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.
I had a ton of leftover cornstarch from a video project. (We needed to recreate snow, and cornstarch works well as a snow substitute.) However, once the video was in the can, I had to figure out what to do with all unused cornstarch. First, I gave a box to a friend, and then I used it as a flour substitute in some of my cooking recipes. It worked well. I also prefer cornstarch over flour for sauces and gravies. All of this helped, but I still have a bunch of leftover cornstarch.
I soon found a pudding recipe that wasn’t bad, but of course I had to go in and make a few changes to make it my own. It’s easy to prepare and it makes a tasty dessert. Best of all, you probably already have the ingredients in your pantries.
chocolate cornstarch pudding
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 3/4 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract*
Stir sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, cinnamon and salt together in a 2-quart saucepan. Stir in milk and turn heat to medium, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes to a boil and has thickened enough to coat the spoon. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Let cool briefly, stirring occasionally as the pudding cools to avoid a skin forming on the top. Serve warm or chilled. A pat of butter may be added if serving warm.
*Almond or coconut extract may be used instead of vanilla.
This classic dessert from the pages of the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes historic cookbook is one that many of your grandmothers may have made. I tried it, and it’s delicious. One thing I really like about many of these historic dessert recipes is that they’re sweet, but not sugar-laden.
REFRIGERATOR BREAD PUDDING
1 envelope plain gelatin
2 cups milk
1/2 cup light or dark corn syrup or 1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 slices white bread (2 1/2 cups cubed)
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
nutmeg, if desired
Soften gelatin in 1/4 cup cold milk. Scald remaining milk with corn syrup (or sugar) and salt in double boiler. Add gelatin and stir until dissolved. Remove crusts and cut slices of bread into cubes. Pour hot milk slowly over beaten eggs, stirring constantly. Return to double boiler. Add bread cubes and cook until custard consistency, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and beat with rotary beater until frothy. Turn into one large (or individual molds) that have been rinsed in cold water first. Chill. When firm, un-mold and serve with cream or any sauce. Sprinkle with nutmeg.
Modern adaptation: Be careful not boil the milk. The beaten eggs can be slowly added to the milk mixture in the double boiler, stirring constantly as directed in the original recipe, until they are well blended. To give the pudding a bolder flavor add 1/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 nutmeg with the vanilla. The pudding can also be poured into ramekins and served with whipped cream, cinnamon, or nutmeg on top, as suggested in the original historic recipe.
I know I haven’t been around lately, but there was a reason for it. I sold my home in Tucson, Arizona, (sort of like Jojo in that old Beatles song), and I’m now living in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
So far I’m loving my new home. It even came with an outdoor mini kitchen, which I’ll be trying out as soon as the hot, humid weather breaks. I’m also looking forward to trying out some New Mexico recipes.
From what I’m seeing so far, Las Cruces is a foodie town, and New Mexico is a foodie state. I’ve already fallen madly in love with New Mexico Pinon Coffee, and I’m enjoying the New Mexico wines.
One of the big events in Las Cruces is the Hatch Chile Festival, which, thanks to Covid, is cancelled this year. However, you can still buy fresh Hatch chilis at the grocery store, and they’ll roast them for you in the parking lot. There is nothing quite like the smell of steaming hot fresh roasted chilis. If Glade were to ever make a Roasted Chili scent, I’d buy a case of it. In the meantime, I’m putting fresh Hatch chilies in my chicken chili, on burgers, scrambled eggs, and I’m loving it.
I’m not a big fan of frozen dinners, but my mother used to buy Stouffer’s Chicken Divan. It was awesome. I’m not sure if they still make it or not, however, I’ve tweaked a couple of Campbell’s Soup recipes to come up with my own version, and I think I’ve come pretty close. It’s easy to prepare, and tasty. Best of all, it uses ingredients most of us probably already have. Enjoy.
(inspired by Campbell’s Soup recipes)
2 or 3 boneless chicken breasts
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter (melted)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup fresh or frozen broccoli (thawed)
2 cups cooked noodles
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese or cheddar cheese blend
1 small can fresh mushrooms (optional)
2 to 3 tablespoons bread crumbs
Chop broccoli, (if using fresh), and prepare noodles according to package directions. Clean chicken breasts thoroughly and cut into small cubes. Saute in a skillet until they are cooked all the way through. Remove from heat.
In a 2-quart casserole dish stir milk, melted butter, and cream of mushroom soup. Add pepper and canned mushrooms, if desired. Add broccoli, cooked noodles and cooked chicken, mix well. Top with generous layer of grated cheddar cheese and breadcrumbs. Bake in 350F oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until top layer is brown and sauce is bubbling.
My friend, Heather Stricker-DeBenedetti, performs at The Gaslight Theater here in Tucson, Arizona. Heather, along with her husband, Greg, and their family, have been keeping us entertained on social media with their video series, Couple who Quarantines. In their latest episode, Heather is learning how to cook, and let’s just say she’s having a few challenges. I haven’t had this good of a laugh in a long, long time, and I couldn’t resist sharing it with you.
So, for your viewing pleasure, The Couple Who Quarantines, Episode 6, Nailed It
from the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes historic cookbook
The following recipe is based on a historic Heart Chop Suey recipe included in Rosie’s Riveting Recipes.However, I used regular beef instead of beef heart as many people may find organ meat less than palatable, and because beef heart may be difficult to find. I used stew meat, but I think chuck steak, flank steak or other cheaper cuts of beef would also work nicely. The end result was a tasty, easy-to-prepare meal that was both healthy and delicious, and somehow I think Rosie would approve.
BEEF CHOP SUEY
1 to 1 1/2 pounds stew meat or chuck steak
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups coarsely chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrots
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 cup diced celery
1/2 coarsely chopped green pepper
2 bouillon cubes
2 cups water (or 2 cups of beef broth, omitting bouillon cubes)
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons soy sauce
4 cups boiled rice
Cut meat into 1/2-inch cubes and dust with flour. Place meat and onion in heavy frying pan and brown in butter or margarine. Add celery, carrots, green pepper and bouillon cubes and 2 cups water. (Beef or chicken stock can be used in place of water and bouillon cubes.) Cover and simmer until tender, about 1 to 1/2 hours. Add seasonings and sauce. Serve with boiled rice or fried Chinese Noodles. Yields 6-8 servings.
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From the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes historic cookbook
I once had a friend who loved sweet potatoes. I mean seriously loved them. So much so that she would have done nothing short of grabbing a steak knife and telling you to back off if you got too close to her sweet potatoes. Now that’s a food devotion. However, she wasn’t much of a cook, and when I began testing recipes for Rosie’s Riveting Recipes, I passed this one along to her. It’s easy to prepare, even for those who are, “kitchen challenged.” It’s also a nice dish for those who wax nostalgic for holiday meals over the course of the year.
HAM WITH SWEET POTATOES
1 1/2 pounds sliced ham or shoulder
3 cups raw, sliced sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup hot water
1 tablespoon margarine
Cut the ham or shoulder into pieces for serving. If the meat is very salty, parboil it in water and drain. Brown the meat lightly on both sides and arrange the pieces to cover the bottom of a baking dish. Spread the sliced sweet potatoes over the meat, sprinkle with sugar. Add hot water to melted margarine and pour over the sweet potatoes and meat. Cover the dish and bake slowly until the meat and sweet potatoes are tender, basting the sweet potatoes occasionally with the gravy. Toward the last, remove the lid and let the top brown well. Yields 6 servings.
Modern adaptation: Heat oven to 350F. Butter may be used instead of margarine. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for approximately one hour, basting the sweet potatoes occasionally as directed in the original recipe. After baking for one hour remove foil and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until the sweet potatoes have browned. Turkey ham may also be used, and the sugar can be decreased to one teaspoon.
For more information about Rosie’s Riveting Recipes please click the link below.
My former spouse used to bring home rice pudding from the refrigerated section at the supermarket. He said it reminded him of his grandmother’s rice pudding. I’d never had rice pudding before, and it reminded me of my grandmother’s homemade tapioca pudding. Funny how certain foods bring back happy childhood memories.
Fast forward a few years. I’m testing some of the recipes for the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes historic cookbook, and while this recipe was easy to prepare and uses ingredients found in most pantries, it had a very different texture from the premade supermarket rice pudding, creating a delicious yet totally different experience. Puddings have variations, and it’s nice to try something different.
OLD-TIME RICE CUSTARD PUDDING
2 cups cooked rice
1/2 cup seedless raisins
2 cups scalded milk*
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix rice and raisins. Place in 8-inch baking pan, 3 inches deep. Blend milk into beaten eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla. Pour over rice and raisin mixture. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Place pan in shallow pan of water. Steam bake 1 1/2 hours in moderate oven (325F). Serve warm or chilled, with or without cream.
Sometimes you want a chocolate chip cookie. Other times you want an oatmeal cookie. Why not have both at the same time? I can’t recall where I first found this modern day recipe, but like most cookie recipes, it’s easy to prepare, and delicious.
By the way, I use almond extract instead of vanilla, and it really gives the cookies some extra zing.
Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract*
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups quick oats
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F.
Cream together butter, brown sugar and white sugar in a large mixing bowl until smooth. Beat in eggs. Add vanilla and stir. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl and blend into butter mixture a little at a time. Mix in the quick oats and fold in the walnuts, (if desired), and chocolate chips. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets covered with parchment paper. Bake for approximately 12 minutes. Allow cookies to cool for about 3 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
*Almond extract may also be used.
If you like cookies, and who doesn’t, you’ll find even more delicious cookie recipes in Rosie’s Riveting Recipes. Please click on the link below for more information.
Writing is something I truly love doing. Along with writing Rosie’s Riveting Recipes, I write contemporary romance novels under the name Marina Martindale. Each of my novels includes a scene in which a character cooks something wonderful, and I include the recipe at the back of the book.
This recipe is from my first romance novel, The Reunion. I love Italian wedding soup, so Larry, a seventeen-year-old aspiring chef, has prepared it for his ailing brother, saying it’s his grandmother’s recipe. In reality, however, this recipe is my own creation. It comes from a combination of several different Italian wedding soup recipes, along with a little trial and error.
Larry’s ITALIAN WEDDING SOUP
For the meatballs
1 pound ground beef*
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Preheat oven to 350F. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and knead together like a meatloaf. Roll into small meatballs, about 1/2 to 1 inch in diameter. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until brown. Set aside.
For the soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 medium sized yellow onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 carrots, peeled and sliced (optional)
2 stalks celery, sliced (optional)
I package of fresh mushrooms (optional)
10 cups, (2 1/2 quarts) chicken stock
1/2 cup dry white wine (such as Chardonnay)
1 egg, well beaten
1 cup small pasta (such as stars or small sea shells)
2 teaspoons salt (if desired)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon dill
12 ounces fresh spinach, washed and trimmed**
While the meatballs are baking saute the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, (if desired), and fresh mushrooms, (if desired), in olive oil in a stockpot for approximately 5 to 6 minutes. Add chicken stock and white wine and bring to a boil. Once the soup mixture is boiling beat egg in a small mixing bowl with a whisk until slightly frothy. Pour egg slowly and incrementally into soup mixture, whisking the soup mixture continuously until all of the egg has been added. Add pasta, salt, (if desired) and pepper and allow mixture to simmer for about 6 to 8 minutes, or until pasta is soft. Add meatballs and dill. Cover and simmer on low for another 10 minutes. Add spinach and simmer for another 1 to 2 minutes before serving. Once soup is ladled into bowls top with grated Parmesan cheese.
* Ground chicken or ground turkey may also be used, or 1/2 pound of your favorite ground meat can be mixed with 1/2 of ground pork.
**Frozen or canned spinach may be substituted for fresh spinach