Saffron Salmon

Here is a flashback Friday recipe to kick off the weekend! Super easy and delicious “Saffron Salmon”. It’s always so much fun to look how far we have come since I started this website. I came up with this light recipe while dining with friends and reminiscing about a meal they frequently enjoyed having at a local restaurant. I couldn’t stop thinking about it and had to recreate it on my own. It takes a mere 5 to 7 minutes to prepare the entire meal. And ghee acts a the perfect crisping agent for the fish while sea salt and saffron infuse the fish with subtle yet delicious flavor. It’s quick, easy, healthy and filling! you’re going to check mark all of the boxes with this easy salmon recipe.

I hope that you enjoy this flashback recipe and have a fantastic weekend. And be sure to check in next week for some great Easter recipes and ideas for you and your families.

Xo- Ayesha






Saffron Salmon

Two 6-8oz Salmon Filets (Skin on, crisp skin is always a GOOD thing! :))

Sea salt, to taste.

2 teaspoons saffron

2 tablespoons ghee (grass fed pure butter)


*You simply heat a skillet on medium high and melt the ghee. While the pan is heating season both sides of the fish with a generous coating of coarse sea salt and the saffron. Place the fish skin side down for about 3-4 mins or until skin is crisp and golden. Flip and finish cooking until your preferred doneness. I like my salmon well done but moist, so 2 minutes did the trick for me.

Serve the salmon with some lemon slices for freshness, next to a bed of mixed greens and tomatoes! I lightly season them with salt, pepper and olive oil. So fresh! You can find my own brand of olive oil at “Cook Homemade.”



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.

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!

Chicken And Mushrooms With Creamy Tomato Sauce

Chicken And Mushroom With Creamy Tomato Sauce

Hey everyone! It’s been such a chaotic week. Filled with lots of visiting friends and family. And  I managed to pull off the most fantastic surprise party for my husband Stephen’s 30th birthday without a hitch! Thank GOD!! And I’m excited to end the week by sharing this delicious recipe! Chicken and mushrooms with a creamy tomato sauce is a dish that is packed with flavor but cooks in no time. I love to use chicken thighs in my recipes as they are super juicy and flavorful. Not to mention inexpensive.

The sauce is filled with mushrooms, tomatoes, herbs, heavy cream, and cheese. And I just love me some mushrooms! Not only are they in season all year long. But they are incredibly flavorful and have this meaty texture that makes them perfect for dishes like this. Then we add a little heavy cream, cream cheese, and parmesan to turn this dish into something fantastic! I’m so ready to sit down with a big bowl of this and a glass of WATER! (Obviously, wine is out of the question right now) Hope you have a blessed weekend! Share your thoughts on the recipe in the comments below.



Chicken And Mushroom With Creamy Tomato Sauce

Six chicken thighs, boneless-skinless.
One cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
One clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon fresh basil, roughly chopped.
1 tablespoon parsley, roughly chopped. (optional)
1 cup mushrooms, cleaned and sliced.
1 cup canned diced tomatoes, drained. (I used tomatoes that mixed with green chiles for some heat!)
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 oz. cream cheese
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese. (Plus more for topping.)
salt and pepper to taste.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and add in olive oil and butter. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper to taste. Add chicken to the pan. Cook on both sides for about 5-6 minutes per side or until browned and cooked through. Transfer to a large plate or platter.

Into the hot pan add garlic, shallot, and mushroom. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add in tomato, stock, cream, chopped parsley and both cheeses to the pan. Season with thyme, cumin, paprika, and salt and pepper to taste. Combine well and bring to a boil. Stir until it begins to thicken into a creamy sauce. About 5-6 minutes. Add chicken back into pan and coat well. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and fresh basil. Serve hot on its own or with your favorite pasta!

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!

Herbed Olive Oil Cubes

Herbed olive oil cubes. One of my favorite things about living in California is all of the beautiful fresh herbs and produce that grow year round. I happen to grow my own herb and produce garden. Growing my own herbs and produce means having a fresh supply of tasty ingredients whenever I want. And here is an effortless way to preserve some of your herbs.

This is a great hack for making a flavorful meal on the fly. Just thaw your herb cube or heat it right up in a pan frozen. I love to use it in pasta dishes, stews, sautes, soups, roasts and more. One of my favorites is a nice pasta bowl for two. Just pop a cube in a skillet with a little fresh garlic and red chile flakes. toss in some nice hot pasta and top it off with a little (or a lot) of grated parmesan! Simplicity at its finest. Has anyone ever tried this? Share in the comments below. Have a great weekend everyone!

Xo- Ayesha

Herbed Olive Oil Cubes

Olive Oil (You can also use coconut, avocado, grapeseed, etc.)
Herbs of choice
Ice cube tray ( I buy the cheap ones that you can get at any grocery store)


Wash and dry herbs of choice.

Chop the herbs or leave whole

Mix and match your own blends.

Fill each cube in the tray with herbs about 3/4 of the way full. (You can also use garlic, ginger. And even lemon, orange or lime zest)

Pour oil of choice over herb mixture until filled.

Place the tray in the freezer and freeze overnight.

Remove from tray and place into individual glad bags and label if necessary.


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.


Jalapeno Cornbread Croutons

Happy Monday everyone! Today I wanted to share a basic cornbread recipe that transforms into a delicious topping for your next favorite soup, salad and more. Jalapeno cornbread croutons! I just throw a little jalapeño into the cornbread mixture a little heat. But you can omit that step if you are not a fan of it. You can even make your cornbread a couple of days ahead of time. Its then cubed and baked off until crisp croutons are created. Crispy and buttery with a touch of heat. An irresistible combination. The croutons while crisp on the outside are nice and chewy inside. I’ve used these to top Caesar salads, chowders and of course my game day chili! what do you like to eat with cornbread? Share below.



Jalapeno Cornbread Croutons

2 cups jalapeno cornbread, cubed.
2 Tablespoons butter, melted.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Add croutons to a large bowl.

Drizzle with butter and toss.

On a large rimmed baking sheet evenly distribute croutons.

Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.

Serve warm over soup, salad, or chili.

Basic Cornbread

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
One tablespoon baking powder
One teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/3 cup canola oil
One large egg, lightly beaten.
One tablespoon jalapeno, finely diced. (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl combine all of your dry ingredients and mix well.

In a small bowl add milk, oil, egg and mix well.

Add wet mixture to dry and combine well. You can now add your jalapeño if you choose to.

Pour into a buttered pan or cast iron skillet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until pick comes out clean.



Grilled Cheese With Rosemary Butter

I absolutely love the simplicity of taking something so simple and elevating it! And whats easier than creating an aromatic and delicious rosemary butter to take your grilled cheese to the next level. This grilled cheese is loaded with swiss, mozzarella, and sharp cheddar cheese. I also add a smear of dijon to fresh slices of bread for some punch and finished off cooked with rich rosemary butter. So If you love cheese as much as me, then you will love this quick take on a classic. I mean there is nothing more satisfying and comforting than a crunchy, gooey, melty grilled cheese!

Xo- Ayesha

Grilled Cheese With Rosemary Butter

Grilled Cheese With Rosemary Butter

Four slices your favorite bread (I used some freshly cut Italian bread)
Mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced.
Sharp cheddar cheese, thinly sliced.
Swiss cheese, thinly sliced.
Dijon mustard. (About 1/2 tablespoon per sandwich.)
One sprig fresh rosemary
2 Tbsp butter, divided.

Add 1 Tbsp butter and to a skillet and heat over medium-low heat and add fresh rosemary to the hot skillet. Saute and stir often until fragrant and butter has started to lightly brown. You can either remove the rosemary from the pan or just move it to the side.

Spread one side of bread with a little bit of dijon.

Add both pieces of bread, dijon side up to your skillet. Top of each piece of bread with all three cheese slices and remaining bread. Once it starts to melt and brown flip over add remaining butter to a pan and cook the other side. About 2-3 minutes per side. You want that beautiful golden brown color.

Slice 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.


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!

Flash Back Friday Featuring: Baked Tilapia In Foil

Happy Friday! For Flashback Friday I am bringing back my “Baked Tilapia In Foil” recipe. But honestly, you can use any fish in this recipe. I use salmon in place of the tilapia all the time. We use the leftover salmon the next day for perfect and quick scrambled eggs for the family. Win-win!

Quickly put together with an even easier clean-up. And it can be changed in a flash by substituting different types of fish (Cod, salmon, bass, etc.) and veggie combinations. Tilapia is full of omega-3 fatty acids and protein. In this recipe, I paired it along with some delicious vegetables like kale and sunburst tomatoes. But I love to stuff my fish packages full of veggies I find that are seasonal and drizzle them with a bit of olive oil,  lemon juice, and whatever seasoning I’m in the mood to use. In my opinion its the perfect meal to wind down with on a Friday night. And don’t forget the best part….No cleanup!

Baked Tilapia In Foil

Baked Tilapia In Foil

4 Tilapia fillets
Fresh kale or spinach
Fresh minced garlic (about one clove per fish)
4 Teaspoons olive oil (1 teaspoon for each tilapia)
Fresh lemons (optional.)
Salt, pepper, smoked paprika and your favorite seasonings. Mix in a separate bowl. Sprinkle combined seasoning over each filet. (about one teaspoon for each piece of tilapia depending on size)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Lay each fillet out on its own piece of foil. Make sure that the foil is large is enough to hold the fish and veggies when assembled.
Season each piece of fish with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika.
Combine all of your veggies in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Top each fillet with the mixture.
Drizzle each pouch lightly with olive oil.

Fold over the fillet and roll up the edges to create a seal. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Once your fish is cooked, it will flake easily with a fork.

I love to give it a squeeze of lemon for some acidity at the end.

Now, these can be served straight from the packet for easy clean-up. Or you can remove it from the foil and plate it with the veggies on top.

Enjoy and have a great weekend everyone!

Xo Ayesha


Turkey Sloppy Joe- A Spin On A Childhood Favorite

Turkey Sloppy Joe

Sloppy joes are one of those comfort foods that you grew up eating, but probably don’t admit to actually liking as an adult! Barbecue like sandwiches that consist of sauce and ground beef or as my mom says “Minced meat.” The can of sauce has sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, preservatives and other not so healthy items but let’s be honest when you were a kid who cared? This is a healthier spin on your classic sloppy joe but still has that delicious sweet and tangy flavor we all love. I mean whats not to like about a meal that combines a hearty meat mixture nestled inside a bun and is oh so SLOPPY!

Here I made this with lean turkey meat and most ingredients you probably already have on hand like onion and bell pepper. What makes these healthy? Well first off, they’re a bit leaner thanks to lean ground turkey, but they are also lower in sugar thanks to a homemade sauce that’s been toned down. That’s the best part about cooking from scratch. You control what goes into your food and how much you use. You still get to make those childhood favorites but in a healthier way. I hope you enjoy it.

Let’s get sloppy!

Xo- Ayesha

Turkey Sloppy Joe

1lb ground turkey
One tablespoon olive oil
15 ounce can tomato sauce
One small red onion, diced.
One red bell pepper, diced.
Two cloves garlic, minced.
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika (You can substitute regular)
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
Buns, for serving.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and brown your ground turkey until cooked through. Add in garlic, onion, and bell pepper. Saute the mixture for 1-2 minutes and add the remaining ingredients. (Obviously not the bread!) Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Vegetables should be tender.

Spoon mixture inside of your favorite bun. Toasting the bread is also a nice touch. I like to serve it with homemade sweet potato chips or fries and some crunchy cucumber slices! (My kids layer the cucumber inside of their sandwiches.)


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.