Saturday Sweets: Sweetness Bakeshop Brings Back Their Donuts

If follow me on Instagram (@amber__love) then you know I spend a large amount of my time at Sweetness Bakeshop in Kendall. It’s really close to my house, has fast WIFI, great music (they let me pick the playlist most days), delicious coffee, and is a cupcake shop – so naturally I’ve made it my office and where I do most of my writing.

My week was made when owner, Stephanie Diaz, told me they were bringing back their donuts.

Sweetness Bakeshop was wise beyond their years when they started making donuts that debuted in January 2012, way before the donut craze hit Miami. They were even named Florida’s Donut in Zagat’s 50 Donuts in 50 States in 2014 featuring their Cuban community inspired Guava and Cream Cheese Donut. This tropical-fruit-infused treat was based on a traditional Cuban flavor combination; this fluffy pastry is filled with slightly tart guava marmalade and is then topped with a mild cream-cheese glaze that balances everything out.

They stopped making donuts in the middle of 2015, and it broke my heart. They returned briefly in the beginning of 2016, but didn’t last long. They’re back now and hopefully not going anywhere. “We really had no choice but to bring them back, because everyone keeps begging us for them and we finally just gave in says Stephanie of the donut’s return to the Sweetness menu.

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Blue Collar Passover baskets and Brisket recipe

Passover, the major Jewish spring festival that commemorates the liberation of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery begins at sundown on Monday April 10 and lasts for eight days.  Chef Danny Serfer of Blue Collar and Mignonette is once again offering a complete Seder dinner basket for $35 pp., which includes salad, brisket, potatoes, choice of veggie, and dessert.

Each basket, priced at $35 pp., includes some of Blue Collar's signature dishes; Serfer’s tender braised brisket, roasted potatoes, latkes, applesauce, choice side, Marsha's salad tossed with cucumber, carrot, radish and grain mustard vinaigrette and choice of dessert. The restaurant will take orders via email – Please allow at least 48 hours between order and pick-up. Blue Collar is located at 6730 Biscayne Boulevard. Telephone: (305) 756-0366;

For those traditionalists, who want to prepare the meal at home, below is recipe for Chef Serfer’s Braised Brisket.  If you have ever had any of Blue Collar’s braised meat dishes…especially his signature braised oxtail, you know that is why MIAbites calls Chef Serfer, the “MasterBraiser”.  Recipe below:

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Spring Has Sprung with new Spring Cocktail Menus

Miami may not have actual winters but I like to think we have a noticeable spring. Maybe it’s because I’m a spring baby, but spring is my favorite time of year. Everything is light and fresh – including cocktails! In the spirit of spring, I’ve done some "spring spirit research" and came up with a list of can’t miss cocktails for the season at some of my favorite spots around town.

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Wellness Wednesday: Plnthouse offers plant-based dining at 1 Hotel

The 1 Hotel prides itself on being a “green” hotel, LEED certified and embracing the use of sustainable materials, preserving natural resources, being eco-friendly and offering an environment of wellness.

Last year’s pop-up on the 1 rooftop featured Prey, James Beard nominated Chef Bun Lai of Miya’s Sushi, sustainable sushi and dishes featuring invasive species like jellyfish and lionfish.

But with the opening this month of Plnthouse, on the mid level deck of the hotel, the 1 Hotel has taken a giant step towards plant-based food and snacks.  Plant–based is the politically correct way to refer to vegan.  But this is not the “crunchy granola” type of bland vegan that many of us associate with that word.

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Dashi: Progressive Japanese on the Miami River

Tucked inside River Yacht Club, the chic multi-level venue alongside Miami River, is newly opened Dashi. With a progressive take on Japanese dishes, Dashi delivers elegance in an approachable way.

Chef Shuji Hiyakawa, a protégé of Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto and previously executive chef at Kuro, the Japanese restaurant at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, brilliantly heads the kitchen and delivers in a big way.

Creativity trickles into every dish on the menu, all intended to be shared. Sharable menus simply mean I can try/eat more without a bunch of concerned glares coming my way.  Dashi breaks its dishes into sections such as Cold, Salads, Hot, Soup & Udon, Sushi & Sashimi, Maki and Cold/Hot Sides.

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Saturday Sweets: Donuts! Fest Returns For Its Second Year

Last year was the “Year of the Donut”, and while I haven’t figured out what this year’s biggest dessert trend is yet – it’s safe to say the donut craze is still very much alive.

This week the 2nd Annual Donuts! Fest presented by Vine PR took place at MAPS Backlot in Wynwood. Donuts from all over Miami Dade and Broward were present along with long lines of hun

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New on South Beach: Nautilus Cabana Club

The Nautilus Hotel on South Beach has been through its fair share of changes, but with their new restaurant remake, I think this time they have hit on the right formula. The new food and beverage concept, Nautilus Cabana Club, at Nautilus, a SIXTY Hotel, extends from the restaurant to the beach including the pool and new backyard garden.

The restaurant is under the culinary direction of Executive Chef Richard Fuentes. The menu features modern Mediterranean in an atmosphere that is designed for casual dining, lounging and socializing. 

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An Evening with Le Basque at Fairchild Botanic Gardens

Le Basque Catering, originating as the name suggests, from the Basque region and surely one of the most developed food cultures in the world, is one of Miami’s elite caterers and event producers, curating unique and creative events for both private clients and special events at The Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens.   

Their flare for fantasy was clear from the minute I stepped through the gates of the beautiful Fairchild Botanic Gardens, being led by candles and handsome men holding flutes of chilled Pommery Champagne.  

As an invited guest, the evening,“A Taste of Le Basque”, was designed to present the newest addition to Le Basque Catering, Executive Michelin star chef, Mikel Goikolea from Azurmendi, a 2016 Three Michelin Star Restaurant and #16 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants in Spain, and Le Basque’s ability to amaze and delight us with their service and presentation.  

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Chef Bee offers Thai Brunch at NaiYaRa

NaiYaRa has brought Miami’s first-ever Thai inspired brunch to Miami Beach’s Sunset Harbor neighborhood. Culinary mastermind, Piyarat Potha Arreeratn, better known as “Chef Bee,” crafted the creative brunch menu by bridging the gap between Thai food and Miami Beach flare and including something for everyone.

Guests can now nurse all hangovers every Sunday from Noon to 3 PM at NaiYaRa.

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Place Invaders in Miami: Zapata and Zacapa

PlaceInvaders, a pop-up dining series that hosts events in interesting and remarkable private homes across the country is coming to Miami for three dinners: Friday, March 31st, Saturday April 1st and Sunday, April 2nd to be hosted at a luxurious waterfront house on the Miami River.

Tickets are $100 per person and available here

PlaceInvaders don't reveal their locations in advance, but have hosted dinners in cool lofts in NYC, private homes in the Hollywood Hills, a renovated barn in the Hudson Valley of New York State and at other unique and glamorous spots.

They partner with well-known local chefs across the country, and for Miami’s inaugural pop up they have partnered this time with Chef Cesar Zapata and Phuc Yea.

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