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Recipe: Moroccan M’hanncha (The Snake) Cake

Recipe: Moroccan M’hanncha (The Snake) Cake

Ingredients

6 oz (12 tbsp) butter, melted plus another cup for brushing phyllo dough
4 oz (1 cup) sliced almonds, toasted
4 oz (2/3 cup) granulated sugar
11 oz (2 3/4 cups) almond meal
2 oz (1/2 cup) powdered sugar
1 egg lightly beaten
1 ½ tbsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp orange flower water, divided
12 oz phyllo dough
1 egg yolk lightly beaten with some water
¼ cup honey

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit with the rack in the middle. Let the phyllo dough thaw if you have not already.

Place the sliced almonds in a dry skillet over medium heat, mix often and toast until the nuts are golden fragrant, about 5 minutes. Watch carefully as the almonds can burn easily. Transfer nuts to a heat safe bowl to cool.

Pulse the toasted almonds with the granulated sugar in a food processor until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. The sugar will help prevent the nuts from turning into almond butter. Add the 6oz melted butter, almond meal, the whole egg, powdered sugar and cinnamon to the food processor, keeping almond/sugar in the bowl. Process until the mixture is well combined, scraping down the edges as needed.

Grease the 12 inch cast iron skillet with butter. Unroll the phyllo dough, place on a large clean work surface. Have the 1 cup melted butter handy. While you are working, keep the stack of unrolled phyllo dough lightly covered with a clean damp cloth or plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out. Carefully take one sheet of the phyllo dough and place it longways in front of you. Lightly brush with a layer of the melted butter. Continue to layer in this way with two more sheets, brushing butter in between each layer and on the top most layer.
Roll a golf ball sized piece of the almond mixture in your hands until you have a 1/2 inch snake. Piece the snakes together until they are long enough to fit the entire length of the stacked phyllo sheets. Place the almond snake at the edge of the phyllo dough, lay the snakes across the dough so they fit end to end. Starting at the side closest to you, roll the dough until you have a long coil. Continue to make these coils in the same way until you have enough to make a single layer in the skillet. They will resemble cinnamon buns. Place the coils in the skillet, they can and will touch.

Brush the tops of the pastries with the egg yolk wash. Bake for about 30 minutes or until crisp and golden brown. Gently heat the honey and the 1 tbsp of orange flower water, drizzle it over the pastry. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe: Snow Queen Cocktail

Recipe: Snow Queen Cocktail

Ingredients

3 fl oz white chocolate liqueur
2 fl oz vodka
1 fl oz peppermint schnapps, plus extra for rim of glass
2 tbsp heavy cream
cup white, red or green sanding sugar for rim

Directions

Using some peppermint schnapps, wet the rim of a martini or coupe glass. Dip in sanding sugar until rim is coated.

In a cocktail shaker, combine white chocolate liqueur with vodka, schnapps and heavy cream.

Fill shaker with ice and shake well.

Strain mixture into the prepared glass and serve.

Recipe: Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Salad

Recipe: Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Salad

Ingredients

12 oz Cavatappi, macaroni or bow tie pastacook to package directions, rinse in cold water when done
1 (8.4 oz) pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
1 (8 oz) jar sun-dried tomatoes in oil, no need to drain the oil
1 cup chopped red onion
1 yellow or red bell pepper, chopped
2 cups baby spinach
2 tbsp freshly chopped basil
2 tbsp freshly chopped Italian parsley
5 oz shaved parmesan cheese
Champagne Vinaigrette
cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup Champagne vinegar
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 pinch granulated sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Cook pasta to package directions. Drain and toss with cold water. Set aside.

Whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients.

Toss everything together in a very large serving bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Recipe: Orange Basil Margaritas

Recipe: Orange Basil Margaritas

Ingredients

1 Navel orange, juiced
1 fl oz silver or anejo tequila
½ fl oz Cointreau (orange liquor)
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
a few sprigs fresh basil leaves
salt to rim glass if desired

Directions

If you are rimming your highball glass with salt do this now. Fill the glass 1/2 way with ice.

Rub the basil leaves in clean hands to release the fragrance. Place in a cocktail shaker. Add the orange juice, tequila, Cointreau and lime juice. Muddle together with the back of a spoon.

Fill the cocktail shaker 1/2 way with ice. Shake until well combined. Strain into prepared glass. Add more ice if needed. Garnish with orange slices and a basil leaf.

Recipe: Southwest Shrimp and Chorizo Pasta

Recipe: Southwest Shrimp and Chorizo Pasta

Ingredients

1 lb cleaned and deveined shrimp, 45 count
8 oz linguini
8 oz ground chorizo sausage
2 tbsp unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups 1/2 each yellow, red & orange bell peppers, diced
olive oil
chopped chives

Directions

Cook pasta to package directions. Rinse & toss with olive oil.

Cook chorizo in a large saucepan until cooked through, chop it up with a spatula. Remove Chorizo from pan.
Leave chorizo oil in pan, melt butter. Add peppers & garlic, Saute over medium high heat until softened, slightly browned & fragrant about 5 minutes.

Toss shrimp with southwest seasoning. Add shrimp to pan. Cook another 5 minutes. Add chorizo & stir. Add pasta into pan. Toss well & serve hot. Top with chives.

Recipe: Campfire Skillet S’mores Dip

Recipe: Campfire Skillet S’mores Dip

Ingredients

2 tbsp unsalted butter
20 oz chocolate bars broken into pieces or chocolate chips, milk, semi sweet or a combo
cup heavy cream
10 oz (1 bag) large marshmallows
graham crackers for serving

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400˚ F. Place the butter in a 10″ cast iron skillet. Melt the butter in the oven. Remove the skillet from the oven.

Place the chocolate into the skillet. Drizzle the cream over the top. Bake for 6-8 minutes or until the marshmallows are golden brown.

Remove the skillet from the oven and serve hot with the graham crackers for dipping. *be careful around the hot skillet

Recipe: Vegan Toasted Barley with Broccoli Salad

Recipe: Vegan Toasted Barley with Broccoli Salad

Ingredients

4 tbsp olive oil, divided
½ cup pearl barley, rinsed
Kosher salt
2 cups broccoli florets
2 cloves garlic, chopped small
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 red onion, finely chopped
freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp white wine vinegar (or more to taste)
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ cup chopped toasted pecans

Directions

Toast the pecans: heat a small skillet over medium heat. Cook the pecans for a few minutes until slightly brown and fragrant. Transfer to a bowl to cool.

Toast the barley: In a 10 inch skillet, add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Over medium heat, add the barley to the skillet. Toast 5 minutes. Add 3 cups of water to the skillet, bring to a boil then simmer for 25-30 minutes until the barley is tender.

Heat the remainder of the oil in another 10 inch skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion for 3 minutes. Mix in the garlic, broccoli and lemon juice. Cook 8-10 minutes until the broccoli is bright green. Transfer this mixture to a large serving bowl.

Add the cooked broccoli to the bowl with the broccoli mixture. Mix in the vinegar, cliantro and pecans. Serve warm or chilled.

Recipe: Boozy Frozen Lemonade

Recipe: Boozy Frozen Lemonade

Ingredients

½ cup tequila, vodka, gin or your favorite spirit
4 cups ice
lemon zest for topping

Directions

Combine the lemon simple syrup, liqueur and ice in a blender. Blend on the “smoothie” setting or until smooth.

Top with fresh lemon zest and serve immediately.

Recipe: Lemon Simple Syrup

Recipe: Lemon Simple Syrup

Ingredients

4 lemons (1/2 cup lemon juice)
½ cup granulated sugar
zest from one lemon

Directions

Zest one of the lemons. Carefully remove the yellow outer skin of the lemon with a knife.

Juice the lemons discarding seeds. If you do not have fresh lemons you can use bottled unsweetened lemon juice.

In a small saucepan bring the lemon juice and sugar to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue to simmer for 10 minutes so the syrup can thicken a bit. Mix in the zest.

Transfer the lemon syrup to a heat proof bowl. Let the mixture sit at room temperature for 20 minutes until cool. Strain out all of the zest. Store in the fridge in a clean airtight glass jar until ready to use.

Recipe: Dutch Speculaas Cookies with Peppermint Crunch Icing

Ingredients

Directions

Recipe: Sparkling Pear Champagne Cocktail

Ingredients

Directions