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Brigadeiro – Brazilian Chocolate Bonbon

Brigadeiro is one of the most beloved sweets in Brazil. Easy to make and very popular in birthday parties, kids and adults love it! Creamy in the inside and crunchy in the outside, this bonbon is sometimes called Brazilian truffle and it is a must-try for chocolate lovers.

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Cheese Flan with Guava Sauce (Pudim Romeu e Julieta)

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Guava and cheese is a classic Brazilian dessert combination. They call it “Romeu e Julieta” (Romeo and Juliette) because it’s like they were made for each other! 

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Flan – the Brazilian Classic Recipe (Pudim de Leite Condensado)

flan-brazilian-custard-foodgawker

This dessert has so many different names (flan, pudim, custard, crème caramel, quesillo) depending on the country, but all recipes are similar. This is the Brazilian classic version and it is a little sweeter than the other ones. This recpe and method was tought to me by my mom and it is by far the best flan I have I ever had! Serve it with fresh berries and whipped cream or just by itself!

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Guava and Cheese Mousse

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My sister, Karen, passed me down this recipe. It is so easy to make and so tasty!

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Honey-Vanilla Grilled Peaches

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This is a very easy (and delicious) dessert! But if you don’t have a grill you can make it in the oven.

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Strawberry Aspic

aspic-jello-strawberries-gelatin

The texture of this dessert is heavenly light, and the presentation is elegant in a very old-fashioned way – aspic is a traditional French dessert that has been around for decades. So if you have not tried it yet, it’s about time!

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Lime, Chocolate, and Raspberry Pavé

lime-chocolate-raspberry-pave-dessert

This dessert is a cominations of two classics: cheesecake (from the US), and pavé (from Brazil.)

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Dulce de Monkey

dulce-de-monkey-leche-dessert-banana 

This dessert is a twist on a family recipe passed along to me by my cousin Marcia.

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Blood Orange and Mint Caipirinha (Caipirinha de Laranja Vermelha e Hortelã)

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Caipirinha is the signature drink from Brazil. I believe that most of the people who enjoy a good drink – and know a little bit about Brazil – agrees with that statement.

The traditional Caipirinha consists of muddled lime and sugar that is mixed with cachaça and ice. It is refreshing with the perfect balance in between tart and sweet. I like to say that “caipirinha makes me dance” – and that is very true! Caipirinha has the power to make anyone dance.

Of course, that such marvelous drink has its variations… Besides the classic Caipirinha, I have other recipes for this concoction - such as Passion Fruit, and Pineapple-Mint - but there is always room for something new.

Taking advantage of the different citrus we can find in the US now, I created something with an original twist: Blood Orange and Mint Caipirinha. It’s a great drink, less acidic than the original version with a hint of fresh sweetness.

Since blood oranges are very hard to find in Brazil, I can say that, this time, I am putting an American twist into a Brazilian classic. And I like it!

Be aware: this drink can bring out the best qualities that the Brazilian people are known for! So, if you start to dance after a couple of sips, just embrace it! And enjoy being a Brazilian with an American twist for a little while.

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Pineapple-Mint Caipirinha (Caipirinha de Abacaxi com Hortelã)

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Pineapple and mint is one of my favorite combinations. Caipirinha is my favorite drink. So why not join forces in one delicious beverage?! Pineapple-Mint Cairpirinha is a very refreshing drink. I would say it is a perfect summer drink, to enjoy by the pool or at the beach.

It certainly isn’t summer right now here in Indiana, but just a few days ago – when we were out celebrating my birthday – I had a pineapple and mint martini at a local restaurant. It was great! It took me back to summer for a few minutes… And I take that feeling any day! So if you are also missing summer already, try this refreshing drink and dream of summer days ahead!

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Passion Fruit Caipirinha

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Despite not being the most popular of the caipirinhas, passion-fruit caipirinha is my personal favorite. The combination of tart fruits with the cachaça and sugar is really refreshing and passion-fruit has the necessary tartness to make a perfect balanced drink. The seeds are crunchy and add personality to this exotic concoction, but if it they bother your palate, simply strain the drink to enjoy all the taste without the seeds. I keep the seeds in my drink, and I enjoy every bit of it!

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Watermelon Margarita Martini

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This margarita martini is spicy, sweet and delicious!

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Caipirinha

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Caipirinha is a refreshing and easy to make drink from my home-country: Brazil!

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Clericot

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When I visited Punta del Leste, Uruguay, I noticed a lot of people in bars and restaurants ordering this large jars of white wine mixed with fruits. It did not take us long to join the crowd and ordering our own. Delicious and refreshing, Clericot is traditionally prepared with white wine, but I prefer to use sparkling wine because of the bubbles! Use a dry white or brut sparkling wine, and add sugar to taste (I like with 4 to 5 tablespoons, but some might like it a bit sweeter). Enjoy and celebrate!

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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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Pork Tenderloin with Dried Apricots-Gouda-Mascarpone Filling, with Cashew Rice Pilaf and Farofa (Lombo Recheado com Damascos Secos, Queijo Gouda e Mascarpone, com Arroz de Castanha-de-Cajú e Farofa)

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Christmas in Brazil is celebrated on the evening of the 24th and dinner is served only after mid-night, on the 25th. It might sound kind of crazy for most people here in the US, but it is just how it is done down there... Since people wait for supper for a long time, it better give them some sustenance! This meal translates very well what a traditional Brazilian Christmas supper looks like. In this recipe, the pork tenderloin is moist and well seasoned, with a creamy and sweet filling, complimented with the richness of cashews from the rice and crunchiness from the farofa. This family recipe was passed over to me by a friend, and I am excited to present it to you. Enjoy!

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White Chocolate Flan with Peppermint Caramel Sauce

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It is no secret that flan is my favorite dessert. I love all sorts of flavors and variations, and I really wanted to create a recipe using the traditional flavors of the holidays. So after a lot of thought I came up with a recipe for a White Chocolate Flan with Peppermint Sauce, and I am proud to say it turned out exactly how I had dreamed it would: rich, smooth, and with just a touch of peppermint flavor. This dessert translates all the amazing sweet tastes of Christmas! In fact, it is even more special to me because I was able to add some flavors of the holidays in the United States to a traditional dessert from my country: Brazil. Merry Christmas friends! Feliz Natal amigos! I hope a slice of my flan brings a smile to your face this holiday season!

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Fig and Prosciutto Phyllo Appetizer

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Sweet and savory at the same time, my flaky Fig and Prosciutto Phyllo bites have a touch of creamy mascarpone and a drizzle of honey. Its shape resembles ravioli and it is an easy-to-make finger food. Also, it can be made one day ahead, which makes it handy for the Holidays and large gatherings. I hope you and your friends enjoy!

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Spinach Salad with Caramelized Pumpkin and Goat Cheese

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Pumpkin is such a wonderful, nutritious ingredient that can be added to sweet and savory dishes. In this spinach salad, the pumpkin is caramelized in the oven and paired with goat cheese, for a touch of tartness. Lightly caramelized almonds compliment this rich salad and add a crunchy bite. This salad is all about enjoying holiday flavors with healthy greens!

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Pumpkin-Coconut Pie

pumpkin-pie-coconut-foodgawker

I have to confess I was never a huge fan of pumpkin pie. I remember the very first Thanksgiving I spent in the United States when I had my first bite of a pumpkin pie. With all respect to the traditions I have to say I was disappointed! Such a big deal around a dessert that was neither sweet or savory. So I decided to incorporate a little Brazilian twist to the classic: coconut! Pumpkin and coconut is a very traditional pair in desserts in Brazil, so I thought: “Why not?” I made it in two layers to make a more interesting presentation; I made it sweeter so there is no need for whipping cream; and I used all fresh ingredients to heighten the flavors while still keeping the method really simple - it’s a busy time, we all need easy recipes! So my decadent “Pumpkin-Coconut Pie” was born and quickly became one of my most popula recipes ever. 

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