noshes and nibbles, or, tell me who’s hot!


How are you? It’s been Brrrrrrrrr around here lately. The air is crackin’ with cold. Sip, sip the tea. Slurp, slurp the soup. Judging by how FAT the yard pets are, we’re probably in for much more of the same.

Fuzzy the Fox, Rocky Raccoon, Mr. Pampano the Possum and those crazy squirrels have all turned into puckishly rotund roly polies. Galump, galump. The squirrels still scamper and dash and make mad flying leaps — but they’re even more impressive wearing their thick, high end designer furs. Fuzzy is handsomer than ever with his rusty-rich luxuriant coat and has taken to “barking” outside the kitchen door when he’s low on puppy biscuits.

But on to today’s MENU:


Thank you, Heidi Mordhorst, for presenting me with the Versatile Blogger Award! As you may know, Heidi (poet, author, teacher, philosopher, champion lasagna maker) blogs over at My Juicy Little Universe, where I met her a couple of years ago through Poetry Friday. Since then, I’ve been charmed by her versatility and daily juggling act as she instills a love of poetry in  many exuberant munchkins, parents her own brood, and remains amazingly humble for someone who can clog, salsa, and create entire wardrobes of pasta earrings. And I still say she has the cutest smile. I’m honored that you find me versatile in any way, shape or form, Heidi. Perhaps it was my ability to love both soup and cupcakes with equal abandon that impressed you? ☺


~ from

The eyes of the publishing world will turn to Dallas at 7:45 a.m. CT on Jan.23, 2012, when the American Library Association (ALA) announces the top awards in children’s and young adult literature as part of the ALA Midwinter Meeting, January 20 – 24.

The ALA Youth Media Awards honor children’s and young adult authors and illustrators, as well as producers of children’s audio and video materials. Known worldwide for the high quality they represent, the ALA Youth Media Awards are selected under a cloak of secrecy by national judging committees composed of librarians and other children’s literature experts.

The ALA will announce 18 awards, including the renowned Caldecott and Newbery Medals, the Coretta Scott King Book Awards and Printz award.  The books honored serve as a guide for parents, educators, librarians and those interested in providing children and teens with the very best reading and viewing materials.

Bookmark this link so you’ll be all set to watch the live Webcast on Monday. Check in early to get a front row seat! Starts 7:45 a.m. CT, 8:45 a.m. EST. Can’t wait!


Author and Paddington Bear lover Becky Levine is looking for writers who’d like to share their critique group experiences via a guest post at her blog. You might know Becky as the author of the  awesome, always helpful and inspiring, The Writing & Critique Group Survival Guide: How to Give and Receive Feedback, Self-Edit, and Make Revisions (Writer’s Digest Books, 2010). In return for a guest post, writers will receive a copy of the book and one commenter on the post will also get a free copy. This is a great opportunity to score the most thorough book I’ve ever seen on this subject. Get all the details here.


Nothing I love more (besides good home cooking and chowing down in restaurants) than films with great food scenes. Some of my favorites: the Harry Potter banquet table, Babette’s Feast, Katz’s Deli in When Harry Met Sally, Eat Drink Man Woman, Chocolat, No Reservations, Like Water for Chocolate. Check out this cool list from Gastronomica if you’re looking to feed your winter hungers. There are quite a few I haven’t seen yet — they’ll make perfect cinematic meals especially for when cabin fever hits.


Some of you may have noticed the first couple of little posts in a new blog series here at Alphabet Soup called Sunday Bear. These come to you compliments of blog mascot Cornelius, who’s always trying to find ways to get attention spread a little sunshine. It can be a harsh, cruel world out there and everyone could use a little bear hug now and then. (Experts suggest a healthy dose for humans is four hugs per day.) So every Sunday, Cornelius will post a picture of one of his furry friends and an inspiring quote to get your week off to a good start.


Panel from John Donohue's "Spinach Madeleine"

When is a recipe better than a recipe? When there’s a story to go with it. Even better, an illustrated story. The folks at Saveur magazine asked their favorite comic artists to “draw us a recipe.” The results are interesting and delightful, like this one by New Yorker editor and cartoonist John Donohue about a favorite family recipe for Spinach Madeleine. Check out the full Archive here.


Just in case you missed my post yesterday, you can (and should) enter to win a signed copy of No Dogs Allowed! by Linda Ashman and Kristin Sorra. This nearly wordless picture book features a charming and delightful al fresco dining experience, especially appetizing for animal lovers. Just leave a comment at this post no later than Sunday, January 22, 2012, for a chance to win this tasty gem, autographed by author Linda Ashman.


I’ve been having lots of fun with my blog’s sidebar, changing around the Widgets and the pictures every week or so. I realize that people who subscribe to Alphabet Soup via email or who read the posts via a Feed Reader never get to see what mischief I’m up to over there, and those who actually visit the blog probably don’t give the sidebar a second glance. BUT. Since I have to look at it every single day, I thought I’d make it easy on my eyes — in the form of Rob Lowe, Robert Redford, Tristan McManus, George Clooney, Jakob Dylan, Harry Connick, Jr., Brad Pitt, and Robert James-Collier (my secret spouse, Colin Firth, is a permanent fixture).

Anyway, I’d like to refresh my eyes with some new views and wanna know whom you consider to be HOT. They don’t have to be actors or rock stars or only males; you likely have your own definition of “good looking.” I promise to post pictures of the Hotties who float your boat. So, Bring on the Names! Incidentally, if you hover over some of the sidebar pics, you can read secret messages. ☺

Happy Week, All. Be productive and have fun doing whatever blows your hair back! ♥


Copyright © 2012 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

13 thoughts on “noshes and nibbles, or, tell me who’s hot!

  1. First, congratulations on the Versatile Blogger award. And great to hear about the other blogs you love. Thanks for the link to the award announcements & all the other ‘stuff’. I did wonder about the Sunday bear. And, I checked out the sidebar. You’re right, I’ve almost never looked. The Viorst quote is delicious! I’ll remember to look after this! Have a nice day, Jama!


  2. Good morning, Jama! Two eye candy suggestions from me: Richard Armitage (bien sûr!) and James McAvoy. I’m sure I could come up with more, but I have to go take scones out of the oven!


  3. First, *I* noticed what you were doing with the eye candy on your sidebar, Jama. When I visit your site, I scroll right down to see.

    Second, I must check out that Gastronomica list.


    1. Thanks for being so observant, Adrienne! Inquiring minds want to know what your brand of Eye Candy is :). The Gastronomica list will be my project this year. Thank goodness for Netflix.


  4. You feed Fuzzy puppy biscuits?! Congrats on your award!

    My Eye Candy would include Paul McCartney, Bogie, Stevie Wonder, Carlos Santana, Kevin Bacon, and Sting. (Thanks for making Colin a permanent Eye Candy king.)


    1. *swoon* What great Eye Candy choices, Barb. Thanks so much! Glad you approve of Colin, too :).

      Yes, Fuzzy gets puppy biscuits, in addition to all kinds of healthy leftovers. He especially likes chicken.


  5. Congrats on your award, Jama! And thank you for your very nice post the other day. AND for all the eye candy, which I always enjoy on my visits here. Speaking of which, in the Colin Firth vein, has anyone suggested Jeremy Northam? And I can’t help mentioning Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch — handsome, combined with strength, integrity and kindness. Hard to top that!


    1. Thanks, Linda, it was fun featuring No Dogs Allowed! 🙂

      Jeremy Northam? Don’t think I know him. Must investigate right away. I agree with you about Gregory Peck. Sooooooo handsome, especially as Atticus. I included him in a Stud Muffin post awhile back on my LJ blog.


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