Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Creamless Creamy Tomato Soup and macaroni salad from America's test kitchen and Onigirazu

This tomato soup is from a special edition of America's Test Kitchen Magazine called "All time favorite recipes". I love this tomato soup and I made it a few times already. One time, I made it for a friend who just had a baby and she and her family loved it.

This tomato soup use canned tomato and does not have any cream but it is creamy and great.

In America, I think it is common to have tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich, however my son doesn't like cheese so we didn't make grilled cheese with it. But I am sure the grilled cheese will taste great with this tomato soup.

It is great with crouton and the recipe called for homemade crouton but I was too lazy to make it homemade so I just used store bought crouton.

My son love it. I am sure we are making this soup again and again especially during the winter season.

I love America's test kitchen or Cook's illustrated magazined because they try lots of different methods and come up with the ultimate one. They explain all the details and troubles they went through in the process and it is very interesting and educational, I think.

This book is a collection of their favorite recipes and it is a great one to own. I love it. I haven't made all of them yet but I sure would love to try all the recipes in there.

Well, another thing I made is "Onigirazu". This is a new version of rice ball and it seems like it is very popular in Japan at the moment. Regular rice ball is triangle or round but this one is square and you just place seaweed, then add some rice, then add some ingredients you like and add more rice on top and then wrap them with seaweed like a present. Here is how it looks.

I think the reason why it got popular is  because you can add more stuff in it and it is easier to eat than regular rice ball.

This was had Spam and lettuce in it. Spam Onigiri is very popular in Hawaii. Hawaii's spam onigiri looked like nigiri sushi. They put Spam on top and wrapped it with thin slice of seaweed.

Well, the spam was too salty but I like this shape of onigiri. I think you can come up with many different like of stuffing inside.

I also made some sushi roll since we had avocado and imitation crab. I don't know why but it was so difficult to roll these sushi. I guess I am out of practice. I got so frustrated rolling those sushi. I almost gave up but my husband calmed me down and I finished about 6 rolls. 3 of them came out OK but the other 3 were disaster. Oh well.

I also made macaroni salad from the same book which I introduced earlier.
This came out great. I Actually added more vegetables than the recipe called for.

I think this is great for potluck party or BBQ or something like that. It was really good but the portion I made was huge. We had to eat macaroni salad everyday.... Well, I am glad my husband loved it so he didn't mind eating them everyday :-)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Nutritious Vegetable Soup

When someone has a cold or when we feel like we are not eating enough vegetable, I make this vegetable soup which my mother-in-law taught me how to make. It is easy and quick but very tasty and nutritious.

Normally, my mother-in-law add vegetable bouillon and so do I but this time I just used my homemade chicken stock with salt without bouillon. It was still tasty and great.

Vegetable Soup  3~4 serving 

Green Onion  1bunch
Carrot             3
Celery            4
Zucchini        1
Raddish          7
Ginger           size of a thumb
Chicken Stock   8~10 cups
Salt and Pepper   for taste
Vegetable Oil      1 tablespoon

1, First, cut all the vegetables into small pieces.

2, Then, add vegetable oil into a pot and add ginger and green onion to saute.

3, Add Carrot, celery and raddish.

4, Add chicken Stock and simmer until vegetables are tender.

5, When vegetables are soft, add zucchini and simmer for a little bit. (I add zucchini at the end so the color stays green. A trick which I learned from my mother-in-law)

6, Serve

This is a great soup for my son since sometimes he is picky with vegetables. When I made his soup, he always always eat all the vegetables without any complaint. I love making this soup for him. Sometimes, I add small pasta or barley or rice to this soup when I want to make it more hearty.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Family visit and Halloween

It has been a while since the last post. In October, my family came to visit us in NY. It was very short and I felt really really sad when they left. I couldn't stop crying at the airpot but luckily my son kept me busy and thing get back to normal quickly.

Sometimes I wonder how my life would have been if I stayed in Japan. It was my decision to come to the U.S. and stay here and I am very happy with my choice however I would love to have families around somewhere close by. Then, I also think about those people who live in Japan but do not see their family often. When I think about it, I spend weeks with them when I go back and I think maybe we don't spend that much time together at once if we live in Japan. So maybe overall the amount of time we spend together are same or more then average. I just wish I could see them more often :-)

While they were here, I didn't cook much but my mom made Japanese breakfast for us everyday so I definitely enjoyed having someone cook Japanese breakfast for me everyday :-)

There was a Halloween Party with my son's friends while they were here so I took them to the party. They enjoyed little kids dressing up and enjoying the party.

Everybody brought some food and enjoyed the day together. I am so thankful to have such wonderful friends to share those moments with! My son is growing up so fast! I am trying to enjoy every events, every moments and every conversation with him.

While my family is here, I tried to make Red Snapper Rice (Taimeshi) with my mom. She never made this so this was first time for both of us. We got a nice big red snapper from Korean supermarket.

I think it came out pretty good but since I never had this before I was not sure how it is supposed to taste. For me, it was lacking some flavor but I guess it shouldn't have strong flavor. My aunt and uncle told me that this is how it supposed to taste so I guess we did it right. Since I LOVE ginger. I added extra ginger.

And this is a cake we ate together. It was from Whole Food. My son was so happy to see this cake but at the same time he was scared of it.

It went by so fast but I really really enjoyed the stay of my family. My son was so happy to have many people to play with. I guess this was how the family used to be. With many people in the family or more close with your neighbors and so on. Nowadays, it is rare to have such a big family but I think it might be a good environment for kids to grow up in :-)

I would love to have my family here again. I just wish the flight was shorter. I am excited for their next visit already!