Tasty Tropical Staycations for less than $20!
Dreaming of a stress-free tropical getaway before summer ends? With 57% of Canadians having no interest in traveling internationally this year, and 38% considering foregoing it altogether due to rising costs, travel expert Jennifer Weatherhead is sharing how you can bring your dream destination to your doorstep for less than $20.00!
Jennifer has three tips for escaping to your dream destination without flight delays, hotel fees, and hefty price tags. So if Hawaii, Mexico, or Thailand are high on your list, here’s how Jennifer will get you there:
Tip One: The Taste of Travel. Having explored more than 70 different countries and cuisines, Jennifer knows food is the number one way to transport us to a destination due to our powerful sense of taste.
Tip Two: Soak up the Sun. There’s no snow to shovel, or winter chill in August, so get outside, close your eyes and let yourself be whisked away by the warmth we long for all year long.
Tip Three: Embrace Sights, Sounds and Scents. Once taste is covered, you need to set the ambiance which can be done with music, flowers, candles, games, dancing, decor and more.
Jennifer will showcase these three tips amongst these following three dream destinations:
Hawaii: One of Jennifer’s favourite memories of Hawaii is watching the stunning sunrises with a fresh tropical fruit breakfast from a local roadside stand; she recommends an early morning outdoor breakfast with her famous Hawaiian smoothie bowl. Jennifer uses Taste Hawaii, a pineapple and almond cream cheese by Castello which immediately conjures up memories of Hawaii and layers on pineapple, mango, papaya and coconut granola. Serve with some fresh juice, surrounded by bright coral hibiscus and sounds of waves crashing, for the perfect aloha vibes.
Castello Taste Hawaii Cream cheese
Directions: Mix half a ring of Castello Taste Hawaii Cream Cheese with just enough coconut milk to create a creamy texture. Put some granola in your glass or bowl (I used a coconut/banana one to up the tropical flavours) Top with your favourite tropical fruits–I used pineapple, mango, papaya, dragon fruits and passion fruit. Spoon some cream cheese over the fruits and granola. Sprinkle with toasted coconut and toasted chopped almonds and some more fruit.
Mexico: How does mariachi and margaritas in the moonlight sound? Jennifer recommends hosting a backyard Mexican street party with spicy food aromas that remind you of a Mexican food market. Jennifer recommends this spicy queso dip made with Taste Mexico cream cheese, featuring sweet and spicy peppers served with authentic mini tacos and margaritas.
Fiery Fiesta Queso Dip
Castello Taste Mexico Cream Cheese
1-2 Jalapeno peppers
Directions: Whip one ring of Castello Taste Mexico Cream Cheese in a bowl until completely mixed and smooth. Squeeze in the juice from 2-3 limes (depending on how much you like lime!) For extra heat, you can add in a chopped jalapeno pepper or two, but you can keep it simple with the sweet and spicy mix in the cream cheese. Spoon into a baking dish and top with a chipotle pepper (for an extra kick), and bake for 15-20 mins at 300F, just until bubbly. Serve with crunchy veggies and tortilla chips.
Use the same cream cheese to make an easy crema for tacos and corn–just whip the cream cheese with some extra lime juice, and a little sour cream if you need to thin it out more, and drizzle over just about anything!
Thailand: If Thailand is more your scene, Jennifer recommends transporting you there by setting up a classic Chiang Mai cooking class, playing with spicy flavours and balancing them with sweet, salty and sour notes. Jennifer starts with the Taste Thailand cream cheese because it has all those complex flavour combinations with some sweet coconut and a hint of pickled ginger that works perfectly on this Avocado Toast Twist. Follow it with a game of Dern Kala (walking on coconut shells) to train balance and strength, and finish with some quiet meditation with Thai music and aromas.
Spicy Thai Avocado Toast
Castello Taste Thailand
Thai Red Chillies
Directions: Toast your favourite bread for avocado toast (Jennifer recommends a baguette toasted in a pan with a bit of olive oil.) Spread some Castello Taste Thailand Cream Cheese over the toast. Make it as thick as you’d like! Top with avocado, a fried egg, and amp up the flavours with Thai red chillies, chilli crunch, cilantro and some pickled ginger.