The Beginning

Hello, world! I feel like the first blog post needs some kind of special introductory feel to it. So, hello. And welcome!

I have been reading blogs for a couple of years now, but this is my first foray at one of my own. As a grad student, I write a lot, so why not add something more self-designed into the mix?

I am Christa. Currently in school for library science. With an M.A. in musicology already under my belt, I am hoping to combine the two fields and become a music librarian in a couple of years. I live in Pasadena, a town just outside of Los Angeles, with my boyfriend, David. We both love to cook and go to restaurants, and I spend a lot of time “homemaking,” or at least my version of it.

My hope is that my blog will serve as a cache for favorite recipes, photography, decorating and organization ideas, and just kind of things that come up in life in general. We will just have to see where it takes me!

First and foremost, though, I want to tell you guys about this soup:

Tom kha is a Thai soup and it also happens to be David’s favorite. We made it for the first time last night and it was so good. I used a recipe from Sunset magazine and while I’m sure it’s not the most authentic recipe, it is super easy and comes together really quickly – perfect for a weeknight.

So here you go: Tom kha soup and welcome to my blog!

Tom Kha Soup (Sunset Magazine, December 2008)

1 14 oz. can coconut milk (I used light)
1 14 oz. can chicken broth (I had some homemade stock in the freezer, which I defrosted and just poured into the empty coconut milk can to measure 14 oz.)
6 quarter size slices fresh ginger
1 stalk fresh lemongrass
1 lb. chicken breast or thighs, boned, skinned, and cut into 1 in. pieces
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 tbsp. lime juice
1 tbsp. fish sauce (or soy sauce – see below)
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. chili paste

In a medium saucepan (we used the Le Creuset) combine coconut milk and chicken broth. Add the ginger and lemongrass and bring to a boil over high heat.

Add the chicken and mushrooms, lime and fish sauce. Or, if you’re us, Google “fish sauce substitutes” because I thought that fish sauce and oyster sauce were the same thing and we already had oyster sauce – but nope! Turns out an equal amount of soy sauce works and you can’t tell the difference.

We added the lime rinds after we squeezed the juice out.

Then you add the sugar and the chili paste (or garlic chili sauce, which is what we had) and reduce the heat until the soup simmers. Cook for 10 minutes or so until the chicken is cooked through. Dish into bowls and garnish with cilantro and/or basil, being sure to take out the lemongrass, ginger, and limes if you put them in. Serves 4.

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7 responses to “The Beginning

  1. How did you pick your library science program? I’m currently in an M.A.T. Adolescent Education program but I’ve always been interested in library science! Anyway, can’t wait to see more of your recipes 🙂

    • I actually had planned to go on for a PhD in Musicology, but it is not a great time for academia, so I had to alter my plans a little bit. Combined with library science, I am hoping to be able to work for a large arts organization (like the LA Opera or the LA Phil) or go back to the university setting and be an academic music librarian.

      Thanks for being my first comment ever on the blog! So awesome!

  2. Looks like a great recipe…was it a really “light” soup? What do recommend to serve with the soup?

    • It’s not a light feeling soup like a gazpacho because of the coconut milk – even though I used “light” coconut milk, it still has quite a bit of heft to it. If you mean light calorie-wise, Sunset lists it at 350 calories per serving, which isn’t too bad.
      With all the chicken and mushrooms, it was pretty filling, but you could serve it with rice (we just had plain brown rice with it) or spring/egg rolls. Not really a “soup and salad” kind of soup.

  3. Welcome to the blog world. I’m a newbie too. Looking forward to more of your recipes.

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