Sweeten Up Your Summer With Vintage Betty Crocker Recipes

prepared Betty Crocker recipes

Strawberry Glace Lemon Cream Pie

One thing I love about living in Michigan is all of the fresh fruits and vegetables available this time of year. There are all kind of berries available at our local farmer’s market.

But once you get those berries home, what do you do with them? It’s far too hot to bake, and there are only so many salads a girl can eat in one week.

Enter recipes the no bake dessert. This dessert recipe for Strawberry Glace cream pie originally came from the 1972 edition of Betty Crocker’s Hostess Cookbook.

I’ve made some modifications. Instead of baking pie crusts, I’ve used shortbread crusts from Keebler. That takes all of the baking out of the recipe, so you and your kitchen can stay cool.

I’ve also substituted one of the packages of vanilla pudding mix for a lemon one, to add some extra zing.

What I used:

2 9 inch Keebler shortbread pie shells

½ cup slivered almonds

2 cups sour cream (full fat, you don’t want to skimp on this. It’s pie!)

2 cups milk (whole milk, NOT skim)

1 package vanilla instant pudding

1 package lemon instant pudding

2 pints fresh strawberries, sliced

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

What I did:

Betty Crocker recipes

Sprinkle almonds in the pie shells.

1. Sprinkle ¼ cup of almonds on the bottom of the shortbread pie shells

2. Beat the sour cream and milk until smooth

3. Add the pudding packages and beat until slightly thickened.

Betty Crocker recipe calls for cream filling to be pure evenly into two pie shells.

Cream Filling, added evenly

4.Divide pudding mix equally between the two pie shells. Set aside in the fridge.

5. Mix 1 cup strawberries and ½ cup water in a saucepan. Simmer for three minutes.

6. Combine sugar and cornstarch. Add remaining ½ cup of water to the sugar mix.

Cornstarch, sugar, and water for vintage Betty Crocker recipe.

Combine to a smooth consistency.

7. Add the sugar mix to the hot strawberries. Stir briskly until mixture boils. Allow mixture to boil one minute more, stirring constantly.

8. Allow hot strawberry glace to cool. Arrange remaining strawberries and almonds on top of cream fillings.

9. Pour cooled glace over the pies. Don’t wait until the glace is firm, just cooled!

Pies prepared using a vintage Betty Crocker recipe.

Be sure to distribute strawberries and almonds evenly, it doesn’t have to be pretty, as it will all get covered with the glace!

10. Chill pies until firm, at least two hours.

I cannot emphasize enough, use full fat dairy in this recipe.

You need the fat and the cream whole milk and regular sour cream brings to the table.

If not, the cream filling of your pie will be a little thin, no matter how much you whip it.

I made the mistake of using fat free milk and, as you can see, my pie slices are a little flat. Still delicious, but not as pretty.

Slice of pie prepared from vintage Betty Crocker recipe.

See? Not as pretty, but delicious!

These pies are a hit at potlucks and picnics. A delicious way to use all of the yummy strawberries!

For the original recipe, check out Betty Crocker’s Hostess Cookbook, available in my Etsy shop:


For the Metlox Sculptured Grape plates I used to serve the pie, click here:



Dinner Ideas for Hot Summer Nights


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Healthy recipe stuffed tomato plate

Fancy Tomato!

If you’re like me, you dread trying to find healthy recipes for your family over the summer that won’t have you sweating into your supper. Who wants to cook when it’s eighty degrees outside?

Salads are the go to option, but it’s tough to make them interesting and filling for a growing teen. What’s a mom to do?

celery, tomatoes, avocado, and onion in a bowl

Fresh veggies are a must for summer dining.

Flipping through The Book of Salads by Sonia Uvezian, I find a lot of interesting ideas, like a mousse or molded salad, which my kids wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole.

Then I found a recipe for something that I used to love as a kid, stuffed tomatoes!

When I was little, eating a fancy tomato filled with tuna, crab, or chicken salad made me feel like a grown up lady.

The recipe in Uvezian’s book calls for canned crab, but I used tuna instead.

It also called for olives, but there’s a strong division in our house between the pro black olives and pro green, so I just left them out.

She also calls for marinated artichokes as a garnish. Again, there is only so much new my kids will take in one meal, so I left those out too.

What I Used:

5 large tomatoes

2 cups canned tuna (2 7 ounce cans will do)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 small onion, finely chopped

3 stalks celery, finely chopped

2 tablespoons parsley

1/3 cup Miracle Whip

Romaine lettuce

1 avocado, sliced thin

1 cucumber, sliced thin

5 hardboiled eggs

What I Did:

1. Mix tuna, onion, celery, parsley, lemon juice, and Miracle Whip together.

onion, celery, tuna, miracle whip, and lemon juice in a glass bowl

Mix it up!

2. Place each tomato stem side down on a bed of Romaine lettuce.

tomato salad dinner idea

Bottoms down!

3. Cut each tomato into six slices, being careful not to cut all the way.

healthy recipe, tomato on lettuce

Try to get the slices as evenly sliced as possible.

4. Carefully spread six slices apart, fill with tuna mixture.

Healthy recipe for stuffed tomato

Pretty tasty!

5. Garnish each plate with the slices of avocado, cucumber, and eggs.

That’s it! Simple and pretty. Let the kids help with the garnishing, they’re more likely to eat something they’ve helped prepare.

If you’re interested in purchasing the Book of Salads, you can find a copy here:


To purchase the lovely Corelle Crazy Daisy dinner plates, click here:


A Ground Beef Recipe With Zest


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A Ground Beef Recipe With Zest

plate with a serving of a ground beef recipe

Delicious and Easy Ground Beef Recipe

Have a pound of ground beef but don’t want to make the same meatloaf or hamburger recipes?
When I’m stuck for something new to try for my family, I like to pull off a vintage cookbook from my shelves and put a new twist on an old ground beef recipe.

My latest find is a McCall’s Casserole Cookbook from the seventies.
I love casseroles because I can prep them a day or two in advance and then pop them in the oven when I’m rushed.

The other day I found a recipe for Beef Creole with Potato Puffs.
It sounded great but I’ve been trying to cut back on potatoes and was missing a few of the ingredients listed, like ketchup and frozen peas.

Not a problem!! My cupboards and fridge are always well stocked in some of my favorite things, so it was easy to add my own spin on an old beef recipe.

Here’s what I used:

1 lb ground beef
½ cup onion
½ cup green pepper
½ cup celery
1 package frozen green beans
1 tbsp. flour
1 ½ tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 cup HP Sauce
1 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
One package Pilsbury biscuits

Flour, salt, and other dry goods

Here are the dry goods I used for this hamburger casserole recipe.











HP Sauce is a British condiment that tastes a bit like Heinz 57. Any steak sauce would work for this recipe, or, if you prefer less zing, go right ahead and use ketchup. After getting all of these goodies together, this is what I did with them.

Two bottles of sauce

HP is a British Sauce that tastes a bit like Heinz 57.










1. Preheat oven to 375 F
2. Brown ground beef, drain off fat

ground beef in a pan for browning.

Brown a pound of ground beef.






3. Add chopped onion, green pepper, and celery. Stir until tender, then add the green beans

vegetables and ground beef cooking in a pot

Adding the veggies





4. Blend the flour, chili powder, salt and pepper with a fork, then add to ground beef

sauce added to ground beef

Blend in sauces and dry goods.






5. Add the HP and Worcestershire sauces. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes

vintage casserole dish

A vintage Corning Ware Spice o’ Life Casserole is perfect for baking this dish!






6. Take ground beef mixture and spoon into ungreased casserole. Layer on Pilsbury Biscuits.

uncooked biscuit dough on top of ground beef mixture

Layer on the Pillsbury biscuits!







7. Cover and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 more minutes until biscuits are golden brown on top.

biscuits on top of meat, cooked.

Beautiful golden brown biscuits! This dish is ready to serve!








And that’s it! You’ll get a ground beef casserole recipe that’s got a pop of flavor that will be sure to impress kids and spouse alike!

child eating ground beef recipe

Thanks Mom!










For the original recipe you can find McCall’s Casserole Cookbook in my Etsy shop, Vintagepoetic.


Also from my Etsy shop, vintage Butterfly Gold luncheon plates:


For a vintage Spice O’ Life casserole dish like the one I used, check out this one from Etsy seller The Wild World:


Snow? We Don’t Care About No Stinkin Snow!



The thing I love about Michigan is how gutsy Michiganders are about the winter. For example, back in Connecticut, kids are scooted back inside for recess if the thermometer drops below 34 degrees, out here in Michigan, they go out till it’s 10 degrees or less. They make the most of it by being allowed to sled during that time, something my kids were never able to do at school on the East Coast!

Another difference is the presence of yard sales all year long. I’ve walked around tables surrounded by about two inches of snow looking at knickknacks and leftover paper products for sale. It gives you a sharper eye when you’re shivering in your boots, dying to get back to the van and your thermos of coffee!

Just this past Friday my son and I went on the hunt in nearby Lansing. While I only found a milk glass compote similar to the pattern of one I already have in the shop, he found two monster trucks and a basket that we knew our cats would love snuggling into.

Monster trucks!!!!!

Monster trucks!!!!!

The woman running the sale had just had to close down her consignment store. She told us that it didn’t make sense anymore to have your own storefront, when your yard and the internet are so much cheaper to run. As a business person I tend to agree, but as a picker it makes me sad to think of all of those mom and pop thrift stores someday going the way of the dinosaur.


Cat inna Basket

Cat Inna Basket!

Stetson Pottery, a Mid Century Must!


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This Red Barn serving bowl adds a little bit of folk art to your dinner table!

This Red Barn serving bowl adds a little bit of folk art to your dinner table!


Polish immigrant Louis Stetson started the Stetson Pottery Company in 1946. He used whiteware produced by the Mt. Clemens Pottery Company and added decals or hand painted patterns, which were then distributed by the Marcrest Company through grocery and furniture stores as premiums.

It’s often fascinating to me how these companies worked together, and how many hands these pieces had to pass through before making their way to America’s tables in the 40s, 50s, and 60s.

Stetson pottery often has a folk feel to it, both with the color choices and the themes of the designs. Take for instance the Red Barn pattern, which features a red barn, an old mill, and heart and flower motifs. There’s also some great abstract hand painted patterns, such as Hiawatha and Duncan Hines, whose cross hatch marks are very indicative of the midcentury aesthetic.

Stetson Pottery closed its doors in 1965, but you can still find pieces of it, especially in the Midwest. Like to begin a collection? Check out this serving bowl I currently have listed on Etsy!


And check out these other great Etsy stores for more examples of Stetson Pottery:

From Locust Tree, a full tea set


And from Lindsay Jane’s Cottage, a rare covered casserole





Working at Home, a Conversation


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Goodwill Industries

Goodwill Industries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)




The other day I was at the Goodwill looking for some fresh stock for my shop when I struck up a conversation with a lovely retired lady named Sharon. After raving about how adorable my daughter was, she asked me if I was working, or if I stayed at home. When I explained to her how I maintained a shop on Etsy and was a freelance writer, she told me she always thought she’d love working from home.


“It would have been so wonderful,” she said, “To spend those extra hours with my kids, I could have gotten so much more work done around the house and wouldn’t have needed to squeeze all those doctor and dentist appointments in around my work schedule.”


I agreed that indeed those things are pretty nice. I then told her how much I envied her IT guy, marketing and accounting teams.


“It must have been wonderful,” I said, “To not have to write your own paychecks and clean your own office on a nightly basis.”


She laughed and said she’d never thought of it that way.


Depending upon what study you read, about 4.9 million Americans work from home, both as telecommuters and self-employed individuals like me. As the economy continues to stagnate, that number will continue to go up, yet it’s still difficult for people working traditional jobs to comprehend what it is we do all day.


The answer is, for me anyway, that most days I’m on the road, conducting interviews, finding new items for the store, or doing research for a client in between dropping my daughter off at preschool, thawing out a chicken for dinner, and swinging by our mechanic for an oil change. By the time the homework and the home work is done, it’s about 9 or 10 pm.


It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to find all the delightful things I feature in my shop!


Want to know what I found the day I met Sharon? Visit my shop on Etsy to find the vintage books I found, including some first edition novels!










Metlox, Designs For All Tastes


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Metlox, Designs for All Tastes

sugar bowl and creamer with grapes

Metlox Poppytrail sugar bowl and creamer in Sculpted Grape.

One of the most well-known California potteries was Metlox, which started in Manhattan Beach in 1927 by T.C. and Willis Prouty. The name Metlox comes from a combination of the words metal and oxide, a reference to the early glazing process. Metlox continued under a number of owners until its doors were shut in 1988, and the factory transformed into the Shaw Hotel and other businesses.

Metlox tray 3

The great thing about Metlox is the wide variety of designs, colors, and styles. Everyone can find something appealing, from the roosters of the California Provincial line, the hand painted fruit of Sculpted Grape, and the many figurines and vases made under the Metlox name. Like other American companies, Metlox flourished during the mid-century after the war devastated European production of dinnerware and ceramics. Some of the most beautiful pieces come from this era, thanks in part to designer Mel Shaw, who had once worked for Disney and had taken part in the production of Bambi and Fantasia.

Rooster plates 3

My personal favorite is California Provincial. The bright and happy red and green rooster always makes me smile. I snap up pieces for my own collection whenever I can, but other Metlox designs can always be found in my Etsy shop!


Here’s to a Great First Year!


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Image representing Etsy as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase




2012 was the first full year I have been selling quality vintage items on Etsy as Vintagepoetic, and it couldn’t have been better. In spite of a move and a wedding, I’ve been able to build up my stock, start this blog, and expand the shop from a mix of vintage and handmade items to a vintage only shop.


Looking forward to 2013, I hope to build up a loyal following with more repeat customers. Sometime in the next few months I will be launching a Facebook page as well, to help expand beyond what WordPress, Twitter, and Pinterest have already done to help get the word out. I’m also toying with starting another shop, making Vintagepoetic solely a vintage china and housewares shop, and opening a second shop for the books and records. Perhaps a handmade goods shop is in the future as well, I’ve got a lot of ideas, but not enough time to make them all come to fruition.


I also have this lovely 1900’s farmhouse to furnish and decorate, digging through the barns and thrift shops of Mid Michigan and beyond to find the perfect furniture and goodies to make this house a home for me and my family. Looking forward to sharing my finds here on the blog, as well as in the shop.




Vintage Girl Scouts


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Vintage Girl Scouts

Scouting memorabilia and vintage uniforms, badges, etc., make great collectibles and vintage décor. Both Boy and Girl Scout items are popular right now, but I have a soft spot for the Girl Scout items, having been a member of our local troop as a Brownie and as a Junior Scout. My mom had been the troop leader for most of that time, and we held the meetings in our basement. We learned to sew, start a campfire, and make ceramics, and I formed bonds that have lasted into adulthood.

The interior illustrations of a Junior Girl Scout Handbook from the 1970s.

I guess that’s why I’m always drawn to vintage Girl Scout items. I can’t pass by a handbook without flipping through its pages, and love digging through old badges, looking for the ones I’d earned and those I never got around to. The first Girl Scout troop was formed in 1912 in Savannah Georgia by Juliette Low, so there’s a century of uniforms, books, and badges out there, just waiting to be discovered.

Looking to start your own vintage Girl Scout collection? I have a 1970s Junior Handbook in my Etsy store right now:


High Places Photos has a working Brownie Camera:


And Put Family First has a great vintage mess kit!




The Great Vintage Midwest


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Due to a new marriage and a job offer, my family and I have relocated from Connecticut to Michigan. So far we’ve enjoyed the move. It’s a little bit colder, A LOT flatter, and occasionally we miss the open breeze. But the people are nice and inviting, I’ve grown to love shopping at Meijer’s and never plan on stepping foot in a Wal Mart again. The best thing about the move, though, is the picking. I’ve found some amazing things already for the shop, that I can’t wait to share with all of you!

For one thing, it seems like garage sale season lasts a lot longer out here than in Connecticut. Here it is mid-October, and I’m still finding at least a dozen of them listed on Craigslist every week. On the whole, prices are pretty good. I tend to take my daughter with me, and she’s always able to find a toy she just has to bring home that costs a quarter or less. I’m also beginning to get familiar with new pottery manufacturers. One of my new favorites is Red Wing, which produced hand painted china in Minnesota until the plant closed in 1967. Fluid, Eames era styling make great additions to my shop, and my home! I have a dinner plate in the Lotus pattern on Etsy right now; I have a Bob White serving bowl displayed in my kitchen that isn’t going anywhere.

plate, cup, and saucer

Lotus Red Wing dinner plate, paired with a Melmac teacup and saucer.

There are also a lot of thrift stores out here. Whereas in my part of Connecticut you were limited to Goodwill and Salvation Army, in our part of Michigan those old standbys are joined by St. Vincent, Volunteers of America, and World Missions, to name a few. We have found gorgeous well priced items to furnish our home, plus great finds for Etsy, including some Metlox Poppytrail in Sculpted Grape. Next to Franciscan, Metlox is my favorite midcentury California pottery, so I’m pleased as Punch to have it sitting in my office, ready to find a new home.

sugar bowl and creamer with grapes

Metlox Poppytrail sugar bowl and creamer in Sculpted Grape.


I can’t wait to see what spring and summer have to offer here in the Midwest. I’m hoping to get a chance to explore the World’s Longest Yard Sale and some of the other large rummage sales and flea markets. Where are your favorite places to find vintage treasures?