Archive for the ‘Pets’ Category

Banana Muffins on a Rainy Saturday

Yesterday we did our weekly supermarket shop. Obviously I forgot a few essentials as I dont seem to be able to get my act together and make a list, but I got most of the stuff I wanted when it comes to supermarket stuff and today is our market day so today we are picking up the fruit and the vegetables for the week. I didnt really think I would be a fan of weekly shops, I like popping in now and then to pick up stuff, but I must say it is growing on me..

Anyhow, one of the things I forgot to top up was my flour reserve. We had some old bananas kicking about from last weeks fruit shop and I really wanted to use them to make some banana bread. Unfortunately, due to the lack of a shopping list I didnt have enough flour at home to make banana bread. I also realised I didnt have an oven form for loafs, so I had to come up with something else. Roaming around on the internet I found a lovely Swedish food blog with a delicious sounding recipe for banana muffins! And fortunately, the flour I had at home was enough for half a batch of delicious banana muffins!

I whipped it all up and had the first part of my small batch in the oven when J came home. It smelt lovely… Second batch was coming up as well, but I decided to do mini muffins instead of normal sized ones. Unfortunately thanks to my wonderfully short memory and attention span, I left them in a tiny bit too long and they gained a bit too much colour for my liking. 😦

But we ended up with 7 delicious, golden brown muffins to enjoy while the doggies could have the semi burned mini muffins I thought. I shared one between them and my gosh did they like them! I have since then been followed around by two little doggies, looking up at me with sad puppy eyes, begging for more of the deliciousness I had before.. Extraordinary. This reaction is right up there along with empanadas and chicken, possibly even higher!

In summary, take a look at this simple recipe for banana muffins, its perfect for a rainy Saturday afternoon when you need some banana sunshine in cupcake form. Dog approved as well.

16 normal sized or 8 large ones

You need :
150 grams soft butter
2 dl sugar (I used brown sugar)
1 tsp vanilla sugar
2 tsp baking powder
4 eggs
3 bananas (ripe, ripe, ripe)
4 dl flour (I used coarse wheat flour)

This is how you do it:
Use an electrical whisk and mix butter and sugar to an even paste. Mix in the vanilla sugar and the baking powder. Add the eggs, one at a time while whisking. Mash the bananas and mix them in with the wheat flour. Fill the cupcake shapes so they are 3/4 full. Place in the oven at 200 degrees C for approximately 15 min. If you make American sized cupcakes, again, fill the shapes to 3/4 only. They will rise a bit. Add 1o mins to the cooking time.

The Big Three Oh

So yet again I manage to see a whole month fly bast without an update to my blog, and ironically I have so much to update about as well from this last month.

First of all was the 1 year anniversary. J and I have now been in Costa Rica for a whole, wonderful, beautiful, adventurous and exciting year. We arrived on the 5th March last year, had a car within the first two weeks and a beautiful rental house within three. I cannot believe how easily we felt at home here and how easy it was to just click into life over here. So fast forward one year then from when we arrived and here we are, still in the same wonderful house on our mountain in Santa Ana.

Second big thing was our second trip over to Nicaragua for Joel’s visa run. I got my temporary residency and am currently just waiting for the interview with immigration or whoever will be checking me out before I am allowed to relax and just enjoy Costa Rica without the pressure of the three month deadline. Anyways, we had a lovely weekend in Nicaragua with the wonderful J, we rented a car, surfed their Playa Hermosa a couple of times, drove around, visited Granada, ventured into a huge local market for some bargains, ate super well in El Kolibri again as well as just enjoyed some time off work.

Birthday Flowers!Birthday Flowers No. 2Third big thing was the whole turning thirty. I passed the 3-0 mark on the 22nd March and must say that it was a wonderful, absolutely wonderful day in so many ways even if I couldn’t be closer to my family and friends back in Europe. I got treated to about 5 different cakes during the day at the office, got some BEAUTIFUL flowers from my colleague and another GORGEOUS bouquet from mis chicas at the office. I felt so spoiled and fortunate and lucky about being surrounded by such wonderful people. Not to mention the amazing surprise that was waiting for me at home  – My lovely friend R had sent me a cake and a bottle of champagne to celebrate my “move from tram 2 to tram 3”..

And the fourth big thing this month would be the new family member Fuzz. We had been thinking about this for a while, mainly after our neighbors moved with their two dogs who Sofia had been playing with every day while we were at the office, leaving her all alone for most of the day up here on the mountain. Our brave little doggie deserved a friend we thought and decided on taking on Fuzz on my birthday. He arrived looking a bit like one of these animals we used to make when I was little out of a pine cone with sticks or matches as legs. 🙂 Absolutely brilliant! So cute and such a sweetheart! He is much more quiet and timid than Sofia, not such a ADD child at all, but absolutely adorable and hopefully a good influence on little Sofia. Unless he will take after Sofia and her spoiled ways..

Even if the month is not completely over yet, and I think there will be a few more events worthy of mentioning still coming up, I will wrap up for now and get on to enjoying my evening at home. I have rented a few movies, J is on his way home with empanadas and the two furry friends are in need of feeding.

Sofia and Fuzz

 

Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits

Home made Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits

In addition to my lasagna I finally tried out this recipe for Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits for little Sofia. They were super easy to make, but I had to import the unsalted peanut butter all the way from England as I just couldn’t find any over here. I was also going to use puppy milk (“Lactol”) instead of normal milk but of course I forgot about that in the midst of my baking. Oh well! Next time!

Ingredients:
2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 cup natural peanut butter (Imported from the Healan Centre in Crouch End, London, UK)
1 cup skim milk (I was going to use puppy milk but d**n it I obviously forgot to do that!)

How to make Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits:
Preheat oven to 220degrees. Combine flour and baking powder in one bowl, and in another bowl, mix peanut butter and milk. Add wet mixture to dry, and mix well.

Turn out dough on a lightly floured surface and knead. Roll out to 1/4-inch thickness and cut out shapes. Place on a non-stick baking sheet and bake 20 minutes or until lightly brown. Once cool, store in an airtight container.

The original recipe by “Dog is my Sous Chef” says this should make about 100 dog biscuits, depending on size. I managed to squeeze out about 30 in total. Oh well, Sofia will have BIG BISCUITS! (Actually, they turned out to be about 2cm in diameter, so not that bad)

International Day of Surf

Yesterday was the International Day of Surf and I didnt realise it until this morning when I logged into Facebook and saw that some of my friends were boasting about having celebrated this fabulous day. Thankfully I had also been in the waves yesterday, so I actually think I was celebrating it subconsciously…

Anyway, this weekend was such a lovely weekend I just have to talk about it. It was exactly what I needed following my slightly lost feeling last week as it reminded me yet again of all the fabulous things I have going on over here outside of work. We went to a lovely little B&B in Esparza, Oasis By The Sea. The B&B is run by Rob and Deb and their adorable and MASSIVE golden retriever Dude. We only had the pleasure of meeting Rob and Dude, since Deb was out of town. Even if Rob kept saying that it’s such a shame we won’t get to meet Deb, he and Dude received us with such amazing hospitality I cannot even start to imagine how it will be once we pop by and Deb is there… 🙂

Rob, who is an excellent pizza chef and makes the most amazing breakfasts, took excellent great care of me and J while Dude extended his hospitality to Sofia and played with her during the whole stay. Sofia was ecstatic about having a new friend but did seem a bit over excited about all the new adventures she was being treated to on her first weekend away so I think the sensory overload was a bit overwhelming for her… But my gosh I haven’t seen such a content little puppy in ages!

We arrived on Saturday and having dropped off Sofia, we basically headed right down to the beach for some waves. I practiced my pop for almost two hours before it was time for the evening’s treat back at the B&B – a gorgeous vegetarian pizza prepared by Rob in his own pizza oven (I am slightly jealous of it actually… ), accompanied by a glass of wine (for me and beer for J) and the gorgeous nocturnal views of Puntarenas and the Caldera harbour. We feasted on the pizza and the drinks in their wonderful little rancho that sits nestled among banana and papaya trees, beautiful flowers and amazing greenery on their own little hilltop next to where they build their little house. This proved to be the perfect end to a long day of travelling and surfing, and we passed out at about 8.15pm already…

Having slept almost 10hrs we got up almost at dawn to head down for another surf. Now THIS surf was excellent for me.. I sat among the nice waves where I felt safe and comfortable (and not all the way out with the monster waves) and managed to get 10 really nice rides during the morning as well as improve my take off and pop so I get on the wave earlier, and don’t end up nose diving it as per usual practice. I did miss the company of J a bit, but he is such a great surfer and it would have been a real shame to get him to come in to the smaller waves when he was doing so well on the monster ones! Although, I must say I think the longboard styling is a bit funny at times 🙂 I have to look into this a bit more, to really understand what I should be aiming at doing on a longboard… 😉

Following our early 2 hour morning surf, we were treated to a gorgeous Texan dish called “Migas” which proved to be exactly what we needed to replenish our depleted energy reserves! Migas starts off as a kind of stir fry with peppers, tomatoes, onions and tortillas cut into smaller slices and heated up till lovely and tender. At this point the eggs are mixed with milk and spices and chucked into the mix. You then rummage around a bit until the eggs are all cooked and you have what looks a bit like a very generous omelette. Serve up on plates, add some grated cheese, coriander and jalapeños according to your liking and voilà! Done!

We headed off back home around mid day since we needed to do a bit of a clean up of the house before our landlords came over for some tea and cake. I made another apple crumble for our landlord since he absolutely loves apple and cinnamon things, especially apple pie. As predicted it went down very well! I also prepared some custard (one of my favourite desserts, and super easy now thanks to J’s mum who gave me a massive Bird’s Custard Powder to take with me..) and a tuna salad to have something savoury before all the sweet treats. Sofia was a bit surprised to have guests in the house since we haven’t really had anyone over since we got her so it was yet another new experience for her.

Following so much excitement and so many novelties Sofia more or less passed out on the sofa around 5pm already. I have never seen her so tired and calm! Then again, I do understand her, I was pretty exhausted as well and didn’t take long to dose off into la-la-land myself following yet another excellent weekend in Costa Rica…

Princess Sofia

Sofia 9 months oldA week ago now me and J became the proud owners of an adorable Dobermann Pinscher Miniature mixed breed puppy of 9 months.. And now I would like you to meet the lovely Sofia! She has really taken the family with storm, I dont think I have seen a dog with so much energy!

She loves pigs ears and cuddles and nibbling on ankles and puppy milk and licking peoples faces.

She dislikes going to bed and not being able to join us at the table while we are eating.

It did not take her long to lay claim on the sofa and on our hearts. She is quite cocky actually, and considering she has only been with us for one week, she is already feeling rather confident about it all. Then again, I guess I will have to admit that her claim on at least the latter is completely justified. The sofa I am not giving up on that easily..