Monday, February 1, 2010

Groundhog Day

Happy Groundhog Day!

The day a little groundhog determines if we get to bear through a longer winter or celebrate an early spring. Either way, it is reason to gather and celebrate. Need an idea? Well.... how about gathering in front of the TV to watch Groundhog Day on DVD starring Bill Murray. This hilarious movie is fun for all ages.

So you might be thinking..... well that sounds great, but what do I serve. Simple, you serve popcorn. There are so many varieties and flavors to serve. Go to your local party supply store and purchase popcorn holders or if you want to keep it real simple, brown bag it.

Write each guests name on each bag and have them create a concoction in their own bag.

Here is just one recipe idea for gourmet popcorn:

Chocolate-Peanut Popcorn

20 cups air-popped popcorn
2 cups salted peanuts, divided
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup corn syrup
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 250 degrees

Place popcorn and 1 cups peanuts in a large roasting pan, set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, butter, corn syrup, water and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until mixture reaches 260 degrees, without stirring. Add cocoa, vanilla, and baking soda, stirring to combine.

Working quickly, pour sugar mixture over popcorn mixture, stirring until popcorn is evenly coated. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Immediately spread popcorn on to parchment paper to cool. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup peanuts. Store in airtight container.

(recipe from Celebrate, Phyllis Hoffman)

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