Top 5 food ideas for the lake

Are you a Cabin Guest?

If you find yourself with the lucky invite to a cabin this summer here are some food ideas that will help you get your next invite.

1. Hummus & Bean Dips

Hummus |

Hummus is a popular Middle Eastern dip is a great appetizer or snack.  Serve it with pita chips, whole-grain crackers or fresh veggies.  It’s the high end version of chips with dip and packs the healthy energy needed to keep you going at the lake.

You could also try Chipotle Garbanzo Bean Dip, Sun-Dried Tomato Bean Dip or Cumin and Cilantro Bean Dip.


1 (19 oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (1 (540 mL) can)
5 Tbsp canola oil (75 mL)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (60 mL)
1 garlic clove, minced (1 )
1 tsp pepper (5 mL)
1/2 tsp salt (2 mL)

In a food processor, add chickpeas, garlic and lemon juice. Blend in canola oil, pepper and salt. Process until smooth. Place in a serving dish.

2. BBQ Perfect Chicken or Pork Marinades

 Marinades with canola oil |

Leave the hot dogs at the store and pick up chicken (boneless skinless chicken thighs work best) or pork (tenderloin or boneless chops work best).  The day before you are planning your visit make one of these marinades in a large resealable bag, add your choice of meat, seal and place it in the freezer.

Your marinading meat will freeze overnight in the freezer and can act as an ice pack on the way out the cabin.  Keeping it fresh

Herbed Citrus Marinade

2 Tbsp canola oil (30 mL)
1 clove garlic, minced (1 )
1 orange, zest and juice (1 )
1 lime, zest and juice (1 )
1 lemon, zest and juice (1 )
2 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme (30 mL)
1/4 tsp pepper (1 mL)

In a small bowl, combine canola oil, garlic, orange zest and juice, lime zest and juice, lemon zest and juice, thyme and pepper. Mix well. Use as a marinade for 1lb. (500g) of chicken or pork.

Mediterranean Marinade

2 Tbsp canola oil (30 mL)
1 clove garlic, minced (1 )
1 tsp dried oregano (5 mL)
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar (30 mL)
1 tsp granulated sugar (5 mL)
1/4 tsp pepper (1 mL)

In a small bowl, combine canola oil, garlic, oregano, vinegar, sugar and pepper. Mix well. Use as a marinade for 1lb. (500g) of chicken or pork.

3. Fresh Berries or Watermelon

Fresh Local Berries |

Everyone loves fresh berries and you can usually find a roadside stand on your way out to cottage country.  Pick up a carton of your favourite to be enjoyed by all.  Visit the Prairie Fruit Growers Association to find a local U-Pick in the area you will be visiting.  Call ahead to make sure they have cooled berries on site for purchase or leave enough travel time to pick your own!

On a hot day watermelon is also a delicious snack.  Packed with lycopene, watermelon is also a healthy treat.  Check out Mairlyn Smith’s post on watermelon to learn more and how to pick the perfect melon from the store.

4. Mango Quinoa Salad

Mango Quinoa Salad |

This salad’s main ingredient is quinoa.  I fresh take on a summer salad that can join a BBQ meal or become lunch all on its own.  If you happen to have leftovers they will keep well in the refrigerator for the next day.

Mango Quinoa Salad

2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled (500 mL)
2 Tbsp canola oil (30 mL)
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar (15 mL)
1 juice of an orange (1 )
1 Tbsp grated orange zest (15 mL)
1/4 tsp pepper (1 mL)
1/2 tsp cumin (2 mL)
1/2 tsp granulated sugar (2 mL)
1/4 cup dried cranberries (60 mL)
2 (~1) cups mango, finely chopped (2 ~250 mL)
1/2 English cucumber, chopped (1/2 )
1/2 red pepper, chopped (1/2 )
2 green onions, chopped (2 )
2 Tbsp slivered almonds (30 mL) 2 Tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley (30 mL)

Place quinoa in a medium sized serving bowl. In a salad dressing container combine canola oil, white wine vinegar, orange juice and zest, pepper, cumin and sugar. Shake vigorously and set aside. Add cranberries, mango, cucumber, red pepper, green onions, almonds and parsley to the quinoa. Pour dressing over top and toss salad to coat with the dressing.

5. Cinnamon Buns

Caramel Pecan Cinnamon Buns |

Families love cinnamon buns.  Bring a ready baked pan for a special sweet treat or if you happen to be an overnight guest you would be a huge hit with these for an early morning breakfast treat.  Do you know how you can have fresh hot out of the oven buns with all the prep work done at home before you hit the cabin?  Chef MJ explains in Make now, bake later.

Caramel Pecan Love Buns

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (375 mL)
1 cup whole-wheat flour (250 mL)
2 Tbsp wheat germ (30 mL)
2 tsp instant yeast (10 mL)
3 Tbsp sugar (45 mL)
1/2 tsp salt (2 mL)
3 Tbsp canola oil (45 mL)
1 egg (1 )
1 cup warm milk (250 mL)
1/2 cup additional all-purpose flour (125 mL)

3 Tbsp canola oil margarine (45 mL)
1/2 cup brown sugar (125 mL)
1-2 tsp cinnamon (5-10 mL)
1/2 tsp nutmeg (2 mL)

Caramel Layer:
1/2 cup canola oil margarine (125 mL)
1 cup brown sugar (250 mL)
1/4 cup dark corn syrup (60 mL)
1 cup pecans, chopped (250 mL)

1. In large mixing bowl of stand mixer, combine all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, wheat germ, instant yeast, sugar, salt, canola oil, egg and milk, except last ½ cup (125 mL) all-purpose flour. Mix ingredients on slow speed using the dough hook, incorporating more flour, if needed, to form a soft dough.
2. Continue to mix ingredients for about 6 minutes. Alternatively, ingredients can be mixed by hand and then kneaded into a soft dough.
3. Cover dough and let rest for 10 minutes.
4. Roll out dough on a floured board to form a 9×12 in (23 x 30 cm) rectangle. Spread 3 Tbsp (45 mL) canola margarine over dough, followed by the brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Roll dough up tightly, starting at the 12 inch (30cm) side. Pinch edge of dough to seal the roll.
5. Meanwhile, melt ½ cup (125 mL) canola margarine in a 2 quart (2 L) saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 cup (250 mL) brown sugar and ¼ cup (50 mL) dark corn syrup. Cook and stir until sugar has melted. Pour into un-greased 9×13 inch (23×30 cm) pan. Sprinkle with chopped pecans.
6. Cut dough roll crosswise into 12 equal pieces. Place dough pieces slightly apart on top of caramel nut mixture.
7. Let rise in a warm place for 40-45 minutes or until doubled in size.
8. Bake rolls at 375°F (190°C) for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
9. Immediately turn upside down onto serving plate. Caramel will drizzle over rolls.
10. Serve warm.

Bring your fun!

Like last time, when I shared my Top Cabin Guest Tips, don’t forget to bring…your fun!

Every host invites you to their place to have fun so be sure to sit back, relax and enjoy the tranquility of the nature around you!

Be Well…Jenn

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