Enchilada Casserole

This is another microwave casserole I made during the dark days of no stove or oven during construction. I adapted it from a recipe that required baking, but I realized I could do it the easy way. I have made it with Fritos and gourmet tortilla chips, but I found regular old tortilla chips in a bag – like Tostitos – do the best. Adapt this how you like for your family, as well!

Enchilada Casserole

2-4 chicken breasts – based on your family size

1 can beans – refried or whole, such as black or pinto

1 can enchilada sauce

Tortilla chips

Shredded cheese

Green onion, chopped

1 small can black olives, sliced

Tomato, chopped


In a 2.5 quart microwave safe dish, place chicken breast and a bit of water. Top with paprika, salt & pepper, then microwave covered until chicken is just done. Shred chicken (I use my mixer) and return to bottom of dish. Place beans on top of chicken. Crumble tortilla chips over that to make a nice layer, but not too thick. Pour over that the enchilada sauce. Next put a layer of shredded cheese. Return to the microwave for 4-5 minutes until cheese is melted. Top with sliced olives, onion, tomato and avocado. You can also add the onion and olives before you microwave it.

Variation – make it with 1 lb ground beef instead of chicken.

Easy side dish – Make Minute Rice instant rice and replace 1/2 cup water with 1 cup salsa. Mix well.

KJ Potatoes

During the past 10 months of construction, I had to get creative in my cooking efforts since I lacked a stove. Or regular oven. Necessity is the mother of invention however, and I made up a dinner that my family enjoyed. I don’t think I will make it again just because it feels like “construction food” haha, but it was good during the cold winter and filling, and easy.

Following is the recipe I created after looking into the refrigerator to see what I had on hand. The name KJ Potatoes comes from an inside joke about our construction. You can change the name if you like the dish. It is written as baked in a convection toaster oven, so you may adjust according to your kitchen facilities. I like gold potatoes because the skins are soft and you don’t have to peel them if you don’t want to.

KJ Potatoes

2-4 large gold potatoes

1 package of Nathan’s or other all beef hotdogs

1/2 medium onion, chopped or sliced

Shredded cheese

Butter or margarine

Thinly slice the potatoes. The thicker they are the longer they take to cook through. Slice enough for your family, I usually used 4. Layer in the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Top with the onions, then add a couple dollops of butter or margarine. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or so, until potatoes are mostly done. While that is baking, slice hot dogs into 1/4″ discs. Once potatoes & onions are cooked, add the hot dog discs in a layer, then top with shredded cheese. Return to the oven for another 15 minutes or so, until the hot dogs are cooked through and cheese is bubbly.

Could be served with ketchup, sour cream, bacon bits, whatever you like.

On the home stretch…

My dear, patient readers and friends,

Last year I asked for your patience as I went on hiatus for some home construction. You can look at the post previous to this one to see where we were at that time – concrete floors, framed walls, no insulation. 

Here we are today

Although it has taken longer than predicted – what major construction project ever finishes early? – we are finally on the home stretch! What does this mean?

Lots of cooking & baking! 

Lots of scanning of recipes!

Lots of blogging!

I do need to ask for your continued patience though. When we packed our entire house last October, we thought this project would be finished in March. April outside. As we are now well into June, you can imagine how eager we are for this to be completed. BUT, once it is, there will be the task of bringing our stuff back out of storage and putting it away. I imagine this to be akin to getting a filling without novacaine. Since we weren’t moving, I don’t know that we packed as well as if we were. Plus, our stuff has been in storage for 8 months. Who knows where anything is!!

I sat with a friend tonight though and we talked about her mother’s recipe cards, and I was so excited about them, let me reassure you that as soon as I possibly can, I will be bringing you vintage recipe cards, ephemera and commentary, recipe reviews and as much great content as I can!

Until then, I hope you are cooking, baking, and enjoying life!


Hello vintage-handwritten-antique recipe lovers! Thank you every single one of you for helping to make this website so very popular! Every day we continue to gain new followers from the website and the Facebook page, and I am overwhelmed and grateful.

When I started this little project with 150 of my grandmother’s recipe cards, I never expected we would have so many kindred spirits out in the world who would enjoy this along with me. The project has grown to encompass numerous grandmothers, mothers, aunts, friends, grandmother’s of friends, etc. and many many more. I have found recipe cards in little boxes in stores from antique to junk, on eBay and thrift sites. Some recipes seem to find their way to many people, such as the easy and quick lasagna recipes which are so popular they still appear in cookbooks today.

Also when I started this project, I had an enormous kitchen. I was able to cook and try many of the recipes I found, and then blog the experiences for you. Since that time, we have moved to a smaller house, which made it difficult to cook and blog. The kitchen was sooo small! I say “was” because it has now been torn apart and we are building a lovely new kitchen with plenty of room to cook, photograph, blog, and just enjoy being in the kitchen again. I cannot wait for it to be finished. But….

Big empty room

…this is what it looks like right now. Much of the rest of my house is also bare like this – walls to the studs, concrete floor, no ceiling, no lights, no nothing. My family is living in two of our untouched bedrooms and I am cooking in the microwave and toaster oven. To say it is hectic is an understatement, lol.

Because we have had to empty out so many of our rooms, I was forced to pack away my source materials for this site. I had in mind that I would scan a ton of recipe cards and then just blog them over the ensuing months of construction, but as it happens, that plan was dashed when we had to hurriedly pack up. The thing about construction is that you wait a long time, wondering when it is going to start, and then BAM, it starts tomorrow!

This construction project is expected to last until March 2017, so unfortunately until then, I have to put this site on hiatus. I’m not happy about it, but I am so tickled about having a custom built kitchen etc., that it overcomes my disappointment to suspend my recipe blogging for a bit. Until I return, you may want to check out some of the most popular recipes we have:

Apie Cakes

Icicle Pickles

Watergate Cake

Apple Brown Betty

Ham Balls with Pineapple Sauce

Vintage Holiday Recipes


Sour Milk Waffles

Egg custard Cheese

Plum Pudding

I did manage to scan a number of vintage photographs and holiday cards, so if you love vintage ephemera in general, you might want to visit my site Who Were They? That site is dedicated to antique photos and a few fun other things. Every year I blog vintage Christmas cards, and this year I hit the mother load, so I hope you will check it out too.

Until next March, thank you for your continuing support and interest in all things cooking, baking, and blogging!

Chow Chow #3

Chow Chow 3 Chow Chow 3 Back

Our third and final (for now) recipe for Chow Chow. This one calls for tomatoes, onions, celery, mango peppers (aka bell peppers), cabbage and cauliflower. I’m guessing either this person had a prodigious back garden, or she just loved to can. It may have been “the thing” she was known for, or her family relied on her for sandwich spreads, pickles and relish, etc.

Note the items to be added to a pickling bag – celery seed, mustard seed & turmeric. You don’t want these to remain in the chow chow once it’s made so after pickling, remove the bag and discard it. The back side of the recipe is a bit confusing to me. Do we pickle the cabbage and cauliflower separately and then add to the rest of the chow chow? Continue reading

Pickled Red Beets

Pickled Red Beets

As a girl, my mother would make pickled beets for me, because I love them. We grew our own beets in the yard. As an adult I still love pickled beets, and I am particular about how sweet or tangy they ought to be. I don’t like them to be too sweet, which is what many canned beets can be. You note that this doesn’t indicate how many beets are required. Take a guess, it’s probably a lot. Also, slice the beets into 1/4″ thick slices or just a smidge less. The pickling flavors will saturate the meat of the slice better. Continue reading

Zucchini Relish

Zucchini Relish Coarse Zucchini Relish Back

This is clearly a summer canning recipe for pickled zucchini relish. It might be good, although I haven’t tried it myself. You will need a large crock or other type of container to hold the relish as you are making it. It also will need to be properly canned, and while it doesn’t indicate the yield, you are starting with 14 cups of zucchini/onions. These will mush down during the process, but be prepared for a large quantity of relish. Continue reading