Cheers to our adventures and journey.

Brisket … our  favorite new recipe to share with our friends in Panama.  The grass-fed beef here is called Faldo and we buy 10 pounds at a time to prepare.  First, we marinate in Coke over night or up to 48 hours.  The Coke will tenderize the meat since the beef in Panama has very little fat.  I  make my own dry rub of chile powder, cayenne, sea salt, brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder,  cajun seasoning and any other favorite spices that I have on hand. Drain the coke and rub the meat with olive oil and the dry rub mix and let set overnight.  Byron always chars the meat on the grill  before putting it in the crock pot for 10 – 15 hours along with white wine, jalapeno, onions and fresh grated ginger.  Shred the beef,  heat up the flour tortillas, saute onions & peppers, and serve with mixed greens  and fresh roasted salsa.

The roasted salsa recipe is easy and so much better than the jar kind you can purchase.  Since everyone keeps asking for the recipe, I thought I would just post in the LTDED blog.  I use 2 lbs of roma tomatoes, sliced in half, 1 large onion quartered, 1 whole garlic clove peeled and 4 jalapeno’s sliced.  Place all on a cookie sheet and toss with olive oil, salt & pepper.  Roast at 425-450 for about 30 minutes.  Let cool.  Blend all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth.  If it is too thick add a little water.  I add one jalapeno at a time and taste to check for the degree of spicy heat.  A couple of times it has been very spicy.  I love it that way, but a lot of our friends prefer a milder version.  Just before serving, chop fresh cilantro and squeeze a  lime over the salsa for the extra burst of flavor.  The salsa is fabulous with your favorite chips and beverages.  Roasted tomatoes are so versatile , you can use this as a base for marinara or spaghetti sauce.  Just leave out the jalapeno’s and add crushed red pepper, oregano and italian spices.  YUM… Let me know how your tacos or salsa turns out.  Cheers to living, loving and cooking with passion !

We love Panama City…

Panama City skyline and the magnificent Trump Towers shaped like a giant sail is a sight to behold.  Many of you do not realize how cosmopolitan Panama City is.   The Trump Tower is the tallest building in Latin America and is one of the most impressive buildings we have seen.   We were in Panama City a few weeks ago and decided to check it out for drinks and dinner on the Ocean Club Deck, an open air restaurant and bar overlooking part of the city skyline and Pacific Ocean.  We were most impressed with the surroundings, service and the prices were not bad either.  A vodka & club soda was $5.00 and the house red wine was $7.00 per glass.  The tuna appetizers were $9.00 each and the tempura veggies were $7.00.   The Ocean Club Deck is great for people watching, admiring the sunset and watching the city lights come on.  This is the view from the Deck looking straight up.  How cool is this?  And yes, that is Byron in the wine cellar at another bar located in Trump Towers.  We will certainly visit again on our next trip to the city and perhaps stay a night or two in the hotel.

Tuesday’s in Boquete

Tuesday mornings we get up early, load the suv with all my scentilating candles, soaps, lotions and goodies to sell at the local market in Boquete along with 30 plus other vendors.  Our first stop is coffee, then off to visit with  friends and make our purchases. The beautiful organic produce varies from week to week depending on what is in season ….lemons, lettuce, tomatoes, radishes, bok choy, carrots, ginger, arugula and this week saril.   We had no idea about saril, but supposedly makes great tea , reduces wrinkles, lowers blood pressure, boosts the  immune system and protects against infections, Who wouldn’t try this.  My next project is processing and making this wonderful tea.

The Tuesday Market is a mecca for cottage industries.  Granny’s Sausage, Sausage Dave as we refer to them is a father and son team making wonderful breakfast sausage, italian sausage and now bacon.  We ordered 3 lbs of bacon that is being smoked and will be ready Friday for pick up. Tuesday breakfast  is always fun.  The hardest part is deciding on which treat… sausage & biscuit, homemade biscotti, breads, muffins, tamales, soups, bbq or  grilled chicken skewers  to mention a few.

Cloud Forest Botanicals, a small herbal business makes amazing  skin care creams and herbal tinctures.  We use a couple of the products and are anxious to learn more about their benefits . CFB offers a tour at their Finca Luz  and we will be taking that as soon as we get back from Panama City.  Several of the Panamanian’s display their lovely handcrafted jewelry of silver, beads, and colored threads.

Scentilating is always there sharing our wonderful products with the community and visitors from around the world.  Just this week we chatted with people from France, Canada, Texas, Phoenix and Australia about living and moving to Panama.  You know us… we do love to share our stories.  Everyone is eager to help and offer advice about relocating or which restaurant to try.   A different speaker is scheduled each week covering topics about Panama, local traditions, US taxes, real estate, farming, coffee and even bread making.

We have many talented artists in Boquete. Some  display at the market and others do special events such as Girls & Gab or private showings. Dell & Barbara make polymer clay jewelry at the Blue Door Art Studio and Robyn of Robyn Cole Artworks makes her bling bowls and encaustic wax paintings.   We have developed several friendships with artists and vendors at the Tuesday Market and we always look forward to checking out their new creations.  

Playa La Barqueta Surfers

We are having the most wonderful time at the beach for Byron’s birthday.  Many of our friends have joined us to share in the celebration.  Every morning we watch the amazing surfers paddle out , sit patiently waiting for the perfect wave, ride it in to shore and paddle back.  This goes on for hours and I never tire of watching these atheletes.   As  I watch the guys, I think about the surf lessons Byron took in Cabo a few years back.  After an hour on the beach learning to jump up on the board, he headed out to catch a wave,  as we all watched from the local bar.  He did make a couple of nice rides on the waves after many attempts.  Perhaps Byron will give surfing another try in Panama !  La Barqueta is 18 miles of beach on the Pacific ocean and about a 30 minute drive from David, Panama.

Boquete Flowers

The Boquete Flower Show begins this week with hundreds of flowers  I have not been to the show but thought I would share some of the beautiful flowers and plants from my garden.  The colors are so vibrant and the shapes unique.   We love sitting on the patio  looking at all the new blooms daily.  Byron’s next plan is to join the Garden Club!

Hot Trends for 2012. Pickling .. My grandmother canned all of her fruits and vegetables from the garden and  placed in the cellar every year, a process that is way too time intensive for me.   After some reseach online I came up with an asian inspired recipe with rice wine vinegar, as well as apple cider vinegar base. I want a fresh crisp veggie, not the kind that sits on the supermarket shelf.  Simple is best.   My first priority was pickled ginger.  You can find plenty of pickled ginger in Dallas but not in Boquete.  I  chopped carrots, ginger, garlic, onions, added peppercorns for another jar. For the 3rd jar I used cucumbers, onions, garlic and ginger.  Then I  moved to the apple cider vinegar for a couple of variations of jalepenos, carrots, purple onion, garlic and orange peppers.  All five jars are resting in the refrigerator for a week.  They look and smell amazing.

The double rainbow was taken by Elizabeth as you come down the mountain into Boquete.  She almost caused a traffic scene capturing this truly amazing site.   I saw it but did not have my camera ready.  Rainbows can be seen while the sun is shining and a mist is falling .  I just love them, but have not found the pot of gold at the end.  I will be sure and let you know when I do.

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