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Recipe: Grilled Salmon with Couscous in Foil Packets

Recipe: Grilled Salmon with Couscous in Foil Packets

Ingredients

2 cups cooked pearl couscous
1 lb boneless salmon filets (skin on or removed)
olive oil
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced
1 large zucchini, sliced
1 yellow summer squash. sliced
1 red onion, sliced
¾ cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and sliced
¾ cup sliced Kalamata olives
2 lemons, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
freshly ground pepper
Kosher salt
4 fl oz vegetable broth
½ cup chopped Italian parsley

Directions

Prepare couscous to package directions. Pre heat the grill to medium high (400-450 degrees.) If cooking over an open flame, place a grill grate over the fire.

Place a large piece of tin foil on a work surface. Drizzle some olive oil on the bottom.
For each salmon slice, layer on the following (remember to divide all ingredients into four portions): 1/2 cup cooked couscous, one slice salmon, yellow summer squash, zucchini, tomato, onion, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, lemon slices, garlic, sprinkle with salt and pepper & parsley. Drizzle some broth and a little more oil over the top. Fold the foil edges over the salmon making a packet. Leave a little room in the packet for air to circulate.

Place the wrapped salmon over the grill or open flame and cook for 10 to 12 minutes. Cooking time depends on the thickness of the salmon and your desired level of doneness. You can test salmon while it’s cooking by opening up the foil, but be careful of the steam! Using a sharp knife peek into the thickest part of the baked salmon. It’s almost done when it’s beginning to flake, but still has a little translucency in the middle. Once your salmon flakes easily with a fork, it’s done. If you like it a bit more on the rare side take it off the grill at the very slightly translucent phase and let it rest off the grill for a few minutes before serving.

You can also bake this in the oven! Simply follow all of the prep work and preheat the oven to 375˚F. Place the wrapped salmon on a baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the salmon is done to your liking. See Step 4 for how to judge doneness.

This salmon can also be enjoyed the day after you cook it. Simply reheat in a lightly oiled skillet or in the microwave.

~ Marla Meridith

Cranberry Hand Pies

Cranberry Hand Pies

Ingredients

For the Pastry
2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tbsp granulated sugar
½ tsp salt
20 tbsp cold unsalted butter, preferably a high-fat, European-style butter, chilled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4-6 tbsp ice cold water
Filling and Assembly
1 lb fresh cranberries
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
2 tbsp orange juice
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
½ tsp corn starch or instant tapioca
1 egg, beaten
coarse sanding sugar for topping

Directions

For the Crust

Pie crust: In a food processor, briefly pulse together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and pulse until mixture forms chickpea-size pieces (3 to 5 one-second pulses). Be sure the butter is cold at this step. Add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse until mixture is just moist enough to hold together. You should be able to pinch it & it stays together.

Form dough into two balls, wrap with plastic and flatten into disks. Refrigerate at least 1 hour to 24 hours before rolling out and baking.

For the filling

Combine the cranberries, sugar, orange juice, vanilla and starch in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the mixture comes to a simmer. Cook another 6 minutes, some cranberries will burst and mixture will start to thicken. Transfer the cranberries to a bowl and cool to room temperature. Sauce will thicken as it cools. DO AHEAD: You can make this filling up to 5 days ahead of when you want to use it.

Assembly

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit with the racks in the middle. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Remove the dough from the refrigerator & let it sit out a few minutes until just pliable. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one dough disk into 1/8 inch thickness. Punch out heart or round shapes I used a 4 inch heart cookie cutter.

Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon of the cranberry mixture onto the middle of a dough heart. Wet the rim of the disk with some egg wash Place another heart on top. Crimp the edges with a fork or your fingers. Continue with the rest of the dough and filling. Place shapes on 2 cookie sheets. Refrigerate pies for 45 minutes.
You will likely have filling left over, it’s great on pancakes or mixed into oatmeal.

Remove pastry With a sharp knife, make a X on the top to vent. Brush on egg wash and dust with some sugar.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Strawberry Almond Baklava

Recipe: Strawberry Almond Baklava

Ingredients

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

Directions

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: Southwest Chicken & Rice Bowls

Recipe: Southwest Chicken & Rice Bowls

Ingredients

2 cups long grain brown rice, cooked to package directions
4 tbsp olive oil, divided
3 medium chicken breasts cut into 1-2 inch pieces
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp sweet paprika
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp ground chipotle pepper (more if you love extra spicy)
juice from 1/2 lime
½ red bell pepper diced
½ yellow bell pepper diced
½ red onion, diced
1 cup canned or frozen corn, drained
1 can (15 ounce) black beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup sliced black olives
¼ cup freshly chopped cilantro
Optional Toppings
chopped fresh cilantro
crumbled queso fresco
pico de gallo
fresh lime wedges
sour cream

Directions

Cook the rice to package directions.

Heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken breast, seasonings and lime juice. Cook 3-4 minutes each side until cooked through. Remove the chicken from the skillet and transfer to a plate. DO NOT rinse the skillet.

Add the remainder of the olive oil to the skillet (2 tbsp) and saute the onions for 3 minutes. Add the bell peppers and saute another 4 minutes. Add the corn, black beans and olives. Cook another 3 minutes until hot. Mix in 1/4 cup chopped cilantro. Add the chicken back into the pan and cook 2 minutes.

Plate the rice into bowls. Top with the chicken mixture. Top with any additional toppings you desire. Serve immediately.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Quick Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato Sauce

Recipe: Quick Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

1 ½ lbs ripe tomatoes
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp sugar
freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ lb whole wheat spaghetti
¼ cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for topping
freshly grated parmesan for serving

Directions

While the pasta is cooking. Roughly chop 2/3 of the tomatoes. Over a large bowl, grate the rest of the tomatoes using the large holes of a box grater.

Combine the chopped and grated tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, sugar, garlic and pepper in the large bowl. Let rest 10 minutes for the flavors to combine.

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Immediately place the pasta back into the pasta pot.

Add the tomato sauce into the pasta with the 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid. Cook over medium heat until hot and the cooking liquid is absorbed. Mix in the 1/4 cup chopped basil during the last minute.

Serve immediately with more basil and parmesan cheese.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Mason Jar Ice Cream (No-Churn!)

Recipe: Mason Jar Ice Cream (No-Churn!)

Ingredients

Base Ingredients (Vanilla Ice Cream)
½ cup chilled heavy cream
2 tsp granulated sugar
¼ tsp pure vanilla extract
1 salt
Chocolate
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
Maple Walnut (Omit Granulated Sugar)
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
¼ cup chopped walnuts
S’mores
¼ cup chopped chocolate, crushed graham crackers, mini marshmallows
Mint Chip
¼ cup chocolate chips
¼ tsp peppermint extract
Strawberry (or any fruit)
¼ cup chopped fresh strawberries
More Mix-Ins
nutella, caramel, dulce de leche, m&m’s, fruit jam, peanut butter, instant coffee, etc.

Directions

Pour all of the ingredients for the flavor you want into a clean pint-sized (8 ounce) mason jar. Shake for 3 minutes. Freeze for at least 3 hours. Let sit at room temperature for a few minutes before serving.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Southwest Shrimp and Chorizo Pasta

Recipe: Southwest Shrimp and Chorizo Pasta

Ingredients

1 lb cleaned and deveined shrimp, 45 count
8 oz linguini
8 oz ground chorizo sausage
2 tbsp unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups 1/2 each yellow, red & orange bell peppers, diced
olive oil
chopped chives

Directions

Cook pasta to package directions. Rinse & toss with olive oil.

Cook chorizo in a large saucepan until cooked through, chop it up with a spatula. Remove Chorizo from pan.
Leave chorizo oil in pan, melt butter. Add peppers & garlic, Saute over medium high heat until softened, slightly browned & fragrant about 5 minutes.

Toss shrimp with southwest seasoning. Add shrimp to pan. Cook another 5 minutes. Add chorizo & stir. Add pasta into pan. Toss well & serve hot. Top with chives.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Campfire Skillet S’mores Dip

Recipe: Campfire Skillet S’mores Dip

Ingredients

2 tbsp unsalted butter
20 oz chocolate bars broken into pieces or chocolate chips, milk, semi sweet or a combo
cup heavy cream
10 oz (1 bag) large marshmallows
graham crackers for serving

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400˚ F. Place the butter in a 10″ cast iron skillet. Melt the butter in the oven. Remove the skillet from the oven.

Place the chocolate into the skillet. Drizzle the cream over the top. Bake for 6-8 minutes or until the marshmallows are golden brown.

Remove the skillet from the oven and serve hot with the graham crackers for dipping. *be careful around the hot skillet

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe: Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

¾ fl oz whole wheat pastry flour
¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed light or dark brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
2 cups mixed chocolate, peanut butter & white chocolate chips

Directions

Brown Butter

Bring the butter to a boil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Swirl the pan a few times. The butter will bubble then foam. Once the foam subsides, swirl the pan and you will see brown flecks. The butter will have a nutty, toasty aroma. Remove the pan from the heat and transfer to a heat proof container. Let cool to room temperature.

Make the Cookie Dough

In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, the baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cooled brown butter on medium speed with the granulated and brown sugar until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, peanut butter and vanilla. Beat on medium high speed until well combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle as needed.

Add the flour mixture to mixer bowl, beat on low until combined. Mix in the oats. Mix in the chocolate chip medley.

Transfer the dough to a clean work surface covered in plastic wrap. Divide the dough into two portions and pat them into disks. Wrap each separately in the plastic wrap. Cool the dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes up to 4 days. This dough will become very firm if chilled over 1 hour. Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before using it.

Preheat the oven to 350˚ Fahrenheit with the racks in the middle. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone liners. Place 2 tablespoon portions of dough 3 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until slightly golden brown on top.

Let the cookies cool a few minutes on the baking sheets then transfer to cooling racks.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Homemade Blueberry Pop Tarts

Recipe: Homemade Blueberry Pop Tarts

Ingredients

Pastry Dough
3 ¼ cups AP unbleached flour
1 tbsp baking powder
¼ tsp Kosher salt
¼ cup granulated sugar
8 oz unsalted butter
½ cup corn syrup
Fruit Filling
850 g fresh, frozen, chunks, sliced fruit
cup (75 g) light brown sugar or granulated sugar
¼ tsp ground cinnamon or ginger
1 pinch Kosher salt
2 tbsp (25 g) cornstarch
Egg Wash
1 large egg
2 tsp water
Glaze / Royal Icing
1 ¾ cups powdered sugar
34 tbsp milk
tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp any extract flavor (vanilla, lemon, orange, etc)
of color if desired

Directions

In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the sifted dry ingredients. Add the butter and mix until it combines with the dry ingredients. Add the corn syrup and mix until a ball is formed. Let the dough rest for 2 hours in a cool place.

Make the filling while the dough rests. In a saucepot, bring the fruit to a boil. Combine the dry ingredients. Once the fruit has released its juices and has come to a boil, add the dry ingredients. While whisking, bring the mixture to a boil and hold at a boil for 3 minutes. Let cool.

Roll the dough onto a floured surface until it is 3 mm thick. Cut the rolled dough in half. Cut one half of the dough into the 3 x 5 inch rectangles. Cut the second half of the dough into 3¼ inch x 5¼ inch rectangles – these slightly larger rectangles will be the top of the pop tarts. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Place the bottom pop tart dough rectangles on a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet. With a pastry brush, paint the egg wash around the outside edge of the dough. Put the cooled pop tart filling inside of the egg wash rectangle. Add the larger rectangle dough on top of the filling. On one side of the rectangle, press the two pieces of the dough together, fastening them with a fork. Brush the top of the pop tart with egg wash.

Combine the egg and water with a fork or a whisk.

Bake until a light golden brown 15-20 minutes. Let cool. Using a spoon, knife, brush, palette knife or hands, spread or dip the cooled pop tart. Let dry and enjoy.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Lemon Simple Syrup

Recipe: Lemon Simple Syrup

Ingredients

4 lemons (1/2 cup lemon juice)
½ cup granulated sugar
zest from one lemon

Directions

Zest one of the lemons. Carefully remove the yellow outer skin of the lemon with a knife.

Juice the lemons discarding seeds. If you do not have fresh lemons you can use bottled unsweetened lemon juice.

In a small saucepan bring the lemon juice and sugar to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue to simmer for 10 minutes so the syrup can thicken a bit. Mix in the zest.

Transfer the lemon syrup to a heat proof bowl. Let the mixture sit at room temperature for 20 minutes until cool. Strain out all of the zest. Store in the fridge in a clean airtight glass jar until ready to use.

~ 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