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Salmon with Passion Fruit Sauce

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This recipe is fresh and healthy! The combination of salmon and passion fruit can be very unusual in the US but is very well known in Brazil.

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Halibut with Shrimp Sauce and Catupiry

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Catupiry is the most traditional creamy cheese from Brazil and it is somewhat hard to find in the US. Mascarpone is a great replacement in case you cannot find it. The name Catupiry means “excellent” in the native Tupi-Guarani language. Excellent is the perfect word to describe this recipe!

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Shrimp, Beans and Acorn Squash with Cilantro Oil

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This dish was inspired in the traditional “Feijoada” and has some of the most delicious flavors of my home country, Brazil!

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Chicken Fricassee (Brazilian Style)

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This is a very easy dish that everyone will love! So keep this recipe in mind when you are throwing a party because it can be made in advance; all you have to do after your guests arrive is top it with the cheese and bake for a few minutes. Easy and delicious! Can it get any better then that? In fact, I know something that can make this recipe even better: it is very low in carbs!!!

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Salmon with Coconut Milk and Cashews

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I wanted to create a salmon recipe using some of my favorite Brazilian ingredients. The result is absolutely delicious! The flavors in this dish are really bold and the "Yuca Purée" is the perfect side for this authentic Brazilian meal. Enjoy!

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Chicken Bobó (Brazilian Chicken Stew)

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Bobó is a traditional Brazilian stew that can be made with chicken, shrimp, or fish.

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Chimichurri

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Chimichurri is a flavorful sauce, with lots of fresh herbs, garlic and olive oil. Especially delicious over steak, Chimichurri is originally from Argentina, but it is also popular in Uruguay and in the South of Brazil. I became obsessed with this sauce after I went to Argentina in 2011, so when I came back home to the US I developed my own Chimichurri sauce. My recipe has the additional flavors of aged balsamic vinegar, which gives a touch of sweetness; and smoked paprika, which obviously gives a touch of smokiness. I love it drizzled over any cut of steak, and even over dark meat chicken and salmon, but my favorite cuts to serve with chimichurri are tri-tip and rib-eye. It sure elevates the flavors of any steak. Enjoy!

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Brazilian Stroganoff (Estrogonofe de Carne)

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Believe me or not, this recipe is comfort food in Brazil! Down there, it is served with white rice on the side, instead of pasta. This traditional Brazilian recipe is fairly easy and quick to make and everyone has it's own version. My recipe has some great flavors from rosemary, cognac (or brandy), brown sugar, and fresh mushrooms. The use of good quality, tender steak is important; since the meat is seared and then cooked for just a few minutes into sauce. I hope my friends from all over the world (including Brazil) enjoy this easy dish!

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Shrimp Moqueca (Brazilian Shrimp Stew)

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This dish has the most authentic Brazilian taste!

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Fish Casserole - Brazilian Style

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Layers of fish and vegetables slow-cooked in coconut milk. Tastes so good you have to try it!

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Baked Shrimp with Savory Meringue (Camarão à Marta Rocha)

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Savory meringue tops this traditonal Brazilian shrimp dish, created and named after Marta Rocha, Brazillian Miss Universe runner-up. Popular on the menu of sophisticated restaurants on the 50's, 60's and 70's (it was a time when the Brazilian cooks would try to mimic the French Chefs), this retro dish is now hard to find anywhere, since Brazilian cuisine is highlighting more its own resources, thankfully! But when I was a little girl growing up in Curitiba, my parents would take us to a restaurant called Restaurante Iguacu (only in very special ocassions). We used to feel very special eating such "sophisticated" meal. I hope you enjoy!

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Queijadinha (Brazilian Coconut and Cheese Sweet)

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Queijadinha (pronounced quei-jad-in-ha) might be one of the easiest and most delicious sweets I have ever posted! Made with only 4 ingredients, this dessert had its origins in Portugal. But once it was brought to Brazil during the colonial period, the African slaves added coconut to the original recipe turning it into a true Brazilian delight. And oh, how much do I love anything with coconut??!!

This centennial dessert is like a cross in between a cake and a flan. It holds its shape enough to be eaten without the use of utensils, but it has an extra creamy center. Naturally gluten-free, this Brazilian traditional sweet can be found at any bakery down there.

If you are a coconut lover, you will absolutely love the smell in your house after you bake the Queijadinha. Enjoy at room temperature, if you can be strong enough to resist the temptation of eating just right off the oven.

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Brazilian Strawberry and Chocolate Trifle (Pavê Bombom de Morango)

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If there is a dessert that reminds me of my high school years, it is this one! I remember this treat being the favorite of all my friends at that time… Today, when I take a bite, and taste the combination of flavors in this dessert I am immediately transported to a comfort place of lots of laughing, friendship, discoveries, and fun, just so much fun! Those were the years of no responsibilities – except school of course. Those were the days…

Being one of the first desserts that I ever learned how to make, I must confess that I made a couple of adaptations to better fit the American palate – and even my own now. Back on the day, I used to make it sweeter (by using milk chocolate for the ganache) and creamier (by skipping the layer of lady fingers). I felt that a more “adult” version needed to be developed. But I still wanted to keep the simplicity of the original method and flavors. So, I turned this dessert into what we call in Brazil a Pavê – a dessert that layers some sort of cookie and custard with different kinds of fruits, nuts, or other sweet creams. It is a Brazilian version of a Trifle.

For my Brazilian Strawberry and Chocolate Trifle (Pavê Bombom de Morango) I quickly dunk lady fingers into a mix of water and brandy (you can sub rum, whisky, or cognac) and place on the base of the dish. Then, I layer on top creamy custard, strawberries, and dark chocolate ganache. No need to bake, just refrigerate for a few hours and serve! It can’t get any simpler.

Also, this dessert can be a great option for a Valentine’s Day dinner – chocolate and strawberries, hello!!! “Impress” your love by making something from scratch. Even better yet, by making a “Brazilian Strawberry and Chocolate Trifle” from scratch!! If you are making for just two people, cut the ingredient portions by half and assemble in individual bowls – or use glass tumblers or mugs. You should have four portions - leftovers for the next day show that you care ;) Your valentine will feel the love. Enjoy!

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Sonho (Brazilian Beignet)

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It’s not a secret that I don’t like to bake with rising agents… Most of my baked recipes don’t have yeast, baking powder, or baking soda – not even my easy, gooey and delicious Pão de Queijo recipe. It makes me nervous knowing that the measurements must be super exact, otherwise I might end up with a failed baking project. The exceptions to my “rule” are my Tres Leches Cake and my Dulce de Leche and Coconut Layer Cake – mainly because I’ve made them way too many times. Honestly, I feel like the use of rising agents in a recipe take away from the spontaneity of my cooking and prevents me of adding or subtracting components as I go – which I love to do! And, of course, there is the wait-until-it-rises factor. Oh, my goodness! Gotta have the patience.


Well, but I don’t have much of a choice when I get a craving for something Brazilian – which for the most part can’t just be purchased on the bakery down the street… When cravings happen, I roll up my sleeves, and try to dissect the recipe to make sure I get it right. It bores me sometimes, but afterwards it is totally worth it!


That was the case of a signature Brazilian pastry called Sonho - something I had been craving for a while. And I couldn’t just go buy it, I had to make it. Since I didn’t want to waste my time with a failed project, I researched quite a bit until I found a trustworthy and uncomplicated recipe.


Sonho – which literally translates to Dream – is equivalent to a Brazilian beignet, except that Sonho is always shaped round and filled with something that is sweet and creamy. Sonho is very popular and it is available at every bakery in Brazil.


Sonho – pronounced “SON-yoo” – is crunchy on the outside, and fluffy in the inside. In this simple method, the dough is formed into golf-size balls that are deep fried until golden-brown to later receive a generous portion of sweet filling.


For this recipe, I chose dulce de leche, my absolute favorite, but the filling is totally up to you! Guava paste, Nutella, chocolate ganache, and coconut cream are some other popular options, and since it yields for about 35 to 40 units, it is perfect to be shared with friends!


This recipe turned out just like the Sonho I would get at the bakery down the street in my hometown. My craving is now gone, and I am happy that I was brave enough to take care of it!

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Passion Fruit Mousse (Mousse de Maracujá)

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I cannot think of any simpler and easier dessert than Passion Fruit Mousse. This recipe was one of the first desserts I ever made - I was probably around 15 years-old. It really cannot get any easier than gathering ingredients, blending, refrigerating, serving. Can it? 

The flavors of this mousse are fresh and sweet, with a touch of tartness. For those unfamiliar with passion fruit, it is a very tart fruit - which makes it a great ingredient for desserts and sauces, and it is widely utilized in Brazilian cuisine. 

This 3-ingredient dessert is very popular in Brazil. It is often served in shot glasses at parties for just a "taste" - as part of those big dessert tables that us, Brazilians, love to display at birthday parties and weddings. 

If you were looking for a super easy, delicate, and delicious dessert to serve at your summer gatherings with friends, look no further... Passion Fruit Mousse will make everyone happy!

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Chocolate Fudge Flan Cake (Brigadeirão)

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It is so wonderful how much lately I have been coming across more and more people that have already tried (and loved) Brigadeiros! It really warms my heart to know that our traditional Brazilian desserts are conquering fans all over the globe :) Well, our sweets are really delicious and so many of them are pretty easy to make. It is the case of this Brazilian Chocolate Fudge Flan Cake – a decadent mousse-like dessert that was inspired in those little Brazilian fudge balls.

In Brazil, we call it Brigadeirão – pronounced with that very heavy intonation towards the end that only Portuguese speaking people can say… Despite the crazy name, this gluten-free flan cake is the perfect dessert for chocolate lovers. It’s simple to make, but it requires a little bit of planning ahead since it has to be chilled for at least 6 hours before it is unmolded. Take a look…

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Pumpkin-Coconut Balls (Beijinho de Abóbora com Coco)

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I love to live in the US, but I especially love to be here at this time of year! It’s so wonderful to experience the preparations for Thanksgiving, to watch the beautiful change of fall colors, and to eat all sorts of pumpkin recipes!!

Pumpkin is an ingredient that I really enjoy, and it is so great to be able to share some new uses of it based on my Brazilian cooking background.

Pumpkin and coconut is a very popular (and super delicious!) combination of ingredients in Brazilian cuisine. We make cakes, pies, ice cream, compotes and so on using this mixture.

So my Pumpkin-Coconut Balls are inspired in another Brazilian dessert: the “Beijinho” (translates to “Little Kisses”) which is a Coconut Ball. These kinds of sweets - rolled small balls - are commonly served at birthday parties in Brazil and everyone loves them! I think that the greatest advantage of serving these for large groups is the clean-up: no plates, serving utensils, forks or spoons are necessary – and that makes it a very practical idea for Thanksgiving. I think that the traditional pies have to be at the Thanksgiving table, but these could be a fun add-on to the dessert table. I guarantee it will be a hit!

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Bonbon Pie (Torta de Bombom Sonho de Valsa)

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My Bonbon Pie was created around one very popular Brazilian chocolate candy named “Sonho de Valsa”. If either you are from or have been to Brazil, chances are that you know and love “Sonho de Valsa”.

This bonbon has a rich filling made of cashew cream, with a thin crunchy layer of wafer around it and another thin layer of silky milk chocolate covering it all. It is my favorite piece of candy and I used to always bring a few bags of “Sonho de Valsa” back with me when I visited home. Now, thanks to Amazon I can order online and always have it available – which can be seriously dangerous since I cannot resist but having one every day.

My Bonbon Pie is incredibly decadent! It has a crunchy crust on the bottom, topped with rich custard, pieces of “Sonho de Valsa”, smooth ganache and creamy whipped meringue. Each layer complement each other and, just like the chocolate candy “Sonho de Valsa”, I think it is so hard not to fall to the temptation: when I make this pie I have a slice every day! In fact, I had a large slice after lunch today. It was worth every single one of the calories!

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Quindim (Quindão)

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This bright yellow and decadent custard has a curious name: Quindim. This super popular Brazilian dessert has its origins in Portugal – where sweets are commonly made of a mixture of egg yolks and sugar. The coconut was probably added during the 17th century by the African slaves (this explains the name of the dessert, which comes from the Bantu language). Portugal and some African regions have an enormous influence in Brazilian cuisine – and that is awesome!! 

Often baked in a cupcake pan, my Quindim is a recipe that I got from my mom and, technically, it should be called Quindão because it is baked in a large dish and served in slices.

Well, whatever you call it or wherever it comes from, one thing is for sure: this is delicious and easy to make! If you look at the picture closely, you will notice that there is a crust on the bottom of the custard. The great surprise is that the crust forms naturally on the bottom (or actually on the top, but it becomes bottom once the dessert is flipped). This crust adds an extra layer of texture without any added work! So we are talking about a 5 ingredients delight that all the effort that it takes is to place all ingredients in the blender, and then in the oven. Voila! Easy like that. Serve small slices, since this is a fairly rich dessert. Enjoy!

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Avocado Brigadeiros (Brigadeiro de Abacate)

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Rich and sweet with a hint of lime, my Avocado Brigadeiros are super simple to make and definitely a crowd pleaser! The famous Brazilian chocolate bonbons called Brigadeiros were the sweets that inspired me to make this avocado version. Guess what else served as an inspiration for me? The Incredible Hulk – yes, he did! I know there is nothing sweet about Hulk’s personality, but my son really wanted a superhero party for his 4th birthday this year, so I created several different kinds of flavored Brigadeiros to go with the party theme. Of course that somehow the Incredible Hulk Brigadeiro would HAVE to be green! That’s how my delicious Avocado Brigadeiro was born! Kids and adults loved it, and my husband even said it was his favorite out all the other flavors I made!! Now, if you look at the picture above, you can definitely notice that its looks are classy enough to go with any party, and not necessary with just a crazy kid's party. So make it for your next event, but be sure to eat in no longer than 48 hours after the preparation time. Enjoy!

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