Feb 162012

Phil Predicts Spring is Coming
Celebrate the last days of winter with a warm meal and a dessert with a groundhog popping out.

Slow Cooker Beef and Barley Stew
Quick & Easy Homemade Bread
Groundhog Pie

Slow Cooker Beef-Barley Soup
1-1/2 pounds ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2/3 cup pearl barley
4 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
28 oz. can diced tomatoes
3-1/2 to 4 cups beef broth
2 cups water
10-1/2 oz. can tomato soup, optional
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup minced parsley
salt & pepper to taste

Brown beef, onion, and garlic in skillet.
Transfer mixture to slow cooker.
Add barley followed by the remaining ingredients.
Cover and cook on HIGH 1 hour then turn to LOW and cook an additional 5-6 hours.

Quick & Easy Homemade Yeast Bread
3 cups whole-wheat flour
2 packages Rapid Rise Active Dry Yeast
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
2-1/2 cups warm water (120 to 130 degrees)
2 to 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Grease two loaf pans.
Combine whole-wheat flour, yeast, sugar, salt and baking soda.
Add warm water to dry mixture; beat well with electric mixer.
Stir in enough all-purpose flour to make a stiff batter.
Spoon into loaf pans and let rise in warm place for 20 to 25 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400F.
Bake bread 25 minutes.
Immediately remove loaves from pans and cool.

Groundhog Pie
No, not a pie of groundhog but a Black Bottom Pie with a groundhog popping out of it.

graham cracker crust

chocolate layer
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cup milk
3 egg yolks
6 ounce package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla

vanilla layer
1/4 cup cold water
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoon rum or 1-1/2 teaspoons rum extract
3 egg whites
1/4 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/2 cup granulated sugar

to decorate
whipped cream
chocolate shavings or chocolate cookie crumbs
half of a Butterfinger candy bar
black, white and pink decorators gel
4 mini brown M&Ms

Make the chocolate layer: In medium saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt.
Gradually stir in milk.
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils.
Remove from heat.
In small bowl, beat egg yolks.
Gradually stir in small amount of hot mixture; return to saucepan.
Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
Remove from heat.
Remove 1-1/2 cups custard to medium bowl and stir in chocolate chips and vanilla extract.
Stir until morsels are melted and mixture is smooth.
Pour into Graham Cracker Crust and chill until set (about 30 minutes).
Prepare vanilla layer: In large bowl, combine cold water and gelatin; let stand 5 minutes.
Add remaining warm custard; stir until gelatin dissolves.
Cool 15 minutes.
Stir in rum and beat with wire whisk until smooth; set aside.
Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy.
Gradually add sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
Fold egg whites into custard and pour over chocolate layer.
Chill until set (about 2 hours).
Decorate: Spread whipped cream over the top of the pie.
Make a lump with shallow indentation in the center. This is the groundhogs burrow.
Sprinkle the inside of the burrow with chocolate shavings or crumbs and lightly sprinkle the area surrounding the burrow.
Add the groundhog: Push the candy bar into the hole.
Add eyes and nose with decorators gel.
Create cheeks and ears by attaching M&Ms with a little decorating gel.
Add teeth with decorating gel.

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 February 16, 2012  Posted by at 4:17 pm February Tagged with: , , ,  Add comments

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