250 Cookbooks: Feed Me! I’m Yours

Cookbook #77: Feed Me! I’m Yours, Vicki Lansky, Bantam Books, 1979.

Feed Me! I'm YoursThis is one of my cookbooks – I bought it new, for me, for advice on feeding my son, who was born in 1980. I was so scared at first to let him eat anything but breast milk! it seemed odd to feed him solids for that first time. Of course I got over that pretty fast, but that’s why I got this cookbook, I wanted help!

Now it’s 2014 my 7 month old grandson is visiting. My daughter is determined to get this kid eating solids! I pulled Feed Me! I’m Yours from the shelf, and we both pored over this decades-old book.

This is a friendly and helpful book. In the first chapter: “Are you a bit nervous about making your own baby food?” Yeah! Lots of suggestions to get a young mother going along a path of homemade foods for her baby. The content was reviewed by a pediatric nurse – this is a sensible as well as friendly book.

Most of the nutrition information agrees with what my daughter has learned from the Internet and current baby care books. One big change is that honey used to be okay for babies, but now is a big taboo. Some of the recipes and food suggestions in Feed Me! I’m Yours have more sugar in them than my daughter wants her son to have.

So what foods do we try on our little . . . test child? Sweet potatoes, potatoes, bananas, oatmeal, pureed fruits, and almond butter.

Ahem. These foods do not simply go into my grandson’s mouth . . . they are gooed all over his face, his arms, his tummy, they go in his mouth and out, they get under his feet and smooshed on the chair. feed me!Since he is still in the cereals-and-mashed-fruits-and-vegetables stage, and since most Feed Me! I’m Yours cracker recipes have sugar in them, I decide to go online and see what young moms are cooking for their babies these days. Wow, what an amazing wealth of information is at the fingertips of today’s moms! I found this cute cracker and daughter-approved recipe:

crackers for babyThis recipe is from the Super Healthy Kids website. They have whole wheat flour, oatmeal, wheat germ, olive oil, and cheese in them. Grandma got to make Jo his first homemade “cookies”!

250 Cookbooks: Baker’s Chocolate and Coconut Favorites

Cookbook #76: Baker’s Chocolate and Coconut Favorites, General Foods Corp., 6th Edition, 1977.

Baker's Chocolate and Coconut FavoritesBaker’s Chocolate and Coconut Favorites is a booklet-cookbook given to my mother by my aunt in October 1977. That means it was a birthday present! As per the title, every recipe contains chocolate or coconut or both. This would be the go-to book for a coconut cake or macaroons, or the original recipe for German’s Sweet Chocolate Cake. My mother marked just a couple recipes as tried. Me? I haven’t ever used this cookbook, and not sure if I will keep it or not. Most of the recipes are for desserts, and I already have tons of dessert recipes.

I decided to try Coconut Refrigerator Cookies. Mother marked these as “Delicious”:

Coconut Refrigerator CookiesThese turned out great. I used butter in these, but next time I’ll use margarine, and that’s how I am writing my version of this recipe (below). Butter often makes cookies flatten out too much, and I’m pretty sure that my mother would have used margarine, since it’s cheaper.

Coconut Refrigerator Cookies
makes 6-8 dozen, depending on how thinly you slice the cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup margarine
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup flaked coconut

Beat the butter in a mixer until creamed, then add the sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat well. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, then add to the creamed mixture. Stir in the oats on low speed, then add the pecans and coconut.

Divide the dough into quarters, then roll each portion into a 2-inch diameter log. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, a couple hours. Slice into 1/8-inch thick cookies (mine were probably a bit bigger) and place on ungreased or parchment-lined baking sheets.

Bake at 375˚ for 8 minutes, or until just lightly brown.


Coconut Refrigerator Cookies


250 Cookbooks: Favorite Brand Name Cookie Collection

Cookbook #75: Favorite Brand Name Cookie Collection, Publications International, 1992.

Favorite Brand Name Cookie CollectionThis is a great cookie book. Hmmm, guess that’s why I chose to give it to my mother in 1996! Even today, in 2014, I can find many recipes I’d like to try. There must be over 700 recipes in this cookbook.

“Brand Name”? I usually don’t like “brand names” because it usually means a lot of pre-packaged mixes are used. Plus, this is not a “personal” cookbook, with interesting notes from an author. But most of the “brand names” in this cookbook can be substituted with any brand, and many are from-scratch recipes. Can’t judge a book by it’s cover.

The chapters are arranged by cookies with chips in them, brownies, bar cookies, drop and shaped cookies, fancy tea-time cookies, cookies for kids, and holiday cookies. My mother marked a couple recipes as “delicious” but didn’t seem to use this cookbook a lot. Not surprising, as her cookie repertoire was pretty full.

I decided to try “German Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies” for this blog. As per the “brand name” theme, it calls for “Butter Flavor Crisco”. It also calls for “German chocolate”, but not by brand.

Name BrandsIf you decide to make these cookies, regular vegetable shortening will work fine! I used rolled oats from a “natural” store, but substitute any non-instant oatmeal.

German Chocolate Cookies RecipeGerman Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
makes 4-5 dozen

  • 3/4 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 ounces German chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 tablespoon water (this is odd! but I did use it)
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups oatmeal (quick, old fashioned, or rolled oats)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup flaked coconut

Combine shortening, sugars, and eggs; beat with mixer until well blended (“creamed”).

Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix into the creamed mixture at low speed until blended, then stir in oats, nuts, and coconut.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto parchment-lined or greased baking sheets. Bake at 375˚ for 10 minutes.

German Chocolate Oatmeal CookiesComments

I tried these just out of the oven and was sort of disappointed. But later that night, and the next day, these tasted excellent, and were a big hit! For nutrition reasons, I like the large proportion of oats in these cookies, as well as the pecans. For flavor reasons, I love the chocolate and coconut.

A keeper!


250 Cookbooks: America’s Bake-Off Cookbook

Cookbook #74: America’s Bake-Off Cookbook, 29th, The Pillsbury Company, USA, 1980.

America's Bake-Off CookbookI think I bought this booklet. No writing in it at all.

Too many of the recipes call for pre-packaged refrigerated crescent rolls, hot roll mix, or cake mixes. From the few that are from scratch, I noted two to copy to try in the future and one to try for this blog. But, after that, America’s Bake-Off Cookbook, 29th, will go into the recycle pile.

I chose to try “Glazed Oatmeal Raisin Bread”. The oatmeal, raisins, low amount of shortening, inclusion of molasses, and low amount of sugar qualify this as “fit for breakfast” (see this blog post).

Glazed Oatmeal Raisin BreadHey, this 1980 Bake-Off Cookbook includes nutritional information! I don’t remember any of the earlier ones doing that.

I used a third of the called-for ingredients to make just one loaf. Although I felt that boiling/soaking the raisins really wasn’t necessary, I went ahead and did it. I substituted some of the white flour with white wheat flour, and used whole oats (not quick cooking). I used my breadmaker to knead and rise the dough. Here is my baked loaf:

Oatmeal Raisin BreadNote how huge the loaf is! That’s because of the wet raisins. Since I was using my breadmaker to knead the bread, I added the raisins about halfway through the kneading process. But with these soaked raisins came a lot of water, so I had to add about a cup more flour. Still, the baked loaf smelled good, and I looked forward to a toasted slice of this raisin bread in the morning. But this is what I got:

slice of Oatmeal Raisin BreadWhat happened to the raisins?? Oops, shouldn’t have added the raisins so early in the kneading process. The breadmaker ground them up into raisin meal.

Oh well. That’s how we learn.

But this bread is really good for toast. I munch in, and get this huge sweet taste of raisins, even though there are no visible raisins in it. It could be a mystery bread!

250 Cookbooks: Low Fat and Fit!

Cookbook #73: Low Fat and Fit, Betty Crocker, General Mills, Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1996.

LowFatAndFitCBLow Fat and Fit is one of those small booklets that tempt you as you wait at the supermarket check-out stand. I paged through this one in 1996 and took it home for $2.99.

This booklet includes a good selection of breakfast, main dish, salad, and dessert recipes. Typically, the recipes shave calories by using low-fat dairy products, small amounts of oil or margarine (1 teaspoon to brown 4 chicken breasts), and egg whites or egg substitute instead of whole eggs. Lean meats and portion control also trim calories. Lifestyle choices such as physical exercise is recommended to help maintain a healthy weithy. Four pages are devoted to what is essentially an ad for a health and fitness ranch spa.

Yada yada yada. Nothing very new or exciting in this cookbook. I decided to try “Chicken Breasts with Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce” for this blog.

Chicken Breasts with Sun-Dried Tomato SauceNote that the recipe calls for sun-dried tomatoes that are not oil-packed. I think the only reason for this choice is to save calories. The oil-packed ones I used only had 10 calories per piece. It’s kind of ridiculous the way they trim calories off the recipes.

These chicken breasts were not good enough to make again. Even my photo is pretty terrible. My dining partner picked out the sun-dried tomatoes, saying they tasted like the briny olives that he hates (and I love). I cleaned my plate, but was not “wowed” enough to copy the recipe in as a “keeper”.

Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomatoes I was about to recycle Low Fat and Fit, but a few of the breakfast items made me hesitate: Crunchy Oven French Toast, Oatmeal Pancakes, Ricotta-Banana Crepes, and Poppy Seed Drop Scones. I’ll keep it around for awhile just in case.

Since this sauced chicken recipe was not a hit, I’ll share a keeper of a recipe that I make a lot. I call it “Chicken With Veloute Sauce and Veggies”. I like the sauce because it is easy, semi low-fat, and has wine in it. The original recipe called for artichoke hearts, but I use whatever I have on hand.

Chicken With Velouté Sauce and Veggies
serves 2

  • scant 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons flour (this depends on how obsessive you are feeling about too many calories)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 boneless chicken breast halves or chicken tenders (about 9 oz. for 2 people)
  • 1 egg
  • flour seasoned with salt and pepper (enough to coat the chicken pieces)
  • extra-virgin olive oil to barely cover bottom of pan (you can use a different vegetable oil)
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • vegetables: canned or frozen artichoke hearts (NOT the marinated ones), sautéd or gently cooked mushrooms, julienned zucchini, celery, carrots, onions, or whatever else comes to mind

Melt the butter in a small sauce pan, then stir in the 2 tablespoons flour and cook for 2–3 minutes; do not allow to brown. Stir in the chicken broth and some freshly ground black pepper; boil and cook about 3 minutes until thickened. Set aside. (It might get scummy, so cover top with plastic wrap if you are worried about it.)

If using chicken breasts (rather than chicken tenders), pound them to 1/2-inch thick. Whisk the egg with a little water. Dip the chicken in the egg mixture, then in the salt-and-peppered flour.

Heat a fry-pan until it feels hot when you hold your hand a couple inches above it. Add the olive oil and tilt to cover the pan. Set to medium high heat. Cook the chicken about 5 minutes on each side until golden brown and nearly cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside.

With the skillet at medium-high heat, add the wine, stirring to de-glaze the pan. Add reserved sauce and cook a few minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in the vegetables. Add the browned chicken breasts to the sauce and cook them for a few minutes. Sometimes the breasts are larger and need a few more minutes to cook, sometimes smaller pieces like tenders only need a brief time to warm up to serving temperature.

I usually serve this over rice, but pasta or about any grain would work too.