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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

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: 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: 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

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: 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: Asian Chicken Salad

This Asian Chicken Salad is one that you need to try as soon as possible. It is full of flavor (the sesame vinaigrette is amazing!) and is packed with the freshest vegetables and shredded rotisserie chicken. Ready in just 15 minutes! 

6-8 servings

–salad
2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
3 cups shredded green or white cabbage
2 cups shredded red cabbage
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
1 cup chopped bell peppers (any color)
1/2 cup freshly chopped cilantro
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 avocado, diced
–sesame dressing
1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp tamari
2 tbsp ponzo sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tbsp honey
2 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Combine all the salad ingredients in a large bowl, folding in the avocado last.
Add the dressing to taste. Serve immediately.

You can prep all the ingredients ahead of time and dress the salad when you serve it.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Lemon Garlic Shrimp Skewers

We love these easy and delicious skewers for summer entertaining. Use them in so many recipes!

2 pounds jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails intact
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
salt and pepper to taste
4 lemons, thinly sliced and halved
–for topping
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
chopped fresh parsley leaves

Make the marinade: Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, thyme and smoked paprika. Season to taste with some salt and pepper.
Place the shrimp in a zip top bag and marinate with the marinade for 30 minutes up to 2 hours in the refrigerator.
Pre heat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit with the the rack in the middle.
Soak wooden skewers in water before using so they don’t burn. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
Thread 4-5 shrimp onto the skewers alternating with the sliced lemons.
Place the skewers onto the baking sheet. Bake for 5-7 minutes, until pink, firm and cooked through.
Plate the skewers. Melt the butter. Drizzle it over the shrimp, sprinkle on the parsley.
Serve immediately.
*see notes for grilling

If using the grill: I like metal skewers for the grill best. Season the grill with some canola oil. Pre heat the grill to medium high. Grill skewers for 3 minutes on each side or until pink, firm and cooked through. Plate and finish with the melted butter and freshly chopped parsley.

~ Marla Meridith

Raspberry Linzer Tart Bars

Ingredients

Directions

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Raspberry Coconut Margarita

Ingredients

Directions

~ Marla Meridith