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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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Apple Pie Recipe Plus Earrings

The last two weeks were a blur as the boys returned to school, but I’m getting a handle on things again – I think!

It’s getting to be apple pie time of year again, and this one is kind of interesting. I love cheddar plus apple pie, so why not this?

Ricotta Cheese Apple Pie

3 cups thin sliced apples

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

2 eggs

1 cup ricotta

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1 /2 tsp. grated lemon peel

Line 9 in. pie pan with pastry. Put sliced apples in crust, with 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon & nutmeg. Beat eggs slightly, combine with ricotta, 1/2 cup sugar, cream, salt & lemon peel. Mix & pour over apples covering evenly. Bake 425F for 10 minutes. Lower temp. to 350F and bake 30 minutes longer.

I did have a few minutes this week to work on fall jewelry and will put these earrings up on my designer friend SaraJo’s blog for her challenge. Are you ready for fall?

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Pie Filling Recipe Plus Earrings

It seems early for pumpkin recipes, but Starbucks and other places are already offering pumpkin treats, so I decided to post this delicious sounding simple recipe today.

2 pkgs Butterscotch pudding: Cook until thick. (I would think instant would work here too.) Add 1 large can pumpkin. Put in cooked pie crust. Refrigerate when ready to serve. Top with whipped cream plus teas. honey.

I like the idea of combining whipped cream with honey over it too. Yum.

I went to a gem show over the weekend to get beads to make fall items for the boutique that carries my jewelry plus a small Etsy shop I’ve decided to open in September. The gem show was amazing fun, and I’m already having fun making earrings and necklaces. I’ve also received some batches of vintage beads and jewelry I’m taking apart and re-using. Here are this week’s earring challenge designs. The challenge is from my designer friend at SJ Designs Jewelry, and has really inspired me this year.

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Handwritten Recipe Wednesday: Ice-box Pie

Readers here know about the Icebox cake, OKA Mushy Cookie Pudding, that my family loves. It is a layered confection with Jello pudding and vanilla wafers. Today’s handwritten recipe is not one we’d want to make ourselves, with the dubious cooking of the eggs (and the total lack of directions), but it reminded me of the family favorite. Likely all the ingredients except the wafers were cooked into a thickened substance and layered with the wafers, refrigerated, then eaten.

1/2 lb. vanilla wafers

1 large piece butter (love that measurement)

1 can Eagle brand condensed milk

3 eggs

1/2 cup lemon juice (That is a lot!)

salt(How much?)

Interesting…

 

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Molly MacRae Monday: Celebrating Yarn Bombing with Bombes

I’ve always wanted to try yarn bombing, but I definitely don’t want to try the prune caramel ice cream recipe Molly suggests for me this month. Where does she find these recipes? The Thyme Bombe sounds fabulous, though, and I’ll look forward to that recipe in the next book. I’ll head over to her Pinterest board now to see what else she has discovered about that fun dessert.-AA

What better way to celebrate a mystery involving yarn bombing than with a recipe for a bombe? Knot the Usual Suspects, book 5 in my Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries, comes out on September 1st. In the book, Kath and TGIF (Thank Goodness It’s Fiber, the needlework group that meets at Kath’s yarn shop) are planning to yarn bomb their town in conjunction with the opening of a craft show. What’s yarn bombing? It’s the art of fiber graffiti. People go out, often at night, and spread a little fiber anarchy with knitting, crochet, wrapping, twining—you name it—putting sweaters and leg warmers on statues, giant feet on mailboxes, vines and leaves on signposts, cozies on fire hydrants, etc. You can see some great examples on my Yarn Bombing Pinterest board.

So then we come to the bombe. I mentioned bombes in my book Lawn Order, but sad to say, I didn’t really know what a bombe was until I looked it up. They’re pretty cool (literally and figuratively). They’re an ice cream desert made in a round bowl or mold. Some of them end up looking like cannon balls, or those round bombs you used to see in Saturday morning cartoons, hence the name bombe. You can see examples of some tasty-looking bombes and recipes for them on my Bombes Pinterest board. I’ve never made a bombe, but I’ve concocted recipes for two that I think should turn out pretty well.

The first one I’ll make and report back on in September. I’m going to use two kinds of gelato – ginger for the outside layer, and lemon with thyme for the center. After unmolding it, I’ll drizzle a salted caramel sauce over it, and I’ll call it a Thyme Bombe.

The other bombe is one Amy won’t be able to resist, so I’ll let her make it. The outside layer should be a good vanilla ice cream, and the center will be prune caramel ice cream. If Amy refuses, I’ll go ahead and make that one, too, but in that case she can’t have any – no matter how delicious it is. Here’s the recipe for prune caramel ice cream, Amy. It comes from the Sunsweet Recipes booklet put out in 1950 by the California Prune and Apricot Growers Association.

 

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Lemon Fruit Freeze Recipe Plus Earrings

I love how this clipping was squeezed onto the card. I also love that it has fruit cocktail, which has its own genre of strange recipes in decades past. I’m not sure how this recipe would work. Who wants to try it?

2/3 cup butter

1/3 cup sugar

7 cups Rice or Corn Chex cereal, crushed to 3 cups

1 (14 oz.) can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk

1/2 cup Realemon Reconstituted Lemon Juice

1 (21 oz.) can lemon pie filling

1 (17 oz.) can fruit cocktail, well drained

2 cups whipped topping

In medium saucepan, melt butter; stir in sugar; then crumbs. Reserving 1/3 cup for garnish, pat crumbs firmly on bottom of 13×9 inch baking pan. Bake at 300F for 12 minutes. Cool. In large bowl, mix sweetened condensed milk and ReaLemon. Stir in pie filling and fruit cocktail; pour over crust. Top with whipped topping and crumbs. Freeze 4 hours. Remove from freezer 20 minutes before cutting. If desired, garnish with lemon slices.

Moving on to the earring challenge pairs for this post. I needed some gold and red earrings for myself – all the red pairs I’ve previously made seem to be silver. The red beads are from a vintage necklace I re-purposed. Also I have been thinking about fall earrings, and was looking for a more subtle orange/black set to sell. What do you think? As always, I’m grateful to the talented Sarajo of SJ Wentling Designs Jewelry for inspiring me to keep working on my projects.  

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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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