Cathie Campbell

Cathie Campbell

What to do with leftover turkey

A lot of people say they always have too much turkey left over from their Thanksgiving meal. Once in a while, I do too, but most of the time, after I give leftover packages to guests, that isn’t a problem. If you end up with more turkey than you expected, here are a few ideas for using it up. I am grateful for a lot of things, one being that I have all of you, my kitchen friends. Peace to each of you and all your families.

Cathie Campbell

Stuffings for Fall meals

Thanksgiving is getting closer and closer and many of us are looking forward to having our favorite traditional meal of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, etc. I am one of the folks already imaging a table laden with all those goodies. I also like to try something new or different, to see how well it goes over (hopefully, it doesn't go over the deck railing and onto the ground). I love all sorts of stuffings, and not just the ones that go along with the turkey. I am including a recipe for stuffed acorn squash that I thought was very good and I hope you like it too. I am also sharing a recipe that I have written about before, just because some folks have asked for it again. (I am glad to know that I am not the only one who clips recipes and then sometimes loses them.) Even my youngest son preferred that stuffing to the traditional one. I came up with it when I was doing the no-carb thing, or rather, cutting way back on carbs. I will post that one first in line. So, on with the show, and it is my hope you are all keeping warm and cozy. I have a feeling we are in for some extra-cold weather this season.

Cathie Campbell

Invite cranberries to the table

Every holiday season, I look forward to anything made with cranberries. They taste so good (when sweetened) and their ruby-red color is beautiful. When I was growing up, we got our cranberry sauce from cans, and placed both the whole berry and jellied types on the table, as everyone had their preference. I liked the jellied kind best, but later in life, I experienced how delicious homemade whole-berry cranberry sauce is. I like both kinds equally now and place a dish of each on the table for guests. But sauce isn’t the only way to enjoy cranberries, of course. We can bake many things with them, and a couple of favorite recipes for baked goods are included here. Let’s roll out that red carpet for cranberries. (That reminds me of the time at a local grocery store when the lid to a very large carton of blueberries popped open and I dropped the whole thing on the floor. It was a carpet of blue rather than red, as the berries rolled everywhere. I did help clean them up, but still felt so bad.)

Cathie Campbell

Here’s to your health appetizers

Holidays usually mean you can expect lots of great food. And the usual laments such as “Oh, I really shouldn’t eat this” or “Wow, I gained weight just looking at that.” That’s understandable, as many of us (myself included) have at least one sort of health issue. So I decided to browse around for some appetizer recipes that don’t come with a ticket to Guilt City. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to partake from the appetizer platters rather than look longingly but then pass them by? Granted, there is no shortage of recipes that are so good they make you want to do a double back flip but they are horrible health-wise. By the way, I was never one to even consider doing a single back flip let alone a double one, but just mentioned it for emphasis. My great athletic feat I perform every day is putting on my shoes and socks. Okay, here I go exaggerating again. I’d better get to those recipes before I get any sillier. Oh, and feel free to increase the recipes for as many dinner guests as necessary.

Cathie Campbell

Time to pick a pot

Fall is here and winter is right around the corner, so if you are looking for some cold-weather recipes, you may want to consider choosing an old-fashioned comfort food like pot pies for a dinner meal. They are also very good for a Halloween night meal, especially if you take your children out for school carnivals or for trick or treat adventures. You can make the pot pies ahead of time so making dinner can be crossed off your list of things to do. When my kids were little, they wanted to do the school carnival and door-to-door trick or treat, so I was very busy. Add to that helping them with their costumes and yeah, you know what I mean. That's when moms (and sometimes dads or grandparents) sort of wish they could duplicate themselves. One version in the kitchen and one helping the kids. Speaking of dinner, kids are probably way more interested in eating the candy they hope to get, rather than what's on the table, but health comes first, of course. Have fun and stay safe and warm.

Cathie Campbell

Warm up with hot beverages

When the weather is warm, I don’t crave hot beverages of any kind. I never was a year-round morning coffee drinker and I can still see my former co-workers cringe as they poured their coffee in the office kitchen, and I popped open a can of cola and poured it into a glass of ice. That was back when I consumed caffeine. But now that the weather is changing and there is a chill in the air, especially in the mornings, I get those K-cups going. Of course, I must add some sugar and flavored coffee creamer, preferably pumpkin spice.

Cathie Campbell

Time for pumpkin recipes

Well, here we are in my favorite month of the year, October. One of my favorite things about this time of year is my collection of pumpkin recipes. Of course, one doesn’t need to wait until October to make such things, but the season gets me inspired to dig around in my fall recipes. Please do take care to purchase (or grow) the pumpkins that are called cooking or pie pumpkins, as the ones usually used to Jack-o-lanterns are stringy and tough. You can still make a pie out of one, but it won’t be as good as a pie made from the cooking type. I know some people are saying oh yes, I can, you just haven’t tasted one of my pies. I admit I have had a sampling of pumpkin pie made from a Jack-o-lantern pumpkin and I can’t say it was awful, but it wasn’t nearly as good as using puree from a pie pumpkin. This is just my opinion, and the following recipes call for canned pumpkin. I hope you are all looking forward to a cozy October. We sure do have a lot of firewood this year to keep warm with. Would rather have the live trees, though.

Cathie Campbell

Savory pot pies for fall fare

I love just about anything to do with pastry, sweet or savory. One of my favorite dinnertime treats is to poke a fork into the flaky crust of a beef, chicken or turkey pot pie. Or even one with just veggies. We’re supposed to get a warming spell but at this writing, the weather is definitely on the chilly side. Seems too early to get the wood stove going but a long-sleeved sweater is a welcome comfort against the chill. How about planning to include your favorite type of pot pie for dinner sometime this fall? Here are some recipes to get you started.

Cathie Campbell

Having a pear-y good fall

Sometimes I wish I could get away with eating just fruit, but of course that would not work out too well. Lately I have been oohing and ahhing over the selection of pears available at farmers markets, produce stands and grocery stores. As a kid I had access to all the tree-ripened pears I could eat, as my grandparents had a tree and so did one of my best friends. Once you get used to a tree-ripened pear (or any tree fruit), there’s no way green-picked fruit can compare. I especially love the old-fashioned Bartlett pears, even though being thin-skinned, they bruise very easily by the time you get them home from market. I thought it would be fun to share some recipes that call for fresh or even canned pears, to help set the mood for the fall season. Hope you enjoy.

Cathie Campbell

At the heart of the matter

Artichoke hearts rank as one of my all-time favorite foods. I love them fresh and also the marinated ones in jars. Sometimes there are good recipes that use the canned, water-pack type, but I admit those are not my first choice. It’s amazing that we can enjoy artichokes as a culinary treat, given that they are thistles. I love the Globe variety of artichoke as those have great flavor and are meaty. If you like chokes as much as I do, it is my hope you find a recipe to try from the selection here. I also hope you are looking forward to some nice fall weather.

Cathie Campbell

Ring around the onions

Since onion rings are on so many restaurant menus I think it is safe to assume I am not alone in my appreciation for those crispy treats. My favorites are the ones dipped in batter rather than bread crumbs. I like them fixed both ways but I prefer the batter dipped ones. They seem more evenly coated and in my experience, less likely to be burned or have the coating fall off. One thing I do not like about some of the onion rings I have ordered is when the actual onion inside has disintegrated into nothing but a thin, limp membrane. It’s like having a hollow onion ring. So, when I make them myself I am careful to slice off thick enough rings so they won’t disappear when fried or baked. I am a big fan of onions no matter how they are presented, and I used to eat a lot of Funyuns, too (that onion ring shaped and flavored crunchy snack by Frito-Lay). I say used to, because I have stopped eating most chips and other convenience store packaged snacks. That helped me lose almost 15 pounds so far, so I hope I can keep that up. Not that homemade onion rings are much higher on the health scale, but I need a treat once in a while. And if you thought you saw me buying several boxes of Girl Scout cookies this past spring, that was someone else. Sure, it was. On with the recipes now.

Cathie Campbell

Near-end of summer potluck desserts

Summer gets people together, many times in the form of picnics and potlucks. Even though a lot of folks have concluded their summer vacations, we still have quite a bit of summer left to enjoy. If you are looking for some good dessert recipes to make so you can bring a dish that people will gobble up, I hope you find something right here. One thing about potlucks, though, is that all too often people expect you to bring a dish you may be well known for, as in a specialty dish.

Cathie Campbell

Don’t put the grill away yet

Summer time is getting closer to the finish line, but there is still time, at least weather wise, to get outdoors and use that trusty barbecue grill. Most students are back in school, and many families have already had their camping vacations.

Cathie Campbell

A sweet corn summer

This summer I have been eating a lot of corn on the cob, thanks to the ag department over at CSU Fresno’s farm market. Yes, I know that corn isn’t high up on the healthful foods list, but sometimes I just want to enjoy the best of what summer time offers, and that special corn tops that list.

Cathie Campbell

Just peachy

Like many people, I love peaches. But this time of year is very difficult for diabetics, even if we stay away from baked goods. The abundance of sweet, ripe fruit is so very tempting, especially if you are lucky enough to find some delicious tree-ripened peaches. Maybe you even have some in your own home orchard or garden area.

Cathie Campbell

A passel of parsley

For months, some creature was nipping off fresh herbs from my container garden out on the deck, which I refer to as my kitchen garden. It didn’t like sage, chives, rosemary or thyme, but it dearly loved the oregano (didn’t plant basil this year). What puzzles me is why it always nipped off branches of parsley, but didn’t seem to eat them. Every morning I saw evidence of the nighttime raid, especially in the parsley pots, as the greens were just lying wilted and flat against the potting soil. I was getting tired of having to go buy bunches of parsley at the store. I finally installed a game camera and the culprit was a large pack rat. It actually was funny to see it flee back to its nest with a large branch of oregano in its mouth. After that rascal was caught and released elsewhere, two mice came along and took his place. They went bye-bye, too. Now I have a fresh crop of parsley that I started from seed and I hope to be able to harvest some in the near future. In honor of this new crop, I wanted to share some parsley recipes with you. If you grow any, I hope the rodents don’t wipe it out.

Cathie Campbell

Summertime hot dogs

I recently ate some hot dogs that were made at CSU Fresno’s meat department. It was my first time to visit the university’s farm market. I really liked the hot dogs (and had to share with my cat, as she thought they were pretty good, too). My favorite way to fix hot dogs is to grill them outdoors, over coals from a mixture of oak and manzanita wood. There are times when I don’t put anything on the hot dog except for a bun. And there are other times when I load it up with all sorts of things, such as baked beans, chili, caramelized onions, relish and on and on. Makes a big mess, but oh, so good. I also like to cook hot dogs in a Dutch oven along with Bavarian style sauerkraut and canned new potatoes. That dinner was born decades ago during a time when the power was out for a week and we used a Coleman camp stove to get by. Sort of like indoor camping. If you are feeling like serving family or friends some hot dogs this summer, here are some recipes to check out. If you do grill, use extra caution, what with this horrible and scary fire season.

Cathie Campbell

Cool off with a summer drink

I must confess I have an addiction to ice in beverages, even if I am just having water. And not just some ice, but lots of it. Fill a glass all the way to the top with ice, trickle a bit of beverage over it and I am one happy camper (even though I have not had a chance to actually go camping yet this summer). Of course, beverages can be served without ice, or so I hear. If you are looking for some recipes for nice, cold drinks to enjoy during these hot days, I’m hoping you will find something you like right here. Enjoy your summer fun and stay safe.

Cathie Campbell

Delicious strawberry sundaes

July 7 is National Strawberry Sundae Day, so now we have an official excuse to indulge and take advantage of the season’s fresh strawberry crop. Not that we need any excuses, though; most of us love our strawberries no matter what. I recently returned from a vacation in Ontario, Canada, where their strawberry season was just beginning. Surprisingly, none of the restaurants where I dined featured strawberries on their dessert menus. The berries in the markets seemed not quite ripe yet, so I avoided those. Now I am so hungry for ripe, fresh local strawberries, so let’s get down to business. I hope you had a wonderful and safe July 4 holiday.

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