Roasted Tomato Soup

Homemade Tomato Soup

Perhaps the weather is changing a bit where you live and a nice bowl of homemade soup sounds good to you. I have always enjoyed making a variety of soups with our fresh, garden vegetables and then putting some in the freezer for a rainy day this coming winter. Tomato soup is on the menu! Baked in my blue pan, served in a blue bowl, atop a blue place mat for Blue Monday and Mellow Yellow Monday

pan of tomatoes

I start out with a pan of chopped tomatoes, all different kinds, like Beefsteak and Big Boy. I then add  some herbs and spices, plus a few lemon slices. Pour on the olive oil, of course.

tomaotes with lemon
With the basil, oregano and lemon added, you'll find a full aroma filling your kitchen entirely. I leave the skins on which makes it easy and goes quickly with the preparation.
pan of simmering tomaotes

 We're ready for the next step. Simmering onions and garlic in white wine with your roasted tomatoes is a must. Savor those yummy smells!

tomatoes in the blender
 Keep the blender close by because you'll definitely want to puree the sauteed tomatoes.

Last step is to put it all in a stock pot and simmer away! I must make an honest confession here. Having cooked for a large family all my life, I continue to do so even when there's just the two of us, hubby and I. Then again, I'm always prepared for having lots of food when my grandchildren stop by and that makes me happy.

Roasted Tomato Soup with Cilantro

2 pounds Tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1 Tbl. chopped fresh Thyme
2 tsp. grated Lemon Peel
Sea Salt
1 Leek, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
1 Tbl. Coriander Seeds, toasted and crushed
2/3 cup White Wine
4 oz. White Bread, crusts removed and crumbled
3 1/4 c. Vegetable Stock
1 Tbl. Lemon Juice

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the tomatoes in one layer on a large baking sheet. Drizzle 4 tablespoons olive oil over and sprinkle the thyme, lemon peel and some sea salt over. Roast for 30 minutes until the tomatoes are charred and very mushy.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a saucepan and fry the leek, garlic, and coriander seeds for 5 minutes. Add the wine and boil for 3 minutes. Add the bread, tomatoes and stock. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Puree, then return to a clean pan to reheat. Blend the remaining oil, fresh cilantro and lemon juice together and drizzle over the soup. Serves 4.

 Children’s Books About Food

Here are a few picture books that gently encourage kids to try foods that are good for you. These great food-themed books entertain and teach kids about fruits and veggies. Do you have a favorite food-themed book?


Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert.
This beautifully illustrated alphabet book introduces kids to new fruits and vegetables. Ages 2+


Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert. 
 Describes growing vegetables and using the vegetables to make vegetable soup. Growing Vegetable Soup includes a delicious vegetable soup recipe that can be made with veggies from your local farmers’ market if you do not have time to grow all of the vegetables yourself. Ages 2+

And one more,

I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato (Charlie and Lola)


“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” — C. S. Lewis

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Lois Ehlert: Lots Of Spots

This month's Virtual Book Club for Kids author is Lois Ehlert.

chicken art

I chose Lots of Spots by Lois Ehlert for participation in the Vitual Book Club for Kids. It's a great picture book for preschoolers. My grandchildren loved looking at spots on fish, toads, turtles, deer, tigers and especially birds.

children reading picture book

I went over to their house to do arts and crafts together. I sat down with the four year olds and we had a grand old time painting the paper plates and adding raffia for the nest. Next came the foam chickens to trace and cut out. We glued the eyes down and we were ready to make the spots for the chickens!

But then the little one grabbed a crayon and scribbled on the TV. Good Lord, we're off to a great start!

book and art work

About The Author:

Lois Ehlert has been writing and illustrating books for young readers for more than thirty years. Her celebrated picture books include Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault and her own Boo to You!, Leaf Man, and Waiting for Wings. She lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

About The Book:

Spots and stripes, on Earth's creatures, give each animal unique features. Spots splotch a tummy, dot a furry chest, decorate a neck or a feathered breast. Stripes mark wings and beautify beaks, run down legs in curvy streaks. So turn these pages; take a closer look. You'll spot LOTS OF SPOTS in this funny book!

Lots of Spots

Bach Classical Musician

For teaching Kindergarten Music and Piano Lessons, when we study a Classical composer, Like Bach, kids remember his songs in a fun way when we nickname him Chicken Bach (with all due respect.)

Happy Reading,

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” — C. S. Lewis

Sausage and Sun Bathing

Thailand Beach

Sausage Bake

sausage and vegetable dinner

orange flower

Photos for Blue Monday, Mellow Yellow Monday and Mandarin Orange Monday

In Thailand, a hotel provides wonderful lounging, elegant sun bathing facilities right on the beach. My daughter sent many great photos of her trip to Thailand. I have been taking my time, going through them because I'd like to share some of them with you. The last photo looks like orange seaweed. Then again, perhaps the orange items are a bug of some type. I'd like to think they're an orange blossom from a tree twig somewhere in Thailand. If you know what they are, let me know.

Before we reached temperatures of 106 the other day, I decided to turn on the oven at 350 and roast some mild Italian sweet sausage and vegetables in olive oil. The golden Yukon potatoes are what hubby loves and I like bell peppers, onion and Butternut squash. It's quite easy to prepare and anything you have around the house will work. I've added fresh basil and parsley, oregano, too.

Do you have a favorite combo you like to bake?

These recipe cards for olden children (around ages 8 and up) I'm going to save for my granddaughter who enjoys playing with her little kitchen. I remember the day of playing "cafe" and "restaurant" with my friends long time ago. Having a tea party with my grandkids is especially fun!

Kids' Kitchen (Cooking Card Deck)

A Merry Monday to you!

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” — C. S. Lewis
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Signs and Surfboards

Love sign from Maine

 While visiting family members in Maine one summer, I remember seeing these blue letters and thinking this would be wonderful for Monday's memes. Have you been to Maine? It is very charming and magical, surrounded by lots of blue water. Photos for  Blue Monday

Our daughter has been enjoying her career over the years with props for movies and commercials being filmed in the San Francisco area. Awhile back she was working on a film in Santa Cruz with a story about a local surfer. The above photos show the surfboard props used in the film, Chasing Mavericks, which will be aired 10/26. Photos for Mandarin Orange Monday and Mellow Yellow Monday

Book Sharing Monday

Octopus Opposites

Book Description

This colourful companion to "Alligator Alphabet" and "Counting Cockatoos" introduces young children to basic opposites as they meet a parade of exotic and familiar creatures. With bright and distinctive illustrations in Stephanie Bauer's child-friendly style, "Octopus Opposites" will be an instant favourite with parents and young readers. Education Market explores opposites with reference to animals and includes visual information about different habitats. This title can be combined with "Alligator Alphabet", "Counting Cockatoos" and "Alligator Alphabet" floor puzzle and "Counting Cockatoos" floor puzzle.


“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” — C. S. Lewis
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Blue Gourd Lady

children's pictogram
 We have had a wonderful summer and as it comes to an end, our weekend has been a relaxing one.  Hope you Labor Day is a good one, with family and friends. I am getting organized now and preparing for piano lessons, starting on Tuesday. Do you have any family members that have headed off to school? Wishing you and yours a wonderful school year ahead!

motivational poster

 I love this colorful, motivational poster by Laura Candler and for me, I find the words to be so true.

summer squash

Crooknecks and zucchini were in abundance again this year and as always, distributed to friends and family. I sure do enjoy sauteed veggies, sometimes with a little Parmesan Cheese.

squash blossom

I have not tried this myself, but I have heard of eating Nasturtium flowers and other edible blossoms.
Have you cooked with them? Check out the Gourd Lady.

One of my piano students' grandfather owns a gourd ranch and every summer he would host the annual gourd art show. He has now retired from all of the activities but I have fond memories of driving out to the canyon and valley of De Luz, seeing acres of harvested gourds of all shapes and sizes. It's amazing what the artists can make with gourds. Maybe I can find more pics and post more on this subject. I'm linking up with Blue Monday and Mellow Yellow Monday

orange bulb

Lovely orange lily bulb multiplies in my yard and I don't seem to mind one bit. Linking with Mandarin Orange Monday

Last but not least, a list of children's books on Labor Day can be found here.

Warm Regards,

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” — C. S. Lewis
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