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‘Kristy Bock’ Category

This is my favorite Pho Soup recipe. If you’ve never had Pho, today is the day to rectify that travesty. Here it is – I made perfect Pho Soup from it on the first try!

xoxo Kristy D. Bock


  • 1 large white onion, peeled and halved
  • 3-inch piece of fresh ginger, halved lengthwise
  • 5 star anise
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 3 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
  • 8 cups good-quality beef stock (or chicken or vegetable stock)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • fine sea salt, to taste

Kristy’s Favorite Pho Soup Ingredients

  • 8 ounces raw steak, very thinly sliced (or chicken, pork, or shrimp — see notes below)
  • 7 ounces uncooked thin rice noodles
  • garnishes: fresh herbs (cilantro, mint, and/or Thai basil), bean sprouts, lime wedges, thinly-sliced chiles (Thai bird chiles or jalapeños), thinly-sliced onions (green onions or white onions), sauces (hoisin and/or sriracha)
  1. Char the onions and ginger*. Turn the oven broiler to high, and place the baking rack about 8 inches away from the heating elements.  Place the onion and ginger cut-side-up on a baking sheet, and brush with a bit of oil.  Broil for about 7-10 minutes, until the tops of the onion and ginger are slightly charred.  Remove and set aside.
  2. Make the broth. Meanwhile, heat the anise, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and coriander to a large stockpot over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes until fragrant.  Add in the charred onion, ginger, stock, and stir to combine.  Continue cooking until the broth reaches a simmer.  Then reduce heat to medium-low, cover with a lid, and continue to simmer for at least 30 minutes.  Strain out (and discard) the onions, ginger and spices.  Stir in the fish sauce and sweetener into the hot broth.  Then finally, taste and season the broth with salt as needed.
  3. Prep the noodles. Meanwhile, as your broth is simmering, cook the noodles separately al dente according to the package instructions.  Drain in a strainer, then briefly rinse the noodles with cold water to prevent them from continuing to cook.  (I also recommend tossing the noodles with a drizzle of oil — such as sesame oil — to prevent them from sticking.)
  4. Assemble.  Now the fun part!  Add a handful of noodles to each individual serving bowl.  Portion the steak between each serving bowl.  Then ladle the still-simmering hot broth into the serving bowls, being sure to submerge the steak completely so that it gets cooked*.  Top each bowl with lots and lots of garnishes, and finish with a squeeze of lime juice.
  5. Serve immediately.  Encouraging everyone to stir the garnishes into the soup so that they can flavor the broth, also adding in additional extra sauces if desired.

Dear You,

There are plenty of things beyond my scope of intelligence, physical aptitude, socioeconomic status, and ambitions. For example, I don’t want to be a psychiatrist. At no point my life have I thought, “Hm. I think I’ll listen to someone else’s problems all day.” The thought has never occurred to me because I inherently know I’d be terrible at it. I’m too empathetic, and want to help people fix things by jumping right in with solutions. I’m not a sympathetic listener as much as I’m an absorb-your-problem-and-make-it-mine listener. I get some perverse kick out of fixing other people’s problems. It’s almost as if I can feel a sense of superiority for those few moments to make up for the rest.

My name is…

Kristy Bock, and I struggle with all things beyond my scope. Not just certain things, but with everything. We’re not at a point in our relationship where I can be totally honest, but my truth is that every aspect of my life has taught me one single fact; I live in two words, one that is quite literal, and one that is imagined. Don’t judge me too harshly, I think most of us do.

The literal part of my brain drives the survival functions of my life. I will always remember to eat, sleep, and breathe. I often feel if this were the dominate part of my personality, I’d get much further in life. My survival skills are incredible but I’m also the worst at follow-through. Survive and thrive are two very different things. So while I’ll always eat, sleep, and breathe, at this moment I sincerely doubt I’ll ever reach the potential I see in my mind as I cannot let go of the struggle.

I’m currently listening to:

Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind” by 99U. I found it on Amazon while I was mindlessly searching the self-help section of Audibles. I can’t seem to figure out how to fix myself, and as a core part of my personality is to nurture, that’s problematic for my mental state. I’ll often talk about my mental state because it drives what I can, and what I cannot do. 

Here are a few facts to help further the narrative I’m attempting to convey. In 2013 I was diagnosed with Social Anxiety, Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). When my progress stalled out, more tests were done and I was given another diagnosis, ADHD. At the time I was elated to learn that it wasn’t a permanent struggle. Seven years later, I’m still struggling with the same problems just with a different perspective.

The scope of my excuses…

I’ve led an unorthodox life marred by piss-poor decision making skills, and no defined self-worth. It’s easy to want to place blame on a shitty childhood, or emotionally distant parents, but the reality is I’m 41 years old, the blame lay squarely on my shoulders. I know I have to try harder. That my climb is a little steeper because my brain works against me. I have to learn to live within the scope of things I can control. As I’ve learned that there are plenty of things beyond my scope, my health, well-being, and sense of self are all well within my purview.

That leads to where I am today, with one question I’ve posed to myself: How long will I continue to abuse myself through self-sabotage? I’ve pushed away the good influences in my life and clung to the influences that keep me wrapped in a cocoon of instability.

I’m only on the first chapter, but I’m going to share a few quotes that stuck with me. Under the heading “Own The Problem” this quote stayed with me. Our individual practices ultimately determine what we do and how well we do it. This is within my scope. I highlighted the sentence on my Kindle because it’s incredibly accurate and speaks to the connection between my mental well-being and my self of accomplishment. As I’ve spent a lifetime in survival mode, I simply lack the skill set to manage a life without trauma.

I’m going to end this blog with the three things I’m proud of this morning.

The phrase ‘Beyond my scope’ has become a sort of mantra to give myself permission to accept that I have no control over the thoughts or actions of others. While I want to move all the pieces on the chess board, I only get to be the queen.

1.) I woke up, took a shower, brushed my teeth, and did a workout video.

2.) I wrote this blog.

3.) I got dressed including shoes. Pajama pants, but this is a start.

In closing…

I cannot control things outside my scope, but I don’t have to include them in my struggle. My inner nurturer may want to take the world on and agree to every request. I must accept that in order to be a contributing member of society, I must first learn to complete three tasks a day. This will help me build a routine that allows my mental health to flourish instead of flounder.

Thank you for reading about my journey. I hope this is the first step in learning to be more consistent, and accountable. I want to write daily, spend time focusing on my physical well-being, and interact with humans that do not live in my house. These are the three areas I’ll be focusing on over the next few weeks. Join me so we can all turn our struggles into successes and avoid taking ownership of things beyond our scope.