I didn't choose Betty. She chose me.

I didn't choose Betty. She chose me.
The Betty Crocker Kitchens 1940

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen, Start Your Cookie Presses!

It's that time of year again! Happy Baking! 

(Don't you just love how much Betty Crocker's people back in the day loved a good "gingie"?) 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

More vintage Betty Crocker

Foods Men Hurry Home For! By Betty Crocker recipe pamphlet circa 1931
Any guesses to what menfolk hurry home for? It's mostly cake.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Vintage Betty Crocker Coronation Cake

When's the last time you made a Coronation Cake? That's what I thought. You should be ashamed of yourself.
Can't get enough of "glamorous" cakes? You should check out my book on Betty.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Betty Crocker in the Kitchen

Don't you just love this dishwasher wrap? Read all about it here!
Turns out a former Betty Crocker Kitchen staffer lived in this house and the newest owner got her Betty on in a very creative way.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Baking, Blue Ribbon and Betty! Whisk Factor at TPT

Read Klecko's take on the event and more here!

What a great event Justin Madel put on for TPT's Whisk Factor. The Minneapolis/St. Paul PBS affiliate station, TPT, really knows how to put on an event!

It was Baking, Blue Ribbons and Betty and I presented with Master Baker, Danny Klecko and the reigning Blue Ribbon/Sweepstakes winner - Marjorie Johnson.

We met some great people who are very interested in the Baking Renaissance and we even talked to some great folks from General Mills.

And the baked goods that were served - compliments of Klecko and Justin - were sublime. I even got to sample the treats Marjorie submitted to this year's  Minnesota State Fair baking competition. They were really, really good. Wow. I wouldn't be surprised if she were to add more ribbons to the 2000 she already has.

For the record, Marjorie was as sweet, funny, entertaining and adorable as ever. Who knew behind the "little old lady" persona beat the heart of one savvy and fierce competitor. I wish I had an I love Marjorie Johnson button to wear to the Minnesota State Fair!

Happy Baking!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Feeling Betty Crocker


This week is all about Betty. I'm getting reading for the big Baking, Blue Ribbons and Betty event at TPT a week from today. And I'm being interviewed for an internet radio show called A Taste of the Past. And finally, I'm writing a chapter for the Oxford Companion to Sweets. Remember what I said about Betty choosing me?

Monday, August 5, 2013

My Day with Blue Ribbon Baker - Marjorie Johnson!

The one and only Marjorie Johnson - Blue Ribbon Baker and complete sweetheart

What a day! I got to hang out with Blue Ribbon Baker Extraordinaire - Marjorie Johnson. She's won more blue ribbons than anyone. You may have seen her on Jay Leno, Martha Stewart, Wayne Brade, Rosie, Regis - this list goes on and on.

Marjorie told the most extraordinary stories today. I could have listened to her for hours. There are some very good reasons why she's won over 1000 blue ribbons. 

Marjorie, Baker Danny Klecko and I are doing a fun event in a few weeks. If you don't  live in Minnesota - all I can say is book your plane ticket now. You don't want to miss this event.

Buy tickets to Baking, Blue Ribbons and Betty right here!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Betty Crocker rocks!

People are always interviewing me about Betty Crocker and most of the time we are talking Betty's history. But occasionally the interviewer wants to talk about Betty today and I'm sort of stumped on what to say. I mean, Betty Crocker today is just so boring.

Well, I've changed my tune as of today. Betty Crocker of 2013 is not boring, she rocks. She supports same-sex marriage in Minnesota! She's even serving up her famous cake. Thank you, Betty!

Listen for yourself right here! Watch here!
Read here!

And let love rule!!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Looking for Betty Crocker Home Testers

I'm looking for Betty Crocker Home Testers who live in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul for an upcoming event this summer. Please be in touch!

doll.documentary[at symbol dot com]

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Vintage spring in the land of Betty Crocker & the Green Giant

Since we're having such a late, dreary spring here in Betty Crocker's homeland I thought I should post something that actually reminds us that it is spring. Wouldn't you just flip out if someone served you a Betty Crocker's Spring Delight cake? I has a certain Dr. Suess whimsy, no? Read more about vintage Betty here.

Meanwhile, in the land that also belongs to the Jolly Green Giant, something overly green and  terrifying signifies that spring has sprung. Not that this lady seems to mind.

Happy Spring, everyone!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Change Your Cake - Change Your Life

Changing the flavor and color of your cakes (like magic) may just change your life! Read all about Betty Crocker's Colorvision cakes in my book Finding Betty Crocker.

Anyone doing any special baking over the long holiday weekend? From where I'm standing, spring has sprung and that means lighter, less chocolate (gasp!) desserts. I've heard good things about pink lemonade cupcakes. Must investigate. I'm sure Aunt Jemima and Betty Crocker would approve.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Vintage Pillsbury Ad

Hmm...I wonder why they spelled Betty Crocker wrong.
If you want to read about how Betty Crocker inspired the Pillsbury Bake-Off in the 1950s, check out my book, Finding Betty Crocker.

Monday, April 22, 2013

More Vintage Food to Make You Feel Sad

 True, these aren't Betty Crocker's disasters, but I just can't resist posting. The middle one makes me especially sad. What it is? It feels like a Dementor made it.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Vintage Betty Crocker Cake Ad

Midwinter Carnival Cake because it feels more like winter than spring today. But that should change any minute now, right? Anyway, get busy baking this Midwinter Carnival Cake now that you have the recipe and bake your winter blues away.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Betty Crocker Vintage Baked Alaska Recipe

Betty Crocker's Baked Alaska recipe has a special place in my heart because it is the only thing I remember baking in  my 6th grade  Home Ec class. At the time, Home Ec was mandatory for all 6th graders at my school. I was in a "pod" of 4 students in Kitchen Station #1. My pod mates were Brenda Bliss, Kyle Holen and one other male student that I can't seem to remember. (A lovely side note: I'm still great friends with Brenda and Kyle!) 

The Baked Alaska mystified me. How could we put ice cream in the oven without it melting all over? It particular, I remember whipping up the meringue. It took forever. And the Baked Alaska turned out beautifully. 

Years later, while writing Finding Betty Crocker, I reflected on my one Home Ec memory quite frequently. And I was surprised to hear a former Betty Crocker home economist tell me about serving Baked Alaska at the Betty Crocker Search for the All-American Homemaker of Tomorrow Scholarship banquet the year Alaska became a state. (I know what year that was, do you know? Without googling it? )

It was no easy feat to whip up hundreds of Baked Alaska for the banquet, but, of course, Betty's staff pulled it off without a hitch.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Vintage Ad for Souffle

True, she's no Betty Crocker, but Jello, egg and mayo Souffle is too good not to post. You can see why Red is so excited.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Quick Like A Bunny Make This Gay

This isn't vintage Betty Crocker, but it's too darn cute to pass up. Happy Easter! 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Vintage Easter Cakes

Ya know what's making a major comeback? Easter Lamb Cakes.

Growing up, my mom always made the Lamby Cake for Easter. It didn't quite look like this. Ours was white cake, white frosting, coconut covered with pink jellybeans for eyes. And we loved it. I know others of you grew up with the Betty Crocker Easter Bunny cake. Adorbs! But picking the Easter basket grass out of the frosting looks like a major pain in the bunny butt. Happy Easter, Everyone!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Vintage Betty Crocker Post to Make You Feel Bad

The injustice never ends.  More vintage un-cake. And dear God, what are those green things?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Vintage Un-Cake

It's just sad, isn't it? A sandwich parading around as sweet, wonderful cake. See other post for my thoughts on this atrocity.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Vintage Betty Crocker Recipie - Uncake

Nothing bums me out more than something that looks like cake, but isn't. On many of my speaking engagements for Finding Betty Crocker, this vintage Betty Crocker Party Sandwich Loaf was served. I pretended to be delighted, but I never ate a single bite. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Vintage Betty Crocker is cooler than you know!

In our archival research we unearthed a letter from the Betty Crocker radio show, "Magazine of the Air" inviting Frances Glessner Lee to be a guest on the show. (1949) Considering I've made documentary films about both Betty Crocker and Frances Glessner Lee, my mind is forever blown.

For the record, there was a carbon copy of the reply letter and Frances politely declined.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Oh Betty! Chiffon Cake at it's worst.

 How can something so wrong probably taste so right? Really, I think Betty's art directors were just dialing it that day. Anyway, more importantly, Betty is in YELLOW! Very rare to see Betty in anything other than red and white. And like always, she has the look of a First Lady. This looks like a post WWII ad to me. Maybe there is a little Eleanor Roosevelt in this Betty portrait? Decide for yourself.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Betty Crocker Retro Recipe Cards

Did your mom have one of these? Betty Crocker or otherwise? Why do you think they were just a passing fad? In theory they were amazing - photos of the meal, recipes, suggestions, well organized...yet you really only find them in thrift shops. The other theory could be that they just wore out from constant use? ;-)

Anyway, if you like this, you should know about this gal at Dinner is Served 1972.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Vintage Betty Crocker Billboard

Betty Crocker & Carnation Ice Cream Billboard
That's what I want to see - Betty Crocker's distinctive signature lighting up the night sky. I really wish these kinds of billboards would make a a come back. By the way, have I ever told you the story of how Betty got her signature? Find it here.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Betty Crocker Tree House Restaurant & Bakery

Betty Crocker Tree House Restaurant & Bake Shop
Did you ever eat at at Betty Crocker Restaurant in the 1970s? Did you work at one? I wonder if Betty Crocker's corporate parents opened up one of these today - would it be successful?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Vintage Betty Crocker Military Christmas Cookies

WW II Christmas Cookie Ornaments by Betty Crocker       

This vintage wartime Betty Crocker ad always blows me away. Sending Christmas cookies to the troops overseas was quite common, but Betty takes it one step further with military-themed cookies for sharing and for Christmas tree decorating. Imaging decorating your tree with "field gun" cookies.

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Betty Crocker Search for the All-American Homemker of Tomorrow.

 Since I've had so many request for some basic information about the Betty Crocker Search for the All-American Homemaker of Tomorrow Scholarship Program, I promise to periodically post more about it. 

But for starters, if you are not familiar, here's the basics from the Betty Crocker website:

In 1954, the Betty Crocker Search for the All-American Homemaker of Tomorrow was initiated and continued until 1977. High-school seniors competed for college scholarships and trips to the national awards ceremony based on their knowledge of cooking, baking and household management.

Most people naturally assume that General Mills saved all the scholarship information in their archives. I, too, was once so naturally naive. They have almost nothing in their archives about the scholarship program. Like most companies, General Mills threw away a lot of the history because they didn't see its historical value. But before you judge them too harshly, remember that they are not in the business of saving history, they are in the business of selling processed foods. And, compared to many corporations (like J&J) General Mills actually saved an enormous amount of their history.

The fact that General Mills didn't save much information about the Betty Crocker Search for the All-American Homemaker of Tomorrow Scholarship Program, is precisely why I am preserving this special little slice of American history. So, as always, feel free to leave your Betty Crocker scholarship stories here! And if you have photos...we would love to see them!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year with Vintage Betty Crocker!

Happy New Year! So great to get to know so many of you this past year, especially you Betty Crocker Scholarship winners! So many great stories. And it's funny how so many of you winners were not the least bit "domestically inclined," but were excellent test takers. However, I think so many of you sell yourself short. My guess is that you are pretty smart too. Those Betty Crocker Search for the All American Homemaker of Tomorrow Scholarship exams were tough! I could have never past one in high school. Or college.

My hope in the new year is to see some photos of you scholarship winners. And of course, hear more scholarship stories. I especially hope to hear from national winners.

I've included this wonderful ad because this is the first and only ad I've ever seen of Betty in yellow! I've seen her in green and blue, and of course, in her traditional red and white. But never in yellow until now.

I also love the copy with lines like; "Imagine! A cake that needs no icing!" And "Don't risk failure!" And "Good cooks know this."

Happy baking in the new year!

Remember you can always find Finding Betty Crocker on Amazon.