facebook-icon  linkedin-icon  google-plus-cynthia-presser  pinterest-icon  youtube-icon  stumbleupon-icon  email-icon

Lamb Stew with Raisins, Pine Nuts and Mint

 lamb-mint-basil-tomatoes

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.

Add a comment

Read more: Lamb Stew with Raisins, Pine Nuts and Mint

Pork and Vegetables Grilled Quesadilla with Fresh Mozzarella and Gouda Cheese

quesadilla-pork-vegetables

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!

Add a comment

Read more: Pork and Vegetables Grilled Quesadilla with Fresh Mozzarella and Gouda Cheese

Pork Tenderloin with Apricot-Pomegranate-Miso Marinade

pork-tenderloin-grilled-baked-apricot-balsamic-miso

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.

Add a comment

Read more: Pork Tenderloin with Apricot-Pomegranate-Miso Marinade

Gnudi with Veal Ragù

gnudi-veal-ragu

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!

Add a comment

Read more: Gnudi with Veal Ragù

Chimichurri

chimichurri_sauce_argentina_steak

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!

Add a comment

Read more: Chimichurri

Sausage, Mushrooms, and Herbs Stuffed Bell Peppers

stuffed-bell-peppers-sausage-mushrooms-herbs-pine-nuts

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.

Add a comment

Read more: Sausage, Mushrooms, and Herbs Stuffed Bell Peppers

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

pork-tenderloin-cynthias-three-favorites

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!!!

Add a comment

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

Brazilian Stroganoff (Estrogonofe de Carne)

estrogonofe-carne-brazilian-style-stroganoff

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!

Add a comment

Read more: Brazilian Stroganoff (Estrogonofe de Carne)

White Wine, Paprika, and Rosemary Marinated Pork Tenderloin

white-wine-paprika-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!

Add a comment

Read more: White Wine, Paprika, and Rosemary Marinated Pork Tenderloin

Apricot-Cranberry Pork Chops

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!

Add a comment

Read more: Apricot-Cranberry Pork Chops

Eggplant Cannelloni

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!

Add a comment

Read more: Eggplant Cannelloni

Tenderloin Strips with Orange and Cognac Sauce

orange_tenderloin_orange_sauce_filet_mignon

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

Add a comment

Read more: Tenderloin Strips with Orange and Cognac Sauce

Fake and Steak

fake-and-steak-spaghetti-squash

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.

Add a comment

Read more: Fake and Steak

Steak Lulu with Gnocchi

gnocchi_beef_creamy_sauce

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.

Add a comment

Read more: Steak Lulu with Gnocchi

Coxinha (Brazilian Chicken Croquette)

coxinha_brazil_traditional_food_foodgawker

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!!

Add a comment

Read more: Coxinha (Brazilian Chicken Croquette)

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

chiken-encillada-casserole-foodgawker

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!

Add a comment

Read more: Chicken Enchilada Casserole

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

butternut-squash-brazilian-recipe-foodgawker

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!

Add a comment

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

Chicken Parmigiana (Frango à Parmegiana)

chicken-parmigiana-frango-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!

Add a comment

Read more: Chicken Parmigiana (Frango à Parmegiana)

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

cream-of-corn-chicken

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!

Add a comment

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

Baked Pumpkin with Chicken, Coconut Milk and Cranberries

images/pumpkin-chicken-cramberries-coconut-milk.jpg

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!

Add a comment

Read more: Baked Pumpkin with Chicken, Coconut Milk and Cranberries