Seasonal Sundays (Week 04) Mid January

Happy Sunday, All! Today I'm sharing mid-winter recipes, including a showcase of savory and sweet ways to take advantage of all winter's beautiful oranges.
Seasonal Sundays ♥, a seasonal collection of recipes and ideas.

Welcome to Seasonal Sundays!

Oh my, the weeks do p-a-s-s! January is already 2/3 gone. Is summer far behind or already slipping into memory? Time, people, time.

So let's make this quick, shall we?


Pick One is for those of us overwhelmed by life's unending choices. If that resonates, then check out this one recipe and then call it a day. It's one that I think could make the most difference, the one I hope will become a regular in your kitchen, as it is in mine.

Easy Margarita Chicken ♥, a quick supper, sautéed chicken breasts topped with salsa and cheese, served with delicious doctored black beans.

If you keep chicken breasts in the freezer, seriously, supper is minutes away. The beans themselves are worth their weight in ... beans.

I Have a Dream ...

Photo time for visitors at MLK Center in Atlanta

Once upon a time, we hopped the trolley from downtown Atlanta to the MLK Center, just a few minutes away but traveled to another world. It's in a neighborhood trapped in time, the rowhouses where Martin Luther King was born in 1929, the original Ebenezer Baptist where he was a pastor.

King's voice rings out, especially near his burial place. It's eerie, hearing his own voice, his own words, their own eternal flame.

I'm adding a pilgrimage to the MLK Center to my list of iconic American experiences, a sort of bucket list.


This week, my husband emerged from an all-day client meeting flying high. Why? His client made him feel both appreciated and empowered. It's a great life lesson, one to take to heart, how to make those close to us fly so high.

So lest this moment pass without extending my own appreciation to you ... thank you.

Thank you to all who welcome my recipes into your kitchen. Thank you for making those recipes your own. Thank you, too, when you're inspired. for making a moment to write, your notes do mean the world!

  • "Charlie and I fixed your black eyed pea salad tonight and it was delicious! Thank you so much!" ~ Jan, about Lucky Black-Eyed Pea Salad, bringing new luck for the new year, it's not too late!
  • "I am the bread maven but tried your dried cherry / walnut bread and it is wonderful!" ~ Carole, about Cranberry Walnut Bread, a barely sweet yeast bread studded with dried cranberries and toasted walnuts.

"What May I Bring?"

My circle of friends shares the same sentiment about putting food on the table for a group. We're all quick to offer and quick to accept a little help.

Fellow St. Louisan Carole (aka the "bread maven" above) shared a couple of ideas that would be easy to adopt.

  • FRUIT SALAD Ask everyone to bring a cup of cut-up fruit for a common bowl of fruit salad. It's a big help to the host and easy on the guests. And fun, eh? I also like that if everybody brings a cup of fruit, a nice-size serving, chances are good there'll no leftovers!
  • CHURCH FOOD PANTRY Invite guests to bring a non-perishable item for your local food pantry. Carole likes this idea because everyone brings something but she still gets to choose her own menu.
  • And you? ♥ Any ideas to share? I love this part of Seasonal Sundays!

Cook. Eat. Repeat.

Quick 'n' Easy Raw Salad ♥, my own 'healthy habit' that I hope will inspire yours, too.

No "cooking" per se here but definitely put a raw salad on the Eat.Repeat cycle. Reader comments in this post are especially interesting, ideas about healthy habits.

Cook.Eat.Repeat. is a push for mealtime minimalism. It's the idea that you don't have to think up a new breakfast or a new lunch every day. It's a way to think less about food rather than more. It's the idea that certain healthy satisfying staples can fill you up in a way that new and novel cannot. I dunno. Thoughts??? ♥

Something for the Soup Pot

My Chicken Noodle Soup ♥, meaty and noodle-y with a special technique to plump up just a few noodles. Low Carb. High Protein.

Who else is super-picky about Chicken Noodle Soup? This is a staple in our kitchen, it uses an unusual technique that plumps up just a few noodles into an entire noodle-y pot of noodles.

I could live on this soup!

Seasonal Showcase: Oranges

Orange Recipes, a Seasonal Showcase ♥, savory to sweet, simple to sumptous.

Now's the time to gorge on oranges, so plump and pretty!

Something for Supper

Winter Stew ♥, a master recipe for a wintry meat and vegetable stew, a concept recipe that's been much-tested with many combinations of meats and vegetables, liquids and more. Shown here, elk meat, butternut squash, sherry and dried apricots.

Master recipes = one recipe, many variations, never the same twice. This wintry stew is one I make all winter long, different meats, different vegetables, even different liquids. It just takes anything I throw its way ...

Winter Stew also spends just an hour in the oven, it's a small batch that serves four and the flavors really meld, even in a short time.

  • Winter Stew, a master recipe, cook with confidence, no recipe required

Friday Fun

Chicken Nachos ♥, quick 'n' easy with rotisserie chicken, black beans, grilled peppers, jalapeños, cheddar and more.

We'll be cheering for the Chiefs later today if only to support a 10-year old grandson who's mad for the Kansas City team that's up against the Titans in the NFL Conference Championships, competing for a Superbowl spot. When the St. Louis Rams went to the Superbowl ... what fun years those were!

But Chicken Nachos are so easy and such fun, I think they deserve a more regular spot on the menu too. And if you limit the actual chips, it's a healthy dish too.

And ... don't miss those pickled jalapeñnos, they're a staple in my kitchen, quick pickles (no canning) so super easy to make but still keep for weeks and weeks. We use them with tacos and Mexican-ish egg dishes but also one at a time whenever a little jalapeño is called for in a recipe, no telling it from fresh.

Do you have keep other Mexican-ish staples on hand? ♥ For us, it's the jalapeños and Lime Crema, though we use them indiscriminately, not just with Mexican dishes.

21C, the Boutique Hotel Chain

21C Penguin at our table

This is NOT a sponsored post. We just love 21C in a way we don't love other places. Maybe you will too? There are locations in Louisville, Cincinnati, Durham, Lexington, Oklahoma City, Nashville and Kansas City (a renovation of the gorgeous Savoy hotel downtown) plus new locations coming soon in Chicago, St. Louis (squeal!) and Des Moines.

We drive more than we fly, mostly because our destinations are off the beaten path ... you know, like Bentonville, Arkansas.

Does it sound familiar? It's the small town in northwest Arkansas that's homebase for Walmart. It's also a fun destination for art lovers, thanks to the opening of Chrystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

Our road trips generally mean forgettable nights in roadside hotels with easy freeway access, clean sheets, bad breakfasts and little more.

But our home away from home in Bentonville is a small art hotel called 21C ... which just might be the strangest name in the world for a hotel, even once you know that 21C stands for 21st Century because really, who would know that?

The first time we arrived, the streets were blanketed in snow and empty. Had we really arrived? The place wasn't obviously a hotel, all we could see was pieces of art through the glass windows.

We soon fell in love! That first snowy week? I didn't leave the property.

  • THE ROOMS are nice, good sheets, big windows, comfy seating but also not overwrought. Simplicity like this takes effort.

  • THE FOOD at the in-house restaurant called The Hive is somehow all at once everyday and out of this world with a splash of the unexpected. (Warm chickpeas? Peanut butter whipped cream? Oh my.) We are happy to eat two or three meals a day here! The chef is a James Beard nominee and it shows. Local ingredients abound, black walnuts, sorghum, Berkshire pork. The service is just the right balance of professional and friendly.

  • THE EXTRA MILE It's hard to express this but especially in our most recent stay just this week, we felt ... recognized, noticed and appreciated (hmm, there's that word again) throughout the visit. The bell guys used a traffic cone to save us a parking spot close by, making it much easier to come 'n' go. My laptop didn't get along well with the room's energy conservation system but help from the house electricians couldn't have been faster and more helpful. Then in the restaurant, it was one personal touch after another. (And we watched, it wasn't just for us. We were made to feel special but so were others around us.) Our waiter (hey, Brandon) from the first night stopped by to say hi on our third night. A manager (maybe?) who'd been appropriately welcoming during my first solo lunch recognized me on the second solo day too, made a special point to say hello. When we walked in without a reservation on a busy night, the guy at the front (hey, Devon) tried (and succeeded!) at working us in, not right away, mind you, and not by pushing aside other guests, just by staying present and aware. Our last night, the waiter (hey Ann) played "dessert roulette" with us and it was so fun and we l-o-v-e-d her choice, not one we'd have picked off the menu ourselves. And my husband had a special professional connection with another person on the restaurant staff (hey Ashley) and wow, she just lights up a room, made us feel so welcome.

  • THE BENTONVILLE TOWN SQUARE is just a block away, it's especially pretty at Thanksgiving and Christmas but there are lots of shops/restaurants here too. This is a vibrant, fun downtown, every small town mayor might take a close look, the murals, the streetscapes, the neon. We strolled the square at least once a day ...

  • THE PENGUINS! How could I forget the penguins?! Now this is going to sound strange at first but really, the penguins are such a touch of sweet whimsy. Each 21C property has 100 life-sized penguins, in Bentonville, they're bright green, in St. Louis they'll be red. And the penguins move! You might find one outside your room's window or on the elevator or ... pulled up to your table in the restaurant! They just make the day better somehow! I love these penguins!

So I'm kinda going on and on here but really ... when was the last time any of us felt so "delighted" by an experience? In a world when so much is the cookie cutter the same, what makes one place stand out over another? It's a question I'm asking myself and thinking about Kitchen Parade too.

Soups & Salads Especially for January

Seasonal Soups & Salads for January, a monthly feature ♥ A Veggie Venture

Just Updated!

(Sloooow) Baked Potatoes, How Long to Bake a Baked Potato ♥, one hour in the oven is not enough! How long to bake baked potatoes for soft, nutty flesh and crisp, crackly skins.

This week I focused on A Veggie Venture, especially on updating recently published recipes with the new myWW points. Good news, these move along pretty quickly and all the effort is building toward a brand-new page for Weight Watchers vegetable recipes.

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 2020

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

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