Living Columns & Blogs

Cathie Campbell

Love those sweet taters

February is National Sweet Potato Month and I am happy about the recognition sweet potatoes and yams receive. They are both tasty and full of healthful nutrition. If you ever wondered what the difference is between a sweet potato and a yam, in this country at least, they are both technically sweet potatoes.

Cathie Campbell

National Almond Day

February 16 is celebrated as National Almond Day, so why not join in the fun and make something with almonds? Not that we need an excuse, of course. Every day is a good day to cook with and eat almonds. I am fortunate that my sister gives me some almonds from an old but productive tree on the ranch she lives on. California is famous for its abundant almond crop. They are also very healthful snacks, especially for someone like me who happens to be a diabetic. I love to eat them raw without any salt or other seasonings. Join me in celebrating the California almond, and we don’t have to limit that enjoyment to just one day of the year. I hope you’re all keeping safe and warm in this winter weather.

Cathie Campbell

Sugar cookie hearts for your loved ones

If you go by the displays in stores, or the television commercials and magazine ads, Saint Valentine’s Day is all about romantic love, hearts and flowers, expensive gifts, blah, blah. Not that I am against all that, but the celebrations and observances many of us practice every February 14 are also about children and the fun of trading those little paper cards. I thought I’d share some recipes you might want to prepare. Pre-decorated cookies and cupcakes also freeze well, in most cases.

Cathie Campbell

Something other than sweets

I wanted to recognize that Valentine’s Day will soon be here, but got to thinking that recipes for sweets might be a little too, well, too common. We are bombarded with sweets for the occasion, in the form of boxes of chocolates and other candies, plus cookies, pies, cakes and cake pops. Even sweet beverages. So why not throw some non-sweets into the mix, such as for brunch, lunch or dinner? As delicious as candy is, there comes a time, even on Valentine’s Day, when we just crave some real food. Here is a selection that might include that “just-right” recipe for your special day. You are all my valentines, because you are so sweet.

Living Columns & Blogs


Split is a movie that could have easily gone very wrong. Thrillers about people with psychological conditions like amnesia, autism, or in this case multiple personalities tend to be clumsy, with the films rarely having any interesting ideas outside of the conditions.

Living Columns & Blogs

Take control of your electronic entertainment budget

It seems like every few weeks there’s a new “must-watch” movie or show. Competition between traditional and new production companies is driving the wave of high-quality content. I can’t complain, but it’s also hard to keep up. I have an ever-growing list of binge-able things to watch, read and listen to, and in the meantime, I’m paying bills for multiple bills month.

Cathie Campbell

Game day finger foods

Even if you are not planning to watch this year’s Super Bowl on Feb. 5, you might still enjoy some delicious snacks. Luckily, we don’t need a reason or a celebration to enjoy good food. So football fans and non-football fans alike, here are some recipes for tasty finger foods that I hope will be to your liking. Enjoy your game, enjoy your company and by all means, enjoy your snacks.

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.


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.


Apartment complex in Oakhurst floods

An apartment complex on River Park Road in Oakhurst, located on a portion of Fresno River known as China Creek, was flooded out on its lower level on Tuesday, Feb. 7.
Mark Evan Sierra Star
Apartment complex in Oakhurst floods 1:17

Apartment complex in Oakhurst floods

Yurt floats away in Fresno River flooding 0:53

Yurt floats away in Fresno River flooding

Most babies should be exposed to peanuts earlier, according to new guidelines 1:39

Most babies should be exposed to peanuts earlier, according to new guidelines

Female cat owners benefit most from stress-reducing effect of a pet 1:04

Female cat owners benefit most from stress-reducing effect of a pet