Seasonal Sundays (Week 21)

Happy Sunday, All ... hats are fun but we all need to eat and spring, oh spring is such a fun time for creativity in the kitchen.
Seasonal Sundays ♥, a seasonal collection of recipes and life ideas in and out of the kitchen.

Welcome to Seasonal Sundays ...

Hey, all. Thank you for continuing to follow Kitchen Parade. Every day I try to mind-meld into your collective head to foresee what you might find useful, inspiring, instructive, even encouraging. The fact that you keep coming back? It leaves me both grateful and humbled. I thank you ...

And let me ask the question of the year, How are you holding up? ♥ I mean it. For these last weeks, we were united by remarkably similar situations but now, whoah, it's all changing again, some good, some really worrisome. Some are predicting a parallel wave of mental health issues. I really do hope you're finding whatever it is that you need to Stay Well, Stay Safe and most of all, Stay Strong.

About the Photo By Popular Request, a Little Insight into the Top Image: My sweet husband is the flower cutter in the family and all summer long, fresh flowers appear on the kitchen table. This was a bouquet of clematis he arranged for my book club last year which at the moment seems light years back. And for the record, book club via Facetime and Zoom is ... inadequate at best. How do people get actual work done in such settings???


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.

Skillet Cornbread ♥, an adaptable, forgiving recipe. Rises Tall. Stays Moist. Not Too Sweet. Budget Friendly. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special.

You wanna know something funny? Every week, I deliberate and re-think and re-choose and then cycle back again to select a single recipe I think most/all of you will find most intriguing, most useful, most ... "gotta make this now"-able.

And while around here, cornbread is more a cool-weather thing, I know that yeast is hard to find and besides, if you really want warm bread on the table in 45 minutes? Yeah. Make cornbread.

This was my very first cornbread recipe and while I have collected other cornbread recipes, I come back to this one again and again because it's so danged golden good.

Just this week? I made it twice. TWICE.


So many hat lovers! Thanks to everyone who wrote last week in appreciation of taking Mothers Day off food-wise for a fun (and flowery and feathery) deep dive into Kentucky Derby hats, what I called Wear the Hat, Dammit.

I do love hearing from readers, thank you for taking the time to say "hey"! ♥

Frugal Meals

Easy Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas ♥, a quick-quick way to get a green chile fix without spending hours in the kitchen.

I'm calling this tonight's dinner ... you?

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.

Even the grocery-store asparagus is sweet and tender now! I haven't yet snapped new photos but I have been snapping up asparagus for lunch. Maybe you'd like to too?

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.

Homemade Buttermilk ♥, just three ingredients for the thickest, creamiest and tangiest homemade buttermilk ever.

Mornings, my husband has taken to baking impromptu mixes that turn into something only recognizable as "mounds of freeform muffin" or "salty like a pretzel apple fritters". They're terrible.

But he loves them and seems quite happy to experiment with repeated bad results. #WeAreSoDIFFERENT. Oh well.

But it means we're going through a lot of buttermilk which also seems to be in short supply with our grocery stores. I wonder why. Is everybody making pancakes??? Is that why?

Anyway twice this week, I used a "starter" of commercial buttermilk to multiply our buttermilk supply. It's a bad-baking life-saver.

Does Your Family Have a Family Flower?

Forget-me-nots from my mom's garden

Our spring garden will hit its peak this week, clematis, peonies in pink and white, iris from pale yellows to deep-dark purples. We may host a wedding next year, now we know what dates to recommend!

And it's got me to thinking about how families identify with a particular flower. In my husband's family, both with his own children and the big extended family, the family flower is the daffodil.

But it could just as easily be those iris ... this week, he's been giving a virtual garden tour to his granddaughter, introducing her to the particular iris that came from his brother, his sister, his mother and even my mother.

My dad and I chatted about this idea this morning and agreed that his birth family's flower would be wild violets, you'll understand why if you read how my grandfather won over my grandmother with wild violets, the romantic story is here, All Courses Lavender: An Easy Romantic Dinner.

And I think in my own birth family, growing up, the family flower would be forget-me-nots, the tiny intensely blue woodland wildflowers that grow profusely in the ravine between my dad's place and the neighbor's.

What about you? ♥ Is there a flower that represents you? your family? a special time?

Filling the Freezer

Scandinavian Split-Pea Soup ♥, the classic Scandinavian recipe made with dried split peas on Thursdays across Sweden and Finland. Hearty comfort food, great for a crowd or a houseful, either meaty or vegan. Weight Watchers friendly!

Our grocery bills are through the roof. Can anyone relate? ♥ We're probably spending less on food in total since there are no man-size lunches out and no restaurant meals. But still, the groceries!

In part, it's because it's like Christmas (you know, that present game, one for them, one for me, one for them ...) except that it's the freezer: a meal for us, a meal for the freezer, another meal for us, another meal for the freezer. It's like saving for .... I dunno ... a rainy day? A sort of grocery bank account?

So on a chillllllly wettttttt and winnnnnndy day this week, I threw a huge pot of split-pea soup and just like that, the freezer got its own present.

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!

Asparagus with Blender Hollandaise in Three Steps, another classic vegetable recipe ♥ A Veggie Venture

Are you tired of cooking so much yet? Me either although there are moments. But here's a challenge you might not have thought of, learning to make hollandaise sauce. It's a spring-y thing and this recipe doesn't require anything more than a blender and a little timing. Good luck!

Still Making Banana Bread?

Banana Streusel Muffins ♥, a super-moist muffin made with very ripe bananas and reduced sugar, topped with nuts and cinnamon.

Lots of us are, if a sustained spike in visits to Ripe Bananas for Baking: How Ripe Should Bananas Be? is a good measure. Lots of attention, still, these many weeks!

But maybe you're ready to branch out a little? How about muffins? Especially Alanna-sized muffins with way less sugar?

Here are a few ideas if you've got a backlog of bananas and just can't bake banana bread one more time.

Funny Things I Learned During the Pandemic

HOW TO MAKE THE COFFEE COOK FASTER Whoa, what a difference this makes. We have an inexpensive coffee pot and drink inexpensive ground coffee. And oh our coffee pot pokes along in the mornings, drip drip drip, drop drop drop. It's no wonder my husband always wants to sneak a cup before the pot fills up. (Ha. He's learned though, since I catch him every time, the coffee tastes different.)

But a couple of weeks ago, I filled the coffee maker with hot water instead of cold and wow, in the time it took to unload the dishwasher, the coffee was cooked. Who knew?!

TIME HAS LOST ITS PERSPECTIVE This week, promptly on the 15th, my dad and I called my nephew/his grandson to sing him happy birthday, the family tradition. Only trouble is? His birthday is April 15th not May 15th. (Good news, I remembered his actual birthday back in April too.) Oy.

And then a friend I see two or three times a year and I were catching up on the phone and neither one could remember if we'd seen one another in February. Did we actually spend a few days in Florida in February? Just three months ago?? Neither of us were quite sure! (We did finally remember we had, especially a memorable seafood buffet.) Still, double oy.

AND YOU? Are oddball things taking you by surprise during this weird time?

What's New?!

Best Quick Tomato Salsa ♥, 10 minutes start to chip. Budget Friendly. Low Carb. Vegan. Great for Meal Prep.

Wanna start a party? Put out chips and salsa! Make a double batch, it's handy to have on hand ...

But They Look So Healthy!

Healthy Smoothies: Recipes & Tips ♥, green smoothies, make-ahead smoothies and more.

We love smoothies as much/if not more than most people but ...

The Salad of the Summer? Maybe!

Pinto Bean Salad, another Fresh & Flexible Salad ♥ Quick to Make. Low Fat. Low Carb. Weight Watchers Friendly. Vegan. Gluten Free.

It's early to be declaring just one salad "the" salad of the summer but I'm already thinkin' ...

  • THE RECIPE Pinto Bean Salad Just pretty pinto beans & crisp vegetables barely pickled in a vinegar-y dressing.

Never Buy Salad Dressing Again!

Homemade Thousand Island Dressing, another easy homemade salad dressing ♥ A Veggie Venture

For the Minnesota people in my life, this recipe was inspired by the old Country House!

How Long to Roast Asparagus? A Long, Long Time

Slow-Roasted Asparagus, another spring classic ♥, delicate, dark and dreamy. Low Carb. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special. Gluten Free.

You're gonna wanna make extra ...

Retro & Updated At the Same Time

Mini Porcupine Meatballs, another Quick Supper ♥, a retro recipe updated for contemporary tastes. Low Carb. High Protein. Cheap Eats.

I can't help but hear, "Ever eat a pine cone?" except that it's "Ever eat a porcupine?"

Just Updated!

Roasted Salmon & Asparagus ♥, ever so simple, just salmon and fresh asparagus roasted together, easy enough for a weeknight, elegant enough for company.

A sheetpan supper from fifteen years ago! The salmon and asparagus roast together ...

Lingering Late in the Garden? Don't Worry. Supper's Waiting.

Crockpot Chicken Goulash ♥ Budget-Friendly, Just Eight Ingredients. Weeknight Easy. Weight Watchers Friendly. Naturally Gluten Free. High Protein.

This was a godsend earlier this week ...

Any Small Family Gatherings In Your Future?

Afghan Chicken & Rice Casserole ♥, rotisserie chicken, caramelized onions, roasted peppers, great for feeding a crowd. Budget Friendly. Weight Watchers Friendly. Gluten Free. High Protein.

We are beginning to imagine small outdoor family gatherings ... still social distancing but together for a swim and a meal. This is high on my list of possibilities.

Warm Ricotta, Warm Roasted Tomatoes ... Warm Hearts

Herbed Ricotta with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes ♥, a quick summer appetizer, warm ricotta topped with roasted cherry tomatoes. Scrumptious!

Hmmm even my recipes are beginning to contemplate a more social existence.

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, seal the message in wax, write with an invisible pen, 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.