February. The month of love. The month of romance. The month every woman, of every age wants to feel special and loved and showered with purple hearts. By a boyfriend, a husband, a lover, a friend, by a partner, by a sweetheart. A special card, a dozen roses, a fancy dinner, perhaps some gourmet chocolates, even M & M’s. Diamonds, jewelry, sexy lingerie, a stuffed bear. All symbols of love and affection. Hearts and flowers. The colors red and pink and purple painted on the front cover of a card. Love, hugs and passion. February 14th. Valentines Day. It’s more than just saying I love you. More than just showing you care. More than just arriving with a bouquet of daisies or a box of Russel Stover’s Chocolate. . . .
When Tiamo first came into our lives, we had a hard time coming up with a name for her. we wanted something special, something indicative of her heritage (Switzerland) but also of our love for each other. Malcolm and I spent our honeymoon in Italy, a country seeped in love and romance. When we were in Bellagio, our hotel room looked out across Lake Como to the Swiss alps, miles away. So we combined a little Swiss with a little Italian and came up with Tiamo. One look at our new puppy, with her four snow-capped paws and her white-tipped tail, so reminisce of our view of the Alps, and we were in love. Totally smittened. She was a gift to Malcolm for his 50th birthday, but she didn’t arrive in Santa Fe until a few days before Valentine’s Day. Tiamo translates to ‘I love you’ in Italian. Each time we said her name, we were telling her we loved her. Just as every time her tail wagged, or she nose-nudged us for a quick ear scratch, she was sending us love. It was our own special Valentine’s Day gift, every day.
When we ended up with two of Tiamo’s puppies, we were back in the same boat. We had a hard time finding names that “fit” our newest additions to the family. To keep track of the litter, we identified them by the color of the collar they wore. We had Butterfly, Pinkie, Cherry, Blackie, Burberry, Greenie, Apple and Little Butterfly. We certainly weren’t going to continue calling our little girls, Little Butterfly and Pinkie. New monikers were needed. In keeping with our Swiss/Italian theme, we ended up naming the girls, Dolce and Amore. Sweet and Love.
Dolce, our little sweetheart!
Dolce is sweet; a more gentle, kind dog you’ll never find, she is our sweetheart. Evenings will find her curled up on my lap, snuggling against me. You’ll see her tail thump every so often, her muzzle reach up to lick my chin on occasion. Dog kisses. Her eyes softened by our touch, a look of contentment crossing her face. Dolce is our hugger, our snuggler, our little sweetheart. She is our own special Valentine’s Day gift, every day.
Amore, our wild at heart girl
Amore is love; a wild, crazy, passionate dog full of heart. She is the flip side of Dolce. With bright shinning eyes, Amore screams passion, an all-out, from the heart, love. Amore is our Dennis the Menace. You can’t help but chuckle over her antics. You can’t help but love her. She is so full of life, every day with her is an adventure. We wake up each morning wondering what kind of mischief will Amore get into today, what wild dog thing will she do. She radiates with happiness and exudes joy, it literately pours off of her. She is our own special Valentine’s Day gift, every day.
Tiamo, Dolce, and Amore has given us more love than we could ever have imagined. Every day. Not with flowers or chocolates or purple hearts. Not just on Valentine’s Day. They give us their hearts. Completely. Every day.
A perfect dipping sauce for fruits. A perfect dessert for love.
- 8 oz. ricotta cheese
- 1 – 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 4 eggs yolks
- 2 tbsp. heavy cream
- 3 tbsp. amaretto
- fresh fruit (kiwis, bananas, apples, rapes, pineapple, peaches, cantaloupes, strawberries, blackberries or honeydew melon)
Using the food processor, mix together the ricotta cheese and cream cheese until smooth. Add in the sugar, egg yolks, heavy cream and amaretto. Keep beating until smooth.
Pour into a 3-cup serving bowl. Chill until ready to serve. While the sauce is chilling, prepare fruit into bite size pieces. Arrange on a platter and garnish with mint leave. When ready to serve, add the accompaniment sauce.