Seasonal Sundays (Week 09) Late February

Happy Mardi Gras! Happy Pancake Day! Happy Fat Tuesday! Happy Shrove Tuesday! And so Lent begins ... here you'll find a seasonal collection of recipes and life ideas in and out of the kitchen all suited for late February and even (dare we say?) late-winter.
Seasonal Sundays ♥, a seasonal collection of recipes and life ideas in and out of the kitchen.

Welcome to Seasonal Sundays!

It's still definitely winter here in the center of the country but there are signs of spring, for sure, enough that I'll go out on a limb and call this time "late-winter" ... not early spring, but not winter either.

  • The dog attempted to rouse a big flock of robins in the yard this week ... they were unimpressed, the worms must be good back there.
  • A mama cardinal took a close look at a birdhouse yesterday and we've seen others picking up dead grasses leftover from last summer. Time to clean the birdhouses for the new season!
  • My Texas brother-in-law reported the first hummingbird which puts us about five weeks away from our own first hummers.

Lenten Grass ♥, an old Finnish tradition to observe Lent with children.

And with Lent beginning on Wednesday, it's time to plant a sure sign of spring, the old Finnish tradition called "Lenten Grass". It's a lovely way to open the Lenten season, especially with children but I must say, I'm especially looking forward to tending a plateful of grass this year ...

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.

Beef Barley Soup with Mushrooms ♥, hearty, meaty soup packed with root vegetables and earthy mushrooms and the addictive nuttiness of barley.

There's a can of soup. There's containers of fresh-made soup from the grocery. There are quick and semi-quick soups made from scratch at home. And then there are productions.

Let it be known, Beef Barley Soup is a production, a two-day effort, not much hands-on time but multiple steps there's really no rushing.

But oh ... this soup.


Gumbo ♥, a classic Cajun gumbo except that the roux is cooked in the oven. Let the oven do the stirring!

  • "... this will be the 6th year in a row that I'll be making this gumbo ... I started with a single batch for my family and girlfriend ... then onto a double batch with my now wife, and extended family and friends ... this will be the second year in a row that we have a Mardi Gras party the Saturday before Fat Tuesday basically just as an excuse to bring friends over to eat Gumbo and have a good time. ..." ~ Jake about Gumbo

Bob Is a Real Person!

How many fans of Bob's Red Mill products out there?

A reader once told me she knows Bob Moore, the founder of Bob's Red Mill. So yes, he's definitely real and also a real inspiration.

Start with the idea that he founded the company forty years ago ... when he was in his 50s! It just goes to show ...

Friday Fun

Bourbon Pralines ♥, the famous praline recipe from the New Orleans School of Cooking, given an extra southern touch with bourbon.

Mardi Gras parties are spilling into the weekend, a mash-up of New Orleans and Leap Year.

These sweet pecan treats called "pralines" were the hit of a Mardi Gras party we threw once upon a time. They're a tiny bit tricky but definitely worth the effort, especially for something easy to carry ...

  • THE RECIPE Bourbon Pralines The famous praline recipe from the New Orleans School of Cooking.

Something New to You? A Challenge!

It's one thing to know what we like. It's another to get caught in a rut of repetition. Every so often, I may offer a challenge to try something that just might be new. The challenge is yours to accept – or y'know, not – but I hope to pique your palate!

My Most-Used Kitchen Tool, a Garbage Bowl or Compost Bowl, another Quick Tip ♥

Yep, I'm showing you our garbage, our vegetable garbage anyway, even if it's all in a pretty nature's-green melamine bowl that sits in our kitchen sink, awaiting whatever we might throw its way.

But this compost bowl is something I feel we do right, at least for us, doing our own small part for the environment.

When you cook this much and eat a lot of vegetables, oh, do the scraps mount up.

Just the two of us fill up a bowl every couple of days, sometimes even every day. This isn't food "waste" – especially because we're able to set a place in the garden to let the vegetables compost to make rich, loose soil that we then turn into the vegetable beds.

Truth be told, the contents of our compost bowl might well be the neighborhood wildlife salad bar. When I walk a full bowl to the far end of the yard, the dog bounds around the fence barking furiously as if to announce to the neighborhood possums, foxes and coyotes, "Hey everybody, fresh food!"

A "Green" Kitchen, is this something you work toward? ♥ What practices have you put in place that work for you?

Pot Holders As Armor

Do oven mitts really need this much attention? and engineering???

Here, we're happy with the $1 pair from the Dollar Store, they're sturdy, they're thick, they're just big enough. And they're a dollar.

Do I go through four or five sets a year? Probably. I wouldn't, likely, but kitchen mate is a little bit messier and burnier, tee hee.

Anyone here more/less particular about oven mitts? ♥

Something to Read

My book choices have left me un-un-un-inspired for the past few weeks so I was pleased to re-read a book called An American Marriage for my book club this week. And ... as expected, the conversation the book provoked was thoughtful and wide-ranging.

An American Marriage the story of a newlywed professional couple whose lives are upended when he is accused and convicted of rape – wrongly convicted, he did not commit the crime. The book is not a legal procedural nor a prison survival tale but an exploration of the tragic impact on so many lives, the man, his wife, his parents and so many others.

Did I say? The couple is African-American and race figures in every page turn. My book club, all women, all white, all in our fifties and sixties, we struggled to "feel" the book without that lens, not entirely successfully.

Have you read An American Marriage yet? It was an Oprah book club choice last year so it could be easy to find a friend who also wants to read it. You're gonna wanna talk about this book!

What're you reading now that's captured your brain? ♥

  • THE BOOK An American Marriage (affiliate link) by Tayari Jones, definitely looking forward to reading her other books

Seasonal Showcase: Pancakes!

Make Tonight a Pancake Night ♥ Move over Taco Tuesday and Pizza Friday!

In the Christian tradition, we eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent.

Never heard of Shrove Tuesday? No problem, you've probably heard of Mardi Gras aka Fat Tuesday. Mardi Gras has become its own beaded and paraded celebration but for quieter gatherings, think about the sheer simplicity of pancakes.

Except ... perhaps to call pancakes "simple" is a modern-day privilege that ignores the not-so-distant past when eggs and milk and sugar were themselves luxuries so revered as to be forgone during the fasting of Lent.

Anyway, no surprise, there are quite a few pancake recipes in these here parts, from one recipe that scaled up and down based on family size and cornmeal and pumpkin and spinach and and and ...

Something for Supper

Pork & Poblano Skillet with Creamy Slow-Cooker Beans ♥, a quick supper recipe, pork braised with roasted poblano pepper.

A tasty dinner is just a roasted poblano away ... and it's not "spicy," it's just warm and earthy.

Back-Pocket Recipe

We all keep certain recipes in our virtual back pockets, right? We might not need them right this minute but recognize their usefulness in our recipe repertoires.

Smashed Potatoes & Broccoli Casserole ♥, a rustic potato and broccoli casserole. Creamy potatoes and fresh broccoli just work, somehow.

If ever there's a reason to make extra mashed potatoes, here you go ... but also the reason to make mashed potatoes especially to pull together this easy side dish.

Fellow Label Readers

Check the labels on food packaging, they finally include not just "sugar" but "added sugars". That means that nutrition labels now distinguish between the natural sugars in whole foods and the addition of processed sugars.

I need to check with the software provider I use for calculating nutrition for Kitchen Parade and A Veggie Venture recipes. I'm a few versions behind but I'd love to include the same information here.

Will this new information change your buy/no buy decisions on certain foods? ♥

Just Updated!

My Everyday Creamy Herb Salad Dressing, another Master Recipe ♥, quick, easy meal prep. Low Carb. Weight Watchers Friendly. Naturally Gluten Free.

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, scratch a note in the sand, listen to a seashell, 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.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

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


  1. I am very picky about potholders :). I like a nice think terrycloth type one with a pocket for your hand-has to have just the right "feel"-not to thick or thin. Have ordered some that got good Amazon reviews and been happy with them.

    1. Jan C ~ Hey! See we can get along?! Even when we have different views on potholders. :-) I’m glad you’ve found one that works for you, send me a link to what you buying I’ll share it with others. I suspect you’re not alone! Thanks for chiming in ...

  2. I just finished reading The Last Migration which is beautifully written. I highly recommend it.

    1. Donna ~ Cool! Do you mean the 1957 book by Victor Cronin? It looks fascinating ... and very relevant to today. And thanks to you, I also found an upcoming book called Migrations which is about Antartica which also looks very promising, especially since dear friends are booked to go there early next year!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna