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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: Margarita Cupcakes with Tequila Lime Cream Cheese Frosting

I don’t like my frosting too sweet, but feel free to add more powdered sugar if you desire.

24 mini cupcakes

–cupcakes
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs(at room temperature)
1 1/2 limes (zested and juiced)
2 tbsp silver or blanco tequila
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup half and half
–Tequila Lime Cream Cheese Frosting
4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp fresh lime juice
3/4 tsp lime zest
1 1/2 tsp silver or blanco tequila
pinch of salt
1 1/4 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/2 lime cut into small wedges for decorating

–cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 325˚ F with the rack in the middle. Line a mini cupcake pan with 24 liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed for about 5 minutes until pale in color. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
Mix in the lime juice, zest, tequila, vanilla and buttermilk.
Place the batter in the muffin pan, filling each cup 3/4 full.
Bake 12-14 mins or until a wooden skewer comes out virtually crumb free. Let the cupcakes cool completely before removing them from the pan.
While the cupcakes are cooling make the frosting.
Clean the mixer bowl. With the paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese together until well combined. Mix in the vanilla, lime juice, lime zest, tequila and salt. Mix in the sugar until you reach a creamy texture. *see notes
Transfer the frosting to a piping bag. Remove the cupcakes from the pan. Pipe the frosting onto each cupcake and top with a lime wedge and small straw.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Beef Kofta Kebabs with Cucumber Salad & Tzaziki Sauce

We love this healthy Mediterranean inspired dish for quick weeknight meals and also for entertaining. Can be served as an appetizer or main course.

4-6 servings

–Beef Kofta Kebabs
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 shallot (3 tbsp), minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
for the pan: 1 tbsp olive oil
–Cucumber Salad
1 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and sliced thin
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
–Tzaziki Sauce
( recipe here: https://newmm2019.wpengine.com/recipe/tzatziki-sauce/ )

–Make the kebabs
Soak 6 wooden skewers in water for a few minutes.
With clean hands, combine the ground beef with the shallot, garlic, parsley, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Divide into 5-6 portions and shape into oval patties around skewers. Flatten the meat.
Heat the oil in a grill pan or 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Place the skewers in the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until the meat is done to your liking.
–Make the cucumber salad
Combine the sliced cucumber with the red onion, parsley, mint and vinegar. Season to taste with salt & pepper.
–Make the Tzaziki Sauce
Use this recipe: https://newmm2019.wpengine.com/recipe/tzatziki-sauce/

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Beef Kofta Kebabs with Cucumber Salad & Tzaziki Sauce

We love this healthy Mediterranean inspired dish for quick weeknight meals and also for entertaining. Can be served as an appetizer or main course.

4-6 servings

–Beef Kofta Kebabs
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 shallot (3 tbsp), minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
for the pan: 1 tbsp olive oil
–Cucumber Salad
1 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and sliced thin
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
–Tzaziki Sauce
( recipe here: https://newmm2019.wpengine.com/recipe/tzatziki-sauce/ )

–Make the kebabs
Soak 6 wooden skewers in water for a few minutes.
With clean hands, combine the ground beef with the shallot, garlic, parsley, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Divide into 5-6 portions and shape into oval patties around skewers. Flatten the meat.
Heat the oil in a grill pan or 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Place the skewers in the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until the meat is done to your liking.
–Make the cucumber salad
Combine the sliced cucumber with the red onion, parsley, mint and vinegar. Season to taste with salt & pepper.
–Make the Tzaziki Sauce
Use this recipe: https://newmm2019.wpengine.com/recipe/tzatziki-sauce/

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Baked Caribbean Jerk Chicken Wings

In the summer we really crave the flavors of the islands and this Jamaican Jerk seasoning has so much flavor, it’s perfect on these baked chicken wings.

6 servings

3 pounds chicken wings and drumettes
–for the marinade
1/2 cup gluten free tamari or soy sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small onion (about 3/4 cup) chopped
2 inches fresh ginger, peel off skin & roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3 tbsp dark brown sugar
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp cumin
–optional
1-3 Scotch Bonnet Peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped
–garnish
freshly chopped cilantro

In the bowl of a food processor combine the marinade ingredients until smooth. You can also do this in a blender. Add peppers if desired for heat.
Place the marinade and chicken in a zip top plastic bag. In the refrigerator, marinate for 1 hour to overnight.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit with the rack in the middle. Line a baking tray with tin foil. Place the wings on the baking tray in a single layer.
Bake for 45 minutes, or until the wings are cooked through. Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately.

For a spicy and authentic Jamaican kick we use Scotch Bonnet Peppers in this recipe. If you don’t want the heat you can omit them. If you want more add 1-3 peppers depending on your taste.

~ Marla Meridith

Aperol Spritz Cocktail

Ingredients

Directions

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Frozen Watermelon Margaritas

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Directions

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: The Polar Queen Cocktail

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Directions

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Sparkling Champagne Lemonade Margaritas

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~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Cilantro Lime Moscow Mule Cocktail

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Directions

~ Marla Meridith