I’m a sucker for a runny egg yolk. This is my typical breakfast, two slices of Udi’s gluten-free toast topped with local farm fresh sunny side up eggs, sprinkled with tumeric (more for the anti-inflammatory properties than for flavor.) But, for some, runny egg yolks are disgusting. Are you a fan of that rich, golden, runny yolk? Yum or yuk??
First course for my Mother’s Day brunch at Cafe’ Flora in Seattle was this Citrus Napoleon served with a coconut chantilly cream and berry sauce. My whole fixed brunch menu was gluten-free. Hot yoga in the morning, brunch with my family, and an afternoon to relax. It’s been a lovely day for this content mama! HAPPY MOTHERS DAY EVERYONE!!
I always find it hard to photograph beef but, these kalbi ribs looked pretty appetizing to me. Mmmm…
And, here’s a link to the marinade recipe I used. I loved the story behind this post too!
I’m a big fan of juicing and smoothies with fruits and veggies but, I tend to take a break during our cold winters. But, spring is here and the citrus is so sweet and juicy we’ve been going through them by the segment or in our juicer. We’ve been on a cara cara kick but, now I’m loving the grapefruits which are delicious! I was prepping this grapefruit and cucumber and had to take a pic before throwing them into my Krups juicer. So refreshing…and pretty!!!
Hiking Volcan Arenal here in Costa Rica was an amazing geological, wildlife, and flora experience. And, it was just plain fun, for our two families who enjoyed this kid-friendly hike through the jungle to the viewpoint (“mirador”) of the volcano. We did the recommended loop trail and saw toucans, and heard numerous bird songs. The sights and sounds created nature’s scavenger hunt for the kids, distracting from the physical challenge from the heat and slight incline at the top.
We were hiking here on our own, with our Costa Rican friends, which was wonderful but, if I had a chance to do it again I’d love to go with a local bird expert. I envied the groups accompanied by local guides offering their knowledge of the flora and fauna. Within close proximity of one group we benefitted from a guide pointing out an anteater and our first toucans. One of our goals was to see toucans (my daughter’s number one wish actually) so we were all stoked to see several families of colorful toucans, with their big bills throughout our hike. We saw at least 10 toucans and heard even more. That alone totally made the trip! We didn’t see monkeys during this hike but, we heard them and laughed when they threw fruit down at us. (On a previous trip down the Sarapiqui River we saw many howler monkeys…that will be in another post.) And, the flora and fauna itself was amazing. We started the hike on the dry side, appreciating the shade of tall grasses flanking each side of our trail, then entered the lush jungle with hanging and climbing vines, large ceiba trees, tree ferns, and many prehistoric-looking plants. It was incredible.
It was quite a drive from San Jose which our friends generously offered to take us on this fun day trip. But, if we were on our own we’d probably stay in La Fortuna or another nearby village to explore the volcano a bit more and just be closer to this beautiful area. Click on this link for more information about Arenal Volcano National Park. And, as I mentioned in my previous post, there are no food options once you enter the park so here’s my restaurant recommendation in La Fortuna, just outside the park..
Before you start hiking at Volcan Arenal stop in La Fortuna for some tasty authentic Costa Rican food at Restaurante La Choza de Laurel. Our Costa Rican friends said it was really good authentic food. For us we just thought the food was tasty starting with mango batidos (“smoothies”), fried green plantains served with black beans, pico de gallo and guacamole, then we ate typical Costa Rican plates such as arroz con pollo.
the ambience was casual with its open air setting and cultural activities. our daughter had a custom leather bracelet made with a suggested donation of a dollar. the hide was actually cut to fit her wrist then he stamped her name with some designs in the leather.
there are no options for food at the senderos (“trails”) so this is a great place to stop. as a point of reference, it is right next to Burger King. HA! and, in front of the restaurant, near BK, you can catch a view of Volcan Arenal.
Enjoy and Pura Vida!
Chocolate Chip Cookies with Apricots and Walnuts
(from the Rebar Modern Food Cookbook)
* For gluten-free cookies substitute Gluten-free Baking Flour for the unbleached flour
1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, softened
1.5 cups or less light brown sugar
2 tsp Vanilla
1/4 cup Dried Apricots, chopped
1.5 cups Unbleached Flour *
1.5 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1 cup Walnuts, roasted and chopped
1.5 cups Chocolate Chips
Preheat oven to 350′ and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a bowl, combine apricots, flour, baking powder and salt.
In another bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add one egg at a time and blend well before adding the next. Add vanilla and set aside.
Add wet to dry and then fold in the walnuts and chocolate chips.
Drop on cookie sheet in heaping tablespoonful sized blobs. Leave room between for spreading.
Bake 9 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Cool on wire rack.
NOTES: The first time I made this recipe I realized I actually didn’t have chocolate chips OR dried apricots in my pantry. So, I substituted craisins for the apricots and chopped up a 1 1/2 bars of dark chocolate with sea salt. I LOVE the subtle hit of salt from this chocolate bar. And, I used that amount of bars because that’s what I happened to have in my house. It felt like the right amount, although, you can’t have too much chocolate, right?
Also, I used a melon baller to measure out the cookies and I baked them for 10 minutes, so rotating the pan at 5 minutes. With the smaller cookies, 9 minutes seemed like the right time.
I’ve also kept this dough on hand in the fridge to make them fresh for guests. Just right out of the oven, after slightly cooling on a wire rack, is just divine. ENJOY!!!