9 cool things on a tuesday

Turbo has his own desk and reading lamp.

1. Nothing cuter than a few literary hedgies to get your day off to a cheery start! I’m sure Mrs Tiggy-winkle would be highly pleased. See more Bookish Hedgehogs here.

Scooter (RIP) preferred fresh air and a picnic blanket.


2. New book alert! Just in time for Fall is Apple Picking Day!  by Candice Ransom and Erika Meza (Random House, 2016), a Step Into Reading title that’s a perfect companion to last year’s Pumpkin Day!


Who doesn’t love to go apple picking at the first sign of fall? A sister and brother celebrate autumn with a trip to a local apple orchard in this simple, rhyming Step 1 early reader.
The kids bound with glee through the rows of trees, and race against other children to pick the most and the best apples. The story of their day is bright, fun, and full of light action. It’s told in easy-to-follow rhyme, ensuring a successful reading experience.

Congrats on the new book, Candice!


3. Heads up Susan Branch fans! In addition to collecting Susan’s wonderful illustrated cookbooks, 3-part memoir, calendars and greeting cards, you can also enjoy her fabulous designs on fabric, wallpaper, labels, and gift wrap.



Visit her design shop at Spoonflower to see the entire collection. I am especially partial to her dotty, kitchen, and afternoon tea prints, but she also has pretty florals, butterflies, sweet lambs, and a marshmallow world. Just lovely!


4. Recently read a wonderful post (“if quirky is your thing”) at Orange Marmalade about a series of classic children’s books republished in beautiful new editions by New York Review Books (NYRB). In her post, Jill highlights five titles from their Children’s Collection, which currently features around 80 books.



What a great way to discover gems from the past!. I’m especially excited about getting my hands on Junket is Nice and The Magic Pudding, but so many of them look interesting. Visit the New York Review Books Children’s Collection page for more. Actually, I wish I had them all. 🙂


5. Holy guacamole! Have you ever fantasized about being a human burrito? Come on, admit it!

You’ll be happy to know you can now embrace your inner taquito with the ingenious TORTILLA TOWEL. 🙂


This fetching 5-foot round limited edition towel resembles a real flour tortilla. Imagine yourself as a tiny taco filling — a little chicken, refried beans, jalapeno, maybe? Roll around in the grass, become the envy of those snooty sunbathers on the beach, or cuddle up for a nice after-bath nap. Finally, a towel to meet all your Mexican dishy needs!

See how you can become a taco, quesadilla, tostada, enchilada, burrito or taquito. Would you like a little Cholula with that?

Order yours at the Tortilla Towel site.


6. Pop over to The Literary Foodie for a nice list of Food Fiction titlesJessica says this will be an ongoing, ever-changing list, and she welcomes recommendations from all.


I’m only familiar with a few of the titles (Babette’s Feast, Like Water for Chocolate, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe), so I’m looking forward to checking out some of the others!


7. Love this Mad Hatter Teapot for One from LennyMud!



It’s made from lead free, toxin-free earthenware clay and is dishwasher and microwave safe. Perfect gift to let friends know you’re mad about them! 🙂


8. What to do with those cute drawings your kids make? Post them on the fridge — or if you’re a creative Mom from Tokyo (aka Konel Bread), you incorporate them into loaves of round bread! KB makes these loaves with natural flavors and colors (beetroot, spinach, cocoa), and many are based on her son’s drawings. I want some mustache bread! See more at Konel Bread’s Instagram.






9. Finally, if you’re a Jacques Pépin fan like I am, you’ll be happy to know his whimsical artwork is featured in a new collection of handcrafted Italian ceramics and table linens available exclusively at Sur La Table.

There are a lot of adorable chickens on mugs, platters, aprons, mitts, and pasta bowls. I especially love this baker, which has one of Jacques’s hand-painted menus on the interior. The entire collection has a fresh French country chic feeling about it.

Collection Menu Baker

Jacques has also added new original paintings and signed prints to his art website. You probably know that for years he’s been creating hand-drawn menus of his dinner parties — what beautiful mementos! Some of these are also available as prints. I love a chef who creates art in and out of the kitchen!

“Blue Table”
“Blue Flower on Brick Wall”


Until next time, as Jacques would say,




🙂 🙂 🙂

Copyright © 2016 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

22 thoughts on “9 cool things on a tuesday

  1. So many “cool things” as usual! And I love Susan Branch so much (needless to say thanks to your introducing her to us!) I actually am planning to make her recipe for sticky toffee pudding from her book A Fine Romance very soon (am trying to space out my baking and eating of delectable treats!)


  2. I really am happy to see you back on Tuesday, makes my day brighter every week, Jama. I won Junket Is Nice and Now Open The Box is someone’s giveaway quite a while ago & they are darling books, fun to read a re-print from long ago. FYI, it’s hard to enter Sur La Table anymore! I don’t “need” any new dishes, but they have such delightful ones as you shared. Thanks for all, each part a prize!


    1. Glad you enjoy the cool things roundups, Linda. It’s fun to share things I come across in my internet travels. Luckily we don’t have a Sur La Table nearby so I don’t have to be confronted face to face with all the nice stuff. Like you, I don’t need new dishes — totally run out of space to store any more — but sometimes, sometimes, they find their way here. 🙂 It’s all Cornelius’s fault!


  3. I haven’t been here (or anywhere!) in a donkey’s age! What fun to be included in your post-Labor Day list of goodies. I loved Susan Branch’s memoirs, literally gulped them down. Many years ago, I bought one of the first NYRB reprinted children’s books (Wee Gillis by Munro Leaf). I am way behind and am going to check them out now!

    Happy almost beginning of fall, even though it’s still summer!


    1. Hello, Stranger! I loved Susan’s memoir trilogy too, and can’t wait to read her blogs from her upcoming trip to England and Scotland! Those NYRB reprints look wonderful. Great way to catch up on books I missed.


    1. I always find it amazing what ideas people come up with — the tortilla towel is a simple but very clever idea, and they seem to be popular with consumers. I can’t figure out how Konel Bread gets those designs into her loaves. Again, amazing. 🙂


  4. I need mustache bread for the release of Officer Katz & Houndini!! How cute!

    And I love hedgehogs :). Thanks for sharing, Jama! 🙂


    1. Jamie, the human taco filling! Yes, I can picture him rolling around in the grass with his towel. Can you figure out how that mom gets those designs in her bread?


      1. She must create the design with colored dough and wraps the other dough around it. There is a whole style of such making devoted to this. I think it’s called hanasushi because usually they are flowers. But I’ve seen elaborate cartoon characters and animals faces too… It’s really hard to do, and I imagine even harder with bread dough!

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    1. The tortilla towel video was funny. Just something about the way the person nonchalantly wrapped herself up and rolled around, clump, kerplunk tickled my funny bone.


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