Rosie’s Riveting Recipes is based on my historic cookbook of the same name. It includes World War II era ration recipes from the book, along with many of my own. If you like old-fashioned home cooking, just like Grandma used to make, you’ve come to the right place. And if you’ve tried some of these recipes and liked them, please be sure to let us know.
The other day I was looking for a chicken and dumplings recipe, and this gem, from the Rosies Riveting Recipes historic cookbook, can be easily adapted for making chicken and dumplings. It’s also an easy way to use up leftover rotisserie chicken, or holiday turkey. Best of all, it’s delicious.
SOUTHERN CHICKEN PIE
11/2 cups chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
6 tablespoons butter
8 tablespoons enriched flour
4 cups milk (or half chicken broth and half milk)
3 cups cooked, sliced chicken
Pan-fry celery, green pepper, and mushrooms in butter until tender. Remove from butter; add flour; mix well. Add milk gradually, stirring constantly, until thickened. Add celery mixture and chicken; blend well. Season to taste. Turn into 21/2 quart casserole or baking dish. Top with the following:
Sift flour once, measure; add baking powder and salt; sift together. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add milk all at once, mixing until all flour is dampened. Turn out on floured board; knead lightly for a few seconds to smooth out dough. Roll out to fit over casserole. Place over chicken mixture. Bake in hot oven (425 F) about 25 to 30 minutes until crust is done. Serve immediately. Serves 8 to 10.
Modern adaptation: Carrots can also be used. Dough can also be placed over chicken mixture dumpling style.
My parents bought an Airstream trailer shortly after my dad retired and they joined an Airstream club. They spent many years going on caravans and attending Airstream rallies where potlucks were the order of the day. It was a wonderful time in their lives. My mother brought this recipe home from one of their Airstream rallies and served it at a family get-together. We all loved it.
Fortunately, she shared the recipe with me. Generally speaking, I’m not a big casserole fan. This recipe, however, is an exception. It’s very tasty and super easy to prepare. You simply add the layers, bake, and go. I’ve taken it to many a potluck dinner, and it’s always been a big hit.
CHICKEN ENCHILADA CASSEROLE
4 to 6 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped*
1 large bag of restaurant style tortilla chips
Diced green chilies (8 ounce can)
1 cup corn
1 15 oz. can of black beans
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup chicken broth or water
2 cups cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
Coat a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Break the tortilla chips and cover the bottom of the pan, about 1/4 inch thick. Add chopped chicken breasts, green chilies, corn and black beans. Blend the soups and chicken broth together in a medium sized mixing bowl and pour over top. (Add more liquid if thinner sauce is desired.) Cover the top layer with cheese and add the breadcrumbs, if desired. Bake at 350F for 35 to 45 minutes or until sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted and slightly browned.
Variations: Use jalapeno or chipotle peppers instead of green chili peppers for a spicier casserole. Turkey can be used instead of chicken.
*Two 9.75 ounce cans of chicken may be used instead of fresh chicken.
Have you been to the grocery store lately? If so, then you know food prices are going through the roof. Thankfully, my mother taught me how to shop smart at a very young age, and I’ve heeded her advice ever since. It has saved me a lot of money, especially when I was going through lean times. I learned even more money saving tricks after I became an adult.
The Dollar Store
Some dollar stores are like scaled down grocery stores and may offer a good selection. They’re a good place to stock up on staples such as flour and sugar, as well as canned goods, shampoo and soap. Some also carry milk, eggs, butter and produce. However, most items may only available in the smallest size, so you may find better deals on the larger sizes at your regular store. Also check the labels closely. I once thought I’d gotten a really good deal on olive oil, but it turned out it to be vegetable oil with only 1% olive oil.
Forget Brand Loyalty
My mother taught me to take my time and compare prices. She said name brand items, even when on sale, usually cost more than the generic store brand. Most of the time the store brands are just as good. (The only exception I’ve found is dishwashing detergent.) My mother’s advice remains true today. Think about it. Advertising is expensive, and the food manufactures pass the cost onto you. So forget brand loyalty. They’re not exactly being loyal to you.
Coupons Aren’t Always a Bargain
When I was first starting out on my own I cut out all the grocery coupons from the Sunday paper, thinking I would save money. However, when I looked closer, I realized coupons weren’t as good of a bargain as they appeared. While they may you save some money, you should also take a closer look at the store brand. You may get a better deal with the store brand, even with the coupon.
Watch for Sales
My mother always watched for sales and weekly specials, particularly in the fresh meat and produce isles. Fresh meat and poultry freezes well. She also looked for bargains in the canned food isles. If something was on sale, she stocked up. By the way, if you do your own canning you can save money stocking up on fresh fruits and making your own jams and jellies. And don’t be afraid to try homes canning. I’ll walk you through it, so Yes You Can Can.
Grow Your Own
Seeds are cheap, so if you have a yard try planting tomatoes or squash instead of daisies. Gardening can be a lot of fun, and if you only have a small patio you can use a planter box. It’s a fun activity the whole family can participate in, and it’s a great way to teach your kids where food comes from.
Beware of Impulse Buying
If impulse buying were and Olympic event, I’d be a gold medalist. Did you know there’s a science behind the way items are displayed in the grocery store? There actually is, and it’s used to trick you into buy more. My advice is to have a grocery list and stick to it. I started buying my groceries online long before the Covid pandemic and it really reduces the temptation. You can do curbside pickups of have them delivered, whichever way you prefer. Online shopping is easy and convenient, and it too can help you save money.
If you ever want to spruce up a side dish to impress your family and friends, this one will do nicely. The recipe is included in the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes historic cookbook. Hollandaise sauce is quick and easy to make, and the ingredients are already in the fridge. Homemade also tastes better than a mix.
Everything is better with hollandaise sauce. Along with broccoli, it tastes great on asparagus, baked potatoes and my all time favorite breakfast. Eggs Benedict.
BROCCOLI WITH HOLLANDAISE SAUCE
1/2 cup margarine
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Put all ingredients, except broccoli, in the top of a double boiler or a small deep saucepan. Put over direct heat, and beat constantly with a dover beater* until the sauce is thick, smooth and foamy.
Serve on hot cooked broccoli, or other cooked green vegetables.
* A dover beater is another term for an egg beater
My college boyfriend, who I’ll call George, was studying to become an architect. However, had he pursued it, I truly believe he would have been a damn fine chef. George was a whiz in the kitchen. He was master at creating simple, tasty dishes on a slim budget. George could take a boring, frozen pizza, pile on his own freshly made toppings, and turn it into a gourmet meal.
One of George’s signature dishes was his short ribs. He’d dump them in a crock pot, pour in a bottle of barbecue sauce, and cook them on low for eight hours. They came out so tender the meat fell off the bone. Neither of us had access to an outdoor grill at the time, but George’s ribs sure satisfied our yen for barbecue.
Over the years I’ve tweaked his recipe, ever so slightly. These days, with food prices on the rise, short ribs are like gold. However, their ugly cousin, the back rib, is cheaper and flavorful. They also work nicely in a crock pot.
I simply stack the ribs in and add a little barbecue sauce between the layers. I’ll then add a little sauce on the top. The sauce becomes watery as it cooks, so I only use a quarter to half a bottle. Then I turn the pot on low and cook for seven to eight hours. I also check them while they’re cooking. If the meat on top gets a little dry I simply spoon some of the sauce from the bottom of the pot over it. Then, once the ribs are cooked, I’ll pour on a little more fresh sauce when I plate them.
I like to serve mine with scalloped potatoes or baked beans. Or both. Some people like corn on the cob and mashed potatoes. Or you may wish to try grandmother’s green bean recipe. Whichever way you choose, it’s a nice recipe for those who don’t have access to an outdoor grill.
If you like ribs and barbeque then be sure to check out the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes cookbook for delicious historic barbeque style recipes.
Who doesn’t love fresh, home-baked bread? Seriously. The smell of fresh bread baking is intoxicating, and when you take it out of the oven? Ooh la la! Put a little butter on it and take a bite while it’s melting. If that’s not heaven and earth then I don’t know what is.
Okay, I get it that some bread recipes are pretty cumbersome. However, this historic recipe, from Rosie’s Riveting Recipes, is actually quite easy. The fresh baked rolls are delicious, and it would even be a fun project to do with the kids or grandkids.
WHOLE WHEAT ROLLS
1 cake compressed yeast
1 3/4 cups lukewarm milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons molasses
2 cups flour, sifted
3 cups medium whole wheat flour
4 tablespoons soft shortening
Crumble yeast into bowl. Add lukewarm milk, sugar, salt, and molasses. Work in sifted flour, whole wheat flour, and shortening. Knead until smooth. Place in greased bowl. Cover with damp cloth. Let rise until double (2 hours.) Punch down. Let rise until almost double (45 minutes.) Punch down. Let rest 15 minutes. Shape. Place in greased pan. Let rise. (30 to 40 minutes.) Bake 15 5o 20 minutes (depending on size) in hot oven (425F). Makes 2 dozen rolls.
Modern adaptation: Dark corn syrup may be used as a substitute for molasses.
The other day I came across a couple cans of diced tomatoes I bought by accident. They had diced green chilies in them, and I always buy plain canned tomatoes.
No worries. Like Rosie, of the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes historic cookbook, I don’t throw food out. I see mistakes like this one as a happy accident and a chance to try something new and different. So, after browsing a few online recipes for inspiration, I came up with my own creation. It’s so good that I’ll have to make it again.
QUICK AND EASY TACO SOUP
1 pound lean ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
2 cans diced tomatoes with green chilies (14.5 oz), OR
2 cans plain diced tomatoes with one small can diced green chilies
1 can corn
1 can black beans
1 small can tomato sauce
2 cups beef broth or water
1 package taco seasoning mix
1 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Brown ground beef and onion in a skillet. Drain, and place in small stockpot. Add canned tomatoes, green chilies, corn, black beans and tomato sauce. Add beef broth or water and stir well. Add seasonings. Stir, bring to a boil, turn heat to low, and simmer for approximately ten minutes. Top with broken tortilla chips and cheese, or with a dollop of sour cream and chopped green onions.
My favorite supermarket carries fresh, thinly sliced chicken breasts which always seem to be on sale. I’ve come up with several different ways to prepare them, however, this recipe is my favorite. It was originally a veal recipe, but I played with it and came up with something new and delicious.
While this recipe is not included in the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes historic cookbook, I think Rosie would have approved. It’s easy to prepare, and most of the ingredients can be found in our pantries. It’s also delicious.
CHICKEN SCALOPPINE IN WHITE WINE SAUCE
4 to 6 thinly sliced chicken breasts
3 to 4 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon butter
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
4 to 6 tablespoons white wine vinegar (approximately)
1/4 cup white cooking wine
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
3 cups cooked rice, wild rice, or noodles
Wash chicken breasts thoroughly. Pat dry with a paper towel. Melt butter in a skillet and add olive oil. While the oil is heating roll the chicken breasts in flour until lightly coated. Place in hot oil and cook each side until it’s a light, golden brown color. Pour approximately 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar over each chicken breast and add the chicken broth, white cooking wine and salt, if desired. Heat until sauce mixture begins to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve over rice or noodles.
Variation: Veal may be instead of chicken, and balsamic vinegar may be used instead of white wine vinegar.
Someone gave me a big bag of red potatoes. Yummy! I love red potatoes. In fact, red potatoes are my favorite potato. So, with such a big bag, I decided to do some experimenting. After all, you can’t go wrong with red potatoes. I started with my basic potato soup recipe, from the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes historic cookbook. From there I came up with something amazing. This dish is economical, easy to prepare, and delicious.
TWICE BAKED RED POTATO SOUP
4 to 6 medium to large red potatoes
1/2 medium sized onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 quart milk
2 to 3 slices cooked bacon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Peel red potatoes and slice into small cubes. Set aside. Drop butter into a small stock pot and melt over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes. Once the onions are caramelized, add the milk and potatoes. Break bacon into small pieces and drop into soup. Add seasonings and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked. Add cheeses, stir and simmer until melted. Serve with warm bread.
Rosie’s Riveting Recipes invites readers to take a trip back in time in their own kitchen. With over 180 economical, back-to-basics World War II era ration recipes, historic posters, and tales of life on the American homefront, Rosie’s Riveting Recipes truly is an interactive history book.
from the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes historic cookbook
Some dishes are destined to become classics, and this is certainly one of them. I loved pigs in a blanket when I was a kid, and I still enjoy them as an adult. This historic recipe from Rosie’s Riveting Recipes is easy, timeless, and delicious. Try it with your favorite fixings, or top it with chili, cheese and chopped onions.
PIGS IN BLANKETS
8 – 10 wieners or frankfurters
Simmer wieners in hot water for 10 minutes. Make Bisquick biscuit dough from package. Roll thin-cut in squares. Wrap wieners or franks (having ends show). Seal side edge by pinching together. Bake 15 minutes in hot oven. (450F) Serves 8 to 10.