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Cran Raspberry Mimosas

Celebrate the New Year or enjoy for brunch these Cranberry Raspberry Mimosas are absolutely delicious! A festive cocktail recipe that will add JOY to any occasion.

6 cocktails

1 cup sweetened cranberry raspberry juice
1 bottle dry Champagne or sparkling wine (Prosecco or cava)
fresh raspberries
fresh mint

Pour 1/4 cup (2 ounces) crane raspberry juice into each Champagne flute. Top with Champagne, a few raspberries and fresh mint.

~ Marla Meridith

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: Cranberry Upside Down Cake

Make the holidays extra special with this delicious Cranberry Upside Down Cake recipe.

4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
9 ounces (2 2/3 cups) fresh cranberries
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup chopped candied ginger

Preheat oven to 350 degrees with the rack in the middle.
Prepare the topping: Put butter and brown sugar in a 9-inch round cake pan, place the oven. As the sugar dissolves, stir once so the mixture spreads evenly over the pan. When the sugar starts to bubble and caramelize, remove pan from the oven and allow to cool.
In a small bowl, combine the cranberries and orange juice. Toss to coat berries well. Spread the berries evenly in the pan. Drizzle with any juice remaining in bowl. Set pan aside, and prepare the cake batter.
Prepare the batter: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until pale, light and fluffy. Add vanilla, and beat in egg yolks one at a time, scraping bowl once or twice. Add flour mixture alternately with milk, ending with dry ingredients. Set batter aside.
Using electric mixer, whisk the egg whites with cream of tartar until whites are stiff enough to hold a slight peak.
Fold whites into batter 1/3 at a time. Spoon batter into prepared pan, and spread it evenly over cranberries. Bake until top is browned and cake pulls away slightly from edges of pan, 30-35 minutes (add 5-10 minutes if you live at high altitude). Test for doneness with a wooden skewer, cake is ready when it comes out virtually crumb free.
Let cake cool for 15 minutes before turning onto a serving plate. Top with the candied ginger. Serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream if desired.

This recipe is a slight variation of Alice Waters’s Cranberry Upside-Down Cake.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Pumpkin Dutch Baby with Caramelized Apples

Taste the beautiful days of fall with this Cast Iron Skillet Pumpkin Dutch Baby with Caramelized Apples recipe. Delicious and so easy to prepare! Great for breakfast, brunch or any time at all!

4 servings

–for the Dutch Baby
4 large eggs
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup unsweetened pumpkin purée
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
5 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
pinch of kosher salt
–for the caramelized apples
3 tbsp pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt
pinch of ground cinnamon
2-3 pink lady honey crisp apples, cut into thin wedges
powdered sugar, whipped cream or ice cream, for serving

Preheat the oven to 425° with the rack in the middle.
Place a 10″ cast-iron skillet on the rack and heat while you make the batter.
Make the Dutch Baby: Combine the eggs, flour, coconut milk, pumpkin purée, brown sugar, vanilla, pumpkin spice, and salt in a blender. Blend until smooth.
Remove the skillet from the oven and add 2 tablespoons butter, swirl to melt it.
Pour the batter in the hot pan and put the skillet back in the oven. Bake until the pancake is puffy and golden brown, 21 to 24 minutes.
While the pancake is baking, make the Caramelized Apples: Heat a medium cast iron skillet over medium heat. Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter, add the maple syrup, vanilla, salt and cinnamon. Add the apples and cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften, become fragrant and the sauce thickens. 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat but keep warm.
Serve the Dutch baby with powdered sugar, homemade whipped cream, topped with the apples and any juices left in the skillet.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: One-Skillet Green Bean Gratin

We love this One-Skillet Green Bean Gratin recipe, a delicious holiday side dish! Simple to prepare and only one pot to clean up makes this dish dreamy!

6-8 servings

2 pounds fresh green beans
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups half and half
2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup shredded parmesan
1/4 cup bread crumbs or panko

Pre heat the oven to 350˚ Fahrenheit with the rack in the middle.
Rinse the green beans, trim off the ends and cut the beans in 1/2.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the green beans about 12 minutes or until tender. Drain the beans.
In a 12 inch cast iron skillet, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Sauté the shallot and garlic about 3-4 minutes until softened and fragrant.
Mix in the flour, salt and pepper until smooth.
Reduce the heat to low. Add in the half and half. Cook until mixture thickens. Add the cheese and mix until well blended and melted.
Add the green beans to cheese mixture. Combine well.
Flatten the top of the casserole with the back of a spoon or spatula.
Top with the parmesan and breadcrumbs.
Bake for 30 minutes. Continue to broil for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately in the skillet.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Brown Butter Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

You have got to bake up a batch of these Brown Butter Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies asap! A very delicious recipe for the holiday season!

24 cookies

10 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose white flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper.
Brown the butter: In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Swirl the pan, the butter will start to bubble then foam. It will make popping noises, keep on going. Let the foaming subside and continue to cook & swirl until the butter has a nutty aroma and brown flecks start to appear, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour into a medium mixing bowl. Add the granulated and brown sugar to the butter and stir until the sugar dissolves. Let this mixture cool.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda cinnamon.
Mix the egg yolk, vanilla and pumpkin into the butter mixture. Combine until smooth.
Add the flour into the butter mixture in 3 additions, making sure to combine completely with each addition. Lastly, fold in the chocolate chips.
Wrap and chill the cookie dough for at least 30 minutes, the longer you chill it (up to 2 hours) the more the flavors will marry.
Remove from the fridge and scoop into 1 1/2 tablespoon sized pieces. Roll into balls and flatten slightly onto the baking sheets.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies are lightly golden brown.
Let cool completely and enjoy within five days.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Spinach Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Shallot Vinaigrette

We love this healthy and delicious Spinach Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Shallot Vinaigrette recipe, a gluten free, vegetarian dish great for the holidays!

4-6 servings

2 cups Maple Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potatoes (see notes)
–for the salad
8 cups baby spinach
1 firm pear, thinly sliced
1 cup toasted walnuts
3/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
salt and pepper to taste
freshly chopped parsley
sea salt and pepper to taste
–for the dressing
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
pinch of fine sea salt
drizzle of honey
freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil

Roast the sweet potatoes (see notes)
Assemble the spinach, pear and roasted sweet potatoes in a large bowl or serving platter.
Place all the dressing ingredients in a mason jar or bowl. Shake or whisk the ingredients to combine. Adjust ingredients to taste.
Drizzle the dressing over the salad, top with the walnuts and goat cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle with some fresh parsley and serve.

Use this recipe for Maple Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potatoes

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Champagne Cranberry Sauce

Try this easy and delicious Champagne Cranberry Sauce recipe, it’s extra festive for the holidays! Champagne makes everything special, so why not in this fruity sauce!

8-10 servings

1 cup Champagne
2 bags fresh cranberries
1 1/2 – 2 cups white or brown sugar (depends on how sweet you like your sauce)
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
pinch of ground cinnamon
pinch of ground ginger
1 tablespoon orange zest

In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, bring the Champagne and sugar to a low boil until sugar is dissolved.
Add the cranberries and bring to a simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the berries start to pop. Mash them against the sides of the pan so they can release juices.
Once the cranberries are cooked down, add the orange juice, cinnamon & ginger.
You can blend this if you want a smoother sauce or not if you like your cranberry sauce a bit chunky. Pulse a few times until you get the consistency you like best.
Garnish with the orange zest.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Baked Brie with Cranberry Sauce

There’s no reason why Thanksgiving recipes need to be complicated. Try this quick and easy appetizer: Baked Brie with Cranberry Sauce

6 servings

1 round (8 ounces) Brie cheese
1/2 cup homemade cranberry sauce (see notes for some recipe ideas)
top with toasted chopped pecans, walnuts or candied nuts (see notes)
your favorite crackers

Heat oven to 325 degrees F with the rack in the middle.
Place the cheese on a cookie sheet or bake safe tray. Bake 10-15 minutes or until the cheese has softened.
Spoon the cranberry sauce over the cheese, Bake for 5 minutes longer until the cranberry sauce is warmed through. Top with toasted or candied pecans.
Serve with crackers.

Try these cranberry sauce recipes:

Champagne Cranberry Sauce

Port Wine Cranberry Sauce

Maple Bourbon Cranberry Sauce

Maple Citrus Roasted Pecans




~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Cheddar Cheese Dinner Rolls

We love this Cheddar Cheese Dinner Rolls recipe, great for the holidays! Bet you can’t eat just one! They bake up perfectly every time.

24 dinner rolls

1 1/2 cups milk
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for brushing
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 (1/4 ounce) packet active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 tsp salt
6 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
flake salt for topping

In a small sauce pan, bring the milk to a simmer over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat, stir in the butter and sugar. Let cool.
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Let that sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.
In a mixer fitted with the dough hook, add the milk mixture, eggs, yeast mixture, cheese, salt and 3 cups of the flour. Mix until smooth. Add the remaining 3 cups of flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Mix until a smooth ball of dough forms.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes. Butter or oil a large bowl, add the dough. Cover and let it rise in a warm place for 60-70 minutes, until doubled in size.
Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and punch it down. Cut into 24 two inch pieces. Roll into balls. Place the dough balls onto 2 parchment or silicone lined baking sheets. Cover and let rise for an additional 30-40 minutes.
While they are rising, preheat the oven to 350˚
Brush the risen rolls with some melted butter and top each with some flake salt. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve warm with softened butter.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Maple Cinnamon Skillet Roasted Sweet Potatoes

A favorite side dish for fall & winter, this Maple Cinnamon Skillet Roasted Sweet Potatoes recipes is simple, healthy and delicious!

4 servings

2 sweet potatoes (should yield 4 cups cubed)
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp black pepper
fresh parsley for topping

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees fahrenheit.
Rinse, pat dry and chop the sweet potatoes into 1 inch cubes.
Place in a 12 inch cast iron skillet in a single layer. Toss with the oil, maple syrup, garlic salt, cinnamon and pepper.
Bake for 25 minutes, toss with tongs. Bake for another 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven, top with parsley & serve.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Cranberry Brie Crostini



~ Marla Meridith