1982 – Gloria Pitzer’s Better Cookery Cookbook

1982 May – Gloria Pitzer’s Better Cookery Cookbook

1982 – Gloria Pitzer’s Better Cookery Cookbook – was written, illustrated and published by Gloria Pitzer (Gloria Pitzer’s Secret Recipes, St. Clair, MI). NO LONGER IN PRINT – this cookbook, having a 6” x 9” format with 400 pages, is a unique assembly of nearly 1,000 make-at-home, make-alike recipes of Gloria’s famous fast foods, restaurant dishes and grocery products collection. In addition, Gloria includes various historical information, illustrations and photographs along with her usual wit, food-for-thought and humorous stories.

This book was actually inspired from a much needed vacation that Gloria and Paul took from their business in 1979, after completing and publishing Book 5, taking their 2 minor daughters, Laura and Cheryl, with them. They stayed at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island where they just so happened to be filming “Somewhere in Time” with Christopher Reeve, Jane Seymour, and Christopher Plummer. The Pitzers were lucky enough to meet the three movie stars at breakfast one morning; and, while Gloria was smitten with Christopher Plummer, in the back of her mind she was already taking notes for what would become a special section of this cookbook – about the elegant dishes served at the Grand Hotel.

However, in 2015-2017, it was re-written by Gloria and her daughter, Laura Emerich, to bring it to a new generation. In January 2018, a few days before Gloria passed away, it was re-published under the name, Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective, which is available, for sale, at $20.99 each through the publisher, Balboa Press, at https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001062252

Fun Facts:

  • Sub-Title: “The Best of The Recipe Detective” and “Famous Foods from Famous Places”
  • Printings: 10
  • Years: May 1982 – December 1988
  • Recipes: over 700 listed in the index
  • Pages: 400
  • Sizes: 6″ x 9″
  • Price*: $15
  • Used copies on eBay: $35.95
  • Used copies on Amazon: $34.77
  • ISBN: unknown
  • NO LONGER IN PRINT – 1982-1988 versions
  • However, it was re-published in January 2018 under the name, Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective; and is available, for sale at $20.99 per book, through the publisher, Balboa Press, at https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001062252

Comments (as seen on Amazon): https://www.amazon.com/GLORIA-PITZERS-BETTER-COOKERY-COOKBOOK/dp/B002PPULKC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1548119009&sr=8-2&keywords=gloria+pitzer+better+cookery+cookbook#customerReviews

5 out of 5 stars – Better Cookery Cookbook – Bonnie Case – December 25, 2012 – “Bought this book 25 years ago, loved it so much when I spotted it on Amazon I bought one for my daughter and daughter in law. Favorite is Bob Evans Gravy. Now have another new daughter in law – would order again.”

1979 – The Secrets of Homemade Groceries

1979 Sep – The Secrets of Homemade Groceries by Gloria Pitzer

1979 – The Secrets of Homemade Groceries cookbook was written, illustrated and published by Gloria Pitzer (Gloria Pitzer’s Secret Recipes, St. Clair, MI). NO LONGER IN PRINT – this cookbook, sometimes referred to as “Book 5” or the “Brown Book”, had a 52-page, 8.5″ x 11″ format with over 370 index listings and sold for $5 per copy.

There were 5 books in this series for Secret Recipes, the 1st was published in 1976 and another each year after that, through 1980. Each book averages about 275 recipes developed by Gloria Pitzer – Private Investigator of Secret Recipes… Except for “Book 5”, which deals exclusively with making supermarket products at home. This unique cookbook includes the principles of canning and freezing foods, of making your own mixes, sauces and seasonings at a tremendous savings over buying them.

Fun Facts:

  • Sub-Titles: “Book 5”
  • Printings: 3
  • Years: Sep 1979 – Aug 1981
  • Recipes: 371 listed in 3rd printing
  • Pages: 52
  • Size: 8.5″ x 11″
  • Original Price: $5.00
  • Used copies on eBay: none found
  • Used copies on Amazon: $12+
  • ISBN: unknown
  • NO LONGER IN PRINT

1979 – Gloria Pitzer’s Dieter’s Digest

1979 (Dec) – Gloria Pitzer’s Dieter’s Digest

1979 – Gloria Pitzer’s Dieter’s Digest booklet was written, illustrated and published by Gloria Pitzer (Gloria Pitzer’s Secret Recipes, St. Clair, MI). NO LONGER IN PRINT – this little booklet had a 24-page, 5.5″ x 8.5″ format filled with dieting information, inspirational and humorous stories and healthy recipes. It sold for $1 per issue.

1979 – Gloria Pitzer Presents Top Secret Recipes Al’a Carte

1979 (Sep) – Gloria Pitzer Presents Top Secret Recipes Al’a Carte

1979 – Gloria Pitzer Presents Top Secret Recipes Al’a Carte cookbook was written, illustrated and published by Gloria Pitzer (Gloria Pitzer’s Secret Recipes, St. Clair, MI). Some of the art work in this book was also done by 2 of Gloria’s 5 children, Mike Pitzer & Debbie Pitzer (now, Hamilton). NO LONGER IN PRINT – this cookbook, sometimes referred to as “Book 4” or the “Orange Book”, had a 52-page, 8.5″ x 11″ format and sold for $5 per copy. The recipes in this book were uniquely laid out like an encyclopedia, in alphabetical order; so, there was no index included in the 1st printing. However, one was added in later printings with over 370 index listings. Over the many years and various printings, the cover was changed slightly, but the title always remained the same, along with the original masthead, “Cookbook”.

Fun Facts:

  • Sub-Titles: “Book 4”
  • Printings: 3
  • Years: Sep 1979 – Aug 1981
  • Recipes: 377 listed in 3rd printing
  • Pages: 52
  • Size: 8.5″ x 11″
  • Original Price: $5.00
  • Used copies on eBay: $22.99
  • Used copies on Amazon: $12
  • ISBN: unknown
  • NO LONGER IN PRINT

1978 – Gloria Pitzer Presents: Eating Out at Home

1978 Sep – Gloria Pitzer Presents: Eating Out at Home

1978 – Gloria Pitzer Presents: Eating Out at Home a cookbook written, illustrated and published by Gloria Pitzer (Gloria Pitzer’s Secret Recipes, St. Clair, MI). NO LONGER IN PRINT – this cookbook, sometimes referred to as “Book 3” or the “Yellow Book”, had a 52-page, 8.5″ x 11″ format filled with her famous make-at-home recipes for imitating fast foods, restaurant dishes and grocery products. In addition, Gloria includes background information along with her usual witty & humorous stories, food-for-thought and over 240 index listings. It sold for $5 per copy. Over the years of various printings, the cover changed slightly, but the title remained the same. The masthead originally read “Secret Recipe Report”, but it changed to “Cookbook Secrets” in later printings, The sub-title, “A Recipe Portfolio”, was also added in the later printings.

Fun Facts:

  • Sub-Titles: “Book 3”, “A Recipe Portfolio”
  • Printings: 12+
  • Years: [Summer] 1978 – Sep 1981+
  • Recipes: 227 listed in the first printing
  • Pages: 52
  • Size: 8.5″ x 11″
  • Cover: Paperback
  • Original Price: $5.00
  • Used copies on eBay: $22.97
  • Used copies on Amazon: $12.50
  • ISBN: unknown
  • NO LONGER IN PRINT

Comments (as seen on Amazon):

5 out of 5 stars – Five Stars – Adella Holbeck (Ft. Morgan, CO); July 20, 2014 [Verified Purchase] – “So happy to find this cook book.” https://www.amazon.com/Eating-Cookbook-Secret-Recipe-Report/product-reviews/B000JCATQY/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_show_all_btm?ie=UTF8&reviewerType=all_reviews

1977 – The Second Helping of Secret Recipes by Gloria Pitzer

1977 (Jul) – The Second Helping of Secret Recipes by Gloria Pitzer

1977 – The Second Helping of Secret Recipes was written, illustrated and published by Gloria Pitzer (National Homemakers Newsletter, St. Clair, MI). NO LONGER IN PRINT – this cookbook is sometimes referred to as “Book 2”, “2nd Helpings” or “The Green Book”. Over the many years and various printings, the cover changed slightly, as did the size and price of the book. The size changed from the original 80-page, 5.5″ x 8.5″ format with 178 recipes listed to a 52-page, 8.5″ x 11″ format with 209 recipes listed. The original title remained the same, but the sub-titles also changed over the years (as seen in the various cover photos shown above and below); while the masthead of “Secret Recipe Report” was added in 1978 and, later, changed to “Cookbook”. Starting in 1978, Gloria’s son, Michael Pitzer, illustrated many of the later printings of this book.

1978 Nov – 2nd Helping of Secret Recipes by Gloria Pitzer
1981 May – 2nd Helping of Secret Recipes by Gloria Pitzer

Fun Facts:

  • Sub-Titles: “Book 2”, “Of Fast Foods & Other Favorites, Imitated by Gloria Pitzer”, “The Junk Food Junkie Rides the Range Again”, “The Fast Food Cookbook, Taking the Junk Out of Junk Food”
  • Printings: 12+
  • Years: July 1977 – August 1981+
  • Recipes: 178 listed originally; 209 listed in the larger size
  • Pages: 80 originally; 52 in the larger format
  • Size: 5.5″ x 8.5″ originally; 8.5″ x 11″ shortly after the 1st printing
  • Cover: Paperback
  • Price: Originally $3.00 for the small format; the larger format sold for $5 each
  • Used copies on eBay (larger format): $10.51
  • Used copies on Amazon (larger format): $13.99
  • ISBN: unknown
  • NO LONGER IN PRINT

Comments (as seen on Amazon):

5 out of 5 starsDid you ever wonder? By Lanah – June 13, 2013 [Verified Purchase] – “I love good food! And I love to share good recipes, it’s a shame this lady isn’t still publishing because this is a gold Mine of great information. I would recommend this to anyone who appreciates good food and a sense of humor!” https://www.amazon.com/Second-Helping-Secret-Recipes-Favorites/product-reviews/B0006WJIQ4/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_show_all_top?ie=UTF8&reviewerType=all_reviews

1976 – The Secret Restaurant Recipes Book by Gloria Pitzer

1976 Aug – The Secret Restaurant Recipes Book by Gloria Pitzer

 (The picture above is from an ad. I can’t find any available pictures of the original cover from the 1st printings in 1976-1977, using the 5.5” x 8.5” format – they may have originally sold for $3 per copy, as “Book 2” did in 1977.)

1976 – The Secret Restaurant Recipes Book was written, illustrated and published by Gloria Pitzer (Happy Newspaper Features, Pearl Beach, MI). NO LONGER IN PRINT – this cookbook, sometimes referred to as “Book 1” or the “Blue Book”, was actually a revised edition of her original cookbook, The Better Cooker’s Cookbook (1973). Although this version wasn’t Gloria’s first cookbook, it was her first true “commercial success”.

Note: So far, I have yet to find any copies of the original, August 1976, small format of this book. I would love to know if anyone still has one – it would be over 42 years old now! Please write to us at: therecipedetective@outlook.com

Over the many years of various printings, the cover design, title and subtitle changed slightly, as did the size and price of the book. The size changed from the original 80-page, 5.5″ x 8.5″ format to a 42-page, 8.5″ x 11″ format in 1977. The masthead, “Secret Recipe Report” was added in 1979 and changed to, simply, “Cookbook” in 1981. These changes can be seen on the various cover photos shown below.

1977 Jan – The Secret Restaurant Recipes Book by Gloria Pitzer
1978 Apr – The Secret Restaurant Recipes Book, Revised by Gloria Pitzer
1979 Jan – The Secret Restaurant Recipes Cookbook, Revised by Gloria Pitzer
1981 Aug – The Secret Restaurant Recipe File Cookbook, Revised by Gloria Pitzer

In 1982, Michael Pitzer (Gloria’s son, who illustrated many of the printings of this book) was working at Wells Rich Greene in Los Angeles on the Jack-in-the-Box® advertising account. During one of their creative presentations, then President of JIB, Barry Krantz asked if he could get a complete set of Gloria’s cookbooks for their “test kitchen”. Now, we wouldn’t want to jump to any conclusions, but shortly thereafter Jack-in-the-Box was not only back in the burger business, but they also began introducing fresh-baked cookies and wonderful chicken sandwiches. Coincidence? Maybe…

Fun Facts

    • Sub-Titles: “Book 1”, “Fast Foods and Other Favorites”, “The Junk Food Junkie Rides the Range Again” and “The Original Junk Food Book”
    • Printings: 25+
    • Years: Aug 1976 – Aug 1981+
    • Recipes: unknown for original, smaller format; 290 listed in the larger size format
    • Pages: originally 80; larger format had 52
    • Size: originally 5.5″ x 8.5″; later format was 8.5″ x 11″
    • Cover: Paperback
    • Price: original (possibly) $3 per copy; later printings were $5 per copy
    • Used copies on eBay (of larger formats): $9.99
    • Used copies on Amazon (of larger formats): $20.95
    • ISBN: unknown
    • NO LONGER IN PRINT

Comments (as seen on Amazon):

5 out of 5 stars – This became a primary cookbook for me – By John Korkowon November 19, 2012
The hostess twinkie recipe, and ho-ho recipe, and wonder bread recipes are contained in this cookbook.. This was a primary cookbook for me for years! https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R96UQWR58GDOC/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B0006WQ2KO

1976 – Gloria Pitzer’s The American Cookery Cookbook

1976 (July) – Gloria Pitzer’s The American Cookery Cookbook

1976 – Gloria Pitzer’s The American Cookery Cookbook was a bi-centennial edition written, illustrated and published by Gloria Pitzer (Happy Newspaper Features, Pearl Beach, MI), having a 5.5” x 8.5” format of 46 printed pages with 200 index listings. NO LONGER IN PRINT – this Limited Edition cookbook boasts a collection of 200 years of recipes, humor, history and hints selected from each of the 50 states of the U.S. and sold for $2 each.

We’d love to hear from anyone who still has old copies of Gloria Pitzer’s The American Cookery Cookbook! Please write to us at: therecipedetective@outlook.com

Fun Facts:

    • Sub-Title: “Random Notes”, “Economical Receipts from Colonial Times to Present”, Native Cooking from the Heart of America”
    • Printings: 1 (Limited Edition)
    • Years: 1976 (July)
    • Recipes: 200 index listings
    • Pages: 46
    • Size: 5.5” x 8.5”
    • Cover: Paperback
    • Price: $2
    • Used copies on eBay: not found
    • Used copies on Amazon: not found
    • ISBN: unknown
    • NO LONGER IN PRINT

1975 – Gloria Pitzer’s Snow Thyself

1975 – Gloria Pitzer’s Snow Thyself

1975 – Gloria Pitzer’s Snow Thyself was a sort of “self-help” book written, illustrated and published by Gloria Pitzer (Happy Newspaper Features, Pearl Beach, MI). NO LONGER IN PRINT – this book was sub-titled “The 1975 Happiness Handbook” and had an 8.5” x 11” format with 16 pages full of feel-good stories, quotes and meditation. No information could be found regarding the price for which it sold.

Fun Facts:

    • Sub-Title: “The 1975 Happiness Handbook”
    • Printings: 1
    • Years: 1975
    • Recipes: none
    • Pages: 16
    • Size: 8.5″ x 11”
    • Cover: Paperback
    • Price: unknown
    • Used copies on eBay: not found
    • Used copies on Amazon: not found
    • ISBN: unknown
    • NO LONGER IN PRINT

1974 – Gloria Pitzer’s The Better Cooker’s Christmas Cookbook Collection

1974 – Gloria Pitzer’s The Better Cooker’s Christmas Cookbook Collection

1974 – Gloria Pitzer’s The Better Cooker’s Christmas Cookbook Collection was written, illustrated and published by Gloria Pitzer (Happy Newspaper Features, Pearl Beach, MI), having a 5.5” x 8.5” format of 128 pages with over 150 index listings. NO LONGER IN PRINT – Gloria described this book as a small, “unsophisticated” collection of perfectly reliable recipes, interesting customs, Hanukkah foods and some history about this December holiday; as well as humorous readings tucked in here and there to prove that cookbooks needn’t make dull reading. The 3-ring binder-style books were printed on salvaged paper and sold for $2 each.

Fun Facts:

    • Sub-Titles: “Holiday Recipes and Ideas”
    • Printings: 1
    • Years: 1974
    • Recipes: over 150 index listings
    • Pages: 128
    • Size: 5.5″ x 8.5″
    • Cover: Paperback
    • Price: $2
    • Used copies on eBay: not found
    • Used copies on Amazon: not found
    • ISBN: unknown
    • NO LONGER IN PRINT