Cozy Family Favorites Vintage Menu Madness

Wednesday 11 October 2023


Cozy Family Favorites

Hello all and welcome to my weekly Vintage Menu Madness Post!  I love old cook books, vintage cook books.  I have always had a love for recipes in general and especially vintage recipes.  I am slowly rebuilding my vintage cook book library after moving back to Canada several years ago, and an enjoying reacquainting myself with the ones which got left behind and picking up a few new old books as well!

I think there is a great value to be held in many of these old books. They served our Grandmothers well, and our mothers, and I guess at the ripe age of 68 I am getting to be a bit vintage myself, so some of them are ones that I enjoyed in my late teens and very early marriage years.

Cozy Family Favorites

I love these old books and their recipes.  Once a week, I am putting together a menu from one of my books. Everything to make up a full family meal. A main dish, fabulous sides, and a delicious dessert to top it off. I am sharing the menu and the recipes!

Some of them will be menus as suggested by the cook book. Others (like today's) will be a menu I correlated myself from one of my books.  Either way you can be assured that there is lots of deliciousness to be found and to be shared!

The American Woman's Cook Book 

The Cook Book I am using today for my menu and recipes is The American Woman's Cook Book. Originally published in 1938, my copy was edited and revised by Ruth Berolzheimer, director of the Culinary Arts Institute in 1948.  I wasn't even a twinkle in my daddy's eye in 1948!

I bought my gently used copy from Thrift Books, but you can download a 1939 copy of the book here on Vintage Cookbooks.  for free.  I am a rare duck, I like to have a physical copy in my hands.

This is a great book and is filled with a ton of information about every aspect of cookery that anyone might need to know, with incredibly in depth instructions as well as quite a few black and white photographs and even some color plates.  

Quite often these older cookbooks will take it for granted that the person using them will at least have some basic knowledge of cookery. This book does not do that.  Not only is it filled with facts about food and cooking, but it has loads of recipes for all sorts. The Index alone is 57 pages.  It also has handy chapter indents to make it quicker to find what you are looking for recipe-wise.

Cozy Family Favorites


Todays menu is one that I correlated myself. I think I picked a rather nutritious round up of dishes. A menu that is well balanced, with dishes that go very well together.  There is a tasty main, two sides, and a wholesome dessert.

I am calling today's Menu, "Cozy Family Favorites."  I think it is a very family friendly menu with simple and nutritious options. It is also designed to go together very quickly. It is a Supper Menu. I did not include it, but you could begin with a cold glass of tomato juice to get the taste buds going.


(with cream if desired)

Scalloped Tuna & Peas

The star of the menu is the Scalloped Tuna and Peas.  I was really surprised at how simple and easy this was to put together.  It was a simple layering of a few ingredients (two) in a dish, which then had seasoned cream poured over top, with a topping of buttered crumbs.

This was then popped into a moderate oven to bake until nice and bubbly and golden brown on top. Note - I personally cut the recipe in half for myself, which was very simply done. I had enough for today and then lunch tomorrow.

Scalloped Tuna and Peas

I used a good quality solid Albacore Tuna in water, which I drained. I also used frozen Petit Pois/baby peas which I poured boiling water over and then drained really well.

I made bread crumbs with 2 slices of bread and mixed them with 1 TBS of butter to sprinkle over top. The toast points were two slices of a good white country loaf, buttered on both sides, crusts removed and then cut diagonally into triangles. These, I popped into the oven with the casserole for the last 10 minutes of baking, flipping them over half way through so as to toast both sides.

I thought this tuna bake was every bit as nice as my regular Classic Tuna Casserole.  With the cream, I am not sure if it is any lower in calories, but it was every bit as tasty!

Yield: 6
Author: Marie Rayner
Scalloped Tuna & Peas

Scalloped Tuna & Peas

Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 30 MinTotal time: 35 Min
Rich and creamy with a lovely crisp and buttery bread crumb topping.


  • 2 cups (145g) cooked peas, well drained (I poured boiling water over frozen peas and then just drained them.)
  • 2 cups (310g) drained and flaked cooked tuna
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (45g) soft fresh bread crumbs (with 1 TBS butter stirred in)


  1. Preheat your oven to 350*F/180*C/ gas mark 4. Butter a shallow baking dish large enough to hold all of your ingredients.
  2. Layer in the tuna and the peas. I put two layers of each, beginning with the peas and ending with tuna. (peas, tuna, peas, tuna)
  3. Whisk the cream and seasonings together. Pour the mixture evenly over top of the fish.
  4. Cover with the buttered crumbs.
  5. Bake, uncovered in the preheated oven until bubbling and golden brown on top.
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Boiled Potatoes

I thought the tuna dish would go very well with simple boiled potatoes. It would also work well with rice.  When I am boiling potatoes, I always boil extra. That way I have cold potatoes left over to use in salads or for making fried potatoes.

To boil potatoes you will want to select potatoes of uniform size. Scrub them really well. You can pare then or not as you wish. (I like to leave the peels on.)

Boiled Potatoes

Place in a saucepan of cold water and bring to the boil.  Cook in the boiling water until they are tender and can be pierced easily with a fork. (This can take from 15 to 20 minutes depending on the size, age and variety of potato.) Don't add any salt until the last five minutes of boiling.

Once boiled drain well and then return to the pan.  Shake the pan over the residual heat of the burner to dry them out. Serve in an uncovered dish or cover with a folded napkin.

I like to break my boiled potatoes up a tiny bit and toss them with some butter, salt, pepper and parsley. When broken like that, they absorb the lovely flavors of the butter, and are quite delicious! 

I always boil then in the skins and do not mind eating the skins. There is a lot of nutrition in the skin of the potato.  This is lost when you peel them. You can always peel them quickly after boiling if desired.

Carrot Salad

One thing I love about these older menus/recipes/meal plans is that they, more often than not, seem to include a fresh vegetable or fruit salad of some kind.  I have always served salad to my family with meals.

This carrot salad was a delightfully crunchy mix of raw carrot and cabbage. I added some minced onion and finely chopped red apple as per the recipe suggestion and topped/garnished it with some chopped toasted pecans.

It was a bit on the tangy side, but I liked that. If you are adverse to this idea, then by all means add a pinch of sugar.

Yield: 4 - 6
Author: Marie Rayner
Carrot Salad

Carrot Salad

Prep time: 10 MinTotal time: 10 Min
Crisp and fresh with a nice tang. See recipe notes for variations.


  • 1 cup (110g) grated raw carrot
  • 1 cup (90g) chopped raw cabbage or celery (127g) or a mix of both combined
  • 1 TBS fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Mayonnaise or boiled dressing (just to moisten)


  1. Mix the ingredients well together and then serve on crisp lettuce leaves. (I did not do this.)


The salad may be served alone on lettuce or may be combined with cold boiled peas, chopped toasted nuts, chopped apples, minced onion and radishes.

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Baked Stuffed Apples

Dessert for my menu was very simple and very seasonal. It was also very delicious! Baked Stuffed Apples.  This is apple season after all and there is no finer dessert to my way of thinking than a lovely baked apple.   

Baked apples make a nice change from Apple Dumplings and are every bit as nice in my opinion.  A lot lower in fat and calories as well.

Baked Stuffed Apples

I chose to stuff mine with a mix of raisins, diced candied ginger, brown sugar, butter and a pinch of cinnamon.

They were lovely, served warm with just a drizzle of cream.

Baked Stuffed Apples


Select sound apples; core them and place from one teaspoon to one tablespoon of sugar in each cavity. Place the apples in a baking dish, add water to cover the bottom of the dish, and bake in a moderate oven (350*F/180*C/gas mark 4 - 375*F/190*C/ gas mark 5) until tender.  (I put mine in while I was putting together the tuna bake.  They were both finished at roughly the same time.)

I did two apples, scoring the skin lightly around the centers. (This was how I was taught to do them many years ago.)  I stuffed the centers with a mix of 2 TBS of sultana raisins, 2 TBS minced candied ginger, 1 TBS soft light brown sugar, packed and 1 TBS of butter.


Sour apples cook more quickly than sweet ones, and summer or fall apples take less time to cook than winter apples.

Baked apples may be varied by filling the centers with brown sugar and raisins, sections of banana, red cinnamon candies, marshmallows, marmalade or jelly, honey or corn syrup and lemon juice, nuts, candied orange peel, candied pineapple, preserved ginger, canned or fresh berries, peaches and other fruits or leftover fruit juice.

Meringues, whipped cream, custard sauce or marshmallow sauce may be used as a garnish.  (I just drizzled with some cream.)

Cozy Family Favorites

This really was a lovely meal.   I enjoyed every aspect of it.  I thought the tuna bake went very well with the boiled potatoes and it was not overwhelming with an abundance of food. The portions were just right and quite ample.

That salad was lovely and crunchy and the baked apples were the best finish. I baked two and took the second one over to my sister's for my father to enjoy with his supper.   He loves a bit of sweet at the end of his meals.

I have to say I am really enjoying putting together these menus each week. It is inspiring me and helping me to add a bit of something different to my life.  I really hope that you were inspired by this menu to want to make it for your own family.  Tune in next week to see what I get up to next!

Cozy Family Favorites

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  1. This was an interesting combination of foods! I learned how to make fresh buttered bread crumbs, how to bake an apple and that chopped celery can be combined with raw carrot for a salad. Two of my children told me (when we lived in France and they were eating in the cafeteria) that the French often grate an entire plateful of carrots to serve each student. I had wondered why you moved to Canada, but now you mention visiting your sister and your father - both good reasons to move. Thank you!

    1. Thanks very much Ruth! I love grated carrots myself. You are welcome! xo


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