Seasonal Sundays (Week 50) Mid December

A stocking stuffed with quick food and other ideas as the days march closer toward the holidays that December delivers, pandemic or not. Happy Hanukkah to all who celebrate!
Seasonal Sundays ♥, a seasonal collection of recipes and life ideas in and out of the kitchen.

Welcome to Seasonal Sundays ...

Perhaps it's a return to journaling? Perhaps it's Advent? Perhaps it's the end of a soul-searching year? ♥ But is anyone else feeling especially contemplative just now?

December 2020, of course, is notably quieter than Decembers in the Before Times: none of the annual traditional, musical, social, professional, gotta-do-this, gotta-see-that, gotta-decorate-this, gotta-buy-more business of busy-ness.

WHAT A GIFT. A joy, even.

The quiet affords the chance to think (and re-think and yes, very possibly over-think) what one might do with December and in turn what to do with 2021.

It's not a bucket list. It's not a to-do list with satisfying little check boxes alongside. It's definitely not soon-to-be-shelved resolutions.

It's more a contemplation of where to spend time, where to pour energy, where to seek fulfillment, and all without the strictures of "how we've always done it" or some imagined Pinterest perfection.

Is it possible that 2020's limitations actually tear down old patterns and expectations in a good way?

About the Photo By Popular Request, a Little Insight into the Top Image (Albeit Not My Own Shot, I'll Be Damned If I Can Figure Out the Right Settings): What a high, one day after another! My sweet husband arranged for colored twinkly lights on the XXXL spruce tree in front of our house, a "beacon in the wilderness" he envisioned. It turns out, the tree is in the perfect spot. It's framed in both windows in the family room and is even visible from our bed! It's an inordinate thrill but a thrill nonetheless ...

Speaking of joy, a thrill. THANK YOU for stopping in today ... and last week and next week too. "I appreciate you." I do ... and always love hearing from many of you throughout the week. Don't be a stranger!


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.

Turkey Wild Rice Casserole ♥, my long-time go-to wild rice casserole, perfect with after-Thanksgiving leftover turkey.


How to Make Norwegian Lefse ♥ with a step-by-step video, recipe and tips from expert lefse maker LeAnne Kruger.

Good Eats December: Casual, Comforting, Healthy

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.

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.
  • THE RECIPE Winter Stew A master recipe, cook with confidence, no recipe required.
  • ANOTHER TAKE Beef & Mushroom Stew On the table and flavorful within an hour.

Thick Chops with Sauerkraut & Apples ♥, a country-style skillet, easy enough for a weeknight supper, special enough for Saturday company. One of my very oldest fall recipes.

Let's Not Forget Those Vegetables!

Detox Chopped Salad, another healthy salad ♥ A Veggie Venture with broccoli, cauliflower, dried fruit, seeds and nuts. Vegan, great for potlucks and parties.

Christmas Cauliflower ♥, healthy and pretty for the holidays but concept works year round. Low Carb. Vegan. Weight Watchers friendly.

Simple Swiss Chard, another simple vegetable recipe ♥ Low Carb. WW Friendly. Vegan. Gluten Free.

Let There Be Light, Finnish Style

A burning Iitala Finnish candle

During December and January, a candle sits on my desk while I work, flickering in the quiet of my keytaps.

It's an old habit, one learned the year I lived in Finland, where as the winter solstice approaches, sunrise is at 9:30, sunset at 3:15 and the sun hangs so low that even daylight is more a foggy cast than illumination.

The antidote? Candles everywhere, even on the desks of students studying after school and evenings.

With so many of us working from home and extra-aware of the shortening days, perhaps your desk, your day, could use a candle too ...

Word from Luka's Vet

Our dog Luka with his favorite toy, a large red bone

Luka got his annual checkup and shots this week. All is good!

The vet did ask me to check his dog food, however, saying that according to Washington University in St. Louis, grain-free dog foods are causing heart issues in dogs.

Just passing the word! Ask your vet ...

Like the photo? Me too! Luka l-o-v-e-s his latest toy, a big red bone – and carries it everywhere. The original photo was fun straight out of the camera but I'm loving the "Femme" filter on a new-to-me award-winning photo app called Prisma. A trial is free, a one-year subscription is $10. I've long used a "watercolor" app called Waterlogue from Tinrocket but am switching to Prisma in January.

For the record: this is just me, Alanna, sharing info about a product I love and think you might too. There's no paid sponsorship or anything like that going on ...

Seasonal Showcase: Cranberries

Homemade Cranberry Applesauce in Yogurt Applesauce Parfaits ♥, a simple, healthy fruit dessert.

Homemade Whole Cranberry Sauce for the Slow Cooker ♥, the convenience of the slow cooker plus the sweet aroma of cranberries, fresh ginger and orange zest!

Fresh Cranberry Cake ♥, a rustic cake that pops with fresh cranberries, best made a day ahead so perfect for potlucks and holiday gifts.
  • THE RECIPE Fresh Cranberry Cake Best made a day ahead.
  • ANOTHER TAKE Fresh Cranberry Bars A chewy almost-blondie molasses and spice bar with bursts of juicy cranberry, topped with a scattering of sugar "snow".

Cranberry Apple Crisp ♥, my signature dessert during cold weather. A classic sweet apple crisp, punched up cranberries and brandy-soaked currants, bright with citrus and ginger.
  • THE RECIPE Cranberry Apple Crisp A wintry take on fall's favorite, my signature dessert during cold weather.
  • ANOTHER TAKE Extra-Crispy Apple Crisp My very own "perfect" recipe, barely sweet apples firm and tart, topped with an extra-crispy topping, thanks to a secret ingredient.

Fresh Cranberry Drop Cookies ♥, an easy cranberry cookie recipe with festive holiday appearance. Fresh cranberries, pecans and orange.

Cranberry Recipes & Ideas ♥, Savory to Sweet. Recipes, tips, nutrition & Weight Watchers points included.

Making a (Cookie) List, Checking It Twice

Family Shortbread ♥, spare, simple, ethereal English shortbread. Lots of family tricks and tips, all in one place.

No-Chill Cutout Sugar Cookies ♥, just mix and roll, no need to wait. Mix and bake in under an hour.

Fresh Cranberry Bars ♥, a chewy almost-blondie molasses and spice bar with bursts of juicy cranberry, topped with a scattering of sugar snow. No mixer required.
  • THE RECIPE Fresh Cranberry Bars A chewy almost-blondie molasses and spice bar with bursts of juicy cranberry, topped with a scattering of sugar "snow".
  • ANOTHER TAKE Snickerdoodle Bars Snickerdoodle flavors with the firm, chewy texture of blondies.

Food Gifts

Homemade Caramel Corn ♥, made in the microwave in a paper bag so no mess, no fuss. Fun for kids!

Cranberry Walnut Bread ♥, special for the holidays, a barely sweet yeast bread studded with dried cranberries and toasted walnuts.
  • THE RECIPE Cranberry Walnut Bread Special for the holidays, a barely sweet yeast bread studded with dried cranberries and toasted walnuts.
  • ANOTHER TAKE Hot Cross Buns Sweet buns traditional for Easter.

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


My Top 10 Recipes are predictable, hello How To Keep Green Onions Fresh for Weeks and What Are Bitter Greens?. But every week, seasonal recipes catch the internet's attention and start to trend.

How to Freeze Stock in Canning Jars ♥

Homemade Swedish Potato Sausage ♥, step-by-step instructions from a grandmother teaching her granddaughters how to make the traditional holiday sausages. Rave Reviews Since 2009.

What's New?!

Apple Yogurt Salad ♥, a winter fruit salad, just apples with Greek yogurt, tangerines, pomegranate, fresh mint and a touch of cardamon. Great for winter brunches, Christmas morning, light holiday desserts. Weight Watchers Friendly. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special. Gluten Free.

Swedish Red Cabbage & Apples ♥ A Veggie Venture, savory not sweet, a tradition at Christmas, adding welcome color and texture to a plate. Recipe, cooking tips, nutrition, WW Weight Watchers points included.

Just Updated!

Savory Roasted Pecans, a great last-minute appetizer or hostess gift ♥, just pecan halves roasted with Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco and savory spices.

Don't Be a Stranger!

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.