Elizabeth and Lena Alvarez, Recipe Tester

A list of all the recipes Elizabeth and Lena Alvarez has tested.

Lena and Elizabeth Alvarez

Lena Alvarez was about the age of eight when she and her mum, Elizabeth, joined the Leite’s Recipe Testing community. Both Lena and Elizabeth are whole-heartedly grateful for the hundreds of tastes, tests, triumphs, and not-so-triumphant culinary moments (from their own learning curve!) afforded by David Leite and the Community of Leite’s Culinaria. Lena still is a devoted taster of great food, even as she studies ballet full-time in northern California. Elizabeth lives and works in Santa Barbara.

A peach berry sonker in a square baking dish with one serving missing.

Peach Berry Sonker

That’s right. Sonker. And it’s the simple yet unforgettable fruit dessert—sorta like pie meets cobbler—that you’ve been missing your entire life.

A baking dish filled with spicy hot fudge pudding cake and a spoon scooping out a portion.

Spicy Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

If your family is anything like ours, then you’ll be fighting over the last spoonful of this rich, gooey chocolate pudding cake.

A person using a kitchen towel to hold the sides of a large skillet filled with strawberries that are tossed with butter and sugar.

Caramelized Strawberries with Ricotta

If you’ve never experienced caramelized strawberries, grab a carton and get cooking. This easy 15-minute dessert features sweet cooked strawberries piled atop creamy ricotta cheese, and topped with fresh mint.

A wedge of white pizza on a piece of parchment.

White Pizza

We find this lovely, albeit subtly flavored, little number to be one of the simpler pleasures in life. We think you’ll concur.

2 pottery bowls filled with keto chicken coconut soup, with spoons and a bowl of lime and cilantro.

Keto Chicken Coconut Soup

An Asian flavored soup that’s also pretty healthy and incredibly tasty. What else could you ask for? Dairy-free and full of mushrooms? It’s all here.

A plate with parchment paper filed with squares of vegan walnut fig bars.

Vegan Walnut Fig Bars

A quick, healthy, vegan, fruit and nut-filled snack. Not too sweet but still good when you’re craving something less granola and more like dessert.

Two white serving plates with swirls of beet hummus, topped with chopped almonds

Beet Hummus

Extraordinary looking. Extraordinary tasting. Extraordinarily healthy. And super simple to toss together.

A frozen tub of plum sorbet, with a scoop of sorbet and some sugar cookies lying beside it.

Plum Sorbet

This plum sorbet is going to change your late-summer fruit strategy. And you don’t even need an ice cream maker. Now that’s easy and elegant.

Four chocolate coated dairy-free ice cream bars in a metal bucket.

Dairy-Free Ice Cream Bars

A homemade, dairy-free version of the commercial ice-cream pop with the grandiose name and gold foil-lined package. Sorta the same. Sorta reimagined.

Two blue glass plates with scoops of Turkish coffee ice cream, and a spoon

Turkish Coffee Ice Cream

Folks are saying this is the simplest ice cream recipe they’ve ever made. They’re also calling it the most satisfying.

Two small bowls of lemon ice, with a wooden popsicle stick resting on top of one.

Lemon Ice

We love ice cream, but sometimes it’s too darn hot and humid for anything sweet and sticky. Enter the lemon ice, a bracingly crisp and tart refresher. The best part—no ice cream maker required!

A stone bowl of mint pesto with a knife on top on a metal sheet pan

Mint Pesto

A novel take on the classic. Mint leaves, Parmesan, lemon, garlic, and peanuts (yes, peanuts), are blitzed in a food processor. It’s great on lamb, chicken, salmon, and pasta.

A bowl of pasta grattugiata with a metal spoon lifting a scoop out.

Pasta Grattugiata

A frugal Italian staple that’s crazy satiating yet made in minutes from mere flour, eggs, bread crumbs, and cheese.

Four bottles of natural food coloring in different shades.

How To Make Natural Food Coloring

At last, after literally years of searching, we have the perfect DIY natural food coloring recipe. No preservatives. No artificial coloring. No monumental price tag.

A white bowl with a serving of blueberry clafouti, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and a spoon resting in the bowl.

Blueberry Clafouti

Clafouti came into creation, we suspect, when angels got a little indulgent while making breakfast and ended up with something that veered into the realm of dessert. Our sorta divine intervention.