Kitchen Parade Extra: Where Vanilla Brownies & Albino Deer Connect

If you've got a soft spot for small towns, read this week's Kitchen Parade column where I reminisce about hometown soda fountains, one in particular where an albino deer (stuffed, of course) was kept behind the fountain.

What brought all this on? Vanilla brownies, of course.

And the connection? It's less obscure than you might think. Just read the column and get the recipe for Vanilla Brownies.

SO WHAT IS KITCHEN PARADE, EXACTLY? Kitchen Parade is the food column that my Mom started writing for our family newspaper when I was a baby. Today it's published in my hometown newspapers in suburban St. Louis and features 'fresh seasonal recipes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences'.

Where A Veggie Venture is 'pure food blog', full of experimentation and exploration, Kitchen Parade features recipes a modern cook can count on. All are thoroughly tested by a home cook in a home kitchen and many are family and reader favorites. All recipes fea…

Pumpkin Muffins ♥

Ever since Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours arrived last month, I've been mesmerized, called to the kitchen to make first one thing and then another.

But I got stuck: wanting to make so many things - muffins? cookies? cheesecake? the peace cookies so many have praised? - I just didn't know where to start. Then I read the intro to this recipe for pumpkin muffins, "The best pumpkin muffins in New York are made by Sarabeth Levine, the mistress of Sarabeth's jams ..."

Suddenly I realized that, thanks to the benevolence of dinner guests last summer, my pantry was home to a jar of very same jam! And it just happens that those very same guests are today celebrating a special occasion. So Happy Day, Nupur and V, may there be many, many more of this occasion, wherever you call home.

And the muffins? Good!
2010 Update, A Better Recipe for Pumpkin Muffins: Note how I said "good" but didn't rave? That means that the muffins were good enough. B…

Quick Supper or Side: Dandelion Greens with Mushroom & Pancetta ♥

Imagine a sunny meadow, a barefoot woman bypassing delicate spring flowers for showy dandelions. She leans down, then rubs a yellow head against the back of her hand, staining it with color to answer, "Do you like butter?" She smiles, knowing already that the answer is an emphatic 'yes', then spends 10 minutes snipping greens for supper.


Me, I bought the dandelion greens at Whole Foods. And as I cooked, I thought about how much our world has changed, that dandelion greens are now just one more commercial enterprise, a healthful one perhaps, but still. And then I sat down to a great supper.

The good news is that you needn't have dandelions for this quick supper. Mustard greens would work, so would arugula / rocket, anything with a tad of peppery-ness in the greens. And it needn't be 'supper' either, just skip the pasta for a side dish that half cooks itself.

FRESH PASTA For being long on Italian heritage, St. Louis is short on fresh pasta. Tonight&#…

Weight Watchers Quick Side: Zucchini & Carrot Ribbons ♥

Today's pretty jumble of ribbons of zucchini and carrot, quickly sautéed in a little butter. Easily turned vegan. Paleo. Naturally Gluten Free. Weight Watchers friendly, just one PointsPlus!
~recipe updated from the Recipe Box, first posted 2007~
~more recently updated recipes~
At Christmas, one of the family Santas, probably my sister, tucked what I'll call a "hand mandoline" or "julienne cutter" into my stocking. Since such devices, even relatively expensive ($30, say) ones, have until now produced only frustration and disappointment, I wasn't expecting much. But this little guy worked like a charm on both the soft zucchini and the firm carrot, not perfectly, as the ends tended to get stuck, but well enough to pull out often – especially since I love the looks and the taste of the white, green and orange ribbons. It's easy to imagine substituting the ribbons for pasta, or for dropping into a big pot of soup just for the looks. If you can't fi…

Cancer Fighting Foods: Best-Ever Oatmeal Bread ♥

A week ago today, my friend Tricia lost her Mom.

A week ago tomorrow would have been my Mom's 77th birthday. Even before hearing of Tricia's loss, I planned to pay tribute to Mom, as I do every year, by making bread on her birthday.

But once hearing Tricia's news, I knew that after mixing and kneading and tending and shaping and baking and tapping and buttering, I would deliver warm bread to a family raw with loss, gathering with memories, communing with tears and laughter, to mourn the loss and celebrate the life of their own mother.

For my Mom, making bread was a way to feed her family and heal her soul while recovering from a radical mastectomy at only age 35. And when, many years later, she was sick with lung cancer and my family was caring for her, I too made bread, what we came to call Best-Ever Oatmeal Bread, first published in Kitchen Parade in 2002 but online now for the first time.

Many of us are thinking about cancer-fighting foods this month. Mele Cotte, hersel…

Weight Watchers Quick Salad: Red & Green Slaw with Blood Orange Dressing

So what does one do with blood oranges? The heart-startling color is spectacular but how do you take advantage of it? [Besides the ever-so-beautiful 'orange crush' martinis at Red Light in Chicago, thank you, 3-2-1 Launch!]

Just like yesterday's fennel and blood orange salad, this is a lovely little slaw -- but no credit to the blood orange. Feel free to use the juice of a regular orange!

HOW TO REVIVE TIRED CABBAGE If your cabbage has been in the frig a bit and looks a tad limp, wash the outside parts, then cut into big wedges and let rehydrate in cold water for 5 - 10 minutes. Chop and then drain well (or run through a salad spinner) before tossing with the dressing.

FROM THE ARCHIVES It's getting to be salad time, for sure and I do love the crunch of a good vegetable salad, check the vegetable salad recipes in the Recipe Box for proof!

TWO YEARS AGO on all of Day Five ... Sauteed Broccoli with Toasted Garlic, Orange and Sesame Seed

NEVER MISS A RECIPE! Just enter your …

Weight Watchers Side Salad: Fennel & Blood Orange Salad

A mandoline would have made quick work of this. Somehow, slicing even one bulb of fresh fennel struck me as tedious. And color-wise, I thought the juicy sections of blood orange would show off more against the snowy-white fennel; taste-wise, I thought there'd be more sweet/sharp contract too.

So once I invest in a mandoline, I'll make this again and use grapefruit, for an all white salad with some taste contrast! (Or maybe pink grapefruit!) It does have really good crunch and is perfect for this time of year when we seem to want to sweep heavy wintry foods from the table.

FROM THE ARCHIVES In 2006, I collected fennel recipes from food bloggers, a great collection of fennel recipes, from appetizers to desserts. My own fennel recipes are in the Recipe Box.

A YEAR AGO ... Napa Cabbage, Herb & Mango Salad with Asian Dressing "Even late on a chilly spring evening, this tasted so fresh and alive ..."

TWO YEARS AGO ... Only Day Four, carrots tossed with honey and cilantro