Mrs. Meadows Soft Sugar Cookies


By Gloria Pitzer, as printed on her “Free Recipes/Information” sheet (circa 2000).


1/4-lb. butter, melted

14-oz. can Eagle Brand Milk

1/2 C. packed brown sugar

1/2 C. real sour cream

1 egg

1 tsp. almond or vanilla extract

3 C. self-rising flour

1/2 C. Bisquick

[* small dish of white sugar]


Beat together, in order listed [except for white sugar], until a thick, smooth dough forms. Drop dough by a heaping tablespoonful into the dish of white sugar, coating and shaping into balls.

Place balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet, flattening them a bit with your fingers. [*Option: press several chocolate chips into the tops of the the cookies, as well.]

Bake at 400°F for 10-12 minutes. Should appear golden around edges but white on top. Cool 5 minutes on baking sheet. Makes about 2 dozen.

*Special note: I used a 1/8-cup scoop to ball up my cookies and I had about 50 cookies. This recipe says it yields 2 dozen – it should be 4 dozen.

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Making Memories with a Christmas Cookie Exchange!

Pineapple Upside Down Cake


By Gloria Pitzer, as seen in… The Best of Gloria Pitzer’s Better Cookery Cookbook (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; February 1990, 11th Printing, p. 97)


3 cans (8-oz. each) sliced pineapple, in juice

1 C. packed, light brown sugar

1/3 C. butter or margarine, melted and cooled

7 red Maraschino cherries, cut in half

½ C. chopped pecans

18-oz. box yellow or white cake mix

1 pkg. Dream Whip powder

4 eggs

1 C. cold water

[bottled/jarred pineapple sundae topping for glaze]


Drain pineapple, reserving 2 TB of the juice. Combine brown sugar and butter, spreading it in a 9”x13”x2” baking pan. Arrange pineapple slices in single layer to fit the pan, cutting slices, if necessary. Place cherry halves, cut side up, in middle of each pineapple ring.

Drizzle in the reserved juice. Sprinkle on a layer of chopped pecans. Combine dry cake mix with Dream Whip powder. Beat in eggs and water for about 5 minutes or until batter is smooth. Carefully spread batter over pineapple [cherries and nut] layer in the pan.

Bake at 350°F for 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let it stand in the pan for about 5 minutes, [placing pan] on a wire rack. Place a greased jelly roll pan over top of cake pan and carefully invert cake onto pan, holding pans securely in place as you turn it over.

Let stand 1 minute before removing top [pan]. Scrape down any excess topping, rearranging pineapples and cherries, if necessary. Drizzle the top with the sundae topping to give it a glaze. Serve warm or cold topped with ice cream and/or whipped cream.

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – The Quarantine Effect

Hopeless Pecan Tarts


By Gloria Pitzer, as seen in… The Original 200 Plus Secret Recipes© Book (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; June 1997, p. 14)


Homemade (or store-bought) pie crust dough

½ C. butter

1/3 C. dark corn syrup

1 C. powdered sugar

1 C. chopped pecans

1 C. chopped peanuts

4 eggs, well-beaten


Make up your favorite pie crust recipe [or use store-bought dough), enough to roll out and cut to fit 36 well-greased cupcake tin wells, like tart shells.

In a heavy saucepan, mix rest of ingredients and bring to a boil. On low, cook and stir constantly for 10 minutes.

While filling cools, bake tart shells at 425°F for 10 minutes. Remove and fill hot shells half-full with filling. Put back in oven to bake at 375°F for 12-15 minutes or until filling is “set”.

Cool and refrigerate leftovers to use in a few days or freeze to use in a few months. Makes 36 tarts.

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Working From Home

Iacocca Cake – Beer Fudge Spice Cake

IACOCCA CAKE [aka: Beer Fudge Spice Cake]

By Gloria Pitzer, as seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 210). [A revised reprint of Gloria Pitzer’s Better Cookery Cookbook (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; May 1983, 3rd Edition).]

 From my ‘Ask Your Neighbor’ recipe journal, I offered this cake to Bob Allison’s listeners (October 1972), in response to a listener’s request for a good, rich, feathery-light spice cake made with beer.


9-ounce box devil’s food cake mix

1 envelope Dream Whip powder

1 teaspoon apple pie spice powder

½ cup light beer

4 tablespoons oil

2 eggs


Combine dry ingredients in one bowl. Combine liquid ingredients in another bowl; then, beat liquids into dry mixture with electric mixer on high-speed for about 4 minutes. Pour into greased and floured 9-inch layer pan or 10-inch, fluted-rim, Pyrex pie plate. Bake at 350°F for 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Cover with topping and then drizzle with frosting (recipes below) and decorate with walnut halves.

IACOCCA CAKE TOPPING: mix well – ½ cup chopped walnuts, 1 tablespoon sugar and ½ teaspoon cinnamon. Sprinkle over layer before applying frosting (below.)

IACOCCA CAKE FROSTING: combine, in top of double boiler, over simmering water – 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1 ounce (solid) unsweetened chocolate, 1/3 cup Half-&-Half light cream and 2 tablespoons light corn syrup. Stir until melted and smooth (about 12 to 15 minutes.) Beat in 1 ½ cups powdered sugar. Drizzle over topping-covered layer (above.)

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Home Is Where Our Health Is

Au Gratin Potatoes, Like Bill Knapps


By Gloria Pitzer

As seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 137)


6 medium potatoes – boiled, peeled and sliced thin (or diced)

1/4 C. diced bottled pimiento

3 TB butter

1/2 C. chopped onion

3 TB flour

dash pepper

2 C. milk

8-oz. Cheese Whiz


Mix potatoes and pimiento and chill. Melt butter and sauté onion until limp. Stir in flour, pepper, and milk until smooth. Add mixture to potatoes along with Cheese Whiz, coating evenly. Pour everything into a greased 2-qt. baking dish. Bake uncovered at 350°F for 45 minutes or until browned on top and bubbly. Garnish with chopped parsley (or dried parsley flakes) and serve promptly. Makes 6 servings.

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Radio and the Recipe Detective

Beer Bread

BEER BREAD By Gloria Pitzer

As seen in Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press, Jan. 2018; p. 152)


2 cups self-rising flour

3 tablespoons sugar

1 egg, beaten

12-ounce can Busch Light beer


Mix the flour and sugar together with a fork and set aside. Beat the egg and beer together in an accommodating cup. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the liquid. Mix it only until all dry particles have been moistened, like a muffin batter should be mixed. Do not over-beat!

Pour into a greased and floured 9-inch loaf pan. Bake at 350°F for about 30 to 35 minutes or until you can insert a thin wooden skewer through the center to the bottom of the pan and remove it without any traces of wet batter. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Wipe top of loaf with melted butter and dust lightly with sugar. Slice when cooled.

*NOTES & TIPS: If the bread appears to fall or sink while cooling, it means you didn’t bake it long enough. If it’s heavy and moist, it means you over-beat it. If it turns out dry and crumbly, it means you didn’t beat it enough – so don’t be fooled into thinking that just because the recipe has only 4 ingredients that you can slap it together and have it turn out beautifully. Combine ingredients with care!

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Homesteading

The Reuben – According To Julia Lega

THE REUBEN – According to Julia Lega

As seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 187)

The best Rubens can be ruined by the worst sauerkraut. Most of us open a can and heat it up. My good friend, Julia Lega – who’s well-loved sauerkraut put ‘Beautiful Downtown’ Pearl Beach, MI on the world map of favorable fare – suggested this method and I love it!

Open a large can or jar of sauerkraut and dump it into a colander. Squeeze out as much of the liquid, in which it is canned, as possible and run it under cold water, rinsing it well. Then, squeeze out as much of this water as you can. Put the sauerkraut in an accommodating, oven-proof, sauce pan – or kettle, depending on how much you’re preparing – and add just enough chicken broth to keep the sauerkraut submerged.

Next, for every quart (4 cups) of the “squeezed-out” sauerkraut, stir in a 12-inch length of kielbasa cut into bite-sized pieces and 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar.

Then peel, core and grate an apple into this. Cover it and place in a 350°F oven for about 45 minutes, stirring it every 10 minutes or so.  When the kielbasa is tender, well-browned and appears to have absorbed the apple and the liquids, add 1 medium-sized, raw potato – peeled and grated.

Return pan to oven for another 30 minutes or until you have no traces of potato in the mixture. It should almost dissolve into a smooth sauce-like gravy, which keeps the sauerkraut smooth.

At this point, taste-test and adjust the seasonings to taste, adding a pinch more sugar, or salt and pepper if you like. Remove the sauerkraut from the pan with a pair of tongs to add to the sandwiches as you prepare them.

To assemble the Reuben sandwich: butter BOTH sides of 2 pieces of dark rye bread or Russian black bread. Place about ½ cup of the drained and prepared sauerkraut on one slice and then add a slice of Swiss cheese and 3 to 4 ounces, thinly sliced, corned beef. Add top slice of bread and grill on a lightly buttered skillet until the outer surfaces of the assembled sandwich has nicely browned on both sides. Serve at once with a Kosher dill spear.

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Spring Forward To Healthy Cleaning

Meatballs Like Win Schuler’s (Marshall, MI)


By Gloria Pitzer

As first seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s National Homemaker’s Newsletter (Issue No. 26; February 1976)

Reprinted in… The Original 200 Plus Secret Recipes© Book (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; June 1997, p. 57)


3-lbs. ground round or sirloin

2 envelopes dry, onion soup mix

½ C. relish

½ C. ketchup

½ tsp. garlic salt

Dash black pepper

1 TB soy sauce

1 tsp. A-1 Steak Sauce

1 TB Worcestershire sauce

3 TB grated parmesan

4 eggs, well-beaten

13-oz. canned Pet Milk

3 TB brown sugar

6 C. fine toast crumbs


As listed, mix all ingredients together well, using your hands then to shape into very small, ½-inch balls; and arrange in a single layer in a shallow roasting pan or an ungreased jelly roll pan (a cookie sheet with a 1-inch rim around it).

Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes, turning once to brown evenly. Drain any excess fat and “mop up” with paper towels. Transfer meatballs to a deep casserole dish and make the following sauce.


1 C. Open Pit Original BBQ Sauce

3 ½ C. canned tomatoes, diced

1/3 C. strawberry jelly

¼ C. Heinz Chili Sauce

3 TB molasses

1/3 C. black (prepared) coffee or cola


Combine it all well and pour it over the meatballs to keep them submerged in the sauce. V-8 or tomato juice can be added to accomplish this if you don’t have enough sauce to cover them.

Cover casserole dish with lid or tin foil and continue baking meatballs for 1 more hour (still at 325°F).

Makes about 100 small meatballs. Freeze in small portions to re-warm within a few months or refrigerate well-covered to use within a week or so.

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Every Day is an Opportunity

Big Boy-Style Bleu Cheese Dressing


By Gloria Pitzer

As seen in… The Original 200 Plus Secret Recipes© Book (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; June 1997, p. 7)


1 ½ C. real mayonnaise

1/3 C. liquid drained from any canned green vegetable

½ C. powdered creamer (like Creamora)

½ C. non-fat, dry, milk powder

3 TB lemon juice

½ tsp. salt

Dash pepper

4 TB sugar


In blender, combine briefly [everything, as listed, except bleu cheese], until smooth. Stir into it 4-oz. crumbled bleu cheese or Roquefort cheese and refrigerate, tightly covered, for a few days. Freeze to use within a few weeks. Makes 3 cups.

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – March is Women’s History Month