Thursday, September 14, 2017

Breakfast from Samantha's Cook Book

A full course breakfast fit for any Turn of the Century enthusiast!

My fiancĂ©e was teasing me the other day about how I secretly want to be a 1920’s society wife a la Downton Abbey or something, and honestly? She might be right. I love thinking of different themed parties to throw, from tea parties, birthdays, holidays, historically themed potlucks… I think this is something that actually goes back to when I was a kid. I loved thumbing through the catalogs we used to get filled with birthday party props and themes. 

Of course, planning and executing these events often takes time, equipment, money, and manpower, plus people to eat whatever food you prepare and I just don’t always have that these days. But I was going home for the weekend last month, and decided I might as well try execute one of these historically themed food parties I’ve been dying to try my hand at. 

So, welcome to Samantha’s Turn of the Century Breakfast!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Ivy Revists Tuna Noodle Casserole

A peek into what I’ve been eating for the last year…

We’re kicking off the start of a new school year with yet another throwback post because last year I had really great intentions about keeping pace with the blog… and then reality kind of threw those off. Whoops. This time, instead of a relic from when I was still living at home, we’re going to take a look at one of my first culinary adventures in my new kitchen. 

So when I first got to grad school, I got really, really sick. Like, can’t hold down any solid food for a week sick. So did my dad apparently, and we think it was either fruit at the hotel we had stayed at’s buffet, or a chicken sandwich, but my mom and brother were eating basically the same food as us, so who knows. Either way, not a good first introduction to a new life in a new city. 

Once I got better, I was faced with the task of making sure I was eating more or less three times a day without the help of anyone else. This sounds fine at first, but in reality takes a bit of adjusting to, even for someone who enjoys cooking like I do. I know that probably sounds silly or maybe even embarrassing that I as a 25 year old hadn’t been fully responsible for feeding myself on a regular basis before this. I ate in dining halls on campus in undergrad and my mom usually made dinner when I lived at home, so this was my first real exposure to how daunting and repetitive meal prep can be. 

Figuring I could make a habit of mixing meal prep with future blog posts – an endeavor that apparently died with this recipe… - I decided to whip out my Betty Crocker New Boys and Girl’s Cookbook and give their recipe for tuna noodle casserole a shot.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

It's Our Fourth Anniversary!: Queen Cakes and a Giveaway!

Kicking off Year Five with a treat!

Hard to believe it’s really been four years, hasn’t it? I know it is for me! When I first started this blog, I had no idea how long I’d keep up with it, or if anyone would even be interested in what I was doing. I was worried about getting a job after college, and really starting to wonder if getting a history degree was a big mistake. 

Four years and over two hundred posts later, I think it’s safe to say this experiment has been pretty successful! Plus, I’m halfway through getting my MA in Public History and have a job I really enjoy, so that’s pretty cool too. 

As a special way of saying thanks to all my loyal readers, I’m hosting a giveaway of something that will hopefully inspire you to take a peek into the pantry too! Read on to find out how to enter.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Emily's Everyday Cake

A ration friendly treat that would have been a fun change of pace for this Brit!

In Brave Emily, the book that accompanied Emily dolls when she was available from American Girl, the spotlight is on how Emily Bennett has been adjusting to life with the McIntires after the events of Happy Birthday, Molly! One of the stand out moments for me when I first read it was Emily’s observations on how the McIntire children felt about their breakfast options. 

Although rationing was an annoying reality of life for Americans during World War II, Emily was used to much stricter rationing and more shortages. In the narration, Emily mentions that she hadn’t even seen a banana in several years before coming to the United States. That moment meant this recipe for an “Every Day Cake” in Rosie’s Riveting Recipes reminded me of Emily, and made her the perfect host of this tasty treat. Got any ideas why? 

Hint: there are no bananas in this cake.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Josefina's Apricot Sponge Cake

Sponge Cake Take 2!

And last but not least from last summer’s recipe vault, here’s Josefina’s apricot sponge cake! I’d been wanting to do a recipe for Josefina with apricots in it for a while. An apricot tree is an important plot point in her stories, and also apricots are in general pretty delicious, so it seemed like a perfect combination. 

Fortunately, the American Girl Party Handbook had a dessert suggestion that sounded pretty promising, and last summer I decided to break it out for a shot.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Nanea's Carrot and Pineapple Muffins

A World War II era favorite with a tropical twist!

Everyone, meet Nanea Mitchell! She’s American Girl’s newest historical character, and comes from 1941 Honolulu, Hawaii. I plowed through her books as soon as I had them out of the box, and can safely say as someone who specializes in Pacific War history, they are pretty darn great. Besides covering the attack on Pearl Harbor and the resulting changes in Hawaii very well as well as age appropriately, Kirby Larson has done an exceptional job showing how 1941 Hawaii was an extremely diverse community where neighbors participated in cultural exchange every single day. 

Often involving food. Lots and lots of food. 

Picking what Nanea’s first recipe on the blog should be was a tough one, but these muffins are a tasty snack for just about any time of day, even if I can’t exactly in good faith call these health foods.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Julie's Trip to Disney World

The Most Magical Place on Earth!

Said it before, will say it again: I come from a very Disney family. No, we’re not Annual Pass holders, we’re not locals of any of the parks, nor do we go every single year, but we like it and always manage to have a great time when we go. 

My mom first went to the park with her parents and older brother when she was seven, turning eight in 1972. Back then, there was only Magic Kingdom, and they drove from Connecticut all the way to Florida, making some stops along the way. Since there was just one park, they ended up spending parts of their two week vacation at other Florida tourist attractions. She and her family would go back to visit when she and her brother were in college, and then she and my dad celebrated part of their honeymoon there in 1987. We were actually there for their 30th anniversary, which was why they had booked the vacation in the first place. 

I love Disney history almost as much as I love, well, almost any kind of history. So even though I didn’t plan on doing a huge, drawn out photo adventure while I was there, I still wanted to do a quick write up about the trip. Considering my mom was a girl with long blonde hair and considered rompers to be the height of fashion, the obvious choice in host for this post is, of course, Julie. Read on for some Disney history and talk of tasty food!