Seasonal Sundays (Week 17) Mid April

C'mon in! Let's settle in over a cup of coffee and swap recipes, shall we? This week's collection is focused entirely on the day-in day-out occupation of feeding ourselves and our family, nothin' fancy, just good plain, everyday fare.
Seasonal Sundays ♥, a seasonal collection of recipes and life ideas in and out of the kitchen.

Welcome to Seasonal Sundays ...

But of course, someday, sooner or later, we must step back out into a world that will appear familiar and frightening both at once. Is the country ready? Am I ready? (Week 17 2020)

Sound familiar? For those who were following Kitchen Parade's weekly Seasonal Sunday recipe collections a year ago, they just might.

How many of you kept journals during this last year? I did not but did write, here, every week so it's a journal of sorts.

I went on like this:

The coming week will be our seventh in isolation, with at least another four to go. The time seems to pass slowly but it's unbelievable, really, that it's already been so long. The days blur, the timeline is fuzzy.

And is anyone else struggling with the risk of "re-opening" ... leaving our little safe zones, especially with what's effectively zero testing, zero tracing? It feels reckless, consequences be damned. (Week 17 2020)

Wow #1. "At least another four weeks of isolation to go." The naïveté of that ...

Wow #2. "Is anyone else struggling with the risk of ... leaving our little safe zones ..."

Anyone? We know so much more now in 2021. A quarter of the country is fully vaccinated, even if apparently half the country remains blithely unaware, mis-information hesitant, outright resistant.

My sister forwarded a short story called Vaccine Season by Finnish mathematician/author Hannu Rajaniemi (affiliate link) read aloud by the silver-voiced LeVar Burton. It's a fascinating look forward at incredible advances in medical technology post-Covid19.

It's fiction but who's to say, right? Perhaps this global pandemic will change the world in ways we can barely begin to imagine.

About the Photo By Popular Request, a Little Insight into the Top Image: My not-that-handy husband has a thing for way with birdhouses, built with an apparently never-ending supply of odds and ends of wood squirreled away in his woodshop. This little green guy went up this week, just as the dogwood burst into bloom.


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.

How to Cook Asparagus in the Microwave ♥ Weeknight Easy. Weight Watchers Friendly. Vegan.
  • THE RECIPE How to Microwave Asparagus
  • WHY THIS, WHY NOW Because please, just once a day, let there be something simple that doesn't require If-Then statements or Pro-Con comparisons. And oh, yeah, the supermarket asparagus is g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s and our garden is spitting out at least a dozen spears a day week.

Pick One 2020

  • THE RECIPE Red Quinoa Salad Your Way A Quick Supper with healthy grains, crunchy vegetables, fresh herbs & creamy cheese.
  • WHY THIS, WHY THEN Super simple, super casual, super adaptable ... and filling, even for my (surprised) meat-motivated husband.

What's New?!

Wondering about a recipe from the last while? Check Recent Recipes from Kitchen Parade and Recent Vegetable Recipes from A Veggie Venture.

One-Skillet Braised Chicken with Shallots ♥, drumsticks or thighs braised with shallots in a white-wine and mustard sauce.

Easy Sautéed Asparagus, another quick healthy vegetable ♥ Loaded with garlic plus optional anchovies.

The Dinner Bell

Seven days a week, 52 weeks a year, the dinner bell rings. If we're gonna eat, somebody's gotta cook, some nights fuel, some nights a feast. Let's make it good, a welcome end to our days.
Moroccan Chicken ♥, a one-pot chicken stew simmered with eggplant and tomato in a sauce perfumed with Morrocan-style spices. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special. Weight Watchers Friendly. Naturally Gluten Free. High Protein.

Zucchini Mushroom Tacos, another Meatless Monday or Taco Tuesday idea ♥ A Veggie Venture, easy to adapt with what's on hand or just what sounds good. Weight Watchers Friendly.

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

Put an Egg on Top aka "How About Eggs for Dinner?"

Why should breakfast get all the eggs?! If eggs for dinner were a club, I'd be president, chief marketing officer, resident evangelist, public advocate and ... hey, wanna join my club? Start here!

Fried Egg Quesadillas, another easy summer breakfast ♥ Just Three Ingredients. Budget Friendly. High Protein.

Pasta Salad Season

And I couldn't be happier! Over the years, I've developed a particular style for pasta salad, one that minimizes or eliminates the mayonnaise and makes sure that "soft pasta" is matched with "good crunch". All the recipes have this in common: fewer noodles, more crisp veggies, big flavors. Enjoy!

Greek Pasta Salad with Creamy Feta Vinaigrette, another classic summer salad ♥, loaded with vegetables in a tangy-creamy feta vinaigrette.

Italian Pasta Salad with Garlicky Tomatoes & Collard Greens, another healthy refrigerator salad ♥ Vegan. Weight Watchers Friendly.

Best-Ever Macaroni Salad, the summer classic, just better ♥ Great crunch, thanks to six different vegetables in a light and bright savory dressing. Budget Friendly. Potluck and Party Friendly. Weight Watchers Friendly.

Most Useful Recipes, Just One Per Year

When a blogger loves every single one of her published recipes, how in the world does she pick just one favorite? It's stunning, honestly, how each year one Kitchen Parade recipe stands out from all the others that year for sheer usefulness. So that's why I created this collection of best recipes, just one per year, Best-Ever “Most Useful” Recipes 2002 – Present, just one recipe per year from Kitchen Parade. Here's a sample.

Healthy Carrot Soup ♥, my cousin's famous carrot soup recipe, creamy even though it's made with skim milk, not cream. Weight Watchers Friendly. Budget Friendly. Low Carb. Rave Reviews!

PS Who's noticed? I'm big on highlighting "usefulness". 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. You'll want to dig into this collection, 15 Favorite Vegetable Recipes, Still Useful After 15 Years.

Illusive iPhone Tips

Custom Alarms

At book club last week, half of us didn't know that it was possible to put a custom label on the alarms in the native Clock: kinda something, given that all of us have had iPhones for a long while.

I find alarms soooo useful. Once an alarm is set, my mind is no longer responsible for remembering mundane stuff, especially stuff that happens every day (medication reminders) or several times a day (eye drop reminders) or on certain days (like garbage pickup). It's also a way to set up nagging reminders for healthy habits, like exercise, an afternoon dogwalk, etc.

Each alarm has its own label, it's fun to be creative! For a mood setter, my morning alarm reminds me to make today a "diamond" day. For the dog walk, the alarm is labeled with paw print emojis.

Here's how you do it.

PS Android users, sorry, no experience there. But if an Android user wants to provide instructions, please send them my way for others to benefit!

  • Open the clock app.
  • To add a new alarm with a custom label, click the + button on the top right.
  • To edit an existing alarm, just click the Edit button on the top left.
  • Set the time, including am/pm.
  • If it's an alarm that you want to repeat, next to Repeat, click the Never > button for more choices.
  • To name the alarm, next to Label, click the Alarm > button. Backspace to remove the label "alarm" then type in your own label, whatever works for you. You can even use emojis for labels!
  • To give the alarm a distinct sound, next to Sound, click the [the tone name will vary] > button, then make your choice for the sound of the alarm.

Use Your Apple Watch to Find Your iPhone

I lost my phone last week, for an unbearable nine hours, three spent searching. I knew it was in the house, I hadn't been out. I also knew it was low on power so time was critical. And the sound was off ...

Alexa knew my phone was quite near, bluetooth worked and Alexa did as told when instructed "Alexa, call my phone". But the sound was off ...

Find My Phone knew where my phone's last known location at 12:08pm. But the phone was in a part of the house not connected where Wifi is iffy, so offline.

Apple Watch to the rescue!

This one's a little trickier, it's definitely not obvious.

First, scroll left or right to find a plain watch face, nothing more than a clock face with hands.

Then swipe the clock face up, revealing a whole different section below the face.

That section has six buttons. The one you want is on the upper right hand corner: the graphic shows what kinda-sorta looks like a phone with sound bars emanating from either side.

Touch that button and you'll see a message that says Pinging iPhone. Even when your phone's sound is OFF, this will make your phone give a short but loud sound, just once. If your phone's within earsound, great, move closer. If it's not, move to a different room, a different floor, always moving slightly closer to where the phone might be. Ping and listen, ping and listen.

After using all kinds of techniques to find my phone over three hours, the Watch found the phone in three minutes.

Where was it? On a shelf in the storage room in the basement, near where I'd just changed some light bulbs -- and right out in the open, of course! I'd walked past it at least three times. :-(

Will I remember this again? Maybe not. My sister-who-remembers-everything tells me I've used the Watch for this purpose before. Just in case, I've added a note in Contacts.

Soups & Salads Especially for April

For seasonal cooks, switching seasons happens gradually, over the course of a few weeks. Here in the Midwest, it's still definitely "early spring" so the recipes cross between soups that warm us up on those chilly days and salads that call when it's easy to stretch an outdoor meal into evening. So what sounds good depends on the day, yes? 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 April, so many ideas!

Here's a sample!

Smitten Kitchen's Avocado-Cucumber Salad ♥, addictively good, so many variations. Low Carb. Gluten Free.

Feeding a Sugar-Conscious Sweet Tooth

You too? We're cutting back on sweets without demonizing dessert, usually with smaller batches, smaller servings, shareable desserts or fruit desserts in addition to limiting frequency. But some times?

Easy-Easy Chocolate Sheet Cake ♥, dark, moist, chocolate-y. No mixer required.


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

Easy Skillet Stroganoff (Beef or Chicken), more weeknight comfort food ♥ Budget Friendly. High Protein.

African Pepper, Tomato & Spinach Stew ♥ Just 5 ingredients, 15 minutes and low Weight Watchers points.


My Top 10 Recipes are predictable, hello Should Cooked Pork Be Pink? and (Sloooow) Baked Potatoes (How Long to Bake a Baked Potato). But every week, seasonal recipes catch the internet's attention and start to trend.

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

Cook's Illustrated's recipe for Foolproof Oven-Baked Brown Rice ♥, turns out moist, nutty and perfect every time. Rave reviews from home cooks everywhere.

Something to Read. Or Watch.

For those who love historical fiction set in WWII or who loved The Village on Amazon Prime, A Woman of No Importance is the story of an extraordinarily resourceful undercover American agent in France during and after the Occupation.

The book is contemporary non-fiction of the best sort, if you didn't know the story were true, you'd think it were a novel.

  • THE NETFLIX SERIES We blazed through Caliphate, the story of the fallout when Swedish teenage girls are groomed and radicalized by Youtube and religious extremists. There are at least three separate story lines: it's a gripping account.
  • This review by European Eye On Radicalization lists several of the techniques used to draw in the girls: frightening but illuminating. Some will sound eerily familiar. Two weeks later and I'm still thinking about Caliphate ...

Just Updated!

Roasted Veggie Enchilada Casserole ♥, a Master Recipe, layers of roasted vegetables, salsa verde, corn tortillas and fresh spinach with a little cheese. One for dinner, one for the freezer.

Winter Fruit Salad ♥, a fruit salad for the months when fresh fruit is scarce, a combination of fresh, frozen and canned fruit, brightened with lemon zest and Grand Marnier.

How to Transform Your Morning Oatmeal with Creamy 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.

Banana Streusel Muffins ♥, a super-moist muffin made with very ripe bananas and reduced sugar, topped with nuts and cinnamon.
  • THE RECIPE Banana Streusel Muffins A super-moist banana muffin topped with a "streusel" mix of toasted nuts and cinnamon.
  • ANOTHER TAKE Banana Nutter Muffins Whole-wheat muffins with banana, peanut butter and chocolate.

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, tuck a question into a plastic Easter egg, 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.