Seasonal Sundays (Week 42 Mid October)

Inspiration for the week to come, recipes, planting garlic, rescuing barn swallows and more ...
Seasonal Sundays ♥, a seasonal collection of recipes and ideas.

Welcome to Seasonal Sundays!

And Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian family and many Canadian readers! I sit at your tables (and help with the cleanup!) in spirit!

I thank you for your kind words and encouragement after last week's personal news. Not just #MeToo but #YouToo.

I'm struck how everyone who reached out did so privately: sharing recovery stories: news about a daughter just age 25: sending thoughts and prayers.

Is breast cancer something we still whisper about?

I'd been thinking not. But then again, ut I sure had great difficulty saying the words out loud and even writing them. I came close to not.

But my friend S and my sister kicked me in the rear to get a long-delayed mammogram. I'm paying it forward, shouting from my virtual mountaintop, "Are you due for a mammogram? Overdue? What about your mom and your sister and your daughter and your best friend and your neighbor and the nice lady at the deli down the street?"

Please, make it happen.

Recipe-wise, I hope you love what's here! It's mid October, definitely fall here in St. Louis even if our leaves are only starting to show signs of color.

But yikes! Some of you have snow, not just a little but a lot. And oh, California, the California fire map makes me quake. Be safe, be well ...

The recipes here highlight one way I'm different than food bloggers who are ever on the hunt for new-new-new. Me, I want fewer recipes, not more.

What about you? Are you always looking for something new? Ha, I guess you must be or you wouldn't be here!

But the point is, nearly all the recipes listed here are ones I've been making for a long, long time, right up to this very week. They haven't been "developed" or "tested". They're just dinner. Or dessert. Or whatever. The new recipes I share, well, I fully expect to make them not only again but often. It's a high bar.

Just a reminder, I personally select everything that's mentioned here — nothing is sponsored, nothing is paid advertising. Oh and if you happen to buy something via a link to Amazon (just Amazon, no others), Kitchen Parade may earn a small commission. Zero pressure, just an FYI that's required by law and good manners. My Disclosure Promise

Something for Supper

Skillet Burgers with Tomato Gravy ♥, bun-free and on the table in an hour with pantry ingredients. LowCarb. High Protein. Weight Watchers Friendly.

Heaven knows, we cook a lot of burgers around here and even the grandkids are showing off their burger chops.

Enter skillet burgers, they're burgers without the buns and cooked in a skillet here with a homemade marinara but a jar of marinara or spaghetti sauce will sure do. All fall, I've been playing with variations on this theme, you'll see one/more soon, I think!

Here's the recipe, Skillet Burgers with Tomato Gravy.

Something For Procrastinators

Frozen Steaks ♥, steaks perfectly cooked straight from the freezer, no thawing required.

LOL, anyone surprised that I call my husband Jerry the Man With the Hands?!

Here's how to save a hundred bucks. Or fifty. Some number.

Instead of heading out to dinner just because [enter your excuse reason here], pull steaks out of the freezer and just cook 'em, straight from their frozen-solid state. There's plenty of relaxation time to fix an adult beverage, make a salad, something for the side, maybe even dessert, all nice 'n' relaxed and in your own kitchen with little clean-up and way less noise and distraction.

Planning-type people might even want to buy/freeze steaks just in anticipation, just to save the hundred/fifty/whatever bucks down the road.

Here's the recipe for Frozen Steaks, perfectly cooked steaks, starting with frozen meat!

For Anyone Cooking a Turkey or Thinking About It

How to Dry Brine & Roast a Whole Turkey ♥, a simple, basic recipe for dry brining and roasting a whole turkey, producing a dark, crispy skin and moist, flavorful meat.

This week, I updated this recipe to include my best tips for cooking a Thanksgiving turkey, whether using my recipe or not. That said, dry-brining is a revelation and way-way-way simpler than brining a turkey.

How to Dry-Brine and Roast a Whole Turkey, it's simple and uncomplicated and produces turkey with dark, crispy skin with moist, flavorful breast meat and dark meat. So good!

Something for the Table

At an outdoor fall party last weekend, the tables coverings sported festive flowers the color of pumpkins, very fall-ish but not Halloween-ish. I complimented the host. "It's wallpaper!" she laughed, hardly believing it herself.

And so it was! It was heavy wallpaper, the kind that wipes easily, the kind you'd put up in a kitchen or bathroom. It fit the standard-size folding tables without an overhang which especially works for long tables, I think.

Lots of us are gearing up for holiday gatherings. If tablecloths don't quite work in your situation, perhaps wall paper??? Clean-up would be a breeze, for sure!

Speaking of parties, who gives the same party year after year? It's not our style although we did do the same party three years running, a "buffalo roast". (Yes, really, see Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix which I served the first year. That means the recipe includes a giant batch for a crowd but also a smaller one for home and food gifts.)

The cool thing about giving the same party is that every year, you get a little better at it. Plus as a guest, there's a certain comfort knowing exactly what to expect too. The idea has me pondering ...

How to Help Barn Swallows Escape
aka How I Spent Friday Night

A pair of barn swallows found themselves trapped in our front entry on Friday.

Our house is two stories there, with tall windows on three sides. Over and over, the swallows tried to escape, flitting from window to window, never coming low, always staying in the upper reaches, landing to rest on crown moulding and ceiling fan blades.

The saga comes with a soundtrack, take a minute. If you happen to read on your desktop, it'll play as you continue to read ... I can't seem to figure that out on mobile. Any hints?

    PLAN A
  • As best possible, contain the birds in a single room, shutting off doors, closets, etc.
  • Open the front door, leave the room and hope for the best.
  • No luck. Formulate Plan B. It's getting dark outside, the birds are frantic.

    PLAN B
  • Turn off all the lights inside the house, turn on all the outside lights, showing them the way out.
  • Leave the front door open (it's in the 40s by now, brrr), leave the room, grab a sweater and hope for the best.
  • No luck. Figure out Plan C. The lights just outside the front door are actually lighting the upper windows, making the upper windows brighter than the open front door. Arrgh.

    PLAN C
  • Turn off the lights surrounding the front door. Leave the lights on further from the house.
  • Check. No luck. Check again. Still there. Check again. Quiet but still there.
  • Give it up for the night. Close the front door. Leave all the lights off so the birds stay put. Head to bed.

  • Tis a new day! Get up. Check, the swallows are still there, of course – and alive! flitting from window to window, cheeping, calling. Re-try Plan A.
  • Open the front door (still frosty outside but no wind). Leave the room. Hope for the best.
  • No luck. It's been 14 hours now, I'm worried for the birds, they must be so tired. Plan D.

  • Put a bowl of water on the floor right in front of the door.
  • Then, hmmm! put a bird feeder there too, scattering some seed for good measure.
  • Leave the room, hope for the best.
  • Ten minutes later? Success! One swallow has escaped his suburban prison!
  • Just as promising, the remaining swallow is perched lower than I'd seen either one until now.
  • Leave the room, hope for the best.
  • Ten minutes later? Success! The swallows have escaped!
  • The room is quiet, if still littered with feathers and plop on the floor.
  • Tis a small price to pay.

Something Super Simple

I no longer fear for my fingers since learning How to Cut, Peel & Cube a Butternut Squash and Keep All Ten Fingers. But that doesn't keep me from appreciating the simplicity of roasting a delicata squash or two.

They're such a nice size for one or two. They slice so easily. No peeling!

I keep Delicata squash in a basket on the counter for their good looks and to keep handy for a quick side dish for dinner.

Roasted Delicata Squash, the simplest squash to roast.

Something for the Soup Pot

Soul Food Sweet Potato Soup with Chicken, Kale & Coconut Milk, another creative, healthy, hearty soup ♥ Recipe, tips, nutrition and WW Weight Watchers points included.

I just talked myself into making this for dinner! The soup's base is an unusual sweet potato broth, something I need to do more often with other vegetables. After that, it's just pantry ingredients, including a rotisserie chicken, I hope you just happen to have one too!

“Soul Food” Sweet Potato Soup with Chicken, Kale & Coconut Milk, definitely a keeper.

Something for Meal Prep

What does a head of garlic cost? A quarter? Maybe less? But it's one of the easiest ways to turn a quarter into something worth much more.

Whenever the oven goes on for an hour, think about wrapping up a head or two of garlic to have on hand, it's no trouble to use it up, I promise.

And this is the exact time of year to plant garlic for next year's crop. It's a fun project with kids, super easy. Believe it or not, we have two friends (hello Anne! hello Hilary!) who grow acres of garlic to sell to restaurants, an easy side gig.

A real basic, simple and easy, How to Roast Garlic.

And here's The How & Why Guide to Growing Garlic at Home, fun, eh?

Sweet Something for the Oven

Autumn Pumpkin Bread ♥, moist, flavorful pumpkin bread, my forever-favorite recipe.

What does it say that I've never had eyes for another pumpkin bread for years (decades!) now? It's such a classic, so moist, so pumpkin-y.

It's a quick bread, that means baking powder/baking soda instead of yeast. It makes two loaves (that way it uses up an entire can of pumpkin) but I usually use half the batter for muffins and the rest for a single loaf. Putting this on my list for this week!

Autumn Pumpkin Bread, my one and only pumpkin bread for years, yikes, make that decades.

Something for Day of the Dead

Pan de Muerto (Bread for Day of the Dead) ♥, the traditional bread from Latin America to communicate with loved ones who have passed on.

Day of the Dead may sound a little morbid but it's not. In Latin America, it's traditional to communicate with loved ones who have passed on during the first two days of November. This bread is part of the tradition, it's a yeast bread shaped like "bones" – and super easy to form just by rolling a little dough.

Pan de Muerto is part of a very occasional series called "Celebration Breads" – special breads from across the world, timed for certain times of the year.

If you mark Day of the Dead, I'd love to know more about your tradition, drop me a note, won't you, please?

Pan de Muerto (Bread for Day of the Dead), the traditional bread from Latin America to communicate with loved ones who have passed on.

Something(s) Updated

Peperonata with Potatoes, rustic Italian antipasto ♥, the classic Italian dish made from peppers, onion, tomato and potatoes. Served warm or at room temperature. Vegan. Recipe, tips, nutrition & Weight Watchers points included.

  • Peperonata with Potatoes, a rustic Italian antipasto, who knew that something so simple could be so satisfying? We adore this slow-sauté combination, just peppers, onions, potatoes and a little tomato.

  • Warm Root Vegetable Salad in Horseradish Vinaigrette, a great base for a supper salad or morning eggs, pretty on a plate!

  • World's Best Green Bean Casserole, all pretty and updated for the throngs of cooks who'll make this over the next coupe of months!
  • from A Veggie Venture

  • Golden Coconut Cookies, a recipe that goes back into my teens, held onto because they're so crispy good and use up four leftover egg yolks. Last week, my dad and his men's table at the senior center had two each for dinner one night and breakfast the next morning!

  • Slow-Cooker Turkey Breast, easy enough for every day, special enough for occasions. I some times cook a turkey breast before Thanksgiving, just to have stock for turkey gravy on Thanksgiving itself.

  • Swedish Rye Bread for the bread machine or by hand. The bread machine version, especially, makes the house smell so good!
  • from Kitchen Parade

Text Me Back!

I'd love to hear from you. Comment, send me a quick e-mail via, dot-dash in Morse code, build a fire for smoke signals, whatever.

  • It's October. What foods are inspiring you right now?
  • Did you make something extra-good this week?
  • Does anyone else have an enormous dust catcher aka an Instant Pot?
  • Who's plotting Thanksgiving? Or is yours already etched in stone?
  • What're you reading? What's grabbed you on Netflix?
  • Anything else? Chime in, chat away.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2019

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.