Costa Rican Arroz con Pollo

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One of my favorite things to order in restaurants here in Costa Rica, is Arroz con Pollo (in English means “rice with chicken”). So, if you know me at all, you’ll know that I’ve been dreaming of making this from scratch for some time now. When we go out to eat here, we will order Costa Rican food, but when we are home I tend to make our USA favorites (which you know if you’ve read my Costa Rica Chica Cookbook; if not, please check it out – it’s my favorite US recipes, but also how to make them here in Costa Rica with some differences in ingredients). I think this Arroz con Pollo might actually be my first authentic Costa Rican dish I’ve made at home! 

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Homemade Peanut Butter & Pumpkin Dog Treats

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Hello friends!  If you missed yesterday’s post about how Costa Rica has made me a better cook, CLICK HERE.  

To continue the cooking-from-scratch theme, today I am featuring my good amiga, Lynette!  She has learned to make her own doggie treats here in Costa Rica.  Actually, they sound so good, I’m wondering if these are just for pets??  Her dogs (which are the cutest goldendoodles ever) adore these treats, and I’m sure your dog(s) would too!

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HOW COSTA RICA HAS MADE ME A BETTER COOK

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Even before I came to Costa Rica, I loved to bake. But it was only on occasion, only when I had time, and really – only if we were going to a party or family gathering and I needed to bring something. The point is – I enjoyed baking when I had time to do it… but I just never seemed to have that much time.

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The Secret to Keeping Lettuce Crisp (for up to 3 weeks)!

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Let me tell you a story.  There was once a girl who lived in Dallas and LOVED salad.  Almost any kind of salad, but her favorites were caesar salad (with or without chicken) or a fried or grilled chicken salad (with ranch dressing, cheddar cheese and croutons).  OK, so maybe these salads weren’t the healthiest of salads, but still – it made this girl feel good and healthy when she got to eat a salad for a meal.  At least she was getting some vegetables, and let’s be serious – any kind of salad is better than a burger or pizza.

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Crema Dulce Recipes

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Hello friends and welcome back to Part II of my crema dulce blog.  If you missed it yesterday, click here for Part I on the many uses of crema dulce in Costa Rica.

Now, for Part II – here are my crema dulce recipes for you!  Have fun, and let me know if you try any of them.  

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Christmas 2015

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Hello friends! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and spent time with family and loved ones.

For me, there’s no better way to spend Christmas than with the one I love, having a Christmas movie marathon, while eating tasty treats! We watched 7 movies over 2 days. We even got a small 3-mile hike in on Christmas morning, which was lovely (and much needed after all the treats we’d been eating the day before).

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Butterscotch-Chocolate Hot Cocoa

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I’m without my husband again today, for the 25th day in a row (he’s been off pet sitting since October 1st).  I don’t think he’ll be doing this again for this long (three different places, back to back), I’m not sure which of us misses the other more.  Anyway – he gets home in 2 days, and I’m so excited!

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Costa Rican Caramel Apples

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When I lived in Dallas and I had a super-duper stressful work day, my favorite treat was Häagen-Dazs Dulce de Leche Caramel Ice Cream.  It was so creamy and caramel-y, and yes, totally over the top.  Made all my worries just drift away…   well, until the carton was gone, that is.

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Costa Rica Chica Cookbook

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Hello everyone! I just wanted to take a moment to formally introduce you to my newest book that has just been published:  COSTA RICA CHICA COOKBOOK (<— click here if you want to skip the rest of this post and BUY NOW – it’s ok, I don’t blame you).

I’m so excited and proud of this book!

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Jen’s DIY Hot Cocoa Mix

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Hi guys!  I know it’s only August, but fall is right around the corner, and I wanted to share with you this easy-peasy hot cocoa mix recipe.  After it’s made, you just add boiling water to a few tablespoons of the mix, and stir it up!  I love this for when I don’t have any milk in the house and it’s chilly out (it’s currently Rainy Season in Costa Rica, and we’ve had our handful of cold days already).  Warms me right up.

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Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Balls

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Well, who doesn’t like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, right?  These are so easy to make, and I swear they taste exactly like Reese’s, even though they are a slightly different shape.  But with some nuts sprinkled on top, how cute are they?

INGREDIENTS: 1 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter 4 Tablespoon Butter (cut into small chunks) 2 Cups Powder Sugar 8 oz Semisweet or Bittersweet (good quality) Chocolate for melting (chopped) 1 Tablespoon Shortening 

In a microwave safe bowl, melt butter and peanut butter together in the microwave (start with 1 minute on high…  you just want the little chunks of butter to melt, but do not want the peanut butter to get too liquidy). Stir together until smooth.

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Easy Oreo “Truffles”

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Easy Oreo “Truffles”

Ingredients:
1 regular package original Oreo cookies
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened 2 cups Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips (or other good quality chocolate, broken into pieces) ½ TB Crisco (shortening) 2-3 TB white frosting (from a can, works best!)  
Directions:

Break Oreos into a food processor, and process until they turn into fine crumbs.

Mix Oreo crumbs and softened cream cheese together until well blended.  Place bowl in freezer for 20-30 minutes (this helps with next step).

Roll Oreo mixture into walnut size balls, and place on waxed paper on cookie sheet.  Freeze for an hour.

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Gracie(a)’s Granola

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I made this super easy granola for my niece Gracie who just started college in East Texas and happened to have a birthday while I was visiting in Dallas.  Me & Mom Seymour (my sweet mom-n-law) made her a little care package of some goodies.  Good thing I made a lot of granola, as I kept snacking on it before it actually got shipped out (sorry, Gracie).

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Jen’s Spanish Rice

This is something I make a lot of here in Costa Rica – it’s so wonderful to eat with chicken and vegetables, or beans (another staple here), and keeps in the fridge for days.   Actually, I’ve kept in the fridge for as long as a week and it’s still great!   I’m ashamed to say that I never made this before I moved to Costa Rica.  When I lived in Dallas – I bought the pre-packaged (add water & boil) kind, because you know, like I never had TIME.  Here, I have time and have amazing fresh ingredients to use, and guess what – I PREFER my Spanish Rice from scratch now.  🙂

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