Quick And Easy Homemade Croutons

Quick And Easy Homemade Croutons. The end of summer is nearing and what better way to finish it out than with a flavorful salad straight from the garden. My Panzanella salad with a dijon vinaigrette is fantastic. It’s tangy and sweet with lots of crunchy vegetables and of course Croutons! Panzanella is a traditional Italian “bread salad.” For the full recipe on how to make it click the link. Now, these crispy croutons are so easy to make and so much better than the bagged stuff. You can use them in your next soup or salad recipe and create something magical. Just chop, cube and brown in the oven, and about fifteen minutes later you’ll have golden chewy and crispy croutons! Try it with cornbread for a yummy alternative. What’s your favorite way to eat croutons? Comment below.

 

Enjoy!

Xo- Ayesha

Quick And Easy Homemade Croutons

Quick And Easy Homemade Croutons

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
One long baguette, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 6 cups)
One teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl add bread cubes, salt, and garlic powder. Drizzle with olive oil over the bread and combine well until coated and the bread absorbs olive oil.

Spread cubes of bread onto a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until golden all around. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

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.

Cherry Pulled Pork

Cherry Pulled Pork. This is going to be one of those go-to recipes you can use when you’re short on time. Now I’m a huge fan of my electric pressure cooker. You can literally throw frozen meat into it and have tender meat in thirty minutes. Or in this case 45 minutes. I decided to use some tart cherries in this recipe. I feel like cherries are the perfect complement for this dish. We also have some garlic, ginger and whole bunch of other goodies. Your house is going to smell like you’ve been slaving over the stove all day. Name your favorite way to use cherries in the comments below.

Enjoy,

Xo- Ayesha

 

Cherry Pulled Pork

 

Cherry Pulled Pork

4-5 pound pork shoulder roast
2 cups frozen cherries
1 cup beef broth
1/2 cup cherry juice
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup ketchup
Two tablespoons dark brown sugar
1-inch fresh ginger, peeled.
3-4 whole garlic cloves
One small shallot, diced.
One teaspoon dry mustard
Two teaspoons black pepper
Salt and to taste.

Cut roast into sections so that it will be covered with the cooking liquid. Then season with salt, pepper, and mustard and place into the pressure cooker along with cherries, garlic, ginger, and shallot. In a bowl mix sugar, ketchup, vinegar, broth, and cherry juice.

Pour over the top of the roast.

Cook for about forty-five minutes in your electric pressure cooker. Please follow the directions on your pressure cooker for complete instructions.

Remove from pot and use two forks to shred the meat. Pour as much or as little of the cherry sauce over the top of the shredded pork. I served it in a bun with a quick slaw. Its also delicious poured over a bowl of rice and steamed veggies. Yum!

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!

Green Goddess Mayonnaise

Green Goddess Mayonnaise. A delicious and herby mayonnaise mixture that is the perfect condiment to jazz up your next meal! Its a play on a green goddess dressing that you would typically find drizzled over a salad. It’s vibrantly green with a big punch of flavor. An 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. Smear a nice amount of this green goddess mayo on your favorite sandwich. You can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days if needed. You can thank me later. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Enjoy,

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
One 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.

Turkey Sloppy Joe

Turkey Sloppy Joe. Sure to be one of your next dinner favorites. Sloppy joes are one of those comfort foods that you grew up eating, but probably don’t admit to liking as an adult! Barbecue like sandwiches that consist of sauce and ground beef or as my mom says “Minced meat.” The “sloppy” sauce came out of a can but let’s be honest when you were a kid who cared? So this is a decidedly healthier spin on your classic sloppy without losing that delicious sweet and tangy flavor we all love.  Using ground turkey and most ingredients you probably already have on hand like onion and bell pepper. I mean what’s not to like about a meal that combines a hearty meat mixture nestled inside a bun and is oh so SLOPPY! I hope you enjoy it.

Enjoy,

Xo- Ayesha

 

Turkey Sloppy Joe

 

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 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!

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!

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!

 

Fig And Orange Glazed Salmon Fillets

Fig and Orange Glazed Salmon Fillets. Hey everyone! Now I’m always on the hunt for a new and exciting approach to cooking salmon. And this dish is so darn flavorful and pairs one of my favorite proteins with FIGS! I’m a colossal fig lover, naturally, since I live in California where most of the nation’s fresh figs are grown. Their subtly sweet creamy and seedy texture makes them great for both sweet and savory dishes. And the combination of sticky figs and orange is a winner in this recipe. A great sauce that adds the perfect amount of tangy and sweetness to the salmon. Are any of you fig lovers? Share in the comments below. Have a great week!

Xo- Ayesha

Fig and Orange Glazed Salmon Fillets

 

Fig and Orange Glazed Salmon Fillets

Ingredients:

12-16 ounce salmon fillet, cut into four pieces.
Coarse salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

Orange Fig Sauce:

1 cup California figs, stems removed and halved.
1/2 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Cut stems from figs and cut into quarters. Place figs, orange juice, balsamic, and mint in a small pot. Bring to a boil and allow the sauce to reduce about 15-20 minutes. Once your figs have reduced and softened remove from heat.

In a blender add in hot fig mixture along with honey, dijon, and salt. Blend at low speed until well combined. It will be thick! But will melt wonderfully over the hot fish.

Drizzle your salmon with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place salmon, skin side down on a lined baking sheet. Bake until cooked through and flaky, about 12 to 15 minutes. Brush sauce liberally over salmon and serve with steamed rice.

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!