More to LOVE about Ottawa this February

February is a great month to Love Ottawa for so many reasons!

This is the last week of Winterlude, our annual celebration of snow and ice. It’s a spectacular event providing visitors from all over the world a unique opportunity to see our beautiful city and enjoy the great, wintery, outdoors. Winterlude runs until February 17. Skate all 7.8K of the Rideau Canal and take the free shuttle to Jacques Cartier Park and enjoy the giant winter playground, Beavertails, snow sculptures, tube sliding and much more!

Hot Chocolate & Canal Skating

February is a great month for indoor activities as well. You could take in a dance or music performance at the NAC. They have a fantastic line up of interesting shows.

Visit one of Ottawa’s many museums. There are so many to choose from, including the newly renovated Science and Technology Museum. Check out the Museum of Nature’s current exhibit called Me and My Microbes – The Zoo Inside YOU. Then there is the Aviation Museum, Experimental Farm, Museum of Civilization, War Museum, and the list goes on.

There are so many outdoor activities that you can enjoy in Ottawa in February. Visit any number of our local Ski Hills, including Camp Fortune, Vorlage, Calabogie, Edelweiss, or venture out a bit further to Mont Ste. Marie or Tremblant. Besides the Rideau Canal (one of the longest skating rinks in the world), there are other outdoor skating rinks all over the city including the Rink of Dreams at City Hall, a rink at Rideau Hall, and of course the Oval at Brewer Park. You can walk through Jack Pine trail or snowshoe and cross-country ski through Gatineau Park. There are also small cabins & yurts available to rent if you want to book one and spend the night.

Bird Watching along Jack Pine Trail

Regardless of which outdoor activity you plan, you might want to include a ‘winter picnic’. We often think about picnicing in the warm summer months, but a winter picnic can be just as fun if you are properly dressed, and plan out the meal. This week’s recipe tips and ideas are for a simple outdoor picnic. Remember to bring a warm blanket, matches if you want to build a fire, tissues and a small trash bag.

Visit our website to see the details on our full Valentine’s Day menu and get your pre-orders in for pick up on the 14th of February.

Fire Warmed Burritos

We sell both vegetarian and chicken burritos in our retail store. They can be wrapped in foil and warmed in the coals of your winter campfire. If you want to make up a batch quickly for yourself, here is an easy recipe:

1 pound of taco meat (you can use leftover shredded chicken, cooked & seasoned ground beef, or an assortment of roasted vegetables)
1 cup cooked rice (white, brown, whatever you have easily on hand)
½ cup shredded cheese (mild to sharp cheddar or jack cheese)
¼ cup salsa (choose your favourite – we sell our house made salsa in our retail store)
4 large flour tortillas (10” or more)

Fill each flour tortilla with ¼ of all the ingredients, roll half way, fold over the ends, then continue rolling. Wrap each burrito in foil and pack for your picnic! These can be made ahead and frozen.

Vegetarian or Beef Chili

Easy Vegetarian Chili

Chili is the perfect thing to warm you up on a cold day, and depending on your taste you can add additional ‘heat’. Pack it in a large thermos, and bring non-breakable mugs and spoons to serve. You could also pack cornbread or dinner rolls, that could be wrapped in foil and warmed in the campfire. If you don’t want to cook, we sell beef & vegetarian chili in our retail store.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onions
3/4 cup chopped carrots
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped peppers (any colour will do)
2 cups other assorted vegetables (we like zucchini, diced sweet potatoes, broccoli)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh mushrooms
1 large can of chopped tomatoes (28 ounce)
2 cups cooked kidney beans (or black beans or any bean will do)
1 cup whole corn kernels
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
salt & hot sauce to taste

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sauté onions, carrots, and garlic until tender. Stir peppers and other vegetables (except mushrooms) and chili powder. Cook until vegetables are tender.  Add mushrooms, and cook 4 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, kidney beans, and corn. Season with cumin, oregano, and basil. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium. Cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. You can add your favourite hot sauce at this point and season to taste with salt.

Other Winter Picnic Ideas:

Hot Chocolate or Apple Cider in a Thermos
Homemade cookies, Muffins, or Granola Bars
Sandwiches
Grain Salads
Veggies & Dip
Baked sweet or white potatoes, wrapped in foil to reheat – great with chili!
Garlic Bread (wrapped in foil)
S’mores ingredients for if you are making a fire