Tag Archives: book

National Soup Month

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.

The recipe is at the end of the story.

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!

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:

Zucchini Soup Melissa Iwai 2016 72

Zucchini Soup

1 lb. zucchini sliced

1 cup chicken broth or other broth

salt and pepper to taste

  1. Slice zucchini into rounds. Steam. You can either steam on the stove or in the microwave, covered with saran for 8 minutes.
  2. 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.
  3. Heat and serve.

Happy Slurping! 🙂

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Filed under Books, Children, Soup, Soup, Uncategorized, Vegetables

Giveaway Winner and Diligent Dan’s Pancakes

Coming soon May 2013!

We have a winner for my TRUCK STOP giveaway:  Amy from  I Found It Interesting !
Congratulations, Amy!  I will send you a copy signed by both me and Anne Rockwell, the author.

For those of you in the NYC area, this Saturday, June 1, Anne and will be appearing together at BookCourt in Brooklyn (163 Court St. @Dean St.) at 11 am.  Please join us for a reading, signing, puzzles and treats (mini muffins and mini donuts)!

Diligent Dan orders pancakes with syrup and sausages!

Diligent Dan orders pancakes with syrup and sausages!

Here is our favorite pancake recipe which my husband, Denis, makes almost every weekend.  He’s really perfected it!  They are mouthwatering right off the griddle.  As for the leftovers (if there are any!) we let them cool off, then wrap each individually in saran wrap.   Don’t skip this step– it keeps the pancakes from stick together.  We freeze these in a ziploc bag.  During the week, we can have homemade pancakes for breakfast too.  We reheat a frozen pancake (remove saran first!) wrapped in a damp paper towel for 50 seconds in the microwave, and it’s ready to be gobbled up.

pancake

Perfect Pancakes
(adapted from How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman)

The best way to cook these is on a griddle because they cook flat and evenly.  Do not butter the griddle first, or the pancakes will not have that even golden surface.  If you don’t have a griddle, use a seasoned cast iron skillet.

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups milk

2 tablespoon melted and cooled butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1.  Preheat griddle.

2.  Mix together the dry ingredients with a whisk. Set aside.

3.  Whisk eggs into the milk, then stir in melted butter and vanilla.  Whisk this mixture into the dry ingredients until incorporated.

4.  Spoon batter onto heated griddle using a 1/3 cup measuring cup.  As soon as you see it start to bubble, flip the pancake (after about 30 seconds– it may vary depending on your griddle and how high your heat is).  Cook for about a minute.  Remove to  a plate and, preferably, serve immediately!

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Filed under Art Related, Breakfast, Children

Snuggle Mountain Pancakes


Who doesn’t love pancakes for a weekend breakfast??

My husband  makes the best ones.  You may have seen his Cadbury Egg waffles.   His pancake recipe is featured in a book app I’m very excited to share with you all.

Snuggle Mountain, written by Lindsey Lane, is a wonderful story about Emma, who climbs Snuggle Mountain all by herself to wake up the Sleeping Two Headed Giant which has forgotten all about making pancakes for breakfast.

Features of the app include:

  • audio narration beautifully read by a child actor (which can be turned on and off)
  • words which can be highlighted as read to encourage reading
  • fun sound effects and animations throughout the story
  • the aforementioned pancake recipe
  • some  discussion topic suggestions related to the story
  • turn pages with a finger  swipe

I have to say, I’m really proud of this book app.  Lindsey, the author, took the initiative and found a fabulous app producer, Picpocket Books, who agreed to shepherd our joint creation (originally published by Clarion Books in 2003) into the digital age, and they did a wonderful job.

One of the aspects of the app version of the book I adore is that the concept of the sleeping giant’s two heads hiding in the bed covers is made very clear with animation.  In the original picture book it was quite subtle, and a lot of readers didn’t pick up on it.

Check out and download our app at the Apple itunes Store!  It is currently on sale for $2.99.  It is available for the  ipad and will be available for the  iphone in a few days.  It is the perfect app for young children and gives them a personal interactive story experience.


Snuggle Mountain Pancakes

2 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar (optional)

1 egg

½ cup plain or vanilla yogurt

1 cup milk

2 tablespoons melted butter, cooled

Non-stick spray or oil for greasing skillet

  1. Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and optional sugar in a medium sized bowl.
  2. Beat the egg in another bowl.  Add yogurt and milk and beat together.  Then stir in melted butter.  Add this mixture to the bowl of dry ingredients while stirring.
  3. Heat a skillet or griddle over medium high heat on the stove.  Grease skillet.  Pour batter into pan when it is heated.  Brown the bottom in 2 to 4 minutes, then flip and cook other side for about a minute.
  4. Serve immediately.  Pancakes can also be kept warmed on an ovenproof plate in a 200 F oven.

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Filed under Art Related, Breakfast, Children