Seasonal Sundays (Week 4) Late January

For the very first time, a big collection of "concept recipes" ("master" recipes?) that so easily adjust to what's in season, what sounds good, what you have on hand, never turning out the same way twice except, well, delicious.
Seasonal Sundays ♥, a seasonal collection of recipes and life ideas in and out of the kitchen.

Welcome to Seasonal Sundays ...

Wow. what a worrisome, weepy and ultimately wonderful week.

Here, we did it in early-morning royal wedding style, sport coat for him, pearls for me. We nibbled on breakfast, we marched to military bands, we lifted glasses of bubbly.

Twas a day.

And Amanda Gorman! She's a poet of illuminating alliteration.

Past generations memorized dozens and more poems. My own great-grandmother was what I think was then called an "elocutionist," performing poems and readings for small groups. No Netflix, forget Facebook, there were parlors and programs to fill!

And yet this is the first time I've considered memorizing a poem ...

I do recommend reading Amanda Gorman's inaugural poem out loud, sloooooowly, letting the words and wisdom wash over your shoulders, its sentiments seep into the crevasses.

I've been reading it to my 94 and 3/4 year-old father, lovely moments, those.

Copy it over, somewhere you can visit often.

The Hill We Climb
by poet laureate Amanda Gorman

When day comes we ask ourselves,
where can we find light in this never-ending shade?

The loss we carry,
a sea we must wade
We've braved the belly of the beast
We've learned that quiet isn't always peace
And the norms and notions
of what "just is"
Isn't always just-ice

And yet the dawn is ours
before we knew it
Somehow we do it
Somehow we've weathered and witnessed
a nation that isn't broken
but simply unfinished

We the successors of a country and a time
Where a skinny Black girl
descended from slaves and raised by a single mother
can dream of becoming president
only to find herself reciting for one

And yes we are far from polished
far from pristine
but that doesn't mean we are
striving to form a union that is perfect

We are striving to forge a union with purpose
To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and conditions of man
And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us
but what stands before us

We close the divide because we know, to put our future first,
we must first put our differences aside

We lay down our arms
so we can reach out our arms
to one another

We seek harm to none and harmony for all

Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true:
That even as we grieved, we grew
That even as we hurt, we hoped
That even as we tired, we tried

That we'll forever be tied together, victorious
Not because we will never again know defeat
but because we will never again sow division

Scripture tells us to envision
that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree
And no one shall make them afraid

If we're to live up to our own time
Then victory won't lie in the blade
But in all the bridges we've made
That is the promise to glade

The hill we climb
If only we dare

It's because being American is more than a pride we inherit,
it's the past we step into
and how we repair it

We've seen a force that would shatter our nation
rather than share it
Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy
And this effort very nearly succeeded

But while democracy can be periodically delayed
it can never be permanently defeated
In this truth
in this faith we trust

For while we have our eyes on the future
history has its eyes on us

This is the era of just redemption
We feared at its inception
We did not feel prepared to be the heirs
of such a terrifying hour
but within it we found the power
to author a new chapter
To offer hope and laughter to ourselves

So while once we asked,
how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?
Now we assert
How could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?

We will not march back to what was
but move to what shall be
A country that is bruised but whole,
benevolent but bold,
fierce and free

We will not be turned around
or interrupted by intimidation
because we know our inaction and inertia
will be the inheritance of the next generation
Our blunders become their burdens

But one thing is certain:
If we merge mercy with might,
and might with right,
then love becomes our legacy
and change our children's birthright

So let us leave behind a country
better than the one we were left with

Every breath from my bronze-pounded chest,
we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one

We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the west,
we will rise from the windswept northeast
where our forefathers first realized revolution
We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states,
we will rise from the sunbaked south

We will rebuild, reconcile and recover
and every known nook of our nation and
every corner called our country,
our people diverse and beautiful will emerge,
battered and beautiful

When day comes we step out of the shade,
aflame and unafraid
The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
if only we're brave enough to see it
If only we're brave enough to be it

About the Photo By Popular Request, a Little Insight into the Top Image: I've been collecting photos of children reaching out to Kamala Harris' big-screen image as she took the oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the country. Here, a high five! Another, a thoughtful contemplation. Another, a happy dance.

#RoleModelsMatter. This is a big one.


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.

Chicken Sybil ♥, the 'multiple personality' chicken, just pan-cooked chicken in a creamy-mustard sauce with on-hand ingredients.
  • THE RECIPE Chicken Sybil My favorite Quick Supper, multiple personality chicken.

Concept Recipes

The more I cook, the fewer recipes I want. Is that weird, especially for someone who shares new recipes?! Perhaps.

Enter Concept Recipes. Or maybe Master Recipes. I seem to use the terms interchangeably.

They're a special collection of recipes that are extra hard workers, offering up a framework that works with an almost endless list of variations, one protein for another, one seasoning for another, one vegetable for another, etc.

This is the first time I've gathered up a few of my favorites in one place.

Take a peek!

Quick 'n' Easy Raw Salad ♥, my own 'healthy habit' that I hope will inspire yours, too.

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

Perfect Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins ♥, healthy pumpkin muffins that stay fresh for days. Moist and spicy with great texture.

Overnight Coffeecake ♥, easy, adaptable coffeecake recipe, mix it the night before, bake to serve hot and fresh in the morning.

Our Daily Bread: My Easy Everyday Bread Recipe ♥, the one I make again and again, every few days. It's an easy bread to make often, to fit into small spaces of your cooking life.

How to Make Homemade Vegetable Soup, a master recipe ♥ Never the same twice! Perfect for CSA members, farmers market shoppers and all vegetable lovers!

Oaxaca Tlayuda (Mexican Flat Tacos) ♥, easy, healthy build-your-own crispy baked tortillas.

Simple Lentil Salad with Seasonal Vegetables ♥, a concept recipe, a supper salad that starts with meaty lentils and whatever vegetables are on hand or appeal.

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.

A Week In My Kitchen

This week, I was struck by how often I cook from Kitchen Parade and A Veggie Venture's archives. Some times it's for new photos or to check a detail. Other times, it's just because, well, the recipes work and I know to rely on them. If you've ever wondered how "ALANNA's TIPS" come to be, well then, here you go.

  • My Everyday Creamy Herb Salad Dressing, a Thousand Island version, adding the ketchup and sweet relish suggested by Homemade Thousand Island Dressing.

  • My Favorite Way to Roast Beets, the beets were so pretty this week. And that meant, of course, a Roasted Beet Salad!

  • Greek Greens (Flash Cook to Eat Later), this is what I did with the beet greens and stems, so good, also the two bunches of Swiss chard I did at the same time. The one failure? Kohlrabi greens, ugh, though I'm not sure if the greens were just too mature (and thus very bitter and almost sour) or I just don't like 'em. Thoughts??

  • Pinto Bean Salad, A Veggie Venture's "most useful" recipe for 2020. And so it is! It was a great way to branch out from plain 'ol canned beans for a brand-new recipe on A Veggie Venture, Nutrition GPA All-Day A+ Salad. I love the green pepper! A whole cup would count for both a "vegetable serving" and a "bean serving" with the Nutrition GPA salad.

  • Five-Week Bran Muffins, the post isn't updated yet but we've been nibbling on these all week, that's because this is that old recipe where you make a big batch of batter but bake it up just a few muffins at a time. It even works for a single muffin in a coffee mug in the microwave! The recipe works well with white whole wheat flour (which makes these whole-grain) and the bran, well, the bran does its job. I still need to see if butter can be substituted for shortening (I'm thinking not, based on the experience with a different bran muffin recipe) and I have a tweak or two to update but wow, these are wonderful muffins.

  • Easy Green Chile Egg Casserole, this was our breakfast the morning of the inauguration. I made a half batch of the batter early quick-quick (while the muffins were in the oven) and then baked it a couple of hours later for 30 minutes in four individual serving dishes, two larger (for my husband) and two smaller (for me), two for breakfast, two for the fridge for the next day. Total win!

  • Crockpot Chili with Spicy Sausage, this recipe is long overdue for new photos and has been updated just this minute. Man, it's such a good chili. It's also my meatiest chili, this time I did it for five hours in the oven at 250F. So good.

  • Skillet Cornbread aka "how to make your husband a happy man". This is my oldest cornbread recipe and it fell out of favor for awhile, Simple Cast Iron Southern Corn Bread was just simpler. The post isn't updated yet but I've been streamlining the recipe to simplify it, making the extra effort of whipping egg whites to fold in at the end worthwhile. Oh. And this time I used maple syrup instead of corn syrup. Total win, especially because it stays moist for a couple of days.

  • Banana Cream Pudding, we've taken to delivering pudding to the 11-year old twin grandsons after Zoom school on Fridays, something for all of us to look forward to! The twinzz are finalizing a name. Pudding Party? Pudding Poppalooza? LOL they seem to have inherited a love of alliteration. Anyway, a rich chocolate pudding got lots of accolades, once in pie with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles on top ("so fancy" said one of the guyzz) and another time plain with stabilized whipped cream. An old-fashioned lemon pudding not so much, too sour, I think. Friday I turned my banana cream pudding into Nilla Pudding, and oh my, yep, they kinda liked it. But here's the revelation, something I've been trying to figure out for so long, why some times my pudding turns out creamy smooth and other times, it starts off smooth but ends up lumpy. I think it's the whisk! Some times I make pudding in one of two saucepans using a forked-sorta whisk that's suitable for non-stick pans. Other times, I make pudding in a stainless steel pan using a large wire balloon whisk. THIS I think is the trick, the wire whisk. More as I confirm ... this week, I think, will be butterscotch.

Veggies Forever

To mark A Veggie Venture's 15th anniversary in 2020, I took a hard look at the first 365 vegetable recipes from the first year to select just 15 which, all these many years and recipes later, remain ever so useful. The result is a fascinating collection of recipes, 15 Favorite Vegetable Recipes, Still Useful After 15 Years. Here's just one.

Veggie-Lentil Burritos with Cilantro Sauce ♥, a vegetarian concept recipe for what's on hand, gorgeous sauce. Very adaptable. Rave reviews.

PS Who's noticed? I'm big on "usefulness". See? Best-Ever “Most Useful” Recipes 2002 – Present, just one recipe per year from Kitchen Parade.

Made Me Think ...

Soups & Salads Especially for January

What sparks us in January? Warms us from the middle out or nourishes us from the outside in? Soup, of course! Salads, of course! That's why I spent a year gathering all of A Veggie Venture's best soup and salad recipes into easy-to-scan month-by-month collections.

Dig into Seasonal Soup & Salad Recipes for January, tons of ideas!

Here's a sample!

Lasagna Soup with Fresh Spinach ♥, a healthy hearty soup, high protein.

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


Who else loves seeing old photos pop up, quick memories from years past? Welcome to a recipe timehop ...

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

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.


My Top 10 Recipes are predictable, hello Ripe Bananas for Baking: How Ripe Should Bananas Be? and Weight Watchers Zero Points Garden Vegetable Soup. But every week, seasonal recipes catch the internet's attention and start to trend.

Juicy Pork Chops ♥, my favorite brine for pork chops, adding moisture and flavor to pork that's bred, these days, for leanness.

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.

What's New?!

Nutrition GPA All-Day A+ Salad, another flexible concept salad ♥ with all the vegetables, legumes, protein and omega-3s for an A+ on the Nutrition GPA app.

Quick Jalapeño Pickles ♥, easy homemade refrigerator pickles, no canning required. Great for Mexican Meal Prep.

Just Updated!

How to Cook White Rice ♥, it turns out perfectly every time without special equipment.

Swiss Chard Gratin, another simple but special vegetable side dish ♥, just leafy greens, cream and a little lemon zest with a crispy golden topping.

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.