Seasonal Sundays (Week 05) Late January

A quick read, a mid-winter collection of recipes and life ideas in and out of the kitchen.
Seasonal Sundays ♥, a seasonal collection of recipes and life ideas in and out of the kitchen.

Welcome to Seasonal Sundays!

We're hunkering in, hunkering down, thank you three days of snow and ice.

And yet? My Winnipeg cousins, where it's only slightly colder right now, are reveling in sledding, outdoor hockey and winter carnivals.

New mindset: grab the dog leash and embrace winter!

And remember that last year at this time, it was so warm, we built a small fire and sat outside all afternoon!

Just a reminder, click any photo to navigate straight to the recipe.

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


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.

Savory Cornmeal Muffins ♥, spiked with chili powder, a little jalapeno and red pepper, very decidedly savory. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special. Excellent with Chili, Mexican & Cajun Food.

Hmm, I may have a new recipe category, "back pocket recipes". They're the recipes that you keep in your backpocket, knowing they'll be useful soon.

These sturdy little muffins definitely qualify, especially with chili, Cajun food and whenever dinner calls out for a substantial bite of bread on the side. Good news: they keep for days. As I write at 4am (argggh, too early), I'm savoring small bites of one made four(!) days ago. So good!

Seasonal Showcase: Superbowl!

Football Fever! ♥, a fun, football-friendly collection of game-changing recipes for Superbowl parties.

And speaking of chili, are you planning a big potful for the Superbowl? It's required, right? as are Hawaiian roll sliders, chicken wings and ...what else?

Guacamole, right?!! This week, I'll share the "house" recipe for guacamole, it's been getting rave reviews at family parties for almost two years now. And while I was after "very good guacamole" I also ended up with guacamole with about half the calories, not counting those darned chips, of course.

Here's what you'll need: avocados, tomato, white onion, jalapeño or poblano and lime juice. Look for the recipe on Wednesday!

Last year, we had such fun watching the Superbowl with the twin grandsons (and their parents, haha). I picked up a bunch of appetizer boxes from Trader Joe's. We all loved the bite-size tidbits, mostly hot from the oven, timed every so often.

  • Football Fever!, a fun football-friendly collection of game-changing recipes for Superbowl parties.


This note warmed my heart, a reader who recognizes the purpose of Seasonal Sundays, the chance to engage with readers while highlighting the large collection of Kitchen Parade recipes dating all the way back to 2002.

It's a win-win. New-to-you recipes and time for me keep improving the overall site for users, adding current Weight Watchers points to recipes, tightening up and simplifying long-time recipes. Thank you, K!

And as ever, thank you to all of you who welcome my recipes into your kitchen, who make those recipes your own and especially those who take the time to write. Your comments mean the world!

  • "Just wanted to say how much I enjoy your blog, tips and recipes ... your Seasonal Sundays highlights recipes I have not yet read." ~ K

Cook. Eat. Repeat.

Here's my appeal for mealtime minimalism, 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 maintains that the ritual of healthy satisfying staples can fill you up in a way that the new and the novel cannot.

Microwave Creamy Oatmeal with Peanut Butter ♥, my morning ritual, oatmeal cooked in the microwave with a swirlful of peanut butter.

Today? Breakfast! LOL, I've also made a big bowl of oatmeal for a solo dinner, too.

There are several recipes for morning oatmeal here but the breakfast I ate every day for years on end? Oatmeal cooked in the microwave with a little peanut butter stirred in!

Have you ever tried it? Almond butter is also wonderful! Tahini too!

What Do You Say? I'm At a Loss

Lady's last day ♥, what do you say when friends lose their dog?

What do you say when friends are losing their dog? It's been a good life, theirs, but the end time is nigh. And words fail me ...

I found this once and saved it to use for times like now.

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

~ Author unknown

But no, it's not right.

All of us who love our dogs like family know we'll one day know the huge pain of loss. A vet once told me to recite something over and over during a dog's young life, so that in the old dog's last moments, the sounds heard will be your familiar voice, your familiar tone, your familiar words.

I'm still teary, looking at the pictures (above) I took of my dog Lady the day it became clear, it was time. And it's been almost three years ... she was such a good dog. :-)

What do you say? What do you say? What do you say?

Winter Comfort Food

Cast Iron Meatloaf ♥, my go-to meatloaf recipe, tender, moist and full of flavor thanks to milk-soaked bread crumbs and a pile of chopped vegetables that melt into the meatloaf.

Good meatloaf doesn't happen by accident, it's more than ground meat thrown into the oven with some barbecue sauce. Here I share several tips that can be incorporated into your own favorite recipe.

Or just use mine!

PS Can you believe it? Pinterest loves this recipe!

Intermittent Fasting: Reaching the Mainstream?

Twice this week, without prompting, two people in the medical field mentioned that they've started intermittent fasting – and feel great!

#1 My husband's cardiac surgeon – he and his wife started intermittent fasting after Christmas, they've also switched from an omnivore diet to a pescatarian diet (pescatarians eat fish but not other animal proteins). He said that a major motivator was a documentary now on Netflix called "The Game Changer".

#2 My long-time friend Ann, president of a local hospital – Ann brought it up at book club this week. She too says she feels great!

Intermittent fasting can be done different ways. One is to fast (or limit intake) every other day. But the practice that's getting the most attention is the one where you eat only between an eight- or ten-hour window. Both friends are using an eight-hour window between 11am and 7pm. This is perhaps most workable in a family setting but the research says an earlier window is still better.

You might even be inadvertently following intermittent fasting practices, if, say, you skip breakfast or don't eat snacks after dinner.

Anyway. ♥ Any intermittent fasters out there? Anyone intermittent-fasting curious?

WW people, are you combining points and intermittent fasting?


Something for Meal Prep

Ditch the cubes and cartons for DIY! Homemade Vegetable Bouillon ♥, just vegetables, herbs and salt in a frozen concentrate that makes 42 quarts of fresh vegetable stock. Great for Meal Prep. Vegan. Weight Watchers Friendly.

This is one of those life-changing recipes. Just imagine, chop up vegetables really fine (you'll need a food processor) and preserve them in salt and cold, then scoop it out a teaspoon or tablespoon at a time for the fresh basis for soups, stews, etc.

Join me in ditching the cubes and cartons?

It's Easy to Despair

And we have reason to despair. Each day, I remind myself that both sides feel despair, both sides worry about the state of our country, both sides seek to protect values held dear.

Each day, my 93 and 3/4 year old father shakes his head, wondering how it's all come to such a false equivalence, how the sacrifice and unity of the Greatest Generation has led to such what feels like an insurmountable divide.

Sharing recipes, well, it seems outright silly in the face of it all.

My sister forwarded this lovely poem ...

"When the evening newscast leads to despair,
when my Facebook feed raises my blood pressure,
when I can’t listen to NPR anymore,
I turn to the sky, blooming like chicory,
its dearth of clouds, its vast blue endlessness."

Continue reading, Poem with an Embedded Line by Susan Cohen by poet Barbara Crooker at The Writer's Almanac

Then get out the onion and garlic ...

"Darkness will not overtake us."

Quick Idea: Serve Vegetables Like Fruit Salad

My book club starts off with a glass of wine, a few small bites, then a simple meal (and yes, closes with dessert).

The big surprise this month was the Cajun salad, served after the main course, like the French (and my husband) prefer. I served the salad in individual footed bowls with tall iced tea spoons. We all found it very festive! My friend Ann also thought it was like an ice cream sundae, just with vegetables!

Cool, eh? What do you think, would you do this?

January Book Club Menu

Quinoa Chips, Savory Roasted Pecans & Spinach Brownie Bites (recipe to come)
Red Beans & Rice (recipe to come)
Savory Cornbread Muffins
Cajun Salad Served Like Fruit Salad
with My Everyday Creamy Herb Salad Dressing
Chocolate Cinnamon Whipped Cream Cake
(to celebrate two birthdays!)

Knives Out!

Date Night! Make that Date Afternoon! We got snow/iced out of St. Louis last week and took the chance to see a 2019 film that's still in theaters because, well, it's just so fun! It's a who-dun-it with more twists and turns than you can remember. A week later, we're talking about seeing it again! Pay attention to the baseball ...

My husband and I have different tastes in movies but we both loved this movie!

Just Updated!

Rockin' & rollin' with myWW updates (mostly) but bigger updates too, each update takes an average of an hour and a half, not including the shopping, the cooking, the shooting.

Pick a Topic, 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, launch a message in a bottle, send a Christmas letter, get the dog to yip, toss me a note wrapped in a rubberband, write a message in the sky, whatever.

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.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

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