Thursday, November 10, 2011

Chicken Leek Stew and Charlie

Getting up super early has turned out better than I expected. After devotions, Witt and I have had some good conversation. I think at the end of the day sometimes it's easy to just zone out. In the morning though, you kind of feel hopeful about the day or a at least resigned to it and when you've just eaten some really good gluten free waffles and you still have half a cup of coffee in your hand, you feel like talking. Especially when you have a good half hour before you absolutely must get dressed or risk walking out in your robe.

       Some of the things we have been talking about is our tentative house hunting, which right now is just a hobby, even though we did call a realtor and look at a (really broken down) house the other day. It will be a while before we can leave the little brick house but the thought of buying a fixer upper and working on it and making it our own is tempting. Sometimes I have an intense desire to start fresh; a new town, a new city, somewhere far away where everything is a page to write on. Where there would be more opportunities for me and new things to see. And where we can go to the store and not run into someone Witt knows. 

      We were talking about commitment in a class we went to at church and how we don't have the same sense of commitment that generations did before us. Of course, gone are the days when you graduate, get a job and stay with it for 50 years. But it's so easy to change nowadays; to write people off when it get's too difficult, to hop from one thing to another, from one church to another, one style to another. Does it make people less satisfied when change is so easy? To me, it seems like often change can be good, that you can't hold on to everything or everybody. But is wishing for change sometimes the easy way out? I am chewing on that this week.  

It's soup weather again! I searched my blog and I can't remember if I gave this recipe before but even if I have here it is again. When my mom and I started cooking with whole grains, no sugar, we often followed Suzanne Somer's books because they fit into that lifestyle. This is a recipe that we found in one of her cookbooks and we made it often (I'm writing it as a make it from my head so it may not be her's word for word).


Gypsy Slow Down


This has been my go-to soup, in Paris I made this for my family there and it became a staple in our menu. It's buttery and savory and comforting and really good. My favorite way to do this is to take chicken breasts and put them in the crock-pot in the morning with some garlic and chicken broth and let them slow cook during the day. That makes a nice shredded chicken that's very flavorful. But you can also just steam the chicken on the stove right before making the soup.

Chicken Leek Stew

2 medium leeks, chopped
3 tablespoons butter
2 stalks celery, chopped
8 ounce baby bella mushrooms, sliced
2 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 garlic clove, smashed
1/2 cup white wine
8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup heavy cream or half and half
2 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper

In pan, saute leeks and celery until soft in butter. Add mushrooms and saute for additional 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and chicken and white wine. Simmer until the white wine is mostly cooked off. Add the cream cheese and stir around in the pan until it's creamy. Add the cream and chicken broth and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for about 10 minutes until the soup is very creamy. Serve hot.


Gypsy Slow Down

This is Charlie when she was younger, because this is what she would do when I was cooking, up until her last day. It's like, hey, I'll just hang out on your feet. I still miss her a lot.

   
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