The Joy of Cooking: My Vintage Cookbook Find

The Joy of Cooking Vintage Cookbook

I found a great vintage cookbook in Denton, Texas yesterday.  I found an old edition of “The Joy of Cooking” at my favorite Christian thrift shop, and it was only $2.00!  

 Do you all remember the last time I went shopping at this particular thrift store?  

The last time I was here, they had all their books on sale for 5 cents a piece!  

I had a great time finding old cookbooks, new cookbooks, health and diet cookbooks.  I found some great books on Christian marriage and some Christian growth books too!  I even found some children’s books for my two grandsons.  

Here is what my shopping cart looked like that day.

Cooking and Health Books in my Shopping Cart


 As a Christian writer and food blogger, I was thrilled to find a great number of good books that looked like they would be great writing resources for me.  It was also nice to support the local new mom’s ministry which this particular thrift shop supports.  

While my shopping cart was not so heavy this past time, I did find a gem at that same thrift shop on my trip there yesterday.  

I found THIS:

The Joy of Cooking Vintage Cookbook

The Joy of Cooking in 1943 (1946 Reprint)


If you love vintage cookbooks and traditional American cooking like I do, I’m sure you can imagine my own joy for just finding this old cookbook!  

I carefully picked the fragile book up and put it in my cart alongside the half off jeans I had purchased for my husband and the half off dress shirt I had found for myself.  Oh, I wasn’t going to throw anything heavy like a bunch of books on tops of this little item! 

When I got home and at a safe location at my family dining room table, I took the time to better inspect my new purchase.  I first peeked on the inside of the cover and saw some handwriting.  It looked like some names and numbers.  I’m wondering if these were someone’s friends from long ago.  Were the numbers the old fashioned phone numbers of friends?  Were they the birthdays of friends?  Was that last entry a special number pertaining to the gas and electric service of the original owner of this book?  Whatever this writing was… it must have been important to the owner of this book long ago to be written in the front cover of a cookbook like this.  

Handwriting in an old cookbook

This is pretty real “stuff”.   

The “realness” of the time became even clearer to me as I turned the page to see the forward.  

The 1943 Joy of Cooking Forward

I believe what I have here is the 1946 reprint of the 1943 cookbook.   I have also seen it recorded as the 1943 – 1946 edition.  The 1943 forward was still used in this book, but the various publication dates, including up to 1946 was included in the book. There have been later editions as well, of course, but mine just showed up to 1946.  

One glance of this 1943 forward reminded me of the times and life of Irma Starkloff Rombauer, the author.  

The Joy of Cooking, one of the most widely-read cookbooks ever, was first written by Irma and self published in 1931.  It was self published by a private printing company!  This run away, classic cookbook, a cookbook of all times, was first published without a well-known cookbook publisher to start its long history of sales!  

Hey, I say for those of you who are interested in publishing a cookbook and can’t get a publisher for it, then by all means, consider self publishing!  Look what happened to Irma Rombauer’s book!  The various editions of this book throughout the years are STILL in circulation today!  

It was also riveting just being able to read the actual author’s words in the forward, knowing what she experienced in life and seeing that small glimpse of life through her words in her book’s forward.

You see, Irma was proud of her Victorian Era upbringing.  She had lived through The Great Depression and preserved those old recipes throughout the years.  However, she also grieved, writing The Joy of Cooking after her husband’s suicide in 1929.  

Irma’s forward literally begins with Irma admitting that her growing and departing children hoped she would record all of her recipes.  They also hoped writing a book would keep her busy in her loneliness.  

Fortunately, Irma goes on, it did.   

See the picture of the preface above to see that in Irma’s own words.

As an additional kind of “treat”, that same forward page also displayed some of the original book owner’s interest in recipes.  Look at my picture of the book forward, and check out the little cut out newspaper recipe that was tucked in that page.  I left that one just as I found it to take the picture for you.  

There were other vintage newspaper clippings of old recipes in other pages of the book as well, many of them from the late 1940s and early 1950s.  It was kind of like seeing some of Irma’s thoughts, looking at her traditional recipes, and then seeing some of the moment-in-time interests of whoever owned this book at that earlier time period.  

Those cut out newspaper and magazine recipes always seemed to be stuck into the most used and yellowed pages of the cookbook too.

Whoever first owned this book must have really loved cooking some of Irma’s recipes, just as Irma Rombauer loved cooking those recipes.  

Not every single page was worn and yellowed though.  

Here is one of the lesser used pages from my 1943 – 1946 edition of  “The Joy of Cooking”, one page the original owner must not have been so partial to: 

A page from The Joy of Cooking Cookbook, 1943 - 1946 Edition

This was one of the most unused pages of the cookbook, but the Cabbage Rolls with Rice and Sausage recipes jumped out at me, reminding me of some food I had somewhere as a child, a dish perhaps once commonplace but now almost forgotten.  

I snapped a photo of some of Irma’s cabbage roll recipes in memory of some old recipes someone in my own history had made at one time in my life.  

You see, I believe that old cookbooks and their traditional recipes are a window to our past.  When we find a cookbook like this, we can cherish the world the author lived in, worked in, and cooked and baked in.  We can also cherish the memories such a book gives to each of us individually.  

I am very glad I stumbled upon this old version of “The Joy of Cooking” and that I have the opportunity to share this with you all as well.  When this book was first published, who would have thought of how we could all be looking at it over the internet today.  “Internet?  What’s that?”, Irma might have said!  

I also hope you enjoyed seeing parts of this old cookbook I found this past week at a thrift shop in Denton, Texas.  I have enjoyed sharing it with you!  

If you have any vintage or antique cookbooks of your own, please share what you have and how they have affected your view of cooking or food today.   We would love to hear from you!  

Publishing a Cookbook: A Journey of Spiritual Faith

Publishing a Cookbook

I completed my cooking class last Wednesday night at the University of Texas at Arlington!  Amber Royer, the instructor, taught so many things to us during that five week time frame.  I am amazed how much she squeezed into our time together each week!  Amber, you did a great job!  Thank you! 

Amber taught us all the different facets on how to write a cookbook like:  

  1. How to set up a cookbook template
  2. How to organize a good recipe book
  3. The ins and outs of e book publishing
  4. The pitfalls as well as the benefits of self publishing
  5. How to submit a cookbook proposal to a publisher for the best chances of getting published
  6. What to expect when you get published
  7. Best angles and lighting for the best food photography shots  (That’s a tough area for me.  I’m still working on that, but I’m getting better!)  
  8. The best writing voice for a cookbook
Cooking and clicking!

Cooking and clicking in my cooking class at UTA!

As a cookbook class instructor, Amber did not present topics about anyone’s journey of spiritual faith.  The class was about  writing, not about spiritual faith.  Just as Amber was hired to do, Amber taught about writing and publishing cookbooks.

However, the Holy Spirit must have been in that class with me because I sure learned things about writing a cookbook from Him as well.  

Amber taught us:

1.  Writing a cookbook calls for perfection, so I should be willing to work hard to be accurate in my writing.  

Then the Spirit nudged me and whispered:

“And be accurate to God’s Word as well”.    

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the words of truth.  – 2 Timothy 2: 15. 

Amber taught us:

2.  Publishing a book with a well-known book publisher is not a guaranteed end result, but I have every right  to work hard  towards that goal or to find another good publishing and marketing route if I have a good idea worth sharing.  

Then the Spirit nudged me and whispered

“And if I call you to share something, if I call you to write a Christian book…or a cookbook… or a Christian cookbook… or whatever I call you to do, you have every responsibility to work hard towards that goal so that what is inside you is not left there untouched”.       

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm.  Let nothing move you.  Always give yourself fully to the word of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.  – 1 Corinthians 15: 58

Amber taught us:

3.  Organizing a cookbook requires a balanced approach so that no one category is overdone while others are left with too little. 

Then the Spirit nudged me and whispered

“But let God’s Word be the foundation of it all”.    

That foundation can NEVER be overdone and without it, ALL else is too little.  

He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.  – Luke 6:  48

Amber also taught us:

4.  We may need to stretch ourselves to learn new things or do things we may not have done before if we write a book that gets published.  

For me, using publishing software to set up grids for book proposals and food photography were both pretty challenging.  I almost wanted to quit the class!  Add to that the idea of press releases and interviews in the future if I write a book and get it published.  My cooking class = Eye opener!  

Then the Spirit nudged me and whispered, 

“You may not like being stretched Chris, but just do it.  Do what I give to you to do, and know that I’ll be there for you through it all… as I always have been and as I always will be”.  

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.  Proverbs 3:  5 – 6.

Publishing a Cookbook

Cookies from my cooking class! (And guess what…. I took this picture!)

All in all, I believe the Holy Spirit impressed upon me, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that my own desires… my own thoughts… my own successes… accomplishments….  feelings or failures should never come before what the Lord wants to do in my life and to do WITH my life.  I must never, ever detract from the message of Christ Jesus.   I must always do my part to let HIS message be heard.

That was quite a spiritual journey for having just taken a “Writing a Cookbook” class at a public university!   

Christians like to quote the old saying “God works in mysterious ways”.  Well, He sure did work in some mysterious ways in my life during these last few weeks!   I took a college course thinking I would get some insight into the field of writing and book publishing. I thought we were going to learn how to write a recipe book.  Writing and publishing?  Yes.  Recipes? Yes.  Cooking?  Yes.  All those things were there.  We even put a recipe book together as a class.  

However, I got schooled in my spiritual well being too, and I do mean schooled, like seriously schooled!  Like Heavenly schooled.  

Now I know not all of you have a call to write a book.  Maybe you do.  I am guessing many of you have other calls in life though, all important in God’s plans.   While I don’t know your call, you perhaps do, or maybe you are waiting for that hoped-for call, or confirmation, or even just a clue!  Maybe you just don’t know at all…. not yet anyway.  I don’t know where you are.

I know this though:  I know the Lord created you for a reason, and I know He is making good on that reason no matter what you are doing, or not.  

I also know that if you reach out to Him and step out in faith, He will be there for you, and He will bless the work you do for Him.  

Be ready though.  As I have just discovered… Those who step out to do His will may just get a little extra schooling along the way as well.  

Are you ready?  

How to Make Deep Fried Twinkies at Home

Deep Fried Twinkies

Deep Fried TwinkiesMany people love the deep fried Twinkies they can get at some of the state fairs and festivals across the country, but few know how to make deep fried Twinkies themselves.

The good news is that it is easy to make them, and you don’t even need actual Hostess Twinkies to do that.  You just need some homemade Twinkies or Twinkie cupcakes (got you covered there, just look through our site for recipes to do that) or you can use those smiling Little Debbie Cloud Cakes.   (Oh yea, they are smiling now that Hostess isn’t a competition for them anymore, but let’s not blame that on them.)

You can even use specialty cream filled sponge cakes from any snack company.

Who cares at this point when you are talking about a deep fried Twinkie!

This deep fried Twinkies recipe isn’t hard, but you will need to start in advance because your snack cakes will need to be in a frozen state when you dip them in batter to deep fry.  Other than that early step, or making your own homemade Twinkies or Twinkie cupcakes if you want the homemade ones, it’s not hard to make them.


Hey kids, we’ve got fried Twinkies here!

Deep Fried Twinkies

Ingredients for the Twinkies component:

  • 6 Twinkies, Little Debbie Cloud Cakes, homemade cream filled sponge cakes, or specialty cream filled cakes (Use this recipe for Hostess Twinkies or Twinkie Cupcakes for a real homemade treat!)
  • 6 Popsicle sticks
  • 4 cups vegetable oil for frying
  • Flour for dusting (before dipping in batter)
  • Powdered sugar for dusting (after deep fried and cooled)

For the batter component:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp. malt vinegar, preferred (or apple cider vinegar which works well too)
  • 1 Tbsp. oil (separate from frying oil)
  • 1 cup flour (separate from dusting flour)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Freeze Twinkies for a few hours or overnight.
  2. When ready to prepare, heat 4 cups vegetable oil in a deep frying to about 375 degrees.  While this works best in a deep fryer, if you don’t have one, you can deep fry in a large skillet.  Be prepared to use a little extra oil depending on the depth of you skillet.
  3. While your oil is heating, mix milk, vinegar, and your tablespoon of oil in a small to medium sized mixing bowl.
  4. In a large bowl, blend flour, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Pour liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients in the large bowl, and whisk until the batter if frothy.  Whisking a batter for deep fried Twinkies will give you that airy consistency that melts in your mouth.
  6. Set your batter to the side; take frozen cakes out of the freezer, and push the sticks into each individual Twinkie lengthwise, leaving about 2 inches to use for a handle.
  7. Dust each cake piece flour, then dip each one into the batter, rotating until the batter covers the entire piece.
  8. Place individual cakes into the hot oil.  You’ll notice the Twinkies will float while frying, so you’ll need to hold it under the top of the oil with a utensil to ensure even browning.  Continue deep frying until your deep fried Twinkie is golden brown, about 3 – 4 minutes each.
  9. Remove, and place on a paper towel to drain.
  10. Let cool for at least 5 minutes; then sprinkle powdered sugar on top.

You can also sprinkle powdered sugar and then some chocolate sprinkles, candy sprinkles, or a little colored sugar on your fried Twinkie.  Many enjoy them with fruit preserves or maple syrup spread on top as well.

Won’t it be fun to enjoy some of these deep fried Twinkies with you family at home instead of waiting until the next fair comes to town?  Well, having some family fun at the fair sounds kind of nice too.

The Best Pancake Recipe for Kids to Make

Best Pancake Recipe for Kids to Make

Best Pancake Recipe for Kids to Make

It’s always fun to cook with kids, but knowing what is “best” to do with them depends on a couple of things.

Do you want the most fun-kind of best, or do you want the healthiest-kind-of best when you are cooking with kids?

Let’s see if we can find the best pancake recipe for kids to make, no matter what you’re looking for as a parent and what is tops in your eyes.

Our two top pancake recipes provide two very different versions.  Feel free to use what works for your family, or just use both (at different times of course) depending on how you feel that day!  Children adjust.  Can you?  🙂

The Best Pancake Recipe for Kids to Make If You Want to Have Fun Cooking

The easiest way to have fun cooking pancakes with the kids would be to start with buttermilk pancakes from a mix.  Help the kids follow directions on the box, but then (and here’s the the fun really begins),  let the children make a few changes or additions of their own.

Caution:  Make sure your kids don’t stir the batter too much or your pancakes will be tough!  Tell them it is OK for their batter to be a little lumpy.

Also, usually special additions are added to the mix after you have mixed all the basic ingredients together.  That protects the little additions going into the batter.

Here are several variations your children might enjoy.

Additions are based on approximately 3 -4 cups of batter.

1.  Add 4 Tablespoons of peanut butter to each batch of batter; then cook as described on the back of your mix.  When done, let the kids spread jelly on each one of their pancakes and shake a little powdered sugar on top each one.   Let them top it all off with some chopped peanuts too on top if you like as well.

2.  Add 1/4 to 1/2 cups chocolate chips (mini chocolate chips work the best) and 1/4 cups white chocolate chips to each batch before cooking.   When done, let the little guys and girls spray some whipped cream on top, and give them the syrup bottle to enjoy.

3.  Add 1/2 cup of Halloween candy corn to your batter.  There is no need for any special toppings on this because the pancakes themselves are so pretty!  Just top with butter and syrup.

4.  Skittles and M&Ms work well too!

5.  Prepare traditional buttermilk pancakes, either homemade or from a mix, and have chopped strawberries and blueberries available for the kids to decorate their pancakes.  If desired, a little whipped cream makes it even more fun when adding fruit on top.

6.  If the kids would like their fruit in their pancakes, let them stir some fresh or frozen mixed berries or bananas into the batter right before putting them on the griddle.  Make sure they don’t stir the berries in too much.  Berries, especially blueberries will break open and leak out easily.  If you like purple pancakes, that works.  Otherwise, have them stir gently.

7.  Here’s an example of a recipe for pancakes using Oreo Cookies that would be fun for kids to make (and eat) –  Cookies and Cream Pancakes!  Many thanks to Julia at her Must Come Hungry blog.  These pancakes are yummy!

8.  How about having your kids make Santa Clause pancakes for Christmas?   Turkey pancakes for Thanksgiving?  Or Easter Bunny pancakes for Easter morning?  And these patriotic pancakes would be easy to make and be nice for a number of special days and holidays such as Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, the 4th of July, or on Election Day!  

If you don’t want to use a pancake mix or Bisquick baking mix, you can also use a simple homemade pancake recipe with the above additions to make some great pancake recipes for kids!

Here’s an easy pancake recipe from scratch that would be easy for children to do with just a little help at times.

Quick and Easy Pancake Recipe From Scratch


  • 2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon baking powder


  1. Mix milk, sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla in a large bowl.
  2. Add flour and baking soda.
  3. Remind the kids to only stir until all the ingredients are combined.  Over-mixed pancakes don’t cook well!
  4. Drop onto prepared (heated and oiled or sprayed) griddle or pan, cooking first until you see a lot of bubbles, then turning over to cook a minute or two on the other side.

If you want to introduce some healthy recipes for kids to your family, pancakes are a great place to start!  From oatmeal to buckwheat, cinnamon to wheat germ and bananas to berries, there are many kids recipes available to keep your family healthy.

Here’s one of the best FROM one of the best.

The Best Pancake for Kids to Make if You Want a Healthy Pancake Recipe

Paula Deen’s Vegetable Pancakes


  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 1 cup grated zucchini squash (grate well in advance and let set about 1 hour before squeezing excess liquid out prior to adding to batter)
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 2 tsp oil


  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper.
  2. In a second bowl, beat together the egg, milk, carrots, zucchini, and green onions.
  3. Add the veggie mixture to the dry ingredients and stir just until combined.
  4. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a large pan and cook on each side until done, about 2 minutes on each side.  Add oil to the pan as needed.

These pancakes can be dipped in applesauce or yogurt, or the kids can spread honey or a little pure maple syrup on them if desired instead.

Cooking kids always love what they cook.  Pancakes are no different.

If you want some healthy pancakes for the kids, letting them make their own is a great way to entice them to eat the good things of life.

Eating good breakfasts with your family is great, but making pancakes with kids is even better!  By finding the best pancake recipe to make with them, you’ll be making memories as well as growing happy AND healthy children!

Check our other great pancake recipes at the site.  There are related recipes below and in the side bar, or feel free to use our Padoozles search bar for even more!

Have fun!

Easy Pancake Recipe with Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Pancake Syrup

Easy Pancake Recipe

Easy Pancake Recipe

Get cracking!

The kids are up; it’s almost breakfast time; and you need some quick and easy pancakes.

And we all know Bisquick recipes are always quick and easy recipes!

Here’s an easy pancake recipe with brown sugar followed by a brown sugar and cinnamon pancake syrup recipe to top them all off with.

We’ve also included some pancake variations for your Bisquick pancakes to keep your breakfast table bursting with new tastes and flavors.

Easy Pancake Recipe with Bisquick and Brown Sugar


  • 1 cup Bisquick
  • 2 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp apple pie filling per pancake stack


  1. Warm skillet or griddle to medium heat.
  2. Mix Bisquick, brown sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl.
  3. Add milk and egg, and stir just until combined.  For moist and fluffy pancakes, do not over stir.  Pancake batter should be only stirred until to combine with lumps still in the batter being the norm.
  4. Prepare warmed skillet or griddle with cooking spray or some butter (melt in skillet before cooking pancakes).  Then pour batter onto heated, prepared pan.
  5. Cook without flipping until you see bubbles and the top begin to set somewhat.  Then turn over and cook a couple more minutes on the other side.
  6. Remove, stack, and drop about a Tablespoon of canned apple pie filling on top of each stack for garnishment.


Pancake Recipe Variations and Toppings

*  Instead of garnishing the stack with apple pie filling, top with a bit of whipped cream and sprinkle mini chocolate chips or hot chocolate mix on top of the whipped cream.  Garnish with a few nuts too if you like!

*  Mix equal amounts of butter and honey and serve on the side as a spread.

*  Or top with 1 teaspoon of Nutella, 1 teaspoon Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter, mashed banana or peanut butter mixed with a little honey to make it smooth, 1 – 2 Tablespoons of strawberry applesauce, a pat of butter, or a spoonful of Greek yogurt.

*  Drop 1 – 2 teaspoons of white icing on top and sprinkle with white sugar and cinnamon for some easy cinnamon roll pancakes!

*  Or drop a Tablespoon of caramel dip with shredded or dried apples on top for candied apple pancakes!

*  These pancakes are also great without any additional garnishments such as pie filling, sweeteners, or treats.


For a low calorie pancake recipe, use Splenda brown sugar substitute or try Stevia Concentrate Dark Liquid which is a natural sugar free brown sugar substitute.

For a low fat version, you can use Bisquick Reduced Fat Pancake and Baking Mix.

Bisquick also makes a gluten free pancake mix as well now too!



Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Pancake Syrup Recipe

Best if made just before you make the pancakes so you can let it thicken a little before use.


  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract


In a small saucepan, whisk together all ingredients over a medium high heat until the sugar has dissolved.  Let set a few minutes before serving to allow time to thicken.

As you can see, its easy to make pancake recipes suit your family’s needs and likes.  It’s even nicer when the recipe for pancakes is easy as well!

photo credit: jeffreyw via photopin cc

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