Seasonal Sundays (Week 1) A Cozy Cool Down

Seven easy dinner ideas to eeeeease our way into the new year, a "cool down" if you will after the marathon of back-to-back-to-back holidays ... plus a couple of bonuses, 2022's Most Useful Recipe and 2022's Reader Favorite.

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

Welcome to Seasonal Sundays ...

Hello, hello, anybody awake yet out there? Switch the calendars! It's 2023!

Who else loves the years when Christmas and New Year's fall on Sundays? I read that it's a challenge for churches, getting people into pews, but hey, for the miracle workers of Christmas (I'm looking at you, moms and grandmoms and aunties and most other womenfolk), you give it all you've got on the big days that at least for Americans that begin in November, you sprint to the finish, you complete the marathon.

Then, of course, you collapse.

But then (with any luck, fingers crossed), with the Christmas-on-Sunday calendar, there's still one more day of "holiday" – but one without expectations, one that's solely yours to ignore or employ as you will.

You can hit those first minutes of 2023-ground still running ... or you can sit back with your feet up and like all smart runners, use this first week of the new year for an important cool down, not stopping, but not running flat out either, cooling down your brain and your body and all your to do lists until finally, yes, you're able to stop.

And yeah. There are jobs to return to and kids to get back to school so maybe it's just the food preparation that needs cooling down for ... no more cheesy breakfast stratas or overnight cinnamon rolls or traysful of cookies and Instagram-perfect appetizers, instead, simple, satisfying meals.

Because hey, it's January. And isn't it January just the most wonderful respite? just what's needed? just what the doctor calls for?

All those resolutions and "vision words" and new year's goals can wait. Because after the cool down, we'll lace up our sneakers and head out again, ready to walk-run the track of life.

Happy New Year's to All!

Cozy Post-Holiday Cool Down

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.

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

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

Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables ♥, barely roasted, big chunks meant for casual sharing. Vegan. WW Friendly. Low Carb.

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.

Easy Egg Recipes ♥, an inspiring collection with how-to's and recipes

Mac n Chicken, just your best Mac n Cheese with chicken, with protein ♥ One-Pot Comfort Food. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special. Long-Time Family Favorite. High Protein. Great for Meal Prep. Recipe, insider tips, nutrition and Weight Watchers points included.
  • Lean On Rotisserie Chicken
  • THE RECIPE Mac n Chicken Just mac 'n' cheese with chicken, just mac 'n' cheese with protein.
  • ANOTHER TAKE My Chicken Noodle Soup The way I make it, meaty and noodle-y with just a few noodles.

Most Useful Recipe of 2022

Hands down, learning how to steam eggs is the most-useful recipe from all of 2022's recipes. I love how, with steaming, you not only get perfect hard-cooked eggs with out fussy techniques, you also can pull out an egg or two or three early for soft-boiled eggs for breakfast or supper! Win!

How to Steam Eggs ♥ Simple technique for soft-cooked and hard-cooked eggs at the same time.

Your Favorite New Recipe of 2022

Well, ain't that somethin'. I must admit, readers' reaction to this simple salad surprised me. I think of it as a summer salad but just yesterday, my neighborhood supermarket had a big bin of mangoes right next to the avocados. So ... maybe not?! Anyway tis definitely a keeper.

Cucumber-Mango Salad, another favorite summer salad ♥ with tiny spikes of honey & hot sauce.

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.

Sautéed Collard Greens with Bacon, another easy side dish ♥

Just Updated!

Graham Cracker Toffee ♥ Quick & easy, just thin layers of homade toffee, chocolate, nuts. Addictive? Maybe!

Best Recipes of 2015 ♥ Just One Per Month.
  • A PROCRASTINATOR'S CONFESSION Truth is, this collection didn't just get an update this week. Instead, it's brand-new page, some seven years late. You see, in late 2015, I just didn't get to it. Right before New Year's, my husband and I made an unexpected trip to North Carolina where it looked like my dad, then 89, wasn't doing well. He wasn't and I stayed in North Carolina for many weeks while he was hospitalized and then entered rehab. The day after his 90th birthday, he drove back to St Louis to come live with us. (Yes, my husband is a-m-a-z-i-n-g when it comes to family support.) And he did, for almost 3 years, when he needed more care and then unexpectedly, even for someone age 95, passed away. Anyway. All this time, my sense of order nagged me to put together this list for 2015's recipes. This week, I finally did and life is just a little bit better, thank you very much.
  • THE COLLECTION Best Recipes of 2015 from Kitchen Parade, just one recipe for every month.
  • THE BEST OF THE BEST Best-Ever “Most Useful” Recipes 2002 – Present

Something to Read

DEMON COPPERHEAD Two weeks ago, I recommended Barbara Kingsolver's latest and very long novel because the young character, Demon, was so intriguing, the writing so fluid and clever.

What I didn't see coming were rich, compelling descriptions of drug addiction and rehab. For anyone who struggles to understand, Demon may help.

THE BOOK Demon Copperhead (affiliate link) by Barbara Kingsolver, currently 4.5 stars on Amazon, it's also appearing on several "Best Books of 2022" lists.

EVERY SUMMER AFTER On the other hand, I flew through the story of a teenage summer romance that goes upside down. This isn't my usual kinda book but it was an easy listen, with just enough intrigue to keep you wondering what'd really happened.

THE BOOK Every Summer After (affiliate link) by first-time author Carley Fortune, currently 4.5 stars on Amazon.

Don't Be a Stranger ...

I'd love to hear from you. Comment, send me a quick e-mail (my current address is in the FAQs), 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, you'll find my current address in the FAQs. 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.