Seasonal Sundays (Week 45) Stress Cooking & Eating

Hey, Y'all. We've got a hella week ahead ... how about we just give it up now and lean into stress cooking and stress eating?
Seasonal Sundays ♥, a seasonal collection of recipes and life ideas in and out of the kitchen.

Welcome to Seasonal Sundays ...

[With apologies to Kitchen Parade followers from outside the U.S., I don't mean to ignore you. It's just such a huge moment in the U.S. even if the rest of the world is affected too. Calls and texts from my Canadian and Finnish family/friends, suffice it to say, we're all holding our breath ...]

So F.I.N.A.L.L.Y. But Still. Worry. High Tension. Harsh Words. More Polls and Prognostications Than Covid Cases. (And That's Sayin' Somethin'. At Least One Has an End In Sight.) Outright Fear. Fearless Fury. Determination. Hoping Against Hope. Fearing the Worst. Trying Not to Throw Up. So Ready For the Election Foreplay to Be Over, the Uncertainty to End.

Yeah it could be a rough week ...

For those who have yet to vote, Plan to Vote and execute a Voting Plan on Tuesday.

And at the end of the day, or the week, or the month, or the year, or the term, who knows, however long it takes ... we shall have a President born of Division + High Stakes with Half+/- the Country Overjoyed and Half+/- Devastated.

My head is formulating action plans for each scenario. If I'm overjoyed, I'll be privately high-fiving with fellow revelers. But I promise myself that I will not flaunt the results and am preparing to reach out to the other half. If this country, this experimental democracy, is to survive, kindness and generosity must be offered, whichever side prevails. Look up the word magnanimous. If ever there's a Do Unto Others moment, it is now.

And if I'm devastated, look for me in a cave of despair, never to emerge again, well, at the moment I'm unprepared for that. But I do need a plan, both to hold myself and those I love together.

My prediction, 0% margin of error, is stress eating for the unforeseeable future. So I've collected a bunch of recipes to fuel the coming week without falling into a pit of pizza pickup. Keeping you busy in the kitchen if that helps. Familiar comfort foods that won't throw you off your center like chain-binging Doritos and Oreos.

About the Photo By Popular Request, a Little Insight into the Top Image: Here in the middle of the country, it's been a warm, sunny fall. One night last week, it was so pretty we sat outside, bare-footed, bare-armed, until nearly midnight. The stars? So big and close. That October night air? I wanted to deep-breathe it all in, never forgetting its unusual sweetness. Luka the dog wandered the yard, sniffing here, nose to the air there, just poking. He wandered back for a scritch, then startled at the sound of deer snuffles up the south hill. On alert, he pointed, working out what known unknowns and unknown unknowns might be out there ... I grabbed my phone, switched on the flashlight and voila, Dog Peering Into the Dark.

And isn't that what the country (and even the world) collectively is doing in these last hours before Election Day Vote Counting Week, peering into the darkness, understanding all too well its consequence but for now, just waiting, worrying ...

Mask up. Vote. Take care of yourself.


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.

Old-Fashioned Southern Brunswick Stew, another healthy recipe ♥, an old southern tradition for election gatherings, layers of different meats and favorite southern vegetables like corn, okra and lima beans.


Supper Casserole with Pumpkin & Green Chile Cornbread Topping, an easy fall supper ♥
  • "Your wonderful recipe was the inspiration for my version. I had left over pulled pork & butterkin squash to substitute for the ground meat & pumpkin. I added some diced zucchini & cumin. It was absolutely delicious!" ~ QuiltingAgain
  • THE RECIPE Supper Casserole with Pumpkin & Green Chile Cornbread Topping

Baked Bacon ♥, how to cook bacon in the oven, so easy, soon you'll be bakin' bacon too!
  • "Thick sliced bacon in a Stoned Ridged Baking Dish (Small) at 400F. The first batch of 4 slices took 23 minutes. The second batch took 18 minutes. The third batch took 16 minutes. You have to watch this carefully. You can't take back overdone. I know you know that. The bacon came out perfect. I'm sitting here eating a Keto friendly BLT made of the bacon. Yum!" ~ Lefty
  • THE RECIPE Baked Bacon How to cook perfect bacon in the oven.

Stress Meal Prep

Maple-Glazed Pecans ♥, crisp and barely sweet, add a spoonful to salads, morning oatmeal, a bowl of ice cream.

How to Make Homemade Applesauce, another simple seasonal recipe ♥ No added sugar!

Chicken Salad for Sandwiches ♥, simple, fresh, useful. WW Friendly. High Protein.

Girding for Stress-Filled Days

Easy Green Chile Egg Casserole ♥ No bread! Just eggs, green chiles, bits of cheese and a surprising ingredient, cottage cheese. Vegetarian. Low Carb. High Protein. Weight Watchers Friendly!

Spinach Brownies, another easy, healthy breakfast ♥ A Veggie Venture. Fresh & Flexible. Year-Round Kitchen Staple. Great for Meal Prep. Weight Watchers Friendly. Low Carb. Low Cal. Vegetarian.

How to Transform Your Morning Oatmeal ♥, half steel-cut oats and half old-fashioned rolled oats cooked in part milk, part water. Great texture. Great for meal prep. Weight Watchers Friendly.

Hope? Do We Dare Say It Out Loud?

A boat named Hope from Heather Cox Richardson essay Oct 31, 2020 just before the 2020 election
  • Political historian Heather Cox Richardson says Yes, absolutely.
  • Photojournalist and Reagan/Obama White House photographer Pete Sousa offers up a Spotify playlist Joy to the Polls

Mindless Distractions

Pandemic stress? Election stress? Whatever the source, for months now my brain needs light fare. These are completely out-of-the-ordinary pre-Covid choices for me, light and soap opera-y, all plot and character.

  • Offspring (Netflix) I recommended this Australian series last spring. I started it in early March, just as we went into lockdown. I limited myself to one episode a day, hoping that at the end of the 40-something episodes, the world might look different. It didn't, of course. But ever since, "Nina" and her offspring are the standard to which I compare all screen-centric diversions.
  • Emily in Paris (Netflix) Just finished this yesterday, just found it really sweet. Once again, it transported me to another world ...
  • Winter in Paradise (affiliate link), the first book in Elin Hilderbrand's Paradise trilogy

Stress Snacks

My Guacamole, the restaurant-style house recipe ♥ Very Weight Watchers Friendly. Unusually Low Cal. Low Carb. Vegan. Gluten Free. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special.

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

Stress-Reduction Soups

White Chicken Chili ♥, spicy-but-not-too-spicy, just chicken, spices, chilies and white beans.

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!

Hamburger Soup ♥, a hearty meat and vegetable soup, easy comfort food.

Stress-Relief Suppers

Chicken Cacciatore ♥, the classic Italian dish, often called Hunter's Stew. Chicken in a wine-savory tomato sauce, one of my very oldest recipes.

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.
  • THE RECIPE Cast Iron Meatloaf My go-to recipe for meatloaf.
  • ANOTHER TAKE Elk Meatloaf Adapted from the easy Quaker Oats meatloaf with ground beef, elk, bison, venison or even turkey.

Sweet Pepper Pasta Skillet, another Quick Supper ♥, three colors of bell pepper plus corn, peas and fresh basil. Easy Weeknight Dinner. Budget Friendly.

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!

American Apple Pie, a fall classic ♥, made from scratch with a flaky, tender double crust and piles of apple and cinnamon.
  • THE RECIPE American Apple Pie Savor every single tender, flaky apple bite.
  • ANOTHER TAKE Apple-Butter Pumpkin Pie Naturally sweetened apple butter and pumpkin purée in an easy press-in graham cracker crust.

Spring Forward, Fall Back and All That.

You know that the time changed overnight, right? at least for many of us?

After the time change, I miss the late-day light but love the gift of an extra hour. When I was at school, we always planned the fall house party for this weekend, it meant an extra hour of hay bales and beer drinking ... or recovering. (For the record, the drinking age in my state was 18 then ...) And the Monday after the time change has long been my favorite day for an after-work walk, see White Chicken Chili.

So what did you do with today's "extra" hour? Hit theW snooze button? Make a special breakfast?

And how would be our lives be different if we somehow carved out an extra hour every day, even every week? What would you "do" with a self-gifted hour? If it's important, make it happen ...

No-Stress Sweets

Easy-Easy Chocolate Coconut Pudding ♥ Just five ingredients and ten minutes.

Banana Nut Cake with Caramel Frosting ♥, my mom's famous recipe, a great special-occasion cake yet simple enough to make often. Plus, a new banana technique: no more waiting for bananas to ripen! Recipe, tips, nutrition & WW points included.

Molasses Cookies ♥, my favorite recipe for classic molasses cookies, make them soft, chewy or crisp, your choice.

Leftover Halloween Candy?

Days of the Dead (November 1 & 2)

Soups & Salads Especially for November

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


My Top 10 Recipes are predictable, hello Ham 101: What to Know Before Buying a Ham and How to Roast a Whole Pumpkin. But every week, seasonal recipes catch the internet's attention and start to trend.

Seasonal Showcase

My Favorite Apple Recipes, another seasonal recipe collection ♥ Savory & Sweet. Simple & Sumptuous.

What's New?!

Broccoli Potato Cheddar Soup, another healthy seasonal soup for fall ♥, tons of broccoli, tons of flavor. Great for Meal Prep. Easily Made Gluten Free, Low Carb and Vegan. Recipe, cooking  tips, nutrition and WW Weight Watchers points included.

Microwave Green Chili Cheese Grits ♥, two secrets for quickest, easiest, tastiest way to cook grits.

Just Updated!

Squash Puff ♥, an old family recipe traditional at Thanksgiving, a welcome savory make-ahead casserole, just creamy winter squash topped with pumpkin seeds. Rave reviews! Weight Watchers Friendly. Vegetarian.

Cranberry Chutney ♥, a thick relish with pecans, raisins, dried apricots, ginger and spices. One of my oldest recipes, perfect for Thanksgiving and beyond.
  • THE RECIPE Cranberry Chutney A holiday tradition, fresh cranberries plus dried fruit, nuts and wintry spices.
  • ANOTHER TAKE Savory Rhubarb Chutney A savory chutney made with rhubarb, onion and dried fruit.

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.

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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.