Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Outlander Locales

The Outlander book series, is Historical fiction (written by Diana Gabaldon), which, of course, often refers to real locations, real historical figures, real facts sooo when I began reading with book One of the series, The Outlander, right away I did research on various locations mentioned, historical figures, dress and foods of the times, etc. I even researched and found the recipe (and made it) for Cock a Leekie Soup which you can find here: Cock a Leekie Soup Recipe

I didn't start saving photos until I was well into the second book and decided then that it would be cool to blog a post about the locales noted in the books so this is the beginning of just such a blog post (I will be adding to it as I go along).  I hope you enjoy these photos as much as I do ... kinda nice to put a photo with a name.  I may even go back and try to post a blog about the historical figures noted in the series with their photos (portraits).

Oh and by the way ... I'm presently almost at the end of the fourth book ... I've got a ways to go to catch up to ya'll who have read them all ... and the eighth is out this month, I believe.

Beauly Priory
Callendar House, Falkirk, Scotland
Culloden House, Inverness, Scotland
Bonnie Prince Charlie used Culloden House as his lodging and battle headquarters
prior to the fateful battle on Culloden Moor.  Presently a hotel ... good to know
its still standing, huh?  The beautiful countryside makes me want to visit Scotland!
Closeup of Culloden House
English Dragoon
Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh, Scotland
Older pic of Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, Scotland showing the gates
which are referred to often.
I love maps and thought this one of Scotland pretty cool!
The World's End Pub, Edinburgh, Scotland ... still a pub today!
Tolbooth Prison, Edinburgh, Scotland
Remains of Urquhart Castle, sits beside Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands,
Inverness, Scotland
Now this 1763 (exact time period Claire and Jamie were here) West Indies Map
was pretty cool to come across, especially since a lot of these islands
now have different names
Rose Hall, Kingston, Jamaica
Locale of Geillis Duncan's sugar plantation.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Sausage, Cannellini and Spinach Soup

Another Pinterest find and a winner!  You could easily add a small pasta (Ditalini, Conchiglie or even a Fusilli) to this soup and it would be equally delicious!  It's also a very quick and easy soup to make.  Why ever eat canned soup when making homemade is soooo soooo easy? 

Since hubby and I are empty nesters and don't like eating the same thing for days on end ... leftovers one day is wonderful but more then that... NOT.  Every soup recipe on my blog is freezable.  Let leftovers completely cool, then measure 2 cup servings into freezer bags and lay them flat to freeze.  To reheat, just break them into four pieces (while still in freezer bag), place in a small pot and put on low for about 20 minutes ... perfect!  You can microwave to reheat too but I prefer not.  When freezing soups containing pasta or potatoes, after cooling at room temp, place in fridge for a couple hours (or overnight) then measure and place into freezer bags.  This keeps the pasta and potatoes from going mushy ... eeeew!!!

This is a healthy soup especially if you use organic ingredients like we do.

Sausage, Cannellini and Spinach Soup
(adapted from

5 Mild (Chicken) Italian Sausage Links, removed from casings
1 Tblsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup Chopped Onion
2-3 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 can Cannellini Beans, rinsed and drained
2 cans Diced Tomatoes
2 cans Chicken Broth
2 Big Handfuls Baby Spinach
3 Tblsps Fresh Basil, chopped OR 1 Tblsp Dried Basil*

Heat EVOO in a large soup pot and cook Sausage until just about browned, stiring to crumble.  Add Onion and Garlic* and cook an additional 2-3 minutes.  Add Beans, Tomatoes and Chicken Broth, stirring gently so as not to break up the beans.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Uncover and simmer on medium low heat for about 15 minutes or so.

Remove from heat.  Stir in Spinach and Basil.  *When using Dried Basil, add at same time as Onions and Garlic. 

Top with freshly grated Parmesan, if desired.