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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: 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: 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: 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: Orecchiette with Sausage, Mushrooms & Spinach

In under 30 minutes you can have this easy, gourmet Orecchiette with Sausage, Mushrooms & Spinach recipe on the table.

4 servings

1 lb ground Italian sausage (mild or hot)
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces uncooked Orecchiette pasta
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup half & half
splash of dry white wine
8 ounces Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced thin
5 cups baby spinach
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
–serve with
grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano Cheese
more chopped fresh basil
chopped fresh Italian parsley
hot pepper flakes

Heat a 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Sauté the sausage, breaking up with a wooden spoon until cooked through.
Remove the sausage from the pan, place in a bowl. Set aside.
While the sausage is cooking, cook the pasta to package directions. Drain, toss with some olive oil and set aside.
Keeping the oil from the sausage in the pan, reduce the heat to medium and sauté the onion and garlic for about 5 minutes until fragrant. Season with the salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low add the broth, half & half and wine. Bring the temperature back up to medium and bring the sauce to a simmer. Add the mushrooms and baby spinach to the skillet. Cook for about 5 minutes until the sauce thickens a bit and the mushrooms and spinach are softened. Mix to make sure everything cooks evenly.
Mix the sausage back into the pan. Mix in the cooked Orecchiette pasta. Serve hot with grated cheese, fresh basil, parsley and hot pepper flakes if desired.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Orecchiette with Sausage, Mushrooms & Spinach

In under 30 minutes you can have this easy, gourmet Orecchiette with Sausage, Mushrooms & Spinach recipe on the table.

4 servings

1 lb ground Italian sausage (mild or hot)
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces uncooked Orecchiette pasta
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup half & half
splash of dry white wine
8 ounces Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced thin
5 cups baby spinach
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
–serve with
grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano Cheese
more chopped fresh basil
chopped fresh Italian parsley
hot pepper flakes

Heat a 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Sauté the sausage, breaking up with a wooden spoon until cooked through.
Remove the sausage from the pan, place in a bowl. Set aside.
While the sausage is cooking, cook the pasta to package directions. Drain, toss with some olive oil and set aside.
Keeping the oil from the sausage in the pan, reduce the heat to medium and sauté the onion and garlic for about 5 minutes until fragrant. Season with the salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low add the broth, half & half and wine. Bring the temperature back up to medium and bring the sauce to a simmer. Add the mushrooms and baby spinach to the skillet. Cook for about 5 minutes until the sauce thickens a bit and the mushrooms and spinach are softened. Mix to make sure everything cooks evenly.
Mix the sausage back into the pan. Mix in the cooked Orecchiette pasta. Serve hot with grated cheese, fresh basil, parsley and hot pepper flakes if desired.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Orecchiette with Sausage, Mushrooms & Spinach

In under 30 minutes you can have this easy, gourmet Orecchiette with Sausage, Mushrooms & Spinach recipe on the table.

4 servings

1 lb ground Italian sausage (mild or hot)
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces uncooked Orecchiette pasta
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup half & half
splash of dry white wine
8 ounces Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced thin
5 cups baby spinach
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
–serve with
grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano Cheese
more chopped fresh basil
chopped fresh Italian parsley
hot pepper flakes

Heat a 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Sauté the sausage, breaking up with a wooden spoon until cooked through.
Remove the sausage from the pan, place in a bowl. Set aside.
While the sausage is cooking, cook the pasta to package directions. Drain, toss with some olive oil and set aside.
Keeping the oil from the sausage in the pan, reduce the heat to medium and sauté the onion and garlic for about 5 minutes until fragrant. Season with the salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low add the broth, half & half and wine. Bring the temperature back up to medium and bring the sauce to a simmer. Add the mushrooms and baby spinach to the skillet. Cook for about 5 minutes until the sauce thickens a bit and the mushrooms and spinach are softened. Mix to make sure everything cooks evenly.
Mix the sausage back into the pan. Mix in the cooked Orecchiette pasta. Serve hot with grated cheese, fresh basil, parsley and hot pepper flakes if desired.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Baked Thai Red Curry Chicken Wings

Your entire family will love this Baked Thai Red Curry Chicken Wings recipe, quick and simple to prepare for dinner, potlucks or any celebration!

4-6 servings

2 lbs chicken wings
–Red Curry Sauce
2 tbsp chili garlic sauce
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce or gluten free tamari
1 tbsp Thai red curry paste
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
1/4 tsp garlic powder
–To serve
freshly chopped cilantro
lime wedges

Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit with the rack in the middle.
Line a baking sheet with foil.
In a bowl, whisk together all the sauce ingredients.
Place the chicken wings in a single layer on the lined baking sheet.
Drizzle 1/2 of the sauce over the top. With clean hands massage the sauce into the chicken wings, be sure to coat all sides.
Bake for 30 minutes then baste the wings with the rest of the sauce, broil for 4-5 minutes until slightly charred.
Remove from the oven, place on a serving plate and top with freshly chopped cilantro and lime wedges.

~ Marla Meridith

Chipotle Macaroni Salad

This Chipotle Macaroni Salad comes together in 15 minutes. It’s the perfect dish for summer entertaining!

2 cups dry macaroni
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup yellow bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup red onion, diced
2/3 cup full fat mayonnaise
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 chipotle peppers in adobo, diced
2 tsp chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for topping
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
salt and pepper to taste

Cook macaroni to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop cooking.
In a large bowl combine the macaroni with the peppers and onion.
In a medium bowl combine the mayonnaise, cheese, chipotle peppers, cilantro and lime juice.
Mix the mayo mixture into the macaroni until well combined.
Serve immediately. Top with chopped cilantro. Tastes great at room temperature or cold.
You can make this the day before you want to serve it. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.

~ Marla Meridith