Parabens amigão! Celebrate Brazil's Independence Day today with caipirinhas and a feast -- maybe a little samba too.

Saudades do Brasil? (do you miss Brazil?) Whether you miss your home or that exotic vacation you took one summer -- transport back to Rio de Janeiro's vibrant beaches or São Paulo's urban playground with these staples of Brazilian cuisine.

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  • Drink: Caipirinhas

    Caipirinhas, a liquor made from sugarcane, gives these drinks their distinctive flavor. In Brazil it is traditional to make caipirinhas one or two at a time, as we do here. For ease of entertaining, however, you can simply combine all the ingredients in a pitcher. Ingredients: 4 limes 1/2 cup sugar Ice cubes 1 1/2 cups cachaça (from a 500-ml bottle) Directions: Quarter 1 lime lengthwise, then cut each quarter in half crosswise and divide pieces between 2 (6-ounce) glasses. Add 1 tablespoon sugar to each glass, then muddle lime pieces by pounding and pressing with a wooden spoon until sugar is dissolved. Fill each glass with ice and add 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) cacha§a to each, stirring well. Make 6 more cocktails in same manner. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/caipirinhas_n_1055779.html" target="_hplink">Source: HuffPost Taste</a>

  • Appetizer: Empadinhas de Palmito

    These "little empanadas" tend to be rounder than their Colombian or Argentine counterparts. The filling is usually a Brazilian ingredient called hearts of palm, but shrimp and codfish are also frequently used. These baked pastries can take up to half an hour to make and may require some extra effort in finding the exotic ingredients, up to the challenge? <a href="http://southamericanfood.about.com/od/snacksstreetfood/r/empadinhas.htm" target="_hplink">Check out the full recipe. </a>

  • Main Dish: Feijoada

    Brazil's national dish! Feijoada has no true translation but it's known as a stew of beans and meat (pork or beef usually). As delicious as the end result may be, make sure you leave plenty of time to prepare it! Ingredients are endless and preparation complicated, to simplify the process watch the "How To" video. Epicurious' Around the World in 80 Dishes takes you to Brazil with a demonstration of a recipe for Feijoada prepared by Lynne Gigliotti of The Culinary Institute of America, part 1.

  • Side Dish: Pão de Queijo

    Pão de Queijo is simply "Cheese Bread" (yea we think it sounds tastier in Portuguese too), this dish is a staple in Brazil and is often served as a snack. Cheesy, warm, and filling--the only problem is where do we find tapioca starch? Ingredients: 3 cups tapioca starch 3 eggs 1 cup milk 3/4 cup vegetable oil 1 teaspoon salt 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded Grated Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling <a href="http://www.cynthiapresser.com/brazilian-recipes-south-american-cuisine/brazilian-appetizers/219-brazilian-cheese-bread-pao-de-queijo" target="_hplink">Check out the full recipe.</a>

  • Dessert: Brigadeiro

    A little chocolate to end a feast? After making Feijoada and these other typical Brazilian dishes you're probably exhausted. But not to worry this traditional candy is easy to make! Ingredient: 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk 1 tablespoon butter 3 tablespoons cocoa chocolate sprinkles Preparation can be done in four short steps. <a href="http://www.food.com/recipe/brigadeiro-62222" target="_hplink">Check out the full recipe.</a>

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