Our Canadian Costa Rican Style

Happy Days our friends and followers, 

We have had a fun filled week and wanted to share it with you. We have been exploring more menu items and have created our own favorite dish, which we will share with you. And  also  we checked out a town 30k south of us and fell in love. 

First off,  I wanted to share with you a few funny facts about our family's experience down here so far,

  • Our daughter DISLIKES Chocolate in Canada, really dislikes it! Do not give her a chocolate chip cookie please --- down here SHE LOVES the chocolate! I don't know why, but she does. WIN!
  • Our kids are dairy free in Canada due to asthma and mucus build up. We asked the professionals before we left about our sons asthma and if the salt water would help. They said no. We are still on inhalers down here as precaution but he could go off of them AND both kids are having dairy with NO ISSUES!
  • Black beans are our main source of protein and the family LOVES them!
  • Eggs down here are beyond delicious
  • There are usually 2 -3 geckos that have sleep overs, I am coming to terms with it
  •  Wooden spoons make good cockroach killers! Killed 2 so far.
  •  Laundry room is on the outside of the house, and hanging to dry your clothes is more effective than the dryer it self.
  • Hot salsa is not hot - kids eat it like ketchup
  • I'm in love with local farmers markets! The people, the buzz, the produce, everything is in my happy zone! 
  • Apparently you can buy Christmas trees at farmers markets and the Christmas tree looked like a Fur tree ?.. we are  a bit confused by this
  • The people are beyond friendly and we are trying to use more Spanish and the locals are very patient with us
  • Peppers are called Chilli's .... gave us a scare the first time... "you try" - "no you try" for who found out if it was a spicy chilly pepper or a regular pepper.
  • Spices go in the fridge or freezer! This prevent clumping and bugs.
  • Public transportation is GREAT! Yes, they aren't always consistent with times BUT they are on the ball with their buses and getting from point A to point B and nice buses ->

Us on our bus ride Saturday morning to Quepos.

Our mini adventure

We went on a mini adventure to a town 30km south of us. Quepos is known for being close the National Park Manuel Antonio and for their farmers market. Well, I'm in LOVE! I loved the town. I loved the people. I loved the marina and beach. I loved the farmers market. The family split a coconut for a nice beverage on a hot day, it was 500 colones = just over $1 Canadian. It was almost as big as Beans head! We had a great time and picked up carrots, mango's, beats, cilantro and cucumbers! We also stopped by the bakery on the way to the bus stop, we smelled it and had to go in, we each had a little treat yummy yummy!  The bus system worked great for us, and we were able to communicate where we needed to go and asked how much all in Spanish - WIN! It cost the family about $20 return for our bus trip, $10 each way for all four of us. It was a great way to see another part of this beautiful country.

Here are a couple photos from our adventure!


Ok, now onto our new favourite dish

Casado - This is a Costa Rican traditional dish that means the marriage of food. We have combined this theory with another favourite dish of ours Gallo Pinto.

Gallo Pinto is usually served in the morning with eggs but we like to have it for lunch in our burritos or dinner with our Casado. 

Mix these dishes all together and get the Davidson Casado Dish! 

I am going to share with you how to make the Gallo Pinto first and then this gives you two options either make it for breakfast or make it for Casado like we do.

To start off, plan to have this dish tomorrow or buying canned black beans. We soak our dried black beans the night before and leave them in our fridge covered in water til dinner time. Then we drain and  boil them (rolling boil) in fresh water for a hour and half to 2 hours (until beans are tender). *Do not add salt to beans while boiling or they will not soften up as much. Try to save a cup of bean juice when draining them.

Then cook the rice.


While rice is cooking, mince and saute onions and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until the onions are cooked though. Then add in the beans, cup of bean juice, fresh cilantro, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer while rice is finishing cooking. 


Sauteing the cilantro, onions and garlic in olive oil


When the rice is finished cooking, mix in the bean mixture to the rice and approximately a quarter cup of "Salsa" sauce, this is to your taste preference. Don't be fooled by the name, like we were at first. It has nothing to do with Mexican salsa. It has a smokey taste.  It's FANTASTIC!  

And that's the Gallo Pinto part. If you want you can just make that with a couple eggs over medium and its a great breakfast. Or fill your tortilla with this and fresh guacamole and Mexican salsa and there's lunch. Or continue on this recipe and enjoy our Davidson Casado Dish.


Then onto the Casado part, 

Dice up your carrots, onions and peppers into quarter inch pieces and mince your garlic.


Bowl of veggies cut up


 Then you will toss into a pan with a table spoon of olive oil, don't forget salt and pepper to taste. Keep it at medium heat covered for 10 mins stirring occasionally. 


Then you will add, tomatoe sauce (106g/4ounces) and salsa (Mexican style) (1/4 cup of Salsa)

Then continue cooking over medium heat for 10 more minutes.

There you go you have the Casado part of the meal! 


There you go the Davidson Casado Dish! 


Some tips Shayne suggests:

  • Don't start anything until your beans are done cooking, you want them soft.
  • Start cooking your vegetables when you start your rice and then everything will be ready together.
Back home here life has been going great!
I am in full swing of working and loving the balance. Kids are in full swing of school work. Shayne is in full swing of everything!!! And we are meeting great locals and expats with an abundant amount of knowledge to share with us. A few doors down there is this really nice lady and she brought the kids over rice krispie style treats, they tasted like HOME! It was really special to have that taste of home here. We are learning a great deal of information about the country of Costa Rica, politics, food, traditions, environment and more! 
Next week we are planning to travel up to the North Coast of
Costa Rica and check out our next home for February. 
I hope you try out our Davidson Casado Dish and let us know how it goes. 

Have a wonderful day feeling alive