Monday, August 31, 2020

Velvet Crumb Cake

Velvet crumb cake, sometimes called Lazy Day cake, caught my attention with coconut, use of convenience foods (biscuit mix), and LAZY!

Velvet crumb cake has been around in some form for quite a while.  I have come across it in a number of my own vintage cook books.
The above ad is from 1952 and you can still find the recipe for this cake on the Betty Crocker web site.  There are loads of variations out there as well.

I decided to go with the classic recipe, with the broiled icing.
I know Betty really wants us to use Bisquick but I am a faithful Jiffy mix gal.  That is the only ingredient I switched up though.

Here is a scan of the recipe from a 1970s Bisquick cookbook of mine:

{click to enlarge recipe}

I used the recipe above and thought it was odd to beat it for 4 minutes, so I did the standard 2 minutes.  However, looking at the 1952 ad, it states only having to beat for 90 seconds....interesting.

I had high hopes of this being a superb cake but I found it kinda dull and dense (could be the beating?).  I'll have to look into trying out some of the suggested variations or better yet, making up my own.  I think this cake would work well as a shortcake.  I'd go with layers of  blackberries, cool whip, and coconut!

Friday, August 28, 2020

Let's not be dicks, shall we?!

"Let's not be dicks, shall we?!"
This is one of my mottoes in life.
  I am just hopping on here between all the prescheduled buffet of food posts I have written previously to give a public service announcement.

I can only assume that 2020 is debauching the brains of humans.  I know for myself that I have been lacking any episodes of joy for several months, I only have constant anxiety.  In our household we are doing our best to still live by a 'safer at home'  approach.  This means we basically only go out for essentials and work.  However I have noticed that over the last month when we do have to venture out into the public sphere it has become rampant with dicks.  Dicks not wearing masks, dicks not giving people space, dicks just saying dickish things to strangers who weren't being dicks.

I have even experienced this self serving dick behavior among people I know.  People that are close friends, blatantly trying to put us in unsafe situations even after we say upfront we are not comfortable with it.  Because we want to keep 6 feet distance and wear a mask they act like we are ostracizing them.  They take it personal, which just goes back to their unchecked selfishness.

I don't write too many posts that are on a seriously level, such as this.  That's not the purpose of this blog.  MHICTY serves as a happy place for me and I hope others find some entertainment in it as well.  I try to keep things snarky, comical but always positive even during the darkest of times for myself and the world.

Two mantras I live by are:
"There are people who would love to have your bad days."
"Be Kind.  For everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."

We are all under vast amounts of pressure, sadness, and overwhelmed with hopelessness.  At this moment there isn't a clear light at the end of the tunnel.  We are all on our own.  The only things that can help are commonsense and showing kindness and decency to our fellows.
So, let's not be dicks, shall we?

Hot Corn Ring with Creamed Turkey

This dish didn't turn out looking good, but it tasted fantastic!

Better Homes and Gardens Casserole Cook Book, 1961

"Leftover turkey inspires a luscious meal!  Here golden cornbread, crusty and brown, becomes part of the main course.  Fill center of Hot Corn Ring with Creamed Turkey, or an a la king."
This is an easy to put together meal using a box of corn muffin mix (Jiffy!), a white sauce, and leftover turkey.  I didn't use the recipe's ingredients for it's sauce but instead did my own version.  I typically use broth as the primary base and then a few scoops of fat free yogurt.  I always skip the butter and use as little flour as possible.  Any calories I can cut or substitute I do when it comes to everyday meals.

This was no everyday meal!  It tasted like Thanksgiving to me and it was absolutely delicious.
Very comforting! The type of meal that transports you to a better time.
A better time as in last year, last Thanksgiving. 
A grand and glorious time when we could go to restaurants, flea markets, movies, and monster truck shows without fear of being struck down by the coronapocalypse .  Like Archie and Edith say "those were the days...there was no corona then, you could go out with your friends..."

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Marshmallow Butterscotch Snowcap Cookies

Check out these yums!  They're loaded with the good stuff :  Butterscotch, marshmallow, coconut, gobs of sugar!  Butterscotch Snowcaps were a winner in the 1962 14th Pillsbury Bake Off contest, submitted by Mrs. Milton Pilcher of Concordia, Kansas.

I love the unique look to these cookies.  I can't think of anything I have seen before that is similar.

Taste and construction:
  These cookies did taste decent, but I would never make them again.  They were a bit of a pain to construct.  After baking, the cookies must be completely cooled. That's not asking too much other than we all know warm cookies are the best.  The problems really start with the marshmallow topping which isn't the easiest to glob on top of the cookie, taking care to not muck up the previously piped butterscotch ring.  The biggest issue though is dealing with that butterscotch icing.  The icing kept firming up inside the decorators bag, which I would have to run under hot water to soften it, every 2 cookies. Every 2 cookies!  Add in there that I also had to wipe the bag down after running it under water so it wasn't dripping on the cookies.
And! The dough did not make 4 dozen cookies, maybe half that.

But they do look divine!

Recipe repair:  The issue is making these cookies look pretty.  If flavor is the only goal then I would mix the butterscotch chips into the dough.  Shape the cookies like thumbprints and bake.  Then dollop the marshmallow and coconut in the impression after coming out of the oven.  Melty marshmallow! Yum!

Monday, August 24, 2020

Ham Shortcakes with Birds Eye Pea Sauce

"My very own husband has me blushing!"

I have been in love with the appearance of this dish for quite some time.  If it also tastes so great that your husband just can't stop talking about how marvelous it is, well then all the better!

I did very few substitutions with this recipe.  Well, maybe one big one... I didn't use deviled ham.  I actually love deviled ham but the fam aren't fans so I used shredded baked chicken in place.  I also used fresh red bell pepper instead of the pimiento.

For some weird reason this dish tasted sweet.  Like "added sugar" kinda sweet.  I can only guess it had something to do with the 2 1/2 cups milk in conjunction with the copious amount of peas.  When I make a white sauce it has no where near that large of an amount of milk.  Mine is primarily broth with just enough milk/yogurt/cottage cheese to give it the "white sauce" look.

PB declined to sup with us that evening due to the meal's appearance. I wondered what kind of chemicals Birds Eye was fertilizing with to grow those peas from the original ad so huge!

Unfortunately this dish was just okay, no great overwhelming compliments to cause me to blush.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Jam Crumb Cake

   What do you do when you are down to a bag of slimy spinach and just a couple of questionable hot dogs in your fridge?  You are certainly overdue with the grocery shopping and tonight dinner is going to be weird. You wouldn't dare think about dessert, would you?  Well, have I got a treat for you!
Start off by rummaging around in the 'packets' drawer in your kitchen and grab up all of those jellies!

I came across a fun recipe from Household Magazine April 1954 that was focused on using up little bits of this and that.  One recipe featured the sludge bits of jelly left in a jar:

All of the other ingredients are basics you will most likely already have on hand.

My crumb cake took about 7 jelly packs along with a honey one thrown in there too.  I oopsie-over-browned it a bit.

 I happened to have some whipped topping in my fridge which I dashed a bit of cinnamon over the top for some pizzazz!
The cake was very good and easy to put together.  I love recipes that 'make do' such as this one.  The other recipe in this magazine feature was for using up the last cup of gum drops in your candy dish by putting them into cookies.  Hmm.  The only persons to have this problem would be senior citizens who haven't been able to push those "candies" off on the grand kids.  Stuff those things in cookies and just maybe they will get eaten!

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Olive Macaroni-Cheese Bake

{Better Homes and Gardens Casserole Cook Book 1961}

It's a favorite fix-up!
I figured my run of the mill pre-fab box of mac and cheese could stand a fix-up so I decided to use the image of Olive Macaroni-Cheese Bake for it's serving suggestion.

It didn't turn out looking quite as appealing.  I think part of the aesthetic of the original is the contrast of the paler noodle dish against the brighter cheese triangles.  Mine is all one color.  Also olives back then were much bigger and brighter apparently.  So my dish really looks drab and dull, no fix-up here.  Below is the recipe, although I didn't use it:

Monday, August 17, 2020

Turkey Chicken Bake

Is it 'wrong' to put two different poultry together, such as turkey and chicken?  I feel like maybe in the gourmet yuppie world it's bad, like cheese and seafood together apparently is.  I haven't watched Food Network in nearly a decade so I am not in touch with what the foodie snobs think anymore.  We all know that's not the crowd I run with anyway.  I certainly won't judge someone for liking a grill cheese tuna sandwich.  I'd be the one offering "Have you thought of adding chopped up hot dogs to that?"

The original recipe for this dish is called Ham-Chicken Bake.  My being the 'using what I have on hand' kinda gal that I am, I substituted some scrap bits of baked turkey and drippings I had squirreled away in the freezer in place of the ham.  I also used the recipe as a springboard to which I made a few changes/additions, again one of my normal M.O.s.

{From Better Homes and Gardens Casserole Cook Book 1961}

The basic idea of this dish is a white sauce with meat and a row of baked biscuit logs down the center.  I felt there needed to be a bit more substance to it so I started by baking a biscuit crust (Jiffy mix) on the bottom of the casserole dish.  I then somewhat followed the recipe.   I used the turkey drippings in place of the broth/butter and reduced the amount of milk.  My white sauce was more like a gravy, I guess.  Suffice it to say, this dish was absolutely delicious because it's pretty much just biscuits and gravy.  If you choose to add cheese, tuna, or chopped up hot dogs to it, that's your call.

{click on image for recipe enlargement}

Friday, August 14, 2020

Fancy Ham Sandwich, Spring Style

This is the kind of recipe I live for!  Something with a wild presentation and bonus if it contains at least one weird ingredient or flavor combination.  This time it's looked down upon canned deviled ham (which I happen to love!)!

{Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book 1961}

"A good meal is no farther away than your can opener!  Keep a can of deviled ham on hand for this luncheon special.  For a gay look, arrange the platter of asparagus as shown; tuck in "sails" of deviled-ham-and-cheese toast.  Spoon Jiffy Mustard Sauce down center of the platter."

This has been one of my most favorite recipes I have made this year.  It looks amazing and it is very flavorful and delicious.  I thought twice about making the "Jiffy Mustard Sauce" because I always feel hot mayo isn't a good idea but I couldn't come up with a good substitute so I decided to take the chance.  It was worth the food/salmonella poisoning!  It was the perfect accompaniment for this dish.

The only things I did a little different was I steamed fresh asparagus rather than frozen.  I also used a spicy brown mustard in the Jiffy Mustard sauce rather than plain yellow.

If it wasn't for all the calories, carbs, fat, and sodium in this dish I would eat it once a week.  I guess those are all the contributing factors that make it so yummy!  

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Banana Caramel Ice Cream

Did you know there are multiple ways to serve bananas?  It's not enough to break one off the bunch, then peel and eat it.  You have got to do something with them.  Some options include mashing them into meat loaves or rolling chunks in corn meal and passing them off as seafood.

Today I offer a more sane approach to serving them.... as ice cream!

The great thing about this homemade ice cream is not needing one of those huge electric ice cream maker machines which has to be stored in the garage up on a top shelf because it's rarely used and then fully sanitized before each use because a family of spiders moved in.  Sure it sounds "fun" to make your own ice cream.  There's the big bag of ice you have to lug home and then sourcing the rock salt is quite a treat.  But the real fun to me is cleaning up the nasty rock salt ice sludge afterwards!  The reality is that there is this place called a grocery store where they sell 500 different flavors of ice cream at 3/4 the cost of doing it yourself and the only clean up is a spoon, if you just eat from the carton.  But!  If you must insist on the homemade thing then consider this version. It only requires your fridge, an ice cube tray,  and a few simple ingredients.

This recipe is so great it brings bananas to life, making them want to hold a block of butter over a massive gift box containing charcoal bickettes...and wear shoes.

On taste, I would say it needed more banana.  On texture, it was a bit crumbly.
Recipe rescue:  Go to the grocery store and buy vanilla ice cream, add a mashed banana and banana extract, top with caramel sauce.

If you need another idea for serving bananas consider turning them into these
most delicious cookies laden with a double dose of bananas!

Monday, August 10, 2020

$7,500 Butterscotch Chewy Cake

You know I get a thrill from making recipes worth gobs of money!

This recipe for Butterscotch Chewy Cake won Mrs. Richard Enloe $7,500 bucks at
Pillsbury's 6th grand National Baking Contest in 1954.  

Besides the high prize props the recipe totes, I also liked that it is comprised of basic on-hand ingredients.  

I had a difficult time telling when this cake was done and I think I may have over baked it.  The bottom layer had the texture of hard tack, which I don't think was proper.  It's called Chewy Cake not Tooth Chipper Cake.

The top section of the cake retained some of it's chewiness and was pretty good.
 I had already planned on pairing the cake with some homemade ice cream as the original serving suggestion showed, this helped to soften the cake up a bit.
The ice cream recipe is up next, no crank required!

Friday, August 07, 2020

Tiddly Winks Dessert

{Household Magazine April 1951} 

"The party's fun for you too--when you let Del Monte Fruit Cocktail help!"

Tiddly Winks is just pudding and canned fruit cocktail...but with streamers and confetti you've got yourself a party!

If you want to make it extra easy on yourself skip making the pudding homemade as the ad suggests and go with instant, like I did. Just tint it pink with food coloring!
  For some extra partiness, I added cinnamon to my fruit cocktail.  This shindig is so wild I hope the neighbors don't report us for disturbing the peace.
Helpful hint:  Don't use french vanilla instant pudding.  The yellow color will react with the red dye resulting in a peach color, as seen above.  Officially Tiddly Winks are suppose to be pink.  Mine are more "Taddly Wonks".

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Pineapple Custard Pie

{image source  Ladies Home Journal Nov 1950}
{Click on image for recipe enlargement}

My! My!  What a pie!
Pineapple Custard!

"No ordinary pie, this.  It's utterly different."

 "Guests will beg for this recipe."
Pssst..hey, guests!  The recipe is up above!

What a neat looking pie! Mine didn't turn out with the perfect layers but close enough.  The recipe only calls for a 9 oz can of crushed pineapple but that doesn't exist anymore.  I used an entire 20 oz can and it was just fine.  I also worked a bit harder on my pie crust edge skills and think this one is most acceptable.  I do admit this pie was just a touch bland or something was a little off.  It could be me.  I have a thing about not liking foods that are mush textured (ie: pudding, bananas, ice cream).  I still have all my teeth so I like to use them.  I don't mean I want to eat rocks, it's just that mushy stuff needs a little crunch in my opinion.

Recipe repair:  More nuts on top for added crunch.  For more flavor mix in some brown sugar with the cream cheese.  Some coconut sprinkled on top because why not.

Monday, August 03, 2020

Porcupine Meatballs

Today I have a delicious savory dish called Porcupine Meatballs!

{image source}
Life Magazine February 1953
click on image for recipe enlargement

Make sure when you serve this dish to jab a fork through the napkin!

I took a few liberties with making this dish.  I used ground turkey and turkey sausage instead of beef.  I also think I used tomato soup not tomato sauce.  This was not on purpose, I just grabbed the wrong can from the pantry, but I would recommend it over the sauce.

I was a bit bummed that my meatballs didn't "porcupine" up as the ones in the original ad.
When I was browning the balls, that is when most of the spikes dislodged.  Another layer shed off in the sauce.  I think I have the few stragglers because I used more rice that the recipe called for.

The visual of the porcupine meatballs in the Hunt's ad reminded me of Beetlejuice when he was getting a little "anxious" if you know what he means...

I wonder where a guy, an everyday Joe like myself, can find a little meatball action...

How about as an appetizer served at Dante's Inferno Room in Winter River, Connecticut!?
(I jabbed a few rice "spurs" to these Beetlejuice balls for effect!)