Wednesday, December 30, 2009

3...2...1...Happy New Year!

Betty counts down to the New Year with glittering style. Whether choosing to wear her silver shoes or grabbing her gold clutch, Betty knows she will shine. With a little mid-century sparkle and a kiss at midnight you'll be starting the New Year off just right. Because even though it's 2010 it doesn't mean you shouldn't dress like it's 1957.

Clockwise starting at top left:,,,,,,,,

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Betty hopes you get everything you want for Christmas, but if not, mix up a few retro cocktails. After one of these drinks even socks from your great aunt Bertha will look a little sweeter. Perfect for the holidays, this festive Martini will make any party special and any woman happy!

Peppermint Martini

1 peppermint stick, crushed
1 1/2 ounces vodka
1 ounce peppermint schnapps
1 ounce Triple Sec
1 small candy cake

Dip a moistened martini glass into crushed peppermint. Mix the vodka, schnapps, Triple Sec and ice in a retro cocktail shaker. Strain the mix into a vintage martini glass and garnish with the candy cane. Serve to friends or keep it for yourself.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Trimming the Tree

Established in 1937, Shiny Brite ornaments hung from millions of Christmas trees across the country throughout the 40's and 50's. Betty decorates her silver aluminum tree only with these American made, hand-painted glass balls. Since the company closed in 1962 all of their products are vintage and easy to find. Whether you have a real evergreen or prefer the artificial kind, give it mid-century style with these wonderful ornaments.

Clockwise from top left:,,,

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wish List

As a mid century woman, Betty knows how important it is to find the perfect holiday gift. So check out her Christmas wish list to help you find something for the retro women in your life. Whether shopping for your mother, sister, or best friend who wouldn't want one of Betty's picks? And, if you are not sure if you are on Santa's naughty or nice list, buy yourself one of these holiday gifts!

Clockwise from top left:,,,,,,

Friday, December 4, 2009

Holiday Baking with Style

Betty begins her holiday baking the first weekend in December. Just because she spends her days in the kitchen doesn't mean she shouldn't look good. With these aprons Betty can keep her clothes nice and her holidays filled with sugar and spice. Speaking of spice, every Christmas Betty makes savory gingerbread. Check out her recipe below!

Clockwise from top left:,,,

Better Homes and Gardens: Pies and Cakes 1966
Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar to 1/2 cup shortening, creaming till light. Add 1 egg and 1/2 cup light molasses; beat thoroughly. Sift together 1 1/2 cup sifted all-purpose flour, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 3/4 teaspoon soda, 1/2 teaspoon ginger and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Add to creamed mixture alternately with 1/2 cup boiling water, beating after each addition. Bake in well-greased 8x8x2 inch pan in moderate oven (350 degrees) 35-40 minutes or till done. Serve warm with Citrus Fluff.

Citrus Fluff
In small saucepan, beat 1 egg; add 1/2 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon grated orange peel, 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel, and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Cook and stir over low heat till thick, about 5 minutes. Cool thoroughly. Fold in 1 cup whipping cream, whipped. Chill. Spoon onto squares of warm gingerbread. Garnish with a twist of orange. Makes about 2 cups topping.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

This Thanksgiving day, as you wonder how long to cook the turkey and if you have enough food, there is no longer any need to stress. Betty is here to help! With two of her favorite simple side dishes and her turkey time table, you can sit back and enjoy the parade! All you need is her candied carrot and tart green beans with bacon recipes and your dinner will be a hit.

Betty's Turkey Time Table:
4 to 8 pounds (breast) 1½ to 3¼ hours
8 to 12 pounds 2¾ to 3 hours
12 to 14 pounds 3 to 3¾ hours
14 to 18 pounds 3¾ to 4¼ hours
18 to 20 pounds 4¼ to 4½ hours
20 to 24 pounds 4½ to 5 hours
4 to 6 pounds (breast) Not usually applicable
6 to 8 pounds (breast) 2½ to 3½ hours
8 to 12 pounds 3 to 3½ hours
12 to 14 pounds 3½ to 4 hours
14 to 18 pounds 4 to 4¼ hours
18 to 20 pounds 4¼ to 4¾ hours
20 to 24 pounds 4¾ to 5¼ hours

Quick Dishes for the Woman in a Hurry
Shop-Rite Cookbook: 1960's
Candied Carrots

Set out a small baking dish.
Wash and pare or scrape 6 medium-size (about 2 lbs.) carrots
Cook whole carrots 15-25 min., or until just tender.
Meanwhile, combine in a small saucepan
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
6 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Drain carrots and place in baking dish. Cover with sugar mixture. Bake at 350 degrees about 10 min., or until carrots are completely glazed; baste occasionally.
6 servings

Tart Green Beans with Bacon

Wash, cut off ends and cut into crosswise pieces. 1 lb. green beans.
Cook 15-20 min., or until tender. Meanwhile, panbroil in a skillet
4 slices bacon, cut in 1/2 in. pieces
Add to skillet
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon monosodium glutamate
Dash of pepper
Bring to boiling.
Drain cooked beans. Pour bacon mixture over beans and toss lightly together.
4 servings

Friday, November 20, 2009

Harvest Table

As Betty plans her Thanksgiving dinner she takes out her favorite Fall linens, serving bowls, plates, and pitchers. Everything is perfect for the harvest table and everyone is grateful for the beautiful setting. This year transform your dining room table into a vintage Autumn feast. Even though Betty's juicy turkey will be the star of this show, she knows these lovely details won't go unnoticed.

Clockwise from top left:,,,,,

Friday, November 13, 2009

Chill Out!

Betty will always remember the November she and her husband bought their first Frigidaire, just in time for the holidays and her visiting Mother-in-law. Everyone was impressed with their new kitchen appliance. Now Betty can’t imagine life without it! With shelves of storage space, never again would Thanksgiving leftovers go to waste. Except someone forgot to put away her Mother-in-law’s cranberry jell-o mold, oh well.

In preparation for the holiday season add to your retro kitchen with these wonderfully mid century appliances. Created by Big Chill, each dishwasher, refrigerator and stove mixes 1950’s design with modern technology. Just because your fridge was made in the twenty first century doesn’t mean it has to look that way!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Set Your Table with Edith Heath

Betty spends every November preparing for Thanksgiving and remembering all that she is grateful for. As she begins to wash and organize her Heath ceramic dishes for the big day, she can’t help but feel lucky. With simple clean lines who wouldn’t appreciate each beautifully designed piece?

Edith Heath was one of the most influential designers of the 20th century. Her avant-garde ceramic dinnerware caught the attention of the nation. Her use of glazes and clay bodies added to her distinctive look. Her company Heath Ceramics also created architectural tiles, which won her the American Institute of Architects Gold Metal as well as the admiration of many architects including Frank Lloyd Wright and Eero Saarinen.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

If you haven't planned a Halloween party, it's not too late to celebrate. Have a few friends over to watch a classic scary movie, like The Birds and make Betty's favorite October treat, spicy pumpkin custard. Happy Halloween!

Betty Crocker's
New Dinner for Two Cook Book 1964
Spicy Pumpkin Custard

1/2 cup mashed cooked or canned pumpkin
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 egg yolk
2 1/2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. butter
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
pinch each of ginger, nutmeg, and cloves

Heat over to 350 degrees. Blend all ingredients together with rotary beater. Pour into 2 custard cups. Place in pan of water 2 inch deep. Bake 45 min., or until silver knife inserted 1 inch from edge of custard cup comes out clean. Cool at least 20 min. Invert oh dessert plates.
2 servings.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Retro Wishes for Halloween

Betty loves to send holiday cards to her friends and family. Being that Halloween is one of her favorite holidays, she always makes sure to mail spooky greetings in time for October 31st. These vintage style cards by Hello! Lucky are perfect for retro wishes on All Hallows Eve.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Spooky Sweets

Betty knows that Halloween sweets aren’t just for little goblins and ghouls. After she tucks her trick or treaters into bed, the grownups have cocktails and creepy cakes. Betty serves her guests angel and devil’s food, perfect for Halloween night. No one goes home empty handed. Betty fills treat bags with candy corn, a holiday favorite since 1880. So this October 31st treat yourself, you dessert it!

Check out Betty’s favorite recipe for Angel and Devil’s food cake below!

Clockwise From Top Left:, Devil’s Food Cake,,, Angel Food Cake,,

Better Homes and Gardens: Pies and Cakes 1966

Angel Cake

1 cup sifted cake flour

¾ cup sugar

12 egg whites (1 ½ cups)

1 ½ teaspoons cream of tartar

¼ teaspoon salt

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla

¾ cup sugar

Sift flour with ¾ cup sugar 4 times; set aside. Beat egg whites with cream of tartar, salt, and vanilla until stiff enough to form soft peaks but still moist and glossy. Add remaining ¾ cup sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, continuing to beat until egg whites hold stiff peaks. Sift about ¼ of flour mixture over whites; fold in. Repeat, folding in remaining flour by fourths. Bake in ungreased 10-inch tube pan in moderate oven (375 degrees) 35-40 minutes, or until done. Invert cake in pan; cool. Remove from pan.


Red Devil’s Food Cake

½ cup shortening

1 cup sugar

3 egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 ½ cups sifted cake flour

½ cup cocoa (regular-type, dry)

1 ½ teaspoon soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/3 cups cold water

3 egg whites

¾ cup sugar

            Cream shortening and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each. Stir in vanilla. Sift together cake flour, cocoa, soda, and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with cold water, beating well after each addition.

   Beat egg whites until soft peaks form; gradually add ¾ cup sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold into batter; blend well. Bake in 2 greased and lightly floured 8x1 ½-inch round pans in moderate oven (350 degrees) about 35-40 minutes or till cake tests done. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans. Cool; frost with Chocolate Frosting. 

Friday, October 9, 2009

Devilish Decor

Every October Betty spends her weekends preparing for her annual costume party. She starts by transforming her house with devilish décor. Placing paper pumpkins on the table and candles on every shelf Betty's ranch becomes a haunted house. Surrounded by antique family photos, a ouija board is the perfect prop. For those more interested in the future Betty sets out fortune telling cards. But her favorite decoration is a set of poison cocktail glasses. So this weekend take the skeletons out of your closet, dig up your holiday décor and get into the spirit like Betty does every year!

Clockwise from top left:,,,,,,,

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fall Fashions

Now that it is officially fall Betty and her family spend their weekends picking pumpkins, hiking through their local state park and taking afternoon drives in the country, all the while enjoying the changing leaves. Sporting a cozy sweater, gloves and scarf Betty is ready for the cool weather. She packs away her summer dresses replacing them with cardigans and skirts, all perfect for autumn. Dressed in shades of orange, yellow, blue and cream Betty takes to the outdoors enjoying her favorite season.

Clockwise from Top Left:,,,,,,,

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Colors of Fall

As the days get shorter and the nights turn cool, Betty decorates her home to celebrate the fall. But being the mid-century modern woman that she is Betty likes to mix in non-traditional colors like purple and gray to evoke the spirit of the season. Using leaf plates and trays at every meal and autumnal accents around her home, Betty brings the outdoors in. With cozy blankets in every room how can you resist getting wrapped up in the season? 

Clockwise from top left:,,,,,,,

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Ripe for the Picking

With autumn around the corner and the apple harvest starting again, Betty and her husband take the kids on a Saturday drive to their favorite orchard.  They spend the day in the golden fall sun, the air a little crisp, picking out the best of the bunch. But Betty’s favorite part is the cider doughnuts they buy at the farm. Come Sunday morning Betty and her daughter are busy making applesauce (see recipe below) which the family eats as an afternoon snack. The rest is stored in mason jars to be shared with family and friends.

This weekend head to an apple orchard near you with Betty’s seasonal harvest finds. Use a vintage basket for collection and retro measuring cups for precision while making apple treats. Don’t forget to serve everything on apple inspired bowls and plates! To find a pick-your-own farm or apple festival near you check out the links below.

Clockwise from top left:,, apple sauce,, cider doughnut,,,


Betty Crocker's Cook Book for Boys and Girls: 1957

Wash, peel, quarter and core 8 medium apples. Add water about 1/2 inch deep in pan. Cover tightly and bring to a boil (about 5 minutes) Turn down heat and simmer until tender. Stir in about 1/2 cup sugar to taste. Reheat to boiling. Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon or nutmeg and serve warm or cold.

Friday, September 4, 2009

School Days

Every September Betty prepares the kids for the first week of school. With the prospect of new lunch boxes, pencils and books, they are almost excited. So this month while children begin the next grade, give yourself a fresh start, too, because school supplies are no longer just for students. These nostalgic Etsy finds would be perfect in any office, art studio, or craft room. Now, please take out your homework. Class is in session!

Clockwise from top left:,,,,,,,

Monday, August 24, 2009

When The Road Is Calling

Every summer Betty loads the kids into the car, her husband fumbles with his map, and they are off. But Betty is not the type of woman to spend two weeks driving across the country squished into their old Ford. Yes, she knows that comfort waits at every site they visit because of the new Airstream trailer attached to their car. Outfitted with all the necessities of home, Betty’s family is ready for anything! Sitting outside in their Russel Woodard chairs they start each morning sipping coffee and end every night wrapped in blankets looking up at the stars. The only time the kids complain is when they start to head home.

Whether you're restoring a mid-century trailer, just bought a new Airstream, or redecorating your mobile home, check out Betty’s vintage Etsy finds. Don’t forget the kitsch! Cute planters like the ceramic bird above and old beer coasters are simple and fun!

If sleeping in a trailer is your idea of the perfect vacation, then check out these wonderfully retro mobile home hotels.

The Shady Dell Trailer Court: Bisbee, AZ

StarLux: Wildwood, NJ

BelRepayre Airstream and Retro Trailer Park: Southern France

Kate’s Lazy Meadow Motel: Mt. Tremper, NY

Clockwise from top left: BelRepayre Airstream and Retro Trailer Park,,, The Shady Dell Trailer Court,,, The Shady Dell Trailer Court,,

Monday, August 10, 2009

Miss American Pie

Betty knows that dessert is an essential end to every meal and there is nothing more American than pie. After a long day at work and a train ride home, Betty’s husband is pleased as punch when he finds his favorite cherry pie cooling in the kitchen. Whether she serves lemon chiffon on a hot summer day or Caribbean Rum with Polynesian cocktails, Betty’s guests are always impressed. Perfect for a weeknight dinner for two or a Saturday evening party, no one is ever too full for a slice.

Before baking your Caribbean Rum pie, check out the previous blog entry, Cocktails of the South Pacific. Also refer to the Sweet Tea entry for the cherry pie and pastry shell recipes from Better Homes & Gardens.

Clockwise from top left:,,,,,,,,

Lemon Chiffon Pie

McCall’s Book of Cakes And Pies, 1965

6-8 servings

9-inch baked pie shell

1 envelop unflavored gelatin

1 cup sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

4 egg yolks

½ cup lemon juice

1 tablespoon grated lemon peel

4 egg whites, at room temp.

1 cup heavy cream, whipped

  1. Prepare and bake pie shell. Let cool completely before filling.
  2. In top of double boiler, combine gelatin with 1/2 cup sugar and the salt.
  3. In small bowl, beat egg yolks with lemon juice and ½ cup water until just combined. Add to gelatin mixture, mixing well.
  4. Cook, stirring constantly, over boiling water (water in bottom should not touch base of top of double boiler) until gelatin dissolves and mixture is hot and thickens - about 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from hot water. Stir in lemon peal.
  6. Set in bowl filled with ice cubes 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until gelatin mixture is thick and mounds when dropped from a spoon.
  7. Meanwhile, in large bowl of electric mixer, at high speed, beat egg whites until soft peaks form when beater is raised.
  8. Gradually add remaining ½ cup sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until stiff peaks form when beater is raised.
  9. With rubber scraper, using an under and over motion, gently fold gelatin mixture into egg whites, just until combined.
  10. Turn into pie shell. Refrigerate several hours, or until firm.
  11. Just before serving whip cream until stiff. Spread over pie filling.

Caribbean Rum Pie

McCall’s Book of Cakes And Pies, 1965

Serves 8

9-inch Unbaked Graham-Cracker Pie Shell

1 envelop unflavored gelatin

3 egg yolks

6 tablespoons sugar

¼ cup light rum; or 1-teaspoon rum extract in ¼ cup water

1 cup heavy cream

½ square unsweetened chocolate

  1. Prepare piecrust and refrigerate until filled.
  2. Sprinkle gelatin over ¼ cup cold water; let soften. Dissolve over hot water; cool.
  3. Beat egg yolks until thick and fluffy.
  4. Add sugar gradually, beating well after each addition. Stir in rum.
  5. Whip cream; fold carefully into egg mixture, along with gelatin. Pour into pie shell.
  6. Refrigerate 2-3 hours, or until set. Shave unsweetened chocolate over pie as garnish.

Unbaked Graham-Cracker Pie Shell

McCall’s Book of Cakes And Pies, 1965

Makes 9-Inch Shell

1 ¼ cups graham-cracker crumbs (about 18 crackers)

¼ cup sugar

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ cup soft butter or margarine

  1. Combine all ingredients in medium bowl; blend with fingers, fork, or pastry blender.
  2. Press evenly on bottom and side of 9-inch pie plate, not on rim. Refrigerate until ready to fill and bake.