Grilled Spiced Chicken Sandwich

Grilled Spiced Chicken Sandwich. Happy Friday, everyone! Now if you have my cookbook “The Seasoned Life,” you have probably made one of my favorite recipes called “Grilled Spiced Chicken.” I take chicken breast and coat them in a dry rub mixture before grilling them indoors or outdoors. The chicken gets all caramelized on the grill and is just so juicy and flavorful. Here I slice it up for a sourdough sandwich with a sweet and peppery arugula salad for crunch and flavor. You can also pair it with a little mayo and your favorite cheese. This sandwich is going to be your next backyard hit. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Enjoy!

Xo- Ayesha

Grilled Spiced Chicken Sandwich

Grilled Spiced Chicken Sandwich

Four boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
Two tablespoons olive oil
Two tablespoons paprika
One teaspoon cinnamon
Kosher salt, to taste.
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste.
Eight slices lightly toasted sourdough bread (Or bread of your choosing.)
Sliced cheese, for serving. (I used fontina)
Mayonnaise, for serving.
Arugula salad, for serving. (recipe below)

Preheat grill at medium-high heat.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine seasonings and thoroughly mix. Coat chicken breast one at a time into the spice mixture and set aside onto a plate.

Grill the chicken until cooked through and juices run clear — about 4-6 minutes per side.

Slice chicken breast diagonally and assemble sandwiches to your liking. Enjoy!

 

Arugula Salad:

2 cups packed arugula
One tablespoon balsamic vinegar
One tablespoon dark brown sugar
One tablespoon olive oil

In a small bowl, add vinegar, sugar, and oil and whisk together.

Add in arugula and toss to coat.

Serve immediately.

Island Green Smoothie

Island Green Smoothie. For a sweet and tropical pick me up, try out this recipe. It just happens to be one of my husband’s favorite drinks to get when we go to any smoothie place. And with only three simple ingredients that you probably already have at home.  You can add in protein powder, chia seeds, and more to make it your own — also a perfect substitution for a sweet tooth craving. For the full recipe and more, go out and get my book “The Seasoned Life” available at book retailers nationwide. And if you’ve already tried this let me know what you think in the comments below.

Enjoy.

Xo- Ayesha

Island Green Smoothie

Shishito Pepper And Garlic Sauce

Shishito Pepper And Garlic Aioli. Shishito peppers are not only a delicious finger food but extremely easy to prepare. They are abundant at most farmers markets in the summertime. And If I see them on the menu at any restaurant, I order them. They are Normally just sautéed in a pan until blistered and seasoned lightly with salt. We have a running joke that I somehow always find the only hot one in the bunch. But Typically they are very mild and smoky in flavor. Here I use them in a sauce that is the perfect condiment for your next back yard cookout or sandwich. I topped a perfectly cooked charleston crab cake with this sauce, and it was phenomenal. But you can really use it on anything. And I strongly feel like my sauce would have turned out greener in the pictures below if I hadn’t “sampled” so many of the shishito peppers before blending the sauce. I couldn’t help myself! Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Enjoy.

Xo- Ayesha

 

Shishito Pepper And Garlic Sauce

Shishito Pepper And Garlic Sauce

1-pint shishito peppers rinsed and dry.
One tablespoon olive oil
1 cup good mayonnaise
3-4 garlic cloves, whole. (Use all four if you’re a garlic lover.)
Two tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste. (I used ground rainbow peppercorns)

 

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet until hot. Add peppers and cook until blistered and charred — about 5-10 minutes. Just watch them as this process can vary in time. About halfway through I like to add in the whole garlic cloves to give them some color but that’s up to you. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Remove stem tops with a knife.

In a large blender or food processor add blistered peppers, garlic, mayo, lemon, salt, and pepper. Pulse until well combined. Serve immediately.

Blackberry Compote

Blackberry Compote. Blackberries are in season. And they are plentiful in your garden and local farmers market. They are a great snack and are perfect in desserts and drinks. Not to mention chock full of health benefiting nutrients. This recipe is incredibly easy to make and versatile. You can use it on your pancakes, french toast, ice cream, crepes, cocktails and more. My kids love it!. And the best part is that depending on the sweetness of the berries or preference, and you can cut down the sugar. Store it in an airtight jar or container for up to two weeks when it’s done. Substitute with a berry of your choice if you can’t find blackberries or don’t like them. What is your favorite berry to eat in the summer? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Enjoy,

Xo- Ayesha

 

Blackberry Compote

 

Blackberry Compote

1 Pound blackberries, fresh or frozen (thawed.)
3 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
Pinch sea salt

In a medium saucepan, add blackberries, sugar, lemon, and salt. Simmer over low heat until berries have broken down and the sauce has thickened. About 20-25 minutes transfer into a jar or container and allow to cool. The sauce will thicken more as it cools down.

Tip- If you’re not a fan of compotes, you can strain the berries and push out all of the liquid. Then you will have a blackberry syrup.

Herb Roasted Baby Potatoes

Herb Roasted Baby Potatoes. Who doesn’t love a flavorful but simple side dish of oven roasted potatoes? Not to mention, it can put together in no time. This recipe is a mix of gold and purple baby potatoes that are tossed in olive oil, chopped herbs, garlic, shallot, and simple seasonings before roasted to perfection. The freshly chopped rosemary, thyme, and parsley give it a herbaceous punch that will have your kitchen smelling amazing in no time. You can also easily swap out for your favorite herbs and potatoes that you already have on hand. Dinner time perfection let me know what you think in the comments below.

Enjoy.

Xo- Ayesha

Herb Roasted Baby Potatoes

Herb Roasted Baby Potatoes

Two pounds assorted baby potatoes, halved. (I used Yukon gold and purple potatoes)
Two tablespoons olive oil
Two garlic cloves, finely chopped.
One tablespoon shallot, finely chopped.
One tablespoon thyme leaves, chopped.
One tablespoon rosemary leaves, chopped.
Two tablespoons parsley, chopped.
Salt and black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

In a large bowl combine halved potatoes with olive oil, garlic, shallot, and herbs. Add salt and pepper to taste and toss well to coat.

Pour seasoned halved potatoes onto a prepared baking sheet.

Roast for 25- 30 minutes at 400 degrees. You want them to be lightly browned and crisp around the edges. Top with chopped parsley and serve immediately.

Honey And Soy Marinated Steak Kabob

Honey And Soy Marinated Steak Kabob. A recipe for all of my steak lovers out there. The marinade is put together with honey, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and a little red pepper flake for heat. Probably all the things that you already have in your kitchen. And in just twenty minutes your ready to go. Just thread your meat onto a skewer and grill to perfection. Perfect for grilling indoors or outdoors. It can also be assembled in advance to save time. And I have both served this as an appetizer and a main dish alongside some rice and a quick salad. Nothing says “fun dinner” like eating yummy grilled kabobs. Your family will love this easy and delicious marinade. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Enjoy,

Xo- Ayesha

 

Honey And Soy Marinated Steak Kabob

Honey And Soy Marinated Steak Kabob

1 1/2- 2 pounds ribeye or sirloin, cut into 1-inch cubes.
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
One tablespoon Dijon
Two tablespoons honey
Two cloves garlic, minced.
1-inch ginger, minced.
One tablespoon shallot, minced.
Pinch red pepper flakes
Pinch black pepper
wooden or metal skewers

In a bowl or sizeable glad bag combine the soy, oil, garlic, ginger, dijon, shallot, honey, and peppers into a bowl/bag and mix well. Add meat and allow to marinate for at least 20 minutes. Assemble kabobs by threading the meat onto the skewers and grill about 3-4 minutes per side or until you’ve reached the desired doneness. Allow your kabobs to rest before serving. Enjoy!

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!