holiday cookbook front cover

Holiday Party Menus

Better Homes and Gardens
Holiday Cook Book
1967

Just in time for your holiday cooking! All your special occasion dinners are here. Aside from the standard Thanksgiving and Christmas choices, we have those special foods for simple gatherings, like fancy sandwiches for the entire group. Again, the same loaf, cake-like sandwiches that have appeared on this site more than once or twice. God forbid you make a mistake and think you are biting into a loaf cake.

But wait, there’s more! Try a fruitcake for your next Christmas dinner. My late father was convinced there were only a handful of actual fruitcakes out there. Since no one likes it, it just gets re-gifted into eternity. I don’t think I have even seen a fruitcake since the early 1980s. I remember trying it as a kid because, cake, but nearly choking on the awful taste.

book cover ground beef

Ground Beef Goodness

The Sunset Ground Beef Cook Book
Recipes for all occasions
1970

Who knew that ground beef was so versatile?

I am sure many of you will want to check for this book in your own catalogs so you can enjoy these fabulous recipes. There really isn’t anything particularly exciting: every thing is based on the form. You decide if you want your ground beef in balls, loaf, or patties.

If you scroll down, you can see that these publishers desecrated a poor pumpkin with some ground beef. I am a big fan of squash, but just no to the pumpkin vomiting a beef filling.

casserole cookbook

Pass the Casserole

Better Homes and Garden
All Time Favorite Casserole Recipes
1977

The lowly casserole (aka hotdish for my friends in Minnesota) has once again graced our website. This is a staple of Midwest. I know this because many of my friends from other parts of the country have said “You have got to be kidding” when sharing my family’s tuna casserole recipe. They just never understood the power of a can of Cream of Mushroom soup.

Fellow Midwesterners, be sure to note the fancy Highbrow Haddock recipe (last image). Go ahead and substitute potato chips for the bread crumbs. I won’t tell.

food processor cookbook

The mighty food processor

Better Homes and Gardens
Food Processor Cookbook
1979

I plucked this from a local library and it was in such good condition. Given the 1979 publication date, I immediately became suspicious. The book is over 40 years old and it looks this good? That might mean no one was interested in it from the get-go. The pictures were pretty crisp and the recipes were just meh. Be sure to check out the recipes for Chilled Chicken Loaf and Glazed Ham Balls. Other than coleslaw type recipes or maybe making things like breadcrumbs, having a food processor wasn’t necessary to some of the recipes.

Food processors were the “it” appliance in the 1970s and were shockingly expensive compared to other kitchen electronics. I didn’t see them as a regular part of kitchens until the 1980s. The go-to brand was Cuisinart. (Click for an article from Bon Appetit about Cuisinart’s origin.) I finally broke down and bought a food processor in the 1990s thinking it would be fabulous to have thin sliced potatoes for certain family recipes. Since I am no real cook, this appliance gets used maybe once or twice a year.

microwave cookbook

Microwave Everything!

Sunset
Microwave Cook Book
Gaulke, ed.
1976

The Sunset books have been featured here more than a few times. They covered everything: camping, home decorating, fashion/crafts, and of course cooking/entertaining. I am sure we have only scraped the surface of the awful possibilities. Back in the olden days, I probably would have bought them for the collection, just because they were so well known.

Microwave cooking was all the rage in the mid 1970s. However, as I remember my mother (and myself) trying to microwave something, I swear the food always turned a grayish color and looked awful.

Bicentennial Beef cover

Bicentennial Beef

The Bicentennial Beef Cookbook
The 100 Greatest Beef Dishes of America’s First 200 Years
Beef Industry Council
1975

I was in high school at the time of the never to be forgotten US Bicentennial. Just about every product made seemed to issue a special bicentennial version of whatever was produced. I imagine this cookbook was probably one of a thousand “special” cookbooks published in honor of the bicentennial. (I posted last year about a Bicentennial leftover from my own weeding project.)

As you can see from the totally appetizing pictures, you are really missing some serious culinary highlights in meat. Remember the subtitle is The 100 Greatest Beef Dishes of America’s first 200 years. I can imagine that great historical moment when George Washington begs Martha to make Blanketed Meat Loaf after that tough winter at Valley Forge.

Microwave Miracles cover

Microwave Miracles

Microwave Miracles from Sears
Sears, Roebuck and Company
1974

Submitter: The smell of this book makes me think someone tried some of those fish soup recipes back in 1974. Unless that is what the 70’s smelled like?

Holly: Oh good, fish in the microwave. Your coworkers will love you when you heat up your leftovers for lunch.

Microwave Cooking cover

Saucy Wieners

Microwave Cooking from Sears
Sears, Roebuck and Company
1971

Submitter: Come see the scary side of Sears… Not sure if that’s regular wear and tear on the cover, or food stains. Either Way – this one has now been liquidated from our collection.

Holly: I can tell you what I’m NOT having for dinner tonight: “Saucy Wieners.” Recipe is below if you’re into that sort of thing.