How to Screw up a Mango Salad

By | March 27th, 2017|Categories: Cooking Show, Recipes|Tags: , , , |

Costa Rica Cost of Living Update: Jar of Imported Bertolli Spaghetti Sauce— $3.90

If you want to stay on a budget, do not buy a jar of imported tomato sauce. This is a high priced item that I refuse to purchase, which is why Rob is the fun guy when he shops. When I asked why he bought it, all he said was, “It’s good.” My husband has absolutely no issue indulging his Italian appetite when he craves something.

Purchasing this is such a rarity that there was a herald of arms announcing the sauce when Rob arrived home. There may also have been trumpets, but all I could hear was my father’s voice declaring I’ll be homeless by Friday if I continue being irresponsible with my money.

Does a jar of good tomato sauce bring you joy like it does my husband? If the answer is no, move to Costa Rica. Things you normally ate in the States are too expensive here, so when you do purchase them, it’s like Mardi Gras. I promise to toss beads at you when you buy that really good mozzarella cheese.

So this video is me making an inexpensive Happier Mango Salad, one in which I screw up pretty good. This gives you great insight to my skills in the kitchen. I’m surprised I haven’t starved yet.

This mango salad is guaranteed to make you feel a little happier. And a little happier is better than any jar of expensive tomato sauce. Continue reading “How to Screw up a Mango Salad” »

Pumpkin Pie Plantains

By | March 14th, 2017|Categories: Cooking Show, Recipes|Tags: , , , |

Costa Rica Cost of Living Update: One Plantain— 40 cents

Rob is definitely the funny one in the relationship. He even tells funny Brooklyn stories with characters straight out of central casting: Pina Colada Pat, Frankie the Fist, Fat Joey, Skinny Joey, Ice-Pick Joey (that’s actually a terrifying guy with a not-so-funny story).

There is nothing humorous about me. I come from a long line of Eastern European/Russian ancestors that have not uttered anything comical since 1832. It is rumored that in 1832, someone blew a fart at the dinner table and a seven-year-old boy laughed. He was never seen again.

My husband is Italian, and these lunatics plan their life around fun activities. I’ve just learned to say yes to all of Rob’s ideas. “You want to go kayaking?” Sure. “Hike up a waterfall?” Why the hell not? If it were up to me, I’d sit in my room all day reading Tolstoy’s, The Death of Ivan Ilyich. Spoiler alert: he dies.

My husband will even wake up in the middle of the night and ask me if I want French Toast… just because it’s fun to eat five hundred, carb-rich calories at three in the morning. Like I said, he’s nuts.

But I can make Rob laugh when he watches me cook. So I am making these videos just to see him smile. His smile can turn a mediocre day into a pretty good one. And when it’s a good day I can ask him to remove the fourteen hornet’s nests that are growing around the house.

Today I’m making plantains. They cost 40 cents each, and anything that cost 40 cents is worth making a video about. But I know most people in the United States don’t make them because they are weird and seem complicated. Who needs that in their produce? Not me. I want it easy.  So this is an easy, cheap plantain recipe that will impress your non-plantain eating neighbors at the next block party. I bet they don’t have a sense of humor either. But they will after you make these.

Continue reading “Pumpkin Pie Plantains” »

Paradise Cookies

By | February 28th, 2017|Categories: Recipes|Tags: , , |

Costa Rica Cost of Living Update: 150 grams of coconut flakes — $2

Paradise cookies (or Coconut-Lemon Cookies)

What’s better than cookies? Paradise Cookies made in Costa Rica at The Happier House. And if you don’t like cookies, well, watch anyway for the snazzy banter. I made this recipe while Rob was fighting a wasp nest. The duel ended in a draw.

What I love about this cookie recipe—besides the fact that it’s easy—is that the flavors are not overpowering.  You don’t have to be a serious coconut lover or lemon fan to enjoy them.  They have a light crispness to them.  Great for grownups and kids.  Awesome with a nice strong cup of coffee.

 

INGREDIENTS

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

½ cup butter (one stick actually) softened

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup white sugar

1 egg

¼ cup lemon juice

½ tsp lemon zest if you are using a real lemon if not you can leave this out

1 cup white chocolate chips

1 ½ cups sweetened coconut flakes

Continue reading “Paradise Cookies” »