Mac And Cheese With A Twist!

Flashback this Friday with one of my favorite sides. Perfect for the upcoming holiday. Mac And Cheese With A Twist! Mac and cheese lovers unite. Now nothing is more comforting than a delicious bowl of ooey-gooey macaroni and cheese. I grew up eating this in so many different ways as a child. Does anyone still eat mac and cheese mixed with hotdogs?! These days I can elevate it a little more. My kids love seafood so making lobster or crab mac and cheese is such a treat for them. This particular dish is loaded with yummy veggies and crispy pancetta. I like to use shallots because they are not as sharp as onions, their taste and texture mellow out nicely. You also get some smoky and sweet in this dish from the paprika and tomatoes! Share some of your favorite nostalgic mac and cheese memories with me below in the comments.


Mac And Cheese With A Twist


Mac And Cheese With A Twist

1 lb Elbow Macaroni
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves minced garlic
2 teaspoons shallot, minced.
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream (half and half works too.)
3 cups white cheddar
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained well and chopped.
1/2 cup mushrooms
,2 cups fresh spinach
1/2 cup crispy pancetta
1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cook the pasta according to instructions. Set aside.

Add pancetta to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until crispy and remove to drain and set aside.

Using the same pan add garlic and shallot and cook for 1-2 minutes. Now add in mushroom and cook for about three minutes more. (This allows the moisture in the mushrooms to release) Add your spinach and cook until wilted. Pour into a small bowl and set aside.

Carefully wipe out the pan and return to heat. Heat butter over medium-low heat.

Now whisk in flour gradually until smooth. Continue to cook for about 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in milk and cream stirring until thickened. Reduce heat to low. Add spices and two cups of cheese.

Stir in the pancetta, spinach, mushrooms, and sun-dried tomatoes. Remove from heat.

Add pasta to the skillet and evenly spoon the cheese sauce over it.

Pour the pasta into a lightly greased baking dish or cast iron skillet. Sprinkle the top with the remaining cheeses.

Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until bubbly. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

A perfect dish to serve this holiday.


Xo Ayesha

Andouille Sausage Egg Rolls

The perfect game night appetizer! One of my favorite dishes for my sister to make is her andouille sausage egg rolls. They are chock full of meaty and cheesy goodness. Crunchy and salty with a little sweetness. Andouille is a smoked slightly spicy sausage made using pork and is perfect for the egg roll. And certainly always a crowd pleaser. The only problem is she seriously can never seem to make enough for the group.

She came up with this recipe when one of her favorite places to eat closed down and all that was left with was the memory of this fantastic egg roll. And instead of tracking down the owners and demanding the recipe she recreated this dish and added some of her own flair to it. (Her method is definitely better.) So if you haven’t already tried to make this you definitely should! Just pick up a copy of my cookbook “The Seasoned Life” available at a book retailer near you. Have you already made this dish? Share it in the comments below.


Xo- Ayesha

Andouille Sausage Egg Rolls

*Find this recipe and more in “The Seasoned Life”. Available at a book retailer near you!

Some dreamy andouille.

Wrap it up.

I freeze leftovers for future use.

Fry Time!

Here Comes the cheese…



Maple Balsamic Roasted Vegetables

Maple Balsamic Roasted Vegetables. Happy Friday everyone! Here is a quick recipe to serve alongside your main dish this weekend. And 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.


Xo- Ayesha


Maple Balsamic Roasted Vegetables

Maple Balsamic Roasted Vegetables

2 cups broccoli florets

One zucchini, sliced and quartered.

One yellow squash, sliced and quartered.

One orange bell pepper, seeded and chopped.

One yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped.

One small red onion, peeled and cut.

Two tablespoons olive oil

Two 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.

Quick And Easy Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

Quick And Easy Pumpkin Spice Pancakes. Dig into some fall flavor with these delicious and fluffy pumpkin spiced pancakes. Now, who doesn’t love a good hot cup of pumpkin spiced coffee in the fall? Here I’ve combined those flavors with some rich pureed pumpkin that can be store bought or made at home. These are sure to be a new family favorite. Now you can easily make your own pancake mix at home. But as a busy mom, I’m all about shortcuts! And here I use store bought pancake mix and added in the extra ingredients to give us that flavorful and homemade taste. Less time cooking and more time to cozy up to your family and enjoy an incredible meal together. I hope that you enjoy these fall flavored pancakes. Share your favorite way to eat pumpkin in the comments below!


Xo- Ayesha

Quick And Easy Pumpkin Spice Pancakes


Quick And Easy Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

2 1/2 cups pancake mix (I use Krusteaz)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (You can use two tablespoons if you want a very mild pumpkin taste.)
One teaspoon pure vanilla
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie mix (Recipe below)
Plenty of butter and maple syrup, for serving.

In a large bowl add pancake mix and pumpkin spices. Mix well. Now follow the directions for the pancake mix. Once your pancake batter has been mixed, add vanilla, pumpkin puree and lightly stir until incorporated.

Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Lightly oil and pour pancake batter using a 1/4 measuring cup onto skillet. Let bubbles start to form before flipping and cook until a light golden brown. Remove from heat and repeat with the next batch.

Serve with butter and maple syrup if desired. Yum!

Pumpkin pie spice:

Two teaspoons ground cinnamon
One teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves