Happy ending

©mylunchanddinner

Hubby was planning where to go on Sunday since last week. He decided we were going to see the Ujarras ruins, go have lunch at a place where one catches their own trout and eat dessert at the Coffee Plantation Restaurant. So after breakfast and getting ready, we got into the car and off we went.  He was really happy to see that the construction in the highway were done and traffic was not that bad.  However, when we were getting close to Cartago, a small town we had to drive through, there were a lot of cars “parked” on the streets.  I started looking around and saw a large group of horses, more than a 1000 easily, and so got to the conclusion that there was going to be what the Ticos call Tope, a horse parade where all you see are horses walking.

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Given that Hubby was hungry, the amount of cars and horses got on his nerves, so we decided to give a u-turn and drive back home.  On our way back, he kept asking me where I wanted to go, but I had absolutely no idea. I started giving ideas with the help of a webpage that presents “all” the restaurants in Costa Rica, but he was not happy with the results. He then proposed to go to… McDonald’s. I was not very happy with his suggestion, but decided discussing the idea was going to be a waste of time.

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Getting in McDonald’s was a triumph. There were about 20 cars making a line for the Auto-Mac. The parking lot was completely full, and people were walking all around to get to their cars.  Once inside, I sat on one of the few tables that were free, and waited for Hubby to bring the food. After setting the food on the table, he went to get the beverages and ketchup. I sat looking at the fries and noticed that the big fries are a waste of money given that the amount of fries was exactly the same as the medium ones. The nuggets were good, crispy and hot. Now, this is not our first trip to MD, so I do have to warn you… if you want to eat there, you have to make sure the place is packed and there is a long line to order. In this way, you are sure you are getting fresh food just made, otherwise, they may give you a hamburger that has been sitting there for hours.

After lunch, we crossed the street to see puppies at the pet store, but here were none! I was kind of sad given that since I can’t have a dog at home because of the building’s policy, I like to at least look at them… After this third disappointment, we went to our car. I was still hungry… Hubby made a last suggestion; let’s go with the french guy he said.

I was so excited by the fact that I am sure my eyes glowed.  We got to Chez Christophe in about 4 minutes. We sat on a table at the terrace and enjoyed the good weather while waiting for the waiter. He soon came and asked our beverage orders; we both asked for tea. The waiter brought the tea box so we could choose. I picked a strawberry-mango infusion while Hubby grabbed a digestive tea.

I then proceeded to the counter, where my dreams came true. I couldn’t decide on what to order. I was hoping for a pain au chocolat, but true to be told once I was standing looking at all the desserts I completely forgot about it. I was supposed to go back to my sit and order the pastries, but I couldn’t help it, I had been seduced by the sweet looks of everything that was standing under the lights.  I asked the girl for a lemon pie and an apple tart.

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When Hubby saw my happy face while holding a plate, he decided to do the same.  He came back with a moccha cake, a three chocolate cake and a fruit pie. Now, don’t be shocked, all this delicious treats are made mini-size. It’s not like we ate a huge piece of each. It all looked lovely. I first had a try of Hubby’s choices… they were all really good, specially the moccha cake which had the perfect combination between the sweetness of chocolate and the bitterness of coffee.  The three chocolate cake was a bit too much for me, but Hubby loved it. And the fruit tart was tasty, sweet and just in the right size.

As for my pastries… the lemon pie was really delicious. The filling was soft, the bottom crust crispy. The taste of the lemon was enhanced by the sweetness of the crust. Mmmm, super good! The tart was even better, it was sweet, creamy, buttery and crunchy. It was the best of the best… just sublime! I think that a trip to Costa Rica wouldn’t be complete if you didn’t have a taste of this lovely sweet pieces of heaven. So don’t forget to visit Chez Christophe if you come visit… it is located just across the west side of Paco commercial center.

© mylunchanddinner 2012

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Devil’s cake

© mylunchanddinner

Being a food addict, one of my favorite activities is watching food TV programs.  My definite favorites are Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson.  I really don’t know where my fascination for their british accents ends, and where the love of their food begins. One of the recipes that caught my eye instantly was a Devil’s food chocolate cake Nigella made one day.  I had just moved to Costa Rica, and food cravings were at the maximum point given that I was too sad for leaving the place I had lived almost my entire life, my family and my dog!

The cake making process was touching. The view of the cake exciting. The comments of the host inviting.  I decided to make the little devil as soon as possible. My husband inviting a couple of couples from work to dinner was the opportunity I was waiting for! I designed what was a delicious menu… feta cheese and strawberry salad, stuffed steak with mashed potatoes, buttered carrots and roasted asparagus and of course The DESSERT.

I managed to get everything prepared early so I had enough time to make the cake.  I was happy as a child with a huge chocolate icecream! I started creming butter, mixing flour and adding eggs.  I had preheated the oven and gotten the bake pans ready.  I was almost done when I noticed the batter was too thick!

Holy cow! What did I do?!?!?! I was shocked!!!!! NEVER, and I mean NEVER read a recipe while congratulating your best friend on getting engaged! I had added twice the butter! Ha! I baked the cake anyway… I got a rather dusty cake, but it was still good.  So, getting into my tennis shoes I ran to the grocery store and bought everything again.  This time, I did everything to the dot! The results were wonderful! Everyone, including me loved the cake! It is soooo good!  I think is the mixing of the bitter-sweet chocolate in the cake and the frosting with everything else.  Simply heavenly!  Needless to say, what was left over was gone by the next morning.

If you want to try this yummy cake, get to http://www.nigella.com Browse around Nigella’s recipe because for some reason, searching has never worked for me!

© mylunchanddinner 2012