Cathie Campbell

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Cathie Campbell

Dips for your holiday snacking

I notice food at parties. I don’t go to many parties, but when I do, I eagerly pay attention to the snack table, and I observe the things people like the most. Dips go fast, especially guacamole. Hosts and hostesses just can’t keep the dips replenished fast enough. I sometimes observe a few things that make me snicker a bit, like when someone double dips. (Did you ever see the episode of Seinfeld when George does this and is called on it? Too funny.)

Cathie Campbell

What to do with all those leftovers

Every year at this time I share some recipes that call for leftover turkey meat, so here are some more to add to the list. I love a traditional open-faced hot turkey sandwich with gravy poured over the top. I also love soup and casseroles. It’s good soup weather. I am including a good recipe for preparing turkey stock. My mouth is watering more for what I can do with the leftovers than it is for the turkey’s grand appearance. I hope each and every one of you has blessings in your life to be thankful for. I know I am thankful for you, my kitchen friends.

Cathie Campbell

Warm up with some soup

Here we are in my favorite time of year, when there is a crisp chill to the air, leaves are turning color and my appetite leans toward hearty home-cooked meals. I love a hot bowl of soup, especially if accompanied by some tasty sort of bread. I used to have a recipe for tender, light oatmeal dinner rolls that really enhanced any bowl of soup.

Cathie Campbell

Thanksgiving appetizers start the feast

Might as well start planning now for the big day, when friends and family gather at dinner tables to celebrate all the things they are thankful for. Let’s begin with appetizers that reflect the bounty of the fall season. And even if you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, you still have to eat, so why not make your own celebration? Decorate with a few pumpkins or gourds, fall leaves and whatever splashes of color that make your home and dining area look festive. Happy cooking and eating.

Cathie Campbell

Cake with your coffee or tea?

As far as I can tell, coffee cakes never go out of style. I remember my mom serving them to guests along with a home-brewed pot of hot coffee. Her friends did the same. So, I see no reason to drop such fine traditions, even though I must admit, many of us have to cut back on our simple carbs for health reasons. If you are thinking you might like to make a fragrant and delicious coffee cake this fall, I dug around in my recipe files (not as organized as I might like) and chose the following recipes to share. I hope you are enjoying the change in the weather.

Cathie Campbell

Pumpkins and yams

Sometimes I can’t figure out if I like pumpkins better or yams (and sweet potatoes). I also love various types of squash such as banana, acorn, delicata and butternut. And my favorite way to prepare those is to roast them with butter and brown sugar or maple syrup.

Cathie Campbell

Browned butter adds a special flavor

I love the flavor of food that has been made with browned butter. You must watch butter carefully when you brown it because it can burn and be ruined very quickly. Even when I am doing something as simple as pouring butter over popcorn, I like to let the melted butter brown a little bit. Just as when I have something under the broiler, I dare not look away or get distracted. (I have ruined more than a couple of things by letting them burn into black blobs under the broiler and setting off my smoke alarm!) I have put together some recipes that feature browned butter, so I hope you find something you really like. Welcome to fall, by the way.

Cathie Campbell

Get fresh with grapes

The day before writing this, I came back from the store with many kinds of fresh fruit, but mostly grapes. I even bought some of the new Cotton Candy grapes. I was a bit skeptical about whether or not they tasted like cotton candy (which I love even though it isn’t good for me), but lo and behold, that first grape actually did taste like the candy it’s named after. After that, however, my taste buds couldn’t be fooled. They still tasted good, but not in the same way as that first bite.

Cathie Campbell

Good time to get the blues

Blueberries seem to remain plentiful throughout the year. I don’t think most of us have an opportunity to get out and pick blueberries, but I know that a lot of folks buy blueberry plants at nurseries and even peddlers fair and flea markets. All of the blueberries that make their way to my kitchen are purchased, either fresh or frozen. No matter how you get your blueberries, you might enjoy some of the recipes presented here. Summertime may be hanging by a thread as we get closer to fall, but our appetites are going strong.

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