled up on uncomfortable futons and sofa sleepers. Dad and Mom looked a little creaky the next morning after sleeping on the day bed with its trundle. Bathroom time was disastrous! Kids banged on the locked doors because “I’ve gotta go!” A constant stream of people waited in the hallway for their chance to take a shower. But not this year!

Two little twin boys lying in autumn leaves in colorful clothing. Happy siblings kids having fun in autumn forest or park on warm fall day. With hats and scarfs

This year a cottage rental is the perfect idea for a Christmas family gathering. Just imagine it – no mad cleaning to do before everyone arrives. The cottage rental will be squeaky clean when you get there. No wondering where to put everyone – just pick a cottage with the amount of bedrooms your group will need. Rent a cottage with extra bathrooms to avoid shower rushes.

Plan your escape to a beautiful cottage in the country today for the holidays. Your family will love it. Try a rustic cottage rental in Port Perry, Ontario or even try renting a cottage in Parry Sound. CanadaStays can help you find something to suit every family and any budget.

Apple Stuffed French Toast

This fall inspired apple stuffed french toast could not be any more seasonally perfect.

To make for 4 people what you will need:




8 slices of your favourite bread, thickly sliced. (I prefer an Italian loaf for French toast)

6 large eggs

¾ cup of milk

Salt & pepper

3-4 tablespoons of butter

For the apple stuffing:

2 apples – preferably a Macintosh or firmer similar apple that’s good for cooking

2 tablespoons of butter

1 teaspoon of raw sugar or brown sugar.

For topping:

Pure Canadian maple syrup




In a flat bottom bowl, mix eggs with milk. Whisking for a few minutes until mixture is fluffy. Mix in salt and pepper to taste. Lay in one slice of bread at a time, and let soak in the mixture for a few seconds on each side. Once bread is sufficiently soaked, place in hot pan with ½ tablespoon of butter (Tip: letting your butter brown a bit first will boost the flavour)

Cook each side for 2-3 minutes until thoroughly cooked. Repeat until all pieces are cooked and set in warm oven (about 200 degrees) to keep warm until stuffing is done.

Next thinly slice both apples. Place in warm frying pan with 1 tablespoon of browned butter. Keeps apples moving around until butter is absorbed. Then add the remaining butter with the sugar and let melt. Mix over apples. Once evenly coated (about 1 minute) remove from heat.

Place one piece of French toast on the plate, top with a layer of apple, then top with another piece of French toast. Put spoonful of apple mixture on top and drizzle with maple syrup. Serve & eat!

This is for sure going to a family favourite on a Sunday morning! Don’t forget to include CanadaStays on your guest list. Bundle up this year and try a cottage rental in Huntsville, cabin rentals in Whistler, or even try renting a chalet in Mont Tremblant while you enjoy this delicious delight!

Prosciutto wrapped dates

If you are looking for a crowd pleasing sweet and salty, perfect accompaniment to a warm glass of spiked apple cider, this is the appetizer for you.




12 slices of thinly sliced prosciutto, cut length wise (to form 24 pieces)

24 pitted dates

1 tablespoon of rosemary

24 ¼ inch cubes of parmesan cheese




Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line banking tray with parchment paper. Open pitted date and put a few pieces of rosemary and one cube of parmesan cheese inside the date. Warp the date with one piece of prosciutto. Place on baking sheet. Repeat for all 24 dates

Cook for 8 minute on top shelf. Remove from oven and serve. Suggestion, serve as part of a charcuterie board or with a few crostini’s and some goat cheese for added wow effect. This simple to make yet delicious appetizer, will have your guests excited for the main course

This are definitely a crowd pleaser during the holidays! Super easy to prepare and also great if you are renting a chalet in Collingwood, renting a cabin in Kelowna, or if the cold doesn’t interest you try a booking a vacation rental in Barbados! No matter, CanadaStays can help you!

Cranberry Brussel Sprouts

The hardest part of holiday dinner is always finding that perfect side dish. You know the one that makes the whole meal a wowing success, and says “this is holiday on a plate.”

For my house, that is Cranberry Brussel sprouts. Now before you go and say, Brussel sprouts, no one’s going to eat those, try is festive side dish!




2 pounds of Brussel sprouts, timed and halved lengthwise

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ red onion finely chopped

1 pink lady apple thinly sliced

½ cup dried cranberries

¼ cup toasted white sesame seeds

Salt and pepper to taste




In a medium skillet toast the white sesame seeds over low heat for about 3 minutes, until fragrant, but do not brown. Remove them from pan and put aside. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan and when warm add the onion until they are translucent, then add Brussel sprouts.

Cook for about 10 minutes or until al dente, making sure to stir so they don’t burn or stick. Add the apple and the cranberries, salt and pepper and toss until everything is evenly coated. Remove and put in bowl, top with sesame seeds. This is one side dish to make anyone a Brussel sprout lover.

This recipe is the perfect a nice healthy festive lunch or the perfect side dish for your big holiday meal. This side dish is super quick and easy and is perfect to prep while enjoying your time on vacation. Try a cottage rental in Muskoka, vacation rentals in Nova Scotia, or even try renting a chalet in the Laurentians. There’s a plate waiting for you at our table. Don’t forget to include CanadaStays on your guest list.