Cooking with my Kids! -Star Patties

I love cooking with my kids! Riley has been helping me out in the kitchen for such a long time. And now Ryan is showing an interest as well. Inviting my kids into the kitchen to help me cook our meals is a way for me to create quality time together but also helps them to learn some kitchen basics and feel confident. I’m always trying to come up with delicious and kid-friendly dishes that still include all of the flavors that I would put into mine. And fortunately for me, my kids are willing to try almost anything that I put in front of them. Besides chocolate of course! Weird I know. These star patties are packed full of flavor with some nutty and sharp Parmigiano-Reggiano, teriyaki sauce, fresh basil, garlic, and parsley. Its rolled out on some parchment paper (Riley’s job!) before being cut into shapes and baked off. Super simple and delicious. And so much fun! Just remember that whenever you have kids in the kitchen your inviting some extra mess. But those messes can always be cleaned. So enjoy the moment! Share your favorite thing to cook with your family in the comments below.

X0- Ayesha

Star Patties

Star Patties

1 pound ground beef or lamb
3 Tablespoons Teriyaki Marinade & Sauce
1/4 cup breadcrumbs (I used Italian)
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated. (You can also use just plain parmesan)
1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped.
1/4 cup Italian parsley, roughly chopped.
One garlic clove, finely minced.
One large egg, lightly beaten.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Parchment paper
Cookie cutter of your choice (My kids wanted to use a star)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl add in ground meat.

Add the egg, garlic, teriyaki, cheese, breadcrumbs, basil, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

Carefully mix. (You don’t want to over mix it)

Place the mixture in between two pieces of parchment paper.

Using either your hands or a rolling pin to flatten.

(I recommend letting it chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour before continuing.)

When your mixture is ready, you can remove the top layer of parchment paper and cut into shapes.

Place your shapes on a non-stick baking sheet and bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes.

serve with your favorite veggie and starch.

We used tomatoes and some Israeli couscous.


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.


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!

Fig And Orange Glazed Salmon Fillets

Fig and Orange Glazed Salmon Fillets

Happy Monday everyone!

I’m always on the hunt for a new and exciting approach to cooking salmon. And this dish is so darn flavorful and pairs one of my favorite proteins with FIGS! I’m a colossal fig lover, naturally, since I live in California where most of the nation’s fresh figs are grown. Their subtly sweet creamy and seedy texture make them great for both sweet and savory dishes. And the combination of sticky figs and orange is a winner in this recipe. A great sauce that adds the perfect amount of tangy and sweetness to the salmon. Are any of you fig lovers? Share in the comments below. Have a great week!


12-16 ounce salmon fillet, cut into four pieces.
Coarse salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

Orange Fig Sauce:

1 cup California figs, stems removed and halved.
1/2 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Cut stems from figs and cut into quarters. Place figs, orange juice, balsamic, and mint in a small pot. Bring to a boil and allow the sauce to reduce about 15-20 minutes. Once your figs have reduced and softened remove from heat.

In a blender add in hot fig mixture along with honey, dijon, and salt. Blend at low speed until well combined. It will be thick! But will melt wonderfully over the hot fish.

Drizzle your salmon with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place salmon, skin side down on a lined baking sheet. Bake until cooked through and flaky, about 12 to 15 minutes. Brush sauce liberally over salmon and serve with steamed rice.

Let me know what you think. Enjoy!

Xo Ayesha

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!

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!




Reliving Ropa…Vieja

I LOVE to try and recreate moments. I’m big on nostalgia. This past January we were in Miami and a couple of friends of mine took me to an incredible Cuban restaurant. My mom is Jamaican and Chinese, so I grew up with a ton of flavors in our kitchen very similar to that of Cuban food! Anyway, the girls had me try Ropa Vieja for the first time. It was incredible! The flavors were perfect, the meat was tender and the rice and beans balanced out the meal. 3,000-ish miles back to the west coast and I couldn’t stop dreaming about and salivating over this dish! I did a little research and found what I thought to be a good recipe. Went to the groceries, got my lovely pot out and started cooking and experimenting… It turned out perfect! The robust tomatoey flavor, tender beef, bite of the pepper and onions were unmatched! The cumin gave it that Cuban flare. I’ll stop rambling now, but it was perfection.

Here are a couple of pictures of my cooking process. If You’re feeling adventurous, or like you need to escape to somewhere warm and flavorful you can try the recipe and conquer this dish by clicking HERE.  Enjoy!!!

Ropa Vieja 

Note*** I did add about 2 TBS of brown sugar to the recipe. It brought out the flavors a bit more.


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Pearl Quinoa

Okay guys today we are talking about quinoa. Looks weird, tastes delicious. I find that any other grain besides rice can sometimes seem overwhelming or a bit foreign. Quinoa really isn’t, you actually prepare it just as you would traditional rice. There is so much you can do with this “super grain”. It’s a great alternative to rice as it is jam packed with protein, and doesn’t seem to weigh you down when you eat it. It’s also gluten-free so its a great side dish alternative. It also contains all 8 essential amino acids!

There are several different kinds of quinoa that I will be featuring periodically. Today, we are just going to focus on pearl quinoa which is the most common and the one we are all most likely familiar with. It’s a beige tiny pearl like grain when uncooked and becomes fluffy, yellow and “tadpole” like when cooked (The little stringy fiber hangs off after it’s been cooked, also a great indicator of when it’s done!)

Cooking this quinoa is simple. Add a cup and a half of liquid for every cup of quinoa. Bring to a boil, reduce and then simmer for 15 mins. Super simple!

Of course I have a hard time doing anything as directed and like to jazz things up a bit…

Instead of water using a homemade or store-bought stock of your choice is a nice additive instead of water. It just beings a more full-bodied flavor to the quinoa. After my quinoa is done cooking I love to transfer it to a saute pan with garlic, olive oil and finely chopped onions. So yummy. I know some people despise raisins, but they just taste so delicious in sautéed quinoa, it’s not even funny.

You can also make this ahead of time and refrigerate it for the entire week! A great superfood for easy food prep.

I hope you guys enjoyed this little tie bit of information. Have you tried quinoa?  Feel free to leave your amazing recipes below!

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Upright Roasted Chicken

Hi Everyone!

I hope you’ve all been well during my extremely long hiatus! First of all we’ve been moving into our new home (which we’re loving), and second we just got all our utilities hooked up today. Yikes!

With that being said i’ve been cooking ALOT this past week and was able to have my camera handy for all of it. I’ll be posting a few delicious recipes this coming week. I wanted to share this awesome chicken recipe I came up with for you guys! I stumbled upon this super cool roasting dish at World Market. It’s made specifically for roasting a whole chicken and has a little dish in the center that you can fill with a liquid of your choice in order to ensure you get the juciest roast chicken known to man! In my case I chose wine (naturally), and it was wonderful! Enjoy!

P.s- the roasting dish cost $19 🙂


1 Whole “fryer” chicken (it means that it’s been cleaned out ;))

1 stick of butter

2 lemons

zest of two lemons

fresh rosemary

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1 cup of white wine (sauvignon blanc in my case)

salt and pepper to taste

Potatoes and Carrots (enough to coat the bottom of the dish)



Make sure your chicken is completely dry (simply pat with paper towel). In a bowl combine room temperature butter, chopped fresh rosemary, garlic, lemon zest and salt. Mix together. This creates a yummy spread/coating for the chicken. Fill the center of the dish with the 1 cup of wine and place the cavity of the chicken over top so that it sits upright.  Rub the mixture all over the chicken using your hands (its going to be messy!). In another bowl coat your chopped carrots and potatoes with a tiny bit of olive oil and fresh ground black pepper. Place the chicken and veggies in a 425 degree oven for about an hour or until golden brown. Eat to your hearts content. Enjoy!!!


Mango Salsa!

This is an easy recipe I put together. It’s not really a chip dip type of salsa, more of a meal topper! You can put it over any type of grilled meat or vegetable, oven roasted chicken and in my case the salmon recipe from my previous post. It would even work great mixed in with a salad as a dressing alternative. The recipe is extremely quick and can even be made ahead of time. The longer the “salsa” sits in the refrigerator the better. Enjoy!


1 Cup of diced fresh mango

1 diced roma tomato

1 small shallot minced

handful of fresh mint

a pinch of salt and pepper

2 tablespoon of honey

juice of 2 lemons (be sure to remove any seeds!)

So… I’m not going to go through a long explanation of how to prepare the salsa. You basically throw all of the ingredients into a bowl, mix together and it’s done! So quick and easy you can do it with your eyes closed (but please don’t if you’re holding a knife 😉 ). Give it at least 30 mins in the refrigerator for all of the flavors to mend. Let me know what you think !



Game Winning Salmon!

I hope I don’t jinx myself with the title, but this salmon recipe is truly delicious and my husband did win a big game the night after I made this meal… so I’m sticking with the title.

This is another great quick and easy salmon recipe that takes about 30 mins total. I am all about a sweet and savory dinner. This recipe is just that! I cut out majority of the bad fat by using coconut oil. The fish came out moist and buttery without using any actual butter. Perfect! I paired it with a delicious homemade mango salsa which I will post the recipe for following this post. I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we do!

*** I also paired the fish with oven roasted asparagus. place the asparagus in a baking sheet drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and sprinkle with coarse sea salt (any salt will work but I love using the coarse sea salt) bake in the oven at 425 for about 15 mins. ***


6 salmon fillets (6oz each) – i used king salmon

salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp of both freshly grated ginger and garlic

3/4 cup of brown sugar

handful of coarsely chopped pecans

2 tbsp of coconut oil

Preheat your oven to 425. Place your salmon fillets in a baking dish and add a generous pinch of salt and pepper to coat the fillets. Add your ginger and garlic to the fillets. In a bowl combine your pecans, brown sugar and coconut oil to form a paste. Place the mixture over top of the fillets and pat it down to ensure good coverage. Pop the baking dish in the oven for about 20 mins. The brown sugar mixture will bake and bubble up to form the most delicious crust on top of the salmon. Its that easy! Yummy! (serves 6!)

Try it and comment below and let me know what you think 🙂 Be sure to top it with the mango salsa. It is such a good pairing! Enjoy!

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24 Til’ 24

So… I’m turning 24 in exactly 24 hours! I can’t believe it. I’ve learned so much this past year. I’ve some how grown to feel comfortable with myself/ in my own skin. I think it has something to do with motherhood and realizing that I can’t control every situation and everything that happens. I’ve become a go with the flow kind of gal… somewhat. The small things make me happy now. A baby giggle, a smile, a hug, dinner(while watching our favorite show during Riley’s nap time) and  prayer with my husband. Those are the things that truly bring joy into my life at this point. I’ve had to change my career path over the past couple of years. I am completely at peace with that decision and feel like i’ve found my way now through a lot of prayer and a lot of living in the moment and enjoying what God has placed in front of me. At this point being able to cherish the priceless moments with my little family is the best birthday gift I could ask for and I am so grateful that I get to do that. It’s going to be interesting to see what 24 has in store for me. I’m ready for ya so BRING IT ON!

We celebrated a a little early since Stephen has a game on my actual birthday. We went to my favorite restaurant… wait for it… OSHA THAI on 2nd street in San Francisco. I love that place. We definitely over ate and I have no problems with that. We had bacon wrapped scallops, crispy calamari and ahi tuna for appetizers. For dinner we had Kurobuta pork belly, crab fried rice and a land and sea mix of sea bass and filet! Oh and sangria to drink!!! Needless to say after all of that I was stuffed (and still am). I ALWAYS have room for dessert though. I actually look at the dessert menu before the actual dinner menu (anybody else do that?!). I had a chocolate soufflé with thai tea ice cream for dessert. I ate it so fast that I forgot to take a picture! I want to thank my husband for making me a happy lady and taking me to my favorite restaurant tonight, and also to Riley for sleeping through the whole meal! I’ve attached a couple of iPhone photos from the evening. Enjoy!

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Oven Roasted Brown Sugar Chicken

This is a recipe  I would ALWAYS ask my mom to make for me as a child. It’s hearty, delicious and is easy to make. I make double when I make this chicken dish as it tastes even more flavorful the 2nd day (and the third). Try it and let me know what you think! Enjoy!

*** I paired this dish with sautéed broccolini and thai jasmine rice that I made with organic light coconut milk instead of water. I try and use fresh organic ingredients as often as I can.***


4 Chicken Quarters

salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp chopped shallots

3 cloves chopped garlic

3/4 cup chicken stock/broth

1 cup low sodium soy

2 cups brown sugar

1 heaping tbsp freshly chopped ginger


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat a dutch pot on med high to high heat with your butter and olive oil. Generously salt and pepper your chicken quarters. Brown the skin of your chicken in the pot for about 2 mins on each side until it’s crisp and golden brown. Remove the chicken quarters and reduce the heat to medium. Add in the shallots and garlic. Deglaze the pot with the chicken stock. Scrape down all of the sides to make sure you get all of the delicious seasonings and flavors into the broth (I’m hungry already!). Add in the soy sauce, brown sugar and ginger. Simmer the sauce for about 5-10 mins. Add the chicken quarters back into the pot, place the lid on and bake for 45min to an hour. The chicken will be flavorful and falling off the bone. Mmm mmm mmmm!

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Cabbage Soup W/Meatballs (Don’t knock it until you try it )

This is my version of Paula Deen’s Cabbage Soup. After making the original recipe, I found that it need some changes (in my opinion). This recipe takes a little bit of preparation, but it is well worth it. Give it a try and tell me what you think. I literally just finished licking the bottom of my soup bowl (no, seriously). Enjoy!


2lbs ground turkey

1 cup of uncooked rice

1 tablespoon of salt

1  teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon of cumin

1/4 onion minced

2 tablespoons of worcestershire sauce


3 cloves garlic minced

3 tablespoons of olive oil

1/2 a yellow onion diced

1 6oz can of tomato paste

1/2 cup of brown sugar

1/2 cup of ketchup

28 oz can of whole tomatoes with juice

1 medium cabbage sliced

1 cup of beef broth(stock)

1/2 cup of water

Salt and Pepper to taste

1/2 cup of monterey jack (cheddar will work as well)

1/2 cup of raisins


Combine all of the meatball ingredients into a bowl and mix together (USE YOUR HANDS PEOPLE!). Form into walnut sized balls and set aside! Time to make the soup!… In a large stock pot heat your oil over medium high heat, add your garlic and onions and sweat the onions until they are translucent (about a min or two). Then add your tomato paste, whole tomatoes w/ the juice, ketchup, brown sugar, salt and pepper and bring to a fast simmer. This should take about 8 to mins.  Transfer your soup mix into the blender and blend on low for about 30 seconds (or until the whole tomatoes are crushed). Transfer back into the pot and add in your cabbage simmering on medium low heat for another 10 mins (Until cabbage has reduced in size). Now add in the beef stock and water to thin the soup (you can play around with the consistency ). Add in the meatballs and continue to simmer for 20 to 25 mins. This gives the rice enough time to cook as well as the meat. Add in the raisins and cheese when the soup is done cooking but still hot! I garnished mine with avocado, but a nice crusty french or sourdough bread would go great too!

I hope you enjoy this soup as much as I did today!