Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup

This soup is easy and delicious and sure hits the spot on a cold winter day:

2 chicken breasts (best if they are on the bone, but boneless works, too)

2 quarts (or so) water

8 bouillon cubes (I prefer Better Than Bouillon, but it’s not available in Japan)

2 cups chopped celery with leaves

2 cups chopped carrots

1 onion, diced (In Japan, large green onions are used a lot and that's what I used for this soup)

1 small package frozen spinach, optional


Salt, pepper, garlic granules (for seasoning- to taste)

In Japan, noodles are very much a part of the diet.  They sell these wonderful udon noodles frozen.  I got five of these blocks for less than a dollar.  They are just delicious. 

I put two of these blocks of noodles in the soup.  At home, I use about 3 oz. of noodles.  I pre-cook them, then add them.

Put the chicken  (you can put it in frozen) in a large pot with the water and bouillon.  Boil until chicken is tender.  Remove the chicken and add the vegetables.  When cool enough, chop up the chicken and put it back into the soup.  Let simmer for at least an hour.  Add the noodles.  Serve with crackers and cheese. 

Friday, April 15, 2016

Brownie Chip Cookies

This recipe is so easy and the cookies turn out soft and gooey and yummy.  It's one I can make in Japan because of Costco and brownie mixes!  I just made a big batch (double)  to take to the English class we teach. 

Brownie Chip Cookies
1 package brownie mix
2 eggs
1/4 cup oil
1 cup chocolate chips (it can be a mixture of white chocolate and semi-sweet)
Heat oven to 350 (180 C)
Mix the eggs and oil in a bowl.  Add the brownie mix and stir.  The dough is kind of hard to stir because it is stiff.  Spoon onto a well-greased or lined cookie sheet.  Bake 8-10 minutes.  Cookies should be soft and crackled.  Cool slightly before removing from the pan.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016


When my husband served his first mission to Japan, he learned to love a dish called Okonomiyaki.  It's name literally means "what you want fried."  It is a savory Japanese pancake with whatever you want put in it.  It is a dish made all over Japan, but each region makes it differently.  This is a good, basic recipe to start with.  It is one of my favorite Japanese foods I've made here. 

1 cup flour
2/3 cup water or chicken stock
2 eggs
4 cups finely chopped cabbage
1 bunch green onions, finely sliced (some people put much more than this in it)
1 cup or so of Meat of choice: chopped shrimp (my favorite), chopped chicken, thin-sliced beef or pork.  Japanese like to use pork belly (looks like bacon, but not cured), squid, and shrimp.
1/2 cup cooked noodles (optional)  The Japanese use either udon (very thick, round noodles) or soba(thinner noodles that look much like spaghetti)  Not everyone puts noodles in, but those are the crazy ones!
Okonomiyaki sauce (kind of like Worcestershire sauce, but sweeter and thicker.  I think you could sweeten Worcestershire sauce and it would work.
Kupi (Japanese mayonnaise)  It is sweeter than mayonnaise, but mayonnaise would work, I think
Bonito Flakes ( dried tuna flakes) optional They smell fishy, but really just add saltiness.

In a bowl, mix together the flour, water and eggs.  Add the cabbage, onions, meat and noodles.  Mix all  together.  On a hot lightly oiled griddle, spread some of the mixture in the shape and size of a large pancake.   Flatten the pancake with a spatula as it cooks.  When browned, turn it over and cook the other side.  Serve hot with the sauces.  This recipe makes two large okonomiyaki or three medium. 

To read about our mission experiences and our Okonomiyaki miracle, go here: