Sorrento Soup (adapted from Smart Shopper’s Cookbook, 1972)

Sorrento Soup is a hearty tomato-vegetable soup perfect for a crisp, autumn weeknight, one of a dozen or so excellent soups in Loyta Wooding’s 1972 Smart Shopper’s Cookbook.  While ostensibly written for budget-conscious homemakers in the face of rising food prices, Mrs. Wooding’s background at Betty Crocker kitchens lends a sense of company-friendly sophistication to……

Soup Bagdad (adapted from Smart Shopper’s Cookbook, 1972)

Soup Bagdad is a warm and rich lentil-and-lamb soup punched up with a heavy hand of fresh herbs.   Despite the long simmer time this is still a tractable weeknight meal, and requires very little chopping or active time.   It’s also plenty hearty for a weekend meal.  This recipe comes to me by way of Smart……

Sloppy Chinese Burgers (California, 1990s, adapted)

Sloppy Chinese Burgers is a tasty weeknight sandwich that comes to me by way of Bless This Food, a community cookbook compiled by the Little White Chapel Christian Church in Burbank, California.  The recipe was submitted by one Carol L., who contributed dozens of other normally named recipes such as Dori’s Rigatoni and Noodle Chicken.  ……

Chicken Pistachio Pasta Salad (California, 2006, adapted)

Chicken Pistachio Pasta Salad is a hearty entrée salad perfect for a warm summer evening.   This recipe comes to me by way of a community cookbook from the Mother Teresa Maternity Home in Placerville, CA, which serves as both a women’s shelter and a temporary home for pregnant women.   Unlike most community cookbooks, this one……

Chicken Cutlets with a Swiss Cheese Crust (Nebraska, 1987, adapted)

Chicken Cutlets with a Swiss Cheese Crust is a tasty fried chicken dish suitable for weeknight cooking.   The whole chicken and cheese thing isn’t normally appealing to me, but I had been craving fried chicken like crazy when I came across this recipe.  I was also looking for an opportunity to use my new meat……

Spam Puffs (adapted from Sunset Cook Book, 1949)

Say what you will but I’m a big fan of Spam.  No irony, no poverty cuisine voyeurism, no pining for some lost Hawaiian vacation:  fried Spam is a genuine treat for our family.  At any given time we’ll have a half a dozen cans on hand, ready to whip up a quick batch of musubis……

Orygun’s French Dressing (Oregon, 1974, adapted)

This simple salad dressing recipe comes from No Regrets, a cookbook compiled by the Junior League of Portland (Oregon) in 1974.   The recipe itself doesn’t particularly spark joy in me – I find it hard to get excited about salad dressing in general – but the title makes me smile.  No, it’s not a typo. ……

Noisettes de Porc aux Pruneax (Oregon, 1974, adapted)

Noisettes de Porc aux Pruneax is an elegant, uncomplicated dish from the Portland (Oregon) Junior League’s 1974 cookbook, No Regrets.  English speakers can easily deduce “Pork” and “Prunes” from the title.  The word Noisettes literally means hazelnuts, but in this context Noisettes de Porc translates roughly as “pork medallions”.   The recipe seems to have roots in……

Lamb Curry Tomato Soup (adapted from Smart Shopper’s Cookbook, 1972)

Lamb Curry Tomato Soup is an easy-to-prepare weeknight soup from Smart Shopper’s Cookbook.  Lamb is a surprising ingredient for a cookbook dedicated to budget-friendly meals.  In my little corner of paradise ground lamb is priced higher than ground Wagyu, and the discount grocery chains don’t always have it in stock.  Lamb is something of a premium……