Blueberry Pumpkin Muffins

If you're like me, you always have canned pumpkin in your pantry leftover from Thanksgiving. Here's a yummy way to use it up.


Blueberry Pumpkin Muffins
Recipe from old Libby's advertising

1 2/3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. allspice
1 cup Libby's Solid Pack Pumpkin 
1/4 cup undiluted evaporated milk
1/3 cup shortening
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup blueberries
1 tbsp. flour
streusel (recipe below)

Combine first six ingredients. Combine pumpkin and evaporated milk until blended. Cream shortening and sugar in large mixer bowl. Add egg; beat until mixture is fluffy. Add flour mixture alternately with pumpkin mixture, beating well after each addition. Combine blueberries and flour. Gently stir into batter. Fill 18 paper-lined muffin tins 3/4 full. Sprinkle streusel over top of muffins. Bake in moderate oven (350˚F) 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Note: For larger muffins, use 12 paper-lined muffin tins.

Streusel: Combine 2 tbsp. flour, 2 tbsp. sugar and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon. Cut in 1 tbsp. butter until mixture is crumbly.


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If you're dying to show the world your love of baked goods, this vintage-inspired swing dress is on sale for $55.99 here.


Old fashioned pumpkin cake

 This ad suggests you make pumpkin cake for Thanksgiving.

I don't think you have to wait that long.

It would work perfectly well for Halloween. Or pre-Halloween. Or any day in October, really.

Because cake.



Pumpkin Cake
Old recipe from vintage Dexo advertising

2/3 cup shortening
2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or 1 1/2 tsp. ground cloves, 1 tsp. ground ginger and 2 tsp. ground cinnamon)
3/4 cup milk ( whole is best, 2% is good, but don't use skim)
1 cup canned pumpkin

Measure shortening into a bowl. Sift flour, measure and sift again with baking powder, salt, sugar and spices onto the shortening. Add 1/2 cup milk and pumpkin. Blend. Beat 1 minute (count at least 150 strokes per minute). Add remaining milk and the eggs. Beat 2 minutes. Scrape, spoon and bowl often during beating. Bake in two greased and floured, deep, 8-inch layer pans in moderate oven, 375˚F, for about 35 minutes. When cool, frost with 7-minute frosting made with brown sugar.


 Growing up, my mother always made my Halloween costumes. But never anything like this. Yikes.

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Recipe via livejournal
Image via 

60s scotcheroos

You know what would make Rice Krispies Treats even better?

Chocolate and butterscotch.


Chocolate Scotcheroos
Retro recipe from 1960s Nestle's advertising

1 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup peanut butter
6 cups Kellogg's Rice Krispies
1 cup (6-oz. pkg. Nestle's Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
1 cup (6-oz. pkg.) Nestle's Butterscotch Morsels

1. Combine sugar and syrup in 3-quart saucepan. Cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until mixture begins to bubble. Remove form heat. Stir in peanut butter; mix well. Add Rice Krispies; stir well until blended. Press mixture into 13 x 9-inch pan.

2. Melt Nestles Chocolate and Butterscotch Morsels together over very low heat or over hot but not boiling water, stirring until well-blended. Remove from heat; spread evenly over Rice Krispies mixture. Cool until firm. Cut into bars.

Makes 48 bars, 2 x 1 inches each.



You've got to hand it to 3M. They managed to make a Scotch tape ad look sophisticated. 

Recipe via Shelf Life Taste Test
Scotch tape ad via my other blog Found in Mom's Basement

Cake mix pound cake

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Devil's Food Pound Cake
Retro recipe from 1969 Duncan Hines advertising

Duncan Hines Devil's Food Deluxe Cake Mix
1 pkg. chocolate instant pudding mix (4-serving size)
4 eggs
1 cup water
1/2 cup Crisco oil (use only Crisco oil as some other oils may cause the cake to fail)

Blend all ingredients and beat 2 minutes at medium speed. Put batter in greased and floured 10-inch tube pan.

Bake at 350˚ for 50 - 60 minutes until center springs back at light touch.

Cool right side up for about 25 minutes. Remove from pan.

Chocolate Glaze
Stir over low heat 2 tbsp. cocoa, 1 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. water, 1 tbs. Crisco oil, 1 tbsp. corn syrup until smooth. Remove from heat, beat in 1 cup confectioners' sugar (I would sift the sugar first). Drizzle over cake.



Ladies, I think you should wear red lipstick to make your Devil's Food Pound Cake.


Recipe via Obsequies
Image via Pirate Treasure

Mmmm, congo bars

When my high school cafeteria served congo bars a.k.a. blondies, I would forego the day's entree and buy two congo bars for my lunch. THAT's how good they are.


Congo Squares
Retro recipe from old Nestle advertising

2 3/4 cups sifted flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup shortening
2 1/4 cups brown sugar (1 lb. pkg.)
3 eggs
1 cup chopped nuts
1 pkg. Nestle’s Semi-sweet Chocolate Morsels

Mix and sift flour, baking powder and salt. Melt shortening and add brown sugar. Stir until well mixed. Allow to cool slightly. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add dry ingredients, then nuts and chocolate. Pour into greased pan about 10 1/2′ x 15 1/2 ” x 3/4″. Bake at 350˚ F for 25 - 30 minutes. 

When almost cool, cut into squares approximately 2″x2″. Makes 48 squares



This old photo has nothing to do with congo bars, it's just too wonderfully weird not to share.

The woman is adding hair to a wax head. The photo is from 1927.

Recipe via GenXZ
Image via Mitch O'Connell

Another chiffon cake recipe

According to Wikipedia, Harry Baker (that was really his name) invented the chiffon cake and sold the recipe to General Mills who, in turn, created 14 variations of the chiffon cake and published them in 1948 in a Betty Crocker pamphlet.


Sunburst Chiffon Cake
Old recipe from 1948 Betty Crocker advertising

Measure (level measurements throughout) and sift together into mixing bowl:
    2 cups sifted flour (spoon lightly into cup, do not pack)
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    3 tsp. double-acting baking powder
    1 tsp. salt

Make a well and add in order:
    1/2 cup salad oil
    7 unbeaten egg yolks (medium sized)
    grated rind of 2 oranges (about 3 tbsp.)
    3/4 cup cold water

Beat with spoon until smooth.

Measure into large mixing bowl:
    1 cup egg whites (7 or 8)
    1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

Whip until whites form very stiff peaks. They should be much stiffer than for Angel Food or meringue. Do not underbeat.

Pour egg yolk mixture gradually over whipped egg whites — gently folding with rubber scraper just until blended. Do not stir.

Pour into ungreased 10-inch tube pan, 4-inch deep, immediately. Bake 55 minutes in slow moderate oven (325˚), then increase to moderate oven (350˚) for 10 - 15 minutes, or until top springs back when lightly touched.

Note: Above recipe may also be baked in an oblong pan, 9 x 13 x 2-inch for 45 to 50 minutes in moderate oven (350˚).

Immediately turn pan upside down, placing tube part over neck of funnel or bottle, or resting edges of oblong pan on 2 other pans. Let hang , free of table, until cold. Loosen from sides and tube with spatula. Turn pan over and hit edge sharply on table to loosen. Serve slices of cake surrounding a bowl of 2 flavors of your favorite ice cream.



This chiffon dress is from the 1950s.  Va va va voom.


 Image via VintageVortex

Let them eat chiffon cake

I love chiffon cakes. They're light and rich at the same time.

According to Wikipedia, "The chiffon cake was invented in 1927 by Harry Baker, a California insurance salesman turned caterer."

His name was BAKER! 


Chiffon Cake
Old recipe from 1948 Mazola advertising

1 1/8 cups sifted cake flour, plus 2 tbsp.
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. double-acting baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup salad oil
3/8 cup water (1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp.)
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp. each, vanilla and lemon extract
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 cup egg whites (about 4)

Mix and sift first four ingredients. Make a well and add oil, water, egg yolks and flavorings. Beat until smooth. Add cream of tartar to egg whites. Beat until egg whites form very stiff peaks. Gently fold first mixture into egg whites until well blended. Fold, do not stir. Turn batter into ungreased 9-inch tube pan. Bake in moderate oven (325˚ F) about 1 hour or until cake springs back when touched lightly with finger. Immediately turn pan upside down, placing tube pan over neck of bottle. Let hang until cold. To remove from pan, loosen with spatula.

Strawberry Icing: To 2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar add 1/8 tsp. salt and 3 1/2 tbsp. juice from crushed berries. Mix until smooth. Spread over the top and sides of cake. 

Orange Icing: Substitute orange juice for berry juice in above recipe. Add 1 tsp. grated orange rind.



I know I've said this before but it's worth repeating. If you're used to using cake mixes, do make your next cake from scratch. It's just a tiny bit more work, but the flavor is so much better — you'll never go back to cake mixes.


Image via Suburban Soul

When is Eat Like a Pirate Day?

Today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day.



 Pirate's Pie
Retro recipe from a 1960s Star-Kist ad

2 (6 1/2 oz.) cans Star-Kist tuna, chunk style
3 eggs
4-oz. can sliced mushrooms
1 tbsp. chopped parsley
1 medium tomato, cut in 1/4-inch slices
4 slices American cheese
1 envelope instant mashed potato mix (or 2 cups mashed potatoes)

Beat eggs slightly and add to separated chunks of tuna. Add mushrooms and parsley. Place mixture in bottom of well-greased 9" pie tin. Top with tomato slices and 3 cheese slices. Prepare mashed potato mix (using 1/2 cup less liquid than package directions call for). Spoon potatoes over cheese. Cut remaining cheese slice (diagonally in half) and top mashed potatoes with slices. Bake at 375˚ for 30 minutes or until potatoes are lightly browned and cheese melts. Cut into wedges and serve hot. Garnish with parsley. Serves 6 generously.


The Puffy Shirt ("like pirates used to wear") is one of my favorite Seinfeld episodes. It originally aired in 1993.


Recipe via Livejournal

Old recipe for German kuchen

According to Wikipedia, kuchen is "the German word for cake... used in other languages as the name for several different types of sweet desserts, pastries, and gateaux."


Apple Kuchen
Recipe from old Betty Crocker advertising

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 pckg. Betty Crocker yellow cake mix
1/2 cup flaked, sweetened coconut
2 1/2 cups sliced, pared baking apples
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup sour cream 
2 egg yolks or 1 egg
Heat oven to 350˚.

Cut butter into dry cake mix until crumbly. Mix in coconut. Pat mixture lightly into ungreased oblong pan, 13 x 9 x 2 inches, building up slight edges.

Bake for 10 minutes.

Arrange apple slices on warm crust. Mix sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle on apples.

Blend sour cream and egg yolks; drizzle over apples. Note that the topping will not completely cover apples.

Bake 25 minutes or until edges are light brown. Do not over bake.

Serve warm. Makes 12 to 15 servings.

PEAR KUCHEN: Substitute 2 (16 oz. each) cans sliced pears, drained on paper towels, for the apples and 1 package of Betty Crocker devils food cake mix or German chocolate cake mix for the yellow cake mix.

PEACH KUCHEN: Substitute 1 can (29 oz.) sliced peaches, drained on paper towels, for the apples and 1 package of Betty Crocker white cake mix or sour cream white cake mix for the yellow cake mix.



According to Libby Hall, this woman is sitting in a German kitchen. Such a sweet scene.

Recipe via Extra Crispy One

Time for pie

If I make a pie, my husband will eat it for breakfast.

I, on the other hand, will eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks until it's gone.


Old-Fashioned Apple Pie
Old recipe from a 1960s Pillsbury recipe booklet

Prepare pastry for two-crust pie as directed on package of Pillsbury pie crust mix. Fit bottom crust loosely into 9-inch pie pan.

In a small bowl, combine and set aside:
   3/4 to 1 cup sugar (depending on the sweetness of the apples)
   2 tbsp. flour
   1 tsp. grated lemon rind
   1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
   1/4 tsp. salt

Arrange 6 cups of pared and sliced apples (6 medium) in closely packed layers in pastry-lined pan, sprinkling cinnamon-sugar mixture over each layer.

Sprinkle 1 tbsp. lemon juice over apples. Dot with 2 tbsp. of butter.

Roll out remaining dough. Cut slits for escape of steam. Moisten rim of bottom crust. Place top crust over filling. Fold edge under bottom crust, pressing to seal. Flute.

Bake at 450˚F for 10 minutes, then lower temperature to 375˚ and bake for another 40 to 50 minutes until golden brown.



Back in the day, home bakers baked ceramic pie birds into their pies to allow steam to escape while baking. When not in use, pie birds made adorable kitchen knick knacks.


 Images via Bakepedia and Country Living