Simple Flan

I know, I know there are hundreds of recipes for flan and here I am sharing another one…but trust me, this recipe is very simple and only requires a few ingredients. Moreover, I can assure you that whoever tries this flan will fall in love with it. It is not overwhelmingly sweet and the texture is silky and creamy. There are no words to describe it! It is true that it is loaded of calories, but we need to indulge ourselves once in a while right?

You can bake the flan in small size ramekins or when going to a potluck, I like to bake the flan in a pyrex form. Everytime that I am going to a potluck party and do not know what to bring…or do not feel like cooking/baking…flan is the solution. It is simple,easy and enjoyed by all…Okay, enough of bragging about this flan, let’s go to the ingredients and method.


½ cup sugar
Enough water to dissolve the sugar, approximately ¼ cup

1 can of condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk)
3 cans of skim milk (measured by the condensed milk can)
5 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract



In a small pan place the water and the sugar, mix until the sugar is dissolved. Boil the sugar mix until the water is totally evaporated and the sugar is thick and brown. Do not mix while it is cooking otherwise the sugar will crystallize. Carefully pour the caramelized sugar into the ramekins and gently rotate the ramekin so the caramel is evenly spread. Let the sugar cool down and set the ramekins aside.


In a blender add all the ingredients listed under “flan”, make sure that it is well mixed. Pour into the ramekins where the brown sugar is already hard. The flan mixture will be liquidy at this stage. Bake the flan in water-bath (banho-maria in Portuguese) for approximately 1 to 1 ½ at 275F. The top will be slightly golden and when gently shaken, the flan in ramekins will feel settled.

Let it cool completely and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Before serving, place a plate larger on top of the ramekin and in one movement, flip the ramekin carefully on a plate. Tap on the ramekin a couple of time and the flan will slide on the plate together with the caramel sauce

Garnish as  desired and serve.

If you enjoy this simple flan recipe you might want to check on a richer version of flan recipe.


Did you know that flan recipes are found as far back as ancient Rome and is was originally a savory dish? The word “flan” is derived from the Latin “flado”, which means flat cake.

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Chicken with Garlic


I am sharing this recipe of “frango à passarinho” which is very popular in Brazil at Chandani’s site…

I have been following Chandani via her Travel Through Food for a while, so when she asked me post as a guest on her site, I was very honored and thought that this was a great opportunity to introduce myself to her readers and share this simple recipe which somehow illustrates the aspiration of my site…simple and with a touch of my mixed background.

Chandani is from Nepal, which means moonlight in Nepali. She is a very fun and lively girl. She started to realize the beauty and art of cooking after leaving her mom’s cooking to pursue her studies. Throughout her travels, she learned to appreciate food and also incorporate them into her mom’s recipes to make them unique. In spite of reading a lot of recipes, she does not like to follow them, she just follows her heart when it comes to creating dishes. She loves to cook for her friends and family and her greatest motivations are the smiles that she gets from them after tasting her food.

Now that I am done with introducing Chandani, please take a moment to visit her site, Travel Through Food, and finish reading the remaining of my post. I hope you all enjoy Chandani’s site as much as I do.

I hope you enjoy this healthier version of this very popular dish from Brazilian and Chandani’s site.


Did you know that “frango à passarinho” in Portuguese means chicken like little birds? It is because this dish is usually done by deep frying small pieces of chicken.

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Panko Crusted Panela Cheese

If you already are amazed by the large quantity of Costco products you will be speechless once you see the sizes of the cheeses, meat, and produce at their Business Center.
Well, I came back with a huge piece of panela cheese and I knew that we would not be able to finish the cheese before it started to turn bad, and decided to prepare it in a way that could be stored in a freezer…this was sure an experiment, but luckily it worked great.

First, I need to admit that I was a little nervous since I never froze this kind of cheese, so I prepared an extra batch just to be frozen. After a few days, I pan fried the panko crusted cheese and voila, I could not tell the difference from the freshly prepared ones, so I went ahead and prepared all the remaining cheese.

I like this cheese because it has a similar texture to paneer. Once you cook it, it holds its shapes, not like mozzarella which will, in this case, “leak” out of the crust. Moreover, you can serve it as an appetizer or as a main dish, paired with salad.


Panela Cheese
Panko + dry oregano to taste
1 egg + 1 tablespoon water
Oil for pan fry


Slice the panela cheese into approximately ½ inch thick and 2 ½ by 1 inch size rectangles. Coat with flour and dip into the egg mix. Then cover with panko mix. At this point, you can pan fry with a little oil, until the panko crust turns golden or freeze for future use.
Serve hot/warm.

To freeze the cheese, place the cheese coated with panko in a tray, single layer. After a couple of hours in the freezer, remove the frozen cheese from the tray and store in freezer bags.

I hope you enjoy this simple recipe using Panela cheese.


Panela cheese or queso panela is used in many Mexican dishes. When fresh, it has a similar texture to mozzarella, but once cooked, it carries a very different texture, since it does not melt like mozzarella cheese.

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Mochi Bacon Cheese Balls

A while ago, I posted a recipe for “mochi cheese balls”, which uses only Parmesan cheese. I adapted the previous recipe by adding Muenster cheese, which give the cheese balls more color and a softer texture due to the melted Muenster cheese. Moreover, bacon bites were added, so you can imagine the taste of these cheese balls. This is a very easy and simple recipe, whenever you want to enjoy a tasty snack or complement a meal, just place these frozen cheese balls in a pre-heated oven for about 25 ~ 30 minutes at 275F and you are ready to receive compliments.


1 ½ cup tapioca flour
1 ½ cup glutinous rice flour
4 eggs
1 cup water
½ cup vegetable oil
1 ½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cup chopped Muenster cheese
½ cup Parmesan cheese
¾ cup homemade bacon bits


In a small pan add water, oil and salt, bring to boil and carefully add to the tapioca and glutinous rice flour. Mix gently until you can manage with your hands (be careful it is very hot). Alternatively add the eggs, the Muenster cheese and the Parmesan cheese until a dough is formed. Add the bacon bits (check the recipe here) and mix until the bacon is well incorporated to the dough. Make small balls (you can freeze at this point if you desire), bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 275F. Serve warm. Makes approximately 50 to 60 cheese balls.


Did you know that Muenster cheese was originally made by Benedictine monks in France? In US, this cheese in mainly used melted since it melts easily over low heat. Therefore used in grilled sandwich and hamburger.

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Corn Pudding (Curau de Milho)

This is a very simple dessert made with corn. In Brazil this kind of dessert is mainly served in the month of June in parties called “Festa Juninas”, which celebrates popular saints like Saint John, Peter and so on. These celebrations are also important in North Europe country, such as Denmark, Finland, Sweden and in some extent in Ireland, Britain, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain. Since it is corn season…here we are!


4 ear of corn
1 ½ cup milk
4 tablespoon sugar
½ tablespoon butter
Ground cinnamon


Remove the kernel of the corn. Place ½ of the kernels in the blender with half of the milk and blend for approximately 3 minutes.

Strain the corn mixture in a pan. Do the same thing with the other half of the corn kernels and milk.

Place the corn milk in a medium heat, add the sugar and the butter. Stir constantly, until bubbling. The corn milk will be of a creamy consistency. Pour into small ramekins, and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Serve warm or cold.


Did you know that corn is used to produce fuel alcohol? The fuel alcohol or biofuel is added to gasoline as additive, so the gasoline burns cleaner, reducing air pollution.

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Easy Blender Chicken Pie

This is a chicken pie recipe that is very simple and yet savory, very popular is Brazil due to its simplicity and adaptability. By the way, I am bringing this pie to Louise’s picnic at Months of Edible Celebrations. July is picnic month!

A- Almond Joy Pie (Marjie) @ Modern Day Ozzie & Harriet

B- Baked Beans (Kasha) @ Grub and Stuff

C-Chocolate Picnic Cake Janet @ Dying for Chocolate

D-Dutch Funnel Cake (Julie) @ Sporadic Cook

And my letter is “E”…and I am bringing EASY BLENDER CHICKEN PIE!

The chicken filling can be substitute for only vegetables ( in case you are vegetarian), ground meat and so on. As a matter of fact a different version of this post was one of my very first post.
I like this dish because again it fits in a “One Dish Meal” category.
It is good when the pie is just out of the oven, or for the next day lunch by warming up slightly at the microwave or cold.


Chicken Filling
2chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1 can of stewed tomatoes
¼ cup chopped black olives
2 cups frozen bell peppers (tri color)
1 medium onion, sliced
½ bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

2½ cup milk
¾ cup canola oil
3 large eggs
4 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1½ cup all purpose flour
1 cup corn starch


Chicken Filling
Sautee the onion in the olive oil, add the shredded chicken, black olive, stewed tomato, and the bell peppers, let it cook until the bell peppers are cooked.

Add salt and pepper to taste and add the cilantro to the chicken. and remove from the heat.

Set the chicken filling aside, by letting it cool.

In the meantime prepare the dish by coating with oil and flour, use a oven safe dish (I used a pyrex, of approximately 71/2 x 11 1/2 in).

Mix all the ingredients in the blender. Preheat the oven to 350F.

Pour half of the batter into the pyrex, then gently spread the chicken filling into the batter, make sure that is evenly spread. Cover the chicken with the remaining batter.

Bake for approximately 50 minutes at 350F, until a toothpick come out clean.

Serve warm.

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Coconut Rolls

These coconut rolls are yummie, it is very common in Brazil, where they are sold in the “padarias” which translate to bread stores. “Padarias” are found in every block in major cities and you can smell the bread baking during morning time.

I used my Zojirushi bread machine to make the dough. The rolls are filled with a tasty and creamy coconut filling. It is a treat as snack and even for breakfast.


½ cup milk
1 egg
1 cup bread flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon yeast
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup sugar
¼ cup milk
¾ cup coconut flakes

1 egg to brush the rolls


Follow the instructions of your bread machine for dough setting.

After removing the dough from the bread machine, knock the dough back and rest the dough in the refrigerator overnight by wrapping the dough in plastic wrap or a container, just remember that the dough will rise throughout.

In the meantime, mix the ingredients of the filling and cook in low heat until a slightly creamy sauce. Do not over cook.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator, knock it down gently and roll it open to a rectangle of approximately 1/3 to ½ inch thick.

Spread the coconut filling on top of the dough.

Roll it and cut into 16 pieces.

Place the rolls in the pan and let it rise in a warm place for approximately 1~2 hours or until double the size.

Brush the rolls with the beaten egg and bake in a preheated oven for 15 ~ 20 minutes at 350F.

The leftover can be stored in the refrigerator and warm it up at the microwave.

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Baked Panela Cheese

This baked cheese can be served alone or with bread and crackers. It is tasty and easy, and makes a great appetizer dish.


1~1 ½ lb Panela Cheese
3~4 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon olive oil



Slice the cheese, about 1 inch thick.

Place the slices of cheese in a baking dish, top with the minced garlic and sprinkle with the oregano and top it with olive oil.

Bake in preheated oven at 375F for approximately 20~25 minutes or until the garlic turn slightly golden brown.

Serve hot.


Panela cheese or queso panela is used in many Mexican foods. When fresh has a similar texture of mozzarella, but once cooked carries a very different texture, since does not melt like mozzarella cheese by holding its shape.

Thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes and have a great week!

Cheese Balls (Pao de Queijo)

These cheese balls are called “pao de queijo” in Portuguese, which can be translated to cheese bread. They are very popular in Brazil and you even see this bread selling at the malls in small kiosks.

The interesting thing about this bread is the texture which is not the conventional bread texture therefore you need to acquire the taste. When I first introduced this bread to my American friends I need to admit that I was a little reluctant since I was not sure of the acceptance of it, but interestingly most of them liked it and even asked for the recipe.

The good thing about this recipe is that you can make the balls and freeze, so when you have guest the cheese balls can go from the freezer to the oven and be served in less than 25 minutes. I always make them in advance, as a matter of fact I always have them in my freezer.


1 lb tapioca powder
4 eggs
1 cup water
½ cup vegetable oil
1 ½ teaspoon salt
Parmesan cheese


In a small pan add water, oil and salt, bring to boil and carefully add to the tapioca powder.

Mix gently until you can manage with your hands (be careful it is very hot).

Alternatively add the eggs and the Parmesan cheese until a dough is formed.

The trick is to add Parmesan cheese to form a big ball of dough.

Make small balls (freeze at this point if you desire), bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 300F.

Serve warm. Makes approximately 50 to 60 cheese balls.

If you enjoy this traditional recipe for the Brazilian pao de queijo, you might want to try the Asian version.


Did you know that tapioca powder is a starch from yuca? Therefore is gluten free? Yuca is known as “cassava”, “mandioca” and “aipim”. Yuca is native of Brazil (Amazon) and now is cultivated worldwide. Tapioca is well known commercially as pearl tapioca, where is commonly used in Southeast Asia in sweet drinks.

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Growing up in Brazil, we were so exposed to Middle Eastern food and Esfiha was something that you could literally find in almost every corner.


¾ cup of water
2 cups bread flour
1½ tablespoon sugar
1½ tablespoon dry milk
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon yeast


1 lb of lean ground beef
2 large tomato cut in small pieces
1 large onion chopped
½ bunch Italian parsley
2 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon ground all spice
Sal and pepper to taste



I use my mini bakery Zojirushi for the dough, or follow the instructions of your bread machine.In my bread machine.

Place the water first at the bottom of the bucket and add the dry ingredients. Choose the dough setting, when the cycle is complete, gently remove the dough from the bucket and knead until all the bubbles are removed.

Mix all the ingredients and let it set for a few minute.


Knead the dough to remove the air bubbles, after removing the air bubbles from the dough make a roll and cut into 12 equal pieces.

Open the dough (approximately 4 in diameter), place approximately 3 tablespoon of the meat filling in the middle of the dough and close it by making a triangle (see the pictures).

Place the esfihas in a flour surface and let it rest for 30 minutes.

Bake in a hot oven, 400F for 20 minutes.


Did you know that esfiha is also called sfiha in Arabic? It means meat with dough. In Brazil, esfiha is very popular due to the presence of a large Arab population.

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