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last time we made this soup, our President’s Day skiing weekend was interrupted by a complete whiteout winter storm. One that left visibility that didn’t go beyond the end of the deck outside. The vegetables were limited to what we had on hand as you can see in the photos, but it was a great soup for a cold winter’s day!

Our version, which adds the chicken from a store bought rotisserie chicken as well as broth derived from the same chicken, creates a soup with a richness that is a big hit with the whole family. As we are cooking for children, we leave the chilies out and let the adults add according to their own taste.  Sometimes we add a tablespoon or two of fish sauce.

Traditionally seasoned with kaffir lime leaves, this recipe simply uses both lime zest and juice. Straw mushrooms give it an authentic look, while creamy coconut milk adds an enticing aroma. Thai Coconut Soup is almost always served with rice.

Ingredients for soup base:
3 cans (14 oz.) coconut milk (lite or regular, not sweetened)
2 stalks lemongrass, tough outer leaves removed
3 tablespoons minced ginger
3 kaffir lime leaves, or 1 teaspoon lime zest
1 stalk celery, diced (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup minced cilantro
2 cups chicken broth (or one can)

To prepare soup base:
This is a great soup to make with a store bought rotisserie chicken. Make chicken broth by placing the chicken in a large stock pot and cover with water just over the top of the chicken. Add a bay leaf, about 5 peppercorns, a few sprigs of parsley, a few sprigs of thyme if you have it, a teaspoon of salt and a few cloves of garlic, crushed with the back of a heavy knife. Bring the liquid to a boil,and simmer for an hour or two.



Ingredients for vegetables noodles or rice:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
3 scallions, slice into 1/4 rounds
1 carrot, diced
1 red pepper, diced
5 oz. dry rice noodles, or 2 cups cooked rice
1/2 cup basil, chopped
Leftover rotisserie chicken (and broth), OR 1/2 to 1 lb. medium shrimp, cooked, OR 1 lb. Skirt steak

Place the coconut milk in a large saucepan. Cut the lemongrass in half across, and then lengthwise. Crush with the back of a heavy knife and add to the pan. Add the ginger lime leaves or zest, celery, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, broth, salt and pepper to taste, and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Boil gently for 5 minutes and then remove from the heat and let infuse, covered, while cooking the broth and vegetables.

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan, add the onion, carrot, and red pepper and sauté over medium heat for about 2 minutes.


Strain the coconut liquid into the saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the noodles and cook until tender. (Or, if serving with rice, just add rice to the soup as desired before eating.) Add the basil, cooked beef, shrimp, or chicken and season to taste. This soup is also delicious served with shredded pork, lobster, or scallops.

*Ingredients for beef or shrimp:

1 lb. skirt steak, cut across grain into pieces about 1/8″ thick
2 tablespoons soy sauce (LA CHOY is Gluten Free)
2 tablespoons sesame oil

Meat Prep (for Beef or Shrimp):
Place the beef or shrimp in a bowl, add the soy sauce and sesame oil, and let marinate for at least 30 minutes, or preferably 2-3 hours. Heat a wok or skillet over high heat. Add the beef or shrimp and the marinade and sear for 8-10 min. for beef, and 4-5 min. for shrimp, or until liquid has evaporated.

So we are blessing Charlie over Labor Day weekend (how appropriate) and I’ve got a serious entertainers itch when it comes to family events and entertaining. Maybe it’s because I live oh, 300 miles away from all of them. Or that the rural-ness that I live in breeds PARTY in me every once in awhile, but I’ve been ah-experimenting. For Charlie’s big day, I’ve been having fun with how I could use some letterpress goods and show you what I was thinking these could be used for when I designed them! (Since every one thinks they are book-marks or something :) You’re probably asking me “Where did you get that acid-green cocktail?” To be perfectly honest? Mountain Dew tastes a 110% better in a fluted champagne glass than it ever did in a can! And it matched those aspen tags perfectly. Thank …

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Ever wonder what one does when a babysitter is scarce and printing needs to be done? Enter playdough. I’m not a big mess encourager (except for paint) and now I can’t believe I haven’t made playdough before! It is a mindless, hour over hour kid entertainer. No fights ensued today! Lots of printing got done. Totally worth the cleanup involved afterwards. Photos from the press tomorrow and over the next week!  Recipe: 2C. Water, 2C. salt, 1c. Flour. Add all ingredients into pot on cooktop and stir constantly on low heat until it balls up. Prepare for dead-arm. Keep stirring until its on the drier side. Remove from pot and let cool for a minute of two, add food coloring and knead in. If its still a little sticky, let sit out for about an hour (the kids won’t be happy about this). Keeps …

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So I know this isn’t GRAPHIC DESIGN related but I think gardening has it’s own art and design elements in which I love to be a part of. It’s like having babies but not so painful and the rewards are almost as good! This is for my good friend Lexie who asked me where I get my seeds from.  So without further distractions, here we go! I get my seeds from Park Seed Company. This will be my first full-blown veggie garden, which I think will be great on the pocket book this year as the economy continues to dip. I attempted a garden last year but there was such a great and long winter that the growing season was cut too short. To help aid in my uneducated seed-starting and to ensure I get something out of the garden this year, I’ve invested …

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After getting a few hours of sleep last night I thought I’d check out what votives were available on Etsy and here were a few delicious finds… From PolkaDotCandle there are lots of delicious flavors including Plumeria and Orange Blossom, both of which are bright and fun and I’m sure smell delicious! With votives though, one always needs a unique holder to display it in, enter ElementClayStudio’s Micro, Urchin clay votive holder. I could use a couple of these in my kids rooms and bathrooms for sure!

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My amazing mom was a caterer when I was young and instilled early in me a LOVE for all things dishes. Instead of paying taxes she purchased (legally, mind you) dishes for her business. Among her collection are original Fiesta ware, Villeroy and Boch, Waterford Crystal, Spode, Mikasa, Dansk, and more. I have to say my favorite memories as a child were scouting antique stores for Fiesta ware or the unique little tea cup or tea pot. I remember for one of my birthdays as a young girl wanting an english tea party. I think I was turning 5. We set out round tables in the backyard and everyone wore their fancy garb. One of the gifts my mom gave me was my first teapot, a china blue squarish pot perfect for a small child’s fingers. I haven’t collected much myself since …

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