my friend wrote a book and i made some soup. same thing.

good morning.

my friend valorie wrote a book.

i am proud of people who do shit for themselves and don't sit around bitching about things. 


valorie hart is a cool chick with pink hair and floral pants.  

she was one of my first blog supporters.

in fact she was the one who spread the word about mfamb so in a way..

i have lots to thank her for.


she sent me a copy of house proud and asked me to spread the word about it.


i liked her book a lot. 

i like how it's totally real life decorating.

there isn't a lot of fancy within the pages, it is all very attainable and charming and homey.

and there is A LOT of color. 


here are some of my favorite images..


all homes featured are located in louisiana.

including valorie's own charming abode.


i featured this book on my holiday gift guide and i stand by that decree. 

get it for yourself, your mom, your auntie..

your uncle newell.


i give it 5 out of 5 chloes...



it's cold outside and that means you want soup.


i have the perfect soup for you. 

this soup is amazing for stuffy noses, sore throats and just generally warming your bones and filling your belly. 


thai coconut curry soup.

this is fiona's favorite soup and she asks for it all the time.


i adapted the recipe from here.

adapted because i think the original is slightly flawed.

#1...the recipe doesn't use enough thai curry paste. isn't sweet enough.

and #3....i don't use chicken. 

but you could.

frankly i don't think it needs it.

the flavors are so strong and beautiful..i think the meat just gets in the way.

plus i was full for hours after i ate it so to me, the meat just isn't necessary.

but i wouldn't balk at a few pieces of shrimp in there. 

or even leftover chicken.  


here is my adapted version:


2 14 ounce cans premium coconut milk 

1/4 cup Thai curry paste (basically half the jar. i use this one.) 

1 to 2 teaspoons agave nectar (or sugar to taste. i like my coconut curry soup a little sweet but if you don't, you can omit all forms of sweetener.  but i don't recommend that.)

1 bunch cilantro roots, rinsed well  

2 cups chicken broth 

1 carrot, shredded 

1 red bell pepper, cut into strips

4 or 5 lime leaves ( i used dried but fresh is better)

1 stalk lemon grass, halved lengthwise, woody leaves removed 

2 tablespoons fish sauce (i probably used a little more than this amount)

2 limes zest and juice 

a small knob fresh ginger  

8 ounce package rice noodles, cooked. 

a word about rice noodles..

the original recipe says to just heat the noodles in the broth, but i have does this and it doesn't work. trust.

i cooked the noodles according to the package directions.

i used these.  

1 bunch cilantro leaves, rinsed well 

2 or 3 green onions, thinly sliced 


a sprinkle or two salt or soy sauce (i used salt)



Scoop the thick coconut cream from the top of just one of the cans into a large stockpot set over a medium-high heat. Melt the cream, add the curry paste and stir for a few minutes until they begin to sizzle. 
Add the cilantro roots, the coconut juice from the first can and all the contents of the second can along with the chicken broth, carrot, bell pepper, lime leaves, lemon grass, fish sauce, agave nectar or sugar, and lime zest and juice. Grate the ginger into the broth with a Microplane grater or standard box grater. Simmer for 20 minutes or so. 
Add the cooked rice noodles.
Stir in most of the cilantro leaves. Remove the lemon grass stalks. Taste and season with a touch more salt (or soy sauce) as needed. Ladle into large bowls and garnish with the green onions, sliced avocado and remaining cilantro leaves. 


i promise you this is the yummiest coconut soup you'll ever eat.