Rachel Chew: Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Sometimes it helps to show your young cooks a video of what they’re going to make.

Often the excitement kicks in just a few minutes sooner than with analog recipes, and those seemingly random steps (the instructions) might make a bit more sense to them.

Rachel Chew from Elephantine makes nice short easy-to-follow recipe videos. I like ’em.

And if you get started with her Pineapple Upside-Down Cake video, then – whoo-hoo! – there’s your dessert for tonight.

[Rachel Chew on Vimeo]

Cheap Thrills Cuisine: Provençal Vegetarian Soup

It’s a hearty soup and it’s vegetarian and it’s served with a nice crusty French loaf.

Happy yum, I’ll take a bowl, yes please and thank you.

It’s also Provençal, and off the top of my head I’m not entirely sure what that word means. Can you look that up for me, please, when we’re done eating?

Turnips. Turnips? Turnips!

[Thanks, Cheap Thrills!]


Provençal Vegetarian Soup from Cheap Thrills Cuisine

In a large pot, sauté in ¼ cup olive oil:

  • 2 cups ½-inch diced leeks
  • 2 Tablespoons minced garlic

Cook for 2 minutes.


  • 1 cup each of ½-inch diced carrots, red pepper, and celery
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 2 Tablespoons pesto
  • 2 cups halved grape tomatoes

Cover. Cook for 5 minutes.

Blend in:

  • 6 cups tomato juice
  • 2 cups water or vegetable stock


  • 1 cup ½-inch diced turnip
  • 2 cups sliced Savoy cabbage

Season with:

  • 2 Tablespoons dried marjoram or oregano
  • 2 Tablespoons dried tarragon
  • 2 small bay leaves

Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes until the turnip is done. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Serves 6-8 with crusty French loaf.

Pot of Gold Soup

Is it cold where you are? Make haste to the kitchen to prepare this little soup!

Temperatures where I live need to go up just a skosh, therefore, unless you tell me this will taste fantastic chilled, I shall be saving it for later in the year when it’s time to encourage lower temperatures.

Either way, the more people you have helping to make it, the sooner you’ll be able to tuck in and sigh contentedly at such a tummy-warming meal.


Pot of Gold Soup (slightly tweaked from FamilyFun)

2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, finely chopped
3 medium apples
2 medium butternut squashes (about 3 pounds)
1 cup apple juice or cider

3 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
Salt and pepper

1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add the chopped onion and saute until soft and translucent. Remove the onion from the heat.

2. Now set your kids to work peeling the apples while you peel, seed, and chop the squash. Core and chop the peeled apples.

3. Add the apples, squash, juice or cider, and vegetable stock to the onions and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and simmer partially covered for 25 minutes.

4. Stir occasionally, clean up the kitchen, and set the table while you’re waiting.

5. Add the brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and salt and pepper. Puree the soup, reheat, and serve. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Now where can I get such a lovely little pot o’ gold-looking soup bowl?

That Bat Jar from Martha Stewart

I haven’t made this craft yet, so I don’t know if it’s as easy to make as I think it is.

It looks not much more complicated than gluing beans to a bat shape, smooshing the shape to the edge of a glass jar, and then filling the rest of the jar with a contrasting color bean. Yes? No?

Work your favorite bean soup in there, if you can!

If bats aren’t your thing – and they quite understandably very well might not be – draw another shape and glue your beans to that. Silhouettes of the family, perhaps?

Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to the bulk section of my favorite health food store to scoop out some beans I go! (Oh dear…those lyrics need some tweaking now don’t they? I’ll work on it.)

From one of Martha Stewart’s interns. Nifty.

If you can’t stand the heat, take the kitchen outside

If I do the cooking, will you make one of these outdoor kitchens for me?

Click on the picture and scroll down: StudioMama was kind enough to provide helpful instructions, including the need to wait for a summer day.

Just a heads up, I don’t have a backyard, just a balcony. You’ll have to get the hose to reach up that high. I have confidence you can do it.

Thank you, and shall I start with a nice pot of vegetable soup?

[Thank you! Such a cool site…!]

Tokyo Miso

According to my newspaper today, Kojiya Saburoemon is the only miso maker in Tokyo.

Located in Nerima Ward, the family business is 120 years old, and it makes approximately 30 tons (27, 216 Kg) of miso each year. Oh boy oh boy that’s a whole bunch of miso.

Does someone know where this shop is located? The newspaper article didn’t mention any contact information…I want to visit!

I’ll bring my own cucumbers, if that helps. (I agree with the caption to one photograph: Fresh miso on cucumber is the best way to sample miso.)

Well, while I’m waiting for someone to provide more information, I’ll study the kanji for miso.

Say hey hey, if you like miso, do you also like Marmite and Vegemite?

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