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Posts Tagged ‘Chiriqui’

Explore the New Kitchen Store in David

Written on September 16th, 2010 by 2 shouts

La Cocina has recently opened their doors in David, offering low-cost housewares of all types, lots of plastic containers and cookware.

To get to La Cocina, take the first left off the highway and drive past Romero’s until you get to one of the 3 traffic lights in David. Elmec is on the left and the new La Cocina Kitchen Store is on the far right corner, right across from Elmec.

The owners are very helpful, and they have items that are not readily available in other shops. Actually, I believe this is the only exclusive kitchen store between here and Panama City.

The first thing I noticed was the huge selection of mixing bowls beginning at only $1, the stacks of aluminum cookware and good-quality 5-piece wooden spoon sets for $2. I bought a set of spoons, which are just right for mixing up some artisan bread dough. I painted orange stripes on the handles to match my kitchen and to make them easy to find in my drawers.

If you are looking for plastic containers, pitchers, plastic and ceramic plates or bowls, La Cocina is the place to visit.

You won’t find any electrical appliances at La Cocina, which is unfortunate. I’d really like to find a place to buy an electric juicer, a big electric fry pan and a milkshake maker. With Lauretta’s “Gourmet Burgers & More” cooking class coming up, I know I’ll need a milkshake maker.

The owners were very glad to have us visit their shop. They are trying to bring items for the kitchen together into one place, making it easy for cooks like us. I asked if they handled wooden cutting boards, and the response was “Yes, we will be getting them soon.”

A very nice stainless steel thermos bottle was $4, just what I needed to keep a delicious cup of Boquete’s fine coffee hot to drink anytime. It fits perfectly into my car’s console.

I love kitchen gadgets, and La Cocina has a limited supply of basic gadgets. In the photo below, you can see their selection of gadgets on the back wall.

I’ll keep checking back to see the new items La Cocina will be offering and pass along interesting acquisitions to you, as they appear.

Upon leaving La Cocina, I turned left and walked one block to the new Cuidad De David Hotel, the perfect place for lunch!

Don’t you just love David?

World’s Largest Hotel Chain is Here!

Written on May 17th, 2010 by no shouts

In my attempt to find gourmet connections in Chiriqui Province, I found one of the “World’s Largest Hotel Chains”, David’s new Best Western Hotel. It’s a beautiful 7-story remodel of the old El Panama Hotel, that was built back in the early 70’s. Over the years, the old hotel became a bit scary. Then, in the last few months, it morphed into a fine, beautifully-located, modern, upscale hotel in mid-town David.

This wasn’t my first visit to the hotel, I’m returning because it is a friendly, quiet, cool place to have a light lunch. When it first opened, Matt, one of the managers, welcomed us to the very nice bar and reception area. Below, Matt and David are enjoying the waterfall wall in the Wine Bar. They both have much in common, as they each have experience building and remodeling large construction projects, and in solving concerns relating to such projects. A lot can be settled over a glass of wine!

Surprisingly, Matt had read my blog previously, and he was happy to meet David and me “in person”. I must say that Matt was one of most gracious innkeepers I have ever met. He showed us several of the rooms, and he shared his adventures in updating this old building into the “state-of-the-art” facility it is today. All the furniture, decor and appliances were especially designed and manufactured for this hotel.

All modern conveniences are available in the new hotel; 108 luxury rooms, 7 are equipped for physically challenged, Itanello’s Grill and Wine Bar, meeting rooms that accommodate 150 people, a fully-equipped fitness center, lots of secured parking and so many amenities, they can’t be listed here.

The rooms are modern with sleek fixtures, flat-screen TVs and high-quality linens. The color scheme throughout the hotel shows how much the new owners paid attention to every detail, making sure guests find comfort and convenience during their stay in David. The service and quality are up to world standards, as set by the Best Western Corporation.

Chef, Carlos Taylor, prepared grilled ham and cheese sandwiches especially for us. If what you want isn’t on the menu, ask Chef Carlos to prepare it for you. The French fries served with the piping hot sandwich, were the BEST I have EVER tasted, and David agreed!

I would like to include a stay at the new Best Western on a “Gourmet/Jazz Tour of David” soon. Please check back to find dates and details of the “first-ever” Boquete Gourmet’s overnight outing in David. We may be able to spend the day and night at the new Best Western Hotel, enjoy one of Itanello’s gourmet dinners, as well as to attend some of David’s fine entertainment offered after dark.
Keep watching!

Musicial Duo “Mickey & Squirt” Cook and Entertain

Written on April 21st, 2010 by no shouts

Since I’ve been hosting chefs from around Panama and other parts in the world, the response to my “Host Chef Program” has been overwhelming. The chefs love to cook in my kitchen, the views are spectacular. Everything is provided for them, so they can relax and have fun doing what they like to do best.

Residents and visitors to Boquete want to take cooking classes while they’re here. They not only learn new ideas and techniques from the chefs, but enjoy a full dinner with drinks, get a book of the recipes presented, meet new friends, and other nice “take-home” surprises, depending on the subject of the class.

In my quest to find the most talented and fun-loving chefs to host, I “discovered” Mickey & Squirt at their own dinner party on Christmas Eve. It was a wonderful party, fine friends and delicious dishes, including Squirt’s home-made lemon meringue pie. If Nashville stars can cook as well as they can sing, my “Host Chef Program” made a whole new discovery, “Musical Fun in the Kitchen”, with Mickey & Squirt!

Classic Lemon Meringue Pie
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3 egg yolks
1 (9-inch) baked pie shell or crumb crust
3 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream or tartar
1/4 cup sugar

In a medium bowl, combine milk, lemon juice, and zest. Stir in egg yolks and pour into cooled crust. Preheat oven to 325F degrees. Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the sugar until stiff. Spread over filling, being sure to seal to edge of crust. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until meringue is golden brown.

Boquete was lucky when Mickey & Squirt moved here several years ago. Since then, they have written and produced two very successful musical theater productions, “Postcards From Paradise” and ‘Fat Katz and Ex-Patz”. This is the perfect clipart to show Mickey serenading and singing with Squirt. They really look like this. Can you imagine these country-music stars floating down the Chiriqui River in the Highlands of Panama?

Squirt has developed her own special techniques to cook “under pressure”, using a modern, stainless steel pressure cooker. Once you learn how to use this cooker, you’ll want to get one for yourself. Her menu will also include several accompanying dishes, French Bread from scratch, a rich chocolate dessert, a sip of Tennessee Jack Daniels Whiskey to remind Mickey of Nashville, and a few delightful songs by the duo, live and in the kitchen.

This is a not-to-miss cooking class, dinner and musical evening at $25.00. Save the date, Friday, May 21, beginning at 5:00pm and make your reservations now, at or by commenting on this blog. Squirt is a featured writer in the new “Boquete Gourmet Community Cookbook”, coming out next month.
Don’t miss it!

Lose Weight Now - Eat Lots of This!

Written on March 11th, 2010 by one shout

Panama has the perfect climate to grow fruits and vegetables of almost every variety. Many long-time residents of Chiriqui Provence and Boquete make their living growing, harvesting and selling these luscious fresh foods in outdoor street markets. These markets are plentiful everywhere in Panama. They remind me of growing up in Michigan and seeing the corn and cherry stands along the farm roads during the summer.

Not only are these fruits and vegetables beautiful to look at, but by eating them, you can see the pounds melt away. The more your eat, the more weight you lose. “How can I serve fruits and vegetables in innovative ways?”, you ask.

Buy anything at one of these many street markets, whether fruits or vegetables. Buy lots of them, pumpkins like shown over the peddlers head, ripe-red tomatoes you see piled high on his stand, peppers of every color, piles of carrots, stacks of melons, bananas and papayas, cases of potatoes, limes and plantains, and long strings of ripe and luscious pineapples. Eating lots of these fresh foods every day makes it easy to maintain a healthy diet, whether you live in Panama or anywhere else in the world.

First, try to serve them raw by preparing them in 12 easy ways. Can you name the different ways?

You can always steam them, boil them, candy, bake, dry, stir-fry, saute, or grill them on your barbecue grill. How about cooking them in a pressure cooker? Fruits and vegetables are so good steamed and mashed, stewed or microwaved. Try canning them, pickling or making fruit fritters. Make vegetable dumplings, compotes of mixed fruits, or make snows or sorbets of all sorts. You won’t need a recipe to prepare most of these dishes.

Using these fresh vegetables, why not make a nice tomato and basil sorbet or cucumber and mint sorbet? It’s easy, just find a recipe on, learn how to make sorbet, and you’ll make it over and over. And remember, the more you eat fresh-from-the-market fruits and vegetables, the more your body will love it!

Now the 12 easy ways to serve raw fruits and vegetables:
- sliced and stacked high on a bed of bib lettuce,
- diced and tossed with vinegar and oil,
- juiced and served in a tall, thin glass over ice,
- chopped and mixed with lots of fresh herbs,
- julienned and sprinkled with shaved Parmesan cheese,
- grated and coated with yogurt,
- broken into segments and drizzled with agave nectar,
- mashed into a green goddess dressing,
- cut into wedges and topped with toasted sesame seeds,
- scored or semi-peeled, slice thinly and topped with sour cream,
- peeled using a peeler, then make curls to scatter over any salad,
- and Number 12, break into flowerets, add whole cherry tomatoes and top with ginger vinaigrette.

Make and serve lots of these foods using your imagination. Be creative and watch those pounds drop off!

Have fun!

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