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!

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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!