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.

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.

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.

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.

Orange Bowl Coffee Cake

Orange Bowl Coffee Cake

A Recipe from 100 New Bake-Off Recipes from Pillsbury’s 16th Grand National (1965)

About the Recipe

Sometimes a dish comes out of the oven, and you show your little brother how to properly flip a baked dish, and as he lifts the casserole dish off, you’re crossing your fingers that it comes out properly – and then it comes cleanly out of the dish with a slow waterfall of caramel-y goodness and all you can think is – WOW. Yeah. This is that recipe.

“Coffee cake” is a little bit of a misnomer here, as this is far from the crumbly baked good you’re probably thinking of. This is more like a cinnamon bun loaf with hints of orange caramel; more suitable for pulling apart than for slicing.

I’ll admit, this came out looking a little bit different than in the photo that lives in the book (no, I’m not going to put it here). Be sure to let the orange juice and eggs come to room temperature so as not to make the yeast angry and you’ll be good to go. Even through my yeast flub, this dish gets the little brother seal of approval:

For more recipes in the Pillsbury Challenge, click here!

About the book

Pillsbury really goes the extra mile on the advertising front in this booklet. Not only are they pushing the new “Pillsbury Family Cookbook” (YOURS FREE for a Ten-Day Try Out!), but they dedicate the first few pages to new Instant Blending flour – “This gay new way to put a cake together!” Divine!

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

2 packets active dry yeast or 2 cakes compressed yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 t salt
1/2 cup milk, scalded
2 eggs
1/4 cup orange juice
3 1/2 – 4 cups flour
1 cup granulated or brown sugar
2 T grated orange rind
1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

Soften yeast in warm water. Combine in mixing bowl 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup soft butter, salt and milk. Cool to lukewarm. Stir in eggs, orange juice and yeast. Gradually add flour to form a stiff dough. Knead on floured surface until smooth and satiny, 3-5 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning dough to grease all sides. Cover; let rise in warm place until light and doubled, about 1 hour.

Cream 1/2 cup butter. Add 1 cup sugar and orange rind. Roll out half of dough on floured surface to a 12×8-inch rectangle. Spread with half of filling; sprinkle with 1/2 cup walnuts. Starting with 120inch side, roll jelly-roll fashion. Cut into twelve 1-inch slices. Arrange 1 inch apart on bottom and sides of well-greased 2-quart casserole or mixing bowl. Place remaining slices in center. Repeat with remaining slices in center. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover; let rise in a warm place until light and doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake at 350*F for 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Invert immediately onto cooling rack.

Variation: For orange-cinnamon coffee cake, add 1 teaspoon cinnamon to filling. If desired, drizzle warm bread with a vanilla glaze.

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Pi(e) Day 2021

Pi(e) Day 2021

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I have always maintained that pies test my patience, and this year, just after the 1-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, they definitely did. The crusts took 3 tries to get out of the oven in a usable state. I needed to call in my sous-chef (husband) multiple times because I wasn’t ready for some of the multi-tasking that needed to happen. And yet – it was a successful pie day. Here’s what we made:

2021 Pi(e) Day WINNER! Orange-Pumpkin Chiffon Pie (1961)
Chicken Pie with Sweet Potato Crust (1940)
Cottage Cheese Pie (1963)

Eggs, Eiffel Tower

Eggs, Eiffel Tower

A Recipe from Better Homes & Gardens Lunches and Brunches (1963)

About the Recipe

If you’ve been reading my blog for any period of time, you probably know by now how much I love an overcomplicated but delicious breakfast / egg dish. Here’s another one to enjoy!

When I was looking at the recipe on paper, my first thought was that it sounded like a croque Madame – egg, ham, cheese, bread. Simple! But it’s clearly more complicated than that – and the flavor profile you get out of it is more complex as well. It tastes kind of like a quiche Lorraine or an egg hash when all is said and done. The texture is really lovely and surprising. It’s a very light, fluffy dish and everything just comes together when you dig in with a fork.

I used a rustic French sandwich bread for the toast, and a sharp cheddar cheese. This is a recipe that would also be really easy to substitute in other kinds of cheeses and meats with success. Just make sure that your meat can be broken up or speared easily as it gets buried in the ramekin. And of course, if you want a true Parisian taste to go on, go with the deviled ham and some good gruyere.

About the Book

These little Better Homes & Gardens books are such great resources in a kitchen. In the case of this one, you simply pick the lunch or brunch that you’re planning for and there’s a menu ready to go! I’ll go into more details the next time I post on it. For right now, just to give you the flavor of the book, here’s some of the contents:

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

4 rusks or slices dry toast
1 4.5 oz can deviled ham
3/4 cup shredded process cheese
6 egg whites
1/4 t cream of tartar
10 drops bottled hot pepper sauce
Dash salt
1 t prepared mustard
6 egg yolks

Directions:

Cut rusks or toast in rounds to fit in bottom of 4 ramekins or 6-oz custard cups. Butter each rusk; spread with 1 T deviled ham, place in ramekin and sprinkle with 1 T cheese.

Beat egg whites with cream of tartar, hot pepper sauce, and salt till soft peaks form. Place on top of cheese in each ramekin. Top with egg yolks (place 2 egg yolks in 2 of the ramekins). Dot layer with bits of deviled ham (about 1/2 T on each) and sprinkle with 1 T cheese. Top with egg-white mixture.

Repeat layers of ham, cheese, and egg white, building up a peak of egg white mixture. (See picture, above)

Bake in slow oven (325*F) about 30 minutes, or till golden and yolks are of desired doneness. Makes 4 servings.

Chicken Tetrazzini

Chicken Tetrazzini

A Recipe from Betty Crocker’s Dinner in a Dish Cookbook (1965)

About the Recipe

This is one of those recipes that all of a sudden starts to come together and smell amazing as you’re cooking it. It was so quick and simple (don’t let the roux scare you!) and super tasty and comforting on a chilly northeastern night.

Becky and I substituted frozen peas for the mushrooms to great success. I would actually say that you can sub in any veggie here that you’d like and it’ll be equally as tasty. We also added some extra mozzarella to the top. because – why not? And finishing it off in the broiler is definitely the perfect finishing touch.

For more recipes from my Weekend at Becky’s click here!

About the book

When I got to Becky’s house this time around, I was presented with a big, silver-wrapped box. Inside that box was a cornucopia of vintage cookbooks, this one included. I was so excited to see this particular book mixed in with the rest. I’ve been eyeing these Betty Crocker books for awhile and I’m so excited to have it.

Any Meal in a Dish book is good to have on your shelf – this one is great. If the recipes don’t get you, the gorgeous mid-century modern illustrations will. If nothing else, if you see this book give yourself a few minutes to thumb through and enjoy.

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup whipping cream
2 T sherry
7 oz. spaghetti, broken into small pieces, cooked and drained
2 cups cubed cooked chicken or turkey
1 can (3 oz.) sliced mushrooms, drained
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Heat oven to 350*F. Melt butter over low heat. Blend in flour and seasonings. Cook, stirring until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in broth and cream. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil 1 min. Add sherry. Stir in spaghetti, chicken, and mushrooms. Pour into a square baking dish, 8x8x2″. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake 30 min. or until bubbly in center. If desired, brown top by placing briefly under broiler. Garnish with parsley and green olives, if desired.

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Baked Fillets of Haddock or Cod with Potatoes

Baked Fillets of Haddock or Cod with Potatoes

A Recipe from The Art of Dutch Cooking (1961)

About the Recipe

I’ve always been a bit hesitant to try cooking white, flaky fish. I have no good reason why, other than no one ever taught me how to cook it, so I’m relying simply on the recipe. The good news is – this is a great, easy to follow recipe.

This particular try was a lesson in the quarantine classic – make it work with what’s on hand. I used small potatoes and ended up substituting plain yogurt for the sour cream. I mixed in some shallots with the single onion that I had on hand. Lo and behold – it definitely works. The top is a nice, fluffy soufflé with a little crisp from the breadcrumbs. The inside is like a flaky fish stew, savory and delicious. This one will go into regular rotation for sure.

About the Book

This is a newer book to my shelves, and I was so delighted when it came and was even better than I had thought. The illustrations are so beautiful. Take a deeper look at it here:

From the two fisherman to their fishing basket, the details are just so lovely. While the recipes are a little bit vague, the book is wonderful. I love learning about a culture through their food, and this book is perfect for that kind of journey.

About the Glassware

Officially this dish is called the Deluxe Cinderella Casserole dish, but most folks call the pattern Golden Hearts. It was released only in 1959 and in its full set comes with a lid (not pictured) and a cradle with a double candle warmer. A dream for any aspiring hostess!

This was a gift from a close friend to warm my new home and kitchen. Lucky me – when she brought it over it was filled with her signature mashed potatoes. YUM!

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

2 onions, chopped
3 T butter
6 fillets of haddock or cod
1 pound potatoes
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
Bread crumbs

Directions:

Fry the onions in the butter. Flatten out the fish. Boil the potatoes for 10 minutes and slice them. Put in a greased ovenproof dish a layer of fish, cover with a layer of potatoes and some of the fried onions; then a layer of fish, and so forth. End with a layer of potatoes. Beat the eggs with the salt for a few minutes. Add the sour cream and pour over the fish. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and bake in a moderate oven (350*F) for about 3/4 hour. Any kind of fish can be used for this recipe.