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

Taco Bell Make-Alike Tortillas (& Taco Mixture)


By Gloria Pitzer, from Gloria Pitzer’s National Homemaker’s Newsletter (Issue 30, June 1976)

Also seen in… The Original 200 Plus Secret Recipes© Book (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; June 1997, p. 48)

2 C. mesa harino (corn flour) or plain, all-purpose, white flour

1 1/3 C. lukewarm water

1 tsp. salt

Combine [all ingredients] by mixing well with your hands. Dough from this mixture must be moist but stiff enough to hold its shape.

Divide dough into 12 equal portions, shaping each into a ball and [placing them each] between two pieces of waxed paper – flattening them very thin, to about 1/8-inch thick.

To transfer circle of dough to a hot, [lightly] greased skillet or griddle [eliminating any extra grease with a paper towel, first – should be almost dry], remove top sheet of waxed paper and invert onto prepared pan, peeling off other sheet of waxed paper.

Brown until underside appears lightly brown, when you lift it to peek, and slightly puffed on top. When edges begin to curl up, remove without turning and wrap in [lightly] greased sheets of foil – or wrap in damp cloth and keep warm in a 200°F oven only until all have been browned as described.

*Fill [tortillas] with taco mixture: Combine 1-lb. ground beef, browned briefly in skillet with 2-3 TB oil, until pink color disappears and add 1 small onion (chopped fine), ¼ of a green pepper (chopped fine), ½ C. tomato juice (or… spicy V-8 Juice), pinch of thyme, dash cayenne pepper, dash chili powder, bit of salt, and pepper (to taste).

Bake at 450°F for 5-8 minutes, or until piping hot, and serve promptly. Serves 6 sensibly.

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Any Reason to Celebrate with Food