Bananas Foster Creme Brulee and How I’m Going to Find the Love of My Life

I’m pretty sure this is how I’m going to get a husband.

One sunny afternoon, I’ll be making this wonderful creation:

I’ll serve it up to that special someone. He’ll take a bite and propose to me right then and there. Simple as that.

Okay, so it probably won’t happen that way, but I can almost guarantee that if you were to feed this to a fella (or lady! Gentlemen, don’t be scared to get in the kitchen!) it would most certainly, at the very least, land you a date.

Worth a shot, right?

Bananas Foster Creme Brulee

6 prepared ramekins of custard for creme brulee
3-4 bananas, sliced
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp hazelnut liqueur (or rum, optional)
6 tsp white sugar

In a skillet, melt together the butter and brown sugar. Add bananas and turn the heat up to high.

Add the hazelnut liqueur. Shake the pan a little bit then flip each banana. Once the liqueur has reduced (and nearly completely evaporated), turn off the heat.

Arrange bananas over custard.

Sprinkle with a teaspoon or so of white sugar.

Using a kitchen torch, burn the top of the bananas so you get a good caramelized crust.

Serve and wait for a dinner invite/proposal/confession of adoration/etc.

If this doesn’t work… then I’m pretty sure men are crazy, and I’m doomed to be an old maid.

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Samoas Bars

You have my permission to drool.



Go ahead. It’s totally expected. Samoas will do that to you, even more so in bar form.

I followed this recipe pretty much exactly.

Samoas Bars

from Crepes of Wrath

1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened

1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups all purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

3 cups shredded coconut
12-oz  chewy caramels

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons milk

20 oz. chocolate chips

Make cookie base. Preheat oven to 350F.  Cream together butter and sugar.  Next beat in eggs and vanilla.  Mix in flour and salt until just combined.  The mixture will be pretty crumble.  That’s okay!  Press it into a baking dish (I used a jelly roll pan lined with parchment paper and pressed it into about half the pan, but you can probably just use a 9×13).  Bake about 20-25 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.  Allow to cool.

Next make the topping.  Start by toasting your coconut.  Turn the oven on to 300F and lay coconut on a baking sheet.  Turning occasionally toast about 10 minutes, once golden, remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Next melt the caramels in the microwave.  First unwrap the caramels and put them in a large bowl with the milk and 1/4 tsp salt, microwave about 3-4 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until evenly melted.  Add the coconut to the melted caramel and stir to combine.  Once combined, spread coconut/caramel topping onto shortbread base.  This is easier if you spray your spatula with pam or grease it.  Allow to cool completely (I refrigerated it a bit).

Remove bars from pan (this is easy to do if you used parchment paper).  On a cutting board, using a large chef knife, carefully cut the bars into the desired shape. Melt chocolate in the microwave (remember to stir every 30 seconds).  Dip cookie base into chocolate (or spread on with a spoon if your bottom is too crumbly), place on fresh wax/parchment paper.

Put the remaining melted chocolate in a ziploc bag and cut off a tip so you get a tiny piping bag.  Pipe lines of chocolate on each one.  Refrigerate a little bit so chocolate hardens then serve!

I suggest you do the same. Then feel free to give them away to a bunch of dentists, like I did. …or just keep them for yourself. Whichever works best.

Chocolate Dipped Rice Crispies

Sometimes making things to give away is even better than eating it yourself.

Sometimes rice crispy treats in the shape of hearts taste better than the regular squares.  Not sure how to make these?  Look on the back of any rice crispy cereal box.  Sometimes the recipes on the back of the box are the best.  Don’t mess with the experts.  Make as directed and cut into shapes with cookie cutters before they are completely cool.


Sometimes they’re even better dipped in chocolate (add a little oil to your melted chocolate to make it more dip-able and make sure your rice crispies have completely hardened and cooled).


Then cover them in sprinkles, because sprinkles make most things better.


But they’re probably the best when placed in a bag (once chocolate has completely hardened… go ahead and put them in the fridge or freezer), tied with ribbon and sent off for someone else to enjoy.


Give it a whirl the next time you need an easy treat gift!

But wait, let’s be honest.  While giving these away will bring smiles to faces, the truth is you get to eat all the pieces left over from cutting the rice crispies into shapes.

Happiness all around!

Father’s Day

There is one thing I know for sure: men and latinos love meat.

Truth.

Combine the two and you have a Father’s Day at Casa De Leon.

Big slabs of meat

and a pretty cool Dad.

Happy Father’s Day!

 

Colorful Quinoa Salad

I’m in the life stage where I’ve graduated and living with my parents again.  I somehow managed to skip this step when I graduated the first time around by going to India then grad school.  Since moving back home, I’ve made one major observations:  my family eats a lot of meat and very few vegetables.

I’m going nuts.

I offered to cook all meals for my parents.  They said no, because they would pretty much be exclusively meat-free meals.  So basically, I’ve given up on trying to get them to eat healthier.  Instead, I’m making stuff for myself and sharing leftovers.

Yesterday, I made a quinoa, bean, vegetable salad.

Surprisingly, everyone liked it (even though once they claimed to not like quinoa).

Colorful Quinoa Salad

1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 cup edamame
1/2 cup black beans
1 red pepper, diced (I used about 5 multicolored sweet mini ones)
1 mango, diced
1 cucumber, diced
1 tomato, diced
1 handful of cilantro, chopped
Juice of 4 limes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin powder
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the quinoa in 1 cup of water.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes with some salt.  While the quinoa cooks dice your vegetables.  Place edamame, black beans, red peppers, cucumbers, tomato, mango and cilantro in a large mixing bowl.  In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper.  Once quinoa is done and slightly cooled, add to the mixing bowl with vegetables, pour in the lime dressing and mix.  Serve and enjoy!

Serves 4-6.

So I guess this is my new strategy: make healthy, tasty (to me) things I like and hope they’ll eat it as well.

Off to the gym I go! Have a great day!

The Most Amazing Peanut Butter Banana Pie Ever!

Hi friends!  It’s pretty much been forever, but I’m back in California so things can get back to normal!

In the past few weeks, quite a bit has happened.  I graduated!  I have a Master’s! Woo!

My hat didn’t fit on my head.  Such is life.

Then I came back to California and my sister and I made the most amazing pies EVER!

Truth.

Okay so one sorta melted.  No biggie.

AMAZING Peanut Butter (or Nutella) Banana Pie

inspired by Joy the Baker’s No Bake Peanut Butter Tart

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (or Nutella or other nut butter)
4 oz cream cheese, softened
7 oz (1/2 can) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup heavy cream for whipping
1 banana, sliced
1 tbsp butter
1 prepared graham cracker crust
1 cup cool whip or other whipped cream for topping

In a pan, melt butter and fry banana slices until golden (you can probably skip this step and just use fresh bananas, but the crispy fried banana was pretty delicious).  Arrange fried banana on the bottom of the prepared graham cracker crust.

Using a mixer (or a strong  arm) mix together the cream cheese, peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk.  Once combined, set aside.  In a separate bowl, whip the cream until it holds solid peaks.   Then fold together the peanut butter mixture and the whipped cream.  Once combined (don’t over mix), spoon the mixture into the pie pan, top with whipped topping and chill for a few hours before serving.

We made two, one with nutella and one with peanut butter.  They were both a hit, but I won’t lie: the peanut butter one is to die for!

You should probably go make it now.  You won’t regret it.