Sunday, November 15, 2020


This is my go-to recipe each holiday season. True it is easier to buy a pie but making a pie for dinner makes the whole house smell like the holidays are here!


Classic Pumpkin Pie

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 can (16oz) Libby's  Solid Pack Pumpkin (our favorite)

3/4 cups sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 Tsp ground cinnamon

12 tsp ground ginger

1/4 cup (12 oz can)  undiluted Carnations Evaporated

1-9inch unbaked homemade pie shell with fluted edge


Preheat oven to 425F. Mix filling ingredients in order given. Pour into the pie shell. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350F, continue baking 45 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool completely. Garnish with whipped topping.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Vintage 1960s Holiday foods-Pineapple or Stone Fruit Upside Down Cake


We always had Stone Fruit Upside Down Cake (plums or cherries) for Thanksgiving. I grew up in New York so stone fruit was readily available. Pineapple Upside-down Cake was something of a novelty in my family until we moved to Los Angeles.


Pineapple Upside Down Cake


Stone Fruit Upside Down Cake


3 tbsp. plus 1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, softened

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

Choice of fruit toppings (see measurements below)

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1 cup  granulated sugar

3 large eggs

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

1/2 c. whole milk


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In 12" heavy skillet with oven-safe handle, melt 3 tablespoons butter on medium, swirling to coat side of the pan. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over butter and continue to cook 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add fruit, cut sides down, to fill the entire bottom of the skillet.

In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat remaining 1/2 cup butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, then vanilla until well blended. With the mixer on low, beat in flour mixture and milk, alternating, until just blended.

Pour batter over fruit in skillet; gently spread into even layer. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool cake in skillet on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Loosen sides of cake from pan with a mini spatula or paring knife.

Place large serving platter over skillet. Carefully invert cake onto a platter and remove skillet; cool slightly to serve warm or cool 2 hours and serve at room temperature.


Choice of fruit toppings

**-3 8oz cans slice Pineapple, 16 maraschino cherries

-1 1/2 lbs. peaches, peeled, halved and cut into eighths

-3/4 lb. cherries, pitted and halved

-1 1/2 lbs. plums, halved and cut into eighths


**Try adding pecans or walnuts in between the pineapple slices.

This recipe can also be made with pineapple chunks.


Sunday, November 1, 2020


These stuffed mushrooms are great for Open House or dinner.


Tarragon-Rice Stuffed Mushrooms


18 large white mushrooms

1/4 cup canned chicken broth (low fat)

green onion or shallot, minced

1/2 cup long-grain white rice, cooked and cold

2 teaspoons light mayonnaise

2 or 3 fresh basil leaves, chopped

2 tablespoons Parmesan Cheese (Parmigiano-Reggiano), freshly grated

1 teaspoon fresh tarragon, chopped

2 teaspoons olive oil, extra-virgin

1/4 teaspoon paprika


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Remove the stems from the mushrooms and finely chop the stems.

In a nonstick frying pan, over medium-high heat, bring the chicken broth to a boil.  Add the shallot and mushrooms stems; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes.

In a medium-size bowl, combine the vegetable mixture, rice, mayonnaise, tarragon, and half the parmesan cheese; set aside.

Using a paper towel, wipe out the frying pan and place over medium heat.  Add the olive oil and mushroom caps; sauté until coated with oil, 20 to 30 seconds.

Remove from the pan and arrange the mushroom caps, stem end up, on a baking sheet.  Mound about 2 teaspoons of the prepared vegetable/rice mixture in each mushroom cap.  Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.  


Bake until the cheese is lightly browned and the mushrooms are tender but still hold their shape, about 10 minutes.  To serve, dust each cap lightly with paprika.

Makes 6 servings (3 stuffed mushroom caps each person)


 If made in advance, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 8 hours.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Vintage 1960s Holiday Treats Wacky Cake

This vintage recipe was born out of the shortages during the war. Bakers had to make do with what was available. This eggless cake was born out of ingenuity!


Wacky Cake


1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup white sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

6 tablespoons canola oil

1 tablespoon white vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup cold water

powdered sugar


    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In an 8-inch square baking pan, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cocoa.

     Use a spoon to make three wells in the dry ingredients, one large well, and two smaller wells. Pour the oil into the largest well, the vinegar into one of the smaller wells, and the vanilla into the last well. Pour the cold water over the top of everything and stir it all together with a fork.

     Immediately transfer pan to the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

    Remove cake to a wire rack to cool. When cooled, cut into squares and sift powdered sugar over the top.


Serves 12

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Vintage 1960s Holiday Treats Mash Potato Brownies

Mash Potato Brownies


⅔ cup instant mashed potato flakes

⅔ cup hot water

⅓ cup shortening

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate

1 cup of sugar

2 eggs

⅓ cup flour

½ teaspoon salt

½ baking powder

  ½ cup chopped nut


Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8x8 pan.

Measure potato flakes into the mixing bowl. Blend in hot water; set aside.

Melt shortening and chocolate over low heat, stirring constantly. Add chocolate mixture, sugar, and eggs to potatoes in a bowl.

Stir together remaining ingredients; blend into chocolate mixture. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes. Cool before cutting


Makes 24 brownies

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Vintage 1960s Holiday Treats, Fruit Cocktail Cake


This was my grandmother's favorite cake to make for holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, name it. One of my favorite "Grandma's" bake.


Fruit Cocktail Cake


1-1/2 cups sugar

2 large eggs are beaten

1 15.5oz can fruit cocktail in heavy syrup (do not drain)

1 tsp salt

2 tsp baking soda

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cups coconut



3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup evaporated milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup coconut

3-4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

1 stick real butter


Sift all dry ingredients together, then add beaten eggs and fruit cocktail with liquid. Mix together. Pour into a 9x13 inch pan that has been greased and floured or sprayed with non-stick spray. Sprinkle cake batter with brown sugar and coconut. Bake at 350F for about 30-35 minutes until a toothpick tests clean.

Let cake cook for about 30 minutes. while the cake is cooling make the icing. Put butter, sugar, and milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil about  2 minutes. Remove from heat, add vanilla extract, coconut, and nuts. Mix and spread on cooled cake. After cake and icing is totally cooled, cover with foil or if your cake pan has a cover use it. This cake is best if made a day or two before serving. It also travels well.


 Serves 16-20


Note:  You can add 1/4 cups of chopped maraschino cherries to the batter, be sure to cut them in half or quarters.


Sunday, October 4, 2020

Vintage 1960s Food Fruit Bars


Fruit Bars


3/4 cup sifted flour                          1/4 cup melted shortening

1/2 tsp baking powder                    2 eggs, well - beaten

1/2 tsp salt                                       1 cup chopped nuts

1 cup brown sugar                          1 cup chopped pitted

    firmly packed                                  Dates

Set oven for moderate, 3250F. Grease a 9-inch square pan.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt, add sugar, mix well. Combine shortening and eggs, stir into dry ingredients and blend well. Stir in nuts and dates. Turn into greased pan and bake 30 minutes or til browned. Cut into bars while hot. Makes about 16 bars.


Mincemeat Squares:  Set oven for hot, 400F. Grease a 9-inch square pan. combine 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar. 1-1/2 cups rolled oats, 1-1/ cup sifted flour, and 1/2 tsp salt, mix well. Cut in 3/4 cup shortening with 2 knives or pastry blender until it has the consistency of coarse crumbs. Spread half the mixture into a greased pan, combine 2 cups minced meat, and 1/2 tsp each lemon and orange flavoring. Spread over first mixture in pan. Top with remaining flour mixture. Bake 20-25 minus. Cool slightly and cut in squares. Makes about 16 squares.