Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Historical Recipe: Candy Cane Cookies

I have fond memories of making Candy Cane Cookies as a kid. But whenever I tried making them as an adult, they never worked out very well - until this year!

The recipe we made came from my mom's 1960s or 70s Betty Crocker cookbook which fell apart ages ago. Yes, it may be a stretch that I call these "historical", but since the recipe came out before I was born, I'm going with it. Luckily, you can easily find the recipe online still! Here's the link.

A few notes though. Once the dough is all mixed up, and before you add the red dye to half, if your dough looks more like soft chocolate chip cookie dough (i.e. drop cookie consistency), then you definitely need more flour - or it won't work no matter how long you chill it! We ended up having to add an entire 1 1/2 cups more flour until it had some more body to it. Then we chilled it over night.

Once the dough is chilled, you have to work quickly while handling it, because it warms up in your hands pretty fast. My kids and I had a fun time making the candy cane shapes, candy cane sticks, wreaths, and knots. And when we ran out of white, we made a couple red chickens cookies. haha!

The recipe is a bit of an ordeal, but so iconic for the season, and definitely worth eating and sharing!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Free Ebook Link

Starting today until December 10th, you can get my ebook, The War Between Us, for free on Amazon! Here's the link!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Book Giveaway!

To celebrate the one year anniversary of publishing my WWII historical fiction book, The War Between Us, I'm giving away 3 signed copies of my book on Goodreads!

<-------- Check out the link to the left to enter the giveaway! <---------

And if you'd like to learn more about my book, just check out the "My Author Page" tab at the top. I work hard to keep this blog non-profit, and try not to advertise for personal monetary gain on here. If it's something I'm giving for free, then I think that's a different category. :-)

Also, next week, in honor of Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, from December 6th - 10th, you can snag my e-book for free on Amazon. I'll post a link for that later.

I just really want to make it possible for people to be able to read my book, learn about the story of a lesser-known American minority during WWII, and to (hopefully!) enjoy a historical fiction to further instill that love of history! This was my way of honoring the sacrifice and memory of so many during such a tumultuous time in our American history.

Thanks for your support!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Ration Recipe: Squash Gems

I've encountered several recipes for what are called "gems", which are essentially muffins. I haven't figured out why some are called muffins and others are called gems, but Squash Gems sounded quite delightful, so with squash season upon us, I thought I'd give them a try!

I decided to add some dried zante currants (mini raisins), because I like things in my muffins.

 It looks pretty tasty, doesn't it? Well, it was! It had a delicate flavor and was a nice addition to breakfast and as a snack.


As you can see, it's a pretty standard muffin recipe. I just love that they're called gems. It makes them seem more special somehow! 😉

Squash Gems
New American Cook Book, ca. 1945

Sunday, November 27, 2016


I'm so happy to have won NaNoWriMo! (National Novel Writer's Month) I wrote 56,000+ words by the 24th, and while my first draft isn't finished, it's got a great start. Hooray! 😁

I'm hoping to get back to posting more on here now that most of the craziness of writing is behind me. Holiday times is always full of such delicious food and recipes to try, and exploring war-time recipes is no exception.

I was thrilled to have found a recipe for Vanilla Wafers in my copy of The Boston Cooking School Cook Book! It's one of those modern things that you don't think of making yourself, because it's easy to just go buy them in the store. But, I've noticed that store-bought Vanilla Wafers have this weird waxy after taste that I don't like, so I'm excited to try out this vintage recipe for them.

Besides that, there are so many cookie and cake and pie recipes to try, I'll never catch up! haha!
But I did want to share a 1940s Berry Pie recipe that I tried a few months ago that turned out really yummy. I love that this recipe is simple, uses honey, and you can use any berry you happen to have. When I made it, I used blackberries. So delicious! I even attempted a lattice-top crust, and with the help of my puzzle/logic-minded son, it turned out pretty well! I wish I could find the photo I took of it, but I can't. Oh well! Here's the recipe!

I think this came from one of my Westinghouse Health-for-Victory cookbooks, but I'm not sure which one. It's definitely from a wartime book in my collection though!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016


After a month of solid posting, I'm going to be a bit scarce around my blog for a while. I'm attempting NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writer's Month), where I have to write a novel of at least 50,000 words by November 30th! I'm working on a new book (though old in concept), and am excited to get this last push of writing done before I have my baby. I miss writing and working on a book, so this will be a good goal. Wish me luck!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Day 31: Coca-Cola Halloween Party + a Bonus Recipe!

Happy Halloween Everyone!

The last post in my series is this fantastic Coke ad from the November 1944 issue of the Ladies Home Journal. For wartime Halloween, parties over trick o' treating were really encouraged, and this is a great illustration of that. I really like the action in this picture and seeing all the teens' costumes - especially that weird ghost one with the pumpkin head! haha!

Halloween Coke Ad
Ladies Home Journal, Nov. 1944
I also found an interesting article about Halloween in wartime that I thought you might enjoy:
America in WWII - "A Wartime Halloween". Wartime affected Halloween traditions quite a bit!

And now for the bonus recipe!

My friend, Loris, loaned me her October 1941 issue of Woman's Home Companion, since she knew I was working on this project. The back of the magazine had this huge, amazing looking Pillsbury ad, and it immediately caught my eye. I thought it would be the perfect ending to my series along with the Coke ad.

Cranberry Apple Pie
Woman's Home Companion, ca. 1941
Cranberry apple is a fantastic combination, but this recipe is interesting in that it has you add orange juice and ground orange rind to the pie crust. Yum! The only problem - it calls for halving the cranberries. Man, what a pain! haha!

I also love these little bits on the side.

Here's a variation for Mock Cherry using cranberries and raisins! What a neat idea! I will definitely have to test that one out.

A standard apple pie, with not only white sugar, but brown as well. This magazine was published before the war and sugar rationing, so no being shy with granulated sugar here!

Now the really cool thing - each bag of Pillsbury had Thrift Stars you could collect and turn in for silk stockings and other "valuable merchandise." Pretty cool! Too bad we still can't do that... haha!

Thanks for joining me for my series "A Month of Autumn Wartime Recipes & Food!" It's been a lot of fun, and I hope you've come away inspired with some 1940s wartime recipes to try. 

I had so much fun, I just might do a series for each season, though maybe only posting once a week during the season. I have a busy time ahead with expecting a baby this winter and all! :-)

Have a wonderful autumn season!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Day 30: High Jinks Gives a Halloween Party!

Oh, boy! I've been holding onto this one to save it for near the end. I hunted down this October 1942 issue of Woman's Home Companion because of this very article. I've only found two articles so far specifically written about celebrating Halloween, so having this one is pretty exciting! I hope you enjoy it too!

This photo is so fun! I wonder how they got through that doorway with the gigantic spider web in the way? (Which is totally cool, by the way!) 

Click on the photos to enlarge the photos and read the article.

And as a bonus (yes, I'm cramming them in now!), is the last October Food Calendar I have. This one is from the October 1943 issue of Woman's Home Journal

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Day 29: Apple-Peanut-Butter Crumble + Bonus Halloween Menus!

For me, autumn wouldn't be the same without an apple crisp or crumble of some kind. But an Apple-Peanut-Butter-Crumble?! Wow! What an interesting, fun twist! Today's post comes from the November 1942 Ladies Home Journal. Give it a try!

Apple-Peanut-Butter Crumble
Ladies Home Journal, Nov. 1942

I couldn't fit everything in I wanted to for this series, (just think of all the Thanksgiving stuff I'm neglecting!) so I'm doubling up near the end! 

The great thing about these menu cookbooks is that they have menus for a bunch of holidays, including some you wouldn't think needed its own menu like Washington's Birthday or Armistice Day! The Halloween ones are really fun, so here are a few menus from two different cookbooks. 

It's really neat that they include a "market order", so shopping is at-a-glance easy. 
Isn't that Jack O'Lantern Cocktail fun?? What a great idea! This one comes from the Alice Bradley Menu-Cook-Book
Hallow-een Dinner Menu
Alice Bradley Menu-Cook-Book, ca. 1944
 Both of these come from the Lily Wallace New American Cook Book. The numbers next to the names correspond to the recipe number, so it's an easy matter to turn to that recipe in the cookbook and make it! I love this method of organizing. It's so easy to find exactly the recipe you need.

Hallowe'en Dinner and Buffet Suppers Menus
Lily Wallace's New American Cook Book, ca. 1945
If there's a recipe you really want to know more about from these menus, just let me know, and I'll look it up! My friend Loris, raves about that Shrimp Wiggle, so it's already on my list of things to try. :-)

Friday, October 28, 2016

Day 28: Halloween Party Cake

Halloween is getting close and today's Spry ad for a Halloween Party Cake is a perfect wartime way to celebrate! This comes from the October 1942 Woman's Home Companion. The recipe for this cake calls for honey, which is always interesting when chocolate is concerned. The marshmallow frosting uses corn syrup. So, no sugar used at all, which would have saved on your sugar ration.

I love the artwork on this one too. Very festive!

Halloween Party Cake
Woman's Home Companion, October 1942
They were still spelling Halloween the old-fashioned way. 

Some other holiday party suggestions:

 Here are the recipes for the cake and the marshmallow frosting. And check out the Halloween decorating tips!