Published on Friday, July 30, 2021

By Melissa Pette

There are many reasons why expats choose to live in Costa Rica. Every day I meet more new expat friends, not just gringos like me, but Europeans and Canadians who have decided to transition from perpetual tourist to resident in Costa Rica.

Some are undoubtedly attracted to the amazing nature, the climate, the country’s public health system, the Tico people who are so friendly and caring, among many other reasons.

Today, our new friends, Penny and Chad Haynes are also part of this great community of expats who see Costa Rica as an adopted country.

The Haynes couple allowed me to share a little bit of their story. They were born and raised in Texas. From their first day of marriage they have lived in Amarillo County. But for them, life has been a little more difficult there lately.

"Texas is a good place to live for many, please don't take us wrong. But over the years, our priorities changed. My husband and I have always been looking for a place with better conditions for retirees," said Penny. "There, the severe weather, high property and sales taxes, terrible consequences of urbanization, limited access to affordable health care and indeed the high crime rates in certain areas, were some of the reasons why we both decided to live in Costa Rica."

We all have our personal reasons to live here and we all respect them.

Penny has shared with all of us, her recipe for Texan baked empanadas but with a Tico touch. Her recipe is super easy and the baked empanadas are so good. Try it, you will not regret it. I promise!

First, what is an empanada? The name empanada comes from the Spanish verb “Empanar” which means to wrap or coat in bread.

Empanadas come in many different varieties and sizes. The dough is simple and easy to make. Empanadas can be made in the half-moon shape or a plate size but whatever their shape and size. These are a very worthwhile addition to our cook’s collection.

Tico baked empanadas

By Penny Haynes
From Amarillo Texas
Living in San José

For 10 to 15 empanadas, the ingredients are:

* 5 grams yeast.

* Pinch of salt.

* 100 grams butter.

* 30 milliliter warm milk.

* 150 grams flour.

* 1 egg yolk.

* Pinch of sugar.

* 1 clove garlic.

* Salt for seasoning.

* 2 tablespoon creme fraiche.

* 1 tablespoon chopped parsley.

* Pepper for seasoning.

* 1 small diced white onion.

* 1 small diced red sweet pepper.

* 200 grams ground beef.

* 1 egg.

* 1 tablespoon tomato paste.

* ¼ teaspoon chili powder.

First, mix the milk, sugar, and yeast in a bowl. Then, set the flour in a bowl and make a well in the center.

Add the yeast mixture, egg yolk, and butter into the flour. Knead the dough until it comes into a smooth ball. Chill the dough overnight if you want.

After that, saute garlic and onions in a pan. Add the pepper and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add the beef and saute until brown. Season with salt and pepper. Then, mix in the egg, creme fraiche, tomato paste, and parsley.

Roll out the dough and cut into 4-6 inch circles with a pastry cutter. Spoon the filling into the center of your dough. Fold the filled dough close and seal by crimping or by pressing on the edges with a fork.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Arrange the empanadas on a baking sheet. Brush the empanadas with egg wash. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

And there, you made it! These yummy empanadas are a great snack, a light lunch or a starter for a meal.
Thank you so much Mrs. Haynes for sharing these amazing Tico baked empanadas. Thank you to readers for their messages as well. Don't forget to send your homemade recipes with a photo of the dish to Take a look at more tasty recipes on the AM Costa Rica Food page.

Pura Vida!

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Cozy house for rent surrounded by fruit trees and gardens in Santa Barbara, Heredia Province.

2 bedrooms - 1 bath - Furnished house inside a secure property - Includes electricity, Fiber Optic internet 10 MB, water, laundry, off-street parking - Asphalt road 10 min walk to town - For 1-2 people - No dogs, please - The owner lives on-site - $650 a month.




PRICE $750,000

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Close to expats community shopping malls, hospitals, private schools.

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