five happy things on a tuesday

Hello, June!

Everything’s green and growing, and good things are happening . . .

1. Big Congratulations to Jorge Argueta and Margarita Sada for winning an International Latino Book Award for Guacamole: A Cooking Poem! The award was given for best Children’s Fiction Picture Book (Bilingual). Most of you know how much I love Jorge’s Cooking Poem series, and I’m sooooo glad to see a poetry book win in this category. Read my interview with Jorge to find out more about Guacamole. 🙂

jorge's award

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2. Happy Happy Book Birthday to Tara Lazar!!! Her debut picture book illustrated by James Burks, The Monstore (Aladdin/S&S, 2013), is officially out today!! Finally, finally, I’ll know just where to shop for all my monsterly needs. Sounds like such a wild and funny book — can’t wait to get my mitts on a copy. You can learn more by reading Tara’s recent interviews at Literary Friendships and Watch. Connect. Read.

monstore cover

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3. Since June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month, we’re featuring several of Cris Arbo’s beautiful illustrations from What’s in the Garden? (Dawn Publications, 2013) in our blog header. Can’t wait to tell you more about this delicious book in my Poetry Friday post!

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4. Speaking of fresh veggies, I can’t wait to try this recipe for Asparagus Frittata, charmingly illustrated by Aliona Bereghici. Aliona’s recipe was selected as They Draw & Cook’s favorite for May 2013.

asparagus frittata
(click to enlarge)

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5. Finally, have you ever tried to grow a vegetable garden from kitchen scraps? The only thing I’ve ever done involved an avocado pit mounted on toothpicks. Check out this thoroughly cool video created by my niece Cobi at for some great ideas, and be sure to read her corresponding blog post for more detailed instructions.

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Know what else is good about June? Sir Paul McCartney’s birthday is on the 18th — he’s going to be 71!

“So if I’m cooking, I’ll be steaming vegetables, making salad, that kind of stuff.”


Copyright © 2013 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

vote for veggietorials!

Exciting news!

My niece Cobi Kim, host of the yummy veganish food blog Veggietorials, has been nominated for YouTube’s February “On the Rise” program!!

Each month, four up-and-coming YouTube partners whose channels are seeing significant growth but have not yet reached the 100,000 subscriber mark are given the chance to be featured across the site (front page!). By voting for Veggietorials, you’ll be helping Cobi get one step closer to realizing her dream of having her own cooking show. 🙂

Learn more about it in this video:

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Now, click here to VOTE “Yes” for Veggietorials! Also important to click on the “x”‘s of the other candidates to vote them down. Please help spread the word via your social networks!! Voting closes on February 19th. 

♥ In case you missed my interview with Cobi, click here.

♥ And of course, check in regularly at for new plant-based recipes, cool cooking videos, gorgeous photos, product recommendations and road trip reports. The Veggietorials YouTube channel is here.

Enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend and thanks for voting!!


Copyright © 2013 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

eight notable noshes on a wednesday

1. Kidlit Cares, an online auction spearheaded by author Kate Messner to benefit Red Cross relief efforts for victims of Superstorm Sandy, is in full swing. Bid on manuscript critiques, in-person and Skype author visits, phone consults with agents and editors, writing workshops and more. Click here for the full list of items available for bidding this week. Round 2 will begin next Monday, November 12, hosted by author Joanne Levy. You can also follow the auction at the newly created Kidlit Cares Facebook Page.

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Continue reading

chatting with cobi kim about veggietorials

I’m excited today to welcome my lovely niece, Cobi Kim, to the Alphabet Soup kitchen!

Cobi hosts the beautiful food blog, Veggietorials, where she shares her passion for all things plant-based. She features delicious recipes, product reviews for items she uses in her daily life, travel and cooking videos, and lots of photos and tips about what to order when eating out.

She prefers “plant-based” and “vegan-ish”  when describing her lifestyle, choosing not to call herself a “vegan,” since she is uncomfortable with labels that tend to separate rather than unite us. She aligns herself with the principle of “Ahimsa,” doing no harm by leading a life of non-violence.

Continue reading

cobi’s wakame cucumber salad

My niece Cobi will be visiting Alphabet Soup later this month to talk about her wonderful website, Veggietorials: Recipes-Reviews-How-to’s for all things plant-based.

Perhaps, like me, you’re interested in incorporating more veggies in your diet, or even transitioning to an all plant-based diet for health reasons. Cobi will offer tips and share a favorite recipe to help us celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

Meanwhile, thought I’d whet your appetite with one of Cobi’s videos featuring her recipe for Wakame Cucumber Salad. It looks so beautiful and refreshing, and I can’t wait to try making it myself. Luckily, we have several good Asian food markets nearby where I can get the dried wakame (seaweed). Enjoy!

Click here to print the recipe at Veggietorials.


This post is being linked to Beth Fish Read’s Weekend Cooking, where are all invited to share food-related posts (fiction/nonfiction/movie/cookbook reviews, recipes, photos and musings).


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