Great Book Finds- Hearty Muffins

Despite telling myself I was not going to buy anymore cookbooks, I couldn't avoid the opportunity to visit my local hospital thrift store. After all the real destination was the computer store across the street, what could be the harm of just popping in to see what they had. Well what they had was a book sale- all paperbacks 50 cents. There went my resolve down the drain.

I got five booklets in the little paperback Good Housekeeping series from the 50's. One of them is the Ten P.M. Cook Book made infamous by James Lileks. Other finds were Martha Logan's Meat Cook Book, 1954 edition and The Home Book of Italian Cooking, 1964 this was originally published as Mama Mia Italian Cookbook in 1957. These two books are little paperback book sized books. I have mentioned before that I am partial to this type of book and always buy them when I find them. They seem to harder and harder to find. Last but not least I found another edition to my collection of Nitty Gritty books, Sunday Breakfast a cookbook For Men, 1971. This book has some really wild illustrations, very colorful and abstract.
Here is a rather odd recipe from it, a variation of the sweet "surprise" muffin:

Hearty Muffins

"Try these with scrambled eggs for a really great breakfast. The corned beef and cheese in the muffins are filling filling."
2 cups biscuit mix
2 tablespoon sugar
1 egg
2/3 cups milk
1 small can corned beef spread (4 oz. size)
1 teaspoon horseradish
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Blend the horseradish and corned beef spread. Beat the egg well, then add the remaining ingredients. Place a heaping tablespoon of batter in the bottom of each greased muffin tin, then a teaspoon of corned beef mixture. Top with another tablespoon of batter. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Eggs and Herbs- The Book of Herb Cookery

The first day of spring is a suitable day for some egg recipes. These all use herbs and are from The Book Of Herb Cookery by Irene Botsford Hoffman. This is a 1954 revised edition of the 1940 copyright.

Stuffed Eggs

6 hard-boiled eggs

Tarragon mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon mustard

1 teaspoon minced chives

1 tablespoon minced tarragon



Shredded cabbage

Cut the eggs in half lenghtwise, take out yolks, mash with a little mayonnaise, mustard, salt, pepper, chives and tarragon.Fill the egg halves with this mixture and serve on a flat dish with shredded cabbage which has been thoroughly mixed with tarragon mayonnaise thinned with cream. Pour a little of the mayonnaise over each stuffed egg and garnish with sprigs of fresh tarragon.

Egg Timbales

6 eggs

1 1/2 cups thin cream

A little pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon onion juice

1 tablespoon each, of finely minced chives, parsley, or chervil and thyme or summer savory

Beat the eggs well with the salt and pepper; add onion juice, cream and the herbs. Pour into buttered timbale molds or cups, place in a pan of hot water and bake in moderate oven until firm. Turn out on hot platter and pour the following sauce over them.

Tomato Cream Sauce

1 cup white sauce:

2 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons flour

1 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon salt


2 cups canned tomatoes

1 onion, minced

3 sprigs basil

Herb bouquet (celery tops, bay leaf, sprig thyme)

Pinch soda

Cook the tomatoes, onion and herbs together for 5 minutes; rub through a strainer, add soda, and combine with the white sauce.

Eggs "In-A-Huddle"

1 zucchini squash

2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon minced chives

1 teaspoon minced parsley

1 tablespoon minced marjoram

6 eggs

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper


6 tablespoon milk


Cut the zucchini into thin slices crosswise. The rind may be left on or else lightly scraped. Melt the butter in the frying pan, add the zucchini and herbs. Saute 8 minutes or until tender but do not burn. Beat the eggs very light, add salt, pepper and milk. Beat 2 minutes more. Pour this over the zucchini and draw the mixture from the outside toward the center of the frying pan until the eggs are set. If too moist, they may cook a few seconds longer. Sprinkle with paprika and garnish with a little cup-up pimento if liked, or the pimento may be added to the eggs and all cooked together.

Orange Chiffon Cake- Betty Crocker Chiffon Cake recipes and secrets

Today I was going through some booklets in my original collection and I came across this vintage Betty Crocker booklet from 1948. Betty is looking quite severe on the cover, not even a smile. The title is Betty Crocker Chiffon Cake recipes and secrets. The small words at the top are: First Sensational Collection. On the back cover there are quotes exclaiming the wonders of chiffon cakes. "McCall's Magazine- It's the fastest to make, one of the biggest and certainly one of the best tasting cakes ever tested in McCall's kitchens!" I have only made a chiffon cake once, a long time ago but I remember it took quite awhile to make. The booklet describes a chiffon cake as "combining the lightness of angel food with the richness of butter cake." There are quite a few recipes; plain, orange, cherry, marble, cocoa, chocolate chip, butterscotch, bit o'walnut, maple pecan and spice cakes. An interesting feature is that each recipe is given in two proportions one for a large cake serving 16 to 20 and the other for a small cake serving 8 to 10.
Here is the recipe for a large orange chiffon cake:

Orange Chiffon
2 1/4 cups sifted Softsilk Cake Flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
MEASURE and SIFT together above ingredients in mixing bowl. Make a well and add in order:
1/2 cup cooking (salad) oil
5 unbeaten egg yolks (medium size)
3/4 cup cold water
grated rind of 2 oranges (about 3 tablespoons)
Beat with spoon until smooth.
Measure into large mixing bowl:
1 cup egg whites (7 or 8)
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
WHIP until whites form very stiff peaks. They should be much stiffer than for angel food or meringue. DO NOT UNDERBEAT.
POUR egg yolk mixture gradually over whipped egg whites-gently folding with rubber scraper just until blended. DO NOT STIR! POUR into ungreased pan immediately. BAKE in 10-inch tube, 4-inch deep at 325 degrees 55 minutes then 350 10 to 15 minutes. or 9x13x2-in. oblong 350- 45 to 50 minutes. or until top springs back when lightly touched. Immediately turn pan upside down, placing tube part over neck of funnel or bottle, or resting edges of square, oblong, or loaf pans on 2 other pans. Let hang, free of table, until cold. Loosen from sides and tube with spatula. Turn over and hit edge sharply on table to loosen.

Fluffy Orange Icing
Ideal for your orange Chiffon... Cream one and one half 3 0z. pkg. cream cheese until light and fluffy. Gradually add 2 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar. Beat well. Stir in grated rind of 2 oranges...1 1/2 tbsp. If too thick to spread, add a few drops of orange juice.

This booklet certainly went all out with the italics and capital letters!

Manny's Lamb Stew- Peg Bracken

This is recipe I have actually made. Not recently as I don't eat lamb anymore, but I have made it and remember that it was very good. It is a Peg Bracken recipe and was in two of her books. I really enjoy her sense of humor. She passed away last year at 89. I have almost all her books and have made quite a few of the recipes. They are written in a conversational form so I have reformatted it to make it easier to follow.

Manny's Lamb Stew

2 1/2 pounds lean stewing lamb, shoulder is good- cut in edible-size pieces. Have the butcher bone it for you and ask him please to trim off the fat.
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon marjoram
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoon lemon juice
4 carrots, scraped and cut in chunks
4 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 (1 pound ) can small white onions, drained and rinsed
Brown the lamb in the oil, using a heavy skillet with a lid. Remove lamb and pour out most of oil, leaving enough to saute the onions and garlic, do that. Then return the lamb to the pan and add the broth, flour, and seasonings. Simmer covered for 5 minutes. Add the carrots, potatoes and small onions. Simmer it all, covered, for 25 minutes. May be made ahead and reheated just before serving. May easily be doubled. Serve with green salad and rolls.

Vintage Salad Dressings?

Somewhere along the line I got a little pamphlet Vintage Salad Dressings From Regina Wine Vinegar. I don't know what makes them vintage as most of the them seem like standards to me: Vinaigrette, French,Thousand Island, Blue cheese etc. Maybe it is considered a vintage idea that someone would make salad dressing instead of buying it :). I do think there has been a resurgence of interest in making your own because it is much cheaper and of course you can avoid preservatives. Here are several of the more unusual recipes in the pamphlet:

Red Devil Dressing

3/4 cup salad oil

1/4 cup Regina Wine Vinegar

1/4 cup each Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard and drained horseradish

1 teaspoon each paprika and hot pepper sauce

Freshly ground pepper

Combine all ingredients. Chill several hours or overnight. Serve on greens of your choice. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Ginger Tahitienne Dressing

2/3 cup salad oil

1/2 cup Regina Wine Vinegar

1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple, well drained

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon each ground ginger and whole sesame seeds

1/2 teaspoon salt

In blender, combine all ingredients. Blend until smooth. Chill several hours or overnight. Serve on greens or fruit of your choice. Makes about 2 cups.

Cucumber Dressing

3/4 cup salad oil

1/4 cup Regina Wine Vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 cup peeled, diced cucumber

Pinch sugar

In blender, combine all ingredients. Blend until smooth. Chill several hours or overnight. Serve on greens of your choice. Makes about 1 3/4 cups.

Turkey-Stuffed Mushrooms- Recipe Card

This recipe is a recipe card from an unknown series. It has 1973 Curtin Publications, Inc., New York on the bottom. The category on the card is Weight Control. Anyone have an idea what set it is from? I am sure a lot of of people would make snarky comments about the photo but I think they might actually taste good. They could of course be spiced up to appeal to today's more adventurous taste buds.

Turkey-Stuffed Mushrooms

15 large mushrooms
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 carrot, shredded
2 tablespoons dried minced onions
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon celery salt
2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon catsup
1 tablespoon steak sauce
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Gently wash and dry mushrooms. Reserve caps; remove stems and finely chop. Combine ground turkey, mushroom stems, parsley, carrot, onions, salt, pepper and celery salt. Place a mound of mixture on each mushroom cap. Arrange in a lightly-greased baking dish. Pour chicken broth in pan. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until done. Blend catsup and steak sauce and brush tops of turkey mixture 5 minutes before completion of cooking. Serves 5, 165 calories per serving.

Spinach-Cheese Strata

My husband was digging in some cookbook boxes in the garage and brought in a few more booklets for me. One of them is New Birds Eye Super Suppers from 1980. This is a good example of recipes that are not very useful because the products they feature are no longer being produced. Quite a few of the recipes call for 10 oz. packages of vegetables that came in Chinese, Japanese, Bavarian, Hawaiian and Italian styles. They included a sauce, so unless you want to try and come up with the seasonings/sauce yourself the recipe is a no go. There were other recipes that used the different types of vegetable mixes that are still available so they are still useful.

This recipe calls for creamed spinach. I think that is still around. It sound like a good meatless dish. The suggested go- withs are broiled tomatoes and Angel food cake.

Spinach-Cheese Strata

1 package (9 oz.) Birds Eye creamed spinach

1 cup (4 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese

1 cup (8 oz.) cottage cheese

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1 egg, slightly beaten

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

2 teaspoons chopped chives

24 round buttery crackers

Prepare spinach as directed on package. Set aside 1/4 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Combine remaining cheeses, egg, salt, pepper and chives. Stir in spinach. Line bottom of 1-quart casserole with 8 crackers. Spread about one-half of the cheese mixture over crackers. Repeat layers, top with remaining crackers and sprinkle with reserved cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Makes 3 servings.

Duck Cut-Up Cake

Have your ever made a cut-up cake? The idea has been around for a long time. Coconut companies have put out quite a few booklets promoting the idea.

You make a cake in a rectangle or round pan or sometimes both, then you cut it up and reassemble it to form a cute cake. Now that there are so many specialty shaped pans available I don't know if many people do this anymore. At Easter we always made a simple bunny cake for the kids at my day care center.

This cute duck cake is from a 1959 booklet Baker's Coconut Animal Cut-up Cakes.

Quack-Quack the Duck

Quack Quack the duck waddles down the street

With coconut feathers and yellow feet.

Her voice may not be very sweet,

But boy! will she be good to eat!

1. Bake a 9-inch round cake layer. Cool. Cut from center to one edge. Measure 41/2 inches both ways from this point. Cut through points and center on curve.

2. This makes two sections divide one in half for head and wing. Cut a one-inch strip from curved side of remaining section for neck. Divide rest in half for feet.

3. Place pieces as shown. Spread on a fluffy white frosting. Drift on Baker's Angel Flake Coconut for feathers. Tint coconut yellow for feet and bill. Use gumdrops for eye and bill, shoestring licorice for wing.

Banana Upside Down Cake- to serve them

These recipes are from a vintage 1942 banana promotional booklet; Banana... how to serve them. It has the cutest illustration of bananas as characters doing all sorts of activities. In the small scan one is lounging under a coconut tree, about to be hit with a falling coconut. Each recipe also has menu suggestions.

Banana Upside Down Cake

1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons softened shortening
1 egg, well beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 firm bananas- use all-yellow bananas
Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add shortening. Mix together egg, milk and vanilla. Add to flour mixture, stirring until all flour is dampened. Beat vigorously 1 minute. Melt butter in pan (8x8x2-inches). Add brown sugar and stir until melted and syrup formed. Peel and slice banana's and arrange in syrup. Pour batter over bananas. Bake in a moderate oven 350 degrees about 50 minutes, or until cake is done. Loosen cake from sides of pan with knife or spatula. Turn out onto serving plate.

The other recipe under the cake one is for Banana Coconut Rolls.

Banana Coconut Rolls

6 firm bananas (use all-yellow bananas)
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup shredded coconut
Peel bananas and brush thoroughly with butter, then with lemon juice. Place into well-buttered baking pan. Cut bananas in half, crosswise, and sprinkle with coconut. Bake in a moderate oven 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, or until bananas are tender and coconut browned. Serve hot with hot Orange Sauce, Pineapple Sauce or Lemon Hard Sauce if desired. Six servings.