Monday, August 29, 2011

What's for Dessert: Lemon Coconut Balls

I've been playing with variants of a recipe unimaginatively called "Cake Balls". Last night's version was a play on lemon meringue pie. I should have used lemon curd rather than lemon pie filling for additional tartness. Plus I'm still thinking about what to use for "crust" rather than coconut, something that won't get soggy.

Even so, they are delicious!

(Can't post the recipe here as I'm hoping to submit it to a few contests. I'll post it after it wins a million dollar bake off. Promise.)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Cheesy Tuna to Tame that Man-Child Brute

Here's the last entry I'll be posting from Who Says We Can't Cook!, this one filled with savvy advice for today's modern miss and would-be fascinator.
"It is wisdom as old as the hills that the way to get along with a man-child is to feed the brute," Mary Haworth advises readers of our WNPC cook book. "Lots of famous fascinators can't cook but I am convinced that nothing gives a woman greater self-confidence as a woman than the ability to cook well."

Analyzing females and foods, she believes "The womanly woman has a congenital urge to cook well. She cooks to please her man almost as instinctively as the vamp powders her nose."

And, as a final warning, Mary points out, "The lovable woman is a nurturing woman and men don't leave them because 'you can't hardly get them kind no more'."
Her preferred Lenten dish, good any Friday, and heavy enough to please the most masculine appetite is:
Tuna and Mushrooms with Cheese Sauce

Wash and slice 1 3/4 pounds fresh mushrooms and saute in butter or margarine 5 minutes. (Or use canned button mushrooms instead--4 or 5 small cans well drained.) Get approximately 3 pounds white canned tuna, drain off oil and break or cut into fairly large bite-size pieces.

To make the sauce, melt 1/4 pound butter or margarine, blend in 10 tablespoons flour and cook two minutes, stirring constantly. Add to 5 cups heated milk, tablespoon Ac'cent, 1/4 teaspoon saffron, and 2/3 pound very sharp cheese cut into small pieces. If you like, substitute 2/3 cup of sherry for 2/3 cup mil. Cook, stirring constantly, until cheese has melted and the sauce begins to bubble.

Add tuna and mushrooms to sauce. Now season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve in chafing dish or casserole. This serves 13, so reduce ingredients proportionately for smaller number. Incidentally, the saffron makes the dish.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tricky Dick Likes HOT Tamales!

I wonder if Michelle O has her own book of recipes?
Dinner at home, with mother cooking, is an important event now in the lives of Tricia and Julie Nixon, whose parents, the Vice President and Mrs. Nixon, are so busy with official duties that dining at home with the youngsters is a rare event. Mrs. Nixon has compiled a book of recipes that her husband and the children especially like, and she selects from them on the infrequent occasions when she can prepare the family dinner. Here are two Nixon specials:
Glorified Rice

2 cups cooked rice
1 cup cubed pineapple
1 chopped apple
25 marshmallows
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup whipped cream

Mix ingredients, except the whipped cream. Let stand an hour. Fold in the whipped cream before serving.

Hot Tamale Pie

2 cups ground cooked meat
1 cup gravy or meat stock
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 cup tomatoes, canned or fresh
1/2 small onion, minced
black olives
1 teaspoon salt
1 quart cooked corn meal mush, very stiff

Mix meat with the gravy or stock, add chili powder, tomatoes, olives, salt and onion. Line baking dish with cold cooked corn meal mush, fill with the meat mixture and put the balance of the mush over top in broken pieces. Bake 20 minutes in a hot oven.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Mamie's Million Dollar Fudge

This entry was written when Dwight D. Eisenhower was President. Come back tomorrow to see what Tricky Dick's wife was up to while Mamie made fudge.
Mrs. Eisenhower has never made any pretense at being a cook. But like most people with no flair for food, she has impractical specialties. Hers are fudge and mayonnaise. Fudge is still one of her favorites and this family recipe is popular at the White House.

Million Dollar Fudge

Boil six minutes:

4 1/2 cups of sugar
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 tall can evaporated milk

Put in large bowl:

12 ounces semi sweet chocolate (chocolate bits)
12 ounces German sweet chocolate
1 pint marshmallow cream (2 jars)
2 cups nutmeats

Pour boiling syrup over ingredients in bowl: beat until chocolate isa ll melted, and pour in pan. Let stand a few hours before cutting. Store in tin box.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Caboose Golarki

This visual, high-impact piece came from Marian H. Jones.

In a Polish Caboose
TIME... October-December 1939
PLACE... Warsaw, Poland
CHARACTERS... Two newspaper Correspondents, Marian H. Jones and Stephanie Steinhaus

Home: former freight caboose, furnished with double bunk, pot-bellied iron stove, switchman's lantern, Aubusson tapestry over the one window. Cannon to the right, cannon to the left, bombs falling everywhere. Sunday nights we were "at home" to newspaper colleagues and other friends. This dish was a favorite.
Polish Golarki

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 cup uncooked rice
1 cup chopped onions
1 medium-size can tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Season meat with half of the salt, pepper, and thyme. Put in deep baking dish, crunch one bay leaf over it. Add rice, then add onions and remainder of salt, pepper, and thyme. Pour tomatoes over, add additional bay leaf, cover and bake 45 minutes.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Suffragette Heavenly Hamburger

Today's recipe comes from Henrietta Poynter, editor of the Congressional Quarterly.

Mother Left Home
I learned to cook at about 14 when my mother went on a three-month speaking tour for suffrage and left me to keep house. Whatever I saved out of the budget was mine, so I specialized in recipes for making cheap cuts of meat delicious, and managed without starving the family, to indulge in new clothes, theater tickets, and other things not covered by my allowance.

These recipes are quickies that can be made between deadline time and when the guests arrive.
Heavenly Hamburger

1 pound ground chuck or round
1 small onion
1 slice white bread
1 egg
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

To ground meat, add onion, finely chopped, egg, salt and pepper. Soak bread in hot water, squeeze out and crumble into meat mixture. Knead, with your hands, like bread, until thoroughly mixed. Make into thick cutlets: brown on outside, keep inside rare--about five minutes on each side. Makes six hamburgers.

Remove meat from pan, add four to six tablespoons of water, stirring constantly to make thick gravy, add ketchup and mustard, stir for a minute until well mixed and pour over hamburgers.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Eggs Normandy

This item comes from May Craig, Washington Correspondent for The Guy Gannett Newspapers and Broadcasting Services of Maine, and former WNPC President.

I wonder if our soldiers in the middle east tell similar stories?

Scene: Normandy Beachhead
Camped around edges of Normandy apple orchards in 1944 campaign, cold and muddy and a mile and a half from the mess tent... Swapped off PX cigarettes for shell eggs from nearby farmers--change from powdered eggs... "Liberated" bit of butter or shortening from mess tent, and cheese from rations... "Liberated" a little gasoline from nearest jeep.
Eggs Normandy

To make Eggs Normandy under above conditions: Dig hole in ground between tents and loosen earth in it. Pour in a little gasoline. Put ingredients in mess kit, cover and cook over flame from earth mixed with gasoline. Only do this in daylight because night air raids mean blackout. If small empty tin can is available keep earth in it in tent to keep dry. Can cook over can instead of hole in ground. If no gasoline, bits of corrugated box, or twigs, under small stones to hold heat, and set mess kit on, for cooking.

To make Eggs Normandy for supper at home: Melt dab of butter in small pan; into this break two eggs, add pepper and salt to taste. Lay two slices of cheese on top of eggs. When served as breakfast dish, cover pan and cook over slow fire. For dinner dish, put under broiler until cheese browns. Cheese may be sharp or mild, according to taste, or grated Parmesan. A dash of garlic powder may be added.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What's For Dinner: Tuscan Tomato Soup

Last night's supper was open faced toasted grilled cheese with homemade tomato soup. The soup is a simple concoction of sauteed onion, crushed and diced canned tomatoes, and lots of basil. Plus pepper.

The tomatoes in this case were pretty acidic, and had to be sweetened with a few tablespoons of sugar.

Simple, satisfying, and delicious.

Best Chili in Washington, or His Name isn't President Truman.

This entry comes from Sarah McClendon, of "Sarah McClendon Bureau".
Mrs. Eugene Worley laughed when her husband, Federal Judge Worley of Washington, DC said he was bringing the President of hte United States home to dinner.

Speaker Raybuurn, yes, or Chief Justice Vinson or Associate Justice Clark. They were regular chili "customers" at the Worley home. Even Judge Worley himself sort of gulped when President Truman, some years ago, picked him up on an invitation to a chili supper, saying "Why yes, I'll be over tonight."

His wife was still laughing at the joke her husband thought he was playing on her when she began receiving calls from the Secret Service for directions to the Worley home. Frantically, she rushed out to the neighbors to borrow silver, china, and even a spare maid.

Soon she began receiving telephone bulletins on the progress of the party from the Secret Service, saying "we are rounding such-and-such a corner and will arrive in 5 1/2 minutes." To her amazement, Secret Service men immediately dashed to the kitchen to taste the chili--not for flavor, but to make sure it was safe eating for a President.

This is the recipe for Mrs. Worley's s famous chili which former Presendt Truman proclaimed "the best in Washington."

Mrs. Worley's Chili

4 pounds coarsely ground boneless chuck
1 cup chili powder
6 rounded tablespoons flour
2 quarts water
Chopped clove of garlic
Oregano to taste, about 1 teaspoon
1 tablespoon salt
Ground cumin seed to taste, about 1 teaspoon

Mix chili powder and flour. Stir until it makes paste. Brown meat in large skillet with small amount of fat. Mix paste with meat while browning. Add water, garlic, oregano, cumin seed, salt. Simmer two ours slowly. Best if left overnight and reheated the next day. Test-taste. Serves 10. Best with beans, tamales, or rice.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What's for Breakfast: Pineapple Upside Down French Toast

Today I remembered an old recipe for Pineapple Upside Down French Toast, and made up my own version.

I had chunks of pineapple in the fridge, and so cut them up into smaller pieces and scattered them over butter which I'd melted in a cast iron skillet. Once they had browned a bit, I sprinkled brown sugar and a bit of pineapple juice over the fruit, and let it condense into syrup for a few minutes.

I whisked together 3 eggs with some milk and a splash of vanilla, and broke the last 4 pieces of whole wheat bread into small chunks. (Thought this would be easier than trying to fit full sized-square slices into a round pan.) When the bread had soaked up all that custardy goodness, I plopped the sopping bits into the pan, completely covering the pineapple base. I let it cook on the stove top for a few minutes, then popped it under the broiler to brown up the top.

It was delicious. And easy. And it didn't need syrup.

Monday, August 8, 2011

No Gateau for You!

This recipe comes from Josephine Ripley who worked for the Christian Science Monitor's Washington Bureau.
Giving dinner to Virginia-born Lady Astor presented an unexpected problem for my editor, Erwin Canham, and his wife. The Canham maid, also from Virginia, held her own opinion of highborn ladies from her State. When informed that Lady Astor was to be a dinner guest, she muttered ominously, "She'll be late." She was.

When Lady Astor complimented the Gateau Fromage, Mrs. Canham rang for the maid to bring another serving to her distinguished guest. To her amazement, the servant announced flatly: "There ain't no more, ma'am."

There was, as Mrs. Canham knew--but not apparently for Lady Astor.
Gateau Fromage

Line pie plate with pastry. Grate into it 1/2 pound cheese--aged, sharp cheddar.
Mix: 1 beaten egg, 1 tablespoon flour, 1 scant cup milk.

Pour over the cheese without stirring. Jiggle plate a bit to mix. Bake in a quick, very hot oven, 450 degrees, 25 to 30 minutes.

Let set a few minutes until it will cut neatly, but is still hot. Use as a first course, or a luncheon dish, with tossed salad.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Hollywood Kidney Stew

This story and recipe come from Gretchen Smith, "Special Writer" (wonder what that means?)

Don't you love the cameraman's outfit? And mustache? I also dig the mid-century modern table legs sticking out from beneath the tablecloth.

The best thing about this entry is getting the inside scoop on what those crazy Hollywood folks like to eat. Serve it to all your A-list guests, and you'll be sure to get rave reviews.
A popular dish for Sunday brunch is kidney stew and waffles. I often entertained friends in Hollywood with this morning repast when I was living not far from Sunset Boulevard.

I won't offer a recipe for waffles; you'll find a good one on every package of waffle flour you buy. But kidney stew is another matter.

Don't buy anything but veal kidneys. They never have that strong taste you frequently find in lamb or beef kidneys. Below is the recipe which will serve two bountifully. Just multiply it for the number you want to entertain.
(Ed. Note: Did YOU know there was such a thing as "waffle flour"? I wonder if it sat on the shelves next to "pancake flour", and if so, what the difference was between them.)

Kidney Stew

1 pair veal kidneys
1/4 pound butter or margarine
1 medium-size onion
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup hot water
1 can consomme
1 can mushroom soup
1/2 cup white wine
Salt and pepper to taste

Remove tissue and core from kidneys. Cut kidneys into medium-size pieces (size of a small mushroom). Melt the butter and when sizzling, add the chopped kidneys, turning them to brown quickly on all sides. This takes about 5 minutes. Remove them at once from the skillet and place to one side. Brown the chopped onion in the "kidney butter". As soon as it is brown, add the flour and brown this also to a deep golden hue. Add the hot water slowly, stirring the onion and flour until you have a thick gravy. Stir the flour constantly while adding the water, not to have it lumpy. Add the consomme to the gravy, stirring constantly to make it smooth. Add the mushroom soup and stir well.Salt and pepper to taste. Then put the sauteed kidneys into the mixture and simmer slowly about 10 minutes. Then add the wine, cover and keep hot until ready to serve. Pour over waffles or hot, crisp toast.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Syndicate Spaghetti

This morning's recipe comes from the same source as yesterday's.

Here's what she says:
Despite safaris to Italy, my favorite Italian spaghetti is still this American short-cut dish. It was, in fact, the first thing I learned to cook. Married while a reporter on Hearst's Detroit Times, I had never even opened a can. While covering a murder trial a few days after my wedding, a rival reporter asked in a stage-whisper if I knew how to cook.

At the shake of my head, she scribbled this recipe and advised me to concentrate on quick-to-cook meals. I tried it on Bob that evening and it was so foolproof that we've eaten it regularly ever since.
I love the image of two reporter ladies chatting about spaghetti sauce while covering a murder trial. Must have been a mob hit.

Here's the recipe. You may have to go to a specialty to shop to find the long type of spaghetti. I know I did.

Italian Spaghetti

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 pound lean ground beef
1 can Italian tomato paste
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon oregano (optional)
Parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil in heavy iron skillet, add onion rings and chopped garlic clove. Saute until golden brown. Add ground beef and brown thoroughly, using fork to separate meat. Add tomato paste and 3 cans hot water. Salt and pepper to taste and let simmer 1/2 hour. Just before serving, add oregano, if desired. Serve with hot Italian spaghetti--the long, extra-thin type--and grated Parmesan cheese. A tossed green salad completes the meal. Makes 2-4 servings.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Post-Pompeii Souffle

Here's another souffle recipe in case you aren't in a prune mood. This one comes from New York Daily News political columnist and former WNPC president Ruth Montgomery.

She writes:
A highlight of one of the most perfect days I ever spent was this chocolate souffle. Leaving Pompeii,we traveled by car along the Amalfi Drive in Southern Italy. At dusk we reached quaint Ravello (where Greta Garbo once fled from the press for an idyllic sojourn with Leopold Stokowski). At the Hotel Caruso Belvedere, a quaint, ageless inn, we dined luxuriously in the patio with the entire bay of Salerno at our feet. This was the dessert--so superb that I wangled the recipe.
What a story! And what a dessert! So simple. Perhaps it's time for souffles to make a comeback.

Chocolate Souffle
Cherry preserves
2 eggs
1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa

Separate the eggs. Beat whites until stiff, then add the yolks and stir gently. Add the cocoa and sugar, little by little, continuing to stir gently. Place in individual buttered baking dish, on the bottom of which has been arranged a thin layer of cherry preserves. Bake in moderate oven until souffle rises, then serve at once. This serves one; increase ingreedeints according to number of servings desired.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Ready or Not, Here Comes the Prune Souffle!

I am irresistably drawn to prune recipes. Not so much the savory, but the sweet.

This one is brought to you by Helen Hill Miller, who was president of the Women's National Press Club at the time the cook book was produced.

My cooking life started late. After college, when I went to work, I lived at a club. After marriage, when I went to Geneva, we lived at a hotel. On returning to the United States, I found Emma Smith, who lived with us for seventeen years. After Emma retired, I had to put my shoulder to the can opener. (Note to beginners: a hand is better.) My performance is spotty. But I can make a superb souffle, from an old family recipe.
Prune Souffle
1/2 cup prunes, cooked until soft, pits out
1/3 teaspoon cream of tartar
Whites of 5 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
Whipped cream plus sugar and vanilla--be as generous as you like

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat prunes and cream of tartar together until very smooth; stir in sugar. Beat egg whites stiff. Fold egg whites into prune mixture. Pour into baking dish, preferably a pretty one, since it's going straight to the table from the oven.

Bake half an hour in the moderate oven (without opening door to see how things are coming). Prepare bowl of whipped cream, adding spot of vanilla, dash of sugar and put in ice box.

Disregard all social amenities when the half-hour is up. Serve the souffle then, whether guests or family are ready or not.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What's for Lunch: Salad Marrakesh

Lunch today was what I'm calling a Moroccan salad. It started with Moroccan chicken and chick pea cakes, leftover from dinner last night. The cakes were based on an appetizer recipe which unfortunately I could not find online to share with you. I substituted cilantro for mint (because I had it), and added crushed sesame crackers to the meat mixture rather than using breadcrumbs as a coating. They were flavored with hot sauce and cumin. I sauteed them rather than deep frying followed by baking as the recipe specified.

I made a dressing from humus, lime and pineapple juice, and herb-flavored oil, with several dashes of cinnamon and cumin. The salad itself was simple; greens, bell pepper, and raisins. The cakes went on top and viola!

The flavors are interesting for a mutt of an American girl like me. Sweet and savory, spicy and tart, soft and crisp.

What's for dinner? Pizza!

Aunt Betty's Sally Lunn

I couldn't resist the illustration on this page.

Here's a close up.Just look at that smiling cat. Not to mention the amazing African-Americana.

Here's the story and recipe, submitted by Virginia Weldon Kelly of Kelly News Service.

These authentic Deep South recipes, all over 100 years old, have been handed down in my family in hand-written cook books. They have proved simple to prepare, nutritious, and delicious. No exotic ingredients are required.

Aunt Betty's Sally Lunn

Sally Lunn was a favorite hot bread of Colonial Americans. Unfortunately, one seldom tastes it except at Williamsburg and other Southern towns.

Lard, size of large egg
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, yolks and whites beaten separately
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups flour
2 heaping teaspoons baking powder
1 scant pint sweet milk

Cream lard and sugar. Add well-beaten egg yolks. Add baking powder and salt to flour. Add flour mixture and milk slowly and alternately to creamed lard mixture. Fold in whipped egg whites. Bake in round cake pan or in muffin tins in hot (400 degree) oven. I prefer to use muffin tins, and I halve the recipe. Serve hot.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Angel Pie ala Apology

Here's another recipe for Angel Pie! Wonder which one is the most authentic?

I think this comes from Ann Ewing, Staff Writer for Science Service. But a certain Violet Faulkner also has credits at the end of the recipe, so I figured I should mention them both.

I like that you don't fuss with a crust at all. That makes me happy. Not to mention my mom.

But I don't get the apologetic tone regarding graham crackers. What gives?

Here's the story, and the recipe. I think I'm going to try it.
Angel Pie has saved many a day for me when I needed a dessert in a hurry. It looks very festive when garnished with a ruff of whipped cream and shaved chocolate curls. You'd never dream it is made with graham cracker crumbs.

Angel Pie
11 graham crackers, crushed fine
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Pinch salt

Beat egg yolks until light; add sugar and beat again until mixture is well blended. Add cracker crumbs and baking powder. Add nuts. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Pour into buttered pin pan and bake 30 to 40 minutes in 375 degree oven. Cool. Cut into pie-shaped wedges; flute rum-flavored whipped cream around edges and decorate with shaved unsweetened chocolate. Serves 6.

Monday, August 1, 2011

FDR's Favorite Chicken

Turns out Franklin Delano Roosevelt liked chicken and he liked it curried.

Here's the story that goes along with the recipe, submitted by Alice A. Dunnigan, Chief of the Associated Negro Press' Washington Bureau.
If you should visit the Little White House in Warm Springs, Georgia, you would see written on the kitchen wall over the oven: "I cooked the first and last meal in this cottage for President Roosevelt." This statement was inscribed on April 12, 1945 by Mrs. Daisy Bonner, who served as cook in the Georgia White House for twenty years. She recalls the breakfast menu the last day, and the choose souffle timed for 1:15 lunch but never eaten.
Mrs. Bonner kept a menu book on the meals served to the President on his last two visits to Warm Springs. "The President had many favorite dishes," said Daisy Bonner, "But the one I htink he liked best was y special Country Captain."
So many questions. Like, why didn't he eat the souffle?

And from the recipe itself, what the heck are "raisins in sauce"?

I was able to answer the first question. Turns out FDR had a stroke before luncheon was served.


Let me know if you have an answer to the saucy raisin conundrum.

Country Captain
1 hen or 2 fryers
2 or 3 green peppers, chopped
1 clove garlic
2 medium onions, chopped
1 can tomatoes
2 cups rice boiled until dry (use white, brown or wild rice)
1 teaspoon curry powder (or to taste)
1 teaspoon thyme
1/3 cup raisins in sauce
1/4 raisins to garnish
1/4 cup almonds or any nuts (save some to garnish)
1 can mushrooms
Salt and pepper to taste

Boil chicken until done, and bone it. Saute onion, then add all sauce ingredients (everything except green peppers, rice, raisins and nuts for garnish). Add chicken to sauce and simmer 20 to 30 minutes. Serve over rice. Garnish with raw green peppers, raisins and nuts. Thin the gravy. Serves 6 or more.