Fluffy Ricotta Pancakes With Strawberry Sauce

Fluffy Ricotta Pancakes With Strawberry Sauce. Let’s flashback this weekend with these fluffy melt in your mouth clouds of greatness that is smothered with maple syrup and in my household some form of fruit sauce. These “Fluffy Ricotta Pancakes With Strawberry Sauce” are irresistible and surprising. Now when I think ricotta cheese I definitely don’t think of 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!

Lamb Ragu

Lamb Ragu. Let’s throw it back to this delicious and crave-worthy dish. This rich and creamy, pasta is a spin on the traditional spaghetti sauce. Served over your favorite pasta. And flavored with tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, and a little red wine. Perfect for lunch or dinner! You can’t go wrong. This just may be your new favorite dinner to make. My kids were a big fan of this. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Enjoy,

Xo- Ayesha

 

Lamb Ragu

 

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 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.

Easy And Creamy Tomato Soup

Easy And Creamy Tomato Soup. Now nothing says soup better than creamy tomato soup. And in my case tomato soup and grilled cheese. A childhood staple. A very no-fuss soup recipe that will be your go to over the store bought stuff. And while I love fresh tomatoes using canned is just as good. My pantry is stocked with a variety of canned tomatoes. It’s my go-to staple when I’m making a quick pasta sauce or soup. Onion, garlic, basil, and a little heavy cream create this rich and flavor-packed soup. Comfort food in a bowl. I hope your family enjoys it as much as mine did. Share your comments below.

Xo- Ayesha

 

 

Easy And Creamy Tomato Soup

Two tablespoons unsalted butter
One tablespoon olive oil
One medium sized onion, roughly chopped.
One 28oz can whole peeled tomatoes
Two cloves garlic smashed.
Four basil leaves, roughly chopped. (Plus more for garnish)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
Kosher salt and pepper to taste.

Heat a large dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat and melt butter. Add roughly chopped onion, garlic, salt and saute until translucent. Add in tomato, stock, cream, basil, and sugar. And bring the soup to a boil before reducing the heat and allowing it to simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Use an immersion blender (Great tool to have when making soups and very inexpensive) or regular blender to puree soup until smooth. Return to the pot and season with more salt and pepper to taste. Top with freshly chopped basil and enjoy. I would suggest pairing it with a grilled cheese sandwich!

*Tip* Use a towel over your blender when blending the hot soup. You can also wait for the soup to cool off and reheat it after mixing if you’re worried about working with hot soup.

Carolina Chowder

Carolina Chowder. Hey everyone! We are in full winter mode which means heavier coats, cozy blankets and hopefully a bowl of warm soup! I wanted to share a few of my favorite soup, stews, and chowder recipes. Because there is nothing like a good hearty bowl of soup to warm you up, now, let’s kick it off with my “Carolina Chowder.” The full recipe can be found in my cookbook “The Seasoned Life” at a book retailer near you. Its reminiscent of my time in Charlotte, NC. Its a rich chowder filled with crab, corn, shallot, and potatoes. My version of classic clam chowder but with crab meat. Now, this recipe calls for fish or clam stock, but it can be easily replaced with vegetable stock if you’re in a pinch. We are big crustacean lovers in my family. My mom makes a fantastic curry and garlic crab leg dish that we’ve had since I was a kid. What is your favorite way to eat crab? Comment below.

Enjoy,

Xo- Ayesha

Carolina Chowder

Remember to get the FULL recipe in my cookbook “The Seasoned Life” at a book retailer near you.

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.

Enjoy

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.

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Curried Butternut Squash Soup. Who doesn’t love a warm and comforting bowl of soup on a chilly day? (Or any day in my case) This soup is incredibly easy to throw together. You can easily omit the curry if your not a fan of that flavor. The rich and sweet flavor of the butternut squash is infused with cream, garlic, onion, brown sugar and curry! Just the right balance. A warm filling and flavorful soup that’s perfect for fall and winter. What is your favorite way to cook butternut squash? Leave a comment below.

Enjoy

Xo- Ayesha

 

 

 

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

One tablespoon olive oil
One small white onion, sliced
Two garlic cloves, minced
One butternut squash, 6 cups cubed. (Feel free to use the pre-cubed packaged fresh squash)
2 cups vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups heavy cream (Can substitute half and half or coconut milk)
1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
Pinch cinnamon
2 Tablespoons creme fraiche, plus more for serving. (greek yogurt can be substituted)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup pepitas (Optional)

*Tip* You can also freeze this for up to a month!

 

Heat oil in a dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat.

Once the pan is hot add onion and garlic, cook until the onion is softened about 2-3 minutes.

Add in your butternut squash. Stir well and add in seasonings along with a pinch of salt and pepper. You can season some more at the end.

Add in your cream, stock, and sugar. Stir well.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Or until your squash is fork tender.

Carefully transfer your soup to a blender. You can also use an immersion blender straight in the pot.

Add in two tablespoons of creme fraiche. Puree until smooth.

Return to pot and adjust your seasonings. Continue to cook over low heat for another 3-4 minutes.

Remove from heat and serve with your desired garnishes!

 

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!

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!

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.**

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 your own salad dressing allows you to customize it to your tastes and is so much healthier than the bottled stuff. (Not that I don’t use that as well from time to time). 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.” What is your favorite salad dressing? Leave a comment below.

Xo- Ayesha

 

Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

Two tablespoons honey
Two tablespoons dijon mustard
One tablespoon finely minced garlic
One tablespoon finely minced shallot
One tablespoon vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
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!