A Fork on the Road

Flavors of South Florida, both savory and sweet



Shortbread Squares

If you’d rather do your own holiday baking, try these simple, butter-rich cookies adapted from tablespoon.com.

1 cup salted butter, softened

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar and vanilla with a spoon. Stir in flour. (If dough is crumbly, mix in a little more butter.) Roll out to a thickness of 1/2 inch on lightly floured surface. Cut into small squares. Place 1/2 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake 14 to 16 minutes, until bottoms are light golden. cool on a wire rack. Makes about 4 dozen 1 1/2-inch cookies.

Per cookie: 64 calories (55 percent from fat), 4 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat, 1 g monounsaturated fat), 10 mg cholesterol, 1 g protein, 6.5 g carbohydrates, 0 fiber, 27 mg sodium.


Looking for an out-of-the-ordinary taste of South Florida to share with friends and family over the holidays? Here are a two delicious possibilities.


Venezuelans celebrate the season with savory pan de jamon (ham bread) and hallacas (meat-stuffed tamales). Family-owned Charlotte Bakery offers logs of the bread made with yeasted dough or house-made puff pastry enhanced with garlic. A filling of ham, bacon, pimiento olives and raisins is rolled up jelly-roll style. The golden brown loaves create a pinwheel pattern when sliced.

Harry Coleman and his wife, Michelle, turn out 300 loaves a day through Christmas; order ahead to ensure you get one. On Christmas Eve, they’ll offer roasted turkeys, pork shoulder and pot roast with rice and beans for a take-home feast.

Charlotte Bakery, 1499 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-535-0095; pan de jamon $25, hallacas $6, take-home feasts $80-$140.


Guatemalan-born Clara Santana bakes banana cakes from a 100-year-old recipe that was passed down from her Tia Martita. Made with all-natural ingredients including bananas from local farms, they’re so moist they don’t need frosting. The flavor is rich and full of banana with a hint of cinnamon.

The loaf-shaped cakes are baked to order in a leased commercial kitchen, so they are always fresh. Variations are available with blueberries, walnuts or chocolate chips. Delicious for breakfast or as dessert with a dollop of whipped cream, the cakes are available year round.

Martita’s Banana Cakes; large cakes $8, small cakes $4; order at 786-223-7264 or martitasbananacake.com.

Linda Bladholm is a Miami food writer and personal chef who blogs at FoodIndiaCook.com.

Read more A Fork On the Road stories from the Miami Herald

Linda Bladholm

    A Fork on the Road

    A Fork on the Road: Choices Cafe gives vegans plenty of flavor

    In a sign of the times, a small vegan café has opened a larger outpost, offering meatless burgers, wraps, soups and salads. Choices Cafe doubles as a juice bar with cold-pressed fruit and vegetable juices and innovative smoothies such as the Miami Heat with mango, jalapeño, lime, plantain, ground flax and chia seeds and agave.

Linda Bladholm

    A Fork on the Road

    A Fork on the Road: Easter treats in Buena Vista

    The third operation in the culinary empire of Frenchmen Claude Postel and Cory Finot is Buena Vista Chocolate & Wine. The small shop is sandwiched between the Buena Vista Bistro and Buena Vista Deli. Glass cases hold a selection of artisan chocolates, and racks are filled with bottles of wine.

  • A Fork on the Road

    A Fork in the Road: Carol’s, Italian with Brazilian touches, opens in downtown Miami

    Life has come full circle for Carolina Moura since she opened her restaurant Carol’s on the same street as the department store of the same name her parents ran when she was a child. Now they help out in the rustic space with brick walls and faux weathered wood flooring. The menu is Italian with pizza, pasta, salads and sandwiches with a few Brazilian favorites.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category