Oops!!! Correction of Cock-A-Leekie Soup Recipe

This is a very quick post…just a correction on the recipe for Cock-a-Leekie Soup!

In looking over the recipe ingredients, I realized I had typed in 14 oz of vegetable broth…the correct amount is 32 oz.¬† If you make the recipe with 14 oz, the soup might be a little less tasty…but should still be ok. ūüôā

I apologize for the typo and hope if anyone made the recipe already, the results were satisfactory…if they weren’t, now you know why. ūüôā

Guess I need a proof-reader for my blog. ūüôā

Sunday Post: Recipe for Self-Esteem


A recipe, according to the dictionary, is a list of ingredients and instructions for making something, especially a food dish.

Jake at Time after Time has a Sunday Post Challenge and every week he provides a theme…this week‚Äôs theme is RECIPE.

I love soup!¬† Do you?¬† Soup can be hearty or light, warming or cooling…soups are so easy to make and, when you make them yourself, you can use healthy nutritious ingredients and leave out the preservatives, high sodium levels and artificial colors that are rampant in most canned or packaged soups you buy at the store.

Here is a recipe for Cock-a-Leekie Soup…absolutely delicious…and very easy to make, even your kids can help!


You will need: 1 large pot, 1 lb boneless chicken breasts cubed, 2 slices bacon, 1 large leek sliced (about 2 cups), 1 cup sliced fresh carrots, 2 cups cubed potatoes, 1 container low sodium vegetable broth (32 oz), 1 cup basmati rice, 2 Tbs single malt scotch (optional), ¬Ĺ cup diced prunes, 1 Tb dried basil, 8 cups water.

1.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Saute bacon in pot…add chicken pieces and saut√© a few minutes.

2.      Add sliced leeks, carrots and potatoes and stir well.

3.      Add vegetable broth, prunes, water and basil and stir well.

4.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Bring to a boil, add rice and scotch…lower heat, cover and simmer for 1¬Ĺ hours.

5.      Serve with crusty bread and a simple tossed salad.

6.      Store in covered container in fridge.

7.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Makes about 12 cups of soup…you can easily make less by cutting the ingredients in half.


So what is the recipe for helping a child develop a high self-esteem?

1.      Help your child master tasks and skills.

2.      Encourage your child to value his own strengths and qualities.

3.      Help your child to feel appreciated and loved.

4.      Encourage your child to express his feelings.

5.      Help your child to acknowledge and cope with his fears.

6.      Encourage your child to accept himself and his body.

Kids love to help in the kitchen…not only does that time with you build self-esteem, but it also helps children develop reading readiness skills (or better literacy skills if they are older).¬† They also learn about good nutrition, and many picky eaters will try new foods that they have helped make.

If you would like more information about helping children develop a positive self-image or need some quick and easy ideas and self-esteem building activities, please pick up a copy of my book.  During the month of March, we are offering free shipping on my website (an additional $5 off the price of the book for participants in the PPP Reading Challenge) or you can purchase the book on Amazon.


 If you’d like more information about Jake’s Sunday Post:


Connie: http://connieemeraldeyes.wordpress.com/2012/03/17/weekly-sunday-post-recipe/

Colline: http://collinesblog.wordpress.com/2012/03/18/sunday-post-recipe/

Susan: http://tostir.wordpress.com/2012/03/18/sunday-post-recipe/

Franny: http://oregonsmiles.wordpress.com/2012/03/18/recipe-for-success/

Mara: http://africatoalgarve.blogspot.pt/2012/03/recipe.html

Cassie: http://worldofcassie.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/sunday-post-recipe/

I’ll add more folks who are participating in Jake’s Sunday Post as soon as their posts are up.

Soup image thanks to www.cookstr.com


Carrot cake in pan

Image via Wikipedia

Have you had to give up many of the foods you LOVE because of medical conditions like GERD or IBS?

Did you resolve to start the New Year eating in a healthier manner?

Are you looking for a nutritious and delicious dessert to serve to your family?

If any of the above applies to you, here is the PERFECT CARROT CAKE recipe.¬† Easy to prepare and easy on the stomach, this child-friendly recipe is so yummy, you will want to serve it to company‚Ķand so high in nutrition, you will not hesitate to serve it to your family.¬† Check out the ingredients and you will find¬†4 of the¬†SUPER FOODS recommended by health experts. (I’ve underlined them in the ingredient list)¬† And, as if that isn‚Äôt enough to get you started on this recipe, the preparation is easy-peasy and your kids will enjoy helping you measure and mix.

So, what are you waiting for?



You will need: 1¬Ĺ cups unbleached white flour, 1¬Ĺ tsp baking powder, ¬ĺ tsp baking soda, ¬ĺ cup white sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 egg lightly beaten, ¬Ĺ cup canola oil, 1 tsp vanilla, zest of one orange, ¬ľ cup brown sugar, 2 cups grated carrots (I use a pound package of peeled baby carrots). ¬ĺ cup pineapple chunks with ¬ľ – ¬Ĺ cup of the juice (I use pineapple canned in its own juice ‚Äď no added sugar). 2 large bowls, blender to chop carrots and pineapple, Bundt pan sprayed with canola oil.

  1. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl (a whisk works great) and set aside. 
  2. Mix 1 lightly beaten egg (I substitute egg beaters), canola oil, zest of an orange (you can use a fine¬†hand grater to grate the zest from the orange…and this is one of those items that SHOULD be organic if at all possible¬†as you are using the outer peel), vanilla and brown sugar in another large bowl…I use a wooden spoon.
  3. Chop or grate carrots (I use a blender…you could use a food processor or do it with a hand grater).
  4. If you are using a blender or food processor, add the pineapple chunks and the juice from the can.¬† If you don‚Äôt have a food processor or blender, you could purchase crushed pineapple in a can instead of the chunks.¬† You can blend or food process to a fairly smooth consistency or you can leave the carrots and pineapple in a more chopped state…your choice.
  5. Add the carrot/pineapple to the bowl with the egg mixture and mix well.
  6. Add this mixture to the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix gently until well-mixed.
  7. Pour into the lightly greased Bundt pan.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
  9. Remove from oven and cool on a rack.

10. When cool, turn over onto a dinner-sized plate.

11. I cover the cake with plastic wrap and keep it in the fridge.  It can keep for about a week…but it won’t last that long. J

The great thing about this recipe is that it is very forgiving…a little more or a little less of any of the ingredients and the cake still turns out GREAT.  In fact, I once realized I didn’t have any pineapple AFTER I had started making the cake.  I substituted applesauce and it was delicious.  Another time I found that I had run out of baking powder…I added a little more baking soda and the cake still looked and tasted wonderful.  I’d love to know if you try this recipe…let me know how it turned out!

Cooking With Preschoolers

Cooking is one of the best activities for preschoolers.  It builds their self-esteem as they master tasks and skills, mixing and measuring the ingredients.  It teaches them about the foods they eat so they can make better food choices as they grow up.  It encourages them to try new foods as they prepare various recipes, expanding their food horizons.  Most importantly, they love to do it and cooking with your preschooler helps create a life-long parent-child bond.

Cooking with preschoolers is a passion of mine which is why my  new parenting book provides 100 child-friendly healthful recipes and 100 age-appropriate, eco-friendly craft projects, in addition to pinpointing 100 picture books every young child should hear.  The cooking experience is crucial because with each recipe your preschooler helps prepare, he gains confidence and competence and his sense of self-worth grows. 

What ingredients should we use?¬† The best that we can, of course!¬† If you¬†are able to purchase¬†organic, locally grown, in-season produce…I’d encourage you to do that…I believe such ingredients will add immense benefits to your entire family while creating a less damaging impact on¬†our planet.¬†¬†¬†Organic or not, just make sure everything is fresh (check dates on dairy and other items…sometimes stores miss removing out-of-date stuff) and whether it is a snack or a meal, we want to provide low-fat, low sugar and high fiber combinations that are packed with nutrition.¬† It’s important that they taste good also.¬† However, taste is learned and¬†we need to be careful of what¬†we say and of¬†our facial expressions when¬†we are eating…many children develop food dislikes when they see a parent shunning a particular food.¬†

Cooking with preschoolers is a¬†great time to teach proper hand washing¬†procedures.¬† Make sure hands are washed before and during the food preparation process, especially if hands have touched raw meat or poultry.¬† And definitely exercise caution during the cooking experience…preschoolers should be pouring and mixing the ingredients in the bowls, not stirring the pot on the stove.¬† Any cutting with sharp knives needs to be done by the parent or other responsible adult.

I just came back from a wonderful week in New Hampshire…the¬†New England fall foliage was at its peak…but the best part of the trip was the four days I spent with my two-year old grandson, Jeremy.¬† We walked down to the pond every day to see the ducks, skip pebbles over the surface of the water, and collect leaves of scarlet, gold, green and brown to use in craft projects.¬† He loved cooking in the kitchen…I’ve included one of the recipes¬†below, along with the craft activity we did and the title of the¬†story we read. If you’d like¬†more story/craft/cooking ideas, you can go to the activities page of my website: http://www.positiveparentalparticipation.com/News.php¬†


You will need: 3 lbs tart cooking apples (peeled, cored and quartered), 1 Tb honey, 3/4 cup water, 1 pinch cinnamon or nutmeg, and a large saucepan with a lid.

  1. Combine the apples, water and honey in the pan, cover and bring to a boil. 
  2. Lower the heat and simmer till very soft and mushy, about 30 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon or nutmeg and serve hot or cold.
  4. Store in covered container in the refrigerator.  Use within a few days.  Makes about 4-6 servings.

The story suggestion for the above recipe is THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD.¬† This classic tale of a little engine with a positive attitude helps preschoolers believe in themselves and encourages them to keep trying, even if they don’t succeed at first.¬† Jeremy loved the story…he is excited about all trains right now…when I finished, he said, “More book, Nanu!”

A container train with moving wheels is a¬†craft project will enable your child to have a whole fleet of trains…if you both have the time and patience.¬†¬† For each train car you will need: 1 clean quart-sized cardboard¬†milk or juice container, construction paper, paste, scissors, markers and metal paper fasteners.¬† When we finished the train, two-year old Jeremy exclaimed, “My train, my train!”

  1. Depending on which train car your preschooler wants to make, cut the container appropriately (for example, for a coal car  Рlay the container on its side and cut off the top).
  2. Cut a piece of construction paper to fit over the outside of the container and paste it in place.
  3. Cut out 4 wheels from another piece of construction paper and attach to the container with paper fasteners.  The wheels will be able to turn!
  4. Ask your child what the name of his train is (for example: Jeremy’s Express), and write the name on the side of the train.¬† Use the markers to add details to the train.

¬†For more cooking with kids in the kitchen ideas, check out http://kidsparties.about.com where Megan Cooley, kids’ parties and celebrations guide for about.com is hosting a blog carnival for the month of November.