Very Berry Upside Down Cake

© Can Stock Photo / Elenathewise

I don’t remember where this recipe came from, but I obviously found it somewhere. It was for a blackberry upside down cake, but I’ve made it with other kinds of berries, including raspberries and blueberries, and it always comes out well. I’ll bet you could even create a black forest upside cake with raspberries, strawberries and blackberries. Come to think of it, that does sound good, so I’ll just call it a very berry upside down cake.

This recipe is great if you’re trying to avoid processed foods and go back to basics, just like they did in Rosie’s day. In fact, I’m sure Rosie would have approved.

Gayle Martin

A Very Berry Upside Down Cake

Topping
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups fresh berries, such as blackberries, raspberries or blue berries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
Cake
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F.

Prepare the topping by melting butter and brown sugar in saucepan over medium heat. Add berries. Stir until mixture begins to bubble, about 1 to 3 minutes. Add sugar, stir and crush berries slightly for approximately 5 minutes, or until berries at hot and slightly broken down. Remove from heat and pour into a 9-inch square baking pan.

Prepare the cake batter by creaming the sugar and butter together in a mixing bowl with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs and mix. In a separate bowl whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together.  Alternately add flour and milk to the butter mixture. Add vanilla and mix. Pour batter over the berry mixture. Batter may be thin.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool until pan is slightly warm, about 30 minutes. Run a knife along the edge of the cake to separate it from the sides of the pan. Place a cake plate over the pan and flip. Lift pan to slowly release the cake.

***

Imagine the government telling you how much meat or chicken you could buy, or how much sugar or flour you could have. Strange as it may seem, at one time it actually happened. Rosie’s Riveting Recipes gives a glimpse into life on the WW 2 home front. A cookbook and a history lesson in one with more than 180 economical, back-to-basics World War 2 ration recipes.

Rosie’s Riveting Recipes is available on Amazon, Barnesandnoble.com, and with other online booksellers.

Eggless White Cake

© Can Stock Photo / NewIllustrations

Even with food rationing, eggs, like many other everyday items, were in short supply in Rosie’s day. Food companies had to come up with new recipes to make scarce ingredients go further, or even eliminate them completely. This delicious historic recipe, from Rosie’s Riveting Recipes cookbook, omits eggs.

For those who like chocolate cake, but without eggs, here is a recipe for an eggless chocolate cake.

Gayle Martin

 

EGGLESS WHITE CAKE
  • ¼ cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 ¼ cups sifted cake flour
  • or 2 cups sifted flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream shortening with sugar. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking power and salt. Add alternately with buttermilk. Blend in vanilla. Pour into greased and floured 8 ½ inch square pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes in moderate oven (350º).

Eggless Spice Cake

In eggless white cake sift 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon nutmeg, and ¼ teaspoon cloves with dry ingredients.

***

Imagine the government telling you how much meat or chicken you could buy, or how much sugar or flour you could have. Strange as it may seem, at one time it actually happened. During WWII, the United States government devised a food rationing program to help insure that every family would have enough to eat. Rosie’s Riveting Recipes gives a glimpse into life on the WW II home front. A cookbook and a history lesson in one with more than 180 economical, back-to-basics World WarII ration recipes with short tales of life on the American home front interspersed throughout.

Rosie’s Riveting Recipes is available on Amazon, Barnesandnoble.com and with other online booksellers.

Homemade Fondant Candy

© Can Stock Photo / DLeonis

This recipe comes from my seventh grade home economics class. I had never heard of fondant before, but the recipe is easy to prepare and the candy is very tasty. I’ve also used this recipe over the years. It’s perfect for birthday parties, Christmas and other special events.  Thank you to my teacher, Mrs. Witt,  wherever you are.  Please note, however, that this is not the same kind of fondant used to decorate cakes.  The recipe is solely for making candy.

HOMEMADE FONDANT CANDY
  • 3  tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • peppermint extract
  • wintergreen extract
  • 1 jar maraschino cherries
  • red and green food coloring

Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Stir in evaporated milk, vanilla and salt. Remove from heat and gradually add powdered sugar. Turn onto a board lightly sprinkled with powdered sugar and knead until smooth. Makes approximately two cups of fondant. Divide into quarters and prepare the following.

Mint Patties

Mix together 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract and two drops red food coloring to one quarter of the fondant. Shape into small patties or use a cookie cutter to create your own shapes

Wintergreen Patties

Mix together 1/2 teaspoon wintergreen extract and two drops of green food coloring to one quarter of the fondant. Shape into small patties or use a cookie cutter to create your own shapes.

Cherry Drops

Drain cherries and slit each cherry crosswise into four parts. Do not cut all the way through. Press back the “petals” to form a flower. Fill each cherry with a small ball of the remaining fondant and chill.

Classic Swiss Steak

© Can Stock Photo / roxanabalint

This is a classic recipe I learned from my mother, and it’s become one of my personal favorites. It’s easy to prepare and tasty. Best of all, it’s delicious, so enjoy.

CLASSIC SWISS STEAK

  • 2 pound round steak, 1 inch thick
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup beef broth or water
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ½ bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mix flour, salt and pepper together in a bowl. Cut round steak into 5 or 6 pieces and coat both sides with the flour mixture. Pour oil into skillet, turn on heat to medium, and brown steaks until brown, approximately 7 to 10 minutes per side. Add broth, cover and reduce hit to low. Simmer for 1 hour, adding more broth or water as needed. Turn steaks over, add onions, bell pepper, and canned tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer an additional 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

 

Cover photo by Rob Resetar

Imagine the government telling you how much meat or chicken you could buy, or how much sugar or flour you could have. Strange as it may seem, at one time it actually happened. During WWII, the United States government devised a food rationing program to help insure that every family would have enough to eat. Rosie’s Riveting Recipes gives a glimpse into life on the WW 2 home front. A cookbook and a history lesson in one with more than 180 economical, back-to-basics World WarII ration recipes with short tales of life on the American home front interspersed throughout.

Rosie’s Riveting Recipes is available on Amazon and Barnesandnoble.com.

 

 

 

Corn Pudding

from the  pages of Rosie’s Riveting Recipes
© Can Stock Photo / zigzagmtart

This recipe is such a classic, and so simple I’m surprised neither my mother, nor any of my grandmothers, ever prepared it. It is, however, included in the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes historic cookbook, and it’s one of the easiest recipes in the entire book. The results are delicious. The pudding has a rich, buttery flavor, making it the perfect, flavorful side dish. Enjoy.

Gayle Martin

CORN PUDDING

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups fresh or canned corn
  • 2 tablespoons melted margarine
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups milk

Beat the eggs. Add all the other ingredients and salt and pepper to taste. Pour into a greased baking dish, place in a pan of hot water, and bake in a moderate oven, (350F) for about 1 hour or until set in the center. Yields 6 servings.

Note:  A 15.5 ounce can of corn works nicely for this recipe.

 

Book Cover for Rosies Riveting Recipes
Cover photo by Rob Resetar

Imagine the government telling you how much meat or chicken you could buy, or how much sugar or flour you could have. Strange as it may seem, at one time it actually happened. During WWII, the United States government devised a food rationing program to help insure that every family would have enough to eat. Rosie’s Riveting Recipes gives readers a glimpse into life on the WWII home front. A cookbook and a history lesson in one Rosies’s Riveting Recipes includes more than 180 economical, back-to-basics World War II ration recipes and short tales of life on the American home front interspersed throughout.

Rosie’s Riveting Recipes is available on Amazon and Barnesandnoble.com.

Last-Minute Tomato Soup

from the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes Cookbook

I’ve had to make a few lifestyle changes because my hypertension has become chronic. Two years of lockdowns, mask mandates and 24/7 fear mongering would elevate anyone’s blood pressure. However, my medication was no longer working, and nothing else we tried was working either. So, I decided to put myself on a low sodium diet.

It really wasn’t hard. I stopped eating fast food and processed foods, and I started reading food labels. I was shocked at the amount of salt hidden in our foods. It’s way more than our bodies need. So, I’ve gone back to eating real food made from scratch, just like in Rosie’s day. I’d forgotten how good real food actually tasted.

Today’s recipe is an easy to make alternative to canned tomato soup, and if you’re worried about salt simply use low sodium or salt free tomatoes.

By the way, my blood pressure has dropped. I’m also losing weight and I feel so much better.

Thanks, Rosie.

Gayle Martin

Last Minute Tomato Soup

  • 1 cup cooked tomatoes
  • 3 cups rich milk*
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter, (if desired)

Stir tomatoes well to break up the pulp and juice. Add milk. Heat, stirring frequently. Add salt and pepper and butter, if desired. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Modern adaptation: Used canned, diced, Italian-style tomatoes to create a flavorful, elegant soup.

* 1940’s term for condensed milk

Book Cover for Rosies Riveting Recipes
Cover photo by Rob Resetar

Imagine the government telling you how much meat or chicken you could buy, or how much sugar or flour you could have. Strange as it may seem, at one time it actually happened. During WWII, the United States government devised a food rationing program to help insure that every family would have enough to eat. Rosie’s Riveting Recipes gives readers a glimpse into life on the WWII home front. A cookbook and a history lesson in one Rosies’s Riveting Recipes includes more than 180 economical, back-to-basics World War II ration recipes and short tales of life on the American home front interspersed throughout.

Rosie’s Riveting Recipes is available on Amazon and Barnesandnoble.com.

 

Southwestern Roast Beef Soup

© Can Stock Photo/
roxanabalint

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, I rented a booth in an antique mall in Tucson, Arizona.

The mall included a small soup and sandwich shop. Nothing big and fancy, but it was a cozy, quiet place to grab a quick lunch whenever I was there. The food was always top notch.

One day they were serving a southwestern roast beef soup. It tasted like a cross between a beef stew and chili con carne. I wanted to ask for the recipe. However, their soups were usually made from the prior day’s leftovers, so I doubt there was a recipe. So, I did the next best thing. I let my palate decide, and then I came up with my own recipe. It’s a close match, and since it uses leftover roast beef, I’m sure Rosie would have approved.

Sadly, the antique mall is no more. While I made a profit each year, it wasn’t much, and maintaining my booth  was a costly undertaking. I eventually closed it out. The mall itself went out of business a few years later, which I was sorry to see. That said, I have no regrets. I met a lot of interesting people while I was there, and I learned a lot about how the retail business works.

Gayle Martin

Southwestern Roast Beef Soup

½ to 1 pound leftover roast beef (such as round roast), including the pan drippings

  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 ounce)
  • 1 can tomato sauce (14.5 ounce)
  • 1 small can diced green chilis (optional)
  • 1 cup corn or mixed vegetables
  • 3/4 cup small, uncooked pasta, such as a shell pasta
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • ½ teaspoon lemon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt, if desired

Chop roast beef into small, bite-sized cubes. Blend all the ingredients into a 4 quart stockpot and bring to a boil. If soup is too thick, add more stock until desired consistency. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 30to 45 minutes or until meat is tender.

***

Book Cover for Rosies Riveting Recipes
Cover photo by Rob Resetar

Imagine the government telling you how much meat or chicken you could buy, or how much sugar or flour you could have. Strange as it may seem, at one time it actually happened. During WWII, the United States government devised a food rationing program to help insure that every family would have enough to eat. Rosie’s Riveting Recipes gives readers a glimpse into life on the WWII home front. A cookbook and a history lesson in one Rosies’s Riveting Recipes includes more than 180 economical, back-to-basics World War II ration recipes and short tales of life on the American home front interspersed throughout.

Rosie’s Riveting Recipes is available on Amazon and Barnesandnoble.com.

White Chicken Chili

© Can Stock Photo/
roxanabalint

I love making chili con carne. It’s one of my all time favorite comfort foods. It’s spicy, it’s tasty, and simple to make. Best of all, many of the ingredients are already in our pantries and it freezes well.

However, it’s also nice to take a break and try a different variation, such as chicken chili.

Chicken chili is a delicious alternative for those who don’t eat red meat. It has its own unique flavor, and, like chili con carne, chicken chili also freezes well. Turkey can also be substituted for chicken, making it a nice recipe for delicious holiday leftovers.

White Chicken Chili

  • 1 to 1 1/2 lbs boneless chicken breasts or chicken tenders, cubed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 small can chopped green chilies (4 oz)
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 cans cannellini beans
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup Monterey jack cheese
  • 1 chopped jalapeno (optional)

Place olive oil in a 4-quart stockpot and cook the chicken, onions, and garlic. Once chicken is cooked all the way through add chicken broth, green chilies, beans and seasonings. Place cornstarch in a small bowl, mix thoroughly with water. Pour into the chili and bring it to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Top each serving with cheese and add chopped jalapeno, if desired. Goes nicely with cornbread on the side.

Variations: For a hotter chili, add the cayenne pepper. For a sweeter chili, substitute 1 can of corn for 1 can of cannellini beans.

***

Book Cover for Rosies Riveting Recipes
Cover photo by Rob Resetar

Imagine the government telling you how much meat or chicken you could buy, or how much sugar or flour you could have. Strange as it may seem, at one time it actually happened. During WWII, the United States government devised a food rationing program to help insure that every family would have enough to eat. Rosie’s Riveting Recipes gives readers a glimpse into life on the WWII home front. A cookbook and a history lesson in one Rosies’s Riveting Recipes includes more than 180 economical, back-to-basics World War II ration recipes and short tales of life on the American home front interspersed throughout.

Rosie’s Riveting Recipes is available on Amazon, Barnes&Noble.com and other online booksellers.

 

 

Historic Potato Soup

From the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes historic cookbook
© Can Stock Photo / olenayemchuk

There’s nothing quite like a bowl of hot soup on a cold winter day, and who doesn’t love potatoes? Potato soup is economical and easy to prepare. You can also add other ingredients such as ham, green onions, cheese. It’s like having a baked potato in a bowl. 

This classic dish comes from the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes historic cookbook. No doubt is it similar to the way Grandma used to make it.

Gayle Martin

 

POTATO SOUP

  • 2 cups raw potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons margarine*
  • 1 tablespoon chopped onion
  • 1 quart milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • pepper

Chop potatoes fine or grate them. Add potatoes, margarine, and onion to the milk. Cook the mixture over low heat until the potatoes are tender, stirring regularly. By that time the starch from the potatoes will have thickened the milk slightly. Add salt and pepper.

Modern Variation: To give this soup some extra zing try adding bacon, ham, or corn.

*Butter or olive oil may be used instead of margarine.

 

***

Imagine the government telling you how much meat or chicken you could buy, or how much sugar or flour you could have. Strange as it may seem, at one time it actually happened. During WW 2, the United States government devised a food rationing program to help insure that every family would have enough to eat. Rosie’s Riveting Recipes gives a glimpse into life on the WW 2 home front. Rosie’s Riveting Recipes is available on Amazon,  Barnesandnoble.com, and other fine booksellers

 

 

Classic Recipes vs Modern Cuisine

A bowl of chicken and dumplines
© Can Stock Photo / MSPhotographics

I’ve always subscribed to the notion that what separates a good cook from a not so good cook is their willingness to tweak recipes to put their own stamp on them. However, I sometimes get annoyed with celebrity chefs on television. I’ve watched them belittle the old classics, saying they’re too “old fashioned.” Or they’ll make a crass remark about it being the 21st century and not 1950s. Really? What a bunch of conceited, arrogant jerks!

What makes these recipes classic? The answer is simple. They taste great. That’s why they’ve been around for such a long time.

I’ll always remember my grandmother’s cooking. As far as my siblings and I were concerned, no one on the planet could cook better than Grandma. I also remember my sister-in-law bragging about writing down all of Grandma’s recipes. Those recipes are family heirlooms. Nothing makes us feel like Grandma is still with us more than enjoying her tapioca pudding or her chicken and dumplings. 

I feel the same when I prepare my dad’s famous pinto beans. My father could hold his own in the kitchen. In fact, he could open the refrigerator, grab leftovers, and create an amazing dish without a recipe.

A family recipe collection can be a priceless legacy which can be easily copied and shared. You never need to worry about fighting with your siblings over who gets the recipe box. You won’t have to pay any estate tax on it either. That is, until the government figures out a way to do it.

So, here’s to my grandmother’s recipes, and our passing them down to our own grandchildren.

Gayle Martin