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Off Campus: Out of the Lab and Into the Kitchen

Published on
Aug 30, 2019

By Barbara Drosey

Editor’s note: Welcome to our new blog series! “Off Campus” is where you’ll discover what our amazing Research Institute employees do for fun, recreation, and the good of their communities once they leave the city behind. And if you know someone in your department or lab with a fascinating hobby or interest, we’d like to hear about it!

As director of the Congenital Hyperinsulinism Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Diva De León-Crutchlow, MD, MSCE, leads a combined clinical and research program aimed to treat patients with hyperinsulinism through medical management or surgical intervention.

When not providing care, meeting with families, and monitoring patients’ glucose readings, she works alongside a multidisciplinary team in the lab to research the underlying causes of hyperinsulinism. They are developing novel courses of individualized treatment for children with this condition, with the goal of improving their long-term outcomes and development.

When your day job requires such intense focus, how do you unwind? In Dr. De León-Crutchlow’s case, she likes to cook.

"Cooking"The De León-Crutchlow family creating memories and delicious dishes in the kitchen. Photo by Mary Ann Crutchlow.

“That's my relaxing time, cooking for my family – two boys, ages 10 and 12, and my husband, who loves to eat,” she said. While Dr. De León-Crutchlow enjoys trying a variety of dishes, she mixes in a bit of her history with her growing boys. “I'm originally from Panama, so I like for them to get used to Panamanian food.”

It seems Dr. De León-Crutchlow has passed her love for culinary adventures onto her sons, who are big fans of the “Food Network.” During a recent beach vacation, they created a menu for each night, with mom and dad supplying the ingredients to bring the meals to fruition.

Dr. De León-Crutchlow shared a treasured family favorite.

Rice Pudding (Arroz con leche)

This is my great grandmother’s recipe, perfected and passed to us by my mother, who is the world’s expert on rice pudding as far as my children are concerned.


1 cup of medium grain white rice

5 tablespoons of sugar

2 cans of evaporated milk

2 cans of condensed milk

2 sticks of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract


Cook the rice in 4 cups of water with the cinnamon until the rice is very soft and all the water has been absorbed by the rice. Add the evaporated milk, condensed milk, and sugar. Stir frequently. Turn off the stove when the mixture is the consistency of a thick pudding. Add the vanilla. Serve warm or cold.