Easy dinner recipes: 3 tempting after-dinner dessert ideas

Let's get the weekend started by thinking beyond dinner to dessert. These simple dishes are sure to make a picture-perfect finish to any meal:

Pistachio creme brulee: You'll love the subtle pistachio undertones of this creme brulee, a nice take on this classic custard topped with the brittle caramel crust. It's a perfect dessert to make in advance if you're entertaining.

Citrus tiramisu: Love tiramisu? Or perhaps you'd love the dessert if only it wasn't overwhelmed with coffee flavor. Either way, you have to try this take from Cayenne Cafe. Light and bright, with fresh lemon notes, it's a cool take on the classic dessert, Italian for "pick me up."

RECIPES: 99 easy dinner ideas in about an hour or less

consider flank steaks with fresh chimichurri sauce. The sauce -- a little garlic, red wine vinegar, oil, fresh herbs and a touch of lemon juice -- comes together in almost no time, and those steaks will grill up in minutes. - See more at: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/dailydish/2012/06/dinner-tonight-grilled-flank-steaks-chimichurri-sauce.html#sthash.hTvQknwx.dpuf

Paradise bars: Pecans and coconut combine in a chewy, caremely, sweet topping baked over a rich shortbreadlike crust. Need I say more?

You can find all of the recipes below.

And for more ideas, click through our easy dinner recipes gallery and check out our Dinner Tonight page, devoted to recipes that can be made in an hour or less. Looking for a particular type of recipe? Comment below or email me at noelle.carter@latimes.com.

MORE RECIPES: 99 ADDITIONAL easy dinner ideas in about an hour or less


1 hour, plus cooling and chilling time. Serves 6

1/3 cup raw shelled pistachios

2 cups heavy cream

1/2 cup sugar, divided, plus extra for bruléeing

1/2 vanilla bean, seeded

5 egg yolks

1. Prepare the pistachio paste: In an oven heated to 350 degrees, toast the pistachios until fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove and cover with a towel, rolling to remove the skins from the hot pistachios. Grind the hot pistachios in a food processor until they are reduced to a paste. This should make about 2 1/2 tablespoons paste. Set aside.

2. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil.

3. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the cream, one-fourth cup sugar and vanilla seeds. Bring the cream just to a simmer, being careful that it does boil.

4. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining sugar with the egg yolks. Slowly add the hot cream mixture to the yolks, whisking constantly, to temper. Whisk in the pistachio compound to taste; depending on the intensity of the nuts, you might not use all of the paste (we tested with all of the paste).