December 17, 2010


22 finger-shaped vanilla sandwich cookies with chocolate filling, about 1 1/2 (6 oz.) pkg.
1 tbsp. butter, melted
1 env. unflavored gelatin
1/4 c. freshly squeezed orange juice
2 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (15 oz.) container very fresh part skim ricotta cheese
1/2 c. confectioners' sugar
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 c. peach preserves
1 tbsp. grated orange peel
1/2 c. heavy cream
1 sm. fresh, ripe peach, pitted & thinly sliced
Fresh mint sprigs, optional

Prepare Crust: In food processor or blender, process 8 cookies to fine crumbs. In 8 inch springform pan stir crumbs and melted butter to mix well; press firmly and evenly over bottom of pan. Freeze crust about 20 minutes until firm.

Prepare Filling: In small saucepan sprinkle gelatin over orange juice; let stand 5 minutes to soften. Set over medium-low heat; stir just until gelatin is completely dissolved. Remove from heat.

In large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed, beat cream cheese, ricotta, confectioners' sugar and nutmeg about 2 minutes until smooth and well blended. Beat in gelatin mixture to blend thoroughly; using rubber spatula, fold in peach preserves and grated orange peel.

Remove pan with crust from freezer; stand remaining 14 cookies up around sides of pan. Working carefully to keep cookies in place, spoon cheese mixture into pan. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight until filling is set.
To serve: Carefully remove sides of pan from cake. In small bowl with electric mixer at high speed, beat cream until soft peaks form. Spoon cream decoratively over center of cake; arrange peach slices and mint sprigs, if using, in cream and around sides of cake. Makes 10-12 servings.

Refried Bean Chili

Prep: 20 minutes, Cook: 6 to 8 hours on low, or 3 to 4 hours on high, Makes: 8 to 10 servings.

2 lbs.ground chuck
1 C. chopped onion
2 (15 or 15 3/4 oz.) cans. chili beans with chili gravy, undrained
1  16oz. jar thick and chunky salsa
1  16oz. can. refried beans
1  12oz. can beer or 1 14oz. can. beef broth
2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
2 Tbsp. lime juice
   sour cream
   shredded cheese
   oysters crackers

   In a large skillet cook ground chuck and onion until beef is brown and onion is tender.leaving some of the meat in larger pieces. Drain off fat.
   Spoon beef mixture into a 5 to 6 quart slow cooker. Stir in undrained chili beans, salsa, refried beans, beer, chili powder and cumin.
   Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 6 to 8 hours or on high-heat setting for 3 to 4 hours. Stir in lime juice at the end of cooking.
    Top with sour cream, cheese and crackers.