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.
Chocolate may have been rationed in Rosie’s day, but fortunately for us, those days are long gone. There really is no such thing as too much chocolate, at least not when you’re a chocolate lover like me. During the holidays what better way to celebrate than to add a few touches to a classic recipe and go for the chocolate. This recipe is my own creation, inspired by the classic Nestle Toll House recipe.
CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
• 2 sticks butter or margarine, softened
• 3/4 cup sugar
• 3/4 cup brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 eggs
• 1 cup cocoa
• 2 tablespoons coffee (if desired)
• 2 1/4 cups flour
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 large (12 oz) package of chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F. Place flour, baking soda and salt on a piece of wax paper and set aside. Cream butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla together in a large mixing bowl. Blend in eggs, mixing thoroughly. Add cocoa and coffee, if desired, and mix thoroughly. Blend in dry ingredients, a little at a time, until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoon full onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for approximately 10 to 12 minutes.
Note: If the batter should become too dry and crumbly after adding flour simply add small increments of coffee or water, (one tablespoon or smaller), until moistened.
For a little more zing, use pumpkin spice flavored chips, if available, or add a teaspoon of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice.
Post-holiday leftovers are great, and, just like in Rosie’s time, we don’t want them going to waste. However, they can also take up a lot of space in your refrigerator, so here’s a delicious recipe to combine your holiday leftovers into a single casserole dish, saving space in the fridge.
TURKEY AND STUFFING CASSEROLE
• Vegetable Cooking Spray
• 1 can cream of mushroom soup
• 1 1/2 cups milk, chicken broth or water
• 1 package frozen broccoli, cauliflower and carrot combination, thawed, (or other leftover vegetables)
• 2 cups cubed leftover turkey
• 3 to 4 cups leftover stuffing
• 1/4 cup leftover cranberry sauce (optional)
• 2 tablespoons butter, melted
• 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 400F and spray nonstick cooking spray into a 12 x 8 x 2 inch baking dish. Set aside.
Stir soup and liquid in a large mixing bowl until well blended. Add vegetables, turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce, if desired, and mix thoroughly. Pour mixture into baking dish. Melt butter in the microwave and add the breadcrumbs, stirring until they are moistened. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the top of the turkey mixture.
Bake for 20 minutes or until sauce is bubbling.
Note: If you’re short on stuffing slice bread into small cubes and add to stuffing. If you prefer a creamier casserole, add more broth or milk.
I’m told the least popular Thanksgiving side dish is the dreaded cranberry sauce. And I have to admit, that jelly looking cranberry colored blob that comes out of the can, shaped like the can, is nasty. So who wants to eat that?? Yuck.
There is, however, a tasty alternative–making your cranberry sauce from scratch. It’s surprisingly easy to prepare, and you can make your cranberry sauce a day or two ahead of time. Best of all, it freezes well, so you can serve the leftover sauce at Christmas.
Believe me, once you’ve tried fresh, you’ll never go back to canned.
TRADITIONAL CRANBERRY SAUCE
• 3 cups fresh cranberries
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 cup water
Place cranberries in a colander or strainer and wash thoroughly, removing any damaged berries. Set aside.
Pour water into a 2 quart saucepan and place over medium high heat. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Bring to a boil and add cranberries. Reduce heat to medium, stirring occasionally until cranberry skins begin to pop. Keep stirring for several minutes. If a smoother sauce is desired, keep stirring until most of the skins have popped. Remove from heat and set aside. Sauce will thicken as it cools. Refrigerate sauce once it reaches room temperature.
I think every family has their favorite recipes which have been passed down generation to generation. One of our favorites was Grandma’s green beans. She served them at family get-togethers for years, as did my mother. I’ve played with the recipe a little over the years, but not too much. It’s an oldie but a goody, and there are probably a lot of other grandmothers out there who made this dish as well. Here is my interpretation. Please consider this recipe a guide as I never make it the quite the same way twice. (I don’t think Grandma ever did either.)
GRANDMA’S HOMEMADE GREEN BEANS
• 1 to 1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans
• 3 or 4 red potatoes
• 3 or 4 slices of bacon
• 1/2 cup chicken broth
Wash green beans, snap off ends, snap into bite-sized pieces and drop into a large mixing bowl. Scrub and dice the potatoes and add them to the beans. Cut bacon slices into small pieces and brown in a small stockpot. Once bacon is browned dump in the green beans and potatoes. Add chicken broth, stir, and cover. Reduce heat to low and simmer for approximately 30 to 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and cooked all the way through. Stir occasionally, and, if necessary, add small amounts of water or chicken broth to prevent the beans from scorching. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve as a side dish with pork roast, pork chops or fried chicken.
I love cooking a full-course Thanksgiving dinner, even though it’s a lot of work. So much food to prepare in so little time. I have, however, figured out one quick little shortcut that helps save time, and confusion, in the kitchen.
I first discovered baked sweet potatoes at a buffet restaurant. The friend I was dining with pointed them out to me and raved about how delicious they were. While not a huge sweet potato fan myself, I noticed what an easy side dish it would be to prepare. Simply take a sweet potato, or a yam, quarter it, wrap it in foil, and bake it like a regular potato.
I tried it myself a couple of Thanksgivings ago, and it was a big hit. Much less prep time and less hassle than candied yams, with no added sugars or preservatives, no casserole dish to wash, and fewer calories to boot. Best of all, my guests loved them.
I’ll bet if I were to take a poll and ask Americans what is their favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal, the answer would mostly likely be mashed potatoes.
Don’t get me wrong. I like the turkey and stuffing too, but Thanksgiving just isn’t Thanksgiving without the mashed potatoes. Amazingly enough, there are people out there who don’t serve mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving because they’re “unhealthy” or “too fattening.” Sorry, but that’s just wrong in so many ways! I’m also thankful I’m not having my Thanksgiving dinner of their houses. If I found out my host or hostess wasn’t serving mashed potatoes I’d bring my own.
No one needs to be “phobic” about mashed potatoes. Especially on a special day like Thanksgiving. There are some really simple ways to make them more “healthy,” so you don’t have to deprive other people of their favorite part of the meal. So, here are my suggestions for dealing with Mashed Potato Phobia.
Keep the skin on the potato
Remember when we were kids and our parents told us that the skin was the best part of the potato? Well, they were right. Potato skins are high in vitamins and a good source of fiber. The skin also has the most flavor. So I leave some of the skin on when I peel my potatoes. Along with being healthier, it adds a wonderful flavor and texture to the finished mashed potatoes.
Use skim milk, 2% milk, chicken stock, or a combination thereof.
Chicken stock, along with the skins, adds even more flavor while cutting back on fat and calories. I would, however, recommend using at least little bit of milk along with it just to add creaminess and thickness.
Skip the margarine.
I think we all know by now that margarine is a trans fat, and trans fats are extremely unhealthy. I no longer allow margarine in my home. In fact, I consider trans fats to be poison. Nowadays I only use real butter. However, if you’re worried about cutting fat and calories, you can also skip the butter and use the chickenstock.
See? How simple was that? With just a few easy steps everyone can enjoy healthier, and more flavorful, mashed potatoes.
I usually make my spaghetti sauce from scratch, but every once in awhile I’ll get a hankering for spaghetti and meatballs and I simply don’t have the time to prepare my signature sauce. That’s when I have to get creative, and I’ve came up with a tasty alternative. It takes about thirty minutes to prepare, and it’s delicious.
QUICK IMPROMPTU SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning blend
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound extra lean ground beef
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 (14 1/2 oz) cans Italian style diced tomatoes*
2 small (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
splash of red wine
one small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced**
salt and pepper to taste
Blend bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, black pepper, egg and ground beef together in a large mixing bowl and knead until well blended. Break off small pieces of meat mixture and roll into 1-inch diameter meatballs. Place meatballs on a plate. Pour olive oil in a large, deep skillet or saute pan. Turn stove on medium and heat the oil for about two minutes. Add meatballs, onions and garlic and stir frequently but very gently until meatballs are browned on all sides.
Add canned tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and pepper to taste, and a splash of red wine. Blend well, being careful not to break the meatballs. Once sauce starts to bubble reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. (If sauce is too thick add a little more wine or a small amount of water.) While sauce is simmering prepare your favorite pasta according to package directions. Yields approximately 24 meatballs.
*If using plain canned tomatoes add two teaspoons Italian seasoning to sauce.
**1 teaspoon of garlic powder may be substituted for fresh garlic.
I love baking and finding new recipes. I then add my own touches to make it my own. This is one such recipe. I made a few changes and tested it on a few musician friends. Musicians are great guinea pigs. They’ll try anything, and they’ll give you honest feedback. This recipe is musician tested and musician approved.
ORANGE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon orange zest*
1 teaspoon orange juice
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips (semi-sweet or white chocolate)
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350F. Grate one medium to large orange into a small bowl and squeeze its juice into a separate small bowl. Set both bowls aside. Stir flour, baking soda and salt into a medium sized bowl and set aside. Cream softened butter, sugar and brown sugar together in a large bowl until fluffy. Beat in eggs and add orange zest and orange juice. Mix until well blended. Stir in dry ingredients in small increments until well blended. If dough is too stiff add small amounts of water until desired consistency. Add chips and walnuts, if desired. Drop tablespoons of dough onto ungreased baking sheets and bake 10 to 12 minutes.
*Orange zest is another name for grated orange peel.
Here’s another delicious recipe from Rosie’s day that still tastes great today. I tested the recipe with white bread, as it was popular in Rosie’s time, but I’m sure it would taste just as good with whole wheat or multigrain bread, or whatever bread you may happen to have.
CELERY STUFFED SPARERIBS
1 side spareribs (about 1 1/2 lbs)
1/4 cup diced salt pork or bacon fat
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
3 cups soft bread cubes
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Fry the salt pork until crisp, then remove the pieces. Cook the onions in the fat for a few minutes, add the crisp salt pork, celery and bread cubes. Season with salt and pepper. Lay the spareribs over the dressing in baking pan, sprinkle the outside with 2 teaspoons salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper and rub with flour. Place pan in 350• F oven uncovered and bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until ribs are tender. Yield: 4 servings.
Modern adaptation: Sliced bacon can be substituted for salt pork. (Bacon fat is another name for bacon grease.) Chop 4 to 6 slices of bacon and fry in a skillet or frying pan. Add onions and continue preparing the dressing as instructed in the original recipe. To help keep the dressing from getting too dry add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water or chicken stock. Once the spareribs are placed in the baking dish decrease salt to 1 teaspoon, or, for more zing, use 1 teaspoon of celery salt. Bake as directed in the original recipe.
Presenting another delicious historic recipe from the pages of Rosie’s RIveting Recipes. People may have had to cope with food shortages back in Rosie’s day, but it didn’t mean they weren’t enjoying delicious desserts which are still tasty today. In fact, this pie turned out so good I would call it decadent, yet it’s also surprisingly easy to prepare. For best results I recommend using your favorite pie crust recipe, or trying the historic Victory Pie Crust referred to in the recipe. Frozen pie crust would also be suitable. Whichever crust you use, be sure to bake it as directed below before adding the lemon filling.
LEMON CHIFFON PIE
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 package Lemon Jell-O
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
dash of salt
3 egg whites
baked pie shell
Combine egg yolks and water in top of double boiler, mixing well. Add 1/4 cup sugar and cook over hot water about 3 minutes, or until well heated, stirring constantly. Remove from fire. Add Jell-O and stir until dissolved. Add lemon juice and rind. Chill until slightly thickened. Add salt to egg whites and beat until foamy; then add remaining sugar gradually and continue beating until stiff. Fold slightly thickened Jell-O into egg whites. Pour into cold pie shell. Chill until firm.
BAKED PIE SHELL
Prepare Victory Pie Crust as directed above. Place dough on lightly floured board, shape round and pat flat with rolling pin. Then roll into 1 1/2 -inch circle. Fold in half and place on bottom of inverted 9-inch pie plate. Open out folded half of pastry and fit snugly to plate. Trim off pastry to outer edge of plate and mark around rim with table fork dipped in flour. Prick crust well. Bake in hot oven (450F) 15 to 18 minutes, or until lightly browned.