Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween!

Pumpkin Cream Pie © 1981

1 package (6-serving size) Jell-O instant pudding and pie filling, vanilla flavor
1 can (16 oz.) pumpkin
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
1 container (4 oz.) Cool Whip non-dairy whipped topping, thawed
1 prepared 9-inch graham cracker crumb crust

*Or use 1/4 teaspoon each nutmeg and ginger and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.

1. Combine pie filling mix, pumpkin, milk and spices in bowl. Mix slowly with electric mixer or rotary beater just until blended, about 1 minute.
2. Fold in whipped topping.
3. Spoon into crust. Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours or overnight; let stand at room temperature about 30 minutes before cutting. Garnish with additional whipped topping, if desired.

Mmmm... in Minutes

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Hoot Owl Cut-Up Cake

I recently found this cute vintage ad online and thought I'd share it with you. The print is kinda small, so I've retyped it so you can read it. Click the image to enlarge the scan.

Are you wise to the wonderful things you can do with Baker's Angel Flake Coconut? Like this cute Hoot Owl: Just bake an 8-inch and a 9-inch round layer cake. Cut the layers like this. (*see advertisement) Then put the pieces together and cover the eyes and tummy with fluffy white frosting and the rest with orange frosting. Sprinkle plenty of Baker's Angel Flake Coconut all over, then make big eyes with gumdrops, licorice; a beak and ears with gumdrops, toes with licorice strings. Halloween's a good night to 'owl...

Friday, October 28, 2005

Molasses Popcorn Balls

You'll want these at Hallowe'en...Thanksgiving...Christmas!

3 quarts popped popcorn
1 1/2 cups Brer Rabbit Molasses
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 tablespoons vegetable shortening

Pick over popcorn, discarding all hard kernels. Combine molasses, sugar, water, vinegar and salt; cook slowly, stirring constantly, to 270º F. (or when a small quantity dropped into cold water forms hard ball). Remove from heat, add vanilla extract and shortening, stirring only enough to mix. Pour over popped corn, stirring constantly. Grease hands; shape lightly and quickly into balls. Cool. Wrap in waxed paper. Makes 28-30

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Veggie (Optional) Pizza Cupcakes © 2005

I apologize for yet another "not retro" recipe, but far be it for me to deprive my readers of a great recipe. I recently made these from a recipe in a cook booklet sent to me in the mail by my local Kroger grocery store, and they are great! Especially if you're having a get-together for Halloween!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

1 can (12 oz.) refrigerated biscuits (10 biscuits)
1 tsp. olive oil
1 1/2 cups assorted diced fresh vegetables (bell pepper, onion, zucchini, mushrooms, etc.)
1 1/2 cups Ragu Organic Traditional Pasta Sauce*
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (about 2 oz.)

1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Unroll biscuits and press each into a 3-inch round. In 12-cup muffin pan, evenly press each biscuit in bottom and up sides of each cup; chill until ready to fill.
2. In 10-inch skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat and cook vegetables, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in Pasta Sauce and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer 2 minutes or until slightly reduced.
3. Evenly spoon vegetables mixture into prepared muffin cups. Bake 15 minutes. Sprinkle tops with cheese and bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and biscuits are golden. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Gently remove pizza cups from muffin pan and serve. Makes 10 pizza cups

*Comments: Personally, I think zucchini on a pizza sounds awful. If you're not into meatless dishes, you can easily toss in a handful of browned sausage or hamburger meat, even pepperoni.

I'm not a fan of Ragu Pasta Sauce. I find it too acidic, while I find Huntz and most store brands too salty. I prefer Prego or any of the Del Monte flavors, particularly Del Monte's Green Pepper and Mushroom. Delicious!

I made these with 3 kinds of bell pepper, onion and grilled chicken. Oh-so-good, and super-easy/fast to make!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Joe Froggers © 1958

These big, soft, fat molasses cookies, known as Joe Froggers in New England, Bolivars in New York, are a happy inheritance from the gay nineties.
Lightly grease cookie sheets.
Sift together and set aside.
5 cups sifted flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cloves

Cream until softened
3/4 cup shortening
Add gradually, creaming until fluffy after each addition
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
Mix together
1 cup molasses
1/2 cup water

Alternately blend dry ingredients in fourths, molasses mixture in thirds, into creamed mixture, blending well after each addition. Finally blend until well mixed. Chill dough 1 1/2 hrs.

Remove amount of dough needed for single rolling. Roll 1/2 in. thick on lightly floured surface. Cut with 3-in. cookie cutter.

Using a pancake turner, place cookies about 2 in. apart on cookie sheets.
Bake at 375ºF about 10 min. Remove cookies to cooling rack.
About 2 doz. large cookies

How did the cookie get its name?
Named for Revolutionary War patriot, Joseph Brown, these large cookies were said to be the size of the frogs in "Black Joe's" Pond. Marblehead's early fishermen used to take the cookies with them on long voyages to the Grand Banks as a standard part of the ship's provisions. The ingredients of rum and seawater acted as preservatives. They are now a cherished Marblehead tradition with "original recipes" circulating rapidly for historic authenication by native Marbleheaders. The cookies were first made in the 1800's by Lucretia Brown, Joseph's wife. While today the cookies are mostly round, in the beginning they were described as "lily pad" shaped.

The Lunch Box Cookbook

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Spooky Treats © 2005

Okay, I know these aren't "vintage," but when I saw them on a Cake Mate Halloween display at the grocery store recently, I couldn't resist. I had to share them with you here. I'll be posting fun, Halloweentime foods all this week, so make sure to check in each day for some tasty fall treats!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Baked Macaroni and Cheese © 1957

8-ounce package elbow macaroni
Boiling water
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons flour, dash pepper
2 cups milk
2 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon grated onion
1/2 tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup buttered crumbs

Cook macaroni in boiling, salted water according to package directions. Drain. Set oven for moderate, 375º. Melt butter or margarine; blend in flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Add milk; cook over low heat until smooth and thickened, stirring constantly. Add cheese, onion, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce; continue to cook until cheese melts. Add macaroni. Pour into a greased 2-quart casserole. Top with crumbs. Bake about 25 minutes or until browned. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Metropolitan Cook Book

Friday, October 21, 2005

Potato Puff Dinner © 1967

A hearty soufflé with a zesty combination of flavors.

Mashed Potato Buds from Betty Crocker
(enough for 4 servings)
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
(4 ounces)
1 cup finely chopped cooked chicken or turkey
1 cup shredded carrots (2 to 3)
2 teaspoons chopped chives
Pinch of rosemary leaves, crushed

3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
3 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 350º. Butter 2-quart casserole. Prepare mashed Potato Buds as directed on package for 4 servings. Stir in cheese, chicken, carrots, chives, rosemary and egg yolks. Beat egg whites and salt until soft peaks form; fold into potato mixture. Pour into prepared casserole; place casserole in pan of hot water (1 inch deep). Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until nicely browned and puffed. 4 to 6 servings.

42 Betty Crocker Hot Potato Ideas

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Spooky Cake & Candy Cook-Off

Haunted houses, ghostly pumpkins and edible eyeballs make for a Halloween thriller, when five top cake teams gather for an intense cake and candy competition. Elaborate cakes, some weighing 80+ pounds, must impress a panel of tough judges with their delectable craftsmanship and creative use of candy decorations.

Food Network. Air Dates:

Sunday, October 23 @ 10:00PM
Monday, October 24 @ 2:00AM
Thursday, October 27 @ 9:00PM
Friday, October 28 @ 1:00AM
Saturday, October 29 @ 6:00PM
Sunday, October 30 @ 3:00PM

(*Check local listings for time and channel)

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Bacon Upside-Down Corn Bread © 1981

1 1/2 C. cornmeal
1 C. flour
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 C. buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 C. cooking oil or butter, melted
6 to 8 slices bacon

Combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in mixing bowl. Combine soda and buttermilk and add to dry ingredients. Add eggs and oil or butter. Stir until mixture is thoroughly moistened.

Fry bacon until cooked partially (still limp). Drain on paper towels. Line bottom of a greased 9-inch square pan with waxed paper. Arrange bacon on waxed paper and pour batter into pan. Bake 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool a few minutes. Turn bread out upside down on board. Remove waxed paper. Cut into squares and serve warm. Served 8 to 10.

I remember picking up this great little cook booklet free at our local Hallmark store in the early 80's. Though I made several of the recipes contained in this booklet, the Bacon Upside-Down Corn Bread is my favorite! Such a simple recipe idea, I couldn't believe it wasn't more well-known. Yu-uM!

Jim Henson's Muppet Picnic Cookbook

Monday, October 17, 2005

Just Desserts

The heat’s on when one of Manhattan’s premier pastry chefs pairs with a struggling baker from the Bronx for a national pastry competition – and finds love in the mix – in "Just Desserts,” a Hallmark Channel Original movie.

Lauren Holly and Costas Mandylor, who starred together in the Emmy® Award winning TV series “Picket Fences,” team up again in this delicious romantic comedy, which also features an appearance by celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck.

Grace Carpenter is a top pastry chef whose cream-puff of a life is turned into an upside-down cake thanks to Marco Poloni, a scrappy baker trying to save his family business from collapsing like a chocolate soufflé. Intent on winning the quarter-of-a-million dollar first prize in the prestigious Golden Whisk Competition, Marco convinces a reluctant Grace to be his partner. Will he manage to melt her frosty resolve to keep the relationship about “just desserts?”

Airing Wednesday, October 19th at 8:00PM (*check local listings for time and channel.)

Honey Boys (Salmon Croquettes)

I went home this weekend and my mom made one of my all-time favorite things: Honey Boys and fresh fried okra (see photos). Yum!

We've always just called them Honey Boys (a name my Aunt Joetta came up with) because we always use Honey Boy brand canned salmon when making them. I thought I'd share the recipe with you (It's normally on the side of the can as well).

1 can (14 3/4) Honey Boy Pink Salmon
2 cups soft bread crumbs (I use crackers)
1/3 cup finely minced onion
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons minced parsley (I don't use it)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon each salt and dill weed (I don't use it)
Dash pepper

Drain salmon, reserving 2 tablespoons liquid; flake. Combine all ingredients. Shape into 8 1-inch thick patties. Pan-fry on both sides in 2 tablespoons oil or butter until golden brown.

Cut-Up Kid: Girl (Jill) Cake © 1959

I've decided to feature the last of the character cakes from the poll today. Why? 'cause I've O.D.'ed on character cakes. LOL! Starting Wednesday we can get back to normal and start in on other recipes. I recently purchased a plethora of new retro cook booklets at a local book sale and I'm anxious to share them with you! In addition, there is another book sale the last week in October, so I'm hoping to hit the jackpot all over again.

1. Cool round and square 8-inch cake layers. Measure and cut to make triangles for girl's legs. Place as shown.

2. Tint frosting pink for head, arms and legs; white for dress. Tint Baker's Angel Flake Coconut pink for dress, yellow for hair.

3. Decorate as shown, using coconut for blouse, blue candy for eyes, gumdrops for mouth and nose. Her shoes are chocolate and so is her pocket.

Swanee Cake © 1959

At a birthday party it's pure delight
To bring out this cake...cut-up right.
Swanee's beak is gumdrop yellow
Wouldn't it please a little fellow?

1. Measure down 4 inches at corners, 1 3/4 inches at middle of cool 13x9x2 cake. Cut on a curve at points of long side. Cut off corners for tail and head.

2. From a corner on remaining piece, measure 3 1/2 inches along short side, 5 1/2 inches across long side. Cut through points on curve to form swan's wing.

3. Place pieces as shown. Spread fluffy white frosting over cake. Shake a lot of snowy white Baker's Angel Flake Coconut for Swanee's feathers. Swanee's eye is a gumdrop, the beak, gumdrop strips.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Cut-Up Kid: Boy (Jack) Cake © 1959

Hurray! Finally the cake I voted for! Monday, the girl version!

1. Bake a round and square 8-inch cake layers. Cool. Cut two narrow strips for for boy's legs. Arrange pieces as shown.

2. Tint Seven Minute Frosting* blue for trousers, white for shirt. Now tint Baker's Angel Flake Coconut blue for trousers.

3. Use toasted coconut for his hair and finish, as shown, with a licorice belt and bow tie. Blue candy makes his eyes; his nose and mouth are gumdrops.

*What is "Seven Minute Frosting," and how do I make it?

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Updates and Assorted Info

Hi everybody! I just wanted to give everyone the heads up on some upcoming changes, and give you a little insight into why I do some of the things that I do, here on Jam Handy!

Starting soon, I'm going to begin posting the name of the cook booklet that each recipe comes from, at the end of each recipe. I wish I'd thought to do this early on, but I guess it's better late than never.

Some of you are wondering why the recipes themselves sometimes aren't consistent in appearance. That's because I copy the recipes from the booklets exactly as they appear. This includes emphasized words, spelling and format. A couple of people have asked, so I just thought I'd explain. The spelling of some things have evolved over the years, so what we might spell today as "gelatin," "gelatine" may have been the norm at the time. Kind of like the word "cookie." Did you know it's original spelling was c-o-o-k-y? It's true. The cookie we know today is a product of mass production marketing.

I try to provide links to some terms or recipes that the author of the original recipe may have taken for granted that you and I already know the meaning of and/or how to make. For example, terms like "dragée" and "marjoram." Again, these terms were probably 'the norm' at the time, but may be somewhat elusive to today's generation of budding chefs. In addition, taking for granted that everyone knows what "Sea Foam Frosting" is or how to "scald milk" are just some of the items I try to provide links to, so that if you're not familiar with how to make these things, you can learn.

And, naturally, I always make an effort to provide hyperlinks to the key ingredient's web site, providing it is still in production. Re: Wesson Oil, Carnation Evaporated Milk, Bisquick, etc.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Spot the Fox Terrier Cake © 1959

This Fox Terrier's name is Spot,
He's the friskiest in the lot.
Whip him up with your favorite mix,
Add coconut spots and teach him tricks!

1. Bake a 13x9x2-inch cake. Cool. Cut out a 10x3-inch rectangle. Then cut off a 4-inch piece and divide remaining piece in half. Cut a narrow strip from L-Shaped piece for tail.

2. Assemble pieces on tray as shown. Spread a fluffy Seven Minute Frosting* generously over cake. Pat toasted Baker's Angel Flake Coconut on part of head and back of dog for brown spots.

3. Now sprinkle on snowy white Baker's Angel Flake Coconut for Spot's coat. His eyes and nose are gumdrops, licorice makes his mouth and a sculptured cookie his ear. His collar is made from licorice, silver dragées and cut green gumdrops.

*What is "Seven Minute Frosting," and how do I make it?

Monday, October 10, 2005

Finny the Fish Cake © 1959

Fishing for cake? You bet your bait
Here's one that's got to be just great.
Topped with coconut, cut on a curve,
Add some bubbles and it's ready to serve.

1. Start with a cooled 9-inch square cake. From one corner, measure 5 inches along one side and 5 1/2 inches along the other. Cut on a curve through points.

2. Divide this in half cutting on a curve to make two fins. From opposite corner, measure 6 inches along sides and cut on a curve for tail. Place pieces as shown.

3. Spread on fluffy Seven Minute Frosting, tinted green. Sprinkle with Baker's Angel Flake Coconut. Use gumdrops for eye and mouth, slivers of licorice for a flirty eyelash. Add candy scales and bubbles.

*What is "Seven Minute Frosting," and how do I make it?

Friday, October 07, 2005

Jerry Giraffe Cake © 1959

There are two nice things about Jerry Giraffe,
First - he's bound to make you laugh
With his long, long neck and little ear,
Then - wait until you taste him, dear!

1. Bake a 9-inch square cake. Cool. Cut off a 2 1/2-inch strip and divide it in half. Divide one of these halves for legs. Cut a 3 1/2x6-inch rectangle from remaining large piece for body.

2. Cut a one-inch strip from the rectangle for his tail. Use a triangle cut from the L-shaped piece for the ear. Place pieces as shown, making neck extra long with two pieces of cake.

3. Cover cake with Sea Foam Frosting*. Swirl toasted Baker's Angel Flake Coconut unevenly over Giraffe to make spots. For mouth, use a gumdrop strip - for his eye, a gumdrop. Make Jerry's tree from licorice and gumdrop leaves.

*What is "Sea Foam Frosting," and how do I make it?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Tortie the Turtle Cake © 1959

The Turtle's a retiring guy.
He hides his head because he's shy.
Make him with cake and coconut flakes.
Follow the pictures - that's all it takes!

1. Preparing a yellow (or your favorite flavor) cake mix. Half-fill four cupcake liners. Pour remaining batter into greased and floured 2 1/2-quart round oven-proof bowl.

2. Bake cupcakes 20-25 minutes, bowl cake 50 minutes in moderate oven (350ºF). Cool. Invert bowl cake to make shell. Split two cupcakes and place cut-side down around shell for turtle's feet.

3. Frost other two cupcakes together and fasten on turtle. Swirl Sea Foam Frosting* over cake and sprinkle shell with green-tinted Baker's Angel Flake Coconut. Make eyes with gumdrops, mouth, tail and toes with licorice. Add a frilly paper-cup hat.

*What is "Sea Foam Frosting," and how do I make it?

Monday, October 03, 2005

Butterfly Cake © 1959

A Butterfly Cake is airy and light,
Iced with coconut - it's a lovely sight!
For a luncheon or bridge or for the kids next door, Better make two - they'll be asking for more!

1. For this cake, you'll need a 13x9x2-inch cake, made from a mix or favorite recipe. Cool. Now cut off a one-inch strip from short side of the cake.

2. Cut diagonally across remaining cake to form triangles for wings. Place pieces as shown. Tint Seven Minute Frosting* a pale yellow and spread on cake.

3. Tint Baker's Angel Flake Coconut yellow and drift over butterfly. Slice gumdrops, gumdrop strips and licorice to scatter over wings and body for markings. Strips of licorice make the curled antennas.

*What is "Seven Minute Frosting," and how do I make it?