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!

Enjoy,

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

Mango And Avocado Guacamole

Mango and Avocado Guacamole. Hey everyone! Now mango is not only a household favorite snack for myself and my kids but its just so reminiscent of my childhood. And I put it in as many dishes as I can. Did you know that its only 100 calories for a cup of mango?! You can easily prep this and store it in some glad containers or baggies to take on the go or pack in your kid’s lunch for camp or school. Another favorite of mine has to be avocado. So making guacamole and adding in mango was natural. You get a little spice from the jalapeño and a subtle onion/garlic bite from the shallot. Do you have any interesting recipes for guacamole? Share in the comments below.

Enjoy!

Xo- Ayesha

Mango And Avocado Guacamole

Two ripened avocados, halved pitted and diced. (I like mine chunky)
One jalapeño chile, deseeded and minced. (Leave some of the seeds if you like heat)
One shallot, finely chopped.
Two tablespoons lime juice
1 Tommy Atkins ripened mango, peeled and cut into chunks. (Most common mango found in stores)
1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped.
Salt and pepper to taste.

In a large bowl add avocados, jalapeno, shallot and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper to your liking and give a gentle toss. Now fold in your chunks of mango and cilantro. Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary.

Serve with vegetable or tortilla chips and enjoy!

Happy Mother’s Day

I want to wish all of the fantastic moms out there an extraordinary Mother’s day! Being a mother is the hardest but most rewarding job that there is. And yes there may be crying, whining, tantrums and endless messes. But the perks of sticky kisses, warm hugs, and unconditional love are priceless. Happy Mothers Day!

Now for any loved ones looking for an easy and thoughtful (DELICIOUS!) way to spoil your mother this year check out the recipe below. It’s an easy to make and stunning apple pie. No judgment zone. If you want to use store-bought pie dough then, by all means, do it. I’m sure mom will be happy either way. Whats your go-to mothers day dessert to serve? Share in the comments below.

Have a blessed weekend!

Xo- Ayesha

 

Easy Apple Pie

3 pounds apples, cored, peeled, and sliced. (Granny Smith apples)
Two tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces and chilled.
One tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
One teaspoon cane sugar, for sprinkling over top of the crust.
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch kosher salt (About one teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Pie Crust (You can make your own or buy store-bought)
Egg wash (1 egg and 1 tablespoon water lightly beaten)
Flour for dusting.
Heart shaped cookie cutters (different sizes)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Lightly dust a clean area with flour. Roll out half pie dough for the topping. Use cookie cutters to make cutouts of the dough and set on a parchment lined pan. Refrigerate until ready to use.

In large bowl combine apples with lemon juice, sugar, flour, and spices.

Add the other half of your pie crust to a prepared pie pan and gently press into place.

Pour in your apple mixture. (Don’t pile it too high! Leave room for the crust.) And top with butter pieces. (make sure your butter is cold and cut into small pieces.)

Remove crust cutouts from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature.

Top apple mixture with dough cutouts by scattering them over the top.

Brush with egg wash before sprinkling with a teaspoon of sugar.

Place pie on a large baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for about 60 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.

Allow to cool and serve! (Hopefully with ice cream!)

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!

Green Goddess Mayonnaise

Green Goddess Mayonnaise. A deliciously herby mayonnaise mixture that is the perfect condiment to jazz up your next meal! Its a play on the green goddess dressing you would typically find drizzled over a salad. It’s vibrantly green with a big punch of flavor. And a ridiculously easy way to transform a plain old turkey sandwich (Or a grilled chicken sandwich, burger, etc.) into something drool worthy. This creamy and herbaceous mixture can be used as a dip or a spread. Let me know what you think in the comments below!

I smeared a nice amount of this green goddess mayo on two slices of my favorite bread (Daves Killer Bread) with some sliced turkey, sprouts, and heirloom tomatoes. So goooood!!

Have a great weekend everyone!

God Bless,

Xo-Ayesha

Green Goddess Mayonnaise

1/4 cup fresh basil, packed.
Two tablespoons parsley, roughly chopped.
Three tablespoons green onion, chopped.
Two garlic cloves, roughly chopped.
1/2 cup mayo
1 teaspoon black pepper
Salt to taste
freshly ground pepper

Combine everything BUT the lemon juice in a blender. Blend until smooth. Add-In lemon juice and blend about 1 minute more. Season to taste and serve. It can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to four days.

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!

Easy “Last Minute” Entertaining Bites

                                                           A New Year is almost upon us. If you’re like me your plans may be a little last minute. I am here to save the day! Here are a few of my quick and easy go-to bites when entertaining. The best thing about these dishes are that they are quick, affordable, and easy to make. Don’t feel bad about using shortcuts! Especially not on a holiday when people are organizing and preparing for a fresh start. The food should be the last of your worries! Now, lets do this!!! Happy eating and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

 

 

Bite sized chicken and waffles

  • Cooked chicken tenders cut into bite sized pieces. (Absolutely nothing wrong with buying pre-cooked tenders)
  • Waffle mix and waffle iron ( just follow your brands instructions)
  • Maple syrup, hot sauce.
  • Large toothpicks.

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  Shrimp and Grit Bites

  • 1- 2 cups prepared grits.
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese (cheddar, gouda, etc.)
  • 2- 3 Tablespoons butter. Plus one tablespoon for shrimp.
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 4 ounces prepared crispy pancetta or bacon
  • 1/2 pound to 1 pound raw de-veined shrimp (depends on how many you’re making)
  • Old bay seasoning ( 1-2 tablespoons depending on how many shrimp.)

For the shrimp simply heat a pan over medium-high heat. Melt one tablespoon of butter. Coat the shrimp in old bay. Saute in the pan for about 1-2 minutes per side. And set aside.

Cook pancetta or bacon until nice and crispy. Set aside.

Follow the instructions on the back of your favorite grit mix. Add in cream, butter, and cheese.

Spoon the grits into small bite size bowls or spoons. (Cost Plus World Market people!) And proceed to top with pancetta and one shrimp. Voila!

 

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Mini Caprese Bites

Fresh mozzarella balls, tomatoes, basil, and sweet balsamic drizzle. So delicious and the skewers allow for easy, mess-free eating. Simply layer your ingredients onto  the skewers and dress with the vinegar and oil. Assembling the skewers is fun for the kids too!

  • – Pint grape tomatoes.
  • – Fresh small whole milk mozzarella cheese balls.
  • – Wooden skewers.
  • – Extra virgin olive oil (Enough for a light drizzle.)
  • – 2 tablespoons sweet balsamic glaze. (Or just enough to drizzle.)
  • -Fresh basil leaves.
  • – Salt and pepper to taste

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TIME TO CELEBRATE!!!

Little Light Lunch: Saffron Salmon

This meal is not for the tedious! It is quick, easy, healthy and filling! Check marking all of the boxes with the easy salmon recipe.

My husband and I were having dinner with friends the other night and they spoke of this delicious saffron infused salmon the eat regularly. 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. Ghee acts a the perfect crisping agent for the fish while sea salt and saffron infuse the fish with subtle yet delicious flavor. I hope you enjoy!

 

Saffron Salmon

1 6-8oz Salmon Filet (Skin on, crisp skin is always a GOOD thing! :))

Sea Salt

1tsp Saffron

1 Tbs 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 mins did the trick for me.

I like to serve the salmon over some lemon slices for freshness, next to a bed of mixed greens and tomatoes! I lightly season them with salt, pepper and Little Lights Of Mine Olive Oil. So fresh!

 

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Greek Yogurt Snack

This snack is beyond perfect! It’s filling yet light and satisfies any sweet tooth. This dish is pack full of omega-3 fatty acids and FIBER! Yippie. 🙂

I love the mixture of nuts and berries I sprinkle over the top. Its a mixture of sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds as well as goji berries. The brand I purchase is called Linwoods and it can be found at whole foods.

If you’re looking for a healthy dessert alternative than this is your go to as well! You can simply add some cacao nibs or dark chocolate as a treat. Swap out the dates for dried cherries and you have a delicious chocolate cherry greek yogurt dessert.

Let me know what you think!

Greek Yogurt Snack 

1 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt

1 Tbs Linwoods ground flax mix

1 Tsp Honey

2 Dates Chopped

A handful of chopped walnuts

*Simply layer all of the ingredients in a bowl and enjoy!

 

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Braving Branzino

I always love a good hearty, flaky, moist white fish. Especially branzino. I’ve always been intimidated to make it myself, but I finally mustered up some confidence and went for it! It was incredibly easy and took very little time. The fish was perfection, we simply devoured it. I wanted to share this delicious crowd pleaser with you all. If you’re having people over for dinner this recipe will undoubtedly impress them. I served my fish with a little risotto, and prosciutto wrapped asparagus. I hope you all enjoy this recipe!

 

 

 

Ingredients 

3 Egg Whites

2 Cups of Kosher Salt

2 Lemons

Pepper (to taste)

Sage, Rosemary and thyme (Handful of each)

3-4 whole Branzini

 

Directions

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. You then mix your egg whites and salt in a bowl to form a molding mixture (almost like wet sand). Next take your branzini and stuff with sliced lemon and all of the herbs you desire. It’s best to have your local grocery store descale and gut the fish. Now, Take a baking pan and place some of the salt mixture to create a bed for the fish. Place the fish on top and the cover with the remainder of the salt mixture. You then place the pan into the oven for about 30 mins. The salt mold will be a light golden brown and hard as a rock! Simply tap with a spoon or the back of a knife to break the mold, remove the salt and serve the meat of the fish! It will be fresh, moist and oh so flaky! If you choose to you can drizzle with your favorite olive oil and a little pepper, but I like it as is. Enjoy!

 

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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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Planting “Honest” Trees

Over the holiday season (Yes back in 2013) the Honest Company gifted some of their customers these amazing little trees. I guess it was sort of their way  to “pay it forward” and give back to the environment. Both Riley and I were so excited to plant them. I must note that I am no professional gardner and I have a bit of a black thumb. With some research and trial and error I am however getting better, and I LOVE doing it! It was a great quick and easy project for Riley and I to do. it did get messy, BUT IT WAS TOTALLY WORTH IT! Thank you Honest Co for giving back and creating quality time for my family and I. Here are some photos from our time together! They are from a couple of weeks ago, but i’m glad we did it before the awful (but much needed) rainy weeks that followed! Enjoy!

*** The last photo is some new parsley I planted! Our garden already had some, but it needed a refresher! (clearly I’m proud of myself ha!) ***

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