Monday, July 25, 2011

Mini-Tour of San José

Sometimes, you can go years knowing people electronically, and never meet them in person.  Well, this morning, I met an e-friend in downtown San José - in person!  She was on her way through town, so we met at one bus station, and ended at another.  In between, we meandered around downtown, and ended up seeing a number of parks - and closed museums :-(.  Holidays are usually fun in Costa Rica, but a drawback is that a lot of places are closed (and buses often run on a Sunday schedule).  Today, Guanacaste Day, was a holiday.  And a Monday.  And San José was *quiet!*

I was amazed at how much I had forgotten!  What was the history of the metal school?  Who is that and what represents which country on the national monument?  sigh.  Fortunately, detailed information is available with a click of the mouse.

I've been having fun with Google maps lately, so you can see where we walked :-)


View Mini-Park-Tour San Jose Costa Rica in a larger map

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Home Cookin'

Unbelievable!  We've been home from France for 4 weeks, and we finally went out to lunch!  I don't think I've had so many meals in a row at home in... well, ever!

I think part of it is that we were on the road so much for so long - four weeks of travel, and I only cooked twice.  We were constantly on the move (for us, that is - I know plenty of folks who stay one short night in each place and move on early).  When we finally got home, we sort of dug in :-).

Another part is that it is rainy season, perfect bundle-up-and-stay-at-home weather.

The other part is that I don't have very much pulling me away from home.  I don't have French or Spanish class this session, and I work from home.  I did go for art day (yay!), but that doesn't involve restaurants at all.  My only reason I absolutely have for leaving the house is to get groceries. 

Time to get back into my walking routine - go out for a walk, then decide where to go :-D.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Strawberry Chicken Stir Fry

Strawberry Chicken serves 2 - 3 as a main course, or 3 - 4 as part of a multicourse meal. Modified for what is available in Costa Rica.

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 pound chicken breast, cut into pieces
12 - 15 fresh strawberries, washed and hulled, and cut into quarters
3 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger
Marinade:
* 1 tablespoon soy sauce
* 1 tablespoon white wine
* 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
Sauce:
* 1/4 cup water
* 1 tablespoon orange juice
* 1 teaspoon limon juice
* 1 teaspoon granulated sugar or splenda
* 1 teaspoon cornstarch
* 2 or 4 teaspoons water, as desired

PREPARATION:
  1. Marinate the chicken for 15 minutes.
  2. Mix the sauce in a small bowl – use a lid and shake well to dissolve the cornstarch. Set aside.
  3. Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add oil. When the oil is hot, add the minced garlic and ginger. Stir-fry about 10 seconds, then add the chicken. Let the chicken brown for about 30 seconds, then stir-fry the chicken until nearly cooked. Move to edge of pan.
  4. Add the strawberries. Stir-fry briefly (about 30 seconds), give the sauce a quick stir and add into the pan, stirring quickly to thicken.
  5. Serve immediately. Good over rice, with green beans (can add to partly-cooked chicken).