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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
FOR THE BATTER:
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
—topping
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: 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

Recipe: Barley Salad with Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Cranberries & Feta

1 cup uncooked pearl barley
3 cups water
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
–brussels sprouts
1 lb brussels sprouts, rinsed and pat dry
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
–mix ins
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 375˚ Fahrenheit with the rack in the middle.
Toast the barley in a medium saucepan over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring often until fragrant. Add the water slowly and stir in the salt. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 50-60 minutes. At the 20 minute mark, check the barley to see if additional water is needed. Remove the barley from the heat and transfer for a large serving bowl. Toss with one tablespoon olive oil.
While the barley is cooking, roast the brussels sprouts. Trim off the tough end of the brussels sprouts. Cut them in 1/2 or quarter them, depending on how big they are. Toss them with the olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 20-25 minutes. Toss with a pair of tongs half way through cooking time.
Add the brussels sprouts to the barley and toss. Mix in the smoked paprika, cranberries, feta cheese and lemon juice. Season to taste with more salt and pepper if desired. Serve warm or cold.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Barley Salad with Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Cranberries & Feta

1 cup uncooked pearl barley
3 cups water
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
–brussels sprouts
1 lb brussels sprouts, rinsed and pat dry
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
–mix ins
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 375˚ Fahrenheit with the rack in the middle.
Toast the barley in a medium saucepan over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring often until fragrant. Add the water slowly and stir in the salt. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 50-60 minutes. At the 20 minute mark, check the barley to see if additional water is needed. Remove the barley from the heat and transfer for a large serving bowl. Toss with one tablespoon olive oil.
While the barley is cooking, roast the brussels sprouts. Trim off the tough end of the brussels sprouts. Cut them in 1/2 or quarter them, depending on how big they are. Toss them with the olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 20-25 minutes. Toss with a pair of tongs half way through cooking time.
Add the brussels sprouts to the barley and toss. Mix in the smoked paprika, cranberries, feta cheese and lemon juice. Season to taste with more salt and pepper if desired. Serve warm or cold.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Taco Mac ‘n Cheese

My entire family loves this Taco Mac ‘n Cheese recipe. A hearty, healthy meal to serve any night of the week and hopefully you’ll have some leftovers too!

6-8 servings

1 pound (16 ounces) macaroni, cook to package directions
!Cheese Sauce
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup unbleached a/p flour
1 teaspoon salt
a few dashes black pepper
4 cups low fat milk
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese or mozzarella
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
!Taco Beef
1 yellow onion, diced (1 cup)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound lean ground beef
1 (10 ounce) can red enchilada sauce

Cook the macaroni to package directions. While the macaroni is cooking prepare the cheese sauce & the taco beef.
For the cheese sauce: In large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour, salt and pepper, slowly adding the milk. Cook and stir until bubbling. Stir in cheeses until melted. Drain macaroni, add to cheese sauce. Stir well to coat all the macaroni.
Taco beef: Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the chopped onion. Cook 6-8 minutes until the onions are soft and slightly browned, stir often. Add the beef. Continue to cook the mixture for another 8 minutes or until the beef is cooked through. Add the enchilada sauce. Combine thoroughly.
Using a slotted spoon, top the mac ‘n cheese with the taco beef.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Peppermint Snowball Cookies

I love regular snowball cookies, but add crushed peppermint candies and you have something even more special for holiday entertaining or cookie exchanges!

24 snowball cookies

–cookies
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies (about 20)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
–topping
1/4 cup crushed peppermint candies (about 10)
3/4 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350˚ Fahrenheit. Line one cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed for 30 seconds.
Add the powdered sugar, crushed peppermint candies, the vanilla, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Beat in the flour in two additions, mixing in any additional flour with a spatula.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls 1 inch apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight before baking. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes or until cookies are set and bottoms are light golden.
Cool on the cookie sheets for a few minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
In a bowl combine the 1/4 cup peppermint candies and 3/4 cup powdered sugar.
Roll the cookies in the powdered sugar mixture so they are well covered.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Milk Punch

We love this Milk Punch recipe, flavored with vanilla, brown sugar, nutmeg and rum. Serve this delicious cocktail hot or iced!

4 cocktails

3 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon & more for topping
8 ounces light rum (this also tastes really good with Irish whiskey)
You can also add a pinch of ground ginger and/or cocoa powder

Bring all ingredients (excluding rum) to scald over medium-low heat. Stir constantly to dissolve the sugar & to not burn the milk. After 5 minutes remove from the heat, divide evenly into glasses. Top each with 2 ounces of rum.
To serve cold. Fill glasses with ice, rum & top with milk mixture.
Top all drinks with some brown sugar & cinnamon.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Double Chocolate Buttermilk Scones

A family favorite! Try this Double Chocolate Buttermilk Scones recipe, great for any time of the day. Chocolate lovers will swoon over all the chocolate goodness packed inside.

8 scones

1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), cold, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips, plus 1/4 cup for topping

Preheat the oven to 375˚ F, and a line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a food processor, pulse to combine.
Add in the buttermilk, egg and vanilla. Pulse to combine.
Add in the butter and pulse until you have pea sized pieces.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Knead until you have a ball.
Knead in the 1/2 cup of chocolate chips.
Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet, and flatten it to a thickness of about 1 inch. Gently press in the rest of the chocolate chips.
Cut into 8 equal wedges, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Coffee Overnight Oatmeal

Calling all coffee lovers! Try this gluten free Coffee Overnight Oatmeal recipe for breakfast or brunch. It’s healthy and delicious.

2 servings

4 Folgers Perfect Measures coffee tabs
1 3/4 cups water
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
2-4 tablespoons pure maple syrup (depending on your sweetness preference)
4 tablespoons half and half
2 tablespoons chia seeds
2 pinches ground cinnamon
2 pinches salt
–Toppings
whipped cream
Folgers Instant Coffee

Brew coffee. Divide the rest of the ingredients into two 16 ounce mason jars. Pour the hot coffee in equal measures into the mason jars. Screw on the lids and shake well. Place in your refrigerator overnight. Wake up to delicious Coffee Overnight Oatmeal. Serve warm or cold, heat in the microwave if desired. Top with whipped cream and instant coffee granules.

~ Marla Meridith