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!

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?

 Lake Superior sunset

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.

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!

tapas 2.spain

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!

tapas esti.spain

Esti loved the tacos.

tapas 1.spain

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.

mercado 2.spain

mercado en la noche.spain

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

harina 2.spain

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!

Kari.vino

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!