autumn mushroom soup with cognac

heres a story about a fun guy. * giggle*  get it… Fun-GI?

True story… when I was little I was ADDICTED to cream of mushroom soup… I could not get enough of it.

I remember sitting at my mom’s small table with a bowl of it. I swear I  actually remember having it for breakfast. Good ol’ Campbell’s!

then something happened ( mom, help me out?)  I think that  I got sick after eating it once.. and from that point on… I could not STAND mushrooms. Yuck.. gross.. fungus, I tell you, fungus.

I would not get ANYWHERE near them.

About 4 years ago, something changed. I saw a grilled portabella sandwich with blue cheese ( something else that I couldn’t stand) on a cooking show for super bowl Sunday recipes.

I found myself really wanting to try that sandwich! Bizzarre, I know.

Who am I?

I ran to the store, bought the ingredients and voilia! I Liked it.  I more than liked it, I LOVED it!

go figure?  Now I eat mushrooms all the time. They say that your body and palette are always changing.  I’m so happy that mine changed for the better.

One of my favorite new magazines is Vegetarian Times.  I received the subscription as a gift when I subscribed to Yoga journal.

this months issue came in yesterday & The cover called out to me.  I opened the magazine to this page and knew that I had to make it. And let me tell you, I am so glad that I did. Easy, quick, healthy.. and trust me, you would never believe that there isn’t any cream in the recipe.


If by chance you are vegan. just switch out the butter for Earth Balance or Olive oil..

If you don’t want to use almond milk, I’m sure you could use cow’s milk.. I’m just not sure if the consistency would be as ‘creamy’

ironic, eh?

SO here you go….  grown up cream of mushroom soup.

Autumn Mushroom Soup with Cognac

2 pounds white or button mushrooms ( I used baby bella)

2 Tbsp butter

2 large leeks thinly sliced  * see note below*

2 garlic cloves peeled and thinly sliced

1 tsp. dried Thyme leaves

1/4 cup cognac ( I bought a small nip from behind the counter of the liquor store.. perfect amount)

3 1/2 cup vegetable broth ( I used low-sodium)

1 cup almond milk ( make sure it’s not flavored or sweetened )

1/4 cup chopped parsley for garnish

Sea salt & pepper  to taste.


yeah.. about that….. I can;t find the cord to upload the picture of the ingredients…. so I took a picture of the picture 🙂

Start by pulsing the mushrooms in a food processor ( or chop them finely)

Heat the butter in a large pot over medium heat  ( I use cast iron now.. I love it & will explain my reasonings later ) Add the leeks and sprinkle with salt. Cover and cook 5 minutes or until the leeks are softened, stirring occasionally.

Increase the heat to medium-high, stir in garlic and thyme and cook 1 more minute.

Deglaze pan with Cognac  and cook 1 minute or until the liquid has evaporated.

Stir in chopped shroons , cover pot and cook 5 minutes.  Then uncover and cook 5-7 minutes more or until most of the liquid  has evaporated and the mushroom start to brown.

Stir in broth and bring to a simmer. Add almond milk & s& p.. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth.

Garnish with Parsley.


ahh… look a barefootgirl in the picture !!

** note on prepping leeks**.. Leeks are grown in sand and are really sandy. No mater how hard you try to rinse them you will still get grit in your dish, Now one wants grit in their soup. yuck.

SO to prep them, do a preliminary rinse, then chop them on a cutting board. Then add the leeks to a big bowl of ice water and let them sit. The sand will all soak to the bottom. Wash the grit off of the cutting board. To drain the leeks , don’t drain them into a colander because you would just be dumping the sand right back into them.  Using your hands, reach into the ice water and lift the leeks up ( gently so that you don’t stir the sand up)

There you have it.. perfectly prepped leeks!

rejoice mushroom lovers.. rejoice!

oxoxox~ shel

manifesting abundance

soo here I am again…..

*actually, I’ve always been here, I just haven’t shared a whole heck of a lot *

How have you been? Good. Me too!

manifesting abundance.. exactly what does that mean?  Since I’ve been posting I have completed a 200 hour yoga teacher training course, which has me certified ( and no longer scared 🙂 to teach yoga!

It was an amazing journey and it really transformed me in many ways.  As part of our training, we had certain electives to choose. One that I signed up for was “manifesting abundance”

I had no idea what it was….  and I made that perfectly clear as the day-long class began. I was sitting all properly propped up on my yoga mat, tea by my side ,honoring my body as we were taught to when Tiffany, my teacher asked if there were any questions. I promptly raised my hand and asked, ” what is manifesting abundance? ”

She smiled and simply said that she would not be able to answer that question… It was a question for me to answer.

I turned bright red and was so embaressed that I actually asked the question.

I almost walked out. But I didn’t.   I stayed and had a most amazing day with a bunch of wonderful women. I cannot go into too much detail of what happened in that room, but I can tell you that it was amazing and it changed me. When I left at the end of the day, I knew everything would be ok. I also realized just how many signs in my life are all pointing me in the direction that I am supposed to be going in.

The signs have always been there, I was just too naive to see them.

Let me explain a little.

As some of you know Scott and I had our children very young. I was 16 when our oldest, Jason, was born; Ryan and Ali followed when we were in our early 20s.

We have spent not only our entire adult lives raising our children, but much of our adolescence as well.

It’s pretty much all that I know.  Jason has been out on his own for many years now, happily married to a wonderful girl , Amanda Sue, who I am proud to call my daughter- in-law. I love her for loving him.

Y’all may also know that ryan has had a rough road. The deck of cards that he was dealt left him with a wild, wild ride for him to get to where he is today. I cannot tell you how much of my life revolved around helping him get to where he is now

( he has done so much on his own, but I have always been right in the sidelines ready to help him with whatever twist or turn was waiting )

Unfortunately, there were far to many turns.

Fast forward and He is now a freshman in college, at his dream school, majoring in history, a subject that he is passionate about.

He is clear on the other side of the country.

Ali is a senior in high school, very independent, and very goal-orientated when it comes to her picking her college for her next 4 years..

Scott and I have raised 3 independent, compassionate, thoughtful kids who have carried on with them the ability to think out of the box and take the road less- traveled and stop to enjoy the view.

26 years ago, if you had asked me what I would want for my children when I was becoming a parent, I could not have dreamed the outcome.

It was what I had , unknowingly, had spent my life manifesting.

So that day in the room, Tiff had us write some things down… Things about us now, things that we would like to see in our futures.

I came across that paper the other day.

1~ become a yoga instructor.  check. I love yoga and I love to teach others to be healthy and HONOR and LOVE yourself for who you are today.  I’m all for being healthy, but I get bothered when I see folks beat themselves up for that ‘extra 5 pounds’..

to put it in perspective, somebody going through chemo would LOVE those 5 pounds..

right? right.

And look back at a picture of yourself from ten years ago.. most likely you were thinking to yourself , ” I could be skinnier, or more muscular, or richer, or… well, you get the point.

And I’m willing to bet that when you look at that pic now, you would love to be who you were back then.

So stop and love yourself for who you are today… strive for more, but accept who you are. for who you are.

I always say, stop comparing yourself to the person next to you…. they are doing a terrible job at trying to be you .

2~ I wanted to become a runner. I have never been athletic. Like ever. I purposely bailed out of gym class ( but excelled in home EC.. go figure?) I’ve played one tiny season of softball when I was 9 and even though I was supposed to love it, I hated it. ( I’m sorry, dad , 😦 )

I have always envied runners.  They just seem to have a sense of self and look so carefree and comfortable in their own skin.  I have tried many times to learn to run, but I’ve just simply hated it.

So one of the things on my list that day was to become a runner.  I am working very hard on that one. I have some excellent guidance and I am determined. And when I set my mind to something.. that’s it.  I signed up for my first 5 k  (dragging my little sister along with me)  and I am scared to death… but you know what? I am going to do it. And I am going to love it… because I want to..

perhaps I should have warned you ahead of time regarding the length of this post.. sorry 🙂

back to being a mom.. I have dreaded this time in my life for the past few years. what would I do without my kids here? This question has had me lose more nights of sleep than I care to admit. I have obsessed and dreaded it.  I have even gone as far to talk to my doctor about it.  26 years of being a mom & being SO involved in my kids lives… what would be around the corner for me?

What I learned in that room that day was like I said, I am going to not only be ok, I’m going to be better than ok. I have been working on ‘manifesting abundance’ and by that I mean that I am going after all of my little dreams one at a time.

When I left Ryan last week, I cried one tiny tear. No where near the mess that I thought I would be.. Pride took over . and Happiness. As sad as I am to not have him here to get my quirky humor ( he ‘gets’ me like no one else does) .. the smile on his face and seeing him in his element SOO happy washed away any tears that I might have cried.

This happened once before too…  When Jason graduated from Navy boot camp.  I was ready to be a mess, but when he marched in, a man… I was overwhelmed with pride. I simply cannot describe it.

It is safe to say that my kids mean the world to me, and while I am still their mom and biggest fan, the fact that they are all living their own lives SO happy.. well, that make me happy.

and ready to manifest what is next for me 🙂 I’m only 41 years old. Really, quite young to be at this point of my life.

I do still have Ali for her senior year, as well as Tian, my exchange daughter form Hong Kong ( who i love like my own) and Ali’s multiple friends who call me mom & make our home their second home. It will be an amazing year for all of these beautiful young women, and I intend on keeping in touch with each and every one of them.

( I may be known at the post office as the queen of care packages )

I love that they are all going on with their own lives and that I am ready for this point of my life.  I never imagined the peace that I could find in my own skin 🙂

so.. if I haven’t lost you yet, thanks for letting me share. I love to write and I have alot to say ( clearly)

don’t give up on me, food and quilting will still be here…. ( I’m about to make mushroom soup for one … as my entire family is currently in 4 separate time zones )

as I leave you… think about this…  what are you manifesting? can you picture it? can you love yourself just as much as you love that certain someone that you would do anything for?

just try



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