For all of you who don’t know, @soflofoodfinds on Instagram is reaching its first year anniversary on February 27th. In celebration of this, I have teamed up with Cream Parlor in Miami. Cream Parlor is a craft bakery and ice cream shop located on Biscayne Boulevard. All of the ice cream, desserts, drinks, and food are made in house fresh every day! I had the opportunity to make my own menu item to be featured during the month of February. I am a huge health junkie with a sweet tooth! I can eat salads all day long, but I have to sneak in some chocolate here and there. Well… this dessert reflects my chocolate dreams! Let me present to you the Soflofoodfinds Sundae. It all starts with a fudge brownie, then it is topped with heaping scoops of coconut macadamia ice-cream, this is then all covered with chocolate and caramel drizzle. While it all sounds great, the addition of the adorable white pearls makes it even better! You can experience this beautiful creation for yourself! All you have to do is make sure to order the soflofoodfinds special when you visit Cream Parlor during the month of February! Enjoy and spoons up!
Spicy Thai Chicken with Cauliflower Fried Rice:
Total time: 1 hour
Yield: 2 servings
Ingredients for the chicken:
- 1 lb chicken breast (diced into quarter sized pieces)
- 2 tablespoons almond butter
- 1 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon sriracha
- 2 tablespoons pineapple juice
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- dash of salt and pepper to taste
Ingredients for the “rice”:
- 2 cups riced cauliflower
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1/4 cup corn
- 1/4 cup egg whites
- 1 slice turkey bacon (pan-fried and diced)
- salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
Sautee chicken on medium-high in pan until brown. Combine almond butter, honey, Sriracha, pineapple juice, soy sauce, garlic powder, and salt and pepper in with the chicken. Cook on low until it sticks to the chicken. As this is simmering, heat the sesame oil on medium-high in a cast iron pan. Once it reaches heat, add the cauliflower. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the corn, egg whites, and turkey bacon in with the cauliflower. Top with garlic powder, salt, pepper, and whatever seasonings you desire. Turn the heat down to low and cook for another 5 minutes. All that’s left to do is serve and enjoy!
Optional: Use a half-cored pineapple as a bowl to hold your delicious meal!
Personal note: This is a perfect show stopper meal. It takes very little effort for the beautiful masterpiece that it ends up as! All of the flavors come together to make the delicate sweet and spicy blend. Bonus- it is very healthy and low in carbs. Since the rice is subbed out for cauliflower, the whole meal is only around 15 grams of carbohydrates! Plus, the pineapple bowl is the perfect amount of flashy to impress your guests!
Healthy blondie recipe:
Total time: 30 minutes
Yield: 8×8 pan
- 1/2 can white beans (drained, rinsed, and pureed)
- 1 1/4 cups whole grain oats (pureed to a fine grain)
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (solid form)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate chunks
- 2 tablespoons coconut milk (may substitute for any milk)
- 2 tablespoons almond butter (may substitute for any nut butter)
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds
- pinch of Himalayan sea salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine pureed white beans, coconut oil, honey, vanilla, coconut milk, and almond butter in a large bowl. Slowly fold in the dry ingredients (oats, almond meal, baking powder, chia seeds). Once everything is evenly mixed, fold in the chocolate chunks. Scoop the batter into a well greased pan. Before placing into the oven make sure to sprinkle the sea salt on top. Bake for around 15 minutes. You want the blondies to be slightly underdone seeing as the heat from the pan will continue to cook them once out of the oven. All thats left to do is slice and enjoy while warm!
Note from the baker: These blondies are the perfect option when you don’t want to break the diet, but are craving something slightly sweet. This recipe may not be for those who are used to very sweet, decadent desserts. However, I find they make the perfect on-the-go breakfast option!
Best Coffee- Switchbox
Switchbox roasts their beans in house. The majority of the time this can lead to a weird bitter tone in the coffee, well not here! The espresso is so smooth and flavorful. Everyday the shop serves a unique barista inspired creation. Even their mocha is used by melting down cacao into the espresso as it brews!
Best Vibe- Brew Urban
Brew Urban is located in a recording studio right off of the Ft.Lauderdale train tracks. The walls are lined with books and wood. It is practically hipster central. Every detail is carefully chosen to create a perfect aesthetic. The pastries are beyond amazing! However, I find that their coffee can have a little bit of a bitter taste.
Best Food Choices- Atelier 3
Atelier 3 is the whole package all in one; it is an art gallery and coffee shop! I think what makes them stand out is their food! The chef creates new items all the time. My favorite is definitely the Italian Panini. The coffee is fairly good as well!
Best Specialty Coffees- Mister Block
Mister Block is located in the Wynwood Art District. They serve your traditional coffees along with interesting drinks such as nitro cold brew, eggnog coffee, and cold pressed juices! If you are feeling extra fancy… combine the nitro cold brew and eggnog!
Best Selection of Beans- Pasion del Cielo
Pasion del Cielo truly is a coffee lovers paradise! They have over 20 countries of origins that you can choose your bean from. If you are feeling adventurous, you can make your own blend and do a shot of espresso from Brazil and Jamaica all in the same drink! If you are hungry, make sure to get the smores brownie!
This past weekend I was invited for a media tasting at Bocas House. I didn’t have too many expectations going into the meal, except for the fact that I knew these milkshakes had to be good. I mean, the hype alone was enough to get me to go. I brought along a friend, and we immediately noticed the long line of people waiting outside for a table. Some people might get upset when they see this, but for me… it’s a good sign! We sat down and were greeted with beautiful glasses of sangria.
I notice the details. Not only do I notice them, but I appreciate them. Well, this sangria had a baby fork in it! Genius! It made eating all of the sangria soaked fruit that much easier! Shortly after this, the appetizers were brought out. We tried the tequenos, yellow pepper mac & cheese, and pulpo al grill. Normally, I would say that whatever had the most cheese, would be my favorite. However, that was not the case. The octopus was the star of the show. It was seasoned to perfection.
As we finished devouring the octopus (which is pictured above), the entrée came out. I am a huge steak fan. Oddly, people frequently ask if I am vegan ( I guess because I enjoy going to Whole Foods and am kind of hipster). Well, the answer is NO. I love steak with a passion. So, when I was greeted with a 52 ounce Tomahawk, I was in heaven!
Not only was the steak great, but so were the truffle fries and Argentinean sausage that came with it! I really wanted to eat it all, but I had to save room for their infamous milkshakes. As we waited for them to come out, I became more and more full! I decided to power through when I saw 3 glorious milkshakes come out! I was able to try their holiday shake along with their signature Nutella and 3 leches milkshake! I was a fan of them all. My only complaint is that by the time the masterpieces were delivered, they were a little runny for my taste.
Overall, my takeaway is to come hungry and you will leave happy. I enjoyed the dinner more than the milkshakes! The must orders are the Pulpo al Grill and the red sangria! Feel free to check out the menu here- http://bocashouse.com
This past weekend I had the privilege of attending the Wynwood tour hosted by Miami Culinary Tours. The tour stopped at 5 different restaurants (GK Bistronomie, Wynwood Kitchen & Bar, Mister Block, Fireman Derek’s, & Made in Italy) and ventured into the walls and galleries. The tour lasted about 2 1/2 hours. Every restaurant stop was around 20 minutes in duration. The patrons got to sample anywhere from 1-3 of the restaurants most popular dishes. Below you can read the full descriptions of all the dishes sampled!
Above: GKB offers an outdoor seating area connected to the sushi bar
Above: Pork belly taquito- gruyere cheese, pickled onion, guacamole, chipotle aioli
GKB serves Peruvian food with a flare. The vision all started with the executive chef Rafael Perez. Chef Perez is well known for his fresh flavors combined with classic South American cuisine. He has run restaurants that were included in the Top 300 in the world! GKB has a very relaxed vibe while still maintaining an elegant atmosphere.
Wynwood Kitchen & Bar
Above: The outdoor dining is one of the few that are actually located within the gates to the walls.
Above: From left to right- Tequeno (mozzarella filled puff pastry with avocado crema), Sweet plantain with Mexican crema, and Chicken ropa vieja empanadas
Wynwood Kitchen & Bar is described as Miami cuisine. It pulls from many different ethnicities to create an American/Spanish blend! Not only do you experience amazing food, but striking art as well!
Above: Beef empanadas with a spicy tomato dipping sauce
Above: The door outside the café sports their signature top hat logo.
Mister Block is a quaint Wynwood coffee shop that serves Latin inspired food. Personally, I would suggest their seasonal eggnog nitro cold brew. The nitrogen adds an extra level of creaminess that otherwise couldn’t be achieved.
Fireman Derek’s Bakeshop
Above: The signature sign hangs outside the small bakeshop
Above: Signature key lime pie made with fresh lime juice
Fireman Derek’s is a unique place that has become a Wynwood staple. Derek was a regular old Miami firefighter who had a passion for baking. This passion has now become a successful business. It originally started as a food truck but the demand became so great that it is now a storefront.
Made in Italy
Above: The interior sports wooden tables and safes full of wine.
Above: Homemade cannoli’s filled with fresh ricotta.
Made in Italy is not only a gourmet market, but a restaurant as well. They serve a variety of wine, espresso, cheeses, and signature Italian meals. As soon as you walk through the door, you can see the chef stirring up a pot of authentic red sauce!
Overall, Miami Culinary Tours is a unique experience that I would definitely recommend. However, if you are a local like myself, then be prepared to eat mainly authentic Miami food. Most of the cuisine served was from a Latin heritage. This is great for the tourist to be able to experience what Wynwood is all about! Try to plan some extra time to explore either before or after the tour. Since it is only 2 1/2 hours long, you don’t have much time to “stop and smell the roses”. The tour company also offers locations in both South Beach and Little Havana. If this is something that interests you, make sure to check it out at https://www.miamiculinarytours.com/tour/wynwood-food-tour/ .
This past week I traveled to the beautiful city of Providence. It is known as such a great city for restaurants, but what about coffee shops? Well, I decided to check out for myself! Below you will find my top three choices for a good cup of joe!
1.Bolt Coffee Company
Bolt is located inside of the Dean Hotel. The first floor is occupied by all of the local hipster companies, while the hotel lobby starts on the second floor. Bolt serves your traditional coffees along with unique barista specialties. I was taken back by the limited selections of milks (almond or whole); however, the barista was quick to explain that the reasoning was because they source from a local dairy farm. All together, Bolt is a great choice for someone on the go in the city looking for just a good cup of coffee.
2. Coffee Exchange
The Coffee Exchange is located in the outer districts of the city. I went at about 5pm on a weekday and couldn’t find a seat. This place is always happening. From college kids to business men, this coffee shops serves as a great place to sit down, have a drink, and get some work done. The coolest part is the fact that you can choose from over 20 origins of coffee beans!
3. The Coffee Grinder
So technically the Coffee Grinder is located in Newport, not Providence. However, it was just too good to leave out! The tiny shop is located right on the end of the wharf. It has limited seating inside the place. This is not too much of a turn away considering the bounty of Adirondack chairs they have on the pier overlooking the water!
Celebrity Cruises prides themselves on their high class service and cuisine. But is this true? Well, I set sail on the Infinity to see for myself. While I wasn’t too impressed with the main dining options, some of the specialty restaurants served fantastic food.
One of the restaurants available for the suite guests was Luminae.
Luminae serves high end American cuisine. They aim to serve the top ingredients in the most modern presentations possible. Pictured above was their take on the classic opera cake and ice cream. I suggest going there for breakfast and ordering the smoke salmon plate that comes with creme fraiche and caviar!
Qsine is another specialty dining option.
At $45 dollars a head, you can experience one of the most modern dining presentations served a sea. Everything ordered at Qsine is selected by the diner off of an iPad. This being said, if you want your martini shaken, just shake the iPad! All of the dishes have a unique spin that you must try for yourself!
Now let’s talk bars!
The Martini Bar is just a cool place to be at! The whole bar is made of ice to ensure your drinks stay cold! As seen above, the bartenders are masters of the craft! Just be prepared to wait a little while for your drink.
Jarly box is a subscription service box offered to the Miami and New York City area. They choose one local bakery to source pastries from each month. They then box up a package perfectly crafted for you, and hand delivery it every month to your doorsteps. No box is ever the same; this ensures a sweet surprise every month! One box is designed to be enough for 6 desserts ( or 4 if you’re like me)! I got the privilege of getting OMG Brigadeiros in my last box. They are a local Miami bakery that serves brigadeiros, traditional Brazilian chocolate truffles made with sweetened condensed milk. This specific box came with about 12 of their truffles. Jarly’s boxes are always at least a $25 value, but you pay $20 for each box. If you want to try them out, they can be ordered at https://www.jarly.me/. To get 50% off your first box use my code: FoodFinds50 .
Well the name says it all… the Big Pink serves up huge portioned diner food in a retro rose colored building. Walking in, I immediately noticed that half the patrons at the restaurant were local police officers. I always take this to be a sign that the food is going to be good. Why? Cops always find the local spots with good home cooking, and this was no exception. The menu boasts diner classics with a modern spin, such as: TV dinners, fried chicken and waffles, and the mac ‘n cheese burger. This burger is the dream for anyone who has ever experienced the munchies. It starts with a 10 ounce patty, topped with homemade mac n’ cheese, and garnished with BBQ chips. If this doesn’t make your mouth water, then I don’t know what will. However, the prices are a bit steep, so make sure to bring a friend and split the entrees. The portions are large enough, and they don’t charge a sharing fee!