Bettina’s Fluffy Marshmallow Icing

DSC_0140While I was watching the Oscars last Sunday night, I started to crave something sweet to eat.  I remembered I had cupcakes from my son’s birthday leftover in the freezer.  Score!  And what a perfect chance to try out my newest addition to my collection.  (Again, thank you e-bay!)  “Bettina’s Cakes and Cookies” was published in 1924.  Louise Bennett Weaver wrote a handful of cookbooks, including: “1000 Ways to Please Your Husband”.  All of her cookbooks have become highly collectible.   I’m lucky to own three of her books, but I still on the lookout for “Bettina’s Best Desserts”, “When Sue Began to Cook”, and “1000 Ways to Please Your Family”. (Pst…My birthday is tomorrow if anyone reading this wants to send me a copy)

I needed some frosting for my cupcakes and I chose this recipe for Fluffy Marshmallow Icing.  Let me tell you up front that this did NOT turn out for me, but I can tell you that my bite was guilt-free.  I got my arm and cardio workout for the day from all the whisking.DSC_0141DSC_0142First let me give a shout out to my sister’s homemade vanilla extract.  This stuff is yummy and still has the vanilla bean floating in the jar.  Thanks Holly for the Christmas gift! And another shout out to my chicken, Ms. Chicky Chick Chick, who provided me with the egg.

I made a homemade double boiler (one pot on top of another pot filled with boiling water) and added my marshmallows sugar and water.  While that was sitting, I whipped my egg white until stiff. I added my egg to the mixture and stirred and whipped and stirred and whipped some more.  While it was cooling I added the vanilla, put the mixture into my kitchenaid mixer and beat the heck out of it.  It never fluffed up, at all.  The icing ended up like grainy marshmallow goop. I’m not sure what happened.   Maybe I should have let the marshmallow, sugar, water mixture cook longer before adding the egg.  Oh well, there will always be another cupcake to frost.DSC_0144

BTW…no cupcakes went to waste, my boys still ate them up..sugar is sugar after all.  🙂

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Broiled Grapefruit

For those of you who know me, I’m not a great lover of grapefruits.  In fact, eating a grapefruit usually consist of me choking it down with pursed lips and a sour look on my face.  But when I ran across this recipe, in the Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book, (Don’t worry, I promise my next post will use a new cookbook) I just had to try it.  I have never thought about cooking a grapefruit.  I thought the idea had potential.  I could see the heat caramelizing the natural sugar of the fruit.

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Here are my ingredients: grapefruit, brown sugar, and maraschino cherries.  By the way, if you have only tried the neon red cherries, give these cherries a try.  They have a truer cherry flavor and are made with real sugar and not high fructose corn syrup. Yum!DSC_0094

Take a sharp knife and cut the segments away from the membrane.  This will take a couple of minutes, but is well worth it.  Sprinkle the grapefruits with some brown sugar and put them under the broiler for about 15 mins.  This is a good time to tell you to make sure you put down foil on your pans first.  I didn’t and made a terrible smokey mess.  Lesson learned.  Here are the grapefruit ready to go in the oven.DSC_0095Once the grapefruit are cooked and heated to the middle, add a spoonful of cherry syrup over the top and garish with a cherry.DSC_0096

These grapefruit turned out so pretty and were pretty good to eat.  I didn’t even make my sour face, and I might even eat another one in the future.

Orange Marshmallow Cream

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Today’s recipe comes from the 1950 edition of the Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book.  This book is filled with hundreds of recipes, and I’m sure I will be using it much more in the future. (Sneak peek- Broiled Grapefruits for breakfast).

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Here’s the recipe for orange marshmallow cream in its entirety.  Only 3 ingredients!  Just like Mrs. Earl Gammons, I was going to have a busy afternoon out.  Between shopping, picking up kids from school, play days, jiu-jitsu, and homework, I was not going to have nearly enough time to get dessert on the table for my family.  I should tell you, this is never really a concern of mine, as we very rarely have dessert, but I figured I should embrace the 1950’s and make dessert.  If only I’d remembered to fetch my hubby his slippers when he came home from work.;-)

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Here are the ingredients, just waiting to be transformed.

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First, I measured the orange juice into a pan and added the cut up marshmallows.  A 1/4 lb. equaled 16 marshmallows.  I heated the marshmallows and orange juice until the marshmallows were dissolved, which only took a few minutes, and put the whole pan in to the fridge to cool.

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While the orange juice mixture was cooling, I whipped the heavy cream into stiff peaks.

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Here is what the mixture looked like after I folded it all together.  I set it back into the refrigerator to chill for 4 hours.  Mrs. Gammons said to serve in sherbet glasses, which I didn’t have, but I do have a quite the collection of vintage tea cups from a bridal shower I threw for my sister.  I garnished with a few blackberries, and here is the final product.  Ta Dah!

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Everyone thought it tasted like a creamcicle, or an orange dream machine from Jamba Juice.  Thumbs up all around.  Weight Watcher Points 6.

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My love of vintage cookbooks

Ok, so it is no secret that I love books.  I have books spilling out from shelfs and from under my bed.  I have books stacked on my desk and in my cupboards.  Anywhere I can find a nook, there is usually a book sitting there.  But, of all the books I have, I have a special place in my heart for my vintage cookbooks.

DSC_0071There are so many things that I love about these old books.   I love the titles of these cookbooks. (Feminists might want to look away now) “A Thousand Ways to Please a Husband”, which by the way, is most likely my hubby’s favorite.  I love the trends over the decades.  Anyone else have a grandma who put everything in gelatin.  Peas, carrots, and pineapple!  And, I love thinking about the women who used these books in their homes.  Did they wear fancy aprons and pearls while they put the roast in the oven for Sunday dinner?  Or were they running around chasing kids with curlers in their hair while scrambling to get dinner on the table?

As I was thinking about buying another vintage cookbook (can I get a hooray for eBAY?) I was thinking about how I could justify buying another book that most likely will just sit on my shelf.  Now, while I love these books, I very seldom make the recipes from them.  I don’t think braised beef tongue with creamed bermuda onions would go over well with my six year old for dinner.  

But, that is what I’m planing on doing.  Cooking one meal a week from my vintage cookbooks.  I figure blogging about our meals might just give me a good reason for buying a few more cookbooks now and again…”But sweetie….It’s for my blog”.  I’ll most likely not be making the beef tongue, but apricot custard cake sounds pretty good to me.