Sunday, April 19, 2009

Slow Cooker Beef & Barley Soup

Slow-Cooker Beef and Barley Soup
Serves 6 to 8

The barley, cooked over a long period of time, adds a velvety texture as well as a nutty flavor to the soup. Try substituting 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill for the parsley.

1 boneless beef chuck roast (3-pound), trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces Table salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 onions , chopped medium
2carrots , peeled and chopped medium
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
4 cups low-sodium beef broth
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
2/3 cup pearl barley
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves

1. Dry the beef with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown half of the beef, about 10 minutes, then add to the slow cooker. Return the skillet to medium-high heat and repeat with 2 more teaspoons oil and the remaining beef.

2. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the empty skillet and heat over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions, carrots, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the wine, scraping up any browned bits. Simmer until the wine has reduced by half, about 1 minute, then pour into the slow cooker.

3. Add the tomatoes with their juice, the broths, thyme, and barley to the slow cooker. Cover and cook, on either low or high, until the beef is tender, 6 to 7 hours on low or 4 to 5 hours on high. Before serving, stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.

To Make Ahead
The night before (or a day in advance), prepare the recipe through step 2. Instead of adding the ingredients to the slow cooker, refrigerate them, but be sure to store the browned meat in one container and the vegetables and wine in another container. In the morning, add the chilled ingredients to the slow cooker, then add the tomatoes with their juice, the broths, thyme, and barley to the slow cooker. Proceed with step 3. The cooking time will run to the high end of the range given in the recipe.

April is National Grilled Cheese Month

Kraft is selecting randomly selecting 500 people to receive a coupon every week in April. The coupon is for a FREE pack of Kraft Singles.

All you have to do is tell them in 50 words or less why grilled cheese brings a smile to your face.

Enter here:

Strawberry Sour Cream Bread


2 1/3 cup baking mix
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 eggs
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 cup chopped strawberries

Mix all ingredients except berries and nuts then beat 50 strokes by hand.
Stir in berries and nuts and pour into greased and floured loaf pan.
Bake at 350 for 50 minutes then cool 5 minutes and remove from pan.

Baked Fluffy Orange French Toast

Serving Size: 6

6 eggs -- separated
1/2 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
12 bread slices
1/2 teaspoon salt
powdered sugar

1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup orange marmalade

Heat oven to 450~. Grease large cookie sheet. In medium bowl, beat
egg whites until foamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until stiff peaks form; set aside. Beat egg yolks; stir in orange juice, orange peel, salt and milk. Fold egg yolk mix into beaten egg whites. Dip bread slices into egg mix until evenly coated. Place on prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 5-8 minutes or until golden brown ( do not turn toast). In small saucepan, combine sour cream and marmalade; heat over low heat just until warmed. Serve immediately with sauce.

Homemade Herbal Baby Powder Blend

Baby Powder

1 ounce powdered chamomile
1 ounce powdered marigold flowers
1 ounce oat or oatmeal powder
1/2 ounce comfrey root powder
1/2 ounce powdered eggshells
1/2 ounce cornstarch (optional)

Sift through a very fine sifter, then bottle. If heat rash is a problem, add cornstarch.

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