Seasonal Sundays (Week 4) Mid January

A collection of recipes, word games and books to dive into during bone-chilling January ...
Seasonal Sundays ♥, a seasonal collection of recipes and life ideas in and out of the kitchen.

Welcome to Seasonal Sundays ...

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Your understanding and encouragement after my unplanned long absence truly lifted me up. So much kindness, yours. So much life wisdom, yours. So much gratitude, here.

Special thanks, too, to the bread bakers who shared creative ways to create a warm space for yeast breads to rise. Very inspiring! Post to come!

BUT ABOUT THOSE DUPLICATE EMAILS For email subscribers, my apologies, the Feedburner service that supposedly would no longer send emails, well, it did. I think it's fixed now. But if you happen to still get duplicate messages, unsubscribe from the one delivered by FeedBurner, keep the one from the service called

About the Photo By Popular Request, a Little Insight into the Top Image: My book club returned to Zoom this week. Everyone's vaccinated and boosted so since May, most of our small group has been okay with in-person, outdoor, socially distanced sessions. Our last order of business was to select dates for the coming year. Everyone's calendars are "remarkably open" again in 2022 (arrrgh) but still, it was a shock to select a book club date for January 2023, a year from now, wondering what our worlds might look like, then vs now, then vs before.

Real Life, of course, means that tomorrow is just as unknowable as a year from tomorrow, even in times without a global pandemic and a democracy at risk.

It's like looking through a car's frost-covered windshield, a few open spots, much left unknowable.


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.

My Chicken Noodle Soup ♥, meaty and noodle-y with a special technique to plump up just a few noodles. Low Carb. High Protein.
  • THE RECIPE My Chicken Noodle Soup The way I make it, meaty and noodle-y with just a few noodles.
  • WHY THIS, WHY NOW Because a great chicken soup has known medicinal powers, heaven knows we need this on so many levels.

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.

Chicken & Veggies Baked in Foil, another Quick Supper ♥ Weeknight Easy. Weight Watchers Friendly. Low Carb. Gluten Free. High Protein. Easy Cleanup. Rave Reviews.

Big Pots of Warmth (& Happy for Leftovers!)

Crockpot Chili with Spicy Sausage ♥, just cook ground beef and spicy sausage, then dump it all into a slow cooker or Dutch oven for slow cooking in the oven or on the stove. Meaty and man-friendly!

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!

At Last Black Bean Soup ♥, Laurie Colwin's recipe, just dump in the ingredients and cook it on the stove, in the oven or in a slow cooker.

For My Fellow Word Dancers

  • Personal Word of the Year Who does this? I'm still penciling out ideas for mine, a single word or phrase to act as a guidepost, an inspiration, a challenge, a reminder for the year. My friend Sharon says that her 2022 word is "optimism". A blogger I follow chose "fun". I like 'em! But a year is a big commitment, right? like a New Year's resolution waiting to be ignored. (Who knew? There's an official "Quitters Day" for resolution-makers – and it's already Xd off the calendar, January 14th.) So I'm thinking someone like me who religiously marks weeks and months, I need a Word of the Month or even a Word of the Week.

  • A New Word? You've heard of sudoku, the number-grid puzzle. But there's also tsundoku, the art of collecting books that will not be read aka my Audible and Kindle Libraries. But the good news is that the Japanese word reflects a brighter version of the proverbial road to hell and all its good intentions, that is, that unread books reveal a curiosity and willingness and desire for life-long learning. Now if I could only put that in one word. Oh right, tsundoku.

  • Wordle! It's the quick word game that's gone viral, from a guy who created a simple dare-I-say addictive word game for his girlfriend. I suppose Wordle will go big-time someday but for the moment, there's no app or ads or anything, just a link to play the game. Save the link on your phone, it's surprisingly hard to find because there's been so much coverage from major news media, NPR, NYT, way more. You just might find yourself strategizing about your lead-off five-letter word for tomorrow, from some freaking 12,000 choices.

  • More Word Puzzles! In this household, we're also big fans of two other just-one-a-day puzzles that come with a subscription to the New York Times, the Mini Crossword (some times it takes less than a minute!) and the Spelling Bee (six letters plus one mandatory letter to decipher words of at least four letters). I've upped my game on the Spelling Bee, allowing myself to play only if I can first puzzle out the panagram, the word that uses all the letters. Spelling Bee is fun with kids: last summer I copied a few puzzles onto paper and we passed them around the table, seeing who could get the most words in three minutes.

  • The Minister's Cat is a [a, b, c ...] Cat I think I picked this up from one of the Outlander books? It fun in the car, we started playing with the twin grandsons when they were six or seven. They're almost teenagers now, the vocabulary just gets more inventive! It's a round-robin game. The first person states, The Minister's Cat is a ____ Cat, filling in with an adjective that starts with the letter a. The next person does b, and so on. And it all feels surprisingly silly and fun!

The Dinner Bell for Vegetable Lovers

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.
Mediterranean Eggplant, another Quick Supper ♥, a quick, easy & tasty vegetarian supper, just eggplant, zucchini and tomato (fresh or canned) with a little feta stirred in. One Pot. Weight Watchers Friendly. Low Carb. Gluten Free.

Celebration Salad (Maple-Roasted Carrots with Arugula, Dill, Cranberry Vinaigrette, Pomegranate and Glazed Pecans) ♥, an exultant platter of vegan texture, color, flavor and mood. Meatless Monday. Gluten Free.

Tuscan Vegetable Stew ♥, a year-round detox stew, quick to make. Vegan. Low Carb. Weight Watchers Friendly.

Good to Know

How to Roast Vegetables, 21 Tips & a Master Recipe ♥ A Veggie Venture.

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!

How to Poach a Perfect Egg ♥, the Cook's Illustrated technique. So easy, you'll never forget!

Meal Prep

How to Cook Sweet Potatoes in a Slow Cooker, so simple ♥ Great for Meal Prep. Vegan. Gluten Free. WW Friendly. Budget Friendly.

Working from Home? Lunch at the Kitchen Table

Winter Tomato Soup ♥, homemade, where slow-roasting draws summer flavor from canned tomatoes. Six variations, one for the slow cooker.

Soups & Salads Especially for January

What sparks you in January? Warms you from the middle out or nourishes you 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!

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

Winter Greens Salad with Oranges, Avocado, Olives, Feta & Orange-Cumin Vinaigrette, another simple seasonal salad ♥

Weight Watchers Zero Points Garden Vegetable Soup ♥, WW’s famous original soup, quick to make, sure to satisfy. Vegan. Low Carb. Gluten Free. Whole 30.

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?

Shhh Banana Bread ♥, healthy low-fat banana bread, just 1 tablespoon oil and whole wheat flour. Weight Watchers Friendly!


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

Baked Cabbage Wedges ♥, slow-roasted with carrots and onion, here ready for the oven where they turn dark and toasty, sweet and smoky. Vegan. Gluten Free. Weight Watchers Friendly.

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.


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.

How to Safely Purée Soups & Other Hot Liquids in a Blender ♥, preventing big messes and bad burns.

Quick Corn Soup with Coconut Milk ♥, super-quick, super-adaptable.

Something to Read

This week my book club finished a non-fiction book, notable for several reasons. We rarely take on non-fiction because:

  • ... they don't seem to generate much discussion. Not so for The Splendid and the Vile.
  • ... they don't always seem relevant to present times. Not so for The Splendid and the Vile.

Now I will say this: to a member, we found the book long and wished it were shorter – but also completely worth reading.

But author/journalist Erik Larson's books are all compelling. I make a point to read everything he writes.

Just Updated!

Lemon-Honey Chicken Skillet ♥, a one-pot chicken dinner with a medley of spices and vegetables.

Light 'n' Fluffy Homemade Whole-Grain Bread ♥, for mini buns, sandwich rolls and loaves.

Cut-Out Spice Cookies ♥, easy roll-out cookies with gingerbread spices for year-round occasions.

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

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.