Miami – Our Trip to South Beach

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Hola! We’re back from our long-weekend vacation in South Beach, Miami. Last month as we sat bundled in blankets on our couch staring at the mountain of snow in our front yard, we decided we needed a vacation with sun! So, we booked a trip to South Beach right there. Nothing like being spontaneous!

We did everything we wanted. We lounged on the beach, soaked up the sun, went paddle boarding, floated in the rolling waves, drank tropical cocktails, checked out the tan cabana boys,  sat and people watched (South Beach is the place for people watching. Man with a boa constrictor around your neck, we’re talking about you!), and ate incredible food at inspiring restaurants.

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Our hotel, the Hilton Cabana, was right on the beach. Perfectly blissful.

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This acai bowl changed our lives. Not even exaggerating. A friend recommended we check out Under the Mango Tree, a juice bar and cafe. We both had the “marley bowl”, which was acai blended with berries, almond milk, peanut butter and spinach, and topped with sliced bananas, strawberries, coconut flakes and granola. We went there both Thursday and Friday for breakfast during our stay. A-maz-ing.

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We had dinner at the Standard Hotel restaurant on Thursday evening, and sipped on the “botanist,” a cocktail with gin, cucumber, fresh dill, and sparkling water. So refreshing.

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The restaurant was right on the ocean. We watched the blazing orange sun disappear behind the South Beach skyline.

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Our last night we dined at The District Miami, whose chef was a James Beard semi-finalist in 2014. The cuisine is contemporary Pan-American and is really diverse. The restaurant has a trendy modern vibe. It feels like a hip neighborhood hang-out.

We started with vino.

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Complementary cornbread rolls, a precursor to the incredible meal ahead. They were warm and melted in our mouths. Our server must have noticed how we thought the rolls were crazy delicious because he immediately brought us more.

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We shared a beet salad with pickled raspberries, pea shoots, toasted hazelnuts, drizzled with a balsamic reduction on top of whipped goat cheese. Woah baby.

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We also devoured the shaved roasted brussels sprouts dish. The brussels were tossed in a fig reduction sauce with chopped almonds and cranberries.

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For the main course we both ordered the Cajun jerk cobia, a meaty white fish. It was served on top of mashed purple potatoes, along with a palm of hearts salad. Loved the vibrant flavors and colors!

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Here’s to another great double dipper trip in the books!

Happy double dipping!

Roasted Stuffed Red Peppers

News update: we’re in a secrect club. It’s not like a college sorority, there’s no hazing. And it’s not like the secrect club you and your best friend started when you were ten years old just so that you could have an awesome secret handshake and a ridiculous secret languge consisting of weird tones and other non-sense jarrgon.

This secret club is a food club. Which is by far the best kind of secret club!

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We’ve mentioned before that we’re in a book club with some girlfriends. We hosted our last meeting this past Monday and served these roasted red peppers stuffed with sweet potatoes, cremini mushrooms, quinoa, kale and a fresh spices. Our friends brought fancy cheese and crackers to nibble on before dinner, red wine (Chariot from Trader Joe’s, we recommend it!), a spinach salad with blood oranges and goat cheese, and for dessert banoffee bars (a play on banoffee pie ) made by our friend Kate (who is also a fellow blogger. Check out her blog Authentic Nosh). So, after eating all of this great food we decided that we aren’t in a book club, we’re in a food club! But we’re keeping it a secret because secrets are just fun. We can trust you, right?

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We combined pan roasted sweet potatoes and cremini mushrooms with sautéed garlic and shallots, stirred in quinoa and kale that had simmered in vegetable both, and spooned the final mixture into roasted red peppers. We prepared everything on Sunday for our gathering on Monday evening. So we refrigerated the peppers overnight and re-heated them in the oven for 20 minutes just before serving them, and topped them with parmesan cheese. It was an easy make-ahead meal and the girls raved about the peppers.

These stuffed peppers are a great dish to share with friends, or make for your secret food club.

Happy double dipping!

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Recipe – serves 8, a Double Dipper Original

Ingredients

  • 8 large red peppers
  • 2 cups rainbow quinoa, cooked
  • 1 bunch kale (any variety), chopped
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, cubed
  • 1 lb. cremini mushrooms, stems removed
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • dash of pepper
  • fresh parsley
  • Parmesan cheese for topping

Method

1. Remove the tops of the red peppers and clean out all seeds. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Place red peppers on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and bake for 20 minutes.

2. While peppers are roasting, sautée garlic and shallots in olive oil over medium-low heat and add cubed sweet potatoes and mushrooms, and spices.

3. Meanwhile, cook quinoa. Add chopped kale and parsley. Add sweet potatoes and mushrooms to quinoa mixture and combine.

4. Remove peppers from oven and let cool. Once cool, spoon quinoa mixture into peppers.

5. Top with parmesan cheese and serve immediately, or refrigerate and re-heat at 350 for 20 minutes before serving and topping with cheese.

Enjoy!

Lemon Raspberry Layer Cake with Buttercream Frosting

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So we realize that Valentine’s Day was three days ago and we’re sharing this pretty pink cake with tiny frosting hearts with you today. Yes, we’re a little delayed in our effort to help you celebrate the big day dedicated to love, but why not celebrate love everyday? You know you agree! Candy hearts and sweets shouldn’t be shared just one day a year!

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We made this lemon layer cake with raspberry filling and buttercream frosting this past weekend with our friend, Jen who is an all-star baker and has amazing cake decorating skills. She’s made such creative and fun “smash cakes” (the cakes for kids’ 1st birthdays) for her friends’ and co-worker’s. So, piping little butter cream hearts was a piece of cake for her (pun intended).

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We used cream instead of butter, which gives the cake a texture and taste that resembles a short-bread biscuit. The raspberry filling adds a welcomed tart bite that is sweetened by the buttercream frosting. Since we’re girls who like pretty things, we added decorative pearls around the sides.

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Life is about celebrating friends, family and love, and making cakes!

Happy double dipping!

*p.s. please excuse the semi-smashed frosting hearts in the pics…the cake got a little messy in the container on the drive home from Jen’s house. That just meant more frosting-licking for us!

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The recipe is inspired by Martha Stewart and Naturally Ella

 Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (sifted)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar (1/2 cup plus 1/2 cup)
  • 2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons almond milk
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • Butter, to grease pan

 Filling

  • 15 ounces raspberries (8 ounces, fresh or frozen)
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons corn starch

 Frosting

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 7-8 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup raspberry filling

 Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat 2 9-inch round cake pans with butter. Whisk together flour, salt, and 1/2 cup sugar. In a separate bowl, combine cream, almond milk, baking powder, egg whites, and lemon. Whisk in vanilla.
  1. Fold in flour mixture, then divide among pans. Bake until golden, about 25 minutes. (Each cake layer will be approximately 1/2 inch in height.) Let cool in pans 30 minutes. Remove; let cool completely on a wire rack.
  1. While the cake is baking, prepare raspberry filling. Combine the raspberries in a pot and heat over medium heat until juices have released. Add sugar and stir. In a small bowl, combine the 3 tablespoons cornstarch with ¼ cup warm water, stirring until the starch is dissolved. Add to the pot and stir well. Cook until raspberries have thickened slightly and the cloudiness from the cornstarch has disappeared. Remove from heat and let cool completely. If filling is still too runny, continue to add cornstarch/water mixture 1 tablespoon at a time. Let cool. The filling will thicken while cooling.
  1. For the frosting, beat together butter, 7 cups of powdered sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla. Frosting should still be slightly stiff. Finally, beat in ¼ cup of the cooled raspberry filling.
  1. Spread half the filling over top of 1 cake layer, and sandwich with another layer. Swirl frosting over top and sides of cake. Add sprinkles, pearls, and decorate until your heart’s content!

Super Food Bowl

 Happy Wednesday! We’ve almost made it through the week friends! To help you push through the next two days we’re coming at you with a way to up your lunch game that will knock your socks off!

We’re talking super foods that will power you through the afternoon. Kale, spinach, salmon, beets, avocado, quinoa, walnuts, craisins, and parmesan. We guarantee that your co-workers will be jealous, and you of course will be a happy camper.

You may be thinking, yikes this requires a lot of ingredients. Please hold the phone for a minute. This power food bowl can be made in advance on Sunday for you to enjoy throughout the week.  

We usually get home on weekdays around 7pm or later depending on what we have going on and the last thing we want to think about is lunch prep. So, we’ve gotten in the habit of planning/making our lunches on Sundays which saves us a ton of time and stress during the busy week. 

We make a huge container of grains (quinoa, farro, or barely), roast seasonal vegetables (we’ve been loving beets and squash lately), and prep some sort of leafy green (kale, swiss chard, spinach). For protein, we mix it up with salmon (usually left-over from dinner), fresh sliced turkey from Whole Foods (the deli roasts it in the store, it’s basically home-cooked!), or chickpeas.

We layer these super foods in a to-go container or mason jar, and top it with a handful of walnuts and craisins for texture, and parmesan for some salty flavor. We make our lives even easier by drizzling Annie’s Green Garlic dressing on top.

This lunch keeps us sharp and satiated. There is no afternoon lull or 3pm hangries after eating this lunch!

Happy double dipping!

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Recipe – makes 1 bowl

Ingredients

  • 2 -3 leaves kale, chopped and massaged in a drizzle of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • 1/3 cup cooked rainbow quinoa
  • 3 oz. salmon
  • 1/4 cup roasted beets, sliced
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 1 handful craisins
  • 1 handful chopped walnuts
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. Annie’s Green Garlic dressing

Overnight Oats

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Happy Groundhog day! Are you hoping Punxsutawney Phil doesn’t see his shadow so that you can bask in balmy 70 degree weather? Or are you hoping for a shadow and more snow days? Either way, we’ve got you babe with delicious, creamy, and quick over-night-oats!

Side note: please tell us you’ve seen Groundhog Day with Bill Murray. If you haven’t google “name of song that plays every morning in movie groundhog day” right now. The Sonny and Cher reference will make more sense and you’ll realize we’re not calling you babe.

Overnight oats are the perfect on-the-go breakfast for hectic mornings. It’s our go-to for days when we need to get into the office early. The concept has exploded in the blog world over the last year, so we thought we’d join in and share our favorite version.

We combine 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt with 1/3 cup oats, and stir the mixture together so that the oats become soft and creamy after being refrigerated over night. We top it all off with cinnamon, fresh berries, and a pool of almond butter. It’s a sweet, satisfying breakfast to ease the stress of chaotic mornings!

Happy double dipping!

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Overnight Oats – make ahead the night before and enjoy in the morning

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup oats (steel cut or rolled)
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup berries (frozen or fresh) – you could also substitute sliced bananas
  • 2 tbsp almond butter (or peanut butter)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

Method

  • In a container (or bowl, or mason jar) mix oats, greek yogurt, and cinnamon. The oats should be coated in the yogurt.
  • Mix in berries
  • Top with a dollop (or puddle) of almond butter
  • Sprinkle with a pinch of oats and a dash of cinnamon
  • Place in refrigerator overnight and enjoy a delicious breakfast in the morning

 

Recent Reads – January

You know that feeling when you’re so bundled up that you feel like you’re wearing one of those big sumo wrestling body suits and you can hardly move so you walk like the tin man? And because you’re so bundled you think that there is no possible way that you will ever be cold again? And then you actually walk outside and the brutal -35◦F wind chill slaps you in the face and your noise hairs freeze? Do you know what we’re talking about?

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This is Minnesota in January, friends. Which means all we really want to do right now is drink ho-cho (hot chocolate) and curl up on the couch and read some good books.

We started a book club a few months ago with friends and besides eating cheese, drinking vino and chatting about non-book-club-related topics, we have actually read some good books! Here are the recent reads:

 

  • The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty: Told from the perspective of three different women, this book was so good that we stayed up way too late each night for a week because we needed to know how each woman’s story was going to end. Love, loss, betrayal, and forgiveness. This is a page turner.

 

  • Where’d you Go, Bernadette by Mari Semple: We were laughing so hard while reading the story of 15-year-old Bee and her mom, Bernadette that we had to set the book down and wait for our eyes to stop tearing. The writing is clever and the characters are extremely entertaining.

Winter is hibernation season, so go read some good books! And make sure to double dip in some warm eats while curled up on the couch by the fire.

Citrus Beet Salad

 

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Happy New Year! We can hardly believe it’s 2015! Weren’t we just talking about the Y2K bug yesterday?!

We welcomed the New Year with tacos, sangria and friends, and spent New Year’s day eating beef brisket sandwiches and sipping bloody marys while cheering on the Minnesota Gophers in the Citrus Bowl with family and friends.

The Citrus Bowl didn’t end in our favor. Missouri was just too tough! But this citrus beet salad was a winner! (oh yes, that transition just happened). We made it for a holiday dinner party last Saturday and people were saying, “I’m all about this beet salad!” Winner.

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Tangerine slices are mixed with red and golden beets, creating a burst of citrus among earthy flavors. The radicchio and endive provide a crunch and slightly bitter taste that pairs well with the smooth and sweet ricotta salata. Parsley and roasted Marcona almonds top it all off.

Serve this colorful citrus beet salad at your next dinner party or make it for yourself and eat it straight out of the bowl.

Happy double dipping!

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Citrus Beet Salad – from Coastal Living December 2014

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 large red beets, peeled and halved
  • 2 large golden beets, peeled and halved
  • 3 tangerines
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 4 cups chopped radicchio
  • 2 cups diagonally sliced golden endive (about 2 heads)
  • 1/2 crumbled feta or ricotta salata cheese
  • 1/2 cup Marcona almonds, toasted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

Instructions:

1. wrap red and golden beets in parchment paper or aluminum foil and roast in oven for 1 hour at 425 degrees F. For a quicker cooking time, wrap in parchment paper and microwave on high for 5 to 7 minutes. When beets are tender, cut into wedges.

2. Peel and section tangerines over a bowl; squeeze membranes to extract juice. Whisk in oil, mustard, salt, and pepper.

3. Arrange radicchio and endive on a platter; drizzle with half of dressing. Top with beets, tangerine sections, and cheese. Sprinkle with almonds and parsley; drizzle with remaining dressing.

Apple Pomegranate Galette

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It snowed! It finally snowed! Which means we’ve been frolicking outside in our mukluk boots, making snow angels, and best of all we got to use the snow blower we got for Christmas from our Big Dipper parents! Does our dad know how to buy gifts for his daughters or what?! A big, mighty, orange snow blower that shoots snow across the yard like a fire breathing dragon is every girl’s dream, really. Snow blower before diamond rings and bling, that’s our new phrase.

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The snow blower was a highlight, and we really did have an amazing Christmas spent with friends and family. As always, we indulged in a Scandinavian smorgasbod on Christmas Eve, complete with Swedish meatballs, lefse, pork roast topped with sugary-tart lingonberries, pickled cucumbers, and twice baked potatoes. We love (italicized for emphasis) this meal and love that it does not change from year to year. That’s tradition. The one part that does change is the dessert. Our Mom has made chocolate raspberry pie, fondu, and pear torts in the past. All delicious! This year we were in charge of the dessert. Lots of pressure! But we think we delivered on dessert with this colorful, sweet and tart apple pomegranate galette.

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Our Dad said it was the best dessert we’ve ever made! We gave ourselves a little pat on the back for that.

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The crust is buttery and flakey. The apples and pomegranates are just tart enough to make your tongue pucker on the first bite. The brown sugar and cinnamon give simple sweetness which provides the perfect counter-balance.

This dessert is a fantastic end to a winter meal shared with friends.

Happy snow frolicking! Happy baking! Happy double dipping!

Tart 8

Apple Pomegranate Galette – adapted from FoodNetwork.com

Ingredients:

For the crust

  • 1 cup whole-grain flour or regular whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 5 tablespoons ice water

For the Filling

  • 3 medium Honey Crisp apples (or other variety), unpeeled
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup dried pomegranates (divided into two 1/4 cup measurements)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

To prepare the crust, put the whole-wheat flour, granulated sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor (we use our Vitamix) and pulse 3 times to combine. Add the butter and pulse about 12 times, until you get a pebbly coarse texture. Add the water and pulse 3 to 5 times more to combine. Pat the dough into a 4-inch round and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes, or make ahead and refrigerate for up to 1 day.

In the meantime, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, and prepare the filling. Core the apples and cut them into 1/4-inch slices. In a large bowl toss the apple slices with the lemon juice. Add half of the pomegranates (1/4 cup), then sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon and toss until the apples are evenly coated. Set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the chilled dough into a large circle about 9 inches in diameter. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and draping the dough over the rolling pin, transfer it to the prepared baking sheet. If the dough breaks (it will likely break and don’t sweat it!), patch it up with your fingers.

Arrange the apple mixture in a mound in the center on the dough, leaving a 1 to 2-inch border. Fold the border over the filling. It will only cover the filling partially and does not need to be even.

Bake the pie at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes, and then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F, keeping the pie in the oven all the while, and bake for another 40 minutes, until the apples are tender and the crust is golden brown.

When the pie is done transfer to a plate to cool slightly. Add the reaming 1/4 cup pomegranates on top. Cut into 6 wedges and serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!

We’re Back! Adventures in Spain

 Hola friends! It’s been a few months since we’ve seen each other! Summer and fall flew by without a word from us, but we’re still here. We’ve been living life…travelling, laughing with friends, working, and of course double dipping!

We’re hoping you’re still down to double dip with us in 2015. But before we flip the page to next year, we want to share our most recent adventures in Spain with you! We traveled to España at the beginning of December. We were Spanish majors, so Spain has been the top on our list of places to visit and it did not disappoint. We stayed in Madrid, explored the royal palace and a castle, shopped, and ate the most amazing tapas ever. Here’s a recap of the top double dips:

ana la santa.spain

Ana la Santa…we visited this restaurant a few times. It was that good. It’s located in the heart of Madrid, but is off the beaten path in a quaint plaza that was decorated with shining lights for Christmas. It definitley got us in the holiday spirit!

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Above was our first bite of the trip; ahi tuna, avocado, chipotle aioli, and fried onions on top, with a crispy corn tortilla (i.e. real tacos!). After one taste we knew we were in for some good eats!

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Esti loved the tacos.

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split pea soup.spain

We also had creamy split pea soup with creme fraiche. Since it was winter in Madrid it was chilly at night. This soup was just the thing to keep us warm. Fresh flavors and such vibrant colors!

mercado de san miguel.spain

Above is the Mercado de San Miguel, a large market that has vendors who sell everything from tapas to fresh fish to wine and coffee to christmas ornaments. It’s a foodie heaven.

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mercado en la noche.spain

At night the market was glowing. It looked magical, especially with the bright hanging lanterns that lined the streets.  

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We discovered a cute and delicious bakery called Harina (which means “flour” in Spanish) located outside of the Parque del Retiro, Madrid’s large urban park. All the bread and treats are made at the restaurant. The scent of cookies is enough to lure you in!

harina.spain

hagaan dazs.esti

We indulged in a treat at a Haagen Dazs shop. These shops are located all over Europe and are similar to Ben&Jerry’s in the U.S. It was a fun stop.

grilled catalan veg.spain

Roasted vegetables with sea salt flakes and pressed olive oil are very common in Spain. The plate above consisted of vegetables from Catalunya (a region in northern Spain); asparagus, grape tomatoes, egg plant, zucchini, small corn, and onion.  

curry monkfish asparagus.spain

This was one of the best bites we had; monkfish curry with asparagus, cashews, and poppy seeds. And how cool is the bowl it was served in?!

cappuccino.spain

We had a cappuccino every single day. Europeans know their coffee!

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Spanish vino!

ahi tuna.spain

The last night we went to a mediterranean restaurant and ordered ahi tuna with a mango chutteny. The flavors together were awesome!

Spain.creme brulee

And of course, no meal is complete without something sweet. This is crema catalan. It’s similar to creme brulee and is topped with cinnamon and a few berries. So good!

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Salud! Cheers!

Springtime Asparagus Pea Salad

Asparagus pea salad

Green is the color of the rug on our kitchen floor. Green is the color of our favorite water glasses from Anthropology. Green is the color of the half-empty wine bottle sitting on our counter (better get on that. It’s 5 o’clock somewhere). Green is the color we want our grass to be. Green is the color we wish our thumbs were (so much for that green grass…). Green is the color of our friend’s wedding invitation hanging on our refrigerator (can’t wait for June!).

Green is the color of this fresh, springtime dish!

Asparagus pea salad

This bright salad is a medley of spring veggies and comes together very quickly, less than 20 minutes including prep and cook time. It can definitely stand alone and is also amazing served over any grain (pasta, quinoa, barley), or as a side to a main meat or fish.

Asparagus pea salad

The asparagus is cooked until tender, but still crispy. The peas pop in your mouth and the lemon gives a burst of citrus, tying everything together. The parmesan cheese sprinkled on top, melts into the vegetables and provides a salty finish. This is everything a girl could ask for in a springtime salad. Happy double dipping!

Asparagus pea salad

Recipe – a Double Dipper original

Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch asparagus, sliced on a diagonal into 1″ pieces
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1 lemon
  • handful of fresh pea shoots
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • dash of ground pepper

Method

1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add green onions and let simmer until fragrant.

2. Add asparagus and sauté for about 4 minutes, until bright green but still slightly crisp. Sprinkle pepper over top.

3. Add peas and cook for another 2 minutes. Add pea shoots, squeeze lemon over greens and remove from heat. Top with parmesan cheese, so that it melts. Serve with fish, meat, over pasta or simply as is. Enjoy!