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
Classic Guacamole with Baked Plantain Chips
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I don’t know about you, but I am always down to eat fresh, classic and flavorful guacamole. It doesn’t get more perfect than the combination of creamy and chunky avocado, bright lime juice, cilantro, crispy red onion, juicy tomato and one of my favorites, crumbled cotija cheese. Give me chips and a cold beer and I AM THERE.

During a recent shopping trip at my local Lidl, I came across the freshest plantains at the most amazing price. I knew right then and there I was making fresh plantain chips. Typically chips mean frying. Well, being in a third floor apartment where I can’t open the windows, frying is not always my favorite. I mean, the smell lingers for DAYS. Bring on the healthier alternative, baked plantain chips! They are just as tasty, easy to make and full of so much flavor.

I never thought guacamole could get any tastier, but boy was I wrong! Whether you’re eating solo binge watching the new season of Queer Eye (that may or may not be me), throwing a party or celebrating Taco Tuesday, this guacamole is the prime snack to accompany you.


Plantain Chips Ingredients

2 plantains
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
3 tablespoons olive oil

Guacamole Ingredients

4 medium avocados
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped (reserve 1 tablespoon for garnish)
2 roma tomatoes, pulp removed and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, finely chopped
1 lime
Kosher salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons cotija cheese (optional)
1 chili pepper, sliced (optional)

Begin by preheating the oven to 400 degrees. Use a knife or mandolin to thinly slice the plantains. Place the plantain slices in a bowl and add the olive oil, salt and chili powder. Mix well to coat each slice. Place the plantain slices on a lined baking sheet. Cook for 20 minutes total, flipping halfway through the cooking process. Remove from oven, sprinkle with additional salt and let cool.

For the guacamole, add the red onion, cilantro, tomatoes, garlic and jalapeño in a medium bowl. Halve and and remove the pit from each avocado. Scoop the avocado into the bowl. Mash and mix ingredients together until combined, but still chunky. Add the salt, chili powder and juice of 1/2 of the lime. Mix well. Add the avocado to another bowl. Top with sliced chili peppers, crumbled cotija cheese, cilantro and wedges from the remaining half of lime. Serve with the plantain chips and enjoy!

Elizabeth Canas
Chimichurri
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I’ve been on quite the chimichurri kick lately. It has all the flavor you never knew you needed. It’s perfect as a marinade for beef or as a topping to your favorite meat. It may not be traditional, but added to a fried egg and you’ve got yourself one flavorful breakfast!

Ingredients

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced or finely chopped

2 teaspoons crushed red pepper

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro

1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 tablespoons finely chopped oregano

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Add the garlic, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper go a bowl, mix well. Let sit for five minutes.

Add the parsley, oregano and cilantro to the garlic mixture and mix well. Add the remaining ingredients and stir together. Let the chimichurri sit for 20-30 minutes before using for cooking. Enjoy!

Elizabeth Canas
Skillet Chicken Thighs with Cilantro Salsa and Poblano Corn
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Looking for flavor in one skillet? Look no further than this skillet chicken thigh recipe with a cilantro salsa and sautéed poblano corn! It’s simple, delicious and has bold flavors perfect for a summer meal.

Cilantro Salsa

1 cup cilantro, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of a lime
Salt/Pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

For the Chicken

3 chicken thighs, skin on
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt/pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder


For the Corn

2 ears of corn, kernels removed
1 poblano pepper, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup cotija cheese
Salt/pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder

For garnish (optional)

1/2 avocado, sliced
1 lime, quartered
1 chili pepper, thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Begin by making the cilantro salsa one hour ahead of time. Mix all ingredients together and set aside.

For the chicken, season the chicken thighs with salt, pepper and chili powder. Heat two tablespoons olive oil over medium heat in a medium/large skillet. Once heated, place chicken thighs, skin side down. Cook until golden, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook the other side for an additional 2-3 minutes. Remove from the skillet.

In the same skillet, add one tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the chopped poblano pepper and corn for 5-6 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and chili powder. Create three spots and add the chicken thighs, skin side up. Place in the oven and cook for an additional 8-10 minutes.

Sprinkle the corn with the crumbled cotija cheese. Top the chicken with the cilantro salsa. Garnish the dish with sliced avocado, sliced chili pepper and lime wedges. Enjoy!

Elizabeth Canas
Thai Red Curry Noodle Salad with Red Chili Shrimp
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When you say Thai red curry, I think FLAVOR. Red curry paste compliments pretty much anything it touches including chicken, shrimp vegetables and so much more. It is often served as a hot dish and paired with the sweet and creamy flavors of coconut milk. Well, I live in Georgia and it’s summer, so forget about the hot dishes — although I admit I had soup for lunch
(oops)! What to do when you’re looking for something refreshing and summer-friendsly, but with your favorite Thai red curry flavors? Make a cold noodle salad!

It’s basically the outdoor-picnic-favorite-pasta-salad with a twist! Not only that, but this recipe is easy and a great introduction into cooking with Thai flavors. Did I mention it is oh, so fresh? Grab the flavor, it’s “Thai-me” to get cooking!

Dressing Ingredients

1 tablespoon red curry paste
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 dashes sesame oil
1 teaspoon tahini
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon water

Salad Ingredients

8 oz dried rice stick noodles
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced
2 tablespoon green onions, sliced
3 tablespoon cilantro, unsliced
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 fresh chili pepper, sliced
3 tablespoons roasted peanuts, chopped
1 lime, for garnish

Shrimp Ingredients

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon chili oil
Salt/pepper
1 tablespoon lime juice
12-15 shrimp, peeled and deveined

Begin by cooking the noodles. Place noodles in a bowl and cover with very hot water. Let the noodles sit for 12-15 minutes. Once done, drain the noodles and run cold water to allow them to cool.

Next, prepare the dressing. Place all of the dressing ingredients in a bowl. Whisk well or blend together. Add half of the dressing to the cooled rice noodles and mix well. Top with all of the sliced salad ingredients, minus the cilantro, sliced chili peppers and peanuts.

Place a skillet with the two tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium heat. While the skillet is heating, dry the shrimp and season with salt/pepper. Add the shrimp to the heated skillet. Drizzle with the chili oil and cook for 2-3 minutes. Note: do not overcook the shrimp as it will get a rubbery texture. Pour the lime juice over the shrimp.

Allow the shrimp to cool. Once cooled, place the shrimp on top of the salad. Garnish with the cilantro, sliced chili peppers, peanuts and the remainder of the red curry dressing. Enjoy!

Elizabeth Canas
Classic Fettuccine Alfredo
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What if I told you fettuccine minus the heavy cream is SO much better? I’ve had my fair share of this classic dish throughout the years, cream included (although I’d still eat it all day everyday). However, this recipe has all the flavor and is so light you won’t even care if you eat a giant bowl! The best part about this dish is you only need 5-6 ingredients, depending on what you choose to top it with.

Grab those carbs and cheese and go get cooking!

Ingredients

8 oz fettuccine noodles, or other long noodles
2 cups reserved pasta water
5 tablespoons European butter
1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
Salt/lack pepper
1 tablespoon parsley (optional)

Begin by filling a pot with water, salt well and bring to a boil. Add the noodles and cook until al dente. Once finished, reserve 2 cups pasta water and drain the noodles.

Place a skillet over medium heat. Add 1 cup pasta water and bring to a simmer. Slowly add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, and whisk well.

Next, slowly add the cheese in batches and whisk until completely dissolved. Add the noodles to the skillet, stir well. Add additional pasta water for desired consistency. Serve immediately and top with parmesan cheese, black pepper and parsley. Enjoy!

Elizabeth Canas
Summer Burrata Salad
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Give me ALL the burrata cheese. But really though, it’s SOOO good. During summer, I am a fan favorite of the light, no-cook and flavorful meals. Bring on this summer salad with burrata cheese, arugula, prosciutto, grilled local peaches and balsamic glaze. It’s such a great side dish or light main dish for all the cheese lovers out there.

Ingredients

2 small peaches

1 ball of burrata cheese

3 slices prosciutto

3 cups fresh arugula

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

salt/pepper

1 tablespoon balsamic glaze

Fresh basil, chopped (optional)

Heat a grill or grill pan over medium heat. Slice the peaches and grill for 1-2 minutes. The peaches should soft at the surface, but remain firm.

Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add to the arugula and mix together. Place the arugula mixture in a bowl.

Tear the prosciutto into smaller pieces. Add the prosciutto to the arugula. Add the grilled peaches and burrata cheese. Drizzle with the balsamic glaze, garnish with fresh basil and top with addition salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Elizabeth Canas