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Cynthia’s 3 Favorite Marinades for Pork, Chicken, or Fish


There is nothing better than grilling outdoors when the weather is nice! For that reason I wanted to share with you, once more, my most favorite marinades. They are incredibly practical because all of them work well for chicken, pork or fish, so you can use either one of them on the protein you have on hand. Marinades add great flavor to the meat, but they do need time to work: fish needs at least 4 hours, and other meats need 8 or up to 48 hours. First, season the meat or fish with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then place it in a large sealable plastic bag and pour the marinade over. Remove as much air as possible from the plastic bag before transferring to the fridge. When ready to grill it, remove from the bag and pat dry. Happy summer everyone!!!

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Brazilian Stroganoff (Estrogonofe de Carne)


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 gret 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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White Wine, Paprika, and Rosemary Marinated Pork Tenderloin


This dish is perfect for outdoor entertaining.  Enjoy this light, delicious meal with a side of roasted asparagus, and, of course, a glass of Pinot!

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Apricot-Cranberry Pork Chops


This recipe was one of those situations when I had a few ingredients on hand but no recipe to use them, so I went online, googled some things, added some twists and Voila!

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Eggplant Cannelloni


I don’t just make this dish just because it tastes great. I also make it because it is a delicious way for me to watch my carbs!

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Tenderloin Strips with Orange and Cognac Sauce


This dish is one of my husband's favorites. That's how I got him to marry me!

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Fake and Steak


This is a low-carb dish, but being low-carb is not the main purpose of this recipe. It's main purpose is simply to be delicious! So feel free to use the steak sauce over diferent bases like pasta or rice. You can also use the spaghetti squash with other sauces, like white sauce with chicken. The idea here is to experiment with a healthy and delicious ingredient.

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Steak Lulu with Gnocchi


When a Brazilian girl decides to venture in the Italian cuisine, the result has to be a little unusual... And very delicious! In this recipe, the gnocchi is submerged into this abundant sauce, loaded with steak strips and unexpected flavors (at least under an Intalian's perspective) of red bell peppers and scallions. This steak sauce recipe is versatile, because it goes well over different kinds os pastas and rices; but my husband's favorite is over gnocchi, probably because unconsciously he relates this to a steak and potato dinner. In fact my husband loves this dish so much he decided to give it a cute name: Steak Lulu with Gnocchi (not sure if you will think it's cute, but we did). Easy and delicious, this is a great dish for a cold evening! Enjoy with a glass of red wine, just like a true Italian would.

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Brazilian Baked Cauliflower “Rice” (Arroz-de-Forno de Couve-Flor)


In the last year or so, cauliflower has become a trend ingredient for healthy lifestyle. With this versatile vegetable, people have figured out ways to make low carb recipes in which the cauliflower usually replaces the flour, or rice.

I don’t always go for those trends, but this time I believe this fashion will survive the test of time and simply become a regular item on people’s diet. The reason? Cauliflower makes truly delicious tacos, pizza doughs, fried rice, etc… It’s not something I eat just because “today is Monday so I will try and cut my carbs”. I make and eat recipes in which the carbs are replaced by cauliflower because I enjoy them!

In Brazil, rice is on our table every day. And oh my, we tend to make a boat load of rice at once! So, of course, this often leaves us with more rice than the family can possibly eat. To put those leftovers to good use, Brazilians usually make “Arroz-de-Forno” which consists of leftover rice that is mixed with ANY other ingredient that is available, then baked in the oven with a ton of cheese. It’s comfort food that is often served for Sunday lunch. It’s creamy and cheesy – and by using those two words to describe this dish, you already know that it is delicious! 

I recently used cauliflower in lieu of rice on this recipe, and it turned out just as good! My mom said that she found it comforting, yet lighter if compared to the regular recipe. But she said that she did not miss the rice at all.

You can use all sorts of pantry ingredients that you like. I keep mine very Brazilian – well, I tend to have a very “Brazilian pantry” – so hearts-of-palm, corn, chicken, tomatoes, media crema, and scallions are always there, but you don’t have to limit yourself to those. When I have olives, split peas, and other fresh herbs, I like to throw in the pan too. And lots of cheese of course – which can be any kind that you like – in this case I used a mix of gruyere and swiss that I found in my fridge, but you can use mozzarella, provolone, cheddar, or whatever you have on hand.

This “clean your pantry” meal is easy, low in carbs, and lighter than its regular version. So, if you haven’t yet tried riced cauliflower, you are missing out! Enjoy!

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Coxinha (Brazilian Chicken Croquette)


It's been a really long time since I've been wanting to share a recipe for Coxinha. I love this Brazilian traditional snack SO MUCH, that the recipe had to be more than perfect… So my recipe had to be perfected to the point of this being the best Coxinha recipe ever.

Well, first of all, if you are Brazilian or if you have ever been to Brazil, chances are that you know Coxinha. It is one of the most popular finger foods/appetizers/snacks down there. Recipes and sizes can vary quite a bit, but the one thing that all of the Coxinhas have in common is its “chicken leg” shape – in fact, Coxinha literally translates to “little chicken leg”. I am not going to lie, achieving that shape can be time consuming. Making Coxinhas is the perfect example of labor of love… Time consuming, but absolutely worth it!

I usually make Coxinhas when there is someone around who can help me. Then, it can become a lot of fun! This time, it was a total family affair… My parents were around, so my dad helped with the pictures and my mom helped with shaping the little chicken legs. In between sips of wine, watching the boys, and frying some batches in advance (we were so hungry and excited to try that we had to fry a few even before they were all ready) we had a great time during the process!

In Brazil, Coxinhas are sold at “lanchonetes” or “confeitarias” (snack stores), and at bars (as an appetizer to have while enjoying a cold beer). They are also served in birthday parties – usually a smaller, finger food style version. For me, hands down, the Coxinha from the “confeitaria” Edelweiss in Curitiba (where I grew up) had always been the absolute best one! Well, so far… I will never forget the face that my husband did when he tried a bite of the Coxinha I served him… It was like he had died and gone to haven at that second!! It turned out that amazing!!

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Chicken Enchilada Casserole


Casseroles are the go-to dinner for weeknight family meals: they usually feed a ton of people and, even better, left-overs from casseroles are delicious the next day too! My Chicken Enchilada Casserole is definitely one of those meals. Yet pretty simple to make, I have decided to give you two alternative recipes for the method to use for preparing the chicken. You know me; I am a girl who goes for full flavors… So the first option involves roasting a whole bird, which results in a more flavorful and moister sauce. If you don’t have the time or patience, you can definitely use chicken breast instead. One last thing, this recipe was modified from the Chicken Enchilada Casserole I ate 3 weeks ago at my Husband’s aunt’s (Angie Dennig). Her good friend, Jean Ricchiute, made a recipe that had me craving more and more. I could not stop stop thinking about it, that’s how good it was (yes, pregnancy does that sort of stuff). So huge thank you to Jean for sharing the recipe that inspired me to make my own Chicken Enchilada Casserole. I hope you enjoy!

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Butternut Squash Quibebe with Chicken and Coconut Milk (Quibebe com Frango e Leite de Coco)


I was so excited to see the very first few butternut squash of the season showing up at the grocery store! I love all squashes, but the winter ones are my favorites! In Brazil, the varieties that we call winter squashes can be found year round. Every year, I look forward to this season to share some of our delicious recipes. So my first Brazilian recipe of this season will be Quibebe. Don’t be intimidated by the strange name, Quibebe is really easy and quick to make (prep time and cooking time shouldn’t take longer then 25 to 30 minutes). Now, you are thinking: “So what is this”? Ok, Quibebe is a delicious butternut squash stew, usually cooked with some spices and, sometimes, herbs. It is a typical dish from Northeastern Brazil. It is a side dish, but sometimes it is prepared with some kind of meat (very commonly jerk meat) and it becomes a main course. In this recipe, I made a richer version with the addition of chicken breast, coconut milk and fresh herbs. It is to die for! Quibebe is usually served with rice, but you can leave the rice out and make it a Paleo main course. If you are doing it the Paleo way, also remove the dark brown sugar. I hope you try this easy and flavorful Brazilian dish!

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Chicken Parmigiana (Frango à Parmegiana)


It might be surprising for most people, but Chicken Parmigiana is a well beloved recipe in Brazil! Just like most Brazilian dishes, it is usually served with rice and beans on the side (I guarantee it goes perfectly fine with rice and beans). In this recipe, I make a more traditional move and serve it over linguini. Delicious!!! My husband said it was the best Chicken Parmigiana he has ever had; and he is picky since I turned him into a culinary “critic”. The addition of ham and good quality cheeses (I used a mixture of half mozzarella and half Fontina) also made my version of Chicken Parmigiana extra flavorful. And just in case you were wondering: yes, it is Brazilian comfort food and I especially enjoy it right now, since I am pregnant! Your family will love this one!

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Chicken with Cream of Corn (Frango com Creme de Milho)


My mom used to make this recipe and serve with slow roasted meat. I can’t remember the name of the cut of meat, but I can remember the delicious flavor of the Cream of Corn. Nutty, sweet, and creamy this recipe is Brazilian comfort food (I know… I know… one more recipe that is all about my pregnancy cravings). My favorite way to serve this cream is over perfectly baked, moist chicken breast. This recipe is an easy and flavorful way to take advantage of the sweet corn season, but frozen corn kernels could serve as a substitute if fresh is unavailable. The whole family will enjoy this healthy meal!

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Baked Pumpkin with Chicken, Coconut Milk and Cranberries


Cranberries and pumpkins taste just like the Holidays; coconut milk and fresh herbs add a delicious twist to your Thanksgiving table. Surprise your family with this flavorful dish!

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Chicken Pot Pie, Brazilian Style (Empadão de Frango)


This savory chicken pie is a staple in my country, and this particular recipe was passed over to me by my mom and I am proudly passing it down to you. I hope you enjoy this delicious and comforting Brazilian style chicken pot pie. 

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Coq au Vin with Cachaça, Cilantro and Yuca


This is such a warm, comfort type of meal and it is perfect for colder evenings. Cilantro, yuca and cachaça add a little Brazilian touch to this French classic. Just to be fun!

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Mushroom Stuffed Chicken with Coconut Milk-Lemongrass Sauce


Stuffed chicken breasts is one of my husband's favorites! So I keep coming up with new ideas to prepare it. I added a Brazilian twist by making a coconut based sauce, but the lemongrass added a Thai twist to it too! I guess I will have to call it a fusion dish! I hope you enjoy this healthy and delicious meal!

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Chicken Fricassee (Brazilian Style)


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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Chicken Bobó (Brazilian Chicken Stew)


Chicken Bobó is a traditional stew especially popular on the Northeast part of Brazil.

This delight might have an exotic name, but the method is quite simple. The secret to make this recipe so flavorfull and creamy is to cook the yuca in chicken broth, then process it in blender or food processor to use as the thickening agent.

Coconut milk and red palm oil add richness and a beautiful color to this gluten-free recipe. 

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