"Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time." Marthe Troly-Curtin

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fluffy Apple Dip

Fluffy Apple Dip

 Fluffy Apple Dip

Our taste panel simply raved about this fast, fabulous dip! “It's a family favorite beginning with the fall apple harvest right through New Year's,” says Sharon Parks of Adair, Illinois. She uses red, green and yellow apples to make it more colorful.
8 ServingsPrep/Total Time: 10 min.


  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow creme
  • Assorted apple wedges


  • In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter and pie spice
  • until blended; fold in marshmallow creme. Serve with apple wedges.
  • Yield: 2 cups.
Nutrition Facts: 1/4 cup dip (calculated without apples) equals 194 calories, 11 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 31 mg cholesterol, 114 mg sodium, 22 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 3 g protein.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Yield: 12 to 16 servings
6 lamb shanks (about 3 pounds), untrimmed
2 carrots, plus 2 cups finely cubed carrots (5 to 6 carrots, cut into 1/4-inch cubes), divided
2 large onions, plus 2 cups finely diced onion (about 2 onions, cut into 1/4-inch pieces), divided
3 ribs celery, plus 2 cups finely cubed celery (4 to 5 ribs, cut into 1/4-inch cubes), divided
Olive oil
1 1/2 cups red wine
1 sprig fresh rosemary
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh marjoram
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
5 juniper berries
About 2 quarts chicken broth
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
Ground black pepper
1 pound pappardelle pasta
8 ounces fresh ricotta, preferably sheep's milk
Parmesan cheese
1. Place lamb shanks on a rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Season each shank with 1/8 teaspoon salt. Place shanks, uncovered, in the refrigerator and chill overnight.
2. Coarsely chop 2 whole carrots along with 2 whole onions and 3 ribs celery.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large, heavy roasting pan over high heat until almost smoking. Add shanks and brown on all sides to a nice golden brown. Transfer shanks to a plate or baking sheet.
4. To the hot pan, add coarsely chopped carrots, onions and celery, and scrape the bottom of the pan to release flavorful brown bits. Stir in wine, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, cinnamon stick and juniper berries. Simmer over medium heat, until liquid reduces by half, about 5 minutes.
5. Return shanks to the pan, and pour in just enough chicken broth to cover the shanks. Cover the pan with foil to form a tight seal, then cover with the pan's lid.
6. Place the pan in the oven and cook until the meat pulls easily from the bone, about 3 to 4 hours.
7. Gently remove the shanks from the pan, and strain the liquid in the pan into a large measuring cup, discarding the vegetables and solids. Set the strained liquid aside.
8. Cool the shanks slightly, then pull the meat from the bone, shredding the meat into large pieces. Discard the tendons, and separate the meat from the fat, saving each separately. Coarsely chop the fat.
9. In a large sauté pan, heat the butter along with 1 tablespoon olive oil and the lamb fat over medium-high heat. Cook slowly until fat is a deep brown; fat will "pop" in the pan.
10. Stir in the finely cubed carrots, onions and celery, then add the shredded meat. Add enough of the strained liquid to cover the meat and vegetables, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Very gently simmer the meat and vegetables for 1 hour, stirring occasionally and taking care not to break the meat into smaller pieces. This makes about 8 cups ragu.
11. When the ragu is almost done, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pappardelle until it is just al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes or according to the package directions.
12. Strain the pasta, saving a little of the cooking liquid to stir with the ricotta. Toss the pasta with just enough ragu to dress it lightly.
13. Press the ricotta through a fine strainer into a medium bowl, then stir in a couple of tablespoons of the pasta liquid to give the cheese a lighter consistency, adding more liquid if desired.
14. To serve the ragu, spoon a little of the ricotta on each plate. Spoon over the pappardelle and ragu, and top with Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
Per serving (based on 16): 321 calories; 13g fat; 6g saturated fat; 76mg cholesterol; 22g protein; 26g carbohydrate; 3g sugar; 2g fiber; 280mg sodium.
Adapted from Pizzeria Ortica, Costa Mesa, Calif.

Greek Lamb Saute With Mostaccioli