Seasonal Sundays: Make It a Muffin Morning (Week 20)

Grab a coffee and set the oven to 350F because muffin temptation is nigh, so quick to mix, so fast to bake, so perfect for a pretty spring-summer weekend (dare I say weekday?) morning. This week's "Seasonal Seven" recipe collection is all my best muffin recipes, little darlings to munch on now (straight from the oven? swoon ...) and over the next day or two. Are one or two destined as "keepers" in your own recipe repertoire? Fingers crossed!

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

Welcome to Seasonal Sundays ...

As ever, thank you for welcoming me into your InBox and RSS feed reader. It's your kitchens, your lives, I conjure while writing ...

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms and grandmoms ... and all who hope to be moms and grandmoms ... and all the nannies and aunties and sitters and BFFs and educators and next-door neighbors who "mother" ... and all those remembering our mothers with forget-me-nots ...

May your day be filled with all that you might wish ... and maybe just maybe? ... tee hee, an un-interrupted bite of muffin made by "somebody else".

The Words of Wise Women

  • Here's a new Substack newsletter that is worth a subscription (free or paid) and a deep, thoughtful read.
  • The author is a brilliant messaging strategist and she's taking on framing issues on divisive subjects like, you know, reproductive rights / abortion.
  • How many of us have said that a woman's right to choose is between her and her doctor? I have, except that I usually add "and her god ...".
  • Instead, she counsels, say this:
  • "Democrats believe that you have the right to control your own body according to your own beliefs, and that it’s the job of government to protect that right, not to violate it. That’s why I’ll be voting for Democrats in November." ~ Abortion Care and Physical Liberty, Part 1 ~ Antonia Scatton in "Reframing America"
  • What do you think, how does it play for you?

Word to the Wise ...

AI = artificial intelligence and it's getting a TON of media attention.

But you might be surprised to know that for those of us who watch for intriguing, useful recipes online, AI is creating a veritable vast and viral ... dumpster.

And unless you're immersed in the online food world, the risks may not be obvious. So far, it means:

  • Untested recipes spit out by an AI bot; cooks beware, you don't wanna get sucked in
  • Viral posts created in minutes where the AI-generated photos are missing/adding ingredients not in the associated AI-generated "recipe"
  • Outright plagiarism of top bloggers' recipes and photos, some times using AI to disguise the theft, some times just copying a photo that kinda-sorta-sometimes matches the recipes (a recent example: something called "raspberry crumble cookies" with a stolen copy of bacon-cheddar biscuits 🙄 )
  • Fantastical food photos with thousands/even millions of comments, likes and shares
  • Social media fueled by Google, Facebook and other big-tech algorithms sending these fake-food posts viral
  • Recipe pages on Facebook/Instagram/etc where the "moderators" are all from Morocco or Saudi Arabia (with my real apologies to the legit food bloggers from Morocco and Saudi Arabia) but really, are bots from across the globe.
  • That real content creators like myself / thousands of passionate food bloggers across the world are experiencing traffic freefall, despite all the effort put into recipe testing, recipe clarity, extra tips for new/inexperienced cooks or cooks unfamiliar with particular ingredients or cuisines, photography. We're fighting back but ...

Made Me Think ...

And ... if AI can upend and possibly destroy the fun, creative and useful online recipes that so many rely on (how often do we ask Google to help with a dinner idea?), just think what AI disinformation is doing to democratic elections where the stakes are ever so ever so high.

THE SEASONAL SEVEN: Make It a Muffin Morning

Raspberry Muffins, another creative recipe for a Muffin Morning ♥

Cornmeal Muffins with Apple, another seasonal muffin ♥, studded with apple with a pretty sliver on top. Perfect for Fall Breakfasts. Autumn Comfort Food. Great for Meal Prep. No Mixer Required.

Make-Ahead Bran Muffin Batter ♥, mix now, bake in small batches later, including a single microwave bran muffin in a mug.

Sunshine Orange Muffins ♥, barely sweet, sweetened mostly with a whole orange and one of my favorite pantry ingredients for a flavor boost, frozen orange juice concentrate.

Banana-Peanut Butter Muffins ♥ With mini chocolate chips? Heaven!

Carrot Cake ♥ Mixed in the food processor, baked in many shapes and sizes.
  • THE RECIPE Carrot Cake Mixed in a food processor, baked as muffins, cupcakes, square snacking cakes and more. (PIN This)
  • ANOTHER TAKE Morning Glory Muffins The classic muffin with carrot, apple, currants and nuts, so good!

A collection of savory and sweet muffins ♥
  • THE COLLECTION Muffin Recipes Sweet and savory muffins, from rhubarb to cornbread.
  • AND ANOTHER Quick Breads Sweet and savory loaves, from banana bread to pumpkin bread.

What's Brand-Spankin' New?!

Wondering about a recipe from the last while? Check Recent Recipes from Kitchen Parade and Recent Vegetable Recipes from A Veggie Venture.

Protein Smoothies for Two ♥ Intentionally fill a blender with 40 grams of protein and about 400 calories.

May: Reader Favorites

My Favorite Graham Cracker Crust ♥ Just two ingredients for a crisp, sturdy crust that's not too sweet, not too buttery.

May: Lost Recipes

Strawberry Salsa with Sweet-Cinnamon Baked Tortilla Chips ♥, a quick fruit salsa, just strawberries, kiwi and apple, served with easy-baked tortilla chips sprinkled with a little cinnamon sugar.

The Kitchen Parade Almanac: Looking Ahead ...

  • May 12 - Mother's Day
  • May 27 - Memorial Day
  • June 1 - Alanna's Unofficial First Day of Summer (though hmmm, in 2024, summer arrived on May 1 here in eastern Missouri ...)

Looking Back ...

May 13th - International Hummus Day

How to Cook Dried Chickpeas for Hummus ♥ Yeah, it's worth the effort.

Crazy-Smooth Crazy-Good Hummus ♥, simple hummus, perfected with three special techniques. Vegan and lower-fat.

Roasted Eggplant Hummus ♥, eggplant, chickpeas & Greek yogurt in an addictive, ultra smooth and creamy dip and spread. Low Carb. Weight Watchers friendly.

Soups & Salads Especially for ... May

May is still spring across the northern tiers but it's full summer in lots of places. But food-wise, farmers markets are still in their early days, it takes time and temp and tenacity to pull the perfect produce that people expect out of the earth. RESPECT! And not just for small farms but also for the giant agricultural companies that somehow feed the world. Yesterday, I marveled at the pretty little zucchini and summer squash at the grocery store, also the bins of fresh greens. And the glistening beets, greens still on. Seriously. How lucky are we?!

My Favorite New Way to Roast Beets, another time-tested technique ♥ A Veggie Venture.

Good to Know!

How to Cook Artichokes in the Microwave, another easy vegetable how-to ♥, dead easy, dead delicious. Weight Watchers Friendly. Whole30 Friendly. Vegan. Low Fat. Gluten Free.

The Best No-Recipe Recipe I Made This Week

Carry-Out Rice + Leftover Sautéed Bok Choy warmed up in the microwave = an excellent side dish or base for salmon.

My husband loves to stop for Chinese take-out on the way home from a client, deposition, etc. It's not my favorite but, okay, fine. He knows to bring home something veggie for me and this week it was bok choy. It was fine the first night but oh, a couple of nights later, I loved the rice and bok choy combo.

Such a great way to use up that leftover rice with lots of carryout!

Trader Joe's Test Kitchen


So they had me at "Cardamon" but Trader Joe's seasonal buns, "Brown Sugar Cinnamon Buns" are a bust.

I can't think what they were aiming for, the rolled buns are dry, the topping is icky sweet with only a bare lick of cardamon. I didn't finish my little quarter section, my husband didn't finish his half. And there sat the box for a couple of days, constant temptation but no temptation at all. Rubbish bin, you go.

Total Skip. Even for those of us who love cardamon and can't walk by a Scandi-style pastry.

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 this week.

Easy Ham Salad ♥, a great way to use up leftover ham from the freezer.
  • THIS WEEK For once, I decided to not let the leftover Easter ham linger in the freezer too long. That's because previously frozen ham is usually just not that great, I think it has something to do with ham's moisture which breaks down the structure once it forms ice crystals. But good news. Frozen ham makes excellent Ham Salad! Plus it's so useful to have on hand for lunch sandwiches, hot sandwiches warmed in foil in the oven, some spread on Ritz, some turned into an omelet, some turned into some cooked greens. So good!
  • THE RECIPE Easy Ham Salad Use up leftover ham from the freezer.

Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables ♥, barely roasted, big chunks meant for casual sharing. Vegan. WW Friendly. Low Carb.
  • THIS WEEK I made a big batch for a graduation party, vegan and GF for a grandniece who's not always easy to cook for, adding some new veggies, asparagus (good), fennel (wonderful) and portabello mushrooms (ok). There was soooooooo much Greek/Middle Eastern/family favorite foods but my big platter really got some accolades! A few leftovers? Happy Day. 😍
  • THE RECIPE Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables A casual feast, even mid-winter. (PIN This)
  • SERVED OVER How to Cook White Rice Basics done well, for dinner, for the freezer. (PIN This)

Just Updated!

Alice Waters' Coleslaw ♥, no mayonnaise, bright with lime and cilantro. Vegan. Low Carb. Gluten Free. Weight Watchers Friendly. Great for Meal Prep.

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 advice for Seasonal Sundays?
  • Just one thing that would make it more useful for you?
  • 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.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.