Tag Archives: Spice of Life

Creamed Kale


If you like creamed spinach, you’ll love creamed kale!  Here’s what you will need to make this simple dish.


10-12oz kale cleaned and chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 garlic cloves minced
1/4 cup diced onion
3/4 cup cream
1 teaspoon lemon juice
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

Clean and remove the stems on the kale and chop.  Mix cream and lemon juice an set aside


Place kale in a large sauce pan to cook off the water and wilt.

Once wilted, remove from pan and saute onions and garlic in butter till soft. Add kale back to the pan and add cream mixture, add cheese, salt/pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.  Stir to blend well.





Vintage Recipe: Copper Penny Salad


Here’s a recipe that certainly takes me back to when I was a kid. I remember my mom making this and having this salad served at the local church picnics.  The classic Copper Penny Salad. It’s actually very easy to make and uses items that you’ll have in your fridge and pantry.  So let’s start!

Start by slicing your carrots.  I used a mandolin, but I’m sure the side of a metal cheese grater will work also.


Once your carrots are sliced, cook them in a pot of salted water until tender and drain. Allow the carrots to cool. Tip: The carrots will continue to cook.  Be sure to either put them in a ice bath or run cold water over them otherwise you can have some seriously mushy carrots.

While the carrots are cooking, start making the dressing.  Combine the tomato soup, Worcester sauce, sugar and oil and mix well.  I used the blender to help incorporate the oil.


Once the carrots are cooled, dice your onion and green bell pepper.  In a large bowl combine all ingredients and mix well.


Combine vegetables with the dressing and mix well.  Add salt & pepper as needed. Let sit overnight.


Copper Penny Salad

Prep Time= “15 Min” Cook Time= “10 Min” Difficulty=”Easy” Recipe By= “Jeff Oterson”
Serves= “8 Servings”

* 2 lbs sliced carrots
* 1 onion diced
* 1 free bell pepper diced
* 1 cup tomato soup
* 1/2 cup oil
* 1 cup sugar
* 1/4 cup vinegar
* 1 tbsp Worcester sauce
* 1 tbsp prepared mustard
* salt and pepper
Slice carrots and cook them in a pot of salted water until tender and drain. Allow the carrots to cool.
While the carrots are cooking, start making the dressing.  Combine the tomato soup, Worcester sauce, sugar, vinegar, oil and mustard, mix well. Dice onion and green bell pepper. Combine vegetables with the dressing and mix well.  Add salt & pepper as needed. Let sit overnight

The Thrift Store Collector

Vintage Corning Ware Piggy Banks


After searching for over a year, I have finally found a set of the Corningware piggy banks.  Produced by Corning Glass Works in the 1980’s, these rare banks were made available to Corningware employees for purchase.  I do not know what the employees paid for these banks when they were released, but these are a highly collectable item by Corningware collectors today which fetch prices of $50 or more per bank.  These banks are very small about 7″ across, but a must have for a serious Corningware collector.  If you should ever come across one of these in a thrift store or yard sale- GRAB IT.  These are extremely hard to find.



Spice of Life 4 Quart Covered Round Dutch Oven


Wow! This is a true gem!  A covered round 4qt Dutch oven in the Spice of Life pattern. This is one of those rare finds that was a good buy from eBay. Overall it’s in great condition.  It needed a little cleaning, but was well worth it.  This piece is safe for both range use and microwave and will be perfect for a big batch of Holupkies (stuffed cabbage).



Vintage Recipe: Better Homes And Gardens- Chicken Croquettes


A great suggestion was given to me by my friend Brian, he stated that I should start featuring recipes from the vintage cookbooks that I’m starting to collect.  (Duh…. Why didn’t I think of that?!?!). So, here’s my first one.  Chicken Croquettes!  While I was visiting Pennsylvania, my sister and her husband took me to a local diner that served chicken croquettes.  I was telling her, I haven’t croquettes in probably 20 years- no joke!  So I ordered them, they were juicy and crunchy and what I remembered.  So, I thought selecting this recipe would be a fun way to start. This recipe is from The Better Homes and Gardens series book titled, “Chicken and Turkey Cookbook” from 1976.


These are oven baked croquettes, so they will be a little healthier and less messy.  I am going to try to stay as close to the original recipe, making small changes as needed.  I never made croquettes or made anything from this cookbook… So hold on…here we go!

Here’s the complete recipe from the book:


I had some chicken legs, thighs and a breast.  I removed the meat from the bones and put in a food processor and made my own ground chicken. It’s about two cups.


I melted the butter, added the flour and mixed in the milk, chicken broth and brought to a boil.imageNext I added the ground chicken, parsley, rosemary and salt and mixed well. (Lawdy!!! This isn’t pretty….. atleast it smells good)


I covered and placed in the fridge to “chill for several hours”. Next we move onto making the croquettes.  I’m struggling with the instructions here as my gut is telling me that this is going to be a mess.  I understand we need to make breadcrumbs, but cutting them into 1/2″ cubes?!!?  I’m picturing rolling these things in that boxed cubed stuffing mix and they’re going to come out looking like some target that should be shot at in a 1980’s video game.  I can’t do cubes- I just can’t- we’re doing breadcrumbs.


Now to make the cranberry-claret sauce.  I will admit I have no clue what the heck claret is.  So- off to Google I go.  (I guess I should have stayed in the vintage era and pulled out a  Encyclopedia Brittanica-nah I’m good.)

According to Wikipedia, Claret is a red wine from the region of Bordeaux, France.  I’m certainly not heading out to pick up a Bordeaux after all we’re using canned cranberry sauce for goodness sake- so red wine it is!

I mixed the cranberry sauce with the red wine and slowly heated.  (reserving a glass of red wine for the chef.)


I also included a “Corn in Tomato Cup” salad in the picture and rice pilaf.  The corn in tomato cups recipe is from the the Better Homes and Gardens- Lunches and Brunches cookbook.  This recipe makes 8 tomato cups, but I think one will be sufficient.  If you’re interested in this salad recipe, please reply to this post and I’ll provide it to you.

The Verdict:

The Good: The taste is actually pretty good, the cranberry claret sauce works well with the croquette.  The corn in a tomato cup although odd in appearance is actually tasty.

The Bad:  I was hoping for more of a rounded croquette, this reminds me of a crab cake.  Maybe the bread cubes might have made a difference, but I don’t think so.  Presentation leaves much to be desired. 30 minutes is not enough time to cook or brown the croquettes- minimum 45+.

The Ugly:  Very mushy when rolling the croquettes in the breadcrumbs  I gave up using the egg after the first few as it was too mushy.  It’s like rolling paper mache into a ball.  Thank goodness I saved a glass of “claret” for the chef.

This could be a good recipe with a few more modifications.  Will I try it again- possibly.