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February 2013

Retro Happy Hour: 3 rum drinks from 1959

Retro cocktails

Planters Punch

Juice of 1/2 lime or lemon
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. Grenadine
1 1/2 jiggers Pilgrim Rum

Shake well with cracked ice. Pour into 12 oz. glass filled with finely cracked ice. Decorate with fruit.


1 jigger Pilgrim Rum
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 tsp. sugar

Shake well with cracked ice. Strain into cocktail glass.

Cuba Libre

Juice of 1/2 lime
1 jigger Pilgrim Rum
Bottle of your favorite cola

Pour over ice cubes in 12 oz. glass. Drop in squeezed lime shell.

Click here for a 1940s punch recipe.

Via alsis35

Add some retro to your tomato juice

This 1960 ad from Sunkist suggests you squirt some fresh lemon juice into your tomato juice.

I don't drink tomato juice. Not even as a Bloody Mary. Very strange, I know. But I do love lemons. And they look so pretty in this ad, I couldn't resist.

Tomato juice 1960

Click here for another retro way to doctor up your tomato juice.

Via Pinterest

Retro Recipe: Homemade Chocolate Sauce

Why buy chocolate sauce when making it is so easy?

Chocolate sauce

This retro recipe is from Hershey's.

2 oz. Hershey's Baking Chocolate, melted
1 tbsp. melted butter
1/3 cup boiling water
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp. light corn syrup
1/2 tsp. vanilla
few grains salt

Melt chocolate in double boiler. Add butter. Add boiling water gradually. Bring to a boil, add sugar and corn syrup. Boil 5 minutes. Cool. Add vanilla and salt.

 Click here for a retro recipe for Warmed Fruit Cocktail Sauce.

Via Eudaemonius

Retro Dessert: Cream Cheese Clouds

This recipe is so easy, I'm surprised there's no Jell-O in it.

1990 cr cheese clouds

This 1989 recipe from the National Dairy Board makes 10 Cream Cheese Clouds.

1 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. heavy cream
1 can cherry pie filling
chopped nuts (optional)

Mix cream cheese, sugar and vanilla at medium speed on electric mixer. Gradually add heavy cream; mix well. Whip until thickened. Using the back of a spoon, shape into ten 3 1/2" shells. Place on wax paper-lined cookie sheet. Freeze two hours or overnight. When ready to serve, fill with cherry pie filling. Sprinkle chopped nuts on top if desired. Makes 10. 


Retro Recipe: Magic Chocolate Pie

If ever there was an excuse to treat yourself, it's the month of February.

In New England, it's the coldest, bleakest, most unforgiving month of the year. The only reason I get through the month year after year is that my birthday falls in the middle of February.

Your birthday isn't in February? That's what Magic Chocolate Pie is for.

Chocolate fudge pie

This recipe for Magic Chocolate Pie comes from a 1950s Borden recipe booklet.

1 (8-inch) pastry shell, baked and cooled
1 1/3 cups (15-oz. can) Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 squares (2 oz.) unsweetened chocolate
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped.

1. Pour Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk into top of double boiler. Add chocolate and salt.

2. Cook over rapidly boiling water, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and drops, rather than runs from spoon, about 4 to 8 minutes. (Cooking time varies with type of utensil used.)

3. Stir in water gradually, keeping mixture smooth.

4. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until mixture again thickens slightly, about 1 to 3 minutes. (If glassware double boiler is used, cover, do not stir, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until mixture thickens slightly.)

5. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Pour into pastry shell.

6. Cool at room temperature for about 1/2 hour; then, chill in refrigerator for at least 3 hours. Top with whipped cream.

Click here for a retro recipe for Peanut Pie.

Via Vintage Midcentury

Retro Recipe: Banana Smoothie

In 1952, this was called a milk shake. Today, it's a smoothie.


The 1952 recipe says: Take a fully ripe banana. Simply press it through a sieve. Stir into a glass of chilled milk and mix thoroughly.

Today, you could use a traditional blender or an immersion blender.

Click here to learn how to make a 7-Up Float.

Via Alsis35

Retro Recipe: Warmed Fruit Cocktail Sauce

This recipe is officially called "Fruit Cocktail Hot."

Hello? Rule number one of recipe creation is: come up with a delicious-sounding name for your recipe. So I've decided to refer to this as Warmed Fruit Cocktail Sauce.

Now doesn't that sound much better?

Retro recipe

Here's the recipe for Warmed Fruit Cocktail Sauce.

3 1/2 cups (27 - 29 oz.) of canned fruit cocktail
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1 orange
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 3" stick cinnamon
8 whole cloves

Drain syrup from fruit cocktail into saucepan. Blend sugar, cornstarch. Grate rind from orange, squeeze juice. (About 1/4 to 1/3 cup.) Combine ingredients except fruit. Cook and stir until mixture boils and thickens. Add fruit; heat. Serve hot on cake, vanilla pudding or ice cream. Makes 4 cups of sauce.

 Click here for another retro recipe using fruit cocktail.

Via Shelf Life Taste Test

In honor of Presidents Day: recipes for Abe Lincoln's favorite cake and a Washington cream pie

This very old cake recipe was featured in an article of the Saturday Evening Post, February 1957. The man and woman in the photo are the grandparents of one of my dearest friends.

According to the article, Mary Todd Lincoln made this cake for Abraham Lincoln before they were married. He is said to have declared it, "the best in Kentucky."

Abe lincoln's favorite cake

Here's the recipe for Abe Lincoln's favorite cake; Florence McMurtry's baking hints are in parentheses.

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 cup milk
3 cups flour (cake or pastry)
2 tsps. baking powder (double-acting)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chopped, blanched almonds
1/4 tsp. salt
6 egg whites

Cream butter and sugar lightly. Sift flour and baking powder together and add alternately with milk (to the first mixture). Add well-floured nuts, then vanilla. Fold in stiffly beaten whites of eggs, to which salt has been added. Bake in three layers (9" or 8" pans) in moderate (350˚F) oven. Ice with boiled icing, to which add 1/2 cup candied pineapple and cherries, chopped fine.


Now for the Washington cream pie. I cannot tell a lie. While it's called a pie, this is really a cake. 

I found it in this 1954 booklet from Carnation.

1954 pie cover

Here's the recipe for Washington Cream Pie/Cake. It makes a two-layer, 8-inch cake.


1/3 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 cups sifted cake flour
2 tsp. double-acting baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup Carnation Evaporated Milk

Blend butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy (about 5 min.). Add dry ingredients (which have been sifted together) alternately with the evaporated milk. Pour into two buttered, paper-lined, 8-inch layer cake pans (1/12 inches deep). Bake in a moderate oven (350˚F) about 25 minutes. When cool, spread Cream Filling between layers and spinkle top with confectioners sugar.

Cream Filling

1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tbsp. cornstarch
1 cup Carnation Evaporated Milk
1 cup water
1 tsp almond extract

Combine sugar, salt and cornstarch with evaporated milk and water mixture over low heat or in double boiler. Cook until thickened (about 7 to 10 minutes), stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add flavoring; stir. Cool; spread cream filling between cooled cake layers and sprinkle top of cake with confectioners sugar.

 Click here for a retro recipe for fudge cake.

Retro cupcake ideas

Ideas come from this 1957 Betty Crocker ad:

Cupcakes 57

Merry-Go-Round Cakes: Use Betty Crocker White Cake Mix. Frost cupcakes with Chocolate Fudge Frosting. Trim with animal crackers. Add candies.

Cake Cones: Use Devil's Food Cake Mix, filling flat-bottomed cones a scant 1/2 full. Trim with Fluffy White Frosting and candy sprinkles.

Cupcakes 1

Snowballs:Betty Crocker Yellow Cake Mix makes these cupcakes. Frost with Betty Crocker Fluffy White Frosting. Roll in coconut.

Trix Cakes: Use Betty Crocker Cake Mix. Frost cupcakes with Fluffy White Frosting. Then dip in Trix, the gay fruit-colored cereal.

Cupcakes 2

Close-up of Peach Surprise: Use Honey Spice Cake Mix, first placing in each of 14 custard cups, 1/2 tsp. butter, 1 tsp. brown sugar and 1 peach half.

Kissin' Cakes: Use Betty Crocker Peanut Delight Cake Mix and Peanut Creme Frosting Mix. Make candy nose and eyes, a cherry mouth.

Cupcakes 57

Click here to see a more recent recipe for Red Velvet Cupcakes.

Via Flickr/jbcurio