Everyday Reading

October 1, 2014

Thai Coconut Soup with Chicken and Rice

Super quick and delicious thai coconut soup packed with rice and chicken. Definitely a winner!

A week or so ago, Kayla told me she'd made a recipe from one of my Pinterest boards and it was fantastic. 

Of course, I hadn't even remotely thought about making it myself yet, but her recommendation spurred me to action. 

Kayla was not wrong. And not only did it taste amazing, but it was also super quick and easy. Totally the perfect fall dinner. 

Bart and I both had second helpings, even when we were approaching the overly-full point, and I'm eagerly looking forward to having the leftovers for lunch today.

One perk of being pregnant is that you can pretty much always claim the leftovers (and, conversely, you can claim that the baby is not in the mood for unappealing leftovers). 

Super quick and delicious thai coconut soup packed with rice and chicken. Definitely a winner!

Thai Coconut Soup with Chicken and Rice
(slightly adapted from Favorite Family Recipes

Note: I used 1/4 teaspoon of chili powder when I made it and it was pretty spicy (my lips were tingling by the time I finished my bowl and we put sour cream in the girls' servings to cool it down so they could eat it). But the chili powder I used, which was already in the cupboard of this London flat, was labeled "hot chili powder" so it may have been extra spicy. I'd start with the 1/8 teaspoon and add more if you want more heat. 

3 Tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon curry powder 
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 
1/4 teaspoon ginger 
1/4 teaspoon. paprika 
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon chili powder (or 1/4 if you like it hotter)
1 large carrot, grated
2 cups chicken broth 
1 15-ounce can coconut milk
1-2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 1/2 cups cooked rice
2 Tablespoons lime juice 
1 Tablespoons soy sauce 

In a large pot or dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat, then stir in the spices and let cook for about 30 seconds, stirring frequently. Add the carrots, stir to combine and let cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until the carrots are soft. 

Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a low boil, then let simmer for about 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately. 

We ate ours with naan bread which was not a bad decision. 

Super quick and delicious thai coconut soup packed with rice and chicken. Definitely a winner!

September 29, 2014

All Ella

After her four-year-old shots (and Ani's 18-month-old shots)
Ella: [sniffling] Ani was much MUCH braver than I was. Which is quite surprising since I'm older.

On a car ride telling us about the money she got for her birthday (a $2 bill) and the penny she found at IKEA
Ella: And if you guys ever run out of money, you can just ask me for some. Because I have plenty.

Ani is sobbing in her carseat and Ella opens up her animal encyclopedia to cheer her up.
Ella: There is no reason to cry if you're looking at meerkats, is there? No, of course not.

One evening, Ella desperately wanted to pretend she was getting married, but Bart and I were cleaning up the dishes and trying to hustle everyone to bed.
Ella: [bursting into tears] My wedding isn't going the way I want it to at ALL!

To Bart
Ella: You ruffian!
Bart: . . . .
Ella: Why did I even say that? I don't even know what that means.

While I buckled her in the car after leaving the library
Ella: How long until we're home?
Janssen: About five minutes.
Ella: I would prefer five seconds. [arches her eyebrows] I would much, MUCH prefer it.

After asking if my dad was going to be around in the afternoon to play with her when we got back from errands.
Ella: He said he would play with me. So I think he'll be there to play with me.
[long pause]
Ella: And who wouldn't want to play? Especially a grandpa? That's what I'd like to know.

Out of nowhere, Ella calls out from her bottom seat in the stroller
Ella: Mom, Dad, I need to tell you something I think you'll be interested to hear.
Us: Okay.
Ella: I've just realized that actually I'm the boss.

At Grandma's house at dinner
Janssen: You need to eat four bites of dinner.
Ella: No, I already know it's going to taste like junk.

Taking her first bite of pain au chocolat
Ella: This is so freaking dang good.

Eating animal crackers in the backseat of the car
Ella: Look, Mom, a lion!
Janssen: What? Oh, one of your crackers?
Ella: Yes. Did you think I meant a real lion?
Janssen: Yep.
Ella: Oh, and were you like, "what the heck?"

After a long long day of driving in Germany
Ella: [tugging on her carseat straps] Can you let me out of my trap?

(More Ella hilarity here)

September 26, 2014

London Adventures: Borough Market

When we arrived in London on Thursday, we took the weekend pretty easy. We'd just been going, going, going for so many weeks, it was nice to have some lazy mornings, lots of reading picture books on the couch, and eating meals at home.

But, of course, with London outside your window, you can't stay in forever.

One of the places I was most excited to go back to was the Borough Market. I'd gone a couple of times when I was study abroad and loved it every time, but Bart had never been.

When I looked it up for directions, I discovered that the Borough Market was celebrating 1000 years this year. Yeesh, Europe is old.

But it's looking good despite being completely ancient.

It's a huge outdoor market under the rail tracks and there are so many stalls and booths and tiny shops you can hardly make your way to all of them. It's a perfect outing for little kids because there is so much to look at and plenty of things to eat. We opted not to take our stroller, but there were plenty of people with them and it seemed to be fine too.

We spent about an hour and a half wandering around, trying dozens of samples. Even Ella, who tends toward pickiness right now, would try basically everything, including partridge and cashew pate(!).

Our favorite samples were brownies, mushroom pate, some amazing tomato chutney, and a balsamic glaze for dipping bread in. And, of course, some amazing salted caramel fudge. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it all again.

It made for a really fun morning, and we'll definitely be back again.

And now that we're settled in, the real adventures are starting. Tomorrow we're off on our first day trip and we're trying to hit fun places during the week, both as a family when Bart's not in school and the girls and me by ourselves when he is. Yesterday, we hit the British Museum in the morning, which Ella unexpectedly loved.

And, obviously about ten million trips to the park.


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