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Fig and Prosciutto Risotto


The sweetness of the fruit balances the prosciutto and cheese in this delicious dish. 

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Beef Tenderloin with Dried Porcini and Fresh Mushrooms (Mignon ao Molho de Cogumelos Frescos e Secos)


This has been my constant craving lately: steak and mushrooms - I just can't get enough! I am positive it has to do with the weather... Usually I go for seafood, but in the past couple of weeks I just want meat and meaty things.

I have already made a few different versions of this combo in the last couple of weeks, and this one recipe quite delivers!

First, it's super simple to make - it's really hard to mess up tenderloin. Also the addition of dried mushrooms to the fresh mushroom takes the sauce to the next level... Like an extra level of deliciouness and meatyness if you will ;)

Media crema - one of my favorite Brazilian ingredients - makes the sauce super creamy and velvety. Rosemary adds that woody layer of flavor that goes perfectly with the mushrooms.

Enjoy this with a bold glass of wine (Malbec please!!!) and be marry. Happy cooller evenings to all!

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Easy Penne with Mustard-Marsala Tenderloin


If you are looking for a quick and easy meal to impress someone special, this is what you have been looking for!

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Lamb Stew with Raisins, Pine Nuts and Mint


By marinating the lamb overnight the flavors in this stew become much deeper, which makes prep time on the stove top much faster so all the ingredients make a statement.

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Pork and Vegetables Grilled Quesadilla with Fresh Mozzarella and Gouda Cheese


In this quesadilla recipe, the marinade from the pork brought a unique, fruity flavor to the mix. The grilled vegetables added a smoky taste which has become even more accentuated by also grilling the quesadilla. I am all about creating new flavors!

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Pork Tenderloin with Apricot-Pomegranate-Miso Marinade


The combinations of ingredients in this marinade is very unique. The result is a lightly sweet, fruty and spicy flavor that goes wonderful not only with pork but also with chicken and fish.

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Gnudi with Veal Ragù


Gnudi (pronounced "nu-dee") is a type of gnocchi made from ricotta cheese and a little bit of flour. The result is a dumpling that some describe as "nude" ravioli, or filling without the pasta. It is fantastic!

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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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Sausage, Mushrooms, and Herbs Stuffed Bell Peppers


This colorful dish is crazy good! And since it is also low-carb you don't have to feel bad about eating a little extra.

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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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