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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: Southern Oatmeal Bars

This clipping is glued on a recipe card, but I could see that the back features a travel ad for Nebraska. I can’t tell how old this is but it certainly sounds delicious.

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats

3/4 cup flour

2 tablespoons wheat germ

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1 slightly beaten egg

1 cup mashed cooked sweet potatoes (interesting)

2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk

1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1/2 tsp. finely shredded orange peel

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

In mixer bowl beat butter, brown sugar, and vanilla till light. Combine rolled oats, flour, wheat germ, salt and baking soda; stir into butter mixture till crumbly. Pat 3/4 of mixture (about 1 1/2 cups) into bottom of a 9x9x2-inch baking pan. Bake in 350F oven 10 minutes. Meanwhile in a medium bowl beat together egg, sweet potatoes, condensed milk, pumpkin pie spice, and orange peel; pour over baked layer in pan. Combine nuts with remaining crumbs; sprinkle over top. Bake in 350F oven for 25 to 30 minutes or till golden. Cool; cut into bars. Makes about 2 1/2 dozen.

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Owen’s Birthday

I can’t believe my little guy is 7 years old today. I was blogging in 2008 when we adopted him at 3 days old; it’s in the archives here. I have to laugh at these pictures – Josh is wearing the shirt in O’s baby picture that O is wearing today.

I will be baking O a cake later, and his favorite is vanilla. Here is a great cake recipe, named after the founder of the Shaker movement, featured in my Southern Heritage Southern Living Cakes volume.

Mother Ann’s Birthday Cake

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

3 cups flour

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup milk

2 tsp. vanilla extract

12 egg whites

About 1 cup peach jam

Butter Cream Frosting

Cream butter; gradually add sugar, beating well.

Combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla.

Beat egg whites (at room temperature) until stiff peaks form; fold into batter.

Spoon batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans. Bake at 350F for 25 – 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes: remove layers from pans, and let cool completely.

Spread peach jam between layers; spread top and sides with Butter Cream Frosting.

Butter Cream Frosting

3/4 cup butter, softened

2 1/4 cups sifted powdered sugar

3 tablespoons milk

3/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Cream butter: gradually add sugar, beating well. Add milk and vanilla, beating until smooth.

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Handwritten Recipe and Earring Wednesday

This clipping reminded me of the onion pie Molly MacRae put up here on Monday. I like the name of Snappy Supper Pie:

Oven 375F.

3 eggs, separated

1 cup dairy sour cream

1/2 cup Pillsbury’s Best All Purpose Flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Filling

1 can (10 1/2 oz.) condensed cream of chicken soup

1/2 tsp. instant minced onion

3 tablespoons flour

Dash pepper

1 cup cubed cooked ham

1 can (8 oz.) green beans, drained

1/2 cup cubed Cheddar cheese, if desired

No need to sift the flour; measure by lightly spooning into cup and leveling off. Separate eggs, putting whites in small mixer bowl and yolks in large mixing bowl. Beat egg whites at high speed until soft mounds form. In large mixing bowl, combine egg yolks, sour cream, flour and salt. By hand, blend well. Fold egg whites gently but thoroughly into egg yolk batter. Pour half of batter into a greased 10-inch pie pan or 1 1/2 quart casserole. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup shredded cheese. Bake at 375F for 10 minutes. Remove from oven; spoon filling into center. Pour remaining batter over filling. Sprinkle with cheese. Return to oven; bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Filling: In large saucepan, combine undiluted soup, instant minced onion, pepper and flour. Simmer for 5 minutes; stir in ham, green beans, and cheese.

Seafood Supper Pie: (oh boy) Substitute 1 can tuna, drained, or 1 can large shrimp, drained, for the ham. Gently stir tuna in with cubed Cheddar cheese.

This doesn’t sound too bad – except for the seafood variations…

My designer friend Sarajo Wentling has inspired an awesome jewelry obsession in me now, I think. I’ve been making lots of earrings for various raffles, craft fairs and more. I made these pink and silver earrings to raffle at a book reading last night, and attached them to the recipe postcard for the story I read. (I know they are kind of hard to see, but I forgot to photograph them by themselves!) While these butterfly earrings are kind of plain, I made them for a hipster niece who likes black. I’m posting them partly as I am now trying to make my own butterfly beads – but more on that to come. Check out Sarajo’s blog for more information on the earring challenge and to see her beautiful designs.

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Molly MacRae Monday: Spring Cleaning

Molly MacRae discusses the interesting recipes she found while cleaning out her file. I can’t imagine what she left in there! I’m sure mine has some interesting relics also.When you have last cleaned out your recipe file? -AA

There’s no point in getting carried away with doing too much spring cleaning, I don’t think. I did a bit this weekend, though, and it feels pretty good. I even cleaned out my recipe file – an accordion file my sister Jenny gave us for a wedding present in 1978. It’s where I put the recipes people give me or that I clip from newspapers, magazines, the backs of packages – that kind of thing – and it’s stuffed beyond capacity. Every once in a while I look for another file like it so I can relieve some of the stress on the first one, but I’ve never come across one. I should just find a nice box, or something.

I didn’t end up taking many recipes out of the file, and the ones I did I offered to our Easter dinner guests. They flipped through them but didn’t want any. I can’t imagine why not. I’ll probably take them to work and leave them in the staff lounge – all but three. There are three recipes from The Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette, February 1978 – vintage! I’ll send them to Amy, because I know she’ll love them. The first is for Clam Fettucini, the second is for Onion Supper Pie, and the third is for Celery Fish Roll-ups. Celery Fish Roll-ups – YUM! When these recipes arrive in Amy’s mail, I think her family will be pretty doggone happy that I stopped spring cleaning when I did.

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What to Do with Hard-Boiled Eggs After Coloring

From my 1950 Betty Crocker Picture Cook Book, here are some tips on things to do with those extra colored eggs in your house, “In the Shell…or Out!”

The caption on the photo is “Milk Glass Hen Keeps Eggs Warm and Cozy.” .

The tips:

Crack egg sharply at large end when egg is to be eaten from shell, set in individual egg cup. (Do you have these?) Crack egg sharply in center if to be turned into egg dish or cup. Season with salt, pepper, and butter. “Use bone or ivory spoon,” say the English. (Really?)

Pull down top of egg slicer. Fine wires cut hard-cooked eggs. Use slices for gold-and-white garnish for salads, fish, etc. (We have a slicer like this from my Mom. The boys love using it.)

Press yolks and whites separately through coarse sieve. Use rows of white and yellow and canapes, to border meat loaves. Sprinkle over spinach, creamed eggs, etc. (Love the meat loaf idea; wish they had a photo of that.)

Tap hard-cooked eggs to crackle. Roll between hands to loosen shells. Peel under cold water. Cut with sharp knife.

We’ve been having lots of sliced egg sandwiches. No sieve needed!

Happy Easter or Passover, Readers. To find past Easter vintage recipes, try a key word search in the box on the right. Bunny Breads or Easter cakes should bring up some gems from the past.

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Sugar Easter Scene Eggs

I have always liked these eggs with scenes inside, and you don’t see them too much anymore. We were watching the Peanuts Easter special the other night, which features some, and I knew I had a vintage cookbook that outlined how to make these. From Better Homes and Gardens Gifts from Your Kitchen, 1976, these are not as hard to make as they look, especially the half ones in the upper left:

With hands mix 3 cups granulated sugar and 1 egg white thoroughly. Divide sugar mixture into portions. Tint desired color with food coloring. Blend with spoon till color is even. Squeeze mixture. When it holds fingerprints, it is moist enough. If too dry, add a few drops water. Add more sugar if mixture is too moist.

Cut pieces of cardboard large enough to cover molds. Pack sugar firmly to top of desired shape of plastic mold (on the outside, molding around the egg half shape). With spatula, level and scrape excess sugar from top of each mold. Place a piece of cardboard atop sugar. Invert and place on drying surface (cardboard squares for each half mold). Tap mold gently; lift off. Let sugar harden till crust forms (1/2 hour for small molds; longer for large molds). Hold molded sugar gently in palm of hand (avoid squeezing). Leaving about 1/4-inch thick wall, carefully scrape sugar from inside of molds (to make it smooth). Dry well.

Easter Egg Baskets: Pipe edge of finished egg half with Royal Frosting, if desired. Dry. Fill with assorted candy and decorations.

Diorama Decorations: In two-piece plastic molds, mold two half–sugar eggs or balls as above. Immediately after unmolding, use thread to cut a 3/4 inch piece from pointed end of each egg half or from one side of each ball half. Be sure to hold thread taut. (Do not move either portion of egg or ball half.) Let dry and scoop out as above, discarding 3/4-inch pieces. Be sure to form a semicircular well (for half of the peek hole) at cut end of each sugar mold.

Decorate the inside of one of the halves with Royal Frosting and desired plastic figures. Glue the two halves together with additional frosting. Dry slightly. Pipe a decorative border around seam and edge of peek hole.

 

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Handwritten Recipe Wednesday: Chocolate Macaroons

I don’t think these are the same as the elegant little macaroons in all the shops and magazines now. But I love the name, date, fancy typing and the fact that they make 75 cookies. Bake slowly?

Chocolate Macaroons from E. Hamann – 1949

1 lb. sugar (oh boy)

1/2 lb. grated chocolate

1 lb. blanched and finely grated almonds

10 whites of egg beaten to snow (about 1 1/3 cup egg white)

Bake slowly and remove from oven while they are still quite soft. Be sure to grease your tin well. They are apt to stick.

This is a large recipe – about 75 cookies.

 

Beaten to snow? Love that description, too. Do you have a favorite macaroon recipe?

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Cinnamon Toast Cobbler

Crazy week this week as the older boy had a pile of things due before spring break, the younger boy had some special projects too, I worked several extra shifts and had a show at a fun library, we all had our usual karate classes, and the husband had several appointments. This recipe sounds like just the thing for a crazy week, though it’s a bit unique in the way of many vintage recipes!

From Better Homes and Gardens Jiffy Cooking, 1967, enjoy Cinnamon Toast Cobbler:

1 1-pound 14-oz. can (3 1/2 cups) sliced peaches

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 cup butter

3 slices slightly dry bread (love that description)

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

Drain peaches, reserving 1 cup syrup. Combine cornstarch and salt; slowly blend in reserved syrup. Cook and stir till mixture comes to boiling. Reduce heat; cook and stir 2 minutes. Add lemon juice, 1/4 cup butter, and peaches. Heat just to bubbling. Turn into 10x6x1 1/2-inch baking dish.

Cut bread lengthwise into 1-inch strips; dip into 1/4 cup melted butter, then into a mixture of sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Arrange over hot peaches. Bake at 375F for 25 minutes or till toasty. Pass cream. Makes 6 servings.

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Handwritten Mystery Pie Recipe and Earrings

This is another interesting recipe that someone obviously copied from a friend or a radio show in a hurry. It sounds good – I like the pineapple and lemon combination.

Make graham cracker crust. Drain syrup from No. 2 can pineapple chunks and add water to make 1 cup. Heat to boiling. Dissolve 3 oz. pkg. 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.

Here are a couple more earrings for the weekly challenge I’m participating in, for my designer friend Sarajo. I have some news on the earring front. Studio V from Harper College is now carrying my earrings, and they asked for some spring designs. Here are a couple I brought over there. Hopefully they will help people think of spring despite the snow on the ground here.

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Lazy Daisy Coffee Cake

I love the name of this one, and the cute picture. From the 1967 Jiffy Cooking, here is a quick and easy coffee cake.

2 packages refrigerated orange Danish rolls with icing (8 rolls)

Shredded coconut. tinted yellow

Open packages of rolls; unwind rolls and separate in individual strips. Beginning at center of large ungreased baking sheet, wind 5 strips in large coil. For petals: Wind remaining 11 strips in individual coils: place around center coil, being sure open end is next to the center coil. Pinch other end to make petal tip. Bake in hot oven (400F) 10 – 12 minutes or till lightly browned. Drizzle with icing from package. Sprinkle petal edges and center with tinted coconut.

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