Seasonal Sundays (Week 45) Sweet Potato Season

If there's a vegetable triumvirate for the cold-weather months, it's pumpkin, winter squash and ... the oh-so-wonderful sweet potato. This collection will keep you in sweet potatoes all winter long, hand-selected from 20+ years of recipes from Kitchen Parade, sure, but especially A Veggie Venture. I hope you'll find one or two destined as "keepers" in your own recipe repertoire ... let's dig in!

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

Welcome to Seasonal Sundays ...

Seasonal Sundays is 100% written by a real, live human, no blah-blah copycat ChatGPT AI plagiarism, thank you very much. Any awkward phrase, unclear meaning, misspelled word, mistaken fact, bad punctuation or overwrought alliteration is the clean, proud product of my own inadequacy as a wordsmith and oversights as an eagle-eyed editor. But when that human says she's grateful that you're here, reading, well, please know, she really truly 100% means it.

Here's what I learned about my sweet potato recipes, this week, gathering this collection.

  • There's a lot of recipes, crossing all the courses, not just sides, not just salads, definitely not just casseroles.
  • Most have never before been featured in Seasonal Sundays!
  • I'd better buy a big bag soon because these recipes are calling ...

Let's get to cooking!

In Praise Of ...

  • ... sitting at the kitchen table with coffee and a laptop, sun shining through the golden maple leaves, the door cracked for fresh air, an eight-point buck parading past, its chest huge, its rack towering
  • ... that same night, walking out with the dog, the skies clear, the moon high, the stars all a-twinkle
  • ... strolling through a nearly-empty Missouri Botanical Garden (that's Shaw's Garden for St. Louis locals), still mostly green, realizing how much the old-old giant trees stand out once the showy flowers are put to bed for winter (and thinking, hmm, there's a lesson in there)

Spring Forward, Fall Back and All That.

You know that the time changed overnight, right? at least for many of us?

After the time change, I miss the late-day light but love the gift of an extra hour. When I was at school, we always planned the fall house party for this weekend, it meant an extra hour of hay bales and beer drinking ... or recovering. (For the record, the drinking age in my state was 18 then ...) And the Monday after the time change has long been my favorite day for an after-work walk, see White Chicken Chili.

So what did you do with today's "extra" hour? Hit the snooze button? Make a special breakfast?

And how would be our lives be different if we somehow carved out an extra hour every day, even every week? What would you "do" with a self-gifted hour? If it's important, make it happen ...

The Words of Wise Women

  • "Two things can be true at once: the world is a heartbreaking mess, and improvement is happening in some places. I believe that what we focus on grows, so let's be sure to focus, if even briefly, on where we saw hope this week." Jessica Craven on Substack, 10/29/23

Made Me Think ...

  • The Secretive Industry Devouring the U.S. Economy
  • The jist: by taking companies private, a fifth of the U.S. economy is effectively invisible to investors, the media, and regulators.
  • Some facts: "The publicly traded company is disappearing. In 1996, about 8,000 firms were listed in the U.S. stock market. Since then, the national economy has grown by nearly $20 trillion. The population has increased by 70 million people. And yet, today, the number of American public companies stands at fewer than 4,000. How can that be?"
  • My thinking: this also affects the huge and ever-widening wealth gap, keeping investment opportunities in the hands of fewer and fewer families.

Yikes! Only xx More Days Til ...

Thanksgiving is minute after next and if you blink twice, well, sorry, it's 2024.

Every November 1, my calendar sends a reminder: "buy yeast, gel colors and stamps before Thanksgiving". Ha. Some year, those three not-big to-do's undid me during the holidays.

But I'm taking the concept to heart, gathering a mental list (and now a digital one) of small things that can be done now, in the next short while before things really heat up, part switching seasons, part pre-holiday spring cleaning.

What would be on your list?

PS I thought for sure I'd get to twenty but no such luck, not even close.

  • Check the dried beans, they may need purging because hey, there's a reason Why Dried Beans Won't Cook. I checked my stash this week, dang, I've been less than diligent about marking bags with purchase dates as I thought. Out they go ...

  • Inventory spices and stock up. Alexa makes it easy to keep a running list of what's running low but still, a quick check of the spice rack will avoid last-minute and especially duplicate purchases. PS If you like to order online, I was at Penzey's yesterday and there's a 20% sale through midnight Sunday, November 5th. Just enter COOK in the Coupon Code field, plus free shipping with a $40 purchase.

  • Buy stamps for Christmas cards and for us, anyway, blank cards and envelopes (affiliate link) for my husband to paint our Christmas cards.

  • Find the windshield scrapers for the cars. Check the flashlights for batteries. Oh right, buy batteries for all those sparkly little Christmas doodads!

  • It seems like I'm always sending food home with people, delivering a quart of soup here, a few cookies there. So I just stocked up on these deli containers, so nobody has to worry about returning the containers. I like both sizes and love that both sizes use the same lid. Would take-home deli containers (8oz) (affiliate link) and take-home deli containers (32oz) (affiliate link) be useful?

  • Swap warm-weather bedding for cold-weather bedding, it's like an instant bedroom refresh, I even like to switch out the paintings to wintry scenes.

  • Swap summer dishware for winter dishware, again, it's just a switch, also a function of inheriting dishes from my mom.

  • Clean out the kitchen drawers, running the containers through the dishwasher a few at a time.

  • Tackle a deep-clean of the fridge!

  • Start the Christmas gift idea list ... and see if you can find last year's list. I see, now, why grandparents give money ...

  • Think about a holiday bucket list ... nobody needs to do it all but a little intention goes a long way. We decided this week that we'll switch our December Charcuterie for Two from Fridays to Sundays this year.

  • Check the guest room. Do the sheets or towels needs refreshing, maybe just a fresh wash? Are the bulbs all working? What about new niceties and conveniences, starting with a phone charger? a small book of poetry?

Okay. Back to Sweet Potatoes. May I Suggest ... a Link?

Let me just presume that if you're reading this, well, you're both a cook and a recipe collector. Don't the two kinda go together? And that means you tuck aside interesting recipes all over the place and then, dang, where is that chicken recipe that looked so good anyway? Here's an idea. Start a folder on your phone, call it "Kitchen Parade" or "Alanna" or whatever makes best sense to you. Then save the recipes you're most interested in right there in one place. Easy Peasy.

SEASONAL INSPIRATION: Seven Sweet Potato Recipes

Delicious Microwave Sweet Potato ♥ How to microwave a whole sweet potato.

Savory Muffins with Sweet Potato & Feta, another surprising vegetable recipe ♥

Rustic Mashed Sweet Potatoes & Carrots ♥, an unexpectedly magical marriage of two everyday vegetables.

Sweet Potato Casserole ♥, traditional sweet potato casserole, updated with vanilla and ginger, just a few mini marshmallows plus a pecan-panko topping. Delish!

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

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

Sweet Potato-Chocolate Swirl Pie ♥ A Veggie Venture, a classic sweet potato pie plus chocolate, a beautiful combo.

Tired of the same-old same-old sweet potatoes? Find new inspiration in this collection of seasonal Sweet Potato Recipes ♥, savory to sweet, every-day to special-occasion, simple to complex, summer to winter. Many Weight Watchers, vegan, gluten-free, low-carb, paleo, whole30 recipes.

Favorite Sweet Potato Recipes ♥ Sides to salads, soups to suppers and more.

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 Turkey Breast ♥ How to cook a breast for white meat, producing turkey stock for great turkey gravy including the giblets.

The Kitchen Parade Almanac: Looking Ahead ...

Thanksgiving Menus, Tips, Recipes & More, organized for easy browsing & targeted searches ♥

  • November 7th - Election Day (Check Your State)
  • November 10th - Marine Corps Birthday, an honored tradition, we'll be putting up fresh flags with some family Littles & GettingSoBigs
  • November 11th - Veteran's Day
  • November 23rd (early! nice!) - American Thanksgiving
  • December 1st - Alanna's Unofficial First Day of Winter
  • December 1 - 23 - PikkuJoulu (Finnish "Little Christmas")
  • December 21st - Winter Solstice (Official First Day of Winter)

Looking Back ...

Trader Joe's Test Kitchen

This week we headed to the country with a grandniece and family, including the three Littles. With overnight temps in the mid-20s the night before, we knew it might could be c-o-l-d so I wanted to greet them with hot chocolate and something warm.

SHORTCUT HOT CHOCOLATE Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix is the house hot chocolate mix but this huge shortcut really worked for Littles and Bigs both. I'll definitely do this again.

Gently heat a half-gallon carton of Trader Joe's Chocolate Milk (yikes, it's soooooo sweet) with about two cups plain milk, getting it down to the sweetness I thought the Littles would like (for just us, I'd probably add four cups of plain milk), add a little vanilla. That's it!

FYI, this $20 8 cup thermos from Target worked great too.

CAMPFIRE CINNAMON ROLLS We built a fire, just concrete blocks with a grate between and carried down a cast iron griddle that fit perfectly on one side of the grate. Trader Joe's Jumbo Cinnamon Rolls were so easy and totally gobbled up!

My one concern here was getting them completely cooked, I definitely didn't want any of us eating raw flour/other ingredients, so they got a little crispy on the hot skillet, even though I kept flipping them over, kinda like burgers on a grill. Next time, I'll bring along some spray for the griddle. This is worth perfecting.

After a long walk in the leafy woods, we returned to our campfire which had finally settled down into nice hot coals, and started to experiment with a few more Trader Joe's products, all fully cooked, eliminating lots of risk in an outdoor environment.

CAMPFIRE MINI PIZZAS (Fully Cooked) we heated up some little mini pizzas, Trader Joe's Spizzico di Pizza. These were quick and easy to warm up on the hot griddle.

CAMPFIRE KIBBEH (Fully Cooked) These little Middle Eastern stuffed meatballs worked great, too! They warmed up easily on the griddle, just turning them every so often.

CAMPFIRE TAMALES (Fully Cooked) We actually were so full, we didn't get to the tamales but I'll still try them another time. At home, I cut each tamale into three pieces.

CAMPFIRE HOT DOGS (Fully Cooked) I'm always disappointed by the hot dogs at Trader Joe's but luckily, we like the sausages. This time, I heated chicken sausages on the grill over the open fire, then wrapped them in Trader Joe's wonderful brioche hot dog buns.

I must say, these experiments have me hooked on the idea of doing a Trader Joe's run before heading to the country. We often take along sandwiches or pick up BBQ and some times reheat a stew in a cast iron Dutch oven and some times even cook Ribs & Sauerkraut in a cast iron Dutch oven. But this was easy, totally taking the pressure off mostly me.

It did help to re-package everything except the cinnamon rolls and the buns, making it easier to move straight from the cooler to the campfire.

A Quick Peek Into a Real-Life Kitchen

Just so you know, everything's not all pretty pictures around here, in the background is a pile of dirty dishes. And just like many (all?) of us, come five o'clock, I too draw a blank about what to make for supper, despite so many recipes I so dearly love. Here's a quick peek from the last week, not including the Apple Cider Vinaigrette, Roasted Green Beans with Rosemary & Walnuts and Roasted Butternut Squash & Apple on repeat this time of year.

Quick 'n' Easy Raw Salad ♥, my own healthy habit that I hope will inspire yours, too.
  • THIS WEEK I don't know about you but I just "feel better" when each day includes a raw vegetable salad, I've even taken to keep a few salad vegetables in a special bin, visible and handy, this week broccoli and peppers. Did I make dressing? Nope. (See? #RealLife.) I just stirred in some cottage cheese and sprinkled it all with that Dill Pickle seasoning from Trader Joe's. So good!
  • THE "RECIPE" Quick 'n' Easy Raw Salad My own "healthy habit" that I hope will inspire yours, too.
  • YOU'LL NEED A LITTLE DRESSING My Everyday Creamy Herb Salad Dressing Never the same twice.

Just Updated!

Thanksgiving Menus, Tips, Recipes & More, organized for easy browsing & targeted searches ♥

Pumpkin-Stuffed Lasagna Rolls ♥, lasagna noodles filled with a delicious pumpkin filling.

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.

  • Any ideas for Seasonal Sundays? Share away!
  • Did you make something extra-good this week?
  • Who else (never) cooks a turkey except at Thanksgiving? Why is that?
  • Who else is feeling (un)prepared for the holiday onslaught ahead?
  • What're you reading? What's grabbed you on Netflix/Hulu/etc.?
  • Anything else? Chime in, chat away.

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.