Creamy Fontina Pasta Sauce

Creamy Fontina Pasta Sauce With Hidden vegetables. Hey everyone! So excited to share this recipe with you. Did you know that sauces are a great way to serve vegetables to your family? Now while my kids happen to love any type of vegetable, I know that not every parent has it this easy. So this is my spin on a regular pasta sauce that is chock full of whatever vegetables and herbs you may have on hand. It’s blended until smooth or left chunky depending on your picky eaters. Then combined with some nutty, creamy fontina cheese, browned meat, and your favorite pasta. The perfect way to feed your family and get them to eat their veggies. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Enjoy,

Xo- Ayesha

Creamy Fontina Pasta Sauce

 

Creamy Fontina Pasta Sauce

Two tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely chopped.
Two cloves garlic, finely chopped.
2 cups kale
One tablespoon tomato paste
1- 13.5 ounce can whole tomatoes.
Handful flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped.
1 cups eggplant, chopped. (I had fairy tale eggplant on hand.)
Two teaspoons dark brown sugar (Cuts the acidity.)
One teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
4 ounces fontina cheese
1 pound cooked ground meat (I used ground lamb)
1 point pasta of choice ( I used rigatoni)

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add in onion, garlic, salt, and pepper and cook until softened, about 2-3 minutes.

Add in eggplant and kale and saute for another 3 minutes.

Stir in the tomato paste, whole tomatoes, sugar, and thyme. Mix well and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes.

You can choose to leave this sauce chunky or use a food processor, hand mixer or blender to puree the vegetables (hide them).

Add in fontina cheese to the hot sauce and allow to melt. Before topping with chopped parsley.

You can add your favorite browned meat to this sauce and serve over pasta.

Delicious!

Mini Chicken Parmesan Burgers

Mini Chicken Parmesan Style Burgers. These quick pan-fried mini chicken burgers are a simply flavored spin on chicken parmesan. But In handheld form! Perfect for your next gathering or game night. Chicken parmesan is one of my family’s favorite meals for me to prepare. So I loved creating this fun and delicious spin on a classic. Ground chicken is mixed with some simple seasonings, fresh basil and pan-fried until cooked through before topping it with fresh mozzarella, more basil and a slathering of marinara sauce. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Enjoy,
Xo- Ayesha

 

Mini Chicken Parmesan Burgers

Mini Chicken Parmesan Burgers

1lb ground chicken (ground chicken thighs pack a lot of flavors.)
Two tablespoons fresh chopped basil. Plus more for topping.
One tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
One tablespoon Italian seasoning
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Mozerella ball, sliced.
Marinara sauce, for topping. (Store-bought. Shortcuts are everything!)
Slider buns or rolls for serving.

 

In a large bowl add in ground chicken. Toss in seasoning, chopped basil and gently mix. I like to use a 1/4 measuring cup to scoop out even sized burgers and form shape.

Tip- You can moisten your hands before forming burgers. It will help keep the burger from sticking to your hands.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add in chicken burgers and allow to cook 4-5 minutes per side until each side has browned and is cooked through.

Assemble burgers by placing on the bottom of the bun and topping with mozzarella, basil, and marinara, Serve immediately.

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!

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.

Kid-Friendly Apple Cider Barbeque Sauce

Kid-Friendly Apple Cider Barbeque Sauce. Warning! Your kids will go crazy over this sauce. (and so will you!) It’s thick and tangy with just the right amount of sweetness. The perfect accompaniment for my “flax seed chicken tenders.” You can get the full recipe for my chicken tenders in my cookbook “The Seasoned Life” available at book retailers nationwide. You can use this as a dip or top your favorite burger or grilled sandwich with this condiment. Super excited to share some of my favorite apple recipes with you this fall. Let me know what you think in the comments below. Happy Fall!

Enjoy,

Xo- Ayesha

 

Apple Cider Barbeque Sauce

 

Apple Cider Barbeque Sauce

1/2 cup apple puree
Two tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 cup organic ketchup
1-1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire
1 tablespoon molasses
Two tablespoons dark brown sugar
Two tablespoons cane sugar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1/4 tsp salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Cook the sauce over high heat continually stirring and bring to a boil. Finally, reduce the heat and cook on low for 20-25 minutes or until thickened. Allow to cool and . You can store this condiment in an airtight jar or container for up to two weeks.

 

Simple Macerated Strawberries

Simple Macerated Strawberries. Who doesn’t love strawberries? My family certainly does. This recipe is a super simple go-to when I want to elevate my berries! Perfect for topping your family’s pancakes, waffles, and yummy desserts! Macerated is a technique that releases the juices from your fruit. And you can either do this with a simple syrup or simple syrup with alcohol. I opted for the simple syrup without alcohol for a more kid-friendly recipe. You can also change this up and add in whatever fresh herbs you have on hand. So easy and tasty! Share your favorite way to eat strawberries in the comments below.

Enjoy

Xo- Ayesha

Simple Macerated Strawberries

1-pint strawberries, hulled and sliced.
1/2 cup brown sugar (or white)
One tablespoon honey
Two tablespoon lemon juice (You could substitute with Grand Marnier)
One teaspoon mint, finely chopped (optional)
Pinch sea salt

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix gently.

Allow sitting room temperature for 20-30 minutes.

Serve as a topping for your pancakes, waffles, ice cream sundaes, cakes, and more! I could eat a small bowl just on its own.

Cooking with my Kids! -Star Patties

I love cooking with my kids! Riley has been helping me out in the kitchen for such a long time. And now Ryan is showing an interest as well. Inviting my kids into the kitchen to help me cook our meals is a way for me to create quality time together but also helps them to learn some kitchen basics and feel confident. I’m always trying to come up with delicious and kid-friendly dishes that still include all of the flavors that I would put into mine. And fortunately for me, my kids are willing to try almost anything that I put in front of them. Besides chocolate of course! Weird I know. These star patties are packed full of flavor with some nutty and sharp Parmigiano-Reggiano, teriyaki sauce, fresh basil, garlic, and parsley. Its rolled out on some parchment paper (Riley’s job!) before being cut into shapes and baked off. Super simple and delicious. And so much fun! Just remember that whenever you have kids in the kitchen your inviting some extra mess. But those messes can always be cleaned. So enjoy the moment! Share your favorite thing to cook with your family in the comments below.

X0- Ayesha

Star Patties

Star Patties

1 pound ground beef or lamb
3 Tablespoons Teriyaki Marinade & Sauce
1/4 cup breadcrumbs (I used Italian)
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated. (You can also use just plain parmesan)
1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped.
1/4 cup Italian parsley, roughly chopped.
One garlic clove, finely minced.
One large egg, lightly beaten.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Parchment paper
Cookie cutter of your choice (My kids wanted to use a star)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl add in ground meat.

Add the egg, garlic, teriyaki, cheese, breadcrumbs, basil, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

Carefully mix. (You don’t want to over mix it)

Place the mixture in between two pieces of parchment paper.

Using either your hands or a rolling pin to flatten.

(I recommend letting it chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour before continuing.)

When your mixture is ready, you can remove the top layer of parchment paper and cut into shapes.

Place your shapes on a non-stick baking sheet and bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes.

serve with your favorite veggie and starch.

We used tomatoes and some Israeli couscous.

Enjoy!

Fun With Fruit This Easter- Kid Friendly!

Fun With Fruit This Easter- Kid Friendly! We all know that kids get way to much candy this time of year. And I try and keep a happy balance with sweets and healthier foods like fruit. So here is a really fun and easy activity to do with your children this Easter. Simply pull out your favorite Easter cookie cutters (Bunny, egg, chick, etc.) and cut up your favorite types of fruit (I used pineapple, watermelon, and honeydew). Have your kids use the cutters to create fun shapes with their fruit and then lay them on a platter. You can simply serve it like that or add a skewer (So cute!) in the center. It’s that easy! Let me know if you try it in the comments below.

Happy Easter and God Bless!

Xo– Ayesha