Recipe Box Adventure!

I have always been fascinated by old recipes. I collect antiques and am always scouring the shops looking for old recipe books. I always hunt for a recipe box which actually contains the recipes from the home cook. In all my travels, and all of the recipe boxes that I have looked at, I have never found one that had the recipes contained within. On a recent trip to Texas, I found such a box! It was made in Japan (has the sticker on it) but was sold to its owner in Bruners San Antonio Corpus for $1.00. There was a label in the box written by the shop keeper which said “Purchased in 1950”. It is jam packed with recipes and I decided that it would be fun to include you, my readers, as we explore this recipe box together.

I am also a home cook who has a passion for cooking, food and all things yummy. So, I thought, why not combine my love of cooking, old recipes and exploration in this blog that I could share with my friends?

I’m not sure how many recipes are actually contained in the box, but it could be a couple of hundred which will keep us entertained for many days to come.

Together we will pull one recipe at a time and I will attempt to cook it. I have to admit, I’m not much of a baker but will give it my very best effort. I hope that in exploring these recipes we can keep history alive and cookin’!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Hello Recipe Boxers!
Hope you all are having a great week!
I just wanted to share some neat photo's with you!

Can you guess what these are?
Spring is here...better late than never!
I live in the sunflower state!!  They are gorgeous!

Brown tomatoes, sunflowers- my aloe plant got in the picture too.  That is a view from my kitchen window.
I had never heard of brown tomatoes but they are very tasty!!

A little more about me...
I have lived in many different area's of our country.  East Coast, West Coast, a stint in Michigan for 4 years BUT, by far, I love living in the Kansas City area the best!  Is it the folks, the food, the weather (4 seasons which I love!)?  It's all of it!
When my husband took a job here in Kansas I started to cry!  I never liked the movie "The Wizard of OZ" and only thought of Kansas as being very flat.  Little did I know that Eastern Kansas was so beautiful! wasn't flat! But, even since then, I have visited western Kansas and appreciate the beautiful flat lands and Flint Hills!  I love all things Kansas!!
I'm excited to be here and experience all of the wonder of the true Midwest along with the wonder of an old recipe box!

See you next recipe!!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Recipe Box- Recipe  #16
Hint hint...something with apples

Apple Pudding:

Into a buttered dish, slice about 6 or 8 tart apples (or canned apples).  Cover with 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon.
Mix 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup flour with 3 Tbsp butter.  (Mix well as for pie dough).  Pack on apples and bake until golden brown 315 degrees for about 1/2 hour.  Serve plain or with whipped cream.

Hello to my recipe boxers!  Next recipe is called apple pudding.  When I read the instructions, it doesn't strike me as a pudding.  Puddings, in my mind, usually entail cream and eggs.  This reminds me more of a "crisp".  But, we shall see!
Easy ingredient list

I decided not to use the canned apples and used Granny Smith tart apples instead.  I just peeled and sliced them.
Peeling and slicing apples makes me day dream!

This recipe was very easy to put together.  My concern is the oven temperature at 315 degrees with raw apples, I'm just not sure that the temperature is hot enough to cook the apples.  I'm following the instructions to the "T" as usual, though. 
Yum cinnamon!

I'll let you know at the 30 minute mark where we are at.
Ready to put in the oven

Oooh...I forgot to tell you that I bought some whipped cream to have with it! 
This stuff was really good- tasted like home made!

Kind of cheating to buy the ready-made stuff  but the recipe didn't say it had to be home made!  Also, this one says "tastes just like homemade".  Easy peasy.

When I googled Apple Pudding recipe I didn't see anything like what I am making today.  But, I found lots of recipes for Apple cakes.  I love, love, love apple cakes.  Do you?  I have been trying to find the best vintage/old fashioned Apple cake recipe EVER!  Maybe there is one in this recipe box?!  We will see...

After 30 minutes this thing was no where near done.  I made an executive decision and upped the temperature to 350 and I'll let you know how long it takes to get golden brown.
I let it bake for another 45 minutes to get brown and bubbly.  Tasting time!!

The apple "pudding" was really good.  It was sweet, creamy and the whipped cream really added an extra layer of flavorful yummyness.  Hubbie loved it too and pretty much devoured most of it!  I guess it is called a pudding because the apples do get very soft and pudding-like.  Okay, so lets call it a "Apple Pudding-Like" recipe! You could probably cut down on some of the sugar and it would be just as good.
Have a great day and we'll see each other again next recipe!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Happy Memorial Day!!!  

Recipe Box- Recipe  #15

Newspaper Article titled "Hardy Ipomoea Batata is Indispensable"

Huh?  What the heck is a Ipomoea Batata?  I have no idea. 

Those of you who have been reading my blog from the beginning know that we find other things in the recipe box other than recipes.  This is another example.

When I pull these little clippings out of the box and unfold them, I feel as though I'm the first one to look at these important items in a very, very long time.  I feel honored to be looking at these items and sharing them with you, my reader.  I want to give the past owner of this little gem of a recipe box all of the respect which is due. 

So...back to the Ipomoea Batata.  The article says that this is a vegetable which looks like a Morning Glory (I do know what those look like and they are beautiful!).  It also says that this veggie loves HOT weather.  So in Kansas won't be growing them.  :-(

The article also says that this vegetable was the most important, single food in bringing Americans through such trying times as the American Revolution, The War between the States and Reconstruction.  During such times, it was said to be the "indispensable vegetable".  Who knew?

Okay, so basically we are talking about the sweet potato.  Yum.  I love all things sweet potato. 

It also goes on to say that Texas ranks about 4th in production of this vegetable delicacy (humm I don't really think of sweet potatoes as a delicacy) because of a small weevil insect.  (Maybe I can find a gummy weevil?)

See ya next recipe!!   

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Recipe Box- Recipe  #14

Pineapple Banana Cake and Never Fail Frosting:


3/4 cup butter
3/4 tsp. salt
5 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups sugar
3 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups milk
5 egg whites

Cream butter, add sugar gradually.  Sift flour once before measuring.  Mix and sift flour, salt and baking powder and add alternately with milk.  Add vanilla.  Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites.  Bake, in two 9-inch layer pans for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.


2 large bananas
2 tsp lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup pineapple juice
2/3 cup crushed pineapple
3 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup water.

Mash bananas, add pineapple and lemon juice.  Mix together cornstarch and sugar, add water and pineapple juice.  Cook in double boiler until clear.  Add banana mixture and cook 2 minutes longer.  Let cool and spread between layers.  This may be used on top of cake also, but I (author of recipe) prefer to ice cake on top and sides with the following icing:

Never Fail Frosting: (we will see about that!)

1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
2 unbeaten egg whites
3 Tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla

Combine all ingredients except vanilla in top of double boiler.  Beat with electric beater for 3 minutes.  Remove from stove and add vanilla.  Keep over hot boiler and spread over cake.

Hello to my recipe box readers!!
The next recipe pulled is a lovely sounding cake.  Pineapple-Banana to be specific.
Again, baking not my forte but here we go!

I forgot to add the bananas to this pic!

I'm ready to begin and I'm not really sure what "creaming butter" means?
Good old google to the rescue!  It means to mash or use a mixer to incorporate the butter and sugar until smooth.  Okay, I got it.

So, I've been mixing for a while and the butter is sticking to the mixer but I'll keep on mixing the other ingredients.
Very hard on the arm!
It's getting looser as I'm adding the milk and flour.  Wow, 5 tsp of baking powder.  Does that seem like a lot?  I wouldn't really know since I don't ever bake cakes from scratch.  Duncan Hines is my go to for cakes!  How sad for my two boys (actually they are young men now) that their mom never baked anything, right?  Do I feel guilty?  Heck no!

Hey, but for a school project I made pierogi's from scratch!  Yes I DID! 
That should count for something, right? 

Note to Self- if you make this cake again, please use the nice Kitchen Aide Mixer that your nice husband bought you.  This hand mixer doesn't cut it.  The ingredients are really thick and my arm is very tired (kind of like when I made pirogi's from scratch...hmmm)

And, I had to wash the mixing paddles and am now going to whip the egg whites.  Having to wash stuff in the middle of baking is never a good idea.
Stiff peaks!
I do enjoy whipping up egg whites, though. 

After folding in the egg whites, it did make the batter less doughy but this is still such a dense cake. 

The recipe doesn't say to butter or flour the cake pans, so I'm not going to.

Making the filling was a little weird.  I kept the sugar and cornstarch over the double boiler for a really long time as I tried to define what "clear" meant.  20 minutes, at least.  Finally, my hubbie asked me "what is wrong?" and I had him come and take a look.  In a very definitive tone, he said "That is clear".  Me, just wanting this cake thing to be done decided that he made sense.  To me, it wasn't really clear (not a double entandre, but could be construed as such) but whatever. 

Banana mixture went in.  Cooled. 

Filling applied to cake.  Please don't notice the mismatched cake sizes.  Or if you are noticing and thinking what the heck?  What is this crazy woman doing?? 
Do, however, notice the pretty cake plate!

I had two different cake pans...YIKES!  It shouldn't matter what it looks like, right?  It's the thought that counts when someone bakes you a cake...actually takes the intense amount of time to make pirogi' hem...I mean cake, right?

Never fail icing time! 

I think I failed the Never Fail Icing.  It cooked and cooked and I stirred and stirred but it was still so thin and watery.   Hmmm...weird.  The only thing that I can think of is that the double boiler wasn't quite boiling when I started mixing?

Is it supposed to look like this? I have no idea.  But, again, it's all about the taste right?
This wins the weirdest looking cake award!!

Looks dry

After I let it cool, the icing just sort of disappeared.  Where did it go?

The cake tasted pretty good but the icing was a disaster. It seemed like both the filling and the icing (yes, it was too thin) were absorbed into the dense cake.  I wouldn't recommend a novice baker attempting this one.  There was a lot of information that was missing from the recipe but I love the idea of a banana-pineapple cake!  Perhaps there are some recipes out there that are lighter versions of this cake.  Also, another note to self- get two cake pans of the same size!!
I will look for an updated version of this vintage recipe and would love to try this again.  See you all next recipe!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Recipe Box- Recipe  #13

Creamy Pralines:
Southern recipe!

2 cups sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup condensed milk
1/4 cup butter
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups broken pecans

Combine the sugars and milks with butter and salt in a heavy saucepan.  Bring slowly to a full rolling boil over medium heat.  Add the nuts and continue boiling and candy reaches the soft-ball state, 234 degree's on the candy thermometer.  Remove from heat and stir only enough to give a creamy look.  Spoon out onto buttered baking sheet.  Cool.  Yield: 6 dozen pralines.

Hello my recipe box explorers!  Today we are back to recipes and it is Pralines!  Correction...Creamy Pralines!  This recipe is hand written and don't you love a hand written recipe?  It can sometime mean that it was a recipe which was passed down in a family and is highly unique and treasured. I, personally, salivate at hand written recipes.

So...any trepidation's?  You bet your sweet praline!  I've said before that I am not really a great baker but this is entering a whole new pool.  Candy.  Yes, I said candy.  Holy guacamole!  It's funny because I actually had a candy thermometer in the bottom of a junk kitchen tool drawer.  I thought, "What the heck?...Did I EVER make candy?"  I think many years ago, I tried to make some sort of brittle but don't remember it very well so it must not have been very memorable. 
Are you kidding me?  I didn't even know I owned one!

So, time to jump in with both feet.  Here we go!
Using sweetened condensed milk
Cooking with all heart today!!

I went to the grocery store and was standing in the baking aisle looking for condensed milk.  The only thing I could find was sweetened condensed milk so I'm a little nervous.  Maybe the recipe just wasn't specific or maybe there is only sweetened condensed milk- I really don't know.
So far, so easy!

Well, my candy thermometer doesn't have a specific line for 234 degrees so I'm winging it a little.  I am definitely out of my comfort zone.
Yikes, I'm afraid at this point!

I made the decision to stop the boiling and spooned them onto a cookie sheet as I had no idea what the soft-ball state is.  It just doesn't feel right though.  I have put the cookie sheet into the fridge hoping that a miracle happens and these mushy, runny, things somehow turn into CANDY!!
It doesn't look like candy..

As I am waiting for candy to appear, I realized that I have never eaten a praline (and really never have known what it is!) so I thought I would consult with my handy dandy reference book and try to get some history on this little goody.

The book says that Pralines were named for the French diplomat Cesar du Plessis-Praslin, later Due de Choiseul.  It is said that Praslin's butler advised him that almonds coated with sugar would not cause indigestion.  (too funny)  In Louisiana, the Creoles adapted Pralines, substituting native pecans for almonds and brown sugar for white.

Again, another recipe with that southern influence which I love.  I think we have two now which are pecan winners.   

Hmm.. interesting because this recipe uses both white and brown sugar.  AND!  I should have done my research before jumping into the recipe because the research yielded the definition of a "Soft-ball state".  It said to drop a little syrup into a glass of cold water and it should form a soft ball which flattens when taken out of the water.  BUT!  it also said to add the pecans after the syrup had reached the soft ball state.  Our recipe said to add the pecans and continue boiling. 
Pretty cool...I might have done it!?

So...when I dropped a test case into the cold water, it did form a soft ball- so we might be okay (fingers crossed)!
Luscious candy pralines!!  
Okay!  I did it!!  I cannot believe that I made candy and it was pretty easy!!  I would definitely recommend this recipe if you want to try to make candy for the first time.  Just get a candy thermometer and go for it!!  Don't be afraid to try it.  Sometimes you have to take risks both in the kitchen and in life.  If the candy had flopped I would have been okay, really.

Cooking should be fun! Get in the kitchen and try some of these vintage recipes!

See you all next recipe my friends!!  

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Recipe Box- Recipe  #12

Action Line

"Please, please tell me what to do to get rid of some cockroaches that seem to be taking possession of my home.  I have tried about everything I can think of or have been told about.  Can you please suggest a way I can get rid of these horrible creatures?- Mrs.I.P.H"
Please tell me what to do!
Hi to all who love exploring old recipes and other secrets!  Next up from our little box is an article from a newspaper (not sure which one and when it was published) regarding the pesky cockroach.  So, I would assume that this was a problem in the recipe box owners home.  I always heard that these insects were the "oldest living insect" in the world.  They are extremely resilient and are hard to get rid of. 

It is a little hard writing about these creatures especially when I have heard that most restaurants have them running around.  I don't like to think about them.  I like to put my head in the sand and pretend that they don't exist. a full disclosure mode...I have lived in a home that had cockroaches (or maybe just one cockroach, I dunno).  The first time I saw one/it..I freaked out.  I like to think that I am extremely clean, but it really brought home the idea that these creatures can exist with no food, water, etc.  Because, obviously the cockroach lived in the home much longer than I did.  YUK!  Yes, a cockroach has crossed my path.  ICK! 

I did a little research concerning these pests and found out the following:

But there is no question that cockroaches are hardy. Studies have found they can live several days after being decapitated. And when times are tough, those with heads can survive by eating glue or each other.

Ick Ick and more ick...
Especially, because we are talking mostly about food. The article says to Mix 1/4 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of boric acid powder, and 1/2 cup of yellow cornmeal.  Stir this stuff thoroughly, pour it into a squeeze bottle and squirt it along the sides of the drainboards, cupboards and along whatever roadway the rotten roaches roam.  Thank goodness in my home now, I have not seen the dreaded cockroach so I was not able to test this method.  It sounds like you have to be vigilant
in the topical application of this method.  

I love the end of the says..."Keep dishing out the dosages every week until you vanquish every vestige of the visiting vulgar varmits."

Varmits..I love that word! 

So, as is typical with me...I have to lighten the moment by saying that I went to an old fashioned candy store yesterday and found the following (who knew?):
Who knew?
HAHA...what in the world ever possessed the Jelly Belly company to make a Cockroach jelly but I found one!! 
Kinda gross!
Hubbie and I just tried it and it was a good one!

HEHE!  A Jelly Belly Cockroach is a good one!!  Let us turn to jelly cockroaches for relief.

See you next recipe secret!!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Recipe Box- Recipe  #11

Marshmallow Waldorf Salad:

Prettiest, most delicious apple salad you ever made! Easiest too!  Don't peel apples.  Dice them to make 3 cups, sprinkle with 1 tbsp lemon juice and add 1 cup of Kraft's fresh little recipe size marshmallows.  (Easy to add-you don't have to cut 'em up!) Add 1 cup chopped celery, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts and Miracle Whip Salad Dressing to moisten.  Toss lightly.  Arrange thin unpeeled apple wedges on each salad, petal fashion.  Top with salad dressing.

Hello recipe boxers!!  Sorry that I've been caught under the weather with a bug (feeling better!!) so I am very happy to be back to recipes today!  I really like the look of this one!  The photo just looks so festive and pretty!  However, whenever I read a recipe and it uses the term, "arrange in a petal fashion" I start to sweat.  Decorating stuff just never has been my strong suit!  But, in true recipe box explorer fashion, I am ready to give it my best shot! 

I really like the instructions although they don't tell us how many apples we need to buy. So, we get to make lots of executive decisions and just have fun!!  I especially like the reference to "Kraft's fresh little recipe size marshmallows".  Fresh?  Really?  What is the shelf life of marshmallows?  Anyway, I thought it was cute.

I remember growing up, my mom quite often made Waldorf salad.  I know for sure that it didn't have marshmallows in it.  I think...just celery,'s funny because I do remember the application of the lemon juice.  Memories of tasting the sweetness of the apple and then mouth curdling when the lemon juice hit the taste buds.  I didn't really like that taste but I understood that it was to keep the apples from going brown. 

Marshmallows...what to say, what to say?  My taste lends itself toward warm and gooey i.e., smores or marshmallow treats.  I have never been one to just eat marshmallows out of the bag but I think there are some interesting cookies that have marshmallow in them.  I once watched Martha Stewart making home made marshmallows and they looked absolutely delicious but, alas, I have not ever made them.

This was a very easy recipe to make.  The chopping was cathartic and I actually liked trying to make it look pretty!  I'm not a big fan of Miracle Whip but that's probably because mom never used it- traditional mayo was her dressing for Waldorf salad.  Hubbie said it was really good!  I added a touch of sea salt to balance the sweetness and, overall, I liked it.  I think kids would really like this one because of the marshmallows!!  Plus, it does look kinda cool the way that they have it arranged.  Try it and let me know what you think!!  
Looks petal like, right?
Easy and pretty!!

See you next recipe secret!!