Posted by: Erica Retrochef | July 21, 2014

Frankfurters & Corn Casserole

One-dish meals that combine meat and vegetable are a great idea, at least in theory. The whole dinner is in one place, the kids can’t fussily avoid one or the other, and cleanup is reduced.

That’s the theory, at least. In practice, one-dish dinners tend to be even messier (somehow) and picky eaters will outright refuse everything because “the hot dog is touching the corn, waaaah!”


1/4 cup finely chopped onions
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 1/2 cups milk
2 cups canned whole kernel corn, drained
3 eggs beaten
1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1 tablespoon melted butter or margarine
1 pound frankfurters, scored

Preheat oven to 350°. Cook onions in butter until transparent; stir in flour. Add salt and pepper. Over low heat, gradually stir in milk; cook until sauce is thick and smooth, stirring constantly. Remove from head and add corn. Fold in beaten eggs. Pour into 1 1/2 quart buttered casserole. Mix melted butter and bread crumbs; sprinkle on top. Bake 30 minutes; place frankfurters on top of casserole and bake 15 minutes longer.

Let’s see how this casserole turns out, shall we?

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Posted by: Erica Retrochef | July 14, 2014

Savory Cabbage-Rice

Thrifty, and nifty, and 18 minutes!



Savory Cabbage-Rice. Prepare 1 1/3 cups (5-oz. package) Minute Rice as directed on package, substituting 2 cups tomato juice for the 1 1/2 cups water. (Minute Rice takes on the rich red tomato color — makes a wonderfully appetizing dish!) Fry 8 slices bacon until crisp. Mix 4 cups shredded cabbage, 1/2 cup chopped onion, 1/2 cup water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; simmer 5 minutes. Drain. Add 1/8 teaspoon oregano, 2 tablespoons bacon drippings, and the rosy rice. Delicious! Serves 6.

Not only fast, but with extra glamour!

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Posted by: Erica Retrochef | July 7, 2014

Sausages Baked in Bananas

This one was another of Buzz’s crazy finds. And oddly enough, the one he wanted to make (sausages baked in bananas) is perhaps the least strange choice on the page. Banana meat loaf? Bananas au gratin?


6 bananas, unpeeled
6 to 12 small link sausages

Slit each banana lengthwise from tip to tip to form a pocket, being careful not to cut through the skin on the under side. Place one or two link sausages in the opening of each banana. Arrange bananas in baking dish, slit side up, and bake in a moderate oven (375° F.) about 15 to 20 minutes or until sausages are done. Six servings.

I have a strong suspicion this is an overreach on the banana company’s part. Let’s find out.

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Posted by: Erica Retrochef | June 30, 2014

Berry Wedge Pie

I hate most things about late June — summer is starting to take itself seriously and temperature and humidity are climbing, and the kids are beginning to be bored with the lack of intellectual stimulation. But one thing I do love is blueberries, which are finally available (indeed, overflowing) at all the local farmers markets. And this week, I got some amazing ones — the big, juicy ones that are far more sweet than sour.

So I wanted to make a blueberry pie. It’s Pieathalon Day, after all, and the Curried Egg Pie was a little bit terrifying.



2-1/4 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup Crisco
1/4 cup water

All Measurements Level. Sift flour with salt into bowl. Remove 1/3 cup flour. Cut Crisco into remaining flour with pastry blender, fork or two knives until the pieces are the size of small peas. Mix 1/4 cup water with the 1/3 cup flour to form paste. Add flour paste to Crisco-flour mixture. Mix and shape into a ball; divide dough into two parts. On a floured pastry canvas or board lightly roll a circle of dough 12″ in diameter and 1/8″ thick. Line pie plate; allow pastry to extend 1/2″ beyond edge. Turn edge under, flute with fingers. Prick pastry closely over bottom of pan. Roll remaining pastry in same manner as before, to a diameter of 8 inches. Cut circle into 6 wedges and place on cookie sheet. Prick closely. Bake shell and wedges in hot oven (425°F.) 12-15 minutes, or until brown.


3-1/2 cups frozen or canned blueberries
1 cup juice from berries
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Combine sugar, cornstarch and salt with juice and blueberries. Add remaining ingredients and cook until thickened, about 10 to 15 minutes. Place in baked Crisco shell. Top with pastry wedges.

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Posted by: Erica Retrochef | June 30, 2014

Pieathalon! Curried Egg Pie

Welcome to the 1st Annual Pieathalon! A dozen intrepid cooking bloggers are running laps around their kitchen, simultaneously baking pies and shooting at targets. (Well, ok, we aren’t actually target shooting, but biathlon is one of my favorite sports. I like to imagine it originated when skiers were actually shooting at each another, and the civilized, humane, modern version uses targets instead.)


The brainchild of the blogger behind Dinner Is Served 1972, the Pieathalon concept is pretty simple: Contribute a recipe for (a) pie, either sweet or savory, (b) from your collection that (c) has a photograph so we know what it’s supposed to look like. Here’s who’s cooking what…

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Posted by: Erica Retrochef | June 23, 2014

Cornoodle Casserole


Feeling patriotic? Not feeling patriotic, but want your dinner table to look patriotic?

For either scenario, we’ve got a recipe that fit your needs with some “star-spangled country corn.” Because if you’re going to be serving a creamed corn casserole at your Independence Day picnic, by golly it better have red pimiento stars on top. Anything else is just un-American, and clearly a sign that commies have infiltrated your kitchen.


6 oz. noodles
1 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tbsps. finely cut parsley
2 tbsps. chopped pimiento
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. salt
Dash cayenne
1 #303 can DEL MONTE Golden Cream Style Corn

Cook noodles in salted boiling water about 15 minutes. Mix cheese, cream, onion, parsley, pimiento and seasonings with hot drained noodles. Butter 2-qt. casserole; spread half the corn on bottom. Season with salt and pepper. Add noodle mixture. Spoon remaining corn in center, season, dot with butter. Cover; bake in moderate oven (350°F.) about 40 min. Garnish with pimiento stars if desired. Serves 6.

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Posted by: Erica Retrochef | June 16, 2014

Yankee Doodle Pizza Pie

So, America’s Independence Day is coming up. The traditional recipe for this holiday is anything red white and blue, preferably flag shaped/patterned. It isn’t creative at all, and so I started scouring every retro recipe I could find for a patriotic food idea that was more interesting and inspired.

I liked the name of the Yankee Noodle Dandy recipe, but cut up hot dogs in chicken noodle soup just didn’t seem quite festive enough. And then I came across Yankee Doodle Pizza Pie in Life magazine.


Ann Page never fails to terrify.


Pizza sauce
Blend together 1 (8 oz.) can ANN PAGE Spaghetti Sauce, 1 (7 oz.) can tomato paste, and 1/4 teaspoon orégano.

Quick crust
Take one package refrigerator biscuits, separate them and press, pat and flatten to line one 12-inch pizza pan (round or square shallow baking pan may be used). Scallop the edge or make a rim.

To put together
Spread about 1 1/2 cups sauce over crust, sprinkle on 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Add remaining sauce to one can (21 to 23 ozs.) of ANN PAGE BEANS (any style) pour over cheese layer. Decorate center with 1/4 pound grated Mozarrella cheese and green pepper rings. Bake in hot oven (425°F.) 10 minutes; then at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes more. Serve with Italian sausage, mushrooms, pimento, or anchovy.

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Posted by: Erica Retrochef | June 9, 2014

Strawberry Ice Cream Meringues

A nice summertime dessert is strawberries and ice cream together.

A fancy summertime dessert makes an edible bowl for this combination.

A weird summertime dessert uses saltine crackers as an ingredient.

Guess which one we’re making!


12 PREMIUM Saltine Crackers, coarsely rolled (about 1/2 cup crumbs)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (1 pound) frozen whole strawberries in syrup, thawed
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 pint vanilla ice cream

Combine cracker crumbs and pecans; set aside. Add baking powder to egg whites. Beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and vanilla, beating until stiff and glossy. Fold in cracker mixture. Spoon, in 8 portions, on brown paper covered cookie sheets. Bake in a preheated slow oven (300°F.) about 30 minutes or until done. Remove to rack to cool. Drain berries, reserving syrup. Add enough water to make 1 1/4 cups; heat to bubbling. Stir cornstarch into lemon juice. Blend into hot syrup. Cook, stirring constantly, until clear and thickened. Cool; add strawberries. Using a melon scoop, make ice cream balls and arrange on meringues. Pour sauce over ice cream. Makes 8 (about 4-inch) meringues and 2 cups sauce.

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Posted by: Erica Retrochef | June 2, 2014

Zesty Joes

I was originally interested in this ad because I had a can of mushroom soup that needed to be used, and had my eye on the “Golden Joe” recipe because it sounded more like some 1920’s boxing champion than a hamburger. When Buzz heard the plan, he got all sad; he apparently had some bad memories of mushroom Sloppy Joes. But “Zesty Joe” for some reason he was enthusiastic about.

We’re a crazy couple, him and me.


Golden Joe

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can Campbell’s Golden Mushroom Soup
1 tbsp. ketchup
dash pepper
hamburger buns, split and toasted

Conventional: In skillet, cook beef and onion until beef is browned and onion is tender; stir to separate meat. Spoon off fat. Stir in soup, ketchup and pepper. Heat; stir occasionally. Serve on buns. Top with sliced green pepper, sliced onion and chopped tomato if desired. Makes 6 servings.

Zesty Joe

Substitute 1/4 cup chopped green pepper and 1 tbsp. chili powder for chopped onion. Also substitute 1 can Campbell’s Zesty Tomato Soup/Sauce and 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce for Golden Mushroom Soup and ketchup.

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Posted by: Erica Retrochef | May 31, 2014

Chicken Fantasia

This is the last recipe we’ll be featuring (for now) from the Fondue and Tabletop Cooking book. It was tagged with a post-it note: “I’m not really sure what this is, but wow…

6 small chicken breasts (about 2 1/2 pounds), boned and skinned
6 thin slices boiled ham
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup apricot preserves
2 tablespoons vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 8 3/4-ounce can pineapple tidbits
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup brandy

Place chicken breasts, boned side up, on cutting board. Working from center out, pound chicken lightly to make cutlets about 1/4 inch thick. Place a ham slice on each cutlet; tuck in sides and roll up jelly-roll fashion. Skewer or tie. In large skillet slowly brown chicken in butter. Stir in water, preserves, vinegar, salt, and dry mustard. Cook, covered, for 20 minutes.

Drain pineapple, reserving syrup. Blend cornstarch and reserved syrup. Stir cornstarch mixture and pineapple tidbits into sauce in skillet. Cook, uncovered, 15 minutes or till chicken is tender, turning chicken rolls once.

At serving time transfer chicken to blazer pan of chafing dish; garnish with canned apricot halves, if desired. Place over chafing dish burner. Pour sauce into heat-proof dish. In small saucepan warm brandy; at table pour brandy over sauce. Ignite immediately; spoon flaming sauce over chicken. Makes 6 servings.

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