Thai Green Curry Chicken Stew
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True fact: I eat soup and stew any season throughout the year. Some people might think I am crazy for braving the 95 degree Georgia heat while eating soup, but the heart wants what the heart wants! The combination of flavorful green curry, creamy full-fat coconut milk, vegetables and succulent chicken thighs make for an ULTIMATE bowl of flavor and comfort. By adding rice, it turns it into a hearty dish perfect for any meal.

Growing up, I was not used to cooking with green curry and other Thai flavors. However, I have learned not to be intimidated, because it is so easy to incorporate it when cooking. All you need for this green curry stew is one pot, good ingredients, a little bit of time and of course, an appetite!

Ingredients

3 bone in, skin on chicken thighs
2 tablespoons oil
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons green curry paste
1 tablespoon grated ginger
3 cups chicken stock
1 can full-fat coconut milk
1 zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 yellow squash, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 cup broccoli florets
1 1/2 cups cooked Jasmine rice
Juice and zest of 1 lime
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (plus more for garnish)
1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced (for garnish)
1 red chili pepper, thinly sliced (for garnish)

  1. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper.

  2. Place the oil in a stockpot and heat over medium heat. Once heated, add the chicken thighs, skin side down. Add the onions and garlic. Cook for 4 minutes, then flip the chicken thighs and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

  3. Add the green curry paste and grated ginger to the pot. Cook for an additional 30 seconds.

  4. Add the chicken stock and coconut milk to the pot. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 10-12 minutes.

  5. Add the zucchini, yellow squash and broccoli florets to the pot. Continue to simmer for 8-10 minutes.

  6. Remove the chicken thighs and shred into small pieces. Add the shredded chicken back to the pot.

  7. Add the rice to the pot and simmer for an additional 5-6 minutes. This will allow the stew to thicken.

  8. Add the chopped cilantro, lime juice and zest to the pot. Stir together and cook for 1-2 more minutes.

  9. Add to a bowl and garnish with additional cilantro, red onion and fresh chili pepper slices. Enjoy!

Elizabeth Canas
Browned Butter Pecan Chocolate Chip and Nutella Cookies
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There is nothing quite like a giant, gooey cookie to fulfill a sweet tooth. Typically, I am more likely to grab a box of Cheez-it crackers than I am to reach for the sweets. However, when the sweet tooth calls, these brown butter pecan chocolate chip cookies with decadent Nutella are definitely the answer! The nutty browned butter and salty pecans add the perfect balance to this sweet treat! Homemade cookies offer so much more flavor and are surprisingly easy to make (and enjoy)!

Ingredients

1 cup unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped
1/2 cup Nutella


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Melt the butter over medium-low heat. As it begins to foam, move the pan back and forth. When the butter reaches an amber color, remove from heat and place in a bowl to stop the cooking process.

3. Place the flour, salt and baking soda in a bowl. Whisk together.

4. Place both sugars, vanilla and the browned butter the mixer. Beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes, or until combined well.

5. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until the mixture is lighter and fluffy.

6. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix on low speed to combine. Make sure to scrape the bowl and mix any excess flour into the dough.

7. Add the chocolate chips and pecans. Stir together by hand until evenly combined throughout the dough.

8. Place small dollops of Nutella into the dough. Lightly mix into the dough until there are swirls of Nutella.

9. Place the dough in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes. This allows the dough to set.

10. Note: I made large cookies (about 4 tablespoons of dough per cookie). However, you can use a small cookie scoop to make standard size cookies.

11. Place in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes. Remove the cookies and allow them to cool.

12. Enjoy!


Elizabeth Canas
Sheet Pan Low-Country Boil
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Living in Georgia, I have had my fair share of delicious Low-Country boils, otherwise known as a seafood country boil. They are delicious, fun and perfect for a large gathering. I mean, what is better than Old Bay seasoning with succulent shrimp, andouille sausage, fresh corn on the cob and potatoes? It is definitely “finger lickin’ good!” The classic recipe requires a slightly longer cooking time and a few more steps, but this baked sheet pan version offer tons of flavor in slightly less time (and mess). Real talk. I made this on a busy night and had dinner on the table in 35 minutes. It’s the perfect combination of spice, smokiness and flavor!

 

Ingredients

1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined 
3 ears corn, cut lengthwise into 3 pieces
½ cup unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
½ lb. assorted baby potatoes or small red potatoes
2 tablespoons vegetable “Better than Bouillon” (optional, but adds flavor to the water) 
1 package smoked sausage (andouille or other), sliced ¼ inch thick
Salt/Black pepper
Fresh parsley 
1 lemon, cut into wedges


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 

Fill  a large pot with water. Add a pinch of salt and vegetable bouillon, bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the potatoes and boil for 15 minutes. Add the corn at the 10 minute mark. Once finished, drain the water.

 While the potatoes cook, line a medium baking sheet with foil and coat with oil. 

Melt the butter. Add the garlic and Old Bay seasoning. Mix together.

Add the cooked potatoes, corn, raw shrimp and sausage to the pan. Season with black pepper and drizzle with half of the butter mixture. Toss to coat evenly. Place in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the shrimp are cooked and translucent. Remove from the oven. Drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons of the additional butter mixture. Sprinkle with fresh parsley, serve with lemon wedges and enjoy!

Elizabeth Canas
Fall Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad with Apples and Pecans
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Bring on the fall flavors! While I am a summer girl at heart (I know, don’t shame me), I love the rich flavors associated with this cooler time of year. Let’s just ignore the fact that it is almost fall in Georgia, but it is still 95 degrees! Needless to say, I’ll miss my heirloom tomatoes, but am so looking forward to hot soups, root vegetables, apple cider and so much more! How am a celebrating the changing seasons? With this fall quinoa salad with roasted vegetables, crisp apple, toasted pecans and a lemon thyme vinaigrette. Talk about a delicious, hearty and healthier dish! Even better, this salad is incredibly versatile and can be substituted with your favorite vegetables and flavors – even roasted pumpkin for all of the pumpkin lovers out there!

Dressing Ingredients

1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped

Salad Ingredients

2 cups cooked quinoa (note: make sure the quinoa is completely cooled)
2 small sweet potatoes, cubed
1 cup broccoli florets
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt/pepper
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
2 tablespoon pecans, toasted and chopped
1 small gala apple, or other apple of choice, chopped

 

Begin by whisking together the honey, Dijon mustard, salt, black pepper and thyme for the dressing. Once mixed, slowly add the olive oil and continue to whisk. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the cubed sweet potatoes, broccoli florets and sliced red onion on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and thyme. Mix together. Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until cooked and slightly golden. Allow the vegetables to cool once done.

Prepare the quinoa to the package instructions. If you want to add extra flavor, add a teaspoon of vegetable “Better than Bouillon” to the pot. Once cooked, allow the quinoa to cool. You can also make this ahead of time for less prep time.

 To assemble the salad, combine the cooked quinoa, roasted vegetables, spinach, apple and pecans. Mix to combine. Add anywhere between 2-3 tablespoons (based on your flavor preference) of the lemon thyme dressing and mix together. Optional: top with additional pecans and apple slices. Serve and enjoy!

Elizabeth Canas
Pesto Pasta with roasted tomatoes and burrata
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It may seem like I eat a lot of pasta, but that’s only because I do. I love the versatility and flavor that comes along with making a pasta dish. I also love how simple you can make these dishes. Cue the pesto pasta. All you need is pesto, burrata cheese, pasta and roasted tomatoes for a dish that will have you going back for seconds (or thirds).

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Ingredients

1 lb. pasta

1 handfuls fresh basil leaves

2 cloves garlic

1/4 cup pine nuts

1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for the tomatoes

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Salt/pepper, to taste

2 cups heirloom cherry tomatoes

8 ounces burrata cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Season the tomatoes with salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Mix to coat the tomatoes. Place the tomatoes on a baking sheet and roast for about 30-35 minutes.

Wash the basil leaves and lightly pat dry. Smash and peel the garlic. Place the basil leaves, garlic and pine nuts in a food processor. Note: you can also use mortar and pestle with these steps. Pulse until coarsely chopped. Slowly add the olive oil while the food processor runs. Process until smooth. Add the Parmesan, season with salt and pepper. Stir together.

Prepare the pasta according to package instructions, or until al dente (about 8-10 minutes). Reserve 1/4 cup pasta water. Drain the pasta and place into a mixing bowl. Add the pesto, mix well. Add some pasta water to allow the pesto to evenly coat the pasta.

Place in a serving bowl. Top with the roasted cherry tomatoes. Tear the burrata into chunks and place on the pasta. Finish everything off with freshly chopped basil. Enjoy!

Elizabeth Canas
Pizza Bianca
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Give me pizza and I am one happy camper. My dream house? One that has a wood fired pizza oven. One can dream, right? Until then, this pizza Bianca with Parmesan, mortadella, burrata cheese and basil definitely does the trick. Ever since watching Giada in Italy, I have been all about creating a similar recipe for her pizza Bianca. Also, can I talk about how that series made me one happy Italian girl? Grab the dough, because it’s time to make some pizza!

Ingredients

6 oz pizza dough

All purpose flour, for rolling the dough

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

10 thin slices mortadella

4 oz burrata cheese

1 teaspoon fresh basil

Divide the dough into two equal parts. Dust a board with flour and roll each piece of dough into a six-inch round.

Place the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Allow the oil to heat for two-three minutes and place the dough round in the pan. Cook for three minutes, or until the top begins to form bubbles. Flip and cook for an additional two minutes.

Remove the dough and top with grated Parmesan cheese. Top with five slices mortadella, basil and lemon zest. Tear the burrata into chunks and place on the pizza. Enjoy!

Elizabeth Canas
Chocolate Hazelnut pizza
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Life is sweet, especially when it includes dessert! Wow the special person in your life with this gooey, chewy and crunchy chocolate hazelnut pizza.

Ingredients

Pizza dough, enough to make a six inch round pizza

1/4 cup oil

4-5 tablespoons chocolate hazelnut spread

1/4 cup toasted hazelnut, chopped

1 pinch flaky sea salt

Heat the oil over medium heat in a medium/large skillet.

Roll the dough into a six inch round pizza, about 1/4 inch thick. When the oil is heated, place the dough in the skillet. Cook for 3 minutes, flip and cook for 2 additional minutes on the other side.

Remove the dough from the skillet and place on a paper towel lined place. Top with the chocolate hazelnut spread, chopped hazelnuts and flaky sea salt.

Move to the serving plate (or eat it off the plate, no judgement). Enjoy!

Elizabeth Canas
LOaded ChickeN Chorizo NaChos
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I’ve never tasted nachos I did not like. I accept them in all forms. Whether that’s only with cheese, minus the cheese or with ALL the toppings. Let’s be real though, you can’t go wrong when you pile on delicious toppings! Even better? Nachos are forgiving. You can add as little or as much of each ingredient and get creative when choosing your nachos masterpiece.

Break out the salty tortilla chips, cheese, creamy avocado, spicy chicken chorizo, all the classic toppings and the endless “nacho business” jokes. It’s time to eat some nachos!

Nacho Base Ingredients

4-5 large handfuls tortilla chips

1/2 lb. ground chicken chorizo

1 cup shredded Mexican cheese

Toppings

2 tablespoons sour cream

1/2 Avocado, sliced

3 tablespoons salsa

1 fresh jalapeño, thinly sliced

1 small tomato, chopped

1/2 onion, chopped

2 tablespoons cilantro

Begin by preheating the oven to 375 degrees.

Sauté the chicken chorizo for 6-8 minutes, or until cooked through. Place half of the tortilla chips on a baking sheet or small cast iron skillet. Top the tortilla chips with half of the chicken chorizo and half of the cheese. Repeat with the remaining tortilla chips, chicken chorizo and cheese. Place the nachos in the oven and cook for five to six minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil for 30 seconds. Remove from the oven.

Top the nachos with the salsa, avocado, onion, tomato, jalapeño, sour cream and cilantro. Enjoy!

Elizabeth Canas
Roasted caUlifloWer “potato” salad with Bacon and Capers
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It’s not summer without a cookout! Thinking back at summer memories, I can easily imagine sizzling hamburgers on the grill and the array of freshly made sides and summer salads, like the classic, potato salad.

While I love a great potato salad, there is something about the texture and lightness of substituting cauliflower that is equally delicious. Cue the cauliflower “potato” salad.

This recipe calls for classic ingredients along with the addition of crispy bacon and bright capers. However, the possibilities are endless with the “oh so versatile,“ cauliflower. Start planning that summer cookout, because it is time to start cooking!

Ingredients

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets

¼ cup olive oil

Kosher salt/black pepper, to taste

5 strips bacon, cooked (save one strip for garnish)

3 hard boiled eggs, 2 roughly chopped and the other thinly sliced

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

½ cup mayonnaise

1 shallot, minced

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon whole grain mustard

2 tablespoons capers, drained

3 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped

2 tablespoons green onions, thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat the cauliflower florets with the olive oil and season with kosher salt. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, or until cooked through and golden.

While the cauliflower cooks, use this time to make the dressing. Mix the white wine vinegar, mayonnaise, shallots, Dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, capers, black pepper and half of the parsley together. Set aside.

Remove the cauliflower from the oven and put into a large mixing bowl. Roughly chop the bacon and add to the bowl. Add the chopped hard-boiled eggs and dressing to the bowl, mix well.

Place the base of the cauliflower “potato” salad into a serving bowl, top with the additional slice of bacon, parsley, green onions and sliced hard boiled egg. Enjoy!

Elizabeth Canas
Parmesan and Pea Risotto with Seared Scallops
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My approach to cooking is often centered around whether or not the dish is dinner party approved. You’d think I have dinner parties ALL the time, but sadly I do not. That doesn’t mean this corny cook can’t dream, right? In the world of dinner party recipes, this recipe for parmesan and pea risotto with seared scallops lands high on the list of flavor AND easiness. The best part? This will leave your guests feeling happy, full and impressed. It also goes perfectly with a glass (or two) of wine! Dinner party or not, you’ll find yourself having a second helping, for sure.

Seared Scallops

1 lb. large scallops
2 teaspoons butter
2 teaspoons olive oil
Kosher salt
Black pepper

Parmesan and Pea Risotto

1.5 cups arborio rice (this is the key to risotto)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
1 small yellow onion, chopped
3 tablespoons salted butter
1 quart + 1/2 cup chicken stock
3/4 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
1 tablespoon Italian parsley, finely chopped
Salt, to taste

1. Begin by heating the saucepan for the risotto with 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion to the saucepan and cook 1-2 minutes, or until translucent. Add the arborio rice and sauté for an additional 1-2 minutes. This allows the rice to get a nutty taste. Add the wine to de-glaze the pan and cook until the liquid is absorbed.

2. Heat the chicken stock over medium-low heat until warm. Add 1/2 cup chicken stock to the rice and stir frequently until the liquid gets absorbed. Continue this process until all the chicken stock is used. This process should take 25-30 minutes.

3. The risotto should have a creamy texture with a “bite,” but be thoroughly cooked. At this point, add the butter and parmesan cheese, along with salt, to taste. Next, add the peas and stir until combined.

4. While the risotto is cooking, prepare the seared scallops. Rinse the scallops with cold water and pat dry. Add the butter and olive oil to a sauté pan and place over medium heat. While the pan heats, season the scallops with salt and pepper.

5. Place the scallops in the pan and sear for 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Note: it is important to not overcook the scallops.

6. Plate the risotto and top with the seared scallops, fresh parsley and additional parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Elizabeth Canas