Foodbuzz 24x24: A Brazilian-American Thanksgiving

This past month, Foodbuzz announced that they were looking for Thanksgiving dinner proposals for their monthly 24x24 event. I knew I had to send a proposal in for a chance to share with everyone my family's unique Thanksgiving dinner celebration. After submitting my proposal, I received an email from Foodbuzz stating that they'd not only accepted my proposal, but would provide me with some cash to cover my expenses!

My family came to the US nearly eighteen years ago. Throughout these years, we have truly made this country our homeland. Our lifestyle is completely blended and so are our holiday celebrations. Thanksgiving isn’t a holiday we celebrate in Brazil. After our first couple of years living in the US, we came to adopt this traditionally American celebration as our own. Thanksgiving took on a whole new light in my family.

We are a pretty blended bunch, which always makes Thanksgiving Day and other holidays extra special. Both of my parents were born and raised in Salvador, a city in northeastern Brazil. They were both over thirty when they migrated to the US. I was born in Salvador, but considered myself raised in Seattle. I came to the US at the age of six. Although I do remember my early years in Salvador, I think I did more of my growing up and developing here in Seattle. My little brother, Tony, was conceived in Salvador and born in Seattle. He is a natural born citizen of the US, but has pure Brazilian blood running through his veins. This Thanksgiving, as always, we were joined by Brazilian-born and American-born guests. Some bilingual, while others only speak their native language.

This year, we went for a tropical table setting, complete with a tropical fruit and vegetable sculpture centerpiece- thanks Dad! After a snowstorm that burst into town, this was perfect to take our minds off of the frigid cold we endured the past couple of days!

Our diverse menu featured some Thanksgiving classics with a Brazilian flair. Beginning with a bruschetta inspired by Brazilian flavors including, hearts of palm and cilantro, all the way down to the traditional after meal cafezinho (Brazilian coffee), this meal couldn't have been more perfect! 

When you have two nations of people who fall in love with each other, such as my family and friends, you don’t wish to take away from them their traditions. The purpose is to share in their joy. You begin to appreciate them and all the special and unique things they have to offer. As a family, you blend and, naturally, the focus comes off the holiday and right where it belongs – the family.

Dinner Menu

Bruschetta de Vinagrete
Toasted French bread, hearts of palm, tomato, cilantro, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar

Peru Asado Estufado com Farofa
Onion, garlic, and cumin roasted turkey with a farofa (manioc flour sautéed with onion, butter and bacon) stuffing

Arroz de Coco
Coconut scented jasmine rice

Feijão Preto
Slow cooked black beans with smoked pork, beef and sausage

Couve à Mineira
Thinly sliced collard greens sautéed with shallots, garlic, bacon and butter

Batata Doce com Calda de Maracujá
 Passion fruit glazed yams with a hint of cinnamon

Salsa Apimentada de Airela
Spicy Cranberry Salsa

Pudim de Abobora com Crosta de Nozes
Pumpkin Flan with Walnut Crust

Caipirinha de Romã
Pomegranate caipirinha

100% Brazlian Coffee


Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

Wow Emme - that is QUITE the feast! Looks like a wonderful blend of all that is good from all the cultures you share! Wishing you and your family a holiday season filled with laughter, love and delicious food.

FOODalogue said...

Congratulations -- I love the Carioca twist to the traditional American menu. The feijoada, the collard greens, all the fresh fruit and that video with great samba music.

Sandra said...

Wow... Everything look so delicious!

Sara said...

Boy, even if we have just finished to think about Thanksgiving I could do it all over again with this menu. You outdid yourself! Happy (belated) Thanksgiving to you all

Emme @Food Samba said...

Thank you so much ladies! It was an amazing Thanksgiving! Hope you all had a wonderful one as well!

Deanna said...

Oh Emme, This is absolutely stunning, my friend! It looks like you have an fun and loving family too. I cannot wait to come to your family's restaurant. Big hugs & happy holidays to you! Deanna

Torviewtoronto said...

yummy food looks fabulous lovely presentation

whatsfordinner-acrossstatelines said...

Wow Emme that is my kind of feast! I love the flan with the walnut crust and the spices you used for the turkey, actually I'd eat all of it! What a beautiful family you have, hope it was an amazing holiday!

Sommer J said...

Everything looks absolutely amazing! Loved reading the story of your family!! Passionfruit glazed yams sounds amazing right about now!!!

Mariko said...

Oh wow. Wow. Emme, PLEASE put up the recipe for that pumpkin flan with walnut crust. It looks amazing! Or did you already?
This is some seriously fine dining! I fully expect you to be a professional chef.

thelonelyradish.com said...

What a great menu, and that flan leaves me hungry and speechless.

Courtney said...

What a wonderful post! I loved reading your story, and I think it's awesome that your family has adopted Thanksgiving. I love seeing different cultures represented through food. :)

Chef Dennis said...

What a feast you prepared! Your presentation really added so much to this dinner....makes me want to go to Brazil, even more now.
Congrats on foodbuzz choosing your proposal, we have all benefited from it!

Pegasuslegend said...

Food looks fabulous nice job! Congrats!

Sweet Tooth Lulu said...

This is my first time visiting your blog, and have fallen in love! Muito obrigada pelas fotos lindas do seu jantar! Como voce sou brasileira que cresceu aqui no Estados Unidos! Parabens!

Sabrina said...

I love everything about this meal especially those passionfruit glazed yams. Your family looks so happy and your table was just beautiful. Happy Holidays.
Lovely Post.
Sabrina (the tomato tart)

Seattle Pastry Girl said...

What a gorgeous table and the menu looked incredible..adopt me next year okay?

BraveTart said...

I love the little creatures (humming birds?) that appear to hover over the cranberry salsa (?). How adorable is that?

Heather said...

I am drooling! What a spread! I reaallllly want those collard greens... :)

Judy said...

I am way behind at reading these, but Salvador is one of my most favorite places in the world. I'm hoping to go back again next year. Your menu looks fabulous.

Flavia Peroba said...

WOW! Really great menu- really enjoyed it...
I'm just a little confused on english or portuguese commenting... But since 6 is really young- I'll carry on with it.
I am going to copy it and have it the next family gathering... If you will allow me...
My family is 100% brazilia- between mineiros and alagoanos, I'm sure everyone will love couve and bruscheta de palmito.

Guta said...

Congratulations, Emme! Well deserved prize! The food looks delicious and it looks like you guys had a lot of fun preparing this feast! I wish I were there. Yum!!!!