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Amy AlessioWelcome to my page, where the Vintage Cookbooks blog has lived for over 9 years! Sign up for my newsletter to receive a copy of TREASURES, the first story in my Amazon bestselling Alana O’Neill short mystery series with vintage recipes. My newsletter will send bonus recipes as well as news of my upcoming shows and books right to your email box. Treasures
In TREASURES, Alana, a young mother, discovers an unlikely secret after a fire in an antiques mall in this short mystery with recipes. This is the first in the Alana O’Neill mysteries and includes vintage recipes for: Congo Squares, Kolackys, Chiffon Cake, Pound Cake and Dark Chocolate Cake. Alana’s adventures continue in the separate stories: MISSING ANDY, FELLED BY FRUITCAKE and BLAST FROM THE PAST.
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Handwritten Recipe Wednesday: Aunt Lula’s Pie

Have you made raisin pie? I know it was a favorite of my Grandma Curtin’s. This looks pretty good:

9 ” unbaked pie crust

4 eggs separated

2 T softened butter

1 1/2 C sugar

1 C chopped pecans

1/2 C dark raisins

1 T cider vinegar

1 tsp. vanilla

Refrigerate pie shell.

Heat oven to 325F.

In bowl with wooden spoon beat slightly egg yolks. Blend in butter. Add sugar and beat till light and fluffy. Add pecans, raisins, vinegar & vanilla. Mix well. Beat whites till just foamy. Add to mixture and blend well. Bake 50 mins. till crusty & brown. Cool in wire rack. (8 servings)

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A Disney Anniversary and a Pancakes Recipe

We are back from our wonderful anniversary trip! I am back to baking too as Owen’s zucchini has really grown in the garden. But today I’m going to post a recipe from the 1978 Betty Crocker’s Cookbook for Boys and Girls. It’s a cookbook from my childhood that my siblings and I really enjoyed.

I don’t remember making these, though…

Dit Dit Dot Pancakes (Early Tech?)

1 package fully cooked brown and serve link sausages

2 cups biscuit baking mix

1 egg

1 1/3 cups milk

Grape Jelly

Heat griddle over medium heat or heat electric griddle to 375F. Cut the sausages into thin slices on cutting board. Place in skillet and heat over medium heat until brown, stirring occasionally. Grease the hot griddle with shortening if necessary, using pastry brush. Prepare pancakes as directed on baking mix package except – during cooking, press the sausage slices onto the batter on the griddle. Continue as directed on the package. Serve with grape jelly. ??

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Tea Punch Recipe and Earrings

Today is my 20th wedding anniversary to my wonderful Kyle. In 1995 it was a record heat day in Chicagoland. We are celebrating in our usual fun style and I’ll post more about that later. You know delicious food is involved!

But this recipe for “Sherbet Tea Punch” is delightfully vague.

4 tea bags

2 C boiling water

1 C sugar

1 C orange juice

1/2 C lemon juice

2 bottles ginger ale

1 qt. orange sherbet

Steep tea in 2 water 5 min. Remove bags and add sugar, dissolve.

Chill – add juices

(some odd math is on the back)

& ginger. Spoon sherbet and serve.

I made a couple pairs of earrings for gifts for the challenge my talented friend at SJ Designs Jewelry.  I am really into a sun and moon theme now. Still having a great time with the new hobby. The trunk show was lots of fun, and great promotion. I’m already thinking about another, and will do an earring workshop at a local library.  What creative projects are you working on?

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Sarah Wisseman Post: Love of Italy turns to Murder

I’m excited to welcome back author and archaeologist Sarah Wisseman today to talk about her delightful mystery BURNT SIENNA. I read this in about one sitting, and felt as if I traveled to Italy with the beautiful artistic descriptions. Sarah is a friend I’ve enjoyed meeting at several conferences. She and Molly MacRae usually enjoy a few meals with me and Kathleen Ernst. -AA

I first visited Siena, Italy, as an archaeology graduate student in 1975. I fell in love immediately. This picturesque city still has a medieval tower, at least one palazzo turned museum, and a spectacular Gothic cathedral with a multi-colored marble façade. Il Campo, the main piazza, is a car-free place for lounging, people-watching, and a suicidal horse race called the Palio. The race, held twice each summer, is preceded by days of colorful flag-tossing and pageantry. But after the race, the Sienese audience becomes a mob. Demented men from the losing contradas, Siena’s traditional town districts, compete in crying and screaming for each other’s blood and fighting in the streets.

I was delighted when an archaeology conference gave me the excuse to return to Siena in 2008. While soaking up atmosphere and taking pictures for my next book, I was amused to discover the old sign over the entrance of our conference venue: “ospedale psichiatrico,” or insane asylum. A perfect place for passionate and peculiar academics to meet!

Both the Palio and the insane asylum crept into my novel, Burnt Siena (Five Star/ Cengage, June 2015). The mystery stars Flora Garibaldi, a half-Italian art conservator who discovers that her job with the Lorenzettis, a renowned family of painters in Siena, is not at all what she expected. Instead of using her advanced training in restoring Old Master paintings, Flora is assigned menial tasks mixing gesso and fixing picture frames. Then she discovers that her employers are supplementing their legitimate income with forgery and smuggling antiquities. After a colleague is murdered, Flora juggles the demands of her irascible boss and a young policeman, Vittorio Bernini. Bernini appears less interested in in solving the murder than he is in getting to know Flora.

The other star of the story is a Greek statue, a kouros (young man), that Marco Lorenzetti is sculpting. A driven artist, Marco is much more concerned with creating a fine marble sculpture than he is with what his father, Beppe Lorenzetti, may do with the finished product. Will it be sold as a modern replica of an ancient statue? Or will it find its way onto the black market as an ancient Greek “original”? This key part of the plot was inspired by the notorious kouros purchased by the J. Paul Getty Museum in California in the 1980s for a cool nine million dollars. Multiple scientists examined the statue to determine the source of the marble and the age of its patina, and sculpture experts around the world weighed in on the statue’s authenticity. To this day, scholars disagree about whether the Getty Kouros is a fabulous fake or an unusually well-preserved antiquity.

The next Flora Garibaldi Art History Mystery will take place in the catacombs of Rome, where the Carabinieri’s Art Squad leads an international team in the search for Nazi-looted art.

***Sarah Wisseman, a retired archaeologist at the University of Illinois, is the author of four Lisa Donahue Archaeological Mysteries set in Boston (Bound for Eternity and The Fall of Augustus) and the Middle East (The Dead Sea Codex and The House of the Sphinx) and one stand-alone historical mystery (The Bootlegger’s Nephew) set in Prohibition-era Illinois. Visit her at sarahwisseman.com

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Handwritten Recipe Wednesday: Lemon Cake

Do you have a favorite lemon bar recipe? I’ve been experimenting. but in the meantime, check out this favorite recipe for Lemon Cake. You can tell the person wrote it quickly as it was dictated.

1 pkg. lemon Jello

1 pkg. lemon cake mix

3/4 c. water

4 eggs

Beat 3 min. Add: 3/4 C oil. Beat 1 min.

Bake at 350F. 30 min. 11-13 pan.

 

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Molly MacRae Monday: Summer of Coincidence

 I see the text of Molly’s posts firsts, and I’m always nervous when I see comments about a recipe she “knows I’ll love.” Sure enough, it’s more prunes! I do love this cookbook cover, though – the community ones are always so fun. Enjoy Molly’s latest post!-AA

I love coincidences. They don’t work well as plot points in mysteries, but in real life they can be a lot of fun. For instance, I’ve been thinking about long ago summer vacations lately, and in particular the vacations my family took to Washington Island, Wisconsin. I posted a picture on Facebook of my brothers and me on the island in 1959, and that same day a package arrived in the mail from a dear friend. It was a copy of Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread, a cookbook put together by the women of the Lutheran Church on Washington Island in 1964. It’s one of those wonderful community cookbooks with something for everyone. Opening it immediately brought back memories of the delicious smorgasbords held in the church hall. And by another great coincidence, the cookbook solved a problem for me. I’d been trying to come up with a recipe to share in honor of Amy earning her black belt, and I found the perfect one in this cookbook. Congratulations, Amy! Here’s a recipe I know you’ll love.

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Recipe for Pineapple Pie and Earrings

No title on this recipe, but I believe it’s like a pineapple pie. Sounds pretty good:

Make graham cracker (pie) crust. Drain syrup from no. 2 can of pineapple chunks and add water to make 1 cup. Heat to boiling. Dissolve 3 oz. package of lemon gelatin in syrup. Blend 1/2 cup of gelatin with an 8 oz. package of cream cheese. When smooth pour into pie shell. Chill until set. Arrange pineapple chunks on the set pie filling. Spoon remaining 1/2 cup gelatin over all.

I wonder if other fruit flavors would work with this.

Last Thursday, I had a trunk show at Studio V, the boutique where I sell some of my jewelry. The stars and moon sets and earrings got the most attention. I made myself a set of the blue/silver pair. I’ll link them to my designer friend at SJ Designs Jewelry earring challenge for this week.

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Grilled Banana Boats

My wonderful colleague Tom leaves interesting library pamphlet cookbook donations in my mailbox. This gem has some things I would not want to make on the grill, but then this one sounds good, if a little weird to make.

Who wants to try it?

Banana Boats

Ripe bananas

Chocolate chips

Mini marshmallows

Pull one strip of banana peel back (but not off). Make a lengthwise slit in banana and fill slit with chocolate chips and marshmallows. Replace strip of banana peel. Wrap in heavy duty foil, seal and place on preheated gas grill, using low setting: heat thoroughly.

Seems like these could be done in the oven too. What do you think?

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Handwritten Recipe: Coffee Chicken

I’ve heard of beer can chicken, but coffee?

2 1/2 – 3 lb. chicken cut up

butter (melted to cover chicken) (Oh boy)

1/2 C French Dressing

1 Tbsp. dark vinegar

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp. dry instant coffee

Coat chicken with flour, place in greased baking pan. (Can’t make out next part) Something so “shot” (?) to touch. Cover with melted butter. Bake 45 min. in 350F oven. Make sauce with French Dressing, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce & coffee. Mix well. Coat each piece – return chicken to oven & bake app. 1 hour longer at 350F.

Have you seen anything like this?

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Kermit’s Swamp Salad

This 1981 gem features “Muppet Picnic” recipes. I love this photo and the serving portions for frogs.

Kermit’s Swamp Salad

1 head each – bib romaine and leaf lettuce

Fresh spinach

6 fresh mushrooms, sliced

1 small red onion, sliced

Wash greens, drain well and refrigerate until chilled and crisp. Prepare dressing and refrigerate.

Dressing:

1 1/2 c. mayonnaise

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice

2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese

3 Tbsp. milk (to thin)

Salt and pepper

When ready to serve, add dressing and toss. Top with 1 cup bread crumbs toasted in oven or skillet with 3 Tbsp. butter and 1/2 head cauliflower, grated. Serves 40 to 50 frogs (10 – 14 large servings for adult humans).

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