Living Columns & Blogs

Living Columns & Blogs

Some couples invest in their future in ways other than a diamond ring

What does an engagement ring look like? For many people, my wife included, the answer is a diamond ring. While that’s a concept that didn’t became widely accepted until the diamond industry’s marketing campaigns in the mid-1900s, it’s one that holds strong today. However, some couples are going in an alternative direction. The intention isn’t to be cheap, but rather to use the savings to make a different kind of meaningful investment in their future together.

Cathie Campbell

Chinese New Year

When January 28 rolls around, it will be time for the Chinese New Year. And we all know how much of a role delicious food plays in most celebrations. This year is Year of the Rooster, so if you plan to celebrate, you might have fun decorating with a rooster theme. Many people collect rooster figurines and other art, so they are sure to enjoy this. Here are some recipes for your consideration, even if you do not include the Chinese New Year in your holiday traditions.

Cathie Campbell

Don’t forget pickles and relishes

Most meals feature a star-of-the-show dish, such as a roast of some type. But those roasts can be greatly enhanced by being accompanied by tasty relishes or pickles. As an example, I recently was given an old, traditional recipe for mustard pickles, which were served along with roast turkey or pork. I used to love to see that bright yellow delight on the table at family gatherings, as I enjoyed it more than the main dish. Especially the cauliflower and pearl onions. I also love all sorts of other pickles and relishes. I have been known to eat corn relish right out of the jar and it never made it to the table. If you are a relish and pickle fan, it is my hope you find something here you will be inspired to try. I also hope you re all staying warm and toasty. And safe.

KOMB

What would you do if you were president?

Over the years The Fresno Bee periodically asks elementary school children what they would do if they were president. With the inauguration of our 45th president this month, it’s an appropriate question right now. Some of the previous answers: “I would tell everyone to be nice to each other.” “I will go to other places and say, ‘Live in peace; don’t fight.’” Excellent proclamations.

Cathie Campbell

January delights

While checking out national food days, I noticed that January 5 happens to be National Whipped Cream Day. My first thought was how whipped cream has so many possibilities for great recipes. I know that many people are gearing up for their annual New Year resolutions, which usually include weight loss, but I was still fascinated by the thought of delicious whipped cream (and whipped topping) desserts and treats. Yes, even though I need to lose weight myself, I am still drawn into the Dessert Dark Side!.I don’t stay very long, but even a short visit is so nice. Here’s hoping your holidays were amazing and your blessings were many. Hello, 2017.

Cathie Campbell

Time for snacks

There is something great about appetizers, especially in a party atmosphere. You can walk around and mingle while snacking, chatting and laughing with others, or you can grab a few bites while you tend to things in the kitchen. Or, you can excuse yourself for a few minutes and sample the food when no one is looking. Appetizers are also very versatile and can be hot or cold, meaty or veggie, dairy and gluten free, whatever your needs and desires require. Now that we are well into the holiday season, why not get together with friends and family and add some festive appetizers to your gathering? That New Year is right around the corner.

KOMB

Where to donate this holiday season

Does your mailbox get filled to the brim with solicitations for donations this time of year? Many have to do with feeding families and children (locally, nationally, globally) who are impoverished or rescuing neglected pets. Many that I receive are related to the environment. People, animals, the Earth - how does one decide which to save? Some environmental organizations are my favorite causes, but I do have to admit that I’ve wondered if my money is going for what I want it to go towards. And I wonder why some of these groups with similar missions don’t band together to be more effective and save money.

Cathie Campbell

Breaking holiday tradition

If you are tired of turkey and aren’t too excited over ham, why not try something a little different, if you think your dinner guests won’t mind. I know some people do not like to mess with tradition, especially during a holiday. Offered here are recipes for salmon, beef tenderloin, roast pork and Cornish game hens. And if you are like me, you enjoy doctoring up recipes and adding your own touches. I hope you’re taking some time to enjoy a break now and then, as I know how overwhelming holiday preparations can be. Maybe you can sip a cup of spiced cider while you put your feet up and admire your decorations and lights.

Cathie Campbell

Getting crabby

Crab is one of my very favorite foods. In fact, my favorite meal is a whole Dungeness crab, all to myself, and a large artichoke. That’s it. Except for some melted butter for the crab meat and a bit of mayonnaise for the artichoke. Today while looking through my recipes, I kept seeing so many that use crab meat, so I thought it would be fun to feature crab this week. It can be used in appetizers, main dishes and in other ways, but I highly doubt it shows up on any dessert menus. Who knows, it might. If you are feeling crabby and you are a fan of that particular delicacy, I hope you find something here you’d like to try. Make sure any crab meat you buy is picked over for possible bits of shell.

Living Columns & Blogs

Making it harder for politicians to fib

It was Will Rogers who said, “If you ever injected truth into politics you have no politics.” If the renowned satirist were with us today, he would not be shocked by the dishonesty of the Sacramento political class, even if the rest of us find it offensive.

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