Friday, February 29, 2008

thai shrimp and coconut soup

Welcome to
Cooking with the Lunch Lady

Lest the thoughts of school lunch deter you from trying this recipe, let me assure you, your school lunch lady never made anything like this. The following soup is delicious, and fast and easy. Give it a try. You'll like it. (Even though it lacks all the fabulous cooking photography that seems to be the MO on blogs.)

Thai Shrimp and Coconut Soup

1 Tblsp sesame oil
1 lb medium fresh shrimp, peeled (or thawed, frozen precooked and peeled shrimp is ok)
1 Tblsp fresh grated ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1-2 tsp Thai green curry paste (red Asian chili sauce may be substituted)
5-6 c low-sodium chicken broth
1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk
3 Tblsp fish sauce (optional)
2-3 Tblsp fresh lime juice
1 Tblsp brown sugar
2 green onions, cut into ½" pices (about 1/4 c) optional

Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add shrimp; stir-fry 2-3 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. Transfer shrimp to a plate. Add ginger, garlic, and bell pepper to pot, and saute 1-2 minutes or until tender. Stir in curry paste, broth, coconut milk, and, if desired, fish sauce. Add lime juice and brown sugar, and bring to a boil; reduce heat, and let simmer 5 minutes. Stir in shrimp. Garnish, if desired.

Yes, there are a few unusual ingredients, but they are worth the nominal investment, because you will want to make this soup over and over. If the idea of fish sauce is more than you can take, leave it out. If you can hack it, try it. Don't be turned off by the idea (or even the smell). It adds a nice subtle nuance to the soup, and is not at all offensive when actually in the soup. DO NOT TRY FISH SAUCE STRAIGHT FROM THE BOTTLE. If you do, you'll get what you deserve. There. I've warned you, and that's all I can do.

As the Swedish Chef might say "Gluten Gleeben Gloten Globen."

Or whatever.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

i like pink too

I went to help in the Littlest Carrotstick's kindergarten class today. I wore a pink sweater.

All the little girls thought I was the coolest,
'cause I was wearing pink just like them!!

We are all going to be BFF.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

it's p.m.s. poem tuesday

Welcome to a new feature on my blog -- PMS Poem Tuesday.

(Dear Male Reader: please do not let the title of this post preclude you from enjoying the following poem. The PMS Poem Tuesday poems aren't about a certain topic, they merely reflect a certain crankiness. I promise not to refer to a certain event in way other than in the title.)

The following poem was unwittingly submitted to me by my brother-in-law Lawyer.

It is by the poet Billy Collins.

Another Reason Why I Don't Keep a Gun In The House

The neighbors' dog will not stop barking./ He is barking the same high, rhythmic bark/ that he barks every time they leave the house./ They must switch him on on their way out.

The neighbors' dog will not stop barking./ I close all the windows in the house/ and put on a Beethoven symphony full blast/ but I can still hear him muffled under the music./ barking, barking, barking.

and now I can see him sitting in the orchestra,/ his head raised confidently as if Beethoven/ had included a part for barking dog.

When the record finally ends he is still barking,/ sitting there in the oboe section barking/ his eyes fixed on the conductor who is/ entreating him with his baton.

while the other musicians listen in respectful/ silence to the famous barking dog solo,/ that endless coda that first established/ Beethoven as an innovative genius.

Thanks Billy. My sentiments exactly.
Although I cannot promise this post topic will always occur on a Tuesday, it will be a regular feature. If you have a poem you would like included in the next P.M.S. Poem Tuesday (or Wednesday, or Friday) please let me know. I'm sure there has to be something by Emily D. that would work. Or maybe Walt . . . The possibilities are endless .....

Thursday, February 21, 2008

scouts honor

The other day the Middle Carrotstick was getting ready to go to Cub Scouts. The Littlest Carrotstick looked at him in his uniform, and said, "So, you're going to Corn Scouts."

Middle Carrotstick looked at him like he was crazy. "What?" he said.

"You're going to Corn Scouts."

"It's Cub Scouts."
"Dummy" was added to the end of that sentence, unspoken, but very implied.

"No, it's not," he argued. "It's Corn. Look at the badge --" and he pointed at the Scout Emblem. "See, it's Corn. Not a Cub. Or a Boy. So you," he finished smugly, "You are a Corn Scout."
I think we all know who the real cornball is.

Friday, February 15, 2008


The littlest Carrotstick got his first loose tooth in January. He enjoyed wiggling it for a couple of days, and then asked his dad to pull it out. Thank goodness PB&J was home, because I don't do extractions. Or blood. My grossness tolerance only goes as far as cleaning up puke and wiping bums. Here's the play-by-play, so you, too, can enjoy the experience:

Now if only I could have recorded the little popping sound the tooth made as PB&J pulled it out of its socket. Eeeewww.

Like all good children, he put the tooth under his pillow that night, with big dreams of what the Tooth Fairy might bring. Last time his brother lost a tooth, the Tooth Fairy missed him 4 nights in a row. When she finally came, she gave him $4 to make up for it. He was hoping the Tooth Fairy wouldn't come for 100 days, so he could get 100 bucks. As it was the little capitalist only got 1 measly dollar.

(thanks for the play-by-play slideshow idea, Liz)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

a well-balanced life

PB&J, as seen here with his little sister, has recently decided to take up Yoga. He feels that the way yoga harmonizes the mind with the body is simply invaluable. All too often he has felt handicapped because of the confusions and conflicts in his mind. Moreover, as he says, stress, which in reality is the #1 killer, can be corrected through the wonderful yoga practice of meditation. In reality, yoga = meditation, because both work together in achieving the common goal of unity of mind, body and spirit – a state of eternal bliss. For PB&J, yoga creates a remarkable calmness and a positive outlook, (both of which he needs) and it also has tremendous benefits on the physical health of the body.

Blah blah blah-blah blah blah.

I prefer chocolate.

Monday, February 4, 2008

euphemistically speaking

The middle Carrotstick reported that today one of his friends had been
"kicked in the Pit of Death."


Where do they come up with these things?