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Recipe: Raspberry Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Muffins

Recipe: Raspberry Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Muffins


2 ½ cups white whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ cup pure maple syrup
½ cup brown sugar (light or dark brown) loosely packed
1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (about 2 large)
¼ cup full fat sour cream
1 large egg, beaten
¾ cup milk (any milk you prefer)
½ cup semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips
1 ¾ cups fresh raspberries (frozen ok too)


Preheat oven to 350˚ Fahrenheit (177°C) with the rack in the middle. Grease a 12 count muffin pan with baking spray. If using muffin liners, spray them first so they don’t stick to the liners. This will make 15 muffins, if you have an extra muffin pan handy prep that as well.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the maple syrup and brown sugar getting out as many lumps as possible. Fold in the mashed banana, sour cream and beaten egg. Add the wet into the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Batter will be thick. Mix in the milk. Fold in the chocolate chips, then carefully the raspberries. Be very gentle with the berries so they don’t turn the batter pink. Do not overmix the batter as it will toughen the muffins.

Evenly divide the batter between the muffin tins, filling to the top. Top with more chocolate chips if desired. Bake for 17-18 minutes, until you see light brown edges. A toothpick inserted into the centers should come out virtually crumb-free. If you are using the same pan for the three extra muffins, fill the empty muffin time halfway with water so the muffins bake evenly and your pan doesn’t warp.

Let the muffins cool for 10 minutes before removing from the muffin pan. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Strawberry Almond Baklava

Recipe: Strawberry Almond Baklava


4 cups fresh strawberries, quartered
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar, divided
¾ cup water
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp cornstarch (if needed to thicken)
1 (16 ounce) package phyllo pastry dough
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, melted
1 cup slivered almonds
½ cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp ground cinnamon, divided
1 pinch salt


Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit with the rack in the middle.

In a saucepan, heat the strawberries with 3/4 cup sugar, water, lemon juice, vanilla and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Bring to a boil then down to a simmer, cooking for 30 minutes until the sauce thickens into a jammy consistency. Whisk in the cornstarch if needed. Set aside to cool and thicken a bit more.

Brush the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish with melted butter, add a layer of phyllo pastry, brush with more butter and add another layer of dough. Do this until you have 6 layers of pastry dough lining the dish.

Layer on a thin layer of the strawberries and then the almonds. Place a layer of phyllo dough, then some melted butter. Do this for 5 layers of dough. Continue these layers until you have 3 layers of strawberries/almonds, always brushing melted butter in between layers of phyllo dough. For the top layer, use 10 sheets of phyllo dough brushing butter between each. Brush the top layer with butter too. Score/slice the dough with a sharp knife into desired portions.

Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. Top with 1/2 of the syrup and let cool. Serve with more syrup.

While the baklava is baking make the maple sauce. Boil the remainder of the granulated sugar (1/2 cup) with the maple syrup, the rest of the cinnamon and a pinch of salt in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves into the maple syrup forming a syrup.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Skillet Brown Sugar Blueberry Cobbler

Recipe: Skillet Brown Sugar Blueberry Cobbler


½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp Kosher salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup whole milk
1 cup + 1 tbsp light brown sugar
juice from 1 lemon
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups fresh blueberries
Serve with
freshly whipped cream
vanilla ice cream


Preheat oven to 350˚ Fahrenheit with the rack in the middle. Melt the butter in the oven in a 10 inch cast iron skillet. Remove from the oven when it’s melted.

Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl: the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl combine the milk, vanilla, lemon juice and 1 cup of the brown sugar. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until smooth. Toss the blueberries with 1 tbsp of brown sugar. Pour the batter into the buttered skillet. Top with the blueberries.

Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool a few minutes then serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Maple Vanilla Roasted Strawberries

Add these Maple Vanilla Roasted Strawberries to your pancakes, waffles or yogurt parfaits. Or enjoy over cakes, whipped cream or ice cream! This recipe is so simple and delicious!

2-4 servings

1 pound fresh strawberries, rinsed and pat dry
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
pinch of fine sea salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F with the rack in the middle.
Trim ends off strawberries and discard. Cut strawberries in half, quarters if they are huge.
Place on a baking sheet and toss with maple syrup, vanilla and salt. Arrange berries in a single layer.
Bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and scrape from the pan with a spoon. Enjoy hot, room temperature or cold.

Adjust maple syrup to taste, to go sweeter simple add more!

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: No-Bake Strawberry Icebox Cake

No-Bake Strawberry Icebox Cake recipe is great for summer entertaining!

8-10 servings

2 pounds fresh strawberries
2 pints cold heavy whipping cream
1/3-1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 box (14 ounces) graham crackers or gingersnaps
Topping: chocolate syrup, shave chocolate, sprinkles or chocolate candies (I used Milk Duds)

Clean & pat dry strawberries. Save a few beauties for the topping. Slice the strawberries thin.
Whip the cream in a mixer with whisk attachment. Start on low & increase the speed as the cream thickens. Add the sugar to taste.
Use a platter or a baking dish & start to layer your cake. Start with a few dollops of whipped cream to anchor the cake. Then make 4 layers starting with the graham crackers, whipped cream then strawberries. Add more whipped cream for glue. Repeat this process. Final layer should be whipped cream. Garnish with whole strawberries & chocolate.
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight so cookies can soften.
Serve immediately.

~ Marla Meridith

Americana No-Bake Cheesecake

I love to make special desserts for the holidays, especially for July 4th. This Americana No-Bake Cheesecake will impress all your guests and it’s super easy to make ahead of time.

10-12 servings

–for the crust
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (14 full sheets) you can also us ginger snaps or chocolate wafers
1/3 cup light or dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) melted, unsalted butter
baking spray
–for the filling
1 1/4 cups cold heavy whipping cream
3 (8 ounce) blocks full fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp confectioners sugar
1/4 cup sour cream, at room temperature
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
–for the topping
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup fresh blackberries

Prepare the crust: Pulse the graham crackers (or your preferred cookies) in a food processor until you have a consistent crumb. Pulse in the sugar and butter until well combined. Spray a 9″ or 10″ springform pan with baking spray. Press the crust into the bottom of the pan, using your palms to make sure it’s firmly packed. Refrigerate while you are making the filling, 15-20 minutes.
Prepare the filling: Whip the cream in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment until you have stiff peaks, about 5 minutes. Transfer the whipped cream to a bowl and place in the fridge.
In the same bowl, you don’t have to rinse it, beat the cream cheese and granulated sugar on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Scraping down the sides of the bowl with a soft rubber spatula as needed. On medium-high speed, beat in the confectioners sugar, sour cream, lemon juice and vanilla bean paste until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Be sure that there are no lumps of cream cheese in the mixture.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and gently fold in the whipped cream being sure not to over mix, you don’t want to cream to deflate.
Scoop the cheesecake mixture over the crust. Smooth out the top with an offset spatula. Decorate with the berries.
Refrigerate for at least 6-8 hours up to two days. Serve cold.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Raspberry Brioche Bread Pudding

We love this breakfast favorite, Raspberry Brioche Bread Pudding recipe. Simple and delicious to prepare for weekend feasts and brunch.

8 servings

2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 – 14 oz loaf brioche bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
6 large eggs
2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 Navel orange, juiced
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 ounces fresh raspberries, divided
powdered sugar for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with the rack in the middle.
Grease a 13X9 inch casserole dish with the softened butter.
Place the bread cubes in the casserole dish.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, orange juice, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Fold in 1/2 of the raspberries. Pour the mixture over the bread and gently press into the bread with a spatula. Allow to soak for 10 minutes. Top with the remainder of the raspberries.
Cover the french toast with foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 35 minutes or until the casserole is puffed and golden brown. Spoon pudding onto plates and serve with maple syrup and softened butter.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Quinoa Breakfast Bowls

Skip that bowl of oatmeal and try these delicious, gluten free, super healthy Quinoa Breakfast bowls!

4 servings

1 cup quinoa, rinsed under cold water
2 cups unsweetened light coconut milk
2 tablespoons maple syrup (or to taste)
1/3 cup toasted slivered almonds
pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
fresh fruit for topping

In a medium saucepan, bring quinoa, coconut milk, maple syrup and salt to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Stir frequently until the quinoa is light, fluffy & has absorbed all the liquid. If you need to add some water do so. Stir in the cinnamon and vanilla extract.
Top with fresh fruit & toasted almonds.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Simple Strawberry Sauce

We love this simple fruit sauce over ice cream, pancakes, in oatmeal & anything else you can dream up!

1 pound fresh or frozen Strawberries, cleaned & cut in 1/2
1 tablespoon Water
sweetener of choice: add to taste if needed

Heat berries in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add water if using fresh strawberries. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer with the lid on. Berries will burst and become saucy. Let the sauce cool a bit. Purée in blender and add sweetener to taste if desired.

You might not need any water if using frozen berries as they have a lot of water in them all ready. If you need to thicken your sauce you can use some pectin, arrowroot or strain it through fine mesh sieve.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Cowgirl Coolers

We love these skinny frozen cocktails on the hottest summer days!

2 cocktails

3/4 cup (6 ounces) Simple Strawberry Sauce
2-4 ounces whiskey (depends on how much kick you want)
stevia or simple syrup to taste
2 cups (8 ounces) ice
a few fresh strawberries for garnish

Simple Strawberry Sauce recipe here:
Blend all ingredients in a blender. Top with some sliced strawberries.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Sweet Summer Raspberry Tarts

We love fresh summer raspberries by the handful and especially love them in these beautiful Sweet Summer Raspberry Tarts.

6 raspberry tarts

1/2 recipe Pâte Sucrée (Sweet Pastry Dough), chilled logs ( )
flour for dusting
1/2 recipe Creme Patisserie (Pastry Cream), chilled (
2 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
confectioners sugar for decoration

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit with the rack in the middle.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper or a silicone baking liner.
–Make the tart shells
Remove the Pâte Sucrée log from the fridge and leave it out at room temperature before rolling out.
On a lightly floured surface, slice the log into 6 equal slices. Roll the dough discs out to about 1/8 inch thick.
Place the dough over individual tart tins and gently press it onto the bottom, corners and up over the sides of the tin. Once the dough is completely covering the tin, use a rolling pin gently over the edge to trim off excess. Do this for the remainder of the tart tins. Move the tarts to the prepared baking sheet.
Line the pastries with some parchment paper and fill with dry beans, dry rice or pie weights.
Blind bake the tarts for 15 minutes.
Remove the pie weights and bake for another 10 minutes.
Let the tart shells cool to room temperature.
–Assemble the tarts
Remove the pastry cream from the fridge, whisk before using.
Divide the cream evenly among the tarts. Top with the raspberries and some powdered sugar.
Serve immediately.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake

10 – 12 servings

3 cups frozen blueberries
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/4 cups ginger snaps cookies (to yield 1 1/2 cups cookie crumbs)
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
10 ounces regular (not low fat) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup full fat sour cream
2 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Place the blueberries, sugar and lemon juice into a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir in the sugar until it dissolves. Increase the heat to medium, bring to a simmer and cook for about 8 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
Pulse the blueberry sauce in a blender until you have a puree. Press through a sieve to remove any lumps. Let sauce cool.
For the base: Pulse the cookies in a food processor until you have a fine crumb. Add the butter and pulse until combined.
Line a springform pan with parchment paper, grease the edges of the pan. Press the cookie crumb mixture into the base the prepared pan.
Pre heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
For the filling: Process the cream cheese in a food processor until smooth. Add in the sour cream, eggs, sugar and vanilla. Process until well combined and smooth.
Pour the cheese mixture over the cookie crumbles, smooth out with a spatula. Drizzle the blueberry sauce over the top. Swirl gently with a butter knife.
Bake for 1 hour. Let cool for at least one hou,r then transfer to the fridge until the cake firms up. Gently remove from the pan. Serve chilled.

~ Marla Meridith