February 14, 2019

World War II Era Spaghetti Valentine's Day Recipe

WWII Spaghetti Recipe Mushrooms Olives 1944

A lot of my friends are amazing cooks and food enthusiasts but for this Valentine's Day dish I wanted something that even a beginner could feel confident about.  This is a one pot dish. No fancy cooking methods, no complex techniques or hard to find ingredients. Just everything in the pot and done in an hour. Cook with a loved one, for a loved one or just for something fun to do.

This is the final recipe of a full, simple WWII Valentine's Day dinner. Be sure to check out the period recipes for salad and dessert:

WWII Era Tomato Spaghetti 

This recipe is from The Searchlight Cookbook (1943)


- 1/2 Pound of Spaghetti (1/2 a box)
- 2 Cups Canned Tomatoes, chopped (1, 28 Ounce Can)
- 1/2 Pound of Grated Cheese
- 1/4 Cup Oil
- 1/2 Cup Ketchup (Modern ketchup is really sweet so add a few Tablespoons of Vinegar if you want)
- 1 Cup Sliced Mushrooms (2 small cans)
- 1/2 Cup Sliced Olives (1 small can)
- 2 Teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 Clove Garlic, Minced
- 2 Small Chili Peppers, Chopped

Cook and drain Spaghetti according to the package. Add remaining ingredients and let simmer for 1 hour. Plate it and top with extra cheese. You're done!

I'm particular about my pasta but this is a surprisingly fun one as the flavor sits between spaghetti and pizza due to the toppings and what kind of cheese you use. I used Parmesan but if you chose to use mozzarella it would definitely still be good. There are a lot of olives and mushrooms which my grandma would call "fluffing" a recipe when her mother did it: adding more veggies so you can stretch it out to feed more people.

If you want to save time, tomatoes with garlic already included can be bought and crushed red chili pepper can be used. If you're cooking the full meal, I won't tell if you get a salad kit at the grocery store and buy your candies. :)

Happy Valentine's Day! I would love to hear from anyone who cooks any of these recipes.   

February 2, 2019

WWII Era Valentine's Day Candies Recipe

World War II Era Candy Recipe for Valentine's Day

I'm posting some of these Valentine's Day ideas early so everyone has time to prepare if they want to make them. I thought it would be fun to post a whole WWII Era Valentine's Day dinner. I've already wrote about Cesar (Aviator's) Salad to start dinner, I will hopefully be posting a period spaghetti recipe and thought I'd start everyone off with dessert as you can make these in advance!

This recipe is from Making the Most of Your Servel Electrolux (1936). Just freeze them until you need them. Make sure you really like the person, this recipe is going to use 1/4 of your monthly US sugar ration. The recipe makes about 24 pieces.

I ended up making the Chocolate Peppermints and the Nut Cubes although the recipe suggested a bunch of different ideas that I'll include at the end of this post. The Chocolate Peppermints were pretty much peppermint patties. They are so good! The nut cubes taste like a square inch of Oreo cream filling dipped in chocolate, also not bad.


- 1 Egg White
- 1/2 Tablespoon Water
- 3/4 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract (I recommend a little more)
- 2 3/4 Cups Powdered Sugar (plus extra for dusting)

Combine egg white, water and vanilla extract. Add powdered sugar until you get a dough that doesn't stick to your hands.

Divide dough in half. Make sure the half you aren't working with is sitting on a heavily powdered surface.


Melting Chocolate
Peppermint Oil
Crushed Nuts

Take one half of the fondant dough and at 4 drops of peppermint oil and knead in, being careful not to get it on your skin. Roll into small balls and flatten. Let dry a few minutes on a piece of wax paper.

Take the other half of the dough, work in the crushed nuts, leaving extra for garnish. On a sugared surface, roll out the dough into a rectangle and cut into cubes. Smaller are better. Let dry on a piece of wax paper.

Melt chocolate in a double boiler or microwave according to the package instructions. Skewer candy pieces and coat in chocolate. Place on a clean piece of wax paper, top with nuts if desired. Harden them quickly in the freezer.

*You can find modern recipes online if you'd rather not use a recipe made with raw egg. The end product is very similar. 

Why will your candies look better than mine?

You're going to pay the $3.49 and get melting chocolate and not think the chocolate chips on hand are good enough. You also will let your shapes chill in the freezer for a bit before you dip them in chocolate. :) Moving on.

I hope everyone has a great holiday and stay tuned for the Spaghetti post!

December 21, 2018

World War I Era Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe and Present Tags

***Humble plea from the web mistress: This time period is my favorite time period to cook from. It's also the time period I have the most recipes for. It's also the time period that gets absolutely no readers. So if you could like, share on facebook, cook and let people know how much you like reading about and cooking recipes from the time period, I would be very appreciative.*** 

World War 1 Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe

I was originally going to bake the peanut cookies from the Royal Baking Powder Company's Best War Time Recipes (1917) but ended up finding a fun article from 1914 in The Women's Magazine that gave ideas for a children's Christmas Party. It declared "Every child likes peanut-butter cookies," and how could I argue with that?

World War 1 Cookie Recipe

The article also described some Children's Christmas game ideas: Pin the hat on Santa, a similar game called "The Christmas Candle" where the kids would be blindfolded, spun around and would try to blow out a candle on a ledge in front of them in 6 blows. Another game had two children see who could throw more pieces of popcorn into a fake "stocking," and win a small prize tied into the toe of the stocking.

The article especially intrigued me because it was published in January, not December. Some people were still celebrating until January 5th, or the "12 Days of Christmas." In the 1700s, New Year's was the time of feastivities and Christmas was more of a solemn holiday. By the early 1900s, Christmas had its own festivities and traditions. I think this is a wonderful concept because I can't always see everyone on Christmas but 12 days is probably enough to meet up with everyone.. :) I was also entertained at the suggestion of ice cream in January, when everyone had the ice and temperatures to make it.   

The Women's Magazine also included the darling gift tags, which I've attached at the bottom in case anyone still has a few gifts they are wrapping and the recipe from Best War Time Recipes if anyone would like to try it. I might make those in the future to see how good the ration recipe compares to a recipe printed on the eve of war. 

World War 1 Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe

The recipe was in paragraph form though and I thought I would break it down for beginning cooks.

WWI Era Peanut Butter Cookies


- 2 Cups Sugar
- 1 Cup Butter (2 Sticks)
- 2 Eggs
- 1 Cup Peanut Butter
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 tsp Lemon Extract
- 1 tsp Salt
- 3 tsp Baking Powder
- 5 Cups Flour
- 1 Cup Peanuts, chopped
- 1/4 Cup Boiling water
- Icing [Here's a basic Icing Recipe.]


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large size bowl, cream the butter, sugar and peanut butter and boiling water. Let cool (so you don't cook the egg) add the extracts and salt. In a separate bowl, sift the flour and baking powder. Mix flour mixture into liquid mixture until it forms a firm dough. Knead for a few minutes with your hands until it is well combined. Roll 1 inch balls out of the dough and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes. Once removed from the oven flatten them down with a fork. Remove from cookie sheet to a cooling rack. Once cooled, ice and top with chopped peanuts.

The cookies do not spread in the oven at all so don't worry too much about crowding them. If you want spoon drop the cookies onto the sheet, that would work too.

World War 1 Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe

World War 1 Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe

December 12, 2018

Civil War Era Orange Nuts Recipe

Civil War Era Cookie Recipe Orange Nuts 1865

The holidays are coming and that means acres of oranges will enter our homes to grace tables, bob in punches and add tang to cider.  Orange Nuts, hard biscuits with a strong citrus flavor are the perfect, Civil War Era thing to compliment gingerbread, cider or tea. They are also a great way to use up all of those otherwise wasted peels.

Orange Nuts are a variety of Ginger Nuts, a recipe still popular today. Click the link to see the ginger nuts recipe I made last Christmas!  This recipe was also printed in Godey's Lady's Book and Peterson's Magazine in 1865 and was still being published verbatim in 1883.

Civil War Era Orange Nuts Recipe

Civil War Era Cookie Recipe Orange Nuts 1865


- 1 1/2 Cups Flour
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 3 Eggs
- 2-4 Orange Peels, zested
- 2-4 Lemons Peels, zested


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix sugar and eggs in a large bowl and beat for 15 minutes. Add flour and zest and mix until fully combined. Add flour until your dough is stiff enough that it can be rolled in your hands without sticking. Roll into one inch balls. Place on baking sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes.

Civil War Era Cookie Recipe Orange Nuts 1865

I hope everyone has a safe holiday season! I'm going to try and blog all of the different things I bake this year and would love to hear and see pictures of what you are baking!

September 12, 2018

WWI / WWII Cucumber Stuffed Tomato Salad

WWI WWII recipe Salad

Today's post is brought to you by me being incredibly bored of everything I've been cooking lately, the recent tomato harvest, and me attempting on getting more veggies in my diet. Plus I'm crazy about tomato and mayo sandwiches with pepper on them so this seems fun and in the same taste palate. It was very hot out when I started cooking this but thanks to the hurricane it's now a bit too cold to want to eat salad. Sorry!

The fun thing about this recipe is that even though the name changed throughout the years, the recipe itself changed very little from WWI to WWII. The earlier versions of this recipe call for Cream Dressing instead of mayo, although mayo did exist at that time, and for the tomatoes to be served on a bed of lettuce instead of cups of lettuce. I included the Cream Dressing recipe below if you wanted to try it. 

WWI WWII recipe Salad

WWI / WWII Stuffed Tomato Salad

- 6 Tomatoes
- 2 Cucumbers
- Mayonaise
- 1 tsp Parsley
- Lettuce
-Salt and Pepper

Peel and cube cucumbers, place in bowl and mix in mayonnaise and chill in refrigerator. Scald and peel the tomatoes. Cut a bit off the top and remove the seeds with a spoon. Place tomatoes in lettuce cups, fill with the cucumber cubes top with a dollop of mayonnaise, then garnish with parsley. 

This ultimately gives you a way to plate a cute salad. If I was to make this again, I would probably leave the skins on the tomato for the texture and because it would make it easier to scrape out the insides. The lettuce cups would be easier to make with some toothpicks or if each wrapped tomato is served in individual salad bowls. If made in advanced it would be best to serve the dressing on the side as well.