Seasonal Sundays (Week 9) Late February

If it's Sunday, well, it's time for recipes and other ideas for the week or two ahead, a late-winter collection that includes both "Pancake Night" and Mardi Gras, two sides of the same calendar coin. Plus ... signs of spring, Mother Nature's and metaphorical, two sides of the same ... something.
Seasonal Sundays ♥, a seasonal collection of recipes and life ideas in and out of the kitchen.

Welcome to Seasonal Sundays ...

Hang in there, people! We've got this!

The days are longer and the late-winter light is noticeably brighter even while the sunsets remain winter-rainbows. The cardinals are cavorting! The dog lingers outside long and late, poking his nose into icy drifts and leafy bundles.

Late last night, the snow and ice from earlier this week were moon-lit and eerie. But there! Just outside the bedroom window! Could it be, so early?! Sure enough, a clump of daffodil fronds are pitching themselves sunward through still-frozen earth.

And maybe that's how we, too, begin to emerge from almost two years of social separation and outright isolation?

Resolute if cautious. Confident if tentative. Hopeful if watchful.

Our family doctor, who's been spot-on since the very beginning, predicts a few months of much-reduced new cases, hospitalizations and deaths (a "breather" if you will) followed by three summer-holiday spikes and a resurgence at Thanksgiving – all this barring a new variant, of course, there's no forgetting that a year ago, "Delta" and "Omicron" were no more than letters of the Greek alphabet.

This isn't to say our lives will return to 2019-style "normal" – how could they, really, even if Covid had been eradicated?

But at least for us, vaccinated and boosted and happy to mask up, life looks "enough" (ahem) more normal in ways important to us that who knows what might happen? Dancing at midnight? Walks on the beach? Who knows?!!

And did I mention that the daffodils have broken through? No matter what, spring is ahead ...

About the Photo By Popular Request, a Little Insight into the Top Image: Most of us probably know that maple syrup comes from the sap of maple trees that begins running in late winter, is harvested and cooked down for our breakfast pancakes. But we were sure surprised when an invasive species called "red cedar" was cut into and tree sap began first dripping and then almost pouring out. It was chilly cold and barely sweet. Most of all, it reminded us that spring's not far behind!


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.

Hamburger Soup ♥, a hearty meat and vegetable soup, easy comfort food.
  • THE RECIPE Hamburger Soup A hearty soup with chunks of meat and a cornucopia of bright-colored vegetables.
  • WHY THIS, WHY NOW Whoah, so good, we went through a huge pot of this in a couple of days this week, just the two of us. It's a forgiving recipe. This week, I used half burger meat and half pork sausage, both needing attention. I had carrots but no celery, a poblano but no red pepper. I threw in a can of chili beans and a bunch of cut-up baby potatoes. I have a similar pot planned "for delivery" later today.

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.

Spinach Salad with Fruity Vinaigrette, Fresh Fruit & Maple-Glazed Pecans ♥, a big dinner salad, fresh and green with a rainbow of fruit and g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s Maple-Glazed Pecans, all lightly dressed in a Fruity Vinaigrette.


Salmon Chowder ♥, fresh salmon in a creamy broth with carrot, potato, fennel.
  • "It was yummy. So much that I had three bowls yesterday." ~ George, a native-born Finn living in Canada and snowbirding in Florida
  • THE RECIPE Salmon Chowder Flavorful fish and potatoes in a creamy broth, much like Finland's beloved lohikëitto.

Make Tonight a Pancake Night

For Christians, Lent begins not this week but next: Ash Wednesday is March 2.

That means that the day before is "Shrove Tuesday" – aka Pancake Night – although regular readers know that I'm the one behind the movement called Make Tonight a Pancake Night, where any night will do.

So just sayin'. Put pancakes on the menu, some night soon, please?

Cornmeal Pancakes with Warm Blueberries ♥, a simple but sumptous combination, special for breakfast or supper.

Triple-Banana Oat Pancakes ♥, just wholesome oats, banana and egg. Taste and texture just like ordinary pancakes!

Lifetime Pancakes ♥, my sister's recipe for light, fluffy pancakes, scaled from a tiny batch for one or two to a large batch for a big family (or hungry teenagers).

Mardi Gras Nawlins-Style

In other circles, the day preceding the start of Lent is called "Mardi Gras" and it's such fun that all the festivities cannot be confined to a single day.

Best start now!

PS Have I ever told the story where my now-husband and I decided to throw a small Mardi Gras party, two or three other couples – and then I accidentally sent the invitation to my entire family contact list? LOL we ended up with about forty and it was one of the best parties we've thrown, in part because our friend Charlie introduced us to what became Bourbon Pralines, based on the famous praline recipe from the New Orleans School of Cooking.

Gumbo ♥, a classic Cajun gumbo except that the roux is cooked in the oven. Let the oven do the stirring!

Red Beans & Rice, another slow-cooked healthy dinner ♥ Meaty or Vegan. Weight Watchers Friendly. High Protein. Great for Meal Prep.

Big Cajun Chopped Salad, another fresh, flexible & healthy salad ♥ Great with gumbo, jambalaya, shrimp creole, crawfish boils and more.

Lunch at the Kitchen Table

Jubilee Greens, Another Master Technique ♥ How to sauté dark leafy greens like spinach, chard, kale and more.
  • THE RECIPE Jubilee Greens How to Sauté Leafy Greens Like Spinach, Chard, Kale & More
  • ANOTHER TAKE Greek Greens How to Flash Cook Dark Leafy Greens to Eat Later

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.
Slow-Cooked or Slow Cooker Pot Roast ♥, four easy tricks for tender, moist and flavorful pot roast. Low Carb. Weight Watchers friendly.

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.

Lentil, Pepper & Spinach Supper with Crispy Tofu & Indian Spices, another healthy one-pot supper ♥, lentils with bright bell pepper and dark spinach, topped with tofu cooked with Indian spices. Weight Watchers Friendly. Perfect for MeatlessMonday. Vegan, filling and satisfying. Adaptable too!

Good to Know

Freezer Surprises ♥, a peek inside my freezer at surprising foods that freeze surprisingly well.

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!

Perfect Hard-Cooked Eggs ♥, no special pot, no green rings, no difficulty peeling. The Cook's Illustrated technique works!

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!

Vegan Chickpea Gumbo, another healthy soup ♥ A Veggie Venture. A Cajun Classic. Low Fat. Weight Watchers Friendly. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special. Great for Meal Prep.

Savoring Sweet Potatoes: A Challenge

So you picked up a few sweet potatoes, right? Usually my "challenges" are, well, a challenge, an endeavor, a project. But here? For a few weeks, I hope you'll throw a few sweet potatoes onto your grocery list, knowing there'll be a simple recipe to tackle. Who's game?!
Baked Sweet Potatoes ♥, time and  erature to bake many and/or whole sweet potatoes in the oven.

Meal Prep

Spiced Preserved Lemons ♥, just lemons, salt and pantry spices, the cornerstone ingredient in Moroccan cuisine.

Finnish Food

How to Make Swedish Rye Bread in a Bread Machine or By Hand ♥, the traditional recipe, slightly sweet, bright with orange, anise and caraway. Recipes, many insider tips, nutrition and Weight Watchers points included.
  • THE RECIPE Swedish Rye Bread Very similar to Finland's joululimppu (Christmas rye), slightly sweet, densely delicious.
  • ANOTHER TAKE Best-Ever Oatmeal Bread Hearty and substantial, slightly sweetened with molasses. A family favorite!

Lookin' for Love

We're all proud of our best recipes that family and friends (and the Internet!) just love. But what about the recipes we love but are, ahem, so far under-appreciated? This recipe is just that, it could use a little extra love!

Homemade Vegetable Beef Soup, another healthy vegetable soup ♥, all about the vegetables but made with homemade beef stock.

Recipes That Stand the Test of Time

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.

How to Cook Brown Rice on the Stove ♥, moist and nutty and perfect every time.

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.

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?

Last-Minute Pantry Pie ♥, just five ingredients, all from the pantry, excellent with both canned fruit and fresh fruit. Just Five Ingredients Plus a Crust. Fresh & Flexible. Crowd Pleaser. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special.


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

How to make Chimichurri ♥, the Argentinian parsley sauce that's great with meat and fish but also livens up other dishes.
  • THE RECIPE Chimichurri How to make chimichurri, the Argentinian parsley sauce.
  • ANOTHER TAKE Homemade Sazón A gorgeous Dominican sauce, so fresh, so alive.

Chickpea Cakes with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce, another Healthy Vegetarian Weeknight Dinner Idea ♥ A Veggie Venture. Low Fat. High Protein. Weight Watchers Friendly.


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.

Slow Cooker Braised Lamb Shanks or Venison Shanks ♥ with a silky-smooth vegetable sauce. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special. Low Carb. High Protein. Weight Watchers Friendly.

Vegetable Chili with Sweet Potatoes & Chipotle ♥, a confetti of colorful vegetables and beans warmed with chili spices.

Something to Read

My book club's choice for February was the classic psychological thriller Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith. It's based on a fascinating premise and provoked lively, multi-sided conversation. You may know the book through the Alfred Hitchcock movie of the same name, also through The Talented Mr. Ripley, another of her books.

I've just started our March book Rules of Civility by Amor Towles but am finding it a good read listen. I flew through The Lincoln Highway, his latest.

Is "unputdownable" a word? It sure described my flight through The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chen. It could be a prequel to The Handmaid's Tale. If the chant "I am a bad mother ..." gives you a chill or a sense of authoritarian foreboding, put this on your library hold list.

DISCLOSURE The links above are what are called "affiliate links" which means that if you purchase something after clicking through, I may (though may not) earn a small (verrrry small) finder's fee that adds no cost to your own purchase. For more information, see My Disclosure Promise. To participate in the affiliate program, I'm required to disclose this information. But I would anyway, it's just good manners to be transparent about these things.

Just Updated!

Homemade Chocolate Sauce In-a-Flash ♥, just ten minutes and five pantry ingredients, you've got chocolate sauce!

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, translate a note into Finnish with Google translate, 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.