Justin and I enjoying a very lazy vacation in Costa Rica! I can´t wait to show you all the pictures of the amazing beaches and food! We have been very adventurous and organic. I don´t think I have ever gone so long without blowdrying my hair or putting on a stitch of makeup. It is so hot here that there isn´t really any point, everything just melts away!
We found a nice guy on the beach named Walter (imagine that with a Spanish accent) who took us for a horse back ride along the beach and then up into the jungle. We arrived at a quaint waterfall where we hiked and swam and cooled off! On the way back we saw, and more prominently heard howler monkeys! I was very excited. After about two days of a bruised rear we were ready for the next adventure! The owners of the house we are renting left of with all of their toys. So we pulled out the kayak, rowed to a nearby island and had a picnic on the beach which we shared with the resident crabs and iguanas.
Yesterday we rode bikes to the neighboring beach of Carillo and visited a wildlife rescue with some really crazy animals. The guide informed us that the American crocodile, who is very agressive, is the most common animal in Costa Rica. Not only do they inhabit the fresh waters, but they also like to swim from mangrove forest to mangrove forest in the ocean! Neadless to say I am keeping my eyes open when we swim!
We are taking one more day to be lazy on the beach before embarking on a trip inland to pick up our friends at the airport and visit some of the active volcanoes of Costa Rica. If I play my cards right I may be able to weasle my way into a spa treatment at the mudbaths there. I am off to try and surf! I am sure it will be good entertainment for anyone in eyesight! Have a wonderful week, until we return to the states, hasta luego!
LOW FAT LEMON RICOTTA PANCAKES
Hi there! Robin's sister here popping in for a guest blog. I made these pancakes last weekend and they were so delicious that I had to share the recipe.
Contrary to my sister, I am not much for baking. Cooking I love - but baking requires accuracy and I am more of a "choose your own adventure" cook.
However, my boyfriend expressed a pancake craving so I stepped up to the plate. I remember enjoying some fabulous lemon ricotta pancakes at a restaurant years ago and wanted to make my own version.
Never having made pancakes from scratch before, I hopped online and found a recipe from Bobby Flay. Being a bit of a nutrition nut, I instinctively "trimmed the fat" from his recipe and added my own twists.
The pancakes turned out so moist (for lack of a less upsetting word) and fluffy. And I promise - you would never guess my version is very low fat. This recipe will serve four - of course I ate my serving and my boyfriend took care of the other three O: Needless to say, they satisfied his pancake craving.
Combine flour, baking powder, nutmeg, salt, and sugar in a small bowl. Whisk together the cheese, eggs, milk, lemon juice and zest in a large bowl. Whisk the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until just combined. Brush the hot griddle with a smidgen of yogurt butter (use Butter flavored Pam if you're really watching the Calories). For each pancake, pour approximately 1/4 cup measure of the batter on the griddle and cook on both sides until light golden brown. Repeat until no batter remains.
Empty the contents of the lemon curd into a small saucepan and warm over low heat. Alternatively, remove the lid and place in a microwave oven on 50 percent power for 2 minutes, stopping after 1 minute to stir the curd. Drizzle a few tablespoons of the curd over the pancakes, top with fresh raspberries, and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. I omitted the Lemon Curd but give it a go if it sounds yummy to you. We did not think they were missing anything.
Our most recent house project has been redecorating the living room. Although we spend the most time here, it somehow got pushed to the back burner. My husband and I love the feeling of old houses. There is a charm and elegance that makes me feel like I am part of something special. So we decided to try and preserve that old world charm in our new furniture. Our house was built in 1920 and I love that look anyways, so we tried to keep that vintage.
The walls in our house are made of plaster and lath. This means that it is hard to hang things on the wall. Thus, people hang things on the picture molding. After 90 years of hanging pictures it looked like this.
Honestly it made the whole living and dining room look pretty cruddy. We decided as a brave engaged couple that we would reconstruct the molding. It would be good practice in "communicating" before our upcoming wedding, and believe me it was!
It took us a long time, and about 1,000 cuts with the compound mider saw. Eventually we ended up with the second picture. We painted the crown molding, then stained the dental piece to match the other wood in the room. For the ends we bought the medallions, constructed boxes out of them. We mostly added these because we couldn't figure out the proper angles to end the molding. I think it looks great and it compliments the other period details!
Now about three years later we began the hunt for furniture. The first piece we found was this amazing chair from Hause in East Sac. It is styled after a porter chair from the 1880's. In the old castles the doorman would have to sit in the drafty entryway. The dome was designed to give some protection from the elements! I wanted an interesting signature piece to go next to the china hutch.
For our couch and chair we decided to go with a 1920's tufted chesterfield couch. They are very comfortable and give the room a feeling of richness and sophistication. I almost had a heart attack when they arrive because the furniture is huge and bulky for our little house. But once it was all in place I coudn't be happier with it.
This quickly became my new favorite reading chair. So we hunted around to find the perfect reading lamp. The shade on this is made of Mica so it has a really neat glow that doesn't come across in pictures.
The last piece in this room was the coffee table. I had fallen in love with a trunk I saw at Restoration Hardware, but who has four thousand dollars to throw at a coffee table? So I hunted on Craig's list until I found the perfect one for less than two hundred. One person's trash can be another's treasure! We found this amazing old trunk in Lincoln. We brought it home, slapped some legs on the bottom to make it high enough, and whuala! Coffee table with storage!
Last but not least we purchased a rug for the dining room. We found one that matched the living room in color but was a bit more formal. It gave the rooms good separation.
Now we kick up our feet and enjoy the finished product!
I am living in Downtown