Seasonal Sundays (Week 43) Fall Sides

Happy Fall, Y'all! Today's recipe collection is for those of us who manage to get a main dish to the table but then feel stymied at what to serve alongside ... I hope you love this collection of side dishes, ones that really shine during these golden weeks of autumn.

Seasonal Sundays ♥, a seasonal collection of recipes and life ideas in and out of the kitchen.

Welcome to Seasonal Sundays ...

Happy Fall, Y'all! My Minnesota family got dusted with snow this week but here in the middle of the country, oh, it's been so lovely, sunny golden days, good-sleepin' weather nights.

And the leaves here are just beginning to turn ... the colors were so pretty yesterday, as we poked along a winding country road through the rolling hills of southeastern Missouri on our way to Chaumette Winery to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We hadn't heard that Chaumette suffered a fire in 2021, losing all its own wines, years of past vintages. (The main building and its restaurant/tasting room were not damaged, nor were any of the wedding/other event venues.) Chaumette recently completed construction on a brand-new wine-making building and last week, harvested its 2022 crop and will again begin making its own wines. For St. Louisans, Chaumette is about 90 miles away and has one of the prettiest patios in the world ...

Here's to that ... and the lesson in there ...

PS Dang! I forgot to ask if Chaumette's new chef kept their famous Old-Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Hey, has anyone noticed that "side dishes" are having a moment? If you watch, food bloggers are not only posting new side-dish recipes but our main-dish recipes now often include lists of suggested side dishes. Apparently, the Google Gods (who cast knowing eyes across our collective searches and then synthesize what we are hunting for into their search lists) have pinned side dishes as something home cooks are interested in.

So there are sides and then there are sides, am I right?

The simplest of "sides" are something like rice or quinoa or throwing some vegetables in the oven to roast.

They're their own thing, definitely, we all likely lean on them.

But today I'm sharing my take on sides that are especially fall-ish but take a bit more effort, no big projects mind you, just a little bit more time and forethought to bring to the table,

I do hope you love this collection!

On your mark, get set, let's get cookin'!

Made Me Think ...

  • So We've All Heard of Long Covid but Medium COVID Could Be the Most Dangerous Covid from the Atlantic. Takeaway: After twelve weeks, greatly heightened risk of blood clots, stroke, etc does subside – but it's especially important to watch for strokes since long-term effects can be drastically reduced by medical treatment within two hours.

  • iCloud Backup in the Apple Universe I am making gains migrating to a new laptop (after my vintage MacBook Pro died-died) but continue to struggle with restoring important data (not the usual document files) so embedded into Apple devices that so far, it's impossible to get it back. I really thought I was being so smart, keeping this data backed up separately. So here's my advice for Apple users. Check your Settings. Make sure you're backing up your entire phone. Make sure you're backing up your entire desktop/laptop. And use iCloud for this! Yes, you'll have to pay for storage space but it's inexpensive and trust me, a miserable six weeks of very low productivity and hours of restoration work is costly. And it ain't over ...

It's Not Politics. It's Civics.
It's Like Voting Every Day. Legally.

The country needs calm, thoughtful and assertive voices amid the chaos inflicted by a minority hellbent on taking/retaining power by strangling democratic principles and equal rights.

It's time to look up, study up and speak up. Make your voice heard!

Don't get overwhelmed. None of us have to personally change the world.


Pick one thing and put it on top of your To Do List this week. Next week, add another.

Here are my suggestions. I'll be adding to this list ...

NEXT WEEK? Suggestions Welcome.

NEW THIS WEEK Subscribe to a Local Newspaper My husband and I watch in dismay as our local paper, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, becomes increasingly thin in local content and even other content – except sports! I counted six sports writers in a recent issue even if the entire front section had only three local news stories.

I know, I know. It's seems senseless to continue subscribing or re-subscribing if the "value" or "utility" or "usefulness" is on the decline.

But the logic is this.

Without subscribers and thus advertisers, local papers will fail or worse, get sucked up by multi-paper chains that cut local staff and fill pages with USA Today-style pablum.

And without local papers, without focus on local issues, the "bad guys" will win because nobody's watching, nobody's connecting the dots, nobody's tracking people/issues over multiple years and even decades.

Here's an example. Last spring, I went looking for information on local school board candidates. There were dozens of candidates and zero information from informed, non-partisan sources ... zero. What did I do? I gave up. Even this highly motivated voter just gave up. I still have no idea who was elected, only that local schools are under tons of pressure to ban books, bully teachers, block student rights.

PS Facebook is no substitute.

LAST WEEK Question Your Own Truth One night, the light was so pretty as the sun set, the tree tops were bright with orange. Fall had arrived!

Except ... it hadn't. It was June, early June.

Instead, the long slant of the setting sun lit up the leaves, turning them fall orange.

Wouldn't you look at this photo and agree twas taken in early autumn, just as the first leaves begin to turn color?

Just look! We can see it with our very own eyes. Of course this photo was taken during fall.

But truth isn't always black or white or for that matter, green or orange. Facts can be a little slippery. Truth can be veiled by a big lie.

More than ever, it's important for us to stay engaged, listening to other points of view, discerning not "our own" truth but the real truth.

I think of this "fall" photo every time I'm ready to jump on something that's in the news, forcing myself to question something being presented as fact, remembering that news is is history's first draft. What's the source? What's the evidence? Who has what to gain by this information? Is it a developing story?

RECOMMENDED READING How Hitler's Enablers Undid Democracy in Weimar Germany, this covers a period of world history many of us have less familiarity with than the battles and Holocaust.

THREE WEEKS AGO Make Sure Your Circle Has Registration & Voting Plans Focus on voter registration and election-day voting plans for your immediate family plus some number more. Do the research, make the calls, get the links and the forms, make sure people are registered (or know how to do it) and know when/where to vote. Follow up!

Why give focus to something so basic?

  • Because voter participation is the bedrock of the operation of our democracy. It's how we make choices about the kind of country we want for ourselves and the generations that follow.
  • Because elections are organized at a local level, where you live dictates your particular voting situation. For example, where we live, the St. Louis County Election Board conducts elections for County residents.
  • Because of the 2020 Census and re-districting, district lines may have changed. You and your extended family may live in a different district than before.
  • Especially in Red States, MAGA Republicans are hell-bent to make voting harder, different, confusing and even intimidating.
  • Your usual polling place may have changed.
  • Early voting may have been eliminated. There was no early voting for the August primary but there is for the 2022 Midterms on November 8th.
  • That means Election Day lines may be longer than customary in recent years.
  • Absentee voting may still be in place but may require a permission process well in advance.
  • In-person registration on election day may be gone.
  • ID requirements may be new. Be sure to know the rules for provisional ballots.
  • Polling places may have more "election watchers" than usual, especially in states/venues with angry 2020 election deniers.

TALK TO NEW / YOUNG VOTERS Will young people come out to vote in 2022?

We're taken to talking with young voters in the family, raising key issues and how their lives and hopes and dreams and plans will be affected for decades in a way our lives won't.

Our message? Don't let older folks like us make generational decisions for younger folks like you.

Voting is just one step, albeit an important one. Get active, get organized.

FOUR WEEKS AGO Educate Yourself on a Single Issue at a Time The news is a lot, no doubt. It's hard to keep up, we have lives to live. It's easy to look away, feeling helpless or even hopeless.

One way to counteract these feelings is to "clean your sink" or "make your bed".

Huh??? Well, sure, clean your kitchen sink and make your bed if you want but these are really metaphors for the idea that when you're feeling stuck, do ONE thing and have something to show for it.

This week, I suggest diving deep into a single issue, one that matters in your own life and those you love.

Two possibilities, straight from this week's headlines.

  • ENERGY Dig into some of the energy components of the vast, far-reaching Inflation Reduction Bill. I found this hour-long interview (from Preet Bahara's podcast) of U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Grandholm very, um, illuminating. What will make a difference in your own life, your kids lives, the lives of your community?

  • STUDENT LOANS This is a good place to start, educating yourself on how the Student Loan Forgiveness Plan (from the NYT, no paywall) will work. Suggestion: immerse yourself in it first, then consider your own view on its its fairness and impact, especially if someone in your circle relies on Fox for opinions.

  • Reproductive Choice? Book Bans? The J6 Committee Work? Pick just one thing that matters to you and dig in, become an expert in a way that works for you, for your own clarification, to speak confidently with others, to be able to refute hypocrisy, misinformation, disinformation and outright lies.

FIVE WEEKS AGO Lean On Historians & Thought Leaders for News Synthesis Learn from historians and thought leaders who are fighting for democracy each and every day. Many are publishing newsletters on a site called Substack. Nearly all have "free" versions (that's what I'm doing, so far) even if there are options for paid subscriptions. Just type in your email and hit subscribe. No spam, no ads, just thoughtful thinking from smart people attempting to help the U.S. save itself from authoritarian anti-democratic minority rule.

  • My #1 pick will always be the brilliant Heather Cox Richardson who has been writing Letters from an American nearly every single day since September 2019. For me, "Heather" (as we refer to her in this house) is a must-read. She cuts through the day's news and presents an interpretation in a calm, history-grounded voice, with an eye/ear for what will matter to historians in future. Facebook people, she also does twice-weekly talks/lectures: she's whip-smart, speaks in plain language without drama. Yes, I'm a big fan.
  • I also read Substack newsletters from Robert Hubbell (which originated as a source of hope and perspective for family and friends after the 2016 election and five years later, remains true to that mission) and Aaron Rupar (an independent journalist who describes himself as "fair but not impartial" and is not shy about taking mainstream media to task for "both sides-ism" and similar equivocation).
  • There's Joyce Vance in another Substack newsletter called Civil Discourse. She's a law professor, a 25-year veteran of the Department of Justice, a former U.S. Attorney, a legal analyst for MSNBC and NBC – also a knitter and chicken keeper! The chicks and chicken show up every so often ...
  • There's also the so-familiar 90-year old Dan Rather in an aptly named Substack newsletter called Steady: and so it is, a place for what he calls "contemplation, empathy, learning and yes, a little humor when warranted".
  • Who's inspiring you? Please let me know!

SIX WEEKS AGO Learn About Relational Organizing Check out and sign up for Red Wine & Blue, suburban women on a mission relating to voting rights, reproductive choice, book bans and so much more. This week I participated in a 30-minute Great Troublemaker Training Session on Zoom that introduced relational organizing aka talking to your family and friends.

SEVEN WEEKS AGO Communicate with Lawmakers on Timely, Targeted Issues Sign up for Chop Wood, Carry Water, a 5x weekly email, each one with targeted, timely suggestions on who to call/write/text about what, including easily adaptable scripts. I lurked for a couple of weeks but now make five-ten minutes an essential part of my day.


Sweet Potato & Butternut Squash Tagine ♥ A Veggie Venture, colorful vegetables married with Moroccan spices, cooked in a tagine or shallow casserole to serve tableside. Vegan. Weight Watchers Friendly.

Whole Cauliflower with Homemade Cheese Sauce ♥, surprisingly unfussy.

Spring Stuffing with Leeks & Mushrooms ♥, lighter for spring, perfect with roast or rotisserie chicken.

Cauliflower Spanish Rice, another healthy cauliflower recipe ♥ Looks like rice. Tastes like rice. But cauliflower!

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

Julia Child's Soubise (Onion & Rice Casserole) ♥ Dreamy. Heavenly. Ethereal. Addictive. Yes, it's that good.

Sweet Potato Cornbread ♥ Gorgeous golden color from a pile of sweet potatoes. Naturally wheat-free, gluten-free, no unusual ingredients.

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.

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Grits (or Pumpkin Grits or Butternut Squash Grits) ♥, a 'skinny' pot of grits, conveniently cooked in the slow cooker with sweet potato (or pumpkin or butternut squash) and mik plus just a tablespoon of butter stirred in to finish.

Just Updated!

Microwave Broccoli, another easy way to cook our very favorite broccoli ♥

Perfect Pan-Fried Broccoli, another quick, healthy recipe ♥ A Veggie Venture.

Banana Bread with Cherries & Poppy Seeds ♥ My first and favorite recipe, such cheery color.

Pumpkin Spice Lattes ♥ Quick 'n' easy with homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice, a frothy Pumpkin Coffee Creamer. Just 110 calories!
  • THE RECIPE Pumpkin Spice Lattes Fall's favorite coffee drink, made at home with real ingredients including my very own DIY pumpkin pie spice.
  • ANOTHER TAKE Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix How to make hot chocolate mix from scratch, for a crowd, for gifts, for home.


Dang spammers. I've had to turn comments off again, thanks to spambots leaving hundreds of spam comments a day, what a scourge.

But I miss hearing from y'all!

So if you've made a recipe from Kitchen Parade or A Veggie Venture, feel free to drop a quick email via I especially love to hear about your adaptations.

  • GOOD MEMORIES FROM A READER! My dad took me to movies something about "Rio" with Don Ameche, my favorite, and in the movie he made "gashouse eggs". I read lately the name is based on German language for a guest house or B and B. Only they spell it gasthouse. I am talking the 1930s or early 40s. We could not wait to get home to make them. Still make them and I'm 94!
  • THE RECIPE Gashouse Eggs The old-time comfort food, just an egg and bread fried together, with so many names. And now one more!

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. When you make my recipes, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below or better still, on the specific recipe's page.

© 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.