THE WAY TUGEAU
We all want to get things fixed up for spring! and especially when moving into a new home for the family. So some of the storybook family says Let’s Go to the Hardware Store in this most delightful book from Anne Rockwell and illustrated by our own MELISSA IWAI! Published by Christy Ottaviano from Henry Holt……Happy Launch Day!
Melissa put so much detail into this book with many cut papers carefully placed just so. That fun inclusive detail is what readers will go back again and again to see and re-see. As their parents work with the tools we all must have, the kids will remember seeing them ‘at the Hardware Store.’ Such fun! Good for boys and girls (and parents!) of all sizes, ages and ethnic backgrounds…. make it a family trip…….!
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January is National Soup Month! It’s gotten colder here, so soup is the perfect go to meal for us. I love soup so much I wrote a book about it.
It is featured on Library Sparks’ activity calendar for January which you can download for free here. (Did you know it’s also Happy Get Organized Month and Happy Brainteaser Month? I bet you didn’t!)
Soup Day was inspired by my son, Jamie. I created Snowy Day Soup (the recipe of which is at the end of the story) to get him to eat his veggies when he was a toddler. We’d choose the vegetables together at the market, and I’d let him cut the soft ones like the mushrooms, with a plastic knife (with my help).
Here is an old video of us making it together!
Back in 2010!
And here is a video of it being read on Story Time Castle.
Another favorite soup of his is Zucchini Soup, and we have it regularly. It is so easy to make, even he can do it by himself! I illustrated a version of it which I submitted to They Draw and Cook. Here’s the art and the recipe:
1 lb. zucchini sliced
1 cup chicken broth or other broth
salt and pepper to taste
- Slice zucchini into rounds. Steam. You can either steam on the stove or in the microwave, covered with saran for 8 minutes.
- Careful transfer the cooked zucchini and juices into a blender. Add chicken broth and seasonings. Pulse several times on low, and then blend at high until completely smooth.
- Heat and serve.
I love me a good Waldorf salad, but find all the mayonnaise in the dressing to be too heavy and rich for me. I came up with this healthy twist on the Waldorf that is lighter, but full of flavor and crunch. It has a lot of fiber and is nutrient dense to boot. And for times when life is crazy, but you want to make a heathy lunch without the labor, I give you permission to use canned chicken and bagged shredded cabbage like I did last week!
They have both at Trader Joe’s. But you could probably find it at any large supermarket. And at the end of the week, you’ll have all that leftover turkey that you will want to put to good use, so you could use that instead.
I always have my whipped cottage cheese at the ready, but if you don’t, you could use Greek yogurt instead. I didn’t have grapes on hand that are usually in a Waldorf, so I threw in some dried cranberries for some color and and extra layer of sweetness.
Melissa Iwai 2015
Wishing all you Americans a Happy Thanksgiving this week!
Lean Waldorf Salad
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1/2 cup whipped cottage cheese or Greek yogurt
1 12.5 oz. can chicken breast, or 1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken or turkey
salt and pepper to taste
4 cups chopped cabbage
1 Fuji or Honey Crisp apple, chopped
1/4 cup chopped, toasted walnuts
handful of dried cranberries to taste
- Mix mayonnaise and whipped cottage cheese or Greek yogurt together in a medium sized bowl. Add chicken and salt and pepper and incorporate. Mix in cabbage, chopped apple, walnuts and dried cranberries.
- Serve over a bed of salad greens.
Makes about 4 servings.
I’ve been doing an ink sketch every day for the month of October and posting on Instagram. This is the last one! I’ll be doing a give away next month of some of my original sketches, so stay tuned… See the Top 5 Favorites and which art tools I used here.
Here’s my Pumpkin Smoothie recipe– in keeping with the autumnal spirit of the day!
(I often freeze pumpkin puree in ice cube trays and remove and store in a ziploc bag for these…one cube equals 2 tablespoons of puree)
With some pumpkin granola sprinkled on top!
2-3 ice cubes
1/4 frozen banana
2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
3/4 cup almond milk
dash of vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin spice
pinch of guar gum and xanthan gum if you want it extra creamy (optional)
- Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.
Makes one serving.
Pumpkin is officially in season now! Have you see all the pumpkin products at Trader Joe’s alone? I’m intrigued by the pumpkin cookie butter, but I haven’t bought any yet. I stock up on their canned organic pumpkin this time of year though, because it’s always great to have on hand, and not only for pumpkin pie.
I’m trying to get more veggies into all of meals, even breakfast. AND I recently had to have dental work and gum surgery, so soft foods have been a must.😦
I’ve been enjoying this warm pumpkin custard for breakfasts as well as dessert! It’s pretty high in protein and low in sugar, so I don’t feel guilty eating it first thing in the morning to start my day. And since the weather is turning colder, it is such a comforting meal to warm you up!
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
3 tablespoons liquid egg whites or one egg white
1 tablespoon milk
Stevia or other sweetener
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
dash of pumpkin spice
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
- Spray a large ramekin or bowl or two small ramekins with non-stick spray. Pour custard in taking care to leave about 1/2 ” space at the top.
- Microwave in 30 second intervals until cooked. Depending on your microwave and whether you cook the custard in two ramekins or one, it should take about 90 seconds – 2 1/2 minutes.
I have been addicted to these microwave sweet potato chips recently! Why? Because they taste great (obviously), AND they are sooo easy to make! I’ve been keeping a peeled sweet potato in the refrigerator. When I want to have some fresh chips at lunch time, I just slice thin rounds with my mandolin, place on a parchment lined plate, season with parmesan and onion powder, and zap in the oven for three to four minutes. How easy is that?
I was inspired by this recipe for sour cream chips. I couldn’t find powdered buttermilk, so I just omitted it. I also omitted the salt, which I found unnecessary. I was dubious at first – -I have always made chips in the oven. But invariably they would burn on the edges. I thought microwaving these would produce soggy chips — and they did, the first time. The trick is to slice them REALLY thin, and you need a mandolin to do this.
Now, I keep a peeled portion of sweet potato in the fridge, and whenever I want fresh chips, I just make them. It’s so much easier than having to preheat an oven and attempting to bake them that way. For some reason, the microwave ones may brown — watch closely at the end of cooking– but not much. And it still tastes good — I actually prefer a bit of browning. It is a very different flavor than the brown/black edges I would end up with baking traditionally. Hope you try these!
Microwave Sweet Potato Parmesan Chips
1 sweet potato (I peel mine, but you don’t have to!)
1 teaspoon grated Parmesan cheese
Pinch or two of onion powder
Non-stick olive oil spray
- Line a plate with parchment paper. Spray with non-stick spray.
- Slice some thin rounds of sweet potato with a mandolin.
- Arrange in one layer on parchment. Spray with non-stick spray.
- Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and onion powder.
- Microwave on high for about four minutes checking to see if they are getting too brown at about three minutes.
- Remove and eat! If you want to make a bigger batch and save in an air tight container for later, just repeat the process until you finish slicing the sweet potato.
Copies of my new book came yesterday! It’s the bilingual board book version of Good Night Engines. I’ll be signing copies of these as well as Truck Stop at the Princeton Children’s Book Festival tomorrow from 11-4 at the Princeton Library in New Jersey. Please stop by if you are in the area. There is a fantastic group of authors and illustrators that will be there. Check it out here! :)