No holiday table would be complete without beautiful festive cranberries. Whether you like your cranberry sauce fresh or from a can, there’s just something about that deep red color and distinctive tartness that speaks to cherished tradition and good times.

Maple Orange Cranberry Sauce via Kitchen Treaty

Alongside the magnificent gobbler and tricked-out starchy sides, cranberry sauce is like the pampered guest who knows it was invited to dinner just as much for its prettiness as its flavor. Not snobby in the least, cranberries enjoy being appreciated for their good looks.

In the past I’ve made lovely cranberry wreaths for the front door, strung garlands of it with popcorn to adorn our Christmas tree, baked them into muffins and breads, and made a delicious relish with grated orange rind. Often, if I’m asked to bring a side dish on Thanksgiving, I’ll make a cooked cranberry gelatin mold — one part retro, two parts jiggle. :)

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Time to put on your best bib and lick your chops. There’s a new foodie poetry book in town!

In Head to Toe Spaghetti and Other Tasty Poems (Rubicon, 2015), Canadian author, poet, educator and literacy expert David Booth serves up 59 toothsome gems culled from his writings of the last 40 years. These delectable delights are presented in five mouthwatering courses and are sure to “tickle your lips, tangle your tongue, tease your imagination, twist your sentences, and tenderize your heart.”

(click to enlarge)

Begin by wrapping your lips around 10 Fast Food Rhymes featuring kid favorites like “Fish and Chips,” “Chicken Fingers” and “A Dangerous Drink” (burp!). Move on to tasty Snackers and Crackers (“A Thin Slice of Cake,” “A Dumb Plum,” and “Blueberry Lips”). Still hungry? With Food Daze we’re invited to celebrate the “Sounds of Beautiful Food” (courgette, almondine, radicchio, buttermilk), relish the hidden goodness in “Gift-Wrapped” natural foods (coconuts, bananas, oranges), or wiggle, jiggle, and swiggle with glee like a “Jell-o Fanatic.”

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When I immigrated to America from Poland at age seven, I learned English with the help of a Mother Goose collection. Little did I know that someday I would extend many of those nursery rhymes and have a successful career as a children’s book author and illustrator. I am currently at work on my 26th book.


☕ CUPPA OF CHOICE: I drink all kinds of teas. Lately, I’ve been enjoying hot cinnamon spice from Harney & Sons. It’s lightly sweet and zesTEA :-). Looks like Teddy would like some too. Should I offer him a cup?

☕ HOT OFF THE PRESS: Old King Cole (Charlesbridge, August 2015). Forthcoming: Gabe and Goon (Charlesbridge, July 2016).

☕ FAVE FOODIE CHILDREN’S BOOK(s): Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens (Harcourt, 1995), Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss (Random House, 2002), Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper (FSG, 2005), and Split Pea Soup (from the George and Martha stories) by James Marshall (HMH, 1974).

☕ Visit Iza Trapani’s Official Website and blog, In and Out of My Studio.

☕☕ JUST ONE MORE SIP: Old King Cole Book Trailer !

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☕☕☕ CAN’T GET ENOUGH: Iza’s Twinkle Twinkle Little Star read by ESA Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti aboard the International Space Station!! Far out and too cool. :)



Copyright © 2015 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.


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