Posts tagged ‘tomato soup’

Menu Plan Monday for January 9 – 13

Did anybody watch the premiere of Season 2 of Downton Abbey on PBS last night?

[WARNING: The following paragraphs contain a substantial amount of nerdiness. Proceed at your own risk.]


For those who don’t know, I have a thing for BBC period dramas. Especially Victorian period dramas. I’ve seen the majority of the more well known series: Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion, Emma, Jane Eyre, etc. I’ve also seen some of the more recent series (Little Dorrit, North and South, etc.). I was unable to watch Downton Abbey when it first came out, however, as I was in Japan at the time.

My parents just recently got Netflix instant streaming through their Nintendo Wii (yes, my parents own a Nintendo Wii. They’re cool like that), and I discovered they had Downton Abbey. I immediately started watching the series last Friday, loved it, and discovered that season 2 was to premiere on Sunday. What ensued was a weekend marathon of Downton Abbey. I had to finish all of season one so I would be ready for the premiere of season 2! My mom had already seen season 1, but she watched it all with me anyway (Victorian drama nerdiness is genetic, right?).

Yesterday, we ended up watching 5 hours of Downton Abbey; The last three episodes of season 1, and the 2 hour premiere of season 2. Poor Hisa. He didn’t see me most of yesterday afternoon or evening. He’s not interested in Victorian period dramas (I just don’t know why…), so he spent most of the afternoon and evening in our bedroom on his laptop, working on stuff. He said he didn’t mind though. Famous last words! Ahahahaha! No, not really. I don’t normally do marathons of TV shows.

Anyway, if you saw the premiere last night, wasn’t it awesome?!

If you didn’t see it, but it sounds interesting, you should really watch it! It’s great!

If you have no clue what I’ve been talking about, and you could care less, you have my apologies. You should still watch it though.


Menu Plan for January 9 – 13:

Lasagna and tossed salad

Gyoza (Japanese pot stickers), miso soup, sesame green beans, and baked sweet potatoes

Beef stroganoff and tossed salad

Tomato soup and grilled ham and cheese sandwiches


January 10, 2012 at 1:19 am 2 comments

Today’s Lunch

Today’s lunch: Tomato soup, tuna salad sandwich, and a mandarin orange

November 8, 2011 at 2:38 pm Leave a comment

Menu Plan Monday for Nov. 7 – 11

Things have gotten a little busy around here.

In less than two weeks we’re moving out of our apartment, and in four weeks, we’re moving back to the U.S.

In case you’ve never experienced it before, moving internationally is a pain.

In addition to simply packing, you have to sell, give away, and throw away most of your worldy possessions. What you keep, you have to either mail the country your moving to (expensive!!) or try to cram it into your suitcase at the last minute and end up paying overweight fees, because you had more stuff than you thought you did.

In addition to that, there’s the closing of the bank accounts, the terminating of the cell phones, the canceling of the credit cards, the car to get rid of, appliances and furniture to get rid of, etc. I could go on and on.

Fortunately, Hisa and I have been preparing for this move for months. We made a list of everything we need to do each month up until we leave, so that’s kept things very organized and not crazy (well, at least not that crazy).

Nonetheless, the closer it gets to the move, the more things there are to do.

This past weekend, we mailed the last of our boxes to the U.S.; made a final trip to the supermarket; went to the electronics store to ask them how much it would cost for them to dispose of our TV; called the gas, electric, water, sewage, and telephone companies and arranged for those services to be terminated; arranged for our mail to be forwarded; and attended two going away parties, one of which was in Tokyo.

Yeah, it was a busy weekend.

But things are going smoothly, and we’re both excited about the move. Bring it on!

Menu Plan for Nov. 7 – 11:

Have a great week!


November 7, 2011 at 4:37 pm Leave a comment

Today’s Lunch

Today’s lunch: Tomato soup, two mini baked potatoes with butter and cheese, and fresh pineapple.

September 9, 2011 at 11:43 am Leave a comment

Good ol’ Fashioned Tomato Soup

Fall is coming. For some it’s already here, and in other places…well…the temperature has actually dropped to below 100 degrees! Wohoo! Time for a jacket! And still other places, like Texas, are too busy to notice or care whether it’s fall or not, because they’re on fire and trying to do something about that. Power to them.

Here in Eastern Japan, it’s gotten slightly cooler (general high in the 80’s), but not really cool enough to go, “Fall is here! Woohoo!”, revel in the chilly mornings/evenings, bust out the fall clothes, or start making chili and corn bread.

I’m so ready for it, but it’s just not here yet. I want to make chili and corn bread, I want to start wearing fall clothes, and I want to be able to stop using my air conditioner. But I must be patient. Fall will come eventually, and I’ll be so ready when it does!

Actually, now that I think about it, I’ll be getting a preview of late fall/early winter next weekend, when my husband and I and two of our married friends head to Nagano to go hiking in the Japanese Alps. They’ve already had frost! I can’t wait!

For those of you who are fortunate to already be enjoying the lovely fall season, and for those who don’t care and simply want to pretend it’s already fall, here is a lovely, but simple tomato soup recipe.

I don’t remember where I got this recipe (I’ve had it written down on a recipe card for awhile, and I’ve changed it a bit to suit my own tastes), so person who’s recipe this is, I’m sorry, I have forgotten you. But I still love you even if I don’t know who you are, because at some point in time I found your recipe, and I like it a lot. Amen.

I know a picture of tomato soup doesn’t make for the most exciting food picture in the world, but trust me, this is good soup.


Tomato Soup (serves 4)

  • 2 cans of crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 carrot, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 – 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 c. broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped (or 1 – 2 tsp dried basil)
  • 1/2 c. milk or cream
  • salt and pepper
  1. Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, and celery, and cook until tender, and 8 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and cook for another 1 – 2 minutes.
  3. Add the broth, tomatoes, bay leaves, sugar, and vinegar. Cover and simmer gently for 1 hour.
  4. Blend in a blender (or use an immersion blender) if desired. Add milk, basil, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve with a light drizzle of olive oil on top.


September 9, 2011 at 11:37 am Leave a comment

Menu Plan Monday for Sept. 5 – 9

Everyone have a good weekend? I spent yesterday evening rummaging through stuff in our apartment, and managed to throw away a lot of stuff as well as prepare a box to mail to the U.S. I also have a list of the stuff we need to sell/get rid of before we leave, and stuff to throw away. I’m a bit OCD with this kinda stuff, so I found it very satisfying.

The typhoon I mentioned last week came through Japan over the weekend. It ended up hitting Western Japan instead of here (Eastern Japan), so we only had a little rain off and on. In Western Japan it was pretty bad though. They had record amounts of rainfall, which caused immense flooding and land slides. They said on the news that around 24 people had been killed and around 54 were still missing. It’s amazing how much rain the typhoon dumped in such a short amount of time. My heart goes out to all the people effected by it.

Menu Plan for Sept. 5 – 9:

Prosciutto and mozzarella pizza and tossed salad

Tomato soup and baked potatoes

Mabo-dofu, steamed rice, stir-fried veggies

Grilled burritos

Shrimp scampi and tossed salad

September 5, 2011 at 11:40 am Leave a comment

About Me

My name is Rachel. I'm a small-town girl born and raised in Oklahoma, currently living in Japan, who likes cooking, baking, reading, working out, and traveling. Join me in my culinary adventures, my domestic doings, and the story of my life, one day at a time.

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