Amaro e Dolce

Life, unfiltered

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Agua de coco y limón 

We are not known for seasons here in Miami, not unless you count rainy season and hurricane season. I’ve found that I measure our seasons by whether it drops below 90. 

Because it’s so hot, I find myself eschewing my beloved fall stews and soups for more crisp, summery things and today is no different. 

I woke up today feeling rested (thank you babies for finally sleeping through the night!) and I was struck with inspiration when I opened my fridge this morning. A day or so ago, I stumbled across this recipe on Instagram and it reminded me that I had this at the Miami Flea while I was pregnant.

You see, I had just opened a can of coconut milk for another recipe, and it happened to be sitting next to the last two lemons from my tree. So I threw them together in my vitamix and it was love at first sip. 

This can be made with either lemons or limes, but I prefer lemons. I used less coconut milk than what Deb called for because I didn’t have that much left, but I also only had two lemons. 

I highly recommend playing with your portions, but this was my impromptu recipe:

1 cup of ice

1/2 cup, full fat coconut milk (stirred)

Juice of 2 Meyers lemons

3-4 tablespoons, granulated sugar.

Add ingredients in the order above to your blender and blend to your preferred consistency. I use a vitamix and start on 1 and slowly go up to 4.

Pour and enjoy. Add a good rum to make it more adult. 

This will make a tart, slightly sweet and smooth drink for 2. 


Around the web

Life is busy. So, so busy. I have two four month olds, I’m ramping up my “work from home” business and we have very little family here. What family we do have is not able to babysit for an hour.

So yeah, this blog has been neglected. But fortunately we have found some part-time help, which is amazing. Hurricane Matthew skipped us and I got a little sleep these last two days. Who’s feeling on top of the world today? This girl!

As I sit in my nursing chair feeding these babies, I have studiously ignored as much negativity surrounding the election as possible. Instead I’ve been seeking inspiration elsewhere. Here are some things that have caught my eye:

Can’t or won’t?

One of my favorite Insta accounts 


5 ways to reuse baby jars

Help cure Rett Syndrome


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Necessity is the mother of all inventions. 

I need my coffee in the morning and I can’t drink it without milk & sugar. I’m just not that hard. 

Si when we run out of milk it means an immediate run to the grocery. Except now the grocery store is impossible for me and El Hombre just started a new job. So I roughed it out for one day.

Then as I was looking for something else, I found half a can of full-fat coconut milk that I’d used a day or two before and I thought, “hmmmmmm.”

You see, I love coconut as much as I love coffee, so how bad could it be?

Full-fat coconut milk has the same consistency as yogurt so I wasn’t sure how this would work out, but it did.

Unlike regular milk or creamer, the coconut milk adds a richness to the flavor, only imparting a hint of coconut taste. It actually enhances the natural acidity of the coffee so you get the full flavor of the bean without the harshness of drinking coffee black.

Since coconut milk is a pantry staple in my home, this is a trend I will continue. 


Dreaming of Wyoming

I’ve gotten into the habit of checking the “On this day” feature on facebook during my 2 am feedings and today’s brought such a smile to my face.

You see, I am pretty sure that we got pregnant with Z&E immediately after this trip. And this trip was life-changing for me. It was a tack-on to a business trip to Idaho, and it was my first time traveling alone. I was in a risk-taking part of my life. I was wound up with stress to the point of breaking. I had just turned in my notice to my job with no other job lined up. I had pretty much given up on the idea of getting pregnant.

I had tried to convince El Hombre to come with me to Wyoming, but he had just started a new job and he didn’t see my vision. So I went alone. After all, I wasn’t going to spend almost 10 hours of travel each way for two days in Idaho.

This day a year ago, I woke up at 5 am (mountain time), put on all my layers, hooked up my music to the car and made my way through Teton National Park as the sun rose to get to Yellowstone. To see the sun rise over Teton pass, with the mist steaming off the lakes is magical. The entire drive was breathtaking, and every waking moment I felt the stress slowly melting off. I entered Yellowstone feeling like I took a step back in to the Jurassic period. The ground was steaming and the world felt ancient.

I drove until I made it to Old Faithful, and I took a ranger tour around the geysers. Old Faithful erupted, as did several others, and watching the earth work its wonders with bison lazily grazing in the background, I realized that everything was going to work out.

I ended up spending the day driving through the park, stopping and walking around. I ended up close to the Montana border at one point and I remember debating if I should just keep going, just to see how far I could get.

I still daydream of those windy roads and the vastly different landscapes. Next time I want to spend several days within the park, exploring with my wonderful little family.

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Z & E turn 3 (months)

These are the things I can’t believe. I can’t believe it’s been 12 weeks. I can’t believe the changes I’ve seen in them and in us. I can’t believe it’s been a month since I last wrote. I can’t believe parents are supposed to hand their babies off to someone else and go back to work at this point. I can’t believe most men don’t get this much time because of social pressures.

Ok, enough with that. What’s up with these babies? 

They have both gained at least 5 pounds, and are almost double their birth weight. They are cooing and “talking” to us and each other. They are back to sleeping in their crib and they snuggle up on each other like puzzle pieces. They are rocking tummy time – especially Zoey. They have lots of smile for me and El Hombre, their turtle toy and their mobile. It’s wild.

Where’s my head at?

I’ve been thinking a lot about personal autonomy. I won’t lie, it’s a struggle. Especially during these times when I’m constantly feeding. My husband is amazing – he forces me to do things for myself… To get out and clear my head. 

This past week I’ve been thinking about what I want to do for myself. I’ve been using the Duolingo app and I’m now obsessed. I know I won’t become bilingual or trilingual without actually using the languages (Spanish & Italian) but it’s a good way to get acclimated to the words and conjugations. 

I also plan to start building strength at home. I don’t have a gym membership and it’s too hot to go outside during the day, but I’m not letting that get in my way anymore.

Ideally I’d like to write more, but I’m also realistic that I can’t bite off more than I can chew.

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2 months

Two months ago, life changed completely. At first I thought, “I’ve got this who parenting and blogging thing”, but Z & E have other plans.

Feedings have increased in frequency. Mental and physical growth spurts have been taking place. They are a lot more alert and more frequently fussy. My latest scent is eau de regurgitated breast milk. Sexy!

At first I thought the girls were sick. They wouldn’t stop crying and clinging! After talking to other moms, I realized it was the aforementioned spurts.

So what does one do?

 Get comfortable – because these babies need a lot more food and snuggles.

 Get a carrier because the way they see the world is changing dramatically, and they want to take it all in while being safely snuggled with mom or dad.

Get engaged because now they start staring, smiling, cooing and reaching for you and their twin (if they have one.) And those moments are worth the epic crying fits.

On a plus, I’m below my pre-prego weight. It’s a combination of breastfeeding, running up and down stairs a million times a day and wearing curious babies.

Now if only their stomachs would hold food for longer.


On cooking and creativity

I’ve come to realize that as I get older, I’m finding creative outlets in different places. Over the past few years, one of my outlets has become cooking. I’m no professional, but once I understand the basics of a recipe, I will never make it the same way twice. Which is both good and bad because I can’t create attachments. But I can get more creative.

So over the past few weeks, I’ve been wrapping up babies in my moby and picking up my cooking game. With all the calories I’m burning with breastfeeding, my appetite is through the roof, but eating out is both expensive and generally way too salty.

My go-to tends to be soups and stews since I can basically throw everything in my pantry in to a pot and generally have good outcomes. But these last few weeks I’ve been inspired to cook different things because it gives me something to focus on other than babies, diapers, insurance, sad news and politics. Some of these are repeats but overall these have made it in to my “Go To Recipes” folder:

Oatmeal Crumble Bars. I used raspberries instead of blackberries because I love them. Next time I am going to try this with blueberries and add lemon zest.

Oven baked fried chicken? Oh yes. I am going to add different spices to this until the cows come in. Just FYI. And a tip? Roast veggies in the dish afterwards.

Marinara. In the past few years I have switched over entirely to spaghetti squash. Except for this recipe. For this I still use real pasta. Delicious, delicious real pasta.

Cheap chicken curry.

Tacos and more tacos (it’s an added bonus that I could use the pineapple from our garden in this)

Up next? Lots of cool, summer beverages and more baking.