Chantilly Strawberry Roses

Chantilly Strawberry Roses -The Vintage Cook

Brunch Week continues! We are whipping up some fantastic ideas for Mother’s Day.

THEN: I was reading through the May of 1985 Gourmet Magazine, sigh, the memories. Rest in Peace Gourmet Magazine (1941-2009). A restaurant review featured a photo of delicately carved strawberries into roses-there wasn’t a recipe with it or instructions. There was another recipe in the magazine for strawberries with a “Rum Chantilly” cream, but it had some other fruits, so I decided to take the best of both ideas and marry them into one recipe. (more…)

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Dark Chocolate Covered Raisinet Cookies

Introducing my first post in Cake Box Recipes. Since so many of my old cookbooks have recipes using cake mix, I thought it would make a nice category for The Vintage Cook.


OK, so everyone has a favorite movie theater treat, right? Usually I just stick to a salty bucket of over-saturated with butter-oil popcorn. But back in the day when candy didn’t cost an arm and a leg, I used to get Raisinets! Yum~ My girls would probably cringe, since they are of this age of those wax-coated, grainy, flavorless little cookie dough ball thingys. Oh but the Raisnets… could it be the idea of actually eating something healthy that got me hooked, or perhaps it was that sweet and slightly tart chewy combination? Who knows. But now, they EVEN HAVE DARK Chocolate Raisinets, oh goody gumdrops, it can’t be true.

Turns out that Raisinets are the number one largest selling candy in United States history. They were introduced to us in 1927 by the Blumenthal Chocolate Company and then Nestlé acquired the brand in 1984 (right around the time I started going to the movies!)

I hope you will enjoy this recipe. I played around with different combinations and finally got it exactly the way I envisioned. Now pass the popcorn please!~



Dark Chocolate Covered Raisinet Cookies
Author: Lanie
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
An easy cookie Inspired by the Dark Chocolate Raisinet.
  • 1 stick butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 pkg. (16.5 oz) Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 (3.5 oz) box Dark Chocolate Raisinets
  • For the Glaze: (optional but really worth the extra effort)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 Tablespoons Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. For the cookies: Melt the butter in a big mixing bowl. With a big spoon, stir in the cake mix and eggs until well mixed. Stir in chips, raisins and candy. Cover and chill this batter for 15 minutes. Mound rounded Tablespoons or with a cookie scoop onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for about 12 minutes. Cool completely.
  3. For the glaze: In a non-stick pan, whisk together all of the glaze ingredients. Turn heat to medium-high and continue whisking. Once mixture comes to a full boil and bubbles, let cook for 1 1/2 minutes. With a temperature safe basting brush or a spoon, coat the tops of the cookies. Let cool. Makes 2 dozen.


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Mrs. Lund’s Fresh Plum Cake

German Plum Cake Photo


The main ingredients: Plums and Flour


When I think about “brunch”, I think about girls getting together and chatting. I think about friendships. Growing up in Lake Valley, our neighborhood was a bit like The Wonder Years. We were The Gadzia’s, next door were the Wheeler’s, The McKee’s, and the Bemis’, The Wiggins’, The Simmons’, The Zumwalt’s, The Godwin’s, the Todd’s…and Pete on the corner who gave us bare-footed kids Tootsie Roll pops. Then of course, there were The Lund’s. Many of my first food memories and first tastes were at The Lund’s house. Christina was three years older than me, the same age as my brother but we were the good friends. She was more like the big sister I never had- but always wanted.

Christina and "Mel"
Christina and I

Their house was so much more immaculate than ours. Being that Mom owned a pet shop, our house was more like an exotic zoo at times. We had a pet raccoon, a spider monkey, even had a pet prairie dog once. But it was a beautiful home with a pool on the lake, and my childhood Elementary school years are most memorable.

That’s me going down the slide. I hadn’t yet figured out that girls are supposed to wear tops.

Mrs. Lund probably never imagined that I would become a Foodpreneur, and at that time, was mentally cataloging everything I tasted at her house. I had my first cucumber salad there, first homemade wheat rolls, and of course, my very first taste of German plum cake. I remember Mrs. Lund as a gracious, beautiful and sweet lady with a German accent who was also the school librarian. I went back to the old neighborhood a few years ago and Mr. & Mrs. Lund looked exactly the same as they did 30 years ago. Even their lawn was as perfect as it was 30 years ago.

People would find it strange that I remember everything I’ve ever tasted, and everything everybody else tells me, they tasted.

I found an early photo of myself relaxing in our back yard on the hammock, obviously quite curious about a strawberry. 🙂 Food seemed to be as curious to me then as it is now.

Me, my dog Lollipop, & Maude the duck )1979

Now back to the Plum cake. The German name for Plum Cake is “Zwetschgendatschi.” There are two main versions, the easy version with powder for rising or the more time-consuming version with yeast. I’ve made both. The yeast version tastes more like Plum Bread to me. My girls loved it right out of the oven with melted butter.

This is not a sweet cake. I like granulated sugar as opposed to powdered sugar. This is pure cake with real fresh plums. I reduced this recipe to be made in a 8×8 inch square pan…simply because a 9×12 cake is just too much cake for my family. Plus, most of the recipes call for a whole pound of plums or more. I made mine with only three plums. The important thing is to make sure your plums are ripe. They will give when you push on them. I use margarine in this recipe because I don’t think butter improves it. I love butter, don’t get me wrong. 🙂 I will post the yeast version next week.


Plum Cake

Try cutting them into little finger cakes too.
Plum Cake Bites


Mrs. Lund’s Fresh Plum Cake
Recipe Type: easy cakes and breads
Cuisine: German
Author: Lanie Smith (The Vintage Cook)
So simple yet delicious. I like to cut it up into finger bite sizes, one plum wedge per slice to serve on a platter with coffee or tea.
  • 4 Tablespoons, half a stick of margarine
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest and/or pure vanilla extract
  • 3 or 4 ripe plums, seed removed and sliced in wedges
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, gently melt the margarine. Stir in the milk and then the egg. With an electric mixer, begin beating on medium speed. Add sugar, flour, and baking powder. Add zest or extract and continue blending until batter is smooth.
  3. Pour into a greased and floured (or Pam Baking Sprayed) 8×8 inch square or round cake pan.
  4. Place sliced plum wedges into the batter, skin down.
  5. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until golden. Remove and let cool before sprinkling with more sugar.
  6. Serves 4-5


For more exciting Brunch recipes look here:


Watermelon Rosemary Champagne Cocktail by Vanilla Lemonade

Pear Hibiscus Brunch Cocktail by Rachel Cooks

Strawberry Rose Sangria by The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen

Mocha Frappuccino by Around My Family Table

Pineapple-Basil Tea by The Kitchen Prep


Tomato and Mozzarella Quiche by Love and Confection

Cherry Tomato and Chorizo Omelette by Katie’s Cucina

Asparagus and Bacon Quicheby Confessions of an Overworked Mom

Meat, Poultry and Fish

Bacon Canapés with Oranges and Maple Yogurt by Cook the Story

Chicken Bacon Ranch Panini by Sweet Remedy

Pancetta Wrapped Chicken by Jane’s Adventures in Dinner

Breads, Grains, Cereals and Pancake-type Yums

Spinach and Goat Cheese Muffins by Culinary Flavors

Overnight Blintz Bake by White Lights on Wednesday

Bananas Foster French Toast by by Cravings of a Lunatic


Cinnamon Raisin Bread by Katie’s Cucina

Chocolate Chip Banana Bundt Cake by Take A Bite Out Of Boca

Strawberry Scones by Kokocooks

Strawberry Mascarpone Tart by Kelly Bakes

Fruits and Veggies

Honey-Watermelon Soup by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

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Grilled Steak & Black Bean Chili

I couldn’t think Cheesecake or Chowder on Super Bowl Sunday, the only thing that came to mind was a “Super Bowl” of chili. There are a lot of great recipes out there for chili and everyone has their own little method. However, if you want to make your chili really dance, throw in a steak! I mean, a grilled steak. Whenever we grill steak, I always grab an inexpensive charcoal steak and grill it and freeze for later use.

My favorite beans for chili are black beans and sometimes chili beans. Bush’s are my go to brand. It’s not just the brand. Bush’s beans win all the taste tests.

Chili is best when it cooks on low for many hours, and I would go as far as to say, it’s better the next day. So go ahead and make it the day before so all your flavors are kissing! Some people think chili demands extra cumin (beyond what’s in the packet), I disagree. 😀  The most important little hint is to buy your chili powder in packets so every batch is fresh.

We covered meat and beans, now let’s talk toppings. I had cornbread of course, crackers, tortilla chips, sliced jalapenos, chopped tomatoes, onions, sour cream, cheese,  hot sauce…well, just take a look. Am I missing anything?

Grilled Steak & Black Bean Chili

1 lb. leftover cooked steak, any cut, chopped into cubes (preferably grilled and chilled the night before)
1 lb. ground beef for chili, 93/7

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 cups diced celery

1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped

3 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced

1 (14 oz.) can hearty beef broth

1 (26.46 oz.) carton 100% pure strained tomatoes (Pomi brand is great)

1 (14.5 oz.) can fire roasted diced salsa style tomatoes

1 (1.25 oz.) pkg. your favorite chili seasoning

1 Tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground chipotle chili pepper (more or less for desired heat)

2 (15 ounce) cans seasoned black beans, drained and rinsed

*Grated cheese (white cheddar or jack) and sour cream for topping


1. IN a large heavy non-stick pot over medium heat, brown the ground beef. When brown, stir in the steak cuts until cooked through. Remove from pot and set aside. Add oil to the pot, stir in the celery and onion. Sauté. Add the garlic and reduce to med-low heat.

2. Pour broth, strained tomatoes and diced tomatoes into the pot. Stir. Add the meat back to the pot as well.

3. Stir in the chili seasoning, brown sugar, and ground chipotle. Stir and cover. Let simmer, stirring periodically for three hours.

4. After three hours, stir in the rinsed black beans.  Continue to simmer for two more hours. Top with sour cream and cheese. Serves 8



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