Every moment matters
Hi! I’m Aide-a recipe developer. I LOVE cooking, organizing, natural remedies and nutrition. I am also a mother of three wonder children, I was a high-school teacher for over 30 years, founder of food you can say, Take-In-Menus, worked as an Arizona mobile chef for events and catering services, and currently working for Allstate and a blogger.
I live in Scottsdale, Arizona, though I’m originally from San Diego, California. Besides cooking I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, swimming, creating new traditions and getting caught in the moments. I am known to be spontaneous, adventures, crazy, unpredictable and funny.
I am married to an amazing man from Havana, Cuba. We’ve enjoyed the past 38 years together and one of our absolute favorite pastimes is gathering around our dining table and enjoying our crazy family.
I’ve had cooking in my blood as far back as I can remember. It might be because I grew up in a Hispanic home with a mother who loved to cook and always had a way of taking an ordinary recipe and made it extraordinary by simply adding a dash of this or a pinch of that! Or because of the many memories I have of spending time in my grandmothers humble home in Tijuana, Mexico. Where food might of been scarce, but she always managed to create incredible one pot dishes with the simplest ingredients, and they always were accompanied with her homemade tortillas made “solely” by hand (with no rolling pin!) and cooked them over an open fire outdoors! I was absolutely enchanted with her skills, and ability to take ordinary pinto beans and create so many dishes and if it was not beans as the main dish they were still always a side dish or the star of our dinner plates. Nothing was more comforting for me then home cooking. To this day gatherings, family, celebrations, laughter and traditions are associated with food or gathering in or around the kitchen.
I was raised with two older sister, and a younger brother-but come from a family of twelve siblings. Although I was the youngest of the girls, I always had some type of duty in the kitchen and as I washed, chopped or dried dishes I paid close attention to what was being prepared and how. It wasn’t until I left home at the age of 17 that I discovered that I truly “LOVE” the kitchen and cooking! What I hadn’t learned before I left home I thought myself. One of the first things I got when I left home was a library card! I was constantly at the library checking out cookbooks to learn or make new recipes. Before long I was married and had three amazing children that I considered a blessing to cook for. Eventually our kitchen became the heart and soul of our home. As our kids grew and some moved on but the kitchen has still remained a very active room in our home and in fact is still my happy place and now has become my playground. If I am not cooking, creating new recipes, taking photos of new found products or photo shots, reefs of my latest creations, I am constantly trying to find homes from my latest gadgets, dishes, oils, spices or antique finds “like grandma once had”!
My cooking style is between traditional and “healthy” contemporary cooking. I have taken traditional recipes and created a “healthy” or healthier option of recipes from my childhood traditional recipes. I reinvented, recreated, experimented and altered recipes using avocado, coconut and olive oil to replace the lard, shortening, or vegetable oil or varied the options in original recipes offering more vegetables or leaner meats choices and choosing baking, air frying or roasting over deep frying methods. Seldom, I must admit that their are a few recipes I dare alter and keep as “authentic”, original form, but for the most part I found the altered, recreated or alternative options are a lot more enjoyable, healthier and without the guilt.
I have over 40 years experience in the kitchen, I am a food developer and creator- I have learned a great number of tips, shortcuts, and created a number of ‘mother-savers’. In addition to my passion for cooking and creating mother watering recipes, I created Take-In Menus for the ‘what’s for dinner’ dilemmas’, where I offer menus for Mexican, Italian, American, Mediterranean, Asian meal choices from Trader Joe’s to help people take the fuss out of cooking, eating out, long shopping trips, brain fogs, or simply spending too much time trying to figure it out! These Take-In Menus are the next best thing- It’s not home delivery company offering you the ingredients to cook (most times people don’t wanna cook), it’s not greasy fast food, or expensive restaurants, or recipes offering you the opportunity to shop, prep and cook followed by kitchen clean-up, although I welcome this chore I understand I am amongst the rare breeds. Or most folks that do enjoy cooking can not do it daily, so I created a way that offers putting food on the table in a much simpler way.
My latest creations are the mini series collection of cookbooks that came from an AHAH moment as Oprah likes to say. The mini series cookbooks were created to help save money, make meal planning easier and give a wide variety of recipe choices at your finger tips. Having all the recipes for one particular vegetable in one cookbook will be a game changer. This will help not only save time but will change the way you cook, because you’ll find yourself taking advantage of seasonal produce. Which is the best time to buy them because produce is fresher and tastes better, sweeter and perfectly ripe. When fruits and vegetables are picked for consumption that have been naturally ripened on the vine or the tree and harvested at the right time, it will have much more flavor and nutrition! Not to mention purchasing seasonal produce is typically less expensive than buying that same fruit or vegetable during its off-season. This relates to the simple concept of supply and demand; in-season produce is in large supply so it is sold at cheaper prices to maintain demand. So when I buy say, “potatoes” at it’s best harvested time and price I naturally will want to cook recipes that include in this case “potatoes”. As we all know, saving time is always important and I wanted to stop the rut of thumbing through endless cookbooks or Google searches that tend to be quite time consuming. What starts out to be a quick carrot salad search ends up being a daunting task of finding the right recipe and often takes more time than you anticipated, leaving you with too many options, not having all of the ingredients on hand, and even overwhelmed and intimidated by the “perfect” pictures of the finished recipe. This process usually ends with you being disappointed and unmotivated; now that you sat down to look for a recipe you’re relaxed and all of a sudden what seemed like a great idea turns into: “I really don’t feel like cooking anymore”. Sound familiar? Absolutely, we’ve all done this. I decided to put a stop to that repeated pattern and created this series of simple, easy to follow recipes, with no photos to allow each kitchen to create their own end result without the intimidation of a staged “perfect” looking recipe. This mini series of cookbooks is full of recipes with good old fashion cooking that will help you to get out of a rut and discover new, mouthwatering recipes with a wide variety of healthy foods and vegetables. It’s time to say goodbye to the same old steamed, roasted or grilled vegetables and say hello to a whole lot more choices and brand new ways to cook your fruits and vegetables. The simplicity of this recipe book series is to give you new choices, spark an old family recipe you’ve once made, and provide you with recipes that are easy to follow and prepare without unnecessary steps. Kind of like the good old days, when recipes past on were simple and easy to make, without steps and nutritional information. But don’t let that scare you. Remember, back in time grandma didn’t have such facts or ways of computing nutritional information, but you do! With the internet, you can use a wide variety of ways to get the nutritional facts if you must; however, most of the recipes are simple and heathy-ish, the way grandma used to pass them down. So, join me on my journey as we together discover create and share lives together.
"I’d rather laugh at things gone wrong than regret something said that I can't take back."- Aide Ayala -
"The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why."- Mark Twain
"You and I were created for joy, and if we miss it, we miss the reason for our existence."
I am hoping you'll enjoy sharing my journey
discover new recipes,
simplify your life,
solve a few dilemmas,