Showing posts from June, 2010

Vacation: Costa Rica Pt 3

Part three of my culinary adventure in Costa Rica. I'll admit, I could have gotten more out there on the food, but between my adventures and trying to relax, I didn't get to everything I wanted to try. Above you'll see the breakfast I've had pretty much every day I've been here. The typical breakfast consists of scrambled eggs, pan fried plantains, and black beans and rice maybe some tropical fruit to round it out. Although this sounds quite mundane, it makes a lot of sense plenty, of carbs to get folks ready for a hard days worth of work in the palm fields, farms, and ranches. Rice is featured everywhere in the cuisine here, rice and chicken, rice and beans, rice and beef. The Gallo Pinto is very tasty, bits of cilantro are evident and I believe they use chicken stock as the base for cooking the rice. It's considered the national dish of Costa Rica, but I'll admit after about five days one does crave a bit of variety for breakfast. Sorry in advance about th

Vacation: Costa Rica Pt 2

My second segment of my trip here to Costa Rica. It's beautiful here. Above you see a Mother child monkey, I call it "monkey in repose". They look cute, but they all scheme to steal your stuff. Believe me, I witnessed one brazen monkey stare straight at me as he/she snatched a bag and took off. Little buggers. I've been told they'll work in teams to steal a heavy bag. I'm amazed at their expressive faces. Anyhow, more amazing food and experiences, and this with taking a whole day to do nothing. I didn't anticipate nothing to still yield delicious food. Yesterday I went to the Manuel Antonio State Park. That's where the monkey picture came from one. If you ever go to Costa Rica and go to this state park, I recommend a guide. I actually made the mistake of taking my best camera thinking my lenses would give me an advantage. Apparently, the humble point and shoot thru the telescope of the guide does better. Despite everyone's recommendation to tag on

Vacation: Costa Rica Pt 1

Ok So I'm on vacation in Costa Rica I've had precious few meals here as this is only day two of the trip but it's been amazing so far. So much so I feel the need to post some incremental off topic pics of the stuff I've had so far. What all did I do today? Ok, well walked down to the beach (was a steep hike) watched some monkeys eat breakfast and star quizzically at me (and they do take siestas in the heat of the afternoon). Go into Quepos and check out the farmers market. Played hide and seek with Red Faced Spinetail (we were playing the clucking game, me clucking to entice it to show). I watched a poor hermit crab roll down stairs as it hid from me in fright (it was ok, he made it to the beach). And I sat by a pool and read; this pool was edgeless and it over looked the freaking ocean. All that before three. I've just finished dinner just in time to hunker in for the brief evening rainstorm which is the hallmark of the "green season". Man I'm havin

Brazilian Bento

So this is a bento I've been wanting to do for quite some time. This isn't the first time I've dipped into South America, the cuisine has a lot to explore. Even something as simple as a grain (quinoa) has been featured quite a few times on the blog. Good prep and slow cooking made this an easy bento to produce. Hopefully the flavors prove just as successful for my eaters. Main dish is Feijoada, this "national dish" of Brazil is the whole reason I've been meaning to take a look at the cuisine. This dish features four distinct uses of pork. I actually drove all over town and ended up in a small Brazilian store to buy the linguica sausage that I needed. I had to settle for some salted beef instead of the carne seca (which I couldn't find), but tasting a before and after, the dried salted beef added a depth the the dish that would not have been there otherwise. I gave a friend a good sized sample of the dish I produced and he agreed it was worth the six hours


I confess there's not really a good cohesive theme for this box. I just got two things of free food product and decided to just throw something yummy together. Above you see my attempt at creative swirling with the cream in the soup but it just looks like weird modern art. I need more practice. So part of being plugged into the food blog community I seem to get product samples a lot. By no means do they say, "hey you must shill for us" or obligate me to do so, but I figure it's nice if I find a product useful to put in a nice blurb at the very least, I like to let my bento eaters benefit as well. Kinda like the foodblogger events, I go, I write a nice entry about it. This is no different, but I figure it's important that I disclaimer that I did get free stuff, I'm using free stuff, and I've decided to write about the free stuff I got. I'm no professional so I'm in no obligation to disclose all this stuff, but I figure it shouldn't hurt to be up

Tools of the Trade: Big Green Egg

Sorry about the lack of bento post this week, it was memorial day and there was much bbqing to be had. It also was a great time for me to finally fire up my newest cooking acquisition: The Big Green Egg . As you can see above it is indeed big, green and somewhat egg shaped. I've been told over and over that having the above smoker, grill, wood burning pizza oven would complete my life. I have to say that I'm not much of a griller, there's too much variability in heat control on a grill, I must endure swarms of mosquitos, and it just takes a long time. If you couple that with the hefty price tag, you can understand why it's taken me quite some time to get around to owning this device. Now after all that whining above, what made me change my mind? Well one, a bunch of us at work did a bulk purchase and got a deal, but that wasn't the game changer. I was talking to several proud egg-owners at work and they explained the science behind it. It's basically similar to