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November 22nd, 2010

Do you know there’s a bunch of food blogs just waiting to be discovered, with amazing recipes and amazing photos, and amazing tips, and amazing techniques about almost everything?? I decided to join this and NOW, I’m part of it.

So, this is my recipe notebook, for my daughters, for my family, my friends and for myself to remember life can be tasty!!!

And before beginning, I just have to say one thing. I decided to make a bilingual blog, and it’s making me crazy!!! That’s because I realized it’s not only about literal translation but a lot of other obstacles and differences between cooking in Brazil and in the United States. So, I’m going to ask permission to do things in my way, adding explanations in English and omitting them in Portuguese or vice versa, whenever it is convenient.

Well let’s talk about what really matters: a recipe!!!

I thought a good place to start would be a Pumpkin Flan, just to celebrate a bit here the meeting of two worlds. We can say a Sunday Flan in Brazil (and in most of Latin America) is as important as a Pumpkin Pie on Thanksgiving. And if somebody is looking for a comfort flavor for his Thanksgiving table but with a new and impressive face, it would be this recipe.

Probably I’d have to convince Brazilians rather than Americans pumpkin can be a good flavor for flan. That’s because we are nothing creative when the subject is Pumpkin. First of all, we don’t have the same kind of pumpkin that North America has, although the “squash” we have could replace it beautifully.

We do have a few savory dishes using it and a few sweet treats that comes to my mind right now, specially my grandmother’s doce de abóbora, a pumpkin butterich that didn’t let me think in anything else ‘till I met the combination of perfumes and flavors used here.

Ginger, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and nutmeg combined together in uncountable ways, bringing up the flavors, gave me a whole new meaning to anything pumpkin flavored! That’s one of the reasons I should give “Thanks!”

And ok, I admit, the decoration can be a little challenge. But the flan is so easy that it doesn’t give you the right to skip any step!!!

*if you want to make your own puree, a small pumpkin should be enough for this recipe. Just cut it in quarters, place them in a sheet pan, sprinkle with sugar and nutmeg and bake for aprox. 30 min.

**Most of the recipes I’ve found for pumpkin spice call for one part of cinnamon/half of ginger and a quarter of cloves (or allspice) and nutmeg. I like cloves better than allspice and I do love ginger, so I’m going to suggest one combination here but you are allowed to change!!! And if you are an American, you know that better than me!!!


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******* just some examples of what you can do with this recipe

Ingredients

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 1/2 tbsp (1.5 oz.) light corn syrup

1/4 c. water

Place all ingredients in a saucepan and cook ‘till melted and golden in color.

Meanwhile, prepare a flat surface with a silicone non-stick matt such as Silpat or use a cookie sheet greased with butter.

If a tablespoon, pour the hot syrup in a prepared surface “drawing” arabesques. Let it cool completely and use just before serving.

Bom apetite!!!

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8 Responses to “…”

  1. Ana

    Que maravilla! I am so proud of you. The blog looks great.

  2. Ana

    Hola amiga:

    In honor of your blog I have made the pumpkin flan. I have not tried it yet because i want to share with friends over coffee. I will give you call since I want you, Cesar and the girls to be the first ones to try it with me. Thanks for the recipe and I can’t wait to make a new recipe posted on the blog. Thanks for taking the time to do this.

  3. amanda areias

    Ana, I just saw your comment and I’m so happy you made the flan!!!!! I hope you like it!!!

  4. Mary Beth Hand

    Amanda,

    My mouth is watering. Your recipes look yummy. I am so proud of you for starting this blog.
    I miss you and wish you the very happiest holidays and New Year!

    Mary Beth

  5. Sandra@Sandra'sEasyCooking

    This is really cool, this is my first time on your blog and you are right it does look similar to my little cakes..I am planing next to do in color, did you made them like that? I think it will look so pretty!:) Lovely blog, and stunning photos!!!

  6. amanda areias

    I’ve never made them in color, that’s a good idea! And you should really try this recipe, it’s a pretty resistant caramel! If you have any question, please, ask me.

  7. lisa welch

    OMG!! I loooove your foodblog! Just discovered it! Thank you!

  8. amanda areias

    Lisa, you are so sweet, thanks, thanks, thanks!!

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