We took most of our pictures on the first day because the beauty of Costa Rica was astounding.
Bayside massages got us seriously relaxed and into a vacation state of mind.
The "Howler Monkey" cocktails we regularly consumed also helped. A "Howler Monkey" is a delicious frozen blend of coconut rum, banana liquor, mango, and passion fruit juice. We drank them while lounging under thatched umbrellas, reading and snoozing, between the serene adults-only pool and the beach.
We loved eating lunch and dinner outdoors, and we were never wanting for company.
One of the locals loved to play chicken with us outside of our bungalow. He won every time.
Paul and I were both ready for adventure and went on a popular excursion that took us into the mountains where we rode horses past views like this...
We zip-lined through the trees in the forest. When they asked if anyone wanted to go upside down, I instantly said yes! The bruises from the harness were impressive (and worth it) and soon our treetop companions were following suit.
We hiked barefoot up a mountain until we reached the top of Costa Rica's longest slide, and then zipped back down in a rush of freezing cold water. We ate delicious local dishes before heading to natural hot springs where we were slathered in mineral laden mud and crowned king and queen of the monkeys.
One of the things we really loved in Costa Rica was the food. Paul tried all of the coffee he could get his hands on and bought so much we had to have it shipped home. I fell in love with the national dish Gallo Pinto. I had it for breakfast every morning:
I was sad that I missed my opportunity to learn how to cook local dishes at the resort, but I was thrilled to find that Liren over at Kitchen Confidante was smart enough to grab a cookbook on her trip to Costa Rica and kind enough to share her recipe for Gallo Pinto.
I whipped up this recipe for Gallo Pinto the other day and it really took us right back to our honeymoon. It's excellent on it's own or with a fried egg on top. It's a lot easier to make than I had anticipated which means we will be having it again soon.
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1/2 finely chopped onion
- 1/2 finely chopped red bell pepper
- 1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 3 cups "day old" rice (leave recently cooked rice in refrigerator for a few hours to "age")
- 1 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 4 tbsp beef or chicken broth
- 1/2 tbp Tabasco sauce
- 1 handful of cilantro, finely chopped
- 6 strips of bacon, cooked, drained, and crumbled
- salt and pepper, to taste if desired
Saute the onion and bell pepper in oil over medium heat.
Add beans and cook 2 minutes longer.
Add rice and mix, cooking 3 minutes more.
Add remaining ingredients and mix well, allowing to heat through.
HOW EASY IS THAT?!
I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we do. It's a nice, warm memory in the midst of a cold and rainy winter.