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Recipes for Old School Cooking

Remember the fabulous ’50s? From traditional Sunday dinners with the whole family gathered around the table to Saturday night bridge games with friends and finger food, “made from scratch” was always on the menu. Here are the extra recipes we promised that go along with those found in the October/November issue.

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Broccoli Polonaise

Broccoli Polonaise

Many grandmothers served vegetables polonaise-style, which means topped with a mixture of butter, bread crumbs, parsley, and hard-cooked egg. You also can serve this topping over steamed asparagus or cauliflower.

1  pound fresh broccoli spears or 1 package (16 ounces) frozen broccoli spears
1  tablespoon butter or margarine
1⁄3   cup seasoned fine dry bread crumbs
2   tablespoons minced parsley
1⁄2   teaspoon grated lemon rind
1⁄8   teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
1  hard-cooked large egg, finely chopped

1. In a large saucepan, bring 1⁄2 inch of water to a boil over high heat. Add the fresh broccoli. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 8 to 10 minutes or until crisp-tender. (Or, cook the frozen broccoli according to package directions.) Drain and arrange the broccoli on a platter.

2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the butter over moderate heat until lightly browned. Stir in the bread crumbs, parsley, lemon rind, ground red pepper, and hard-cooked egg. Spoon over the cooked broccoli.

Makes 4 servings.
Prep Time: 10 minutes  Cooking Time: 13 minutes

1 Serving: Calories 110. Total Fat 5 g. Saturated Fat 2 g.
Protein 6 g. Carbohydrate 12 g. Fiber 4 g.
Sodium 147 mg. Cholesterol 61 mg.

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Ladies' Luncheon Cream Cheese-Date Sandwiches

Ladies’ Luncheon Cream Cheese-Date Sandwiches

Old-time cookbooks often did not give specific recipes for sandwich fillings. They just listed ingredients and expected cooks to know how to put them together. One favorite combination was cream cheese mixed with dates or raisins and nuts.

4   ounces Neufchâtel cream cheese, at room temperature
1⁄2   cup chopped pitted dates
1⁄4   cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
1⁄4    cup chopped pecans, toasted
8     thin slices cinnamon-raisin or raisin bread

1. In a small bowl, stir together the Neufchâtel cream cheese, dates, and mayonnaise until well mixed. Stir in the pecans.

2. Trim the crusts from the bread. Using small cookie cutters (or hors d’oeuvre cutters), cut bread into desired shapes.

3. Spread the Neufchâtel cheese mixture on half of the bread shapes. Top with the matching remaining bread shapes and decorate with cream cheese, raspberries, fresh mint, or other toppings as desired.

Makes about 16 sandwiches.
Prep Time: 20 minutes

1 Sandwich: Calories 89. Total Fat 4 g. Saturated Fat 1 g.
Protein 2 g. Carbohydrate 12 g. Fiber 1 g.
Sodium 97 mg. Cholesterol 6 mg.

Ladies’ Luncheon Peanut Butter Sandwiches

Prepare as for Ladies’ Luncheon Cream Cheese-Date Sandwiches, substituting 1⁄2 cup reduced-fat peanut butter for the Neufchâtel cheese.

1 Sandwich: Calories 119. Total Fat 6 g. Saturated Fat 1 g.
Protein 3 g. Carbohydrate 15 g. Fiber 1 g.
Sodium 103 mg. Cholesterol 1 mg.

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Giblet Gravy

Giblet Gravy

Rinse the turkey neck and giblets. Refrigerate the liver. In a large saucepan, combine the remaining giblets, neck, and 4 cups water. Add 1 medium-size yellow onion, cut into wedges; 1 large carrot, cut into chunks; 2 sprigs parsley; 1⁄2 teaspoon salt; and 1⁄4 teaspoon white or black pepper. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 40 minutes. Add liver. Continue cooking for 20 minutes more or until tender. Strain broth, reserving 11⁄3 cups. Reserve giblets and neck; discard vegetables. When cool enough to handle, remove meat from neck; discard neck bones. Finely chop the neck meat and giblets; set aside.

In a Dutch oven, whisk together reserved pan drippings, 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated skimmed milk, 1⁄3 cup all-purpose flour, 1⁄4 teaspoon salt, and 1⁄4 teaspoon white or black pepper. Cook over moderate heat until bubbly. Add the reserved broth. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture starts to thicken. Cook and whisk for 2 minutes more or until thickened. Stir in neck meat and giblets; heat through.

Makes 3 cups.

1⁄4 Cup: Calories 77. Total Fat 2 g. Saturated Fat 1 g.
Protein 7 g. Carbohydrate 6 g. Fiber 0 g.
Sodium 147 mg. Cholesterol 102 mg.

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Plum Conserves

Plum Conserves

What’s a conserve? It’s a jam made with two or three different fruits plus raisins and nuts.

3   cups sugar
2   pounds plums
1   orange
1   cup golden raisins
1   package (13⁄4 ounces) powdered fruit pectin
3    tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger
1⁄2   teaspoon ground coriander
1⁄2   teaspoon butter or margarine
1⁄2   cup coarsely chopped pecans

1. Prepare 6 half-pint jars and lids (tip, above). Measure sugar into a bowl; set aside. Finely chop plums, orange (with peel), and raisins; transfer to a 6- to 8-quart kettle or Dutch oven. Stir in the pectin, ginger, coriander, and butter. Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Quickly stir in the sugar. Return to a full rolling boil and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in the pecans. Remove from heat. Skim off foam.

2. Immediately ladle into jars, filling to within 1⁄8 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Quickly cover with lids; screw firmly. To seal, invert jars for 5 minutes, then turn upright. To set conserves, let stand at room temperature for 24 hours. Check the seal on each jar (tip, left). Store in cool, dark place (will keep for 1 year).

Makes 6 half-pints.
Prep Time: 25 minutes  Cooking Time: 7 minutes
Standing Time: 24 hours

1 Tablespoon: Calories 42. Total Fat 1 g. Saturated Fat 0 g.
Protein 0 g. Carbohydrate 10 g. Fiber 0 g.
Sodium 1 mg. Cholesterol 0 mg.

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Blue-Ribbon Grape Jelly

Blue-Ribbon Grape Jelly

Farm wives relied on the natural pectin in grapes to set jelly. Today, commercial pectin gives the set.

41⁄2   cups sugar
3  cups unsweetened grape juice
1  cup cranberry juice cocktail
3   tablespoons lemon juice
2   teaspoons grated lemon rind
1   package (13⁄4 ounces) powdered fruit pectin
1⁄2  teaspoon butter or margarine

1. Prepare 6 half-pint jars and lids (tip, above left). Measure the sugar into a bowl; set aside. In a 6- to 8-quart kettle or Dutch oven, combine grape juice, cranberry juice, lemon juice, and lemon rind.

2. Stir in pectin and butter. Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Quickly stir in sugar. Return to full rolling boil and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off foam.

3. Immediately ladle into the prepared jars, filling to within 1⁄8 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Quickly cover with the lids; screw firmly. To seal, invert the jars for 5 minutes, then turn upright. To set the jelly, let stand at room temperature for 24 hours. Check the seal on each jar (tip, above left). Store in a cool, dark place (will keep for 1 year).

Makes 6 half-pints.
Prep Time: 15 minutes  Cooking Time: 7 minutes
Standing Time: 24 hours

1 Tablespoon: Calories 45. Total Fat 0 g. Saturated Fat 0 g.
Protein 0 g. Carbohydrate 11 g. Fiber 0 g.
Sodium 1 mg. Cholesterol 0 mg.

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Eat-It-By-the-Handful Popcorn and Nut Mix

Eat-It-By-the-Handful Popcorn and Nut Mix

This honeyed snack tastes a lot like old-fashioned popcorn balls, but is much easier to make.

10   cups air-popped popcorn
1   cup lightly salted dry-roasted mixed nuts
1⁄4   cup honey
2    tablespoons orange juice
2    tablespoons butter or margarine
1    teaspoon grated orange rind
1⁄4   teaspoon ground cinnamon or nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place popcorn and mixed nuts in a 13″ x 9″ x 2″ baking pan.

2. In a small saucepan, stir together the honey, orange juice, butter, orange rind, and cinnamon until well mixed. Bring to a boil over moderate heat. Drizzle the honey mixture over the popcorn and nuts. Using a wooden spoon, toss until well mixed. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring twice.

3. Spread popcorn mixture onto a large sheet of foil. Cool completely. To store, place in a tightly covered container.

Makes 7 cups.
Prep Time: 10 minutes  Cooking Time: 18 minutes

1 Cup: Calories 228. Total Fat 14 g. Saturated Fat 4 g.
Protein 5 g. Carbohydrate 24 g. Fiber 4 g.
Sodium 166 mg. Cholesterol 9 mg.

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Orange Eggnog Punch

Orange Eggnog Punch

This traditional holiday beverage gets fresh sparkle and flavor from the addition of ginger ale and orange juice.

1   quart reduced-fat dairy eggnog or 1 can (1 quart) eggnog
1    can (12 ounces) frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1    can (12 ounces) ginger ale, chilled

1. In a pitcher, stir eggnog and orange juice concentrate until well mixed.

2. Pour in ginger ale and stir gently.

Makes eight 7-ounce servings.
Prep Time: 5 minutes

1 Serving: Calories 177. Total Fat 4 g. Saturated Fat 2 g.
Protein 7 g. Carbohydrate 28 g. Fiber 0 g.
Sodium 82 mg. Cholesterol 97 mg.

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Chicken and Noodles

Chicken and Noodles

“I remember going to Grandma Martin’s for chicken and noodles,” recalls octogenarian Mildred Steffens. “She always served it with biscuits on the side, but other families I knew served it over mashed potatoes.”

21⁄2 to 3 pounds chicken breasts, thighs, and drumsticks
4  cups lower-sodium chicken broth (page 67)
2   large carrots, cut into 1⁄2-inch slices
1    large yellow onion, chopped
1    teaspoon celery seed (optional)
1⁄4   teaspoon each salt and pepper
1    package (8 ounces) frozen noodles or 6 ounces medium-size regular noodles
1⁄4    cup cold water
2     tablespoons all-purpose flour

1. Remove and discard chicken skin. Rinse chicken; drain and pat dry. In a Dutch oven, combine chicken, broth, carrots, onion, celery seed (if using), salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, about 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from broth mixture. Set broth mixture aside. Cool chicken; remove and discard bones. Cut meat into bite-size pieces.

2. Bring broth mixture to a boil over high heat. Add noodles. Return to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes for frozen noodles (6 minutes for regular noodles).

3. Add chicken pieces. In a small bowl, whisk together the cold water and flour. Stir into the chicken mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture starts to thicken. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more or until the mixture is thickened. Serve over mashed potatoes.

Makes 4 servings.
Prep Time: 20 minutes  Cooking Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

1 Serving: Calories 420. Total Fat 10 g. Saturated Fat 2 g.
Protein 40 g. Carbohydrate 42 g. Fiber 3 g.
Sodium 241 mg. Cholesterol 130 mg.

Turkey and Noodles

Prepare as for Chicken and Noodles, substituting 1 pound turkey breast tenderloin for the chicken. Simmer the turkey with the carrots, onion, celery seed (if using), salt, and pepper about 25 minutes or until the turkey is cooked through. Remove the turkey from broth mixture. Set broth mixture aside. Cool turkey; cut into bite-size pieces. Cook noodles and thicken as directed in steps 2 and 3 of Chicken and Noodles.

1 Serving: Calories 329. Total Fat 3 g. Saturated Fat 0 g.
Protein 32 g. Carbohydrate 42 g. Fiber 3 g.
Sodium 203 mg. Cholesterol 103 mg.

Chicken with Homemade Noodles

Prepare as for Chicken and Noodles, but omit the noodles and make the homemade noodles as follows. In a medium-size bowl, combine 1 large egg, lightly beaten; 3 tablespoons low-fat (1% milkfat) milk; and 1⁄4 teaspoon salt. Stir in 11⁄4 cups all-purpose flour to form a stiff dough. Roll out and cut noodles (tip, below). Let stand at room temperature for 2 hours to dry. To store noodles, place in an airtight container and refrigerate up to 3 days. (Or, place in a freezer container and freeze.)

Add the homemade noodles to the boiling broth mixture. Return to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Add chicken pieces and thicken as directed in step 3 of Chicken and Noodles.

1 Serving: Calories 425. Total Fat 9 g. Saturated Fat 3 g.
Protein 41 g. Carbohydrate 42 g. Fiber 3 g.
Sodium 386 mg. Cholesterol 154 mg.

How to Cut Noodles

1. Roll dough to an 1A 8-inch-thick rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Let stand 20 minutes. Loosely roll up the dough.

2. Use a sharp knife to cut the roll into slices, about 1⁄8 inch wide. Unroll the slices and cut into 3-inch lengths.

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Poppy Seed Pinwheels

Poppy Seed Pinwheels

Women of European ancestry used poppy seed filling to give their breads an attractive swirl and pleasing crunch. Look for the prepared filling in the baking section of your supermarket.

2⁄3   cup lukewarm water (105° to 115°F.)
2  packages active dry yeast
2   tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
2   large egg whites
1   large egg
2⁄3     cup low-fat (1% milkfat) milk
3    tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1⁄2   teaspoon salt
2    cups whole-wheat flour
21⁄2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
1  can (121⁄2 ounces) poppy seed cake and pastry filling

1. In a large bowl, combine the water, yeast, and brown sugar. Let stand for 10 minutes or until foamy. Stir in the egg whites, egg, milk, butter, and salt. Using a wooden spoon, beat in the whole-wheat flour, then beat in enough of the all-purpose flour, 1 cup at a time, to make a soft dough.

2. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 6 to 8 minutes or until smooth and elastic, adding  only as much of the remaining flour as needed. Transfer the dough to a large buttered bowl, turning to coat with the butter. Cover loosely; let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes to 11⁄4 hours or until doubled in size.

3. Punch down the dough; divide in half. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll each half into a 14×7-inch rectangle. Spread half of the poppy seed filling over each rectangle to within 1⁄2 inch of edges. Starting at a short side, roll up the dough jelly-roll style. Place, smooth sides up, in 2 lightly greased 8″ x 4″ x 2″ loaf pans. Cover and let rise for 30 to 45 minutes more or until doubled in size.

4. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden and bread sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. (If the loaves seem to be browning too quickly, lay foil loosely over the tops.) Turn out onto wire racks to cool.

Makes 2 loaves (32 servings).
Prep Time: 45 minutes  Rising Time: 11⁄4 hours
Cooking Time: 25 minutes

1 Serving: Calories 112. Total Fat 2 g. Saturated Fat 1 g.
Protein 3 g. Carbohydrate 19 g. Fiber 1 g.
Sodium 59 mg. Cholesterol 10 mg.

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Best-Ever Shortcake

Best-Ever Shortcake

“Grandma Lola used eggs, butter, cream, and milk from her farm. Her shortcake biscuits were very rich and tender and she always topped them with fresh picked strawberries,” recalls Jeanette Davidson. For birthdays and other special occasions, you can bake this shortcake in heart-shaped pans-there’s enough to serve 16.

3   cups all-purpose flour
2⁄3  cup sugar
1  tablespoon baking powder
2⁄3   cup butter or margarine
1   cup low-fat (1% milkfat) milk
2   large egg whites
1    large egg
6    cups fresh or frozen and thawed, sliced, strawberries or sliced, peeled, peaches
1⁄4    cup sugar

For the whipped cream topping:
2    cups heavy cream
1⁄4    cup sugar
1    teaspoon vanilla
1⁄2   teaspoon almond extract

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Lightly grease 2 heart-shaped cake pans or two 8-inch round cake pans.

2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, the 2⁄3 cup sugar, and the baking powder. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl, combine the milk, egg whites, and egg. Add to the flour mixture all at once and stir just until mixture is moistened.

3. Spread dough evenly into the prepared pans. Bake for 14 to 17 minutes or just until toothpicks inserted in centers come out clean (do not overbake). Place pans upright on wire racks for 10 minutes. Using narrow metal spatula, loosen sides of cake layers from pans.

4. Meanwhile, toss the fruit with 1⁄4 cup sugar, then let stand to form juice. To prepare the whipped cream topping, in a large chilled bowl, combine the heavy cream, 1⁄4 cup sugar, the vanilla, and almond extract. With a rotary beater or chilled beaters and an electric mixer on Medium, beat until soft peaks form.

5. To assemble the shortcake, place 1 warm cake layer on a serving plate. Top with half of the fruit mixture. Top with the second warm cake layer, right side up. Top with remaining fruit mixture. Serve with the whipped cream topping.

Makes 16 servings.
Prep Time: 25 minutes  Cooking Time: 14 minutes

1 Serving with Topping: Calories 343. Total Fat 20 g.
Saturated Fat 12 g. Protein 5 g. Carbohydrate 38 g.
Fiber 2 g. Sodium 201 mg. Cholesterol 76 mg.

Frosted Shortcake

Prepare as for Best-Ever Shortcake, decreasing from 6 cups to 2 cups sliced strawberries or peaches and omitting the 1⁄4 cup sugar tossed with the fruit. Also, omit the whipped cream topping and prepare an icing as follows. In a large bowl, stir together 1 box (16 ounces) confectioners sugar, sifted (41⁄2 cups); 1⁄4 cup low-fat (1% milkfat) milk; and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until icing is thin enough to drizzle. To assemble the shortcake, cool the cakes completely. Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate. Drizzle the layer with half of the icing; top with the fruit. Top with the second cake layer, right side up. Drizzle with the remaining icing.

1 Serving with Icing: Calories 318. Total Fat 9 g.
Saturated Fat 5 g. Protein 4 g. Carbohydrate 57 g.
Fiber 1 g. Sodium 192 mg. Cholesterol 35 mg.

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Favourite Oatmeal Cookies

Favourite Oatmeal Cookies

Grandma dropped her cookie dough from a spoon, but a small ice cream scoop can make the job go quicker and easier.

2   cups all-purpose flour
2    teaspoons ground cinnamon
1   teaspoon baking powder
1   teaspoon baking soda
2    cups sugar
1    cup butter or margarine, at room temperature
1⁄4    cup low-fat (1% milkfat) milk
2     large egg whites
2     large eggs
2      teaspoons vanilla
3      cups old-fashioned (5 minutes) or quick-cooking (1 minute) rolled oats

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a medium-size bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on Medium, cream the sugar and butter until light yellow and fluffy, scraping side of bowl often. Add the milk, egg whites, eggs, and vanilla, beating well. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour mixture just until flour disappears. Stir in the oats.

2. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are light brown. Remove cookies and cool on wire racks.

Makes about 42.
Prep Time: 15 minutes  Cooking Time: 32 minutes

1 Cookie: Calories 125. Total Fat 5 g. Saturated Fat 3 g.
Protein 2 g. Carbohydrate 18 g. Fiber 1 g.
Sodium 93 mg. Cholesterol 22 mg.

Raisin ‘n’ Walnut Oatmeal Cookies

Prepare as for Favorite Oatmeal Cookies, adding 11⁄2 cups raisins or 1 package (8 ounces) chopped pitted dates and 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts with the oats. Makes about 48 cookies.

1 Cookie: Calories 141. Total Fat 6 g. Saturated Fat 3 g.
Protein 2 g. Carbohydrate 21 g. Fiber 1 g.
Sodium 82 mg. Cholesterol 19 mg.