WHAT?!-a-Leekie soup

It pretty much goes without saying that I am a fan of the Outlander book series and the TV show on Stars. Give me historical fiction mixed with romantic costumes and sexy Scottish brogue and I’m a happy woman. Throw in some adventure and romance and I’m a goner. Hook. Line. Sinker.

I’m deep into book number four of eight in the series and of course I find myself fascinated not only with the entire story, viagra cialis sale but by some of the weirder and quirkier things people eat and drink on the yonder side of the pond. Yes, cialis buy rx I’m taking about you Brits and Scots and even you Irish. So it happened that I was up late one night turning the pages fanatically, unable to tear my eyes away from the page even though it was pushing 11:30pm and I have a 9 month old baby who likes to get up around 2am, that I stumbled upon a Scottish soup by the name of Cock-a-Leekie soup. Now I know it was late, but yes, I chuckled out loud like the secret 12 year old that I am. Then I grabbed my phone to Google what the hell Cock-a-Leekie soup was and how it was made. I was, at once, both happy and disappointed that Cock-a-Leekie gets it’s dubious name from chicken and leeks.

The more I Googled the more I found out that there are literally hundreds of different recipes, all with the same basic ingredients but with some variations. These are my kind of recipes. I like recipes with lots of room to maneuver and opportunities to make it my own. So here is my version of Cock-a-Leekie soup. It’s best served with a giggle. =)

Cock-A-Leekie Soup

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3 boneless/skinless Organic Chicken Breasts; cubed

2 giant Leeks or 4 small to medium sized Leeks; halved and sliced

1 Yellow or Spanish Onion; chopped

1 cup Pearled Barley

5 medium to large Carrots; chopped

1 bottle light beer ( I use local beer like Grain Belt Premium)

1/4 cup prune juice

1/2 cup half + half

6 cups water

1 Tablespoon chicken Bouillon grains or 2 Bouillon cubes

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

2 Teaspoons Salt

1 Teaspoon Pepper

In a large soup pot set over medium flame, add the olive oil and the onion and the leeks. Saute for 8-10 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Add prune juice to de-glaze the bottom of pan making sure to scrape up bits from bottom of pan. Add the carrots and saute for another 3-4 minutes. Add the bottle of beer and wait until it comes to a boil. Once the beer, onions, leeks and carrot mixture comes to a boil add the 6 cups of water and the Bouillon. Bring to a boil and add the cubed chicken breast and the barley. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30-40 minutes. Soup should still be liquid. If it becomes dry or thick add 1-2 cups of water. After 30-40 minutes reduce heat to low and add half and half. Simmer another 5 minutes. Serve warm with some bread and a giggle!

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Enjoy!

Celebrating Halloween

IMG_3593In my family we are BIG on traditions! Every family has different traditions and some of my favorite holiday past times have come from discovering how other families celebrate the same holidays! So I thought I would pass on a tradition in my family.

Sounds a little goofy, viagra canada pills I know, viagra but every holiday we celebrate has a tree involved. Yes, a tree. Think Christmas, but on a much smaller scale. It took me a few years to figure out that this wasn’t exactly a common practice with other families I know. I don’t know where this came from. Seriously. No clue. Except maybe my mom loved the tradition of the Christmas Tree so much she wanted to share the wealth with the rest of the holidays? But whatever the reason, it stuck and I love it! We have an Easter Tree (traditionally a stick picked from the forest and spray painted white and stuck in a base.) We have a Christmas tree. And my favorite, the Halloween tree!

IMG_3592These trees, save the Christmas tree usually sit on our dining room table starting in the month in which we celebrate said holiday. And as kids, we always got to decorate the trees. It was so much fun sitting with my sister going through the box of spooky ornaments to hang on the tree and figuring out the perfect place for the ghost and the skeletons and the black cats to hang. Then we would turn off all the lights and turn on the Halloween tree lights. Because, yes, our tree was pre-lit with lights! I remember always getting a chill rush over me as we stood their admiring our creepy handiwork.

IMG_3591This year, CJ is celebrating his very first Halloween. And while the logical side of my brain realizes he will never remember his 1st Halloween, I just can’t stop myself from decorating! I was so excited when I found my own Halloween tree for my table! I immediately asked my mom where she put the ornaments, and if I could have them for CJ’s new tree. These ornaments are teeny tiny little things, like skeletons, and little cloth ghosts and a little plastic Frankenstein, and little witches. The collection of ornaments growing each year in our youth so that we amassed about 20 ornaments. To my dismay, my mom informed me that she thinks she gave the box away to some charity. WHAT?! NOOOOoooooooooo. I was devastated. So the hunt began to find new ornaments for CJ’s tree. And just like my own lost collection of ornaments, we will grow his collection each year. So if anyone knows where I can get teeny tiny little ornaments for a tree that is only about 14 inches tall, please drop me a comment!

What are some of your favorite Halloween traditions??