Lamb Ragu

Lamb Ragu. Here is yet another simple and delicious meal to make. This rich and creamy, pasta is a spin on the traditional spaghetti sauce. Served over your pasta. Flavored with tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, and a little red wine. Perfect for lunch or dinner! You can’t go wrong. So gather around the table with your friends and family and enjoy this wonderful pasta dish.

 

Lamb Ragu

1lb ground lamb
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-28oz can whole peeled tomatoes (I used San Marzano)
2 cloves garlic, minced.
One small red onion, diced.
Three cups cremini mushrooms, sliced.
One cup full-bodied red wine (I used a cabernet)
One cup sour cream
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon Herbs de Provence
1 1/2teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/12 tablespoons brown sugar (Of course I’m going to use it!)
1lb box favorite pasta (I used fusilli pasta)
Grated parmesan cheese for garnish
Fresh basil or parsley for garnish

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Make sure to salt your water! Add the pasta and cook according to instructions. Drain pasta. And set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add your onion and garlic and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the ground lamb into the pan. Season with salt, pepper, paprika, and Herbs de Provence.

Break up your lamb as it browns. Letting all of the liquid evaporate in the pan until you see little bits start to stick to the pan. Add mushrooms.

Add wine and deglaze the pan by getting all those brown bits off the bottom of the pan. (So much flavor!!) Let the wine cook down to half its size. Add the whole tomatoes and gently break up, simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes. Add brown sugar and sour cream and mix well.

Serve over the pasta. Garnish with freshly grated parmesan and freshly chopped basil.

My kids loved this!

Enjoy,

Xo- Ayesha

Morning Roasted Pear Oatmeal

Morning Roasted Pear Oatmeal

Now I am always looking for ways to spruce up our household favorites. So I wanted to share with you a quick and flavorful take on an oatmeal recipe that the adults and kids will like this coming weekend. I pair Irish cut steel oats with a little cream and brown sugar and roasted pears. The house will smell like the holidays all over again as you roast your pears away! For the kids, I sometimes just take the roasted pear and just pour the yummy oatmeal over top. It’s like a pear bowl. The kids will love it. It truly amazes me all the things you can add and mix in to truly transform a plain old bowl of oatmeal. I hope that this becomes a new household favorite.

Xo- Ayesha

Morning Roasted Pear Oatmeal

3 cups water
1 cup steel cut oats
1⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup heavy cream
One tablespoon brown sugar
Pinch sea salt

Add cinnamon and oats into a pot and bring water to a boil. Stir well and cover. Adjust heat to low and simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Do not overcook! Remove from heat and add butter, sugar, cream, and pinch of salt. Top with roasted pears and a drizzle of pear juice from the pan. Serve immediately.

Roasted Pears

Three pears, cut into halves.
Two tablespoons butter, melted.
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Quarter and core the pears. (Use a melon scooper or small spoon.)

Place pear halves in baking dish. Brush pears liberally with melted butter. Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon mixture on top evenly.

Bake for 10-15 minutes.

Allow to cool and transfer to a cutting board. (Reserving sauce in pan)

With or without skin on chop into cubes.

Serve over top of oatmeal.

Enjoy!

Fluffy Ricotta Pancakes With Strawberry Sauce

Pancakes. Soft and fluffy melt in your mouth clouds of greatness that are smothered with maple syrup and in my household some form of fruit sauce. These “Fluffy Ricotta Pancakes With Strawberry Sauce” are irresistible and surprising. When I think ricotta cheese I definitely don’t think pancakes. But try it and I promise to change your mind. And the strawberry sauce is simple and tasty and the perfect partner for this dish. You can always substitute others fruits instead of strawberries. I just happened to have a bunch on hand. My “Raspberry Sauce” in my book “The Seasoned Life” would also be perfect with this dish! Share your favorite pancake toppings in the comments below.

Enjoy,
Xo- Ayesha

Fluffy Ricotta Pancakes With Strawberry Sauce

1 cup ricotta cheese
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon juice, fresh.
One cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons dark brown sugar (You can substitute white sugar.)
2-3 tablespoons butter for frying

Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and brown sugar in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl add ricotta, buttermilk, eggs, vanilla and lemon juice and combine well.

Carefully add the dry to the wet ingredients until combined. Don’t over mix the batter. It should be slightly lumpy. And set aside.

Heat a large griddle or cast iron skillet over medium-low heat and add a tablespoon of butter. (Use about one tablespoon butter for each batch of pancakes you make.)

Scoop pancake batter onto the hot pan. (I use a 1/4 measuring cup to get the same sized pancakes every time.)

Cook until the edges are set and bubbles form on top of the pancake. Flip and cook until browned.

Serve ricotta pancakes warm and top with strawberry sauce and a little or a lot (no judgment here) of maple syrup!

Strawberry sauce

1 1/2 cups strawberries, chopped.
One tablespoon brown sugar
One tablespoon agave nectar
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
Pinch of salt

To make the sauce place chopped strawberries, sugar, and agave into a small saucepan. Coat well and add water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower heat and stir until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

Allow to cool and serve with pancakes!

A Deliciously Simple Pasta With A Fancy Name “Cacio e Pepe”

A Deliciously Simple Pasta With A Fancy Name. “Cacio e Pepe” is a classic dish that utilizes simple ingredients and turns them into something so delicious. A Roman dish that means “cheese and pepper.” It’s tossed with olive oil, cracked black pepper, butter and grated cheese. Here I threw some sauteed mushrooms over the top but that’s entirely up to you. Traditionally the recipe wouldn’t call for that. I’m all for adding extra flavor. A meal that is perfect for a late night craving or when my kids want something quick to eat. They can handle the peppery taste and my kids really LOVE pasta of any kind! Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Enjoy!

Xo- Ayesha

Oops almost forgot my mushrooms!!

Cacio e Pepe Pasta (Cheese and Pepper)

1/2 pound pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter, unsalted.
3/4 cup Pecorino-romano cheese, grated.
3/4 cup Parmigiano-regiano cheese, grated.
Coarse ground black pepper (About 1 1/2- 2 tablespoons)
Kosher salt to taste
Sauteed sliced mushrooms. (optional)

In a large pot bring water and bring to a boil. Salt your water with about one tablespoon of salt. Add in pasta and cook according to the cooking time on the box. Reserve 1 cup of cooking liquid (water) from the pot and set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add olive oil and black pepper. Heat until the pepper begins to sizzle. Add in 2-3 tablespoons of water along with butter and stir well. Transfer hot pasta into the pan and coat with pepper mixture.

Add in cheese and toss until all of the pasta has been coated and doesn’t stick. Season to taste and serve.

I added some sautéed mushrooms over the top of mine. They were just baby portabello mushrooms that were sauteed in butter with a little salt.

**Make sure you serve with the option of extra black pepper and cheese if wanted.**

Maple Balsamic Roasted Vegetables

Maple Balsamic Roasted Vegetables. Okay, so this side dish (Or main if that’s your preference) can be put together in a flash! Deliciously seasoned and roasted vegetables are coated in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and maple syrup before being roasted to perfection! But please don’t overcook it. Always set a timer to avoid mishaps in the kitchen. (You can also use your oven or microwave timer) It is a lifesaver/food saver! Nothing smells worse than overcooked broccoli! Maple and balsamic give this dish a sweet and sour flavor. This is seriously the easiest, simplest, and the BEST way to roast your vegetables.

Enjoy

Xo- Ayesha

 

Maple Balsamic Roasted Vegetables

Maple Balsamic Roasted Vegetables

2 cups broccoli florets

1 zucchini, sliced and quartered.

1 yellow squash, sliced and quartered.

1 orange bell pepper, seeded and chopped.

1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped.

1 small red onion, peeled and cut.

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional.

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl add chopped vegetables.

In a small bowl mix balsamic, maple, olive oil, and red pepper flakes. Mix well.

Season the vegetables with spices and salt and pepper to taste. Add vinegar mixture and gently toss to coat.

Lay evenly on a non-stick baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until tender.

Sweet and Spicy Shrimp Wraps

Sweet and Spicy Shrimp Wraps. I’m craving something spicy and sweet! And this shrimp wrap hits the spot. Spicy and decadent wrapped in crisp lettuce and topped with some crunchy toppings like jicama, onion, and mango. Mango is always a staple in my household. And the sriracha honey is the perfect combination of sweet and spicy. You can easily modify this and grill the shrimp instead of pan frying it and serve family style with all the fixings. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Enjoy,

Xo-Ayesha

Sweet and Spicy Shrimp Wraps

1lb large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed.
One tablespoon butter (unsalted preferably)
One tablespoon olive oil
One tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
One tablespoon sriracha
One tablespoon honey
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 jicama, cut into matchsticks.
One mango pitted and cubed.
Cilantro, for serving.
1/2 red onion, peeled and diced.
Butter lettuce leaves for serving

Mix honey and sriracha together in a small bowl.

Season your shrimp with spices and sriracha honey mixture in a large bowl and set aside.

Heat oil and butter in a large pan over medium-high heat.

Add the seasoned shrimp to the pan. Cook for until golden brown and opaque throughout, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add lemon juice and remove from heat.

Serve the shrimp in lettuce leaves and top with desired accompaniments!

Homemade Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

Who doesn’t love a vinaigrette? Homemade salad dressing not only tastes better than the bottled stuff but it is incredibly easy to make. And although bottled salad dressing can be the easy alternative and inexpensive its full of salt and sugar. Making it yourself allows you to control what your eating. Not to mention its a nice touch to any dinner party to pop out your own bottle of salad dressing for serving.

I make it in big batches for large salads and sometimes will make a homemade vinaigrette to marinate some meat for the grill. This particular recipe is put together in a flash and has a little sweet and sour going on! You can store it in your refrigerator in a container with a tight-fitting lid for 3-5 days! So give it a shot and embrace the homemade salad dressing. Make sure to try this with my “Grilled Chicken Salad For A Crowd”. Whats your favorite salad dressing? Leave a comment below.

Xo- Ayesha

 

Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
1 tablespoon finely minced shallot
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice (Freshly squeezed of course!)
salt and pepper to taste. (I used 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper)

Just place all of your ingredients into a mason jar with a lid and shake well.

*Before you use your dressing, be sure to give it a taste. This is your moment to add more salt and pepper or make any other adjustments. *

Pour over salad and enjoy!

Grilled Chicken Salad For A Crowd With Vinaigrette

Grilled Chicken Salad For A Crowd With Vinaigrette

Sometimes I just need a break from all the carbs! This salad makes for a delicious weeknight salad recipe that has the perfect balance of salty and sweet! Filled with chicken, crisp apple, pears, goat cheese, tomatoes, onions, and topped with a Vinaigrette! Such a flavorful salad! I used fresh romaine lettuce in this dish, but you can use any mix of greens you have on hand. Quickly brown some marinated chicken and assemble your salad. Dinner will be at the table in no time.

Enjoy!

Xo- Ayesha

Grilled Chicken Salad For A Crowd With Vinaigrette

Four boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 cups romaine lettuce, thoroughly washed
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled.
1 cup whole baby tomatoes
1/2 cup red onion, diced.
1/2 cup dried cranberries
One green apple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced.
One pear, peeled and thinly sliced.

Assemble the salad by adding lettuce to a large serving bowl and topping with sliced apple, pears, onions, cheese, tomato, and cranberries.

Add sliced chicken to the salad and serve with honey mustard vinaigrette.

Grilled Chicken

Four boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Two tablespoon lemon juice
Two tablespoons olive oil
One tablespoon dijon mustard
Two tablespoons dark brown sugar
Two tablespoon soy sauce
Two cloves garlic cloves, minced.
One sprig fresh thyme (1/4 teaspoon)
One sprig fresh rosemary
Salt and pepper, to taste.

Add chicken breasts to a large ziplock bag.

In a small bowl add all ingredients and mix well. Pour mixture over chicken and seal bag. Allow chicken to marinate for at least 1 hour or overnight. Making sure to turn the bag occasionally.

Remove chicken from marinade. Do not use any of leftover marinade.

Preheat a grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook about 5-6 minutes on each side and juices run clear. Remove from pan and allow to cool.

Slice at an angle and serve cooled chicken over your salad.

Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

Two tablespoons honey
Two tablespoons dijon mustard
One tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste.

Just place all of your ingredients into a mason jar with a lid and shake well.

Pour over salad and enjoy!

Lamb Sliders With Mint Yogurt Sauce

Happy Friday everyone!

Looking for a good Superbowl recipe? Well, look no further and try out this super simple “Lamb Sliders With Mint Yogurt Sauce“! Now I’m a big fan of lamb. Whether I’m making lamb chops (My husbands favorite!), game day chili or pasta sauce for the kids. It’s a very lean red meat with a bold taste that my family loves. This particular recipe would fool even the pickiest of eaters. I hope that you score a Super Bowl touchdown with these tasty slider recipes that I shared this week!

Game on!
Xo- Ayesha

 

Lamb Sliders With Mint Yogurt Sauce

Two tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground lamb
1/4 cup red onion, finely minced.
1 garlic clove, minced.
2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled.
Mint yogurt sauce, for serving. (Recipe follows below.)
Sliced tomato, lettuce, and thinly sliced red onion for serving.
8 Pretzel slider buns

In a large bowl combine the ground lamb, cumin, coriander, oregano, minced garlic, and feta. Be careful to not over mix. And form the mixture into eight mini patties.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Salt and pepper the lamb burgers to taste on both sides.

Cook for 5-6 minutes per side and allow to rest.

Place your burger on the pretzel bun and top with mint yogurt sauce and desired toppings! Serve on a large plate or serving board.

Mint Yogurt Sauce

1 cup plain greek yogurt
2 tablespoons minced mint
1 teaspoon chopped dill
1 teaspoon lemon juice
One garlic clove, minced.
Salt and pepper to taste.

Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

Enjoy!

Fried Chicken Slider With Crispy Proscuitto And Apple Slaw

Fried Chicken Slider With Crispy Proscuitto And Apple Slaw

I mean who doesn’t love a good fried chicken sandwich?! Well, this slider has all the flavors of a classic fried chicken sandwich with a few upgrades. I’m amping it up with some crispy prosciutto and breaded panko chicken. Topped with a bright and tangy apple slaw that packs a little sweet and heat. All nestled inside a buttery Hawaiian roll. This will please your guests and possibly distract everyone from the big game. Get your kiddos in on the action by helping you chop up the apples and cabbage! Your family will be sure to make these again and again! Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Enjoy

Xo- Ayesha

Fried chicken slider with crispy prosciutto and apple slaw

Two boneless-skinless chicken breasts
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Hot sauce, 2-3 dashes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
Oil for frying (I used canola)
Slider Buns (I used King’s Hawaiian buns)
Sliced tomato for serving.
Romaine lettuce for serving.
Mayonnaise for serving. (I mixed mine with a little sriracha for some kick)

I pre-soak the chicken in buttermilk the night before for this recipe. But you can have the chicken marinate for at least 1 hour before coating and frying.

In a large covered bowl add chicken, buttermilk, cayenne, half garlic powder, hot sauce and refrigerate.

Heat large skillet or cast iron with about 2 inches of oil. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk and set aside. In a bowl combine the flour, panko, garlic, paprika, salt, and pepper. Coat chicken in flour mixture and shake off excess.

Fry the chicken a little at a time for 3-4 minutes per side. You want that golden brown color and juices running clear. Transfer to a lined plate to drain off oil.

Cut your rolls in half and toast them. Top with fried chicken, prosciutto, slaw, and desired toppings. Serve and enjoy!

Crispy prosciutto:

Four slices prosciutto, thinly sliced.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

On a lined baking sheet place prosciutto.

Bake for about 10-13 minutes, or until crisp.

Remove from oven and allow to cool. Set aside.

(You can also crisp them up in a skillet over medium-high heat. But observe as the prosciutto will crisp very fast!)

Apple Slaw:

1 cup finely shredded red cabbage
2 granny smith apples, peeled and cored.
1 jalapeno, deseeded and finely chopped. (Like to leave some of the seeds in for heat)
1 tablespoon lime juice
1⁄4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
Pinch of salt

Slice and cut apples into matchsticks and add to a large bowl. Mix in jalapeño and cabbage.

In a small bowl prepare the vinaigrette. Mix honey, vinegar, honey, lime juice, and salt. Wisk together.

Pour vinaigrette over slaw and stir well. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

(Stir well before serving over sliders.)

Enjoy everyone!

10 Minute Pasta!

Here is a throwback recipe to make something fresh, light, quick and EASY! This simple recipe uses things that I already have in my refrigerator. Turns out amazing! It’s a great vegetarian option too! Try it and let me know what you think in the comments below!

Ingredients 
2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes(halved)
1 small shallot chopped
3 cloves of chopped garlic
A handful of FRESH basil chopped
a sprig of fresh rosemary
3 tablespoons of butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
a pinch of salt
1 package of Capellini pasta
Parmigiano-Reggiano (to taste )
Bring a pot of COLD water to a boil on the stove. While the water is heating up, place your skillet on med-high heat and sauté the butter, olive oil, garlic and shallots in a pan until the shallots become translucent (not brown). Add the rosemary, cherry tomatoes and pinch of salt for flavor. Sauté for about 2 to 3 mins and add in your chopped basil. By now your water should have come to a raging boil. Add in your capellini pasta and cook as directed on the package (usually about 3 mins). Drain the water from the pasta and add to your tomato mixture. Mix together well and then plate the pasta. Top with fresh Parmigiano and enjoy!

dsc01533-1

 

dsc01527-1

THE BEST Salmon Burger

So, if you guys don’t already know… I LOVE FOOD! I love to cook it, eat, look at it, caress it, kiss it, fondle it (getting a little weird now). I’m sure you get the point. One thing that my food and I seem to argue about is it’s creativity, flavor and ability to sometimes be so mundane! Food should be fun, flavorful and full of life! This salmon burger I created embodies all of those things, it’s basically a party in your mouth with every single bite. It’s so quick and easy to make and tastes great warm or cold. I hope you enjoy!

Ingredients: (for 1 burger)

6-8oz filet of Wild Salmon

Lemon wedge

1 tsp Cajun rub

salt and pepper to taste

1 Tsp of Basil Paste

1Tbs Vegenaise

2 Tbs Of  a tropical Salsa of you choice ( I used pineapple, papaya, mango and lime juice)

Handful of arugula

1 Sweet Roll or Brioche Bun

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 425. Rub the salmon with cajun rub (if you don’t have cajun rub use paprika, a tiny bit of chili powder, salt and pepper). Place it on a baking tray and bake for 7-10 mins. While the salmon is baking you can prepare your basil mayo by combining the vegenaise and basil paste. Spread it onto the bottom of the bun. When the salmon is done, place it on top of the mayo’d bun, top with the salsa and the arugula, Lastly, you can add a little more basil mayo to the top bun, cover your sandwich and enjoy!!! This is a perfectly satisfying and healthy lunch for a warm sunny day.

IMG_3479 IMG_3489 IMG_3490 IMG_3492 IMG_3498 IMG_3502 IMG_3505 IMG_3510