Welcome to the Vintage Cookbooks and Crafts blog!For over seven years I have been writing this blog as a fond nostalgic parody of recipes and crafts from the 70's and earlier. Do you remember a trend fondly? From chiffon cakes to pom poms for roller skates, you're speaking my language.
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Celebrate fun desserts and recipes this month, featuring my Alana O’Neill Blast From the Past novella. Scenes from an upcoming St. Patrick’s Day story will be included.
Are you new to the Alana series? She’s an antique mall bookkeeper who is an adventurous rather than skilled cook. She also helps solve mysteries. In Blast, she encounters the mysterious appeal of chili chocolates, murder, and a necklace while hosting a Valentine’s Day festival at the antiques mall. Her intrepid teen son Elliott is around to sample chocolates and maybe have a little romance himself. If you’d like the first Alana story, simply sign up for my quarterly newsletter and a free copy will be sent to you.
I will have weekly drawings for jewelry, recipes, cookbooks and more this month. Simply comment after the recipe posts or post one of your favorite dessert recipes!
Frozen Fluffy Strawberry Pie
2 1/2 cups lightly toasted coconut
1/3 cups butter
1 (3 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14-oz.) can Eagle Sweetened Condensed Milk (not evaporated)
2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen unsweetened thawed strawberries, mashed or pureed (about 1 1/2 cups)
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup (1/2 ) pink whipping cream, whipped.
Additional fresh strawberries, optional.
In large saucepan, melt margarine, stir in toasted coconut. Mix well. Press into bottom and up sides of 9-inch pie plate; chill. In large mixer bowl, beat cheese until fluffy; beat in Eagle. Stir in pureed strawberries and lemon juice. Fold in whipped cream. Pour into coconut crust (mixture should mound slightly). Freeze 4 hours or until firm. Before serving, garnish with additional fresh strawberries if desired. Return leftovers to freezer.
Molly MacRae kicks off an exciting February with this fun pudding recipe! At least there are no prunes! Molly always knows how to keep her many readers entertained if not well fed. Stay tuned for a February Blog Blast right here with chances to win prizes. -AA
It’s February, and I’m already wondering where the year is going to so fast. Maybe it’s zipping by because I’m writing as fast and hard as I can on a new book, hoping to meet a deadline that’s coming at me as though it’s in hyper-drive. So what better recipe to share than one called Hurry-up Pudding?
This is another recipe from Dutch Oven: a Cook Book of coveted traditional Recipes from the Kitchens of Lunenburg. It’s a wonderful collection of savory and sweet treats, each of them facsimiles of handwritten recipes contributed by members of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Lunenburg Hospital Society in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, in 1953. I haven’t tested Hurry-up Pudding, yet. It looks easy enough, but lacking that crucial piece of information – bake for ??? minutes – it’ll have to wait until I have time to jump up over and over to see if it’s done. And that’s another missing piece of information – what do you suppose the pudding looks like, and what’s the consistency when it’s done? All clues welcome!
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. B. Powder
½ cup milk
1 cup raisins or dates
Sift together dry ingredients
Add milk and mix well.
The add raisins or dates
Bake in a moderate oven,
And serve with whipped cream.
Florence E. Hewat
Molly MacRae kicks off our food posts for 2016 with new cookbooks and another interesting recipe, though this one sounds pretty good! At least, it’s better than the Prune Whip she almost put up…What are your cooking – and reading goals for this year?-AA
What better way to celebrate the New Year than with new cookbooks? I have three, but I’m going to taunt you by spreading out the joy and only showing you one today. You’ll hear about the others in February and March. This month it’s Dutch Oven: a cook book of coveted, traditional recipes from the kitchens of Lunenburg, compiled by the Ladies Auxiliary of the Lunenburg Hospital Society in 1953. A dear friend in Nova Scotia sent the book to me. Every recipe in it is handwritten, and many of them are illustrated with charming line drawings. The book is a gem. So is Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, by the way. The town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, being the best surviving example of a planned British colonial settlement in North America.
There are lots of fish and game recipes in the book, delicious-sounding baked treats, and a section called “Men’s Dishes.” There’s also a recipe called “A Curry” that starts out with this admonition: “A curry is never that vile travesty – a cream sauce disgustingly tinted with curry powder!” I thought about teasing Amy by sharing the book’s recipe for Prune Whip, but instead, because we both write and love mysteries, we’ll start the New Year out right with the recipe for Mystery Cakes. These sound awfully good, although I think I might add chocolate chips to the topping mixture. I don’t think I’ve ever had anything like these cakes. Have you?
½ cup soft butter
½ cup brown sugar
2 cups sifted pastry flour
Cream butter and sugar, add flour
Blend together and turn into 9 or 10 inch cake tin. Pat evenly.
Combine 1 ½ cups brown sugar, 2 tbsps. flour, 1 ½ tsps. baking powder
1 ½ tsps. salt, 2 eggs, 1 cup chopped dates
½ cup coconut, 1 cup chopped walnuts.
Spread on top of first mixture in pan. Bake 40 minutes in a moderate oven. When cool frost with butter icing. Cut in size desired.
Happy New Year! 2015 took me in lots of new directions, and 2016 already has some fun plans. A favorite thing that happened was renewed interest in jewelry and accessories, to the point where I am selling things in a boutique and planning on an Etsy shop. What are you looking forward to in 2016?
Here’s an interesting clipping – 3 ingredients, but…?
2 (7 oz.) packages strawberry jello
1 cup Eagle Brand condensed milk
2 (7 oz.) packages coconut
Mix together coconut, 1 package dry jello and milk in large bowl. Refrigerate 6 hours or overnight.When ready to shape into strawberries, place 1 package dry jello in a small bowl. Take a small amount of coconut mixture and shape into a strawberry. Roll lightly in dry jello.
Hmm. I don’t know about that one.
Last post for the 2015 earring challenge! Thank you Sarajo at SJ Designs Jewelry for inspiring me in so many ways this year! The pink and white pair is made from re-purposed vintage jewelry and the black and turquoise make me think of New Year’s Eve!
I hope you all have a healthy and Happy New Year!
Here’s a great and easy recipe someone made for a recent party. Yum! What’s your easy go to recipe for the holidays?
Chocolate Walnut Crumb Bars
(makes about 30 bars)
1 cup (2 sticks) margarine, softened
2 cups flour
½ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups (12 oz) semi-sweet chocolate morsels, divided
1 ¼ cups (14 oz) Carnation Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts
Beat margarine in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in flour, sugar and salt until crumbly. With floured fingers, press 2 cups crumb mixture onto bottom of greased 13 X 9 inch baking pan; reserve remaining mixture. Bake in pre-heated 350 degree oven for 10 – 12 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
Warm 1 ½ cups morsels and sweetened condensed milk in small, heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring until smooth. Stir in vanilla extract. Spread over hot crust.
Stir in walnuts and remaining morsels into reserved crumb mixture, sprinkle over chocolate filling. Bake in 350 degree oven for 25 – 30 minutes or until center is set. Cool in pan on wire rack.
A few more gift pairs of earrings. I know they are similar to other favorites from this year, but they are fun to make! I can’t believe there is only one more post with the earrings. It’s been so eye opening – I started making earrings, now I’m filling orders for infinity scarves and having trunk shows. I really wanted to get an Etsy shop up but ran out of time. Next year! My inspiration for all of this is SJ Designs Jewelry and her year long challenge. I can’t wait to see where this all leads next year!
Readers here know I love handwritten recipes and the way they reveal clues about their owners. Molly MacRae shares some details about her stash in this delightful post. -AA
In September, I shared some of the treasures from the stationery box of clippings and handwritten recipes my grandmother collected between 1901 and 1914. The box is full of intriguing hints about her kitchen and her life, and I feel incredibly lucky to have it. So can you imagine my surprise and delight when I opened the present my sister gave me for my birthday a few weeks ago? First, the present was enclosed in a really snazzy red plastic portfolio. If you love office supplies, like I love office supplies, you know how I feel about that portfolio. LOVE IT. But the beauty of that bright red portfolio pales beside the sheaf of yellowed ledger pages inside it. On the pages are more handwritten recipes and neatly glued clippings from Granny – and from her mother. It’s so cool. And difficult to read, but that makes it even cooler, to my mind.
There are pages of fish recipes, sauce and pickle recipes, cake recipes, and pudding recipes – many of which I’ll be happy to try (or try to decipher) – but there’s also a buried treasure. Glued to a corner of one of the pudding pages is a clipping for Delicate Pudding. Granny rewrote the recipe’s name, above the clipping, in her own delicate hand. The recipe is from Mrs. H.J. Pepper of 509 W. Park Street in Champaign, Illinois. Granny didn’t live in Champaign. She never did. But more than a hundred years later, I do, and I live about eight blocks from where Mrs. Pepper lived. Her Delicate Pudding sounds good, too, so I’ll definitely give it a try. And wasn’t her name perfect for someone who liked to cook?
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 cup flour
1 cup coconut
1 cup nuts
1 lb. dates
2 Tablespoons hot water, dissolve 1 teas B. Soda (baking soda). Pour over dates.
Um, how are these Lucille’s Drop Cookies as specified? I believe the dough is poured over dates and each is a cookie? What do you think?
Only a few more entries in the earring challenge this year. It’s inspired lots of other changes for me, and I’m thankful to the talented designer at SJ Designs Jewelry for hosting the challenge. The purple and black still need some finishing up, but I’m keeping those! The snowflakes were for a friend to give her sister for her birthday.
I found a wonderful pamphlet tucked inside a recipe box – advertising a Betty Crocker Lemon Pie contest due “midsummer 1939.” Along with that is this delightful “Holiday Spaghetti:”
1/2 lb. spaghetti
3 qt. boiling salted water
1/2 cup Shortening
1 large onion, finely minced
1 green pepper, finely minced
1 8-oz. can mushrooms
1 lb. ground round steak
3 tsp salt
1 tsp. sugar
3 1/2 cups canned tomatoes
4 to 8 tbsp. grated cheese
Break spaghetti into 1 1/2 – 2 inch pieces. Cook till tender in boiling salted water. Drain. Melt shortening in large frying pan. Add onion, green pepper, sliced mushrooms and cook slowly till onion is golden yellow. Add round steak and 1 tsp. salt. Cook 10 minutes.
Add remaining salt, cooked spaghetti, sugar and tomatoes. When whole mixture is hot, transfer to buttered baking dish and sprinkle top with cheese. Bake 15 – 30 minutes in moderate oven (350F) in 10-inch casserole. Garnish with crisp broiled slices of bacon, and sprigs of parsley just before serving. Serves 6 – 8.
Here are a few holiday earring pairs I made to get into the season, as part of the challenge that talented designer SJ Designs Jewelry hosted this year. I’m barely keeping up now with the other things I’m making, the new job, shows and the new anthology coming out (more on that soon) , but am still enjoying making these!
Are you thinking about your Thanksgiving menus yet? Chances are you won’t want this one on there. It’s from one of my favorite handwritten recipe boxes, marked from a woman and “30s-40s-50s”. This one has a grocery list on the back of it, too.
4 cups ground raw carrots 1 t. salt
1 cup ground suet 1 t. cinnamon
1 cup sugar 1 t. allspice
1 1/2 cup flour 1 t. cloves
1/2 lb. raisins/currants 2 t. Baking Powder
Mix dry ingredients and add to other ingredients which have been combined. Steam three hours and serve hot with hard sauce.
Interesting. Does it count as a vegetable even with the 1 cup sugar?
I’m in a silver and blue mood with earrings this week. I had to run a lot of stuff to the boutique this week, though not earrings, so I’m late making these for my designer friend SaraJo’s challenge. These are for me this time and all the beads are from vintage jewelry that I took apart. What are you creating this week?
Molly MacRae helps us face winter ahead with this wonderful recipe today. Enjoy! -Amy Alessio
A couple of years ago, I shared a recipe for bread pudding, and said that it’s our favorite comfort food. But there are always alternatives, aren’t there? When the children were little, I actually made rice pudding more often than bread pudding. The recipe we used is one of the variations suggested for baked custard in the More-with-Less Cookbook (eleventh printing, June 1978) by Doris Janzen Longacre, a Mennonite cookbook given to me as a wedding present. I find the philosophy behind the cookbook a comfort, too: “suggestions by Mennonites on how to eat better and consume less of the world’s limited food resources.” My copy of the book is practically loose-leaf by now, but there are recipes in it that I turn to over and over, especially the barley lentil stew and the baked beans (more comfort food!). Here’s the recipe. I follow the first option, using leftover rice, leaving out the raisins, using brown sugar instead of white sugar or honey, and making it in a one quart casserole instead of individual custard cups. And then, before putting it in the oven, I give the top a sprinkling of wheat germ and nutmeg for added flavor and interest. It makes a nice dessert and an equally delicious breakfast.