Macaroni with Paprika-Mushroom Sauce

Macaroni with Paprika-Mushroom Sauce

A Recipe from Recipes by Rakusen’s (195?)

About the Recipe

When a friend brought this (along with 2 other also amazingly vintage Rakusen’s books) back from England for me, I couldn’t wait to give it a go. These recipes are classics, and this one didn’t disappoint.

This comes together almost like an easy macaroni and cheese without the cheese. The sauce is rich and delicious, and pairs delightfully with the mushrooms. That said, both the husband and I agreed that more vegetables and even small bites of meat (I would go chicken or steak) would go well with this, and there’s more than enough sauce to make it happen. All in all, an excellent start to cooking with these little booklets. And hey – this was fully Maxx approved, so you know it’s gotta be good!

About the book

I try to keep these entries short and sweet to let you get to the recipe quickly, but forgive me on this one while I wax poetic a little bit about this book. As I said, it came from a friend who brought them from England for me. Rakusen’s is like the Manischewitz of England. It was founded in Leeds in 1900 and is a top provider of Kosher ingredients throughout the country. It was just so fun to look through these booklets, clearly designed to enjoy Rakusen’s fine line of products throughout the year.

There’s no date on the booklet, but it looks to be about 1950’s/60’s, and online listings of them seem to be in line with that as well. The illustrations and funky fonts lean more toward late ’50’s/early ’60’s, but regardless are everything that just works for these old advertising booklets. As per usual though, I remain grateful that food photography has come a long way since that time period.

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter
1 large onion
1/2 lb. mushrooms
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 t paprika
1/2 t salt
1/8 t pepper
8 oz. macaroni

Directions:

Melt butter in frying pan. Chop onion and sauté in butter until light brown. Remove onion. Slice mushrooms and sauté in same fat until tender. Add remaining ingredients (including onion), except macaroni. Mix well and heat. Cook macaroni in boiling, salted water until tender. Drain. Place in serving dish and pour sauce over. Serve at once. Serves 6.

Mrs. Cohen’s Kosher for Passover Cookies

Mrs. Cohen’s Kosher for Passover Cookies

A Recipe from the Koppelman Family archives

About the Recipe

This recipe comes from Mrs. Cohen – not my mother (though she makes them every year), my Aunt Harriet’s mother. See, my mother was a Koppelman who married a Cohen, and Aunt Harriet was a Cohen who married a Koppelman. Every year we would gather at Mr. and Mrs. Cohen’s house (AH’s mom and dad) and sit around a huge table for our Passover Seder. As we cousins grew up, the Cohens were less and less an extended arm of the family, and more another set of grandparents.

Every year, Mrs. Cohen made these cookies.

There’s not a ton to really love about kosher for Passover baking in general, but wow are these cookies delish. They’re kind of like a snickerdoodle crossed with an oatmeal raisin cookie, but with matzah instead of flour and oats. The recipe has been passed from Mrs. Cohen to Mrs. Cohen to Mrs. Rabiner-Cohen (me!) and I can’t wait to pass it down to my son one day.

A few quick notes on changes and adaptations – you can use the dried fruit of your choice in this. I used the Trader Joe’s Berry Blend this time around, and the variety of flavor seems promising. My mom swore by golden raisins. Mrs. Cohen’s original was regular raisins. Any nut is fine in this as well. I prefer walnuts, my mom is more of an almond gal.

Quick tip: Use a metal tablespoon or scoop to shape the cookies. They’re very, very sticky and just get worse and worse if you try to do it with your hands. Chag Sameach!

For more of my family recipes, click here!

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

2 cups matzah meal
2 cups matzah farfel
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup white raisins
1 cup chopped nuts
1/2-1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup vegetable oil
5 eggs
2 tsp. orange juice

Directions:

Combine dry ingredients. Beat in eggs, oil, and orange juice. Drop by the teaspoon or tablespoon, or roll in hands. Place on very greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350*F for 15-20 min.

Brownie Pudding

Brownie Pudding

A Recipe from Better Homes & Gardens Dessert Cook Book (1960)

About the Recipe

My friend Antonella had a birthday last week. As such, she had a (Covid responsible) birthday party yesterday. I asked two questions: Hot or cold? Fruit or chocolate? Her answer: Hot, and chocolate! So, I dove into my favorite dessert cookbook and BEHOLD! Brownie Pudding.

Now I know, it kind of looks like poop on a plate. That happens with chocolate dishes sometimes. But with that out of the way, holy crow is this a delicious dessert. It’s kind of like a sponge cake on top and that wonderful, gooey Jello chocolate pudding (not the instant, the one you actually have to cook) from childhood. Just check out Antonella’s very enthusiastic first taste:

And all in all, this wasn’t that hard to make. There are a lot of parts and pieces to the ingredients, so read the recipe carefully. But from there, go forth and enjoy, because this one’s a winner.

About the book

The Better Homes & Gardens series of cookbooks was, and continues to be, one of the best. The recipes are designed for the home cook, and I’m not sure that I’ve had one so far that hasn’t turned out fantastically. This dessert cook book is a particular favorite. On top of the winning recipes, the illustrations and tone of the book always make me smile.

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

1 cup sifted enriched flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 T cocoa
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 cup milk
2 T salad oil
1 t vanilla
3/4 to 1 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1 3/4 cups hot water

Directions:

Sift together first five ingredients. Add milk, salad oil, vanilla; mix smooth. Add nuts. Pour into greased 8x8x2-inch pan. Mix brown sugar, and 1/4 cup coca; sprinkle over batter. Pour hot water over entire batter. Bake at 350*F about 45 minutes.

Maple Candied Sweet Potatoes

Maple Candied Sweet Potatoes

A Recipe from Cast Iron Cookbook (1969)

About the Recipe

There’s nothing like the combination of sweet potatoes and maple syrup. When my husband issued the challenge to cook us more of this delectable root vegetable, I happily took it on. I landed on this recipe to try to break in our new cast iron skillet, a most welcome addition to the Cooking Vintage kitchen.

This is actually a really simple recipe that I think celebrates the sweet potatoes themselves. I would even be so bold in the future as to turn this into an easy tzimmes recipe, substituting some of the potatoes with carrots and squash, and adding some dried prunes and raisins into the mix. But all that said, this recipe is perfect as is and will definitely find its way to my plate again.

We combo’d the potatoes with a green salad and some slow cooked salmon (pop it in with the potatoes at the 35 minute mark!) for a delicious dinner.

About the book

The Cast Iron Cookbook is part of the Nitty Gritty line of cookbooks. I know collectors who just collect these books, and now I understand why. It’s a delightful little book full of great illustrations, and even better recipes. They’ve broken down the recipes into different types of cast iron cookware, and of course there’s an index in the back. I think I may have another series to track down…

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

6 large sweet potatoes, unpeeled
2/3 cup maple syrup
1 t salt
2 T butter, melted
1 cup apple cider
1/3 cup water

Directions:

Heat oven to 300*F. Wash potatoes and boil until nearly tender. Drain and cool enough to handle. Peel and slice about 1″ thick, and place in greased skillet. Add salt and butter to maple syrup, then add cider and water. Bring to a boil and pour over the potatoes. Bake about 1 hour. Baste from time to time with syrup.

Hamburg Upside Down Pie

Hamburg Upside Down Pie

A Recipe from Jane Ashley’s Newest Recipes for Better Meals (1952)

About the Recipe

Happy Pi Day 2022! With the chaos of a new baby in the house, and time at a premium, I only had time for one pie this year, and wow is this a good one. One of my favorite things about this recipe is that it’s thrifty as heck. Most ingredients I had on hand, and everything I didn’t cost just over $7. The result? A delicious, easy meal that had my husband going back for seconds and thirds!

A few quick adjustments and substitutions on this one – feel free to cut the salt in half. There’s plenty in the sauce and the biscuit, and it was a little much. I used spicy ketchup that I had on hand, which I think gave the whole dish an additional depth of flavor. In the future, I’ll probably substitute the beef for turkey, and maybe throw in some blocks of cheese to get all melty in the middle. A little roasted garlic would also be a big taste add on this one. All in all though, feel free to make it as is and you won’t be disappointed.

Find more Pi Day Recipes here!

About the book

This is actually an advertising book for the Corn Products Refining Company, which includes brands like Karo, Mazola, and Argo, still in use today. Shortly after this book was published, they became the Corn Products Company. Then in 2014, after some mergers and acquisitions activity, they became Ingredion which still exists today.

Jane Ashley seems to have been someone who you might have seen on television sponsoring and cooking with these corn ingredients. There are at least 2 books that she published on behalf of CPRC, this being the later of the two.

Regardless of its origins, this recipe alone has made me want to try more from this book. Interestingly, when I was looking at another cookbook dated in the 1960’s I found 2 recipes from this book, including this one, printed under similar but different names. It makes me wonder where else there may be similar cross pollination.

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

2 slices bacon
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can (10 1/2 oz.) condensed cream of mushroom soup

1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 lb ground beef
1/4 cup salad oil
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
2 T catsup
1 t chili powder
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper

1 recipe “Easy-Mix” Flaky Biscuits:
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
3 t baking powder
1 t salt
1/3 cup salad oil
2/3 milk

Directions:

Sauté onion, green pepper and beef in salad oil in 9-inch frying pan, having oven-proof handle. Separate beef into small pieces as it cooks. Add tomato sauce, catsup, chili powder, salt and pepper.

Prepare biscuit dough as directed in recipe below. Roll biscuit dough to fit frying pan. Place on top of meat mixture.

Bake in hot oven (400*F) for 25 minutes, or until biscuit topping is lightly browned. Turn out on serving plate, crust side down. Serve hot. Makes 6 servings.

“Easy Mix” Flaky Biscuits:

Mix and sift dry ingredients together. Combine salad oil and milk. Pour all at once over surface of flour mixture. Mix with fork to make a soft dough. Shape lightly with hands to make a round ball. Place on wax paper and knead lightly ten times or until smooth.

Pat out to 1/2 inch thickness or roll between 2 squares wax paper (about 12 inches square). Remove top sheet of paper; cut biscuits with unfloured 2-inch biscuit cutter. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake in hot oven (450*F) 12-15 minutes. Makes 20.

Cook bacon. Remove and crumble. Cook onion in drippings until tender. Stir in soup, water, salt, and pepper; add potatoes and green beans. Pour into 1 1/2-quart casserole. Stand up frankfurters around edge of casserole. Bake at 350*F for 30 minutes. Garnish with bacon.

Frankfurter Crown Casserole

Frankfurter Crown Casserole

A Recipe from Easy Ways to Delicious Meals, a Campbell’s Cookbook (1968)

About the Recipe

It’s been awhile since I’ve had an opportunity to crack open a cookbook, so I thought I’d come back with a mid-century bang! I love a recipe that strikes me as so crazy it just might work, and thankfully this one does.

It’s deceptively simple to make, and as a new mom who was worried about too much time spent in the kitchen, I was thrilled when it came together much more quickly than expected (about an hour from start to finish, and only because I had to cook the potatoes). I used frozen green beans, which worked just fine. In the future, I’ll probably use the veggie medley instead to give it a little more depth of flavor, or even just throw some fresh veggies in there. This dish would be well served with some broccoli florets or diced mushrooms thrown into the mix. Just sauté them with the onions a little bit to soften them up.

One more thing – cut the salt in half at least. The soup adds plenty of salt on its own, and combined with the frankfurters, it’s a lot.

About the book

I love these mid-century Campbell’s soup cookbooks. I’ve made a few recipes out of them before, and they never disappoint. My favorite part is this combo of full color photos and cute little illustrations. For this dish in particular, I was amused that they snuck in the full color photo of the Frankfurter Crown in the first section of the cookbook. And then (just in case that didn’t sell you), there was an illustration as well. It was truly a no-brainer to pick this particular recipe out of the lot.

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

2 slices bacon
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can (10 1/2 oz.) condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup water
1/2 t salt
Dash pepper
3 cups sliced cooked potatoes
1 cup cooked cut green beans
1/2 lb. frankfurters, split and cut in half

Directions:

Cook bacon. Remove and crumble. Cook onion in drippings until tender. Stir in soup, water, salt, and pepper; add potatoes and green beans. Pour into 1 1/2-quart casserole. Stand up frankfurters around edge of casserole. Bake at 350*F for 30 minutes. Garnish with bacon.

Honey Cake

Honey Cake

A Recipe from The Golden Jubilee Recipe Book (1959)

About the Recipe

Tonight (September 6, 2021) at sundown, is the start of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish holiday celebrating the new year. It’s one of my favorite holidays. It means time with family, getting a little bit of wine even when it wasn’t supposed to be allowed, and of course – delicious food. One of the traditional dishes to celebrate is honey cake, so of course I went looking for a good one!

This one is delicious! Light and fluffy, and just the right amount of sticky sweet for a sweet new year. It’s already bubbling and rising by the time the batter goes into the pan, which is exactly what one looks for in a great honey cake. It’s got a very traditional flavor to it, without all the density that sometimes comes along.

Two quick changes – throw this one in a 9×13 pan. Otherwise you’ll end up with batter everywhere! And I went a little bit lighter on the added sugar, maybe a 1/4 cup less. I find the balance is a bit better.

L’shana tovah! And happy 5782!

About the book

This book is the gift that keeps on giving. As it turns out, this little B’nai B’rith book has filtered down all over the New York metro area. A friend of mine found the noodle kugel recipe that I shared previously and noted that it was the same one she used in childhood. The dishes in it seem to be all of the regional favorites of Jewish New York, and I’m not even a little bit upset about it.

On a more personal note, one of the ladies who submitted a “Similar recipe” above is Rose Dubinsky. My paternal grandmother was a Dubinsky. Her family came over through Ellis Island and lived in New York for awhile before relocating to the Baltimore/DC area. I can’t help but wonder if an old family recipe has just come back around to find me this time around…

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 lb. honey
1 t baking soda
1 cup strong coffee
4 cups flour
2 t baking powder
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Juice of 1/2 orange
1/4 cup almonds

Directions:

Mix eggs and sugar together; add honey.

Dissolve soda with a little hot water and add.

Sift flour and baking powder; add alternately with coffee; add the juices; stir in almonds.

Line 8″ x 10″ (I used a 9×13 and barely had enough room) baking dish with foil; pour in batter and bake in 350*F oven one hour.

Blueberry Buckle

Blueberry Buckle

A Recipe from the Mary Margaret McBride Encyclopedia of Cooking (1959)

About the Recipe

When a friend invited me over for dinner at the tail end of berry season, and with a fridge full of blueberries, I happily volunteered – “I’ve got dessert!” This quick and easy little cake was the perfect cap to a dinner with friends. Any berry could be easily substituted for the blueberries, and you could even go full on triple berry if you’re feeling saucy. Any way it’s done, this is a great last-minute-I’ve-got-the-dessert recipe.

While we’re here though – you might be asking yourself, what is a “buckle?” Simply put, a buckle is much like a coffee cake. It’s traditionally got fruit in the batter and a crumb topping, with a fairly high batter to fruit ratio. It’s called a buckle because the weight of the crumb makes the cake do just that when it comes out of the oven – buckle!

About the Book

Part of my weekly routine since I started collecting cookbooks is to sit down with a small stack of them as I’m making my grocery list, and picking out one or two to try over the course of the week. While that’s fantastic for finding new things to try for dinner, it’s not great when I’m seeking something specific (like, say, blueberry desserts). For the specific ask, there’s only one resource I turn to – the Mary Margaret McBride. I’ll spare more waxing poetic about this amazing book for now, but suffice it to say that if you’re looking for a gift for someone new to the kitchen this is the perfect fit.

Check out more recipes in the Mary Margaret McBride Collection here!

About the Glassware

The baking dish is a new acquisition of mine from a road trip I took with my husband earlier this year. It’s a Fire King by Anchor Hocking with a Primrose pattern. This pattern was produced in the early ’60’s and when I saw it, I had to add it to the collection. I rarely see this pattern in my usual antique/vintage haunts and it’s just so cute. It felt like the perfect mid-century dish for this mid-century dish.

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

Crumb Topping:
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup sifted enriched flour
1/2 t cinnamon
3 T soft butter or margarine

Batter:
1/4 cup soft butter or margarine
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups sifted enriched flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 14-oz can blueberries, drained OR 1 pint fresh blueberries

Directions:

Crumb Topping:
Measure sugar, flour, and cinnamon into small bowl. Mix well.

Add butter or margarine and cut in with fork or pastry blender until mixture is consistency of crumbs

Batter:
Stir butter or margarine until creamy. Add sugar, gradually, mixing until creamy. Beat in egg. Add milk.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir into butter or margarine mixture, stirring until smooth. Gently fold in blueberries.

Spread batter into well buttered pan, 8×8 inches.

Sprinkle with crumb topping. Bake in moderate oven (375*F.) 45-50 minutes.

Perfect Potato Salad

Perfect Potato Salad

A Recipe from Better Homes & Gardens Salad Book (1958)

About the Recipe

When friends are coming over for a beach picnic, what do you do? You make potato salad, of course! I went to this book right away looking for a recipe, knowing that it was one of my grandma’s go-to’s. When I saw the 3x math on the page, I knew this one had to be a winner!

My husband doesn’t like celery, so I left it out. The onions and pickles give it plenty of crunch and flavor, and in the end it’s exactly as described – a perfect potato salad.

For potato salad newbies (like me!), don’t miss the step by step instructions on how to cook the perfect potato for a salad.

About the Glassware

I found the cradle and the Fire King rectangular baking dish together at a vintage store just outside of Palm Springs on a recent visit. It’s not clear on whether they might have been originally purchased together or not. Many sets like this seem to have a clear dish instead of an opaque one. Either way, it’s a great little serving piece, and I can’t resist the opportunity to make potato salad look fancy.

About the Book

I went to visit my grandma this past weekend, who is getting ready to move out of the house that she’s lived in for… well a very long time. It’s no secret to anyone following my posts that she’s a big inspiration for a lot of the work I do on this blog. While I was there, she told me to take the cookbooks. Any of them that I wanted, including this Salad Book. I cried.

This book is so clearly well loved and well used. There’s a page covered in plastic wrap, because a recipe was used so often, she was trying to keep the splatter off it (a Caesar salad, for the record!). There are splotches on most, if not all of the pages. The edges are torn. I could not love this book more.

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups cubed or sliced cooked potatoes
1 t sugar
1 t vinegar
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup sliced celery (if desired)
1/4 cup sliced sweet pickle (if desired)
1 1/2 t salt
1 1/2 t celery seed
3/4 c mayonnaise
2 hard-cooked eggs, sliced

Directions:

Sprinkle potatoes with sugar and vinegar. Add onion, celery, pickle, seasonings, and mayonnaise; toss to blend. Carefully “fold in” egg slices. Chill. Serve in lettuce-lined bowl. Trim with egg slices.

Cook potatoes in boiling salted water, peel and cube — they’re salad-ready

1. Scrub potatoes thoroughly with a firm vegetable brush. Choose potatoes of equal size so all will get done at the same time.

2. Cook potatoes in boiling, salted water. Begin fork testing after 25 minutes of cooking. When just tender, remove from heat and drain. Shake in pan over low heat to dry.

3. Peel potatoes while hot, holding on long fork or on paper towel. Salad secret: Mix salad with warm potatoes — they absorb seasonings.

4. Halve potatoes lengthwise. With flat side down on cutting board, slice each potato half in 3/4-inch strips. Then cut it crosswise to make bite-size cubes.

Chicken Breasts Baked in Cream

Chicken Breasts Baked in Cream

A Recipe from Betty Crocker’s New Dinner for Two Cook Book (1964)

About the Recipe

Chicken is a staple in our household, but even our favorites can start to get old. I had some chicken breasts in the freezer so I went on a search through my books! Betty Crocker (almost) never fails, and this recipe looked simple enough for a Friday evening. Fair warning though – it takes 2 hours to bake! The cook time on this in total is about 2.5 hours all told.

I made a few adjustments on this one – I substituted olive oil for the shortening and used fat free half and half instead of proper cream. Removing all of the fat from this dish meant getting rid of some of the richness. We ended up with a (more cholesterol friendly) baked chicken, rich in flavor but not in fat. Oh – and as with most recipes, the amount of onion and garlic is just a suggestion. Go to town, with Betty’s blessing I’m sure.

About the Book

I found this book in a giant antiques mall in Virginia on a recent road trip with the husband. There was a whole section just of antique and vintage books and I was in heaven! If you’re in the area (or even just slightly out of the way), the Factory Antique Mall in Verona, VA is well worth the trip.

All of the Betty Crocker books in this time period and format are worth the purchase. The mid-century illustrations are so fantastic, and the recipes, for the most part are excellent. This one is dedicated to small families or “the career girl enjoying her first apartment.” In particular, this recipe comes from the section dedicated to when company comes. The recipes and menus feel like they’re adapted for when you were planning for two… and then surprise! company comes. All in all, this book is wonderful. Snag it if you find it.

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

2 whole chicken breasts (about 2 lb.)
3 T shortening
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 small clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup cream (20% butterfat)
1 1/2 t salt
1/8 t pepper
2 t Worcestershire sauce

Pan Gravy:
2 T fat
2 T flour
1 cup liquid (water, meat stock, or bouillon cube broth)

Directions:

Heat oven to 300*F (slow). Cut chicken breasts in half crosswise, making four serving pieces. In a heavy skillet, brown breasts in shortening until golden. Add remaining ingredients. Cover tightly. Bake about 2 hr. or until tender. Just before serving, remove chicken from skillet; keep warm while making Pan Gravy

Pan Gravy:
Remove meat to warm place. Pour off clear fat (not drippings); measure amount needed into small saucepan. Measure liquid into roasting pan; stir and scrape all of brown drippings loose from pan — heat mixture if necessary; set aside.

Add flour to fat in saucepan; stir together until smooth. Cook over low heat, stirring steadily until it is bubbling.

Take pan off heat. Gradually stir in liquid and drippings from roasting pan. return pan to heat; bring to boil, stirring constantly. Boil 1 min. Season and serve.