Congratulations Mr. President

For the first time since I was able to vote, I stayed up till 2 AM and watched the election results and the speeches.  And while I had not been involved in the actual political process in this election, I felt invested in the outcome. 

I came from a family who was divided (one parent republican and one democratic).  Each had their own ideas and was outspoken in expressing them.  My mother was a councilwoman.  They always talked  in terms of what “so and so” would do for the people of this country, each candidate having pluses and minuses.  I think in the end, they likely voted right along the party line because back then I think each party had some really good ideas and unique ways of handling things they had planned for their city, state, county, or country. 

This time, I feel that America voted their hearts.  I know I did.  Just this week someone came to my office and was joking with me about voting for Barack Obama —  I wasn’t joking when I said I would be voting for him.  They were seriously appalled, and of course a discussion ensued. I said Mr. Obama is “an evil I know, as opposed to one I don’t”  and meant that I knew where Mr. Obama stood on many issues and didn’t really know where Mr. Romney stood at all.  I told them my vote goes to whom I think will be the best person for the job, not because I am a member of either party.   I said I didn’t trust Mr. Romney because I never saw him clearly outline any plan for this country, just rhetoric about changing, eliminating, and fixing.  That “secrecy” did not sit well with me.  And while I am all for changing, eliminating and fixing — I would have liked him to outline how he planned to do that.  Instead it was more a campaign of persuasion ~  “I’ll fix it, just trust me.”  Lots of people bought that and did decide to cast their vote for him, but I don’t work that way.  You can tell me an investment is good, but I want to see the proof, the trend, the outcome over the last years, and I want to know why you think it’s going to continue on that path. 

In the end, I will always vote for whom I feel is right for this country, whether they be democrat or republican, old or young, white, green or even purple.  I think the republican party let the American people down with their choice of Mr. Romney as the candidate – I think it’s about time they reassess what AMERICA wants, not what they want for America.  It’s the health of this country and the people who call it home that I want them to have as the basis of their agenda.  I sincerely feel that if  Barack Obama didn’t think he could be a good fit for the job, and couldn’t continue to try and fix issues facing America,  he wouldn’t have ran for a second term. 

Congratulations Mr. President – I have high hopes and expectations that you will be able to steer this ship we call America onto a better and more prosperous path in your next four years.

Creamy Stuffed Baked Potato & Leek Soup

SOUP NUMBER TWO – Creamy Stuffed Baked Potato and Leek Soup. 

This soup was so very different from what I expected.  And as usual, I varied from the recipes that I read online. 

potato leek soup ingredients

6-8 small to medium baked potatoes
1 Tbs of butter
3 medium leeks
4 cloves of garlic
4 cups of chicken broth
kosher salt (it was already on my potato skins)
pepper to taste
6 slices of thick bacon (eventually diced)
2/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 cup cheese


I baked my potatoes earlier in the week.  I actually planned on trying this soup – and I especially wanted to see how different this recipe was from the creamy potato soup of the week before.

So I started my prep with making sure I had all my ingredients ready. I peeled and cubed the potatoes, I diced up about 1/3 of the potato skins (discarding the rest to the compost pile),  I washed and cleaned my leeks – and sliced them up.  I prepared my garlic slices and then got started.

First, I put my 1tbs of butter into my pan, melted it and then added my 6 slices of thick bacon (doesn’t that look good middle picture below – smelled good too).

Once that was done, I took the bacon out onto a paper towel lined plate  and added in the garlic, onions to the bacon drippings ~  and re-washed leeks.  I used all three of the leeks that I purchased. They were organic and I had to wash – slice and then rewash,  but I used them all because the other recipes I had read said people couldn’t taste them in the soup and I definitely wanted the onion like flavor of the leeks in the soup. 

Add and cook your sliced leeks with the onions and garlic until the leeks are soft  – about 10 minutes, then add the chicken broth and cook for about 20 minutes longer to really get the leeks very tender.
Next you’ll add the potatoes and chopped skins – I simmered this for about 10 more minutes – while I thought of how I would “cream” my potatoes.  

I finally decided on two almost even batches in my kitchen aid mixer – as I could not find my blender (which is the usual way I would do this).  Once I got them to the consistency I wanted, I returned them to the pot.  You can chose your own consistency here — but the thickness does depend on the starch from the potatoes, so you will want to break some down to get the soup thickness you desire, as well as a creamy texture.

Stir the sour cream and milk together and then stir into pot with about 1/2 the cheese.  I didn’t have cheddar cheese that I could actually use (it turned out to be moldy), so I used  a 4 cheese blend.  I have read of people using all sorts of odds and ends of cheese in this soup and I don’t think it can hurt it.  My soup would have had a stronger cheese flavor with the cheddar, but it also might have lessened the flavor of the leeks.  You taste buds must be your guide when choosing.

I cooked mine down  (about 30-40 minutes on simmer, stirring regularly), and then stirring in the remainder of the cheese right before I served it.  I will say it retained the leek flavor and was definitely not as creamy as it could have been had I used the blender, or if I added cream cheese instead of the sour cream.  But it was good, hot and hearty and we definitely enjoyed it with the poppy seed homemade bread that I made earlier in the day.  I think though if I had to choose, I’d go with the easier and faster creamy potato next time.  Much less work and definitely richer tasting.

Don’t forget to garnish with those bacon bits — and extra cheese  ~ and if you like it ~  some sour cream!

cooking and ready to eat