Posts Tagged ‘food’

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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The holidays are here and you know what that means: fun and “interesting” gatherings with family and friends, a time when we’re especially happy to hear these two little words: LET’S EAT!!

When all your favorite dishes magically appear on the table, where will you sit?

I love when we visit my grandma Mabel.
I get to sit at the little kids’ table!

The young narrator in this hilarious new rhyming picture book, The Little Kids’ Table, couldn’t be happier. After all, he knows he and his cousins are in for a rollicking good time. Unlike his parents, who must sit at the grown-ups’ table (“so shiny and fancy,/and has pretty flowers from my aunt Nancy”), they will, among other things, get to fiddle with their flatware:

Next to our forks we have spoons at our places.
We try to get them to stick to our faces.

First you breathe on the spoon, then press it on tight.
It’ll hang from your nose if you do it just right.


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René Colato Laínez is an award winning Salvadoran author of many multicultural books. He is a graduate of the Vermont College MFA program in Writing for Children & Young Adults. René is a bilingual elementary teacher at Fernangeles Elementary School, where he is known by the students as “the teacher full of stories.” He lives in Los Angeles.


☕ CUPPA OF CHOICE: Hot chocolate.

☕ HOT OFF THE PRESS: ¡Vámonos! Let’s Go! illustrated by Joe Cepeda, (Holiday House, Fall 2015).

☕ FAVE FOODIE CHILDREN’S BOOK: Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto (J. P. Putnam’s, 1993)All of Jorge Argueta’s un poema para cocinar (cooking poem) books: Sopa de frijoles/Bean Soup (2009), Arroz con leche/Rice Pudding (2010), Guacamole (2012), Tamalitos (2013), Salsa (2015).


VI Festival internacional de poesía infantil “Manyula”del 16 al 20 de noviembre de 2015 en la Biblioteca Nacional “Francisco Gavidia”, El Salvador.

VI International Children’s Poetry Festival “Manyula”, November 16-20, at the National Library “Francisco Gavidia,” El Salvador.

☕ Visit René Colato Laínez’s Official Website


Hot Chocolate Poem

Uno, dos, tres cho
Uno, dos, tres co
Uno, dos, tres la
Uno, dos, tres te
chocolate, chocolate
bate, bate el chocolate

One, two, three cho
One, two, three co
One, two, three la
One, two, three te
chocolate, chocolate
stir, stir the chocolate


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

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Matthew Cordell is the illustrator of over 25 books for children including picture books, novels, and works of poetry, several of which he has also written, including New York Times Notable picture book, Hello! Hello!. Matthew lives in a suburb of Chicago with his wife, author Julie Halpern, and their two children.


☕ CUPPA OF CHOICE: Coffee. I also love tea, but a cup of coffee gets me going in the morning. I’m not a morning person, but I am a dad of kids who are morning people and husband to wife who’s morning people too. Therefore, coffee is essential. I use a French press for my daily AM coffee routine. It may sound fancy schmancy, but I’m no coffee freak or purist or anything. I’m the sole coffee drinker in the house and this is really the simplest form of delivery for basically one cup a day. And no filters, man!

☕ HOT OFF THE PRESSES: Wish (Disney-Hyperion, March 2015); Special Delivery, written by Philip C. Stead (Roaring Brook Press, March 2015); First Grade Dropout written by Audrey Vernick (Clarion Books, July 2015); Lost. Found., written by Marsha Diane Arnold (Roaring Brook Press, November 3, 2015).

☕ FAVE FOODIE CHILDREN’S BOOK: I’m a big fan of HEY, PANCAKES! by Tamson Weston and Stephen Gammell (Silver Whistle, 2003). It’s a family favorite, actually. Great, fun story and great, fun art. We’ve used the recipe in the back many times. Every time you read it, you’re guaranteed a serious craving for some pancakes!

Visit Matthew Cordell’s Official Website and blog. 

☕☕ JUST ONE MORE SIP: Bonus Pic of Matthew’s steamy French Press:

Merci beaucoup!

☕ ☕ ☕ CAN’T GET ENOUGH: Check out the Blog Tour for Lost. Found. to learn more about this beary cool book just released this week!



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

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Please help yourself to a cup of tea and an apple brownie (spiders and centipedes optional).

On this crisp and clear Halloween Eve, we’re serving up a tasty poem by London-based author Elli Woollard.

I love noshing at her wonderful blog, Taking Words for a Stroll, which is a gold mine of fun, whimsical, silly and nonsensical rhymes, sure to put a smile on your face and make you want to indulge in some wordplay of your own.

One never knows just what Elli will write about next — ducks? vikings? cats? farting mermaids? I admit I was first drawn to her foodie poems. Who could resist such titles as “Kitchen Bullies,” “Feeling Like Cake,” “Best Biscuit Race”, “The Joys of Toast”? Here’s a poet who’ll riff on cheese even though she doesn’t personally care for it. Oh, and did you know there’s a “Shortage of L’s”? Nasty business, that. I don’t ike it one bit. :)

When I saw “There’s a Fly in My Soup,” I knew I just had to share it here. Soup — my middle name! And since it’s almost Halloween and all, it’s a good time to swallow a few flies, spiders and other creatures with rascally relish. Bugs, birds and goats never tasted so good.



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