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Soup Soup n’ More Soup

Even more soup recipes

Russell Farms Market CowichanFall makes me want to make soup. On rainy days I want to eat it.

As the weather gets colder, and things become damp, there’s nothing quite like a big pot of hot n’ steamy potage simmering away on the stove.

Creamy soups are my favourite and these veggies are still available locally grown.

That’s a win win in my books, so let’s start with those…

Recipes for cream of cabbage soup, cream of carrot soup, cream of mushroom soup and cream of onion soup.

Would most definitely love to hear back from anybody that makes one, two, three or all of these soups!

Potage Creme aux Choux – Cream of Cabbage Soup

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced potatoes
  • 4 cups shredded cabbage
  • 3/4 cup sliced onions
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • paprika

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the potatoes, cab­bage and onions.

Cover and cook over low heat 10 min­utes, shaking the pan frequently. Add the broth, salt and pepper; cover again and cook 30 minutes.

Purée in an electric blender, or force through a sieve. Return to the saucepan; mix in the cream.

Heat and taste for seasoning. Serve sprinkled with paprika.

Serves 6-8.

Cream of Carrot Soup

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups sliced carrots
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup light cream
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley
  • 1 hard-cooked egg, chopped

Melt the butter in a saucepan; add the carrots, salt, sugar and pepper. Cook over low heat 10 minutes, stir­ring frequently. Add the broth; cook over low heat 30 minutes.

Puree in an electric blender, or force through a sieve. Mix in the cream and taste for seasoning.

Serve hot or iced, sprinkled with the parsley and egg. Serves 4-6

Cream of Mushroom Soup

  • 1 pound mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons minced onion
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

Wash and drain the mushrooms. Chop the stems and half the caps. Slice the remaining caps thin.

Melt the butter in a saucepan; sauté the chopped mushrooms and onion 5 minutes.

Blend in the flour; add the broth, stir­ring steadily to the boiling point. Add the sliced mush­rooms and pepper; cook over low heat 15 minutes.

Mix in the cream; taste for seasoning.

Serve sprinkled with parsley, if desired. Serves 8-10.

Cream of Onion Soup

Cream of Onion Soup RecipeMelt the butter in a saucepan; sauté the onions over low heat about 20 minutes, until browned.

Mix in the flour and sauté another 5 minutes.

Add the water, salt and pepper. Cover loosely and cook over low heat 25 minutes.

Beat the egg yolks and cream in a bowl. Gradually add about 3 cups of the soup, stirring steadily to prevent curdling.

Return to balance of soup. Heat, mixing steadi­ly, but do not let boil.

Serve with a bowl of grated cheese.

Serves 6-8.

More Soup Recipes

Shop Cowichan Challenge

First a great big friendly shout out to some wonderful local businesses; then onto the Shop Cowichan Challenge…

These are your neighbours and your friends. They help ensure we have a strong local economy. They do their part, now let’s do ours! Please shop Cowichan.

Soulful Memories

Duncan Showroom

Russell Farms Market

The Tin Cup Coffee & Expresso Bar 277 Canada Avenue, Duncan BC 250-597-3738

The Tin Cup Canada Ave. Duncan BC CowichanshoplocalchallengeTheTinCup2

The list is just getting started, so keep an eye out. It will be updated regularly here on the blog.

Each time we add to our shop Cowichan list, we’ll do a shout out on Twitter and on Facebook.

Be sure to like & follow (one or the other or better even; both)

www.Twitter.com/ILoveCowichanCA                   www.facebook.com/ILoveCowichan

The Shop Cowichan Challenge

Shop Cowichan Challenge Part 1

Please drop into and drop a little cash at a #Cowichan place of business that you’ve never been to before. A locally owned store, food producer, coffee shop or restaurant. Hire a local service provider. Support a local artisan; check out a farm or farmer’s market. In other words shop someplace in the #CowichanValley that you’ve never shopped before. Try someplace new. Give a local business a shot at earning your loyalty.

Shop Cowichan Challenge Part 2

Now that you’ve had a wonderful customer experience someplace locally owned…tell two people about it. They’ve earned it, give them a shout out to people you know. It’s a great way to support business growth in your community AND help your friends start having some wonderful customer experiences of their own.

Shop Cowichan Bonus

Tell us about your great local customer experience(s) and we will shout it from the tallest mountain. Well, not really a mountain but we will shout it out on the World Wide Web which happens to be wayyyyy more effective anyway 😉

Shop Cowichan Challenge #ILoveCowichanThank you! With every nickel you spend when you shop Cowichan, you help make our local economy stronger. With every person you tell about it…you’re kicking it up another notch.

Take care, Shelley

PS- If you have a Cowichan business, project, cause, news whatever it may be please let me know so that I can check it out…then I’ll tell 2000 friends about it. I’m totally serious, I kid you not.

Blog Blog Blog

…said so as to sound like blah, blah, blah.

Oh I should blog this or hey I should blog about that. You don’t know how many times per day that thought pops into my head. Well, I guess you could say that technically I don’t actually know how many times either, but I do know it’s a lot.

I feel like a genius composing the perfect blog entry in my mind as I cook, clean, shower whatever it is I’m doing at that exact millisecond. As sung by Maria in West Side Story, “I feel pretty and witty and bright!”

So riddle me this…

What happens when after creating this witty, smart blog post in my head I finally make it to my laptop? You guessed it; nothing. I find myself sitting (once again) staring at the blank screen. Well not exactly a blank screen, but the Word page is a blank.

Today I was good though. Had a bunch of fun local tid bits to share with you. I was smiling, it was sunny and I sat down with the perfect cup of coffee. Then something bad happened and I knew about it right away.  I was on Twitter when it happened. People were tweeting live.  An awful hashtag with the word shooting in it appeared on the trending list. It neared the top fast. Live on the scene tweets were talking about fatalities.

Blog entry hijacked by school shooting in OregonMy heart literally felt heavy and ached. I’d be lying if I said tears didn’t well up in my eyes. So much waste, so much pain, so many families torn apart. Just like that.

Being on social media, having a blog, working online sometimes means seeing things terrible unfold (almost as if first hand) right before your very eyes.

To all the victims and families of the UCCS shooting in Oregon, my heart goes out to you. I wish there was something I could do to help ease the pain.

To Kayla Marie I am happy you are safe. Please be well.

 

I will try again another day to leave you with a witty and bright (maybe even pretty too) blog entry. For now I will go and mourn. It is a sad and violent time, but I believe this too shall pass. People in general are kind and good.

Take care and love the ones you’re with!

 

Business Social Media Oopsie

Business Social Media Info DO Put It on Your Card

Business Social Media Info on Card ILoveCowichan.caAfter a particularly pleasant experience as a customer you’ll see me standing at the cash picking up a business card. If you watch you’ll see me look at both sides of the card.

The reason I’m doing this is I’m active on social media, I’m looking for their business social media info so that I can give them a kudos online.

Side note: If they don’t have cards for the taking, I make a friendly suggestion that they rectify the situation. Always have business cards for the taking at the till.

Many times (too many) I have to ask for the business social media info because it isn’t anywhere on the card.

If you have business social media accounts then include the info on your cards. You wouldn’t leave off your phone number, e-mail or website, right?  Social media is another means, a very popular way for customers to communicate and publicly talk about your business.

After scanning their business card I hand them my card. I thank them for the amazing customer experience, take some pictures and explain what I do. I support my community by supporting Cowichan Valley Business Growth.

I let them know what made my customer experience a good one and that I will be telling others about it.

I explain that I’ll be mentioning them on my blog, on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and more. That I may even create a board on Pinterest. If it is a restaurant I may do a review.

If there is no social media info on the card, rather than assuming (used to do that) I ask. Often they have a Facebook page (or are pretty sure they have one). I point out that it’s not on the business card, and they respond with “you can just search our name”.

Buzzzzzz wrong answer! I make another friendly suggestion. Don’t make it tough for people to track you down on social media. Don’t assume you’ll come up top those results either. If your business socializes…include the contact info on your card,

Take care!

Shelley

PS – I was curious so I just pulled out 10 random local business cards.

2 no business social media listed, they do not partake so that card is complete

5 have no business social media listed but do use at least one form of social media

1 has Facebook logo without link – that’s good but would be GREAT with the FB page link

2 include the business social media info – Kudos!!!

Business Social Media link to Sarah’s Soap Garden FB page

www.Facebook.com/islandjavabag

www.Twitter.com/jimgerbreadetc

www.Facebook.com/jimgerbreadetc

Community Supporting Community

Me thinking about what I want to do with my life ; aha moment communityA few years ago I started trying to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life. After much deliberation I made my decision. I know this is going to sound cliché but I decided that I want to make a difference. There you go I said it! A difference…

A tad too tired these days to take on the world.  Besides, I brought my girls up so that they’ll take care of that. So I narrowed it down a bit.

I want to make a difference locally. I can make a difference in our Community!

First step was tweaking our family buying habits so that we were spending more in our community. Especially when it comes to our food, shopping local means eating fresh. Eating fresh is eating healthy. Buying local means supporting our local economy and that’s what I call an all around win. Done; check.

Next I started preaching what I was practicing to anybody and everybody in our community. Some people roll their eyes. Most people though, they get it.  That gives me hope, and so I share my opinion every chance that I get.

“It takes a community to support a strong local economy” tweets @shoplocally. One determined citizen can help make that happen. Talking just happens to be my forté.

I call it spreading some #BuyLocalLove. It’s simple really. Come together as a community; ensure a healthy local economy.

I’m studying Social Media so that I can shout it out to even more people. Why do I say studying instead of studied? It’s a never ending process. Social Media changes daily. There is ALWAYS something new to learn. Which, I just happen to love doing.

That brings me to my own personal mission statement…

Support Cowichan Valley Business Growth to help our community sustain a healthy local economy.

Support Cowichan Valley Business Growth to help our community sustain a healthy local economy.
#BuyLocalLove

Well, that’s it for now because I simply must get back to spreading the #BuyLocalLove. Then I’ll try to figure out the implications of the latest “potential” changes happening over on Facebook.

Take care,

Shelley

www.ILoveCowichan.ca

Cowichan summer of 2015 pics…

PS- If you have a Cowichan business, project, cause, news whatever it may be please let me know so that I can share with our community

e-mail: shelley@ILoveCowichan.ca

Twitter: @ILoveCowichanCA

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ILoveCowichan

Newly launched…

Instagram: ILoveCowichanDotCA

Pinterest: ILoveCowichan

July News

Quick recap of July News

VI StayCay

We supported Cowichan & Vancouver Island with our first StayCay. It was a ton of fun…lots of pictures and info coming soon! I’m not kidding when I say we took hundreds of pictures. Our Island is incredible, stunning and there is always something going on somewhere.

New page added Cowichan Web

Our mission is to support Cowichan Valley business growth. We do that by buying as much as we can from locally owned independent stores, farms, markets and restaurants.

Also by encouraging the next generation and everyone else to…read more 

We’ve been enjoying the 39 Days of July. Have you?

Duncan 39 Days of JulyThis is an amazing opportunity to experience free music everyday from noon till 8 pm. Head on out to Downtown Duncan today after all it is a rather fun place to be. 

Upcoming themed Sundays will make for some fantastic family time.

July 12th – Inter-Cultural Day –Cowichan Intercultural Society have put together a diverse schedule of events to showcase our valley’s diversity

 July 19th – Children’s Day- designed for the under 8 crowd, we have entertainment / activities / horse rides / mini-train ride / bouncy castle / swing ride / balloon bending and more

 July 26th – Gospel Music Day –starting with a full musical church service and showcasing the history of gospel music by various artists

 August 2nd – Country Music Appreciation Day- a full day doing just that…appreciating the many aspects of country music from bluegrass to west coast country rock

Links to Cowichan Festival website schedule of events

 

Mission Totally Possible

I am on a mission, well two actually.

I am on a mission. Well maybe it’s two actually.

As a citizen of our beautiful valley I have decided it’s a mission of mine to Support Cowichan Valley Business Growth. As a mother; an aunt; a wife I am on a mission to Support the Well Being of My Family.

Turns out my missions align perfectly. In fact, they might actually be one after all. To keep my family and my community happy, healthy and thriving. How you ask? Keep it local; keep it fresh.

Make if your mission to buy local; buy fresh
COWICHAN GREEN COMMUNITY BUY LOCAL! BUY FRESH! ONLINE MAP

Shopping locally; buying fresh ensures my family eats healthy. At the same time I’m supporting my community by spending money with local businesses, markets and farms.

I am introducing my daughters and my niece to our Valley’s many hidden treasures. They in turn are taking their friends. I am teaching this generation to support the Cowichan Valley’s economy by spending money here. To purchase from independently locally owned businesses whenever possible.

I buy the occasional treat but my focus is on food for the family. Teens are the ones with disposable income. They have money to spend. My daughters now routinely bring friends to Downtown Duncan to shop. They lunch and snack at local restaurants more frequently than fast food.

Silver lining is that when they eat locally, they’re usually eating healthier foods. Not saying that’s why they do it, but it just so happens to be true.

Even the candy they buy is healthier (www.rembrandtschocolates.com).


Don’t tell them this but they are also getting more exercise by walking to Downtown Duncan.

One of the ways I’m supporting Cowichan Valley business growth is through social media. I’m proud to tweet local  . I want a Twitter feed jam-packed with everything Cowichan Valley. To follow people from and to be followed by people of the valley.

I’ve hit a bit of a snag. There are not as many local businesses Tweeting as I’d hoped. If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a hundred times…“Twitter? Oh we don’t need that. We’re local only.” If you have a business, yes; yes you do. Won’t let that slow me down. That’s my mission for another day 🙂

Yesterday we went and got a bunch of fresh, local produce. Today we’re having fun partaking in the 4th Annual Cowichan Eat Local Challenge. Thank you Transition Cowichan and Cowichan Green Community!

I am happy spreading the “shop local” message. I am happy helping Cowichan Valley businesses grow. I will continue to shout it out loud; I will continue to shout it over the Internet…

Shop local…make it YOUR MISSION to support your community, your neighbours & your friends! Pretty please 😉

Hope you’re getting out and about enjoying the incredible Valley weather (and all the nummy fresh produce). Take care!

Shelley

 

Cucumber; Did you know?

The cucumber did not originate in one particular place…

They were found in many parts of the world and as far back as prehistoric times. The Bible contains a very early cucumber reference.

Cucumber People by BreannaThere are Chinese writings dating back fifteen hundred years that reference the cucumber. The Romans had cucumbers, small and gnarled, but cucumbers nonetheless.

When explorers came to the New World they found cucumbers growing everywhere.

Many of the imperfections, the knobs and prickles, the spines and warts, that originally adorned cucumbers, have long been eliminated by selective horticulture. Most new cucumber varieties are quite straight rather than curved in the shape of a half-moon like their ancestors.

Hadn’t really intended on discussing cucumbers in particular 😉 Plan was to share two dressing or dip recipes and then let you know I’ve added a new page of salad recipes…

Cucumber Dressing or Dip

  • 1 cup finely chopped cucumbers
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced dill (optional)
  • 1 cup sour cream

Drain the cucumbers very well. Mix with the salt, lemon juice and dill. Fold into the sour cream. Chill. Serve with sea food or vegetable salads. Makes about 2 cups.

Parsley Dressing or Dip

  • 3 tablespoons minced parsley
  • ¼ cup finely chopped dill pickle
  • ¼ cup chopped tomatoes
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream

Mix together the parsley, dill pickle, tomatoes and salt. Fold into the sour cream. Chill. Great served with sea food. Makes about 2 cups.

Veggies for dipping

Select a variety of crisp, chilled fresh vegetables such as cucumber slices, celery stalks, carrot sticks, cauliflower flowerets, Bel­gian endive, artichoke leaves, radish roses, green and red pepper sticks, tiny plum tomatoes and small mush­rooms. Arrange them attractively around the dip.

Salad Recipes

Hope you enjoy the recipes!

Take care,

Shelley

PS- Remember to shop local…support your community, your neighbours & your friends! Pretty please 😉

Support Local Farm Markets in your area

Fun Making Videos About Cowichan

Wanted to share these videos about Cowichan…

Been having fun out and about around the Cowichan Valley enjoying the tremendous sunshine with Robert and the girls.  My intentions are always good, we take a TON of pictures and I plan to write about it all…then life gets in the way or we’re off exploring and taking more pics before I get around to it.

So I thought it might be fun to put together some videos comprised of the pictures.

Robert & I went and checked out the art show at Cowichan Valley Secondary. I am so glad that we did. I was in awe of the tremendous amount of talent (so was he). I don’t think either of us expected to be as blown away as we were.

Each time we go to market we chat, we learn, we sample and we pick up goodies for home. We also pick up business cards, flyers and take a bunch of pictures. Here’s a video from our last outing (May 2015) to the Saturday Duncan Farmer’s Market.

While I was on youtube uploading these videos, I came across two really great videos about Cowichan that I’d like to share…
Introduction to Providence Farm; Providence Farm, a Therapeutic Community

I am proud to call these people my Cowichan Valley neighbours.

Once Upon a Day in Cowichan

This video about Cowichan, the music, the scenery is all absolutely stunning.

A Cross Story Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island BC

I enjoyed and appreciated being taken along on this particular journey up the mountain.

 

Shop Local Buy Locally support local business your neighbours your friends your community about Cowichan Valley Economy BoomingHope you’re all getting to enjoy our wonderful weather. I’m off to pick some of my home grown strawberries. Who would ever have thunk it? Me digging in the dirt voluntarily…If nothing else, I’ve certainly learned in life to never say never because you just never know what the future holds.

Hope you enjoyed these videos about Cowichan. Take care!

Shelley

PS- Remember to shop local…support your community, your neighbours & your friends.

Spring has Sprung in Cowichan

Spring the busy prelude to the even busier season of Summer…

I love being busy. Busy is good. Keeps you out of trouble, keeps you happy and minimizes time for sweating the small stuff. That being said, I’m way behind on thanking May’s winningest smile winner for our most AMAZING customer experience and have soooo many fun times to recap I’m losing track.

You know life’s pretty good when keeping track of the fun times is a problem 🙂

Spring was birthdays galore May 21st, May 27th, May 31st & June 3rd…plus mother’s day too!

My youngest turned 14 on May 21st.

Spring Winningest Smile Award May 2015 Stephanie RyanMay 27th (Robert’s birthday celebration) was made even more memorable thanks to Stephanie Ryan.

What a wonderful person, a wonderful smile, an absolutely wonderful experience! Thank you Stephanie, so happy to have met you.

 

Check out that smile! May’s winner of the Winningest Smile Award is Stephanie Ryan from the Mongrillian 3300 Cowichan Lake Road Duncan, BC.

Stepahnie Ryan ILoveCowichan.ca Winningest Smile Award
Stephanie Ryan Winningest Smile Award

The food at The Mongrillian was as always super delicious, fresh and healthy. I realize we need to get better at taking pictures of the food. We’re always so busy digging in we forget.

9 people and we all chose the same thing; to build our own stir fry. You pick your meat, you add the vegetables of your choice and top it with a sauce or sauces (I like to mix them up). Stephanie hands it over to the kitchen and before you know it, your food is being delivered piping hot on a bed of rice (or chowmein if you prefer). In the meantime, you get to enjoy a dish of soup while you wait.

We celebrated Mom’s birthday June 3rd. With the lovely spring weather we were able to enjoy supper outside. We’ve recently adopted a new family member (that’s just the way we roll) whose birthday is May 31st. Pictures to come!

Robert & I went to the new Cowichan Farmer’s Market on Wednesday. Being able to grab freshly picked spring veggies on the way home from work is so convenient!

 

Take care!

Shelley

PS- Remember to shop local…support your community, your neighbours & your friends. Construction is almost done (today should be the last day). Show your support, shop Downtown Duncan 

PPS- In case you missed it…Robert had a Saturday off  we enjoyed a spring outing to the Duncan Farmer’s Market together.

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