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Recipe: Italian Tortellini Salad

Looking for the perfect dish to serve hungry guests this summer? Look no further than this Delicious, quick and easy Italian Tortellini Salad recipe with homemade dressing. Ready in just 20 minutes!

8-10 servings

20 ounces three cheese Tortellini (ie: Buitoni)
8 ounces uncured sliced Genoa salami, cut into thin pieces
1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 zucchini, chopped into small pieces
8 ounces mozzarella pearls, drained
2 (2.25) ounces sliced black olives, drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh italian basil
–Italian Vinaigrette
3/4 cup olive oil
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
1/8 cup white wine vinegar
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup finely freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp of EACH dried parsley, drained oregano, dried basil, garlic powder, onion powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp EACH black pepper, paprika
1/2-1 tsp agave or honey, or add more to taste

–Tortellini Salad
Cook the tortellini to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water until the pasta is cool.
Place tortellini in a large serving bowl and toss with all the other ingredients.
Toss the salad with the dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper if desired. Serve cold or at room temperature.
–Italian Vinaigrette
While the tortellini is cooking make the dressing. Add all ingredients into a mason jar, tighten the lid and shake until well combined. You can also add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk until well combined.
Store in an airtight container up to two weeks. Shake or whisk each time before use. If the oil becomes a solid in the fridge, just lettuce dressing sit out a few minutes for it to become room temperature.

~ 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: Skillet Brownie with Maple Whipped Cream

This easy & delicious Skillet Brownie with Maple Whipped Cream recipe is great for any kind of entertaining, potluck parties or any time you want a sweet chocolatey treat!

10-12 servings

–skillet brownie
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup vegetable or coconut oil
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp instant coffee granules
–maple whipped cream
1 pint cold heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup pure maple syrup

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees F˚ with the rack in the upper third. Lightly butter a 10 inch cast iron skillet. Set aside.
Using a double boiler or place a medium medium bowl over a pot with 1 1/2 inch simmering water. Melt the chocolate chips with the butter and oil. Mix until melted and combined.
Remove the bowl from the heat and mix in both sugars. The mixture will be grainy and that’s OK. Let sit to cool 10-15 minutes.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.
Mix the eggs one at a time into the chocolate mixture until well combined. Mix in the vanilla and coffee.
Add the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture, mix until just incorporated. Don’t over mix.
Pour the brownie batter into the prepared skillet, smooth out the top with a spatula.
Bake for 30-33 minutes or until a toothpick comes out virtually crumb free.
Let the brownie cool completely before serving. Add whipped cream to the top when ready to serve.
–whipped cream
While the brownie is baking make the whipped cream. Pour the cold cream into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whisk on low speed until the cream starts to thicken. Add the maple syrup, continue to whisk on medium, then high speed as the cream thickens. Continue until you have stiff peaks the total time will be about 5-6 minutes. Whisk in additional maple syrup if you want it sweeter. Store in the fridge until ready to use.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Greek Barley Salad

Vegetarian Greek Barley Salad recipe is healthy and delicious! Great for summer entertaining as a side or main dish.

4-6 servings

1 1/2 cups barley, cooked to package directions
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill, plus more for serving
pinch of sugar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 cup halved grape tomatoes
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, cut in half
4 ounces sheep or goat feta cheese, crumbled, plus more for serving
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
4-6 sliced pepperoncini

Cook the barley to package directions, transfer to a large serving bowl and set aside.
For the dressing: In a bowl whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, dill and sugar. Whisk in the olive oil until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Toss the barley with the salad dressing. Fold in the cucumber, tomato, onion, olives, cheese, mint and pepperoncini. Season with more salt and pepper to taste if desired.
Garnish with more crumbled feta cheese and dill. Serve cold or at room temperature.

~ 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: Greek Salad with Salmon and Creamy Feta Dressing

For a super healthy, delicious and gluten free meal you have gotta try this Greek Salad with Salmon and Creamy Feta Dressing recipe. The dressing can also be used as a dip for veggies or wings!

4 servings

–for the dressing
1/2 cup regular mayonnaise, such as Hellmann’s
1/2 cup sour cream
6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
2 tbsp milk (skim, low fat or whole)
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
–for the salmon
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb salmon filets, with skin
a few pinches each garlic salt and pepper
–for the salad
5 cups salad greens
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, chopped
1/2 english cucumber, cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 cup kalamata olives, halved cup
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
chopped fresh dill for garnish

For the dressing: Place all the salad dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until thick and creamy. If desired, you can thin out with some water.
For the salmon: Heat the oil in a 12 inch skillet over medium high heat. Season both sides of the salmon with some garlic salt and pepper. When the pan is hot (you can test with a small splash of water) Place the salmon on the pan skin side down. Place a splatter guard over the salmon as it cooks. Cook the salmon about 5-6 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Flip the salmon and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until done to your liking.
Assemble to salad: Layer the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Place the salmon over the top. Drizzle dressing and sprinkle some dill over the top. Serve immediately.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Bacon, Egg & Cheddar Cheese Breakfast Casserole

Looking for a new breakfast, brunch & potluck recipe? Look no further than this simple and delicious Bacon, Egg & Cheddar Cheese Breakfast Casserole recipe.

10 servings

8 bacon strips, divided
softened butter for greasing the pan
18 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup sliced green onions, plus more for topping
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Bake the bacon using this recipe to avoid stovetop splatters: https://newmm2019.wpengine.com/how-to-bake-bacon-recipe/
Transfer the baked bacon to a paper towel lined plate, blot off the extra grease. Chop the bacon.
Pre heat the oven to 325˚F with the rack in the middle.
Grease a 13X9″ baking casserole dish with butter.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until well combined. Mix in the milk, sour cream, cheese, green onions, salt , pepper and half of the chopped bacon.
Bake the casserole for 40-45 minutes or until the eggs are set. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Top with some more chopped bacon and green onion to serve.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Bacon, Egg & Cheddar Cheese Breakfast Casserole

Looking for a new breakfast, brunch & potluck recipe? Look no further than this simple and delicious Bacon, Egg & Cheddar Cheese Breakfast Casserole recipe.

10 servings

8 bacon strips, divided
softened butter for greasing the pan
18 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup sliced green onions, plus more for topping
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Bake the bacon using this recipe to avoid stovetop splatters: https://newmm2019.wpengine.com/how-to-bake-bacon-recipe/
Transfer the baked bacon to a paper towel lined plate, blot off the extra grease. Chop the bacon.
Pre heat the oven to 325˚F with the rack in the middle.
Grease a 13X9″ baking casserole dish with butter.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until well combined. Mix in the milk, sour cream, cheese, green onions, salt , pepper and half of the chopped bacon.
Bake the casserole for 40-45 minutes or until the eggs are set. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Top with some more chopped bacon and green onion to serve.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Broccoli Pesto Pasta

We love this family friendly healthy and delicious Broccoli Pesto Pasta recipe. Perfect for those busy weeknight meals!

6-8 servings

1 pound spaghetti, linguine or any pasta
2 cups (145 grams) fresh broccoli florets
1/2 cup (65 grams) cup toasted walnuts
1/2 cup (65 grams) grated parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon garlic sea salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 cup (145 grams) olive oil (adjust accordingly)
1 tablespoon capers

Cook pasta to package directions. Toss with some olive oil and set aside.
Blanch, steam or microwave broccoli for a few minutes until it is bright green but not too soft. Plunge in an ice bath to stop cooking. Remove and pat with a paper towel to dry. Purée in a blender or food processor with the remainder of the ingredients. Adjust how thick the pesto is by adding more or less olive oil or water. This recipe will yield a thicker pesto which easily doubles as a dip or sauce.
Toss pasta with the pesto and serve warm.

Experiment with the types of nuts and cheese you use in this pesto. Pecans, almonds or pistachios would be great too. Any firm cheese would also be nice to try, you can combine it with the parmesan or experiment with other blends.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Southern Banana Pudding

Southern Banana Pudding recipe. What makes this dessert so extra special is the rich and creamy homemade vanilla pudding layered with vanilla wafers and sliced bananas. Thats all topped off with pillows of meringue.

8-10 servings

–vanilla pudding
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
4 cups whole milk
4 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tbsp unsalted butter
–meringue topping
4 large egg whites
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 box vanilla wafers
3-4 bananas, depending on size
ground cinnamon or nutmeg for dusting

Preheat the broiler with the rack in the middle.
Make the pudding: In a saucepan over medium heat, whisk the 3/4 cup sugar, cornstarch, milk, egg yolks together. Stir constantly, until mixture just begins to bubble about 10-15 minutes. Reduce the heat to a simmer and whisk for another minute. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla, salt and butter. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
Make the meringue: Simmer 1 inch of water in a saucepan. Place the egg whites, 1/2 cup of sugar and cream of tartar in a heat proof stand mixer bowl. Place this bowl over the simmering water and whisk continuously until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is hot about 3 minutes. Place the bowl in the stand mixer fitted with the whisk and beat until stiff peaks form about 5-7 minutes.
Line an oven safe pie dish or 13×9 inch pan with a layer of vanilla wafers. Place 1/2 banana slices over that. Pour 1/2 of the custard over the cookies and bananas. Layer with more cookies, bananas and pudding. Finally, layer on the meringue with a spatula, spreading with flicks of the wrist to make peaks.
Broil for 3-7 minutes until the peaks of the meringue are a nice golden brown. Dust with cinnamon or nutmeg if desired. Ready to serve at any temperature.

~ 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