Iron Chef Serendipity Recap

Sunday was Iron Chef Serendipity and it was really fun.

Iron chef Serendipity ingredients

The ingredients: Gluten free quinoa pasta (order from iherb), Chinese cabbage, enoki mushrooms, green peppers, Okinawa black sugar, yuzu, onions, ground beef, dried edamame, tomatoes. A bonus ingredient for one team was a kabocha squash and the other team got pumpkin seeds. I brought most of the contents of my spice cupboard for communal use.


You can see the results below. All of the participants were impressed with what they made. Everything tasted good.

I’ll be running it again in the new year for those of you who missed it. I can’t wait to see what they will make next.

Team Pavess

Team Pavess dishesTeam mamachanTeam mamachan dishes

Kabocha squash dessert pizzasQuinoa pasta with chinese cabbagebuns with pumpkin seeds

Gluten free Meat pieStuffed green peppers Fried gluten free quinoa pasta Curried pumpkin seeds


Stone Soup Children’s Cooking Class

stone soup children's cooking class


It’s time to get the children in the kitchen. My next children’s cooking class will be cooking along to the classic story, Stone Soup. I will have both the English and Japanese versions of the book on hand so that participation is not limited to English speaking children. We will also be doing a vegetarian version of the soup.

Pricing is by number of children from the same family participating and some parental assistance will be required for smaller children as we will be cutting ingredients with knives.

What to bring: apron and hat (handkerchief) if you have them. If your child has their own cooking knife that you use at home, they are welcome to bring that along as well.

Date: November 30th
Time: 1-3pm
Place: Serendipity Cafe, Chigasaki
Price: 2000 yen for one child, 3000 yen for 2+ children 
Sign up: below or on Facebook


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Iron Chef Serendipity

Iron chef serendipity chigasaki

It’s time for a challenge. Are you ready to put your cooking and teamwork skills to the test?

Two teams, two boxes of food and one kitchen.

Come join me at Serendipity Cafe in Chigasaki for a night of creativity and socializing. I will divide everyone into two teams, give each team a mystery box of food and see what happens.

Date: November 30th
Time: 4-6pm
Place: Serendipity Cafe, Chigasaki
Cost: 2500 yen per person (includes the food we make as dinner)
Sign up: below or on Facebook

If you let me know in advance, I can try to be flexible around allergies and eating styles.

Sign up


If you haven’t signed up yet, head here to join my email newsletter. You will get recipes I haven’t shared here on the blog and advanced notice about upcoming cooking classes.


Repost: Kabocha Soup


It is finally hoodie weather, well, at least in the morning. Time for kabocha. I posted this one in 2009 so it is time to make sure everyone knows about it. It is so easy and satisfying on a cold day.


Kabocha Soup

Serves two.

1/4 kabocha, peeled and chopped

1/4-1/2 small onion, diced

a little oil

1 chicken bullion cube (vegetable also tastes great and makes this a vegan recipe)

2 cups water

fresh ground pepper to taste

milk or soy milk, optional

In a soup pot, saute the onion in the oil until transparent. Add the kabocha, bullion cube and water.  Simmer until the kabocha is cooked – it should break in half when you put a fork in it. Turn off the heat and allow to cool for a bit.  Puree everything using a blender, food processor or immersion blender.  Reheat if necessary. This will be on the thick side.  You can thin it with water or milk/soy milk/cream if desired.


Additive Free Miso

Additive free live miso 6

I make my own miso, so I haven’t bought any in years. I was surprised to learn that not all miso still has a live bacterial culture. Some of it has flavoring and additives. Last time I went to the supermarket I snapped some pictures of the ones that were still living and are additive free. As an aside, I didn’t see any that were one or the other.

What to look for:

生 (nama)- live (as in live culture)
無添加 (mutenka) – additive free
酵母が生きている (koubo ga ikiteiru) – the yeast is living
生詰 or 生詰め (namatzume) – “packed with life”, as in the culture is still alive

Note: the miso I make has three ingredients soy beans, rice malt and salt. Some misos will have barley as well.

[click to continue…]


Taco Night Cooking Class

After a summer break I am going to be back at Serendipity Cafe for another season of workshops. If you would like to see the schedule for September to December for both Serendipity and my new cooking school Akiya Kitchen, click here.


Come join me on September 28th for taco night. In the class we will be making tortillas, guacamole and all the fillings. If you are gluten free we can do lettuce wraps instead of tortillas.

Taco Night Cooking Class

Date: September 28th

Time: 4-7pm

Place: Serendipity Cafe in Chigasaki

Cost: 3000 yen per person (includes dinner)

Sign up: 


Lemon Yogurt Cake


The other day I wanted to make a cake on a whim. The problem was that I didn’t have any milk or much butter in the house. That is usually a problem. I remembered that you can bake with yogurt so I gave Pinterest a little look. The second recipe I clicked on looked like a winner. It was. It is a nice moist lemon cake. With the sugar reduction, it would not be too sweet for most people here. This is definitely going on my recipe list since I usually have all of the ingredients in the house.

Lemon Yogurt Cake Modifications

Get the original recipe here.

  • I used 200ml cups instead of American sized cups
  • I added 2/3c of sugar to the cake instead of 1c. The amount in the icing remained the same
  • I used meyer lemons
  • I used regular full fat yogurt instead of low fat Greek yogurt

Fall 2014 Cooking Class Schedule

Just a quick note to let you know that the cooking class schedule for fall 2014 is up. I have some holiday specific classes and other yummy delights.

You will notice that I’ve added a new location for classes. I have opened a cooking school in the Akiya area of Yokosuka. For more information, check out my website here.



Simmered Cabbage


I bought a head of cabbage for the first time and thought I would try something new. Simmered Cabbage.  [click to continue…]


Curried Pan Fried Japanese Pond Smelt

Curried Pan fried japanese smelt wakasagi

I whipped this up one morning to put in lunches. As it was cooking, I found myself getting excited for lunch. It smells great. Not having grown up near the ocean, it sometimes doesn’t occur to me to buy fish. I love fish but we rarely ate it when I was a child. I went through a fish poor couple of weeks and decided to try something new. Small fish are good for you so I picked up some Japanese pond smelt (ワカサギ wakasagi) on a whim. When I find a new ingredient, I often turn to (I use the app so it is the Japanese version but the English site is supposed to be great). This recipe is so simple and tasty.  It takes less than five minutes from start to finish. [click to continue…]