Saturday Sweets: Better Than A Box Brownie Recipe

Did you know chocolate is officially America’s favorite flavor? As a serious chocolate lover, that comes as no surprise to me. Today is National Chocolate Day, and I’ll be in my kitchen making all sorts of chocolate delights to celebrate. But first, I’m sharing one of my favorite chocolate recipes so you guys can join in on the chocolate fun as well!

Truth be told - I’m a HUGE sucker for boxed brownies, especially the Ghirardelli ones. But once I discovered this recipe, I realized how easy a really good batch of brownies can be. If you’ve got a decently stocked pantry or do any baking at all, then you’re likely to have everything you need to make these ooey gooey out of hand brownies right now. Trust me, you won’t regret it. So much better than box brownies, and almost as easy to whip up!

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James Beard Semi Finalists Shine in South Florida

James Beard Award Miami South Florida Semi Finalists

On the day before the James Beard Foundation announced its finalists for the coveted “Oscars of Culinary” James Beard Awards, four of the six South Florida semifinalists treated a small group of local journalists and food bloggers to a sample of what makes these chefs so special and recognized by this renowned culinary organization.

It was hosted by Chefs Janine Booth of Stiltsville Fish Bar, Clay Conley of Buccan Palm Beach, Lindsay Autry of The Regional Kitchen & Public House in West Palm Beach and Brad Kilgore of Alter.  Fellow nominees, Niven Patel of Ghee and Zak Stern of Zak The Baker could not attend due to prior commitments.  

By now, it is no secret that the next day, Chef Bradley Kilgore of Alter was named as the lone South Florida Finalist, making him the first JBFA finalist in a number of years.

But it is the lunch on that day before that stands out for not only its creativity but also the honest comradery of the chefs that leaves the biggest impression.  The spirited conversation and laughter among the chefs and the attendees as we enjoyed the delicious menu selections reinforces this unique community of chefs that Miami should be most proud of. No awards are necessary to celebrate Miami's own. 

Hosted in the casual ambiance of Stiltsville Fish Bar, we began on our James Beard journey at hi-top tables in the bar feasting on Rising Chef nominee, Janine Booth’s Smoked Fish Dip and Crispy Coconut Shrimp.  The delicately kataifi wrapped large shrimp with a key lime dipping sauce is one of the favorite starter menu items.

Stiltsville Fish Bar Miami Coconut Wrapped Shrimp

Moving into the dining area, we were first served a large family style portion of Chef Janine’s Cobia Tiradito, thinly sliced mild white fish in an aji amarillo, cilantro and lime sauce and topped with ripe avocado. The thinly sliced fish was very fresh, and the avocado added a nice touch.

Chef Janine Booths Cobia Tiradito

Best Chef: South nominee, Chef Clay Conley presented the next colorful and very flavorful dish, an Octopus Tabbouleh, chock full of tender grilled chunks of octopus, grape tomatoes, chickpeas, parsley, and mint. The use of fresh, local ingredients was obvious.

Chef Clay Conley Buccan Octopus Tabouleh

Top Chef alum and Best Chef: South nominee, Lindsay Autry next dazzled us with what she described as the perfect “picnic lunch”, Cold Fried Chicken, and early spring vegetables like snow peas, radish, grape tomatoes, peas lightly dressed with a lemon pecorino dressing.  And it came with a spicy hot sauce to dip that crispy chicken into.

Chef Lindsay Autry Cold Fried Chicken Picnic

It was accompanied by Chef Janine’s skillet Sweet Corn Bread with buttermilk cream and scallions and to add another level of decadence topped with a poached lobster tail.  This is a dish one does not easily forget and should never be passed on when visiting Stiltsville.

Chef Janine Booth Corn Spoon Bread with Lobster

The final taste came courtesy of Best Chef: South nominee, Chef Brad Kilgore, and it was the perfect smoky and sweet bite of Pressed Bacon in miso-butterscotch topped with Moroccan olive and dots of smoked banana purée.

Chef Brad Kilgore Pork Belly with Miso Butterscotch

It offered a nice balance of the gutsy pork belly with a sweet topping.

Stiltsville Fish Bar Miami Beach Desserts

Dessert was a trio right off the Stiltsville menu and included a Warm Blueberry Pie with lemon basil ice cream, a Gooey Chocolate Cobbler with passionfruit ice cream and a Banana Cream Pie served with a toffee sauce in a glass jar and topped with a chocolate wafer, and caramelized banana slices.

The final James Beard Foundation Award winners will be announced on May 7th at the black tie gala in Chicago and you can be sure our fingers will be crossed that Chef Brad Kilgore will FINALLY bring a Beard Award home to Miami!





Weekly Nibble: St Patrick's Day in Miami and more


It's that time of year where everyone pretends to be Irish for the day. We've got the scoop on where to find the best green themed parties full of leprechauns and Sunday's hangover. If celebrating St. Patrick's Day isn't up your alley, there's a murder mystery dinner, Slow Food Miami, and a Mediterranean meal at The Betsy you're not going to want to miss. Keep scrolling to check it all out!

Slow Food Miami’s “Snail of Approval” Tasting Party

Slow Food Miami’s “Snail of Approval” Tasting Party will return for a seventh successful year on Friday, March 16. Regarded as Miami’s Freshest Night Out, the annual celebration will be held from 7PM to 10PM at The Palms Hotel & Spa, home to trend-setting farm-to-table concept Essensia Restaurant & Lounge. This year’s unforgettable evening under the stars is possible thanks to partnerships with The Palms Hotel & Spa, Whole Foods, JetSet Sounds, Just Ask Boo, Menu Men Inc., Vero Water, XXI Wine & Spirits, The Scout Guide Miami, and Brustman Carrino Public Relations. The tasting party will unite dozens of the city’s top chefs, local growers and producers for a night of tasting and honoring Miami’s food scene.


General admission tickets are $98 per person in advance; $128 per person at the door. Tickets can be purchased here with all event proceeds benefiting Slow Food Miami’s Edible Garden Program. VIP Garden Sponsor tickets are $750 and includes a garden box for a school and free entry to Freshest Night Out with early bird admission at 6:30PM. 


St. Patrick's Day in Wynwood

After throwing the most raved about celebration in 2017, SWARM is back at it again with South Florida’s largest St. Patrick’s Day party. The party returns to Wynwood for the third year in a row with overflowing green beers, a massive beer garden, food trucks, and more. It's free and open to the public it will take place from 12pm to 3pm. Find this party at 2250 NW 2nd Ave Miami, FL 33127



Death or Glory

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on Saturday, March 17 at Death or Glory with their first annual ‘Party in the Parking Lot,’ located right behind the popular restaurant. Death or Glory will have a bar open outside starting at noon, in case parade goers would like to get a drink before or during the Delray Beach St. Patrick's Day Parade. The band, Brendan O'Hara, starts at 3:30. The restaurant will have full service food starting at 4 p.m. and there will be a DJ starting at 6 p.m. Complimentary flower crowns as well as complimentary Gunpowder Irish Gin cocktails from The Shed Distillery of PJ Rigney in Drumshanbo, County Leitrim, Ireland, ill be available, hile supplies last. Flower crowns will be $10 each, once the free crowns have all been given out. Sponsors also include Absolut and Jameson.

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Death or Glory, known for inspired cocktails and creative fare with global influences, will feature house made shepherd’s pie ($14) and vegan shepherd’s pie made with Impossible Meat  ($18) on St. Patrick’s Day.

Death or Glory is located at 116 NE 6th Avenue, Delray Beach, FL 33483.  Hours are For additional info, call 561.808.8814. Facebook@dealthorglorybar; Instagram @deathorglorybar_delray.


Brimstone Murder Mystery Dinner

Have you ever wanted to solve a murder mystery? Now you have the chance to do just so at The Dinner Detective event at Brimstone Woodfire Grill in Pembroke Pines on March 25th from 5pm-8pm. Guests will participate in solving a crime while enjoying a fantastic 3-course dinner paired with a glass of wine or beer. The person who solves the crime will receive a gift card to Brimstone Restaurant Group.

Tickets to the event are $100 per person. Availability is limited, call Brimstone Woodfire Grill at (954) 430-2333 to reserve your spot now! For more information, check out


American Social Brickell Goes Irish

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day surrounded by Miami’s most festive leprechauns and fairies at the 3rd annual St. Patricks Day Bar Crawl in Brickell! Hop between Baru, RedBar, American Social, Barsecco and Batch and enjoy 1 free drink at each stop along with various drink and food specials. Between 2 and 6 p.m., get in the St. Paddy's spirit with $4 Green Beer, $5 Jameson Shots, served in carved pickles and $8 Boilermakers, a pint of Guinness topped off with a Crown Royal shot. Tickets are selling out quick so don’t test your luck! Tickets are available for purchase at Eventbrite.


305 Brews Celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with a Brews Fest

305 Brews is celebrating the luck of all things local beer with a St. Patrick’s Day Brews Fest. The St. Patrick’s Day Brews Fest will kick off at 4pm on Saturday, March 17th and will be pouring beers all night long from some of the city’s favorite local breweries including: Lincoln’s Beard Brewing, Wynwood Brewing, Nightlife Brewing Company, and Vez Sur to name a few.

 Tickets for the St. Patrick’s Day Brews Fest are $25 for an unlimited sampling of beers from all of the participating breweries.

Aside from the free flowing beer, 305 Brews will be offering Irish inspired menu items throughout the evening, including the classics like Bangers and Mash. There will also be live music by Uma Galera and a photo booth to help you remember your night after drinking like an Irish man or woman.

For more information on the St. Patrick’s Day Brew Fest call 786-391-0122. 305 Brews is located at 3535 NE 2nd Ave.


No. 3 Social

Wynwood’s stylish rooftop lounge, No. 3 Social, will extend its happy hour pricing till 9:00 PM, including bites from $5-$7, beer and wine at $5 and $7 cocktails, with the addition of two special cocktails – The Lucky Charm made with Jameson, honey, fresh-pressed lemon juice and mint leaves, and Draiochta (Irish word for magic), using London gin, luxardo, Chartreuse and fresh-pressed lime juice.  



Better Days Celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with a Kiss Me, I’m Irish Party

Everyone will be a little Irish at Better Days’ “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” St. Patrick’s Day party! When you walk through the door you’ll get a name tag with your new Irish name and then get to drinking your favorite Irish drinks. Will O’Thompson has some drink specials for everyone to enjoy throughout the night including Irish coffees and an Irish Car “Alarm” featuring Tullamore Dew.

Land a bullseye on the resident leprechaun and you’ll receive a free shot.


Biscayne Bay Brewing Company

The luck of the Irish is heading to Biscayne Bay Brewing Company on Saturday, March 17th. Come wearing your favorite green shirt and raise your glass in celebrating St.Patrick's Day with your drink of choice from a nice cold crisp Guinness for $3, Irish car bombs for $5, or enjoy any in-house brewed green beer. The party will take place from 1PM – 6PM.


The Social Club

This St. Patrick’s Day, eat, drink and be Irish at The Social Club! On Saturday, March 17th, South Beach’s “daily brunch” spot will be offering its daily bunch from 7AM to 3PM, featuring green bottomless mimosas, as well as its popular brunch items such as the award-winning Breakfast Sandwich, fried chicken and waffle and more. Guests purchasing “going green” by purchasing the bottomless mimosas will also get a complimentary green jello shot, until supplies last. The restaurant will also offer $5 Guinness pints and $7 Jameson, all day.

Staying true to the Irish holiday, Executive Chef Jeffrey Williams will offer exclusive St. Patrick’s Day food specials including The Social Club Reuben with mustard roasted corned beef, kraut, truffle thousand island and marble rye; corned beef hash with fried egg, potato and roast beef and shaved corned beef with roasted red potatoes and cabbage, with lager broth. A fun Irish-themed photo booth will also be available for great photo opportunities!


Saffron Supper Club at The Betsy

The Betsy - South Beach will be hosting the latest installment of Miami's traveling Mediterranean dinner club; the Saffron Supper Club. The dinner will take place on Sunday, March 18 at 6:30pm on The Betsy’s Skyline Deck.

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The menu, prepared by Executive Chef Danny Ganem, will feature a traditional Israeli steak dinner accompanied by Israeli wines by Recanti Winery. The night will begin with a cocktail hour of passed hors d’oeuvres followed by a sit-down three-course meal featuring a variety of Mediterranean appetizers, entrees, sides and finished off with specialty desserts.  Tickets are $65 per person and can be purchased here:

Full menu details are as follows:

  • Cocktail Hour Hors D’oeuvres:
    • Falafel Lollipop with Tahini, Chicken Kebabs  
  • Appetizers:
    • Kibbeh nayyeh, fattoush salad, charred eggplant dip w/ pita, watermelon, feta & mint salad
  • Entrees:
    • Rib eye, porterhouse, whole roasted cauliflower
  • Sides:
    • Smoky babaganoush, hummus, pickled veggies, laffa bread, Israeli salad, Mejadra Rice
  • Dessert:
    • Tahini ice cream, rugelach ice cream, mini baklava

Every Vote Matters! VOTE MIAbites for 2018 JWU Zest Influencer Award

JWU Zest Awards 2018 Top Food Influencer MIAbites

We are honored that MIAbites is nominated as Top Food News Influencer and we would appreciate if every follower, friend and fan VOTES for us! VOTE today for the 2018 Johnson & Wales North Miami #JWUZest Awards. 

The ZEST™ Awards were created in 2012 to showcase and honor leaders in culinary arts within the South Florida region. From newcomers to established chefs, the ZEST™ Awards honors all its nominees in each category for their respective accomplishments. Each year, the event attracts chefs, culinary entrepreneurs and community leaders from across the region, including JWU alums and industry professionals, to celebrate and honor South Florida’s rich culinary heritage.

Some amazing local talent has been nominated in every category, but only two categories are open to general public voting and we're part of one of them…VOTE FOR US!

Every Vote Matters!

Voting ends 3/23 and you can vote here.


Saturday Sweets: Vice Cream Satisfying Your Sweet Tooth While Benefiting Cancer Patients

I’ve always been a big treat yourself, YOLO kind of girl. Especially when it comes to desserts. Growing up my grandma, who I inherited my major sweet tooth from, would always remind me to save room for dessert — even if that meant not being able to finish all of my dinner. While I can definitely get behind sugar-free healthier desserts, I’m still going to lean toward the indulgently rich options.

So when an unapologetically delicious ice cream brand called Vice Cream launched in all Publix grocery stores across Florida I had to see what all the hype was about. Vice Cream comes in five decadent, playful flavors with cheeky names such as Breakfast in Bed, Toffee Wife and Afternoon Delight.

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Step off Collins and discover Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill

Many people still think of Miami Beach as the bright lights and art deco buildings along Ocean Drive, or the luxury hotels along Collins Ave. Yes, there are many many restaurants up and down Ocean and Collins, but sometimes just a block or two off these main streets some of the best dining can be found. Sweet Liberty Food and Drink, 27 Restaurant and Macchialina are all spots not to be missed and to add to this list, just under a year ago, Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar and Grill opened in the Plymouth Hotel on 21st street and Liberty just across from the Bass Museum.

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MIAbites Celebrates Women in Miami's Culinary Scene for International Women's Day

March is International Women’s Month. It’s a perfect time to reflect on all of the wonderful strong women in our lives. While we should be celebrating women every day, March 8th is a particularly special day and has been named International Women’s Day.  Even though the gap is decreasing, men tend to be dominating kitchens in restaurants. We've eaten our fair share of food in Miami, and can attest to the fact that there's some incredible dishes coming from our female chefs. That's why we are taking a moment to celebrate some of our favorite kick ass women in Miami’s culinary scene.

We sat down with a few well-known women who are heating things up in kitchens all over the city to ask them a few questions about being a female in the industry.

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Slow Food Miami's "Snail of Approval" Tasting Party Returns on March 16th

Slow Food Miami’s “Snail of Approval” Tasting Party will return for a seventh successful year on Friday, March 16. Regarded as Miami’s Freshest Night Out, the annual celebration will be held from 7PM to 10PM at The Palms Hotel & Spa, home to farm-to-table concept Essensia Restaurant & Lounge. The tasting party will unite dozens of the city’s top chefs, and local growers and producers for a night of tasting and honoring Miami’s fast-growing healthy food scene.

Slow Food Miami is a local 100% volunteer non-profit organization dedicated to “planting a fresher future for our children.” It’s the local chapter of Slow Food USA, a national non-profit dedicated to supporting good, clean and fair food for all that supports our local communities from the ground up.

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Saturday Sweets: Burger Beast's SugaPie Makes a Return

If you’re a fan of food events in Miami, then you’ve probably been in attendance at one of Burger Beast’s annual events that take place almost quarterly at Magic City Casino. Burger Beast is the founder and creator of Croquetapalooza, Hamburger House Party, Weiner Bash, and more. This year he’s bringing back a Saturday Sweets favorite — SugaPie. The local dessert focused event took place for the first time in 2015 and hasn’t resurfaced since.

SugaPie will happen place next Saturday, March 10th from 7pm to 10pm during Hamburger House Party. Entering the competition are 12 sweet spots who will be competing for best dessert in Miami — a new addition as the first SugaPie wasn’t a competition.

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Weekly Nibble: Where to Celebrate 305 Day, Hamburger House Party and more

305 Day Block Party

Official 305 Day Block Party by 3:05 Cafecito presented by Jameson and Sprint this Sunday, March 4th in anticipation of 305 Day. 

3:05 Cafecito has become synonymous with South Florida. As founders of Miami's official coffee break time at appropriately 3:05 p.m., Miami began celebrating March 5th as "305 Day" in 2013.The event celebrates all things 305! Come ready to represent, and bring your family and friends to the party! 

Let's celebrate with cafecito and community as we unveil a new mural by a local artist in Hialeah. Come wander off the beaten path. 

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