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Flounder Topped with Crab, Coconut Milk, and Cream Cheese


Cream cheese and coconut milk give a nice, creamy flavor for this light summer dish.

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Capellini with Bay Scallops


This is one of my favorite sauces for pastas. When I originally created this recipe I used a mix of bay scallops, shrimp, and calamari in the sauce; but at the time I lived in San Diego and high quality seafood was abundant. You can use different kinds of seafood depending on the availability. Enjoy!

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Crab and Cream Cheese Tilapia


The crab mix can also be served as a dip with crackers and veggies. So you are cooking an entree and an appetizer at the same time!

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Shrimp Moqueca (Brazilian Shrimp Stew)


This dish has the most authentic Brazilian taste!

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Easy Paella with Squid and Shrimp


Fresh squeezed lime wedges added a citrousy flavor to this easy Paella recipe.

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Fish Casserole - Brazilian Style


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

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Salmon and Mushroom Risotto


This recipe is one of my favorites to entertain with because the process of making it is so interesting!  It is a meticulous process but if you like to entertain in your kitchen, guests will gather around you to observe the rice slowly becoming shinier, creamier and it smells delicious!

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Salmon with Mango Salsa


This is a very healthy dish. Tastes great and it's good for you. It can't get any better then that!

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Baked Shrimp with Savory Meringue (Camarão à Marta Rocha)


Savory meringue tops this traditonal Brazilian shrimp dish, created and named after Marta Rocha, Brazilian 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 at very special ocassions). We used to feel very important eating such "sophisticated" meal. I hope you enjoy!

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Baked Cod with Sundried Tomato-Wasabi Creamy Pesto


Light and simple, this dish brings Asian and Mediterranean flavors together.

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Tofu Moqueca (Moqueca de Tofu)


As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been experimenting with vegan cuisine since I went on a 21-day vegan/gluten-free cleanse. I have also previously shared how wonderful I felt during and right after the cleanse: my energy levels increased tremendously, I dropped a few pounds, and even my thoughts were sharper… I just felt really great overall! 

The cleanse is long over, but it made me decide to eat vegan at least a couple of times a week (I cannot do more than that because I get super bored!!). So, evidently, a few recipes have been developed along the way (and I promise to become better at posting them).

Since I started this process, I have tried many vegan and plant-based recipes and, in my humble opinion, not all recipes are necessarily vegan adaptable. Be aware when you see titles like “Vegan Alfredo” or “Cashew Ricotta”. Some recipes and some cuisine genres (especially Italian and French) should be left alone.

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Vegan Butternut Squash Quibebe with Garbanzo Beans and Coconut Milk (Quibebe com Grão de Bico e Leite de Coco)


The development of this vegan version of a traditional Brazilian dish (as well as, other traditional recipes from Brazil that I promise to start releasing soon) has a story behind it. In fact, it’s a story that makes me feel quite proud of myself.

At the beginning of last summer, my husband and I got to go on a fantastic vacation in Australia – which included visiting my sister and meeting my brother-in-law. We had an amazing two weeks down under – and the food and wine were among the highlights of the trip. For two weeks, we ate delicious food, we drank delightful wines, we saw beautiful places, and we did not exercise. It was awesome!

Although, when I got back to the US, I was feeling the consequences of my (very worthy) time of indulgences. I was swollen, bloated, and my energy levels were low.

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Brazilian Veggie Pot Pie (Empadão de Palmito)


During the colder months, I feel like we eat a lot of pot pies here in the States – at least, that’s when I more often see recipes of it being taught on cooking shows or shared on magazines. Creamy and comforting, the (allow me to call) American pot pie is a perfect dish for when it’s cold outside.

In Brazil, people are obsessed with pot pies. I am obsessed with pot pies! Our version, though, is more adaptable to, let’s say, a wider variety of climates… Most of the country is warm year-round; therefore, our very own version of the dish has a filling that is moist and creamy, but not as soupy, which tastes great either warm or at room temperature. Since the filling is less runny, the pie can be assembled in a springform and unmolded in a serving platter – which is my favorite way to present it. But setting it up in a deep-dish is also fine (and easier).

If you haven’t yet met my Brazilian Chicken Pot Pie or my Shrimp and Hearts-of-Palm Pot pie, please let me introduce you to my Brazilian Veggie Pot Pie! This recipe has hearts-of-palm as its main star which gives this pie its distinct zesty flavor. Black olives, corn, and green peas are some of the other featured ingredients, but you can add or subtract accordingly to your taste (just keep proportions balanced so you don’t end up with less – or too much – filling).

I truly enjoy this recipe since I have been a little girl, at any season of the year. I hope you do too!

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Brazilian Jeweled Rice and Lentils (Arroz à Grega e Lentilhas)


I am going to start this conversation with a very straight forward question: “Do you want to be as lucky as a Brazilian in the next year?”. Ok, let’s assume that your answer is: “Yes, I absolutely do!”. I am so glad that you have chosen the only right answer to my question!!! So, I am going to tell you exactly what to do – or eat – to achieve such good fortune in the upcoming year.

People might roll their eyes at us, Brazilians, since we have this reputation for being superstitious. But… It doesn’t hurt to try, right?! And in this case, the worst that can happen is that you will end up enjoying some really delicious food over the New Year's Eve – or Réveillon, as we call it.

Traditionally, Lentils and Brazilian Style Jeweled Rice cannot be absent from our New Year's feast – which happens only after midnight (yes, we do not eat until after the new year has made its debut). Both dishes are normally served as sides to proteins such as pork or seafood (no chicken or beef allowed in the occasion). This side dishes are colorful, tasty, and they can be prepared somewhat quickly, although their best feature is to bring good fortune in the upcoming year.

I wish everyone a happy and healthy year! Peace, love, and joy. XO- Cynthia

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Butternut Squash and Sage Risotto


Slightly sweet and nutty, this risotto recipe is one of my favorites. If butternut squash is in season, I always make sure I include this recipe when I teach a risotto class. People usually like it a lot!
Also, nowadays we hear a lot the concept “Meatless Monday”… I don’t necessarily cook vegetarian food every Monday, but I think that this is a great recipe for those who like the idea of eating without any kind of meat once a week or more. The reason why? This risotto is rich, decadent, and the cubed butternut squash have a meaty texture that replaces the meat texture well.
Finally, I want to encourage you to try making risotto the traditional way – which means standing next to the stove and stirring pretty much constantly for a perfect al dente rice texture. Believe me, it’s more fun than you think; especially when wine and friends are involved ;) Happy fall!

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Lime-Cilantro Rice with Corn and Jalapeno


I made this rice several times during this summer. Every single time it has been an absolute hit! In fact, I created this recipe for a Fourth of July party, about a month ago, and it was so popular among the crowd that it kind of became my go-to side for barbeque parties during this last month. It so delicious that both my husband and I have reheated left-overs and ate as main course, instead of a side dish! Fresh, a bit sweet and tart, this rice is just a guaranteed success! I have wanted to post it so bad, but all the commitments related to the release of my cookbook have been keeping me away from the kitchen and from posting on my website. Finally I had time today to share it with you. Corn season is not over yet, neither are the summer parties… I hope you think about this recipe for your next summer party, or just at any time!

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Brazilian Black Beans


I grew up eating the combination of black beans, rice, meat and a simple salad five times a week. Only on the weekends we would eat something “more special” (sodas were also only allowed on Sundays). For me, beans are part of the simplest and most comforting of all meals. When prepared with the added flavors of onions, garlic, bay leaves and bacon, black beans are delicious and often become more then “only” a side dish, shadowing the main dish, usually meat, chicken or fish. They are also nutritious, especially when cooked from scratch. When I was having a conversation with two of my sister-in-laws (both good cooks) that I finally realized that black beans are not as nearly as popular in the United States, and that most people don’t know how to add the “right” flavors when preparing; so I decided to share this recipe. If I close my eyes I can still hear the loud sound of the pressure cooker, and smell the scents that would come from the large pot of beans that was prepared in my house when I was a little girl. This post is a little piece of Mom’s everyday kitchen. Welcome!

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Farofa - Brazilian Crunchy Topping or Stuffing


Don’t be fooled by the “dirty sand” look of this typical Brazilian side dish! Farofa is a delicious, crunchy side dish (or stuffing) that is eaten at a daily basis all over Brazil. Given the fact that Brazil is a HUGE country with a large variety of dishes from region to region, achieving that level of popularity is pretty impressive… It certainly does NOT taste like dirty sand. Farofa is crunchy and full of intense flavors that enhance the texture and add an interesting taste to the main course. It is almost like a crunchy hot sauce, but without the heat. It is extremely simple to make, but exotic at the same time. I hope you are curious enough to try.

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Pumpkin Risotto


The idea of making pumpkin risotto might raise some eye browns, but I can guarantee this is a must-try recipe during pumpkin season! The pumpkin is used in two different ways in this recipe: cubed and sautéed, and also puréed, after roasted with a touch of brown sugar. Extra creamy and pleasantly rich, this risotto also gets a nutty bite from the Parmigiano-Reggiano. You will not regret trying. Enjoy with a glass of Chardonnay.

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Creamy Saffron Risotto with Mixed Mushrooms


I am not Italian but I just love to make (and eat) risotto! This recipe was inspired in the traditional Risotto Milanese – which is a risotto infused with lots of saffron. I added mixed mushrooms, some earthy scented herbs and my Special White Sauce to this Italian classic. The result is an extra creamy, perfumed and rich risotto. If you are a vegetarian, use vegetable broth as a substitute for the beef broth. I recommend enjoying with a glass of Chianti and very good company!

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