Monday, August 15, 2011

Vintage Recipe: Toffee Bars

From the Sunbeam Mixmaster recipe book from 1957.

Toffee Bars
(fun to make — more fun to eat)

1/2 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/4 teasp. salt
1/2 cup uncooked oatmeal
1/2 cup soft butter or margarine
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 brown sugar, packed
1 teasp. vanilla
1 egg, unbeaten
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Set oven at 350 degrees F, to preheat. Grease 11 x 7 x 1 1/2 pan. Sift flour and salt. Add oatmeal. Combine butter, sugars, vanilla and egg in large Mixmaster bowl. Cream on No. 7 speed for 2 minutes. Add flour mixture. Beat on No. 3 speed about 1 minute. Bake about 25 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Melt chocolate over hot water, stirring until smooth. Spread over backed batter. Sprinkle with nuts. Cool in pan. Cut in bars. Makes 2 doz.

My pan was slightly larger so my bars turned out thinner. I also had to adjust the cooking time to 18 minutes. With the heat wave we're having, my chocolate didn't want to set so I have been keeping them in the fridge and they are wonderfully delicious! Melting a little peanut butter with the chocolate would be tasty, too. :)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Blue Skies Tomorrow

Blue Skies Tomorrow by Sarah Sundin, is by far, one of the best WWII novels I have ever read! Head on over to Sarah's website for a synopsis of the story (I'm always afraid I'll give too much away if I try to summarize it ;) ). However, Blue Skies Tomorrow had me laughing, rejoicing over her characters triumphs, pulling for them when they were pushed to their limit, and yes, even tearing up at times.

Every time I read one of Sarah's books I am instantly transported back to the 1940's. You can feel the atmosphere through the pages — her descriptions are so vivid and detailed. Are her characters in a stressful situation? You'll be feeling their stress and pain. Is it a happy day in Antioch, CA? There'll be a silly smile on your face. Ray is eating a strawberry? You better believe that you'll be wanting a juicy berry from Grandpa Novak's farm, too.

Also, I always learn so much about the war and the time period from her books. The descriptions of the planes and the flights are executed with minute detail — without being overwhelming to those who really don't know much about planes, like me. ;) Everything is so accurate — prices, rations, fashion, popular songs, movies, medical details, battles, military life — everything.

Her characters are so warm and real. When reading Sarah's books, it's as if you've just had a visit with some dear friends, and you just hate to say goodbye.

So, please, go pick up a copy and treat yourself to a wonderful 1940's story.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Everyday Vintage #7: Retro Purse

This cute, little purse was spotted at Forever 21 with a price tag of $19.98. Personally, I'm not a fan of Forever 21's purses — they feel cheap. But this little number has a decent quality feel to it. The silhouette is very 1940's. I adore the little hand strap on the top. Included is also a long shoulder strap of chain with material woven through it — however the shoulder strap does take away from it's vintage charm.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Battleground (1949)

Movies don't make me cry. However, I do tend to tear up when I watch WWII war movies —seeing what those soldiers went through, feeling the hopelessness and desperation, coming to
understand the war better. Battleground is one of those movies.

It's the story of the men of the 101st, who are stationed in the Ardennes forest — trying to survive the winter. They are surrounded by the Germans, the fog is so thick the planes can't get through with supplies or air support, and morale is terribly low. But they do what they have to. They do what they signed up
to do.

Spoiler Warning: Perhaps my favorite part is when the sun finally breaks through the fog and a flood of C-47s comes flying over to drop supplies. Seeing the hundreds of planes flying makes me swell with pride, and the joy on the soldiers faces makes me tear up. Their hope is back.