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Irish Apple Cake

Irish Apple Cake

Ingredients

For the Streusel Topping
6 tbsp cold salted butter, cut into small cubes
¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ cup rolled oats
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
For the Cake
1 stick salted butter, room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground ginger
cup salt
3 tbsp milk
2 granny smith, pink lady or gala apples sliced thin

Directions

Preheat oven to 350˚F with the rack in the middle. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan with butter & parchment to line the bottom.

Assemble the streusel topping. In a medium bowl mix together the flour, oats, sugar and salt. Rub the butter into the flour mixture until the streusel resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Store in the fridge until ready to use.

For the cake: Using a stand mixer & paddle attachment, cream the butter and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until light & fluffy. Add the vanilla, then beat in the eggs one at a time. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt. With a rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the wet along with the milk.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Layer the apples over the top, then sprinkle the streusel over the apples.

Bake the cake for 60 to 70 minutes. The top should be golden brown and crisp. A toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake should come out virtually crumb free. Remove from the oven, let cake cool a bit before flipping it onto a cooling rack or cake platter.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Campfire Loaded Veggie Nachos

Recipe: Campfire Loaded Veggie Nachos

Ingredients

1 15 oz can whole kernel corn, drained
1 15 oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 10 ounce can Rotel, drained
½ large red onion, diced & divided
1 2 ounce can sliced black olives, drained
1 tsp Tajín Clásico mexican spice blend
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp cumin
1 16 ounce bag tortilla chips
1 8 ounce package shredded Mexican blend cheese
1 ripe avocado
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
lime slices
sliced jalapeños

Directions

Line a 10 inch cast iron skillet with foil.
Combine the corn, beans, 1/2 of the onions, Rotel, olives, Tajín Clásico, pepper and cumin in a large bowl.

Place 1/2 of the chips in the skillet, top with 1/2 of the cheese and 1/2 of the corn mixture. Repeat with another layer of chips, corn mixture and cheese.

Campfire or Grilled Nachos

If you are heating over the campfire; tent with foil and grill until the cheese melts 8-10 minutes. Remove from the fire, carefully remove foil. Top with avocado, the rest of the onions, cilantro, lime wedges, jalapeños and drizzle Chipotle Cream Sauce.
If using the grill, heat over medium high heat and follow the rest of the directions. Serve immediately.

Baked Nachos

Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit with rack in the middle. Place the skillet in the oven, tent with foil and bake for 8-10 minutes until cheese is melted. Remove from the oven, carefully remove foil. Top with avocado, the rest of the onions, cilantro, lime wedges, jalapeños and drizzle Chipotle Cream Sauce. Serve immediately.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Grilled Brie with Tomatoes and Basil

Recipe: Grilled Brie with Tomatoes and Basil

Ingredients

2 wedges brie cheese, or 1 large round
1 pt grape tomatoes, quartered or 1 pound ripe tomatoes diced
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
¾ tsp salt and more to taste
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup chopped basil ribbons, chiffonade
1 loaf sliced rustic baguette or pita chips
balsamic glaze and shaved parmesan for topping

Directions

Tomato Basil Salad

Combine the tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, balsamic vinegar, salt pepper and basil in a large bowl.

Grilled Brie

Line a 10 inch cast iron skillet or griddle with foil (this makes for an easier clean up.) Place the brie in the center of the skillet. Grill over a campfire or hot grill for 15-20 minutes or until the brie softens and bubbles.

Baked Brie

This is easy to make in your kitchen too! Simply preheat oven to 375˚F with the rack in the middle.

Line a 10 inch cast iron skillet or griddle with foil (this makes for an easier clean up.) Place the brie in the center of the skillet. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the brie softens and bubbles.

Serving

Top the melted brie with the tomato basil mixture. Top with a drizzle of balsamic glaze and shaved parmesan. Serve with baguette.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Vegetarian Enchiladas

Recipe: Vegetarian Enchiladas

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 crown of broccoli, chopped into small pieces
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, chopped into small pieces
½ tsp smoked paprika
1 lime, juiced
5 cups baby spinach
1 (15 ounce) can black or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups mexican blend shredded cheese, divided into 1/2 and 1 1/2
½ tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
8″ whole wheat tortillas
freshly chopped cilantro for garnish

Directions

Make the enchilada sauce.

Preheat the oven to 400˚ Fahrenheit with the rack in the middle. Spray a 9X13″ casserole dish with olive oil.

In a 12 inch skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Once it’s hot add the chopped onion. Cook until fragrant about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, salt and pepper. Cook 2 minutes. Add the broccoli, cook 5 minutes or until the broccoli is bright green. Mix in the bell pepper, smoked paprika and lime juice. Mix in the baby spinach, allow it to wilt about 2 minutes. Mix in beans. Cook another 2 minutes. Mix in 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese.

Assemble the enchiladas. Pour 1/4 cup enchilada sauce into the casserole dish and spread it around. Top each tortilla with some of the veggie mixture. Lay it down the center of the tortilla and roll the sides up over it. Place each stuffed tortilla with the seam side down into the casserole dish until you have used up all the veggies. You will end up with 8 or 9 enchiladas.

Top with the remainder of the enchilada sauce. Pour the sauce down the middle of the enchiladas keeping the edges bare. Top with the remainder of the cheese. Bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with freshly chopped cilantro and serve immediately.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Fresh Raspberry Margaritas

Recipe: Fresh Raspberry Margaritas

Ingredients

¼ cup fresh raspberries
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
4 fl oz (1/2 cup) reposado or añejo tequila
1 ½ fl oz (3 tbsp) simple syrup (or add to taste)
ice
coarse or Kosher salt for rimming the glass
Simple Syrup
½ cup granulated white or light brown sugar
½ cup water

Directions

Make the simple syrup. Bring the water and sugar to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes making sure all the sugar has melted. Set aside to cool.

Using a wedge of lime, rub the rim of rocks or margarita glasses with the lime. Dip the edge of the glass into the salt. Fill 1/2 way with ice.

Muddle the raspberries with the lime juice in a cocktail shaker.

Add the tequila and simple syrup. Fill with ice. Shake until well combined. Strain into the prepared glasses. Garnish with lime wedges and more fresh raspberries.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Boozy Frozen Lemonade

Recipe: Boozy Frozen Lemonade

Ingredients

½ cup tequila, vodka, gin or your favorite spirit
4 cups ice
lemon zest for topping

Directions

Combine the lemon simple syrup, liqueur and ice in a blender. Blend on the “smoothie” setting or until smooth.

Top with fresh lemon zest and serve immediately.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Austrian Linzer Tart Cookies

Recipe: Austrian Linzer Tart Cookies

Ingredients

3 cups (375 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup (96 g) blanched almond flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp Kosher salt
1 ½ cups unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ¼ cups (250 g) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup rasberry, fig, cherry, lingonberry or cranberry jam
powdered sugar for dusting the tops of cookies

Directions

In a bowl whisk together the flour, almond flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and granulated sugar on medium-high speed. Mix for a few minutes until well combined and pale in color, scraping down the sides when necessary. Add in the eggs one at a time; mix again until well combined. Mix in the vanilla. Turn off the mixer and add in all of the flour mixture, then mix on low speed until it’s just incorporated.

Working on a floured work surface, divide the dough into two equal portions. Flatten into 1-inch (2.5-cm)-thick disks. Wrap separately in plastic wrap. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours up to 5 days.

Remove the dough from the fridge 15 minutes before you are ready to roll it. Roll in between two sheets of parchment paper to ⅛ to ¼ inch (3 to 6 mm) thick. If the dough cracks, just press it back together. If the dough gets too sticky, you can add more flour to it as you roll. You can also place it back in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to firm back up.

Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C) with the rack in the middle. Cut shapes from the dough with a 2½-inch (6-cm) cookie cutter (I love hearts for these), cutting an equal amount of tops and bottoms. Cut a hole in the middle of the tops. Carefully move the cookies with a spatula to parchment-lined baking sheets. When all the dough is rolled out and cut, place in the refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from the fridge and bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes; they should be lightly golden brown on the edges. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to cooling racks.

Dust the tops of the cookies with powdered sugar. Spread the bottoms with some jam. Make cookie sandwiches and serve.

~ Marla Meridith

Cran Raspberry Mimosas

Celebrate the New Year or enjoy for brunch these Cranberry Raspberry Mimosas are absolutely delicious! A festive cocktail recipe that will add JOY to any occasion.

6 cocktails

1 cup sweetened cranberry raspberry juice
1 bottle dry Champagne or sparkling wine (Prosecco or cava)
fresh raspberries
fresh mint

Pour 1/4 cup (2 ounces) crane raspberry juice into each Champagne flute. Top with Champagne, a few raspberries and fresh mint.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Sparkling Pear Champagne Cocktail

This sparkling cocktail is the perfect way to ring in the New Year or any special occasion.

2 cocktails

2 oz pear juice (no added sugar)
2 oz Poire Williams (pear brandy)
8 oz chilled dry Champagne or sparkling wine (Prosecco or Cava)
thinly sliced fresh pear, for garnish (optional)

Pour the pear juice and Poire Williams into two Champagne flutes. Top with Champagne. Garnish with fresh pear slices.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Baked Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings

Around here we can’t get enough chicken wings and this recipe for Baked Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings is among our favorites! Serve as part of your weeknight dinner or for any kind of entertaining. Great for game day!

4 servings

–for the chicken
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp black pepper
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp garlic powder
2 1/2 pounds chicken wings
olive oil to drizzle garlic
–for the sauce
4 tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 425˚F with the rack in the middle.
Line a baking sheet with tin foil. Place a wire rack onto the prepared pan.
Pat dry the chicken wings with paper towels. Combine the seasonings in a medium bowl and toss the wings one at a time in the seasonings.
Place the chicken in a single layer onto the rack. Bake for 25 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked through.
While the chicken is cooking make the sauce. Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low, add the garlic and sauté for about 2-3 minutes, until fragrant and softened. Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl to cool. When the butter is room temperature mix in the olive oil, parsley and parmesan.
When the chicken is done baking, transfer to a serving platter. Spoon the garlic, parmesan mixture over the top. The sauce will melt again as it hits the hot chicken. Serve immediately with lots of napkins.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Brown Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe for Brown Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies will quickly become your favorite. They come together super quickly and will be devoured in minutes!

10 cookies

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Prepare a cookie sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone liner.
Place the butter in a small saucepan and melt over medium heat. Continue to cook, swirling the pan often. The butter will foam and then it will make popping and cracking sounds. Watch carefully, when it is nearly done making sounds it will start to form brown bits. Cook for another minute or so then pour the butter into a heat proof bowl to cool a bit.
In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. In another large bowl, with a spatula mix together the brown butter and brown sugar until well combined. Mix in the egg and the vanilla. Mix the dry mixture into the wet in 3 additions until well combined. Transfer to a clean work surface and combine the cookie dough with lightly floured hands. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Place large scoops (3 tablespoons) of dough onto the cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 17-19 minutes until the cookies are slightly golden brown. Transfer to racks to cool.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Blueberry Walnut Mascarpone Muffins

We are smitten with these delicious Blueberry Walnut Mascarpone Muffins. This recipe is simple to prepare and great for breakfast, brunch or as an anytime snack.

18 standard sized muffins

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup mascarpone
2 1/2 cups flour plus 2 tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
raw (course grain) sugar for topping

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a muffin pan with liners or grease generously with baking spray or softened butter.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter with the 3/4 cup of the sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the egg, mascarpone and vanilla extract, beat until combined.
In a small bowl, toss the blueberries and the walnuts with the 2 tablespoons of flour.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the 2 1/2 cups of flour, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture to the batter in three additions, alternating with the milk. Fold in the flour-coated blueberries and walnuts.
Fill the liners to about 3/4 full. Sprinkle the batter with raw sugar. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out virtually crumb free. The muffins will be slightly golden brown when done. Let cool on a wire rack at least 15 minutes before serving.

~ Marla Meridith