Old Hints and a New Release


In May my new book “Out of a Texas Night” was released.  I was so excited, and didn’t think things could get any better, but they have!  

I’m so thrilled to tell you all that the first book in the Kasota Spring series The Troubled Texan is on BookBub in the Romantic Suspense category today for a fantastic price of 99 cents.  Below is a link, so you can go directly to the website and purchase your copy from your favorite book provider.  If you haven’t checked BookBub out, please do so because they provide daily releases for special pricing, including free books, in almost every genera.

In my May blog, I gave you an insight into how this particular series came about. One of the things I mentioned is that in all three of the Kasota Springs stories I always use a family recipe for one of my characters, particularly Lola Ruth Hicks, who is the cook and the cement that holds the Jacks Bluff Ranch together. I then give the complete recipe, plus a little bit of my family history behind it at the back of the book.

In cleaning out some of my family “stuff”, I found a bicentennial cookbook from the town I lived in when I was born.  The Methodist Cooks Celebrate covers from 1784 to 1984.  I was amazed and enthralled with the book, especially the gems from way-back-yonder; so, I decided to share some interesting ones that are still applicable almost a century and a half later.

Measuring Ingredients 

She guessed the pepper; the soup was too hot,   

She guessed the water, it dried in the pot.

She guessed the salt and what do you think?

   For the rest of the day we did nothing but drink.

She guessed the sugar, the sauce was to sweet,

   And by her guessing, she spoiled the meat.

What of the moral, ‘tis easy to see,

    A good cook measures most carefully.


    There is no indigestion worse than that of trying to eat your own words.
    Those who think it permissible to tell ‘white lies’ soon go ‘colorblind’.

Advice to the Housewife

Well mix and bake the dainty cake,And beat the frosting light;

The sweetest plan to please a man is through his appetite.


A Couple of Cooking Tips:

    • To remedy greasy gravy, add a small amount of baking soda.


      Keep tomatoes in storage with stems pointed downward and they will retain their freshness longer.
      If you wrap each egg in aluminum foil before boiling it, the shell won’t crack when it’s boiling.
    Before measuring honey or syrup, oil the cup with cooking oil and rinse in hot water.

Household Tips:

    Tight screws:  Loosen a screw by putting a couple of drops of peroxide on it and letting it soak in.
    Buttons:  Coat the center of buttons with clear nail polish and they’ll stay on longer.
    Stubborn locks:  Dip key into machine oil or graphite to loosen up a lock.

 This is probably my favorite:

Let none escape, but try them all,

To boil or fry or bake.

We’ll warrant they are just as good

As Mother used to make!


Do you love old cookbooks?  If so, do you use many of the recipes?

To two lucky winners who leave a comment, I will give away an eBook of Out of a Texas Night.

   BOOKBUB Link 









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A native Texan, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Phyliss Miranda still believes in the Code of the Old West and loves to share her love for antiques, the lost art of quilting, and the Wild West.

Visit her at phylissmiranda.com

36 thoughts on “Old Hints and a New Release”

  1. I have some of my mother’s old cookbooks. Love the changes in how we do things nowadays. My funny story is my Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook I got in 1967 vs the same cookbook I got for my daughter in 1993. There were no microwaves or slow cookers back then. Pressure cookers we had. Her book is probably obsolete now as well as for some cooking methods. Also, my mother got me the Imperial Cane Sugar My First Cookbook. And, I got one for my daughter. Fun to compare.

    • Hi Jerri. Good to hear from you. Oh how I love the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbooks! I have three from over the years; and like you, made sure both of my daughters have one. I’ve collected tons of different cookbooks but when in doubt for basic info and recipes you can’t beat any one of the BH&G cookbooks. They have changed so much, and like you again, I bet the ones I get for my granddaughters will be even more different. Gosh, I’ve got to check out the Imperial Cane Sugar My First Cookbook. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Good morning Phyliss, I loved Out Of. Texas Night. Whoever wins will love this book.
    Oh you’re Blog was delish!! I love old cookbooks and have many church ones. So neat to see what ingredients they used back then as compared to today. I still refer to them when I cook.
    Thank you such an amazing blog. Love you Miss Phyliss.

  3. I love cook books! I collect them. I wish I had old Methodist cookbook thats one great one to have! Yes I use recipes in mine but not as much since its so easy to pull recipes up on my phone! There are some awesome tips in here and many I did not know! I was so blessed to have won Out of a Texas Night from you! I just loved it! Thank you for the heads up on your discounted book I just bought it and I’m sure I will love it! Great blog!!

      • Tonya, you are a true blessing and friend. I enjoyed writing “The Troubled Texan” and did a lot of it while I was out in California. The murder case my heroine is running from came straight out of the news. I particularly loved to write Deuce, a hardcore lawman, but so tender and hurting due to his mother’s disease…Alzheimer’s. You’re a jewel.

  4. I sometimes guess on measuring and it has been good and bad. Beat to measure. Great post! I love those old cookbooks.

    • Hi Debra, good to hear from you. I think we all guess measurements at times. In my first anthology with Linda Broday and Jodi Thomas, my heroine came to Texas from Boston. There’s a scene where she decides to make Boston Beaten Bread, using handwritten notes. A little of this, a tad of that, enough flour to mix well, then it’s poured out on a board and beaten with a rolling pen. She doesn’t know what a tad is, etc., so you can only imagine how much fun I had writing the scene. “Give Me a Texan” is the name of the first of the six anthologies with these wonderful writers, plus our friend DeWanna Pace who has now passed. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs to you from me.

    • Hi Janine, I loved the tips, too. There are a ton in the book. Many no longer needed, but so many good ones left. It was hard to pick out just the right number which are still applicable, plus I wanted to use most of the sayings. It was fun. Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.

  5. I adore old cookbooks and the old simple recipes they hold! They are enjoyable just to read sometimes and contemplate how complicated a few were and how this was normal life. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Susan, good to hear from you. You are so right about how simple the older recipe books are. Some were complicated, no doubt; and now days most housewives just don’t have the time to do the “old fashioned” way of cooking, so crock pots etc. come in handy. Then when you retire and have the kids out of the house, you have to figure out how to drop down on your cooking. Cooking for two today is so much harder than it was when we first married. Simple is better now! Have a great day!

  6. I am a lover of old cookbooks. I read them like novels. Thank you for sharing your wonderful post. I hope you have a great day!

    • Hi Melanie. Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. I’m just like you about reading a cookbook like a novel, especially one such as my aunt’s that I referred to. I plan on having an awesome day and pray you do, too. Thanks again, my friend in reading.

  7. I really don’t like the new cookbooks today but love the old cookbooks and wish I had yours. Love these tips. My sister has my mother’s old Betty Crocker cookbook and it is a great book but the new one not so much. Things were just more simple in the older cookbooks.

    • Hi Miss Quilt Lady, thanks for dropping by. I think everyone over the age of 40 loves the older cookbooks. I totally agree that the ones of today aren’t anything like the old ones, plus they might well become a thing of the past for many, since you can go online and get about anything you want. I still defer to the oldie goldies for sure. Glad you enjoyed the tips and sure wish I could find more of my aunt’s bicentennial book. It’s super great. Big hugs to you from me.

  8. I really enjoyed the post. Loved the advice you shared from the cookbooks. I love cookbooks and have over a hundred. A lot are from the early sixties when I was just married. But I’ve got several church cookbooks and I do make some of the recipes.

    • Hi Carol. Good to hear from you. You sound a lot like me, having a ton of cookbooks and loving them so much. I have many from the 60’s, too. Thanks for dropping by and I’m pleased you enjoyed some of the advice I took from my aunt’s bicentennial cookbook. It was fun reading through it. Hugs.

  9. Love your blog, Phyliss! You gave us some interesting tips and advice. I really loved this one: “There is no indigestion worse than that of trying to eat your own words.” I know this from experience. Ha! Congrats on the BookBub sale and on the other one too! Although I have them both I got them again.

    Love you, friend!

    • Thanks my fellow filly and friend. I owe you a lot for helping me with putting up this blog, since my mind and the site didn’t seem to want to work together! LOL I truly appreciate you. Yep, we’ve all had to eat our own words. Thanks for buying the books again. Love you and truly appreciate your friendship.

  10. Congratulations, Phyliss, and I’m going to be hustling off to snap up your .99 bargain here in just a minute for sure! My mom was an excellent cook and she had several cookbooks, but she used her “old faithful” Betty Crocker and Better Homes and Gardens more than any others, I think. My sister had a very old one that her ex-husband’s mother gave him when he and my sis got married. It had a lot of little “sayings” in it and notes in the margins. So interesting!

    • Hi my friend. So good to hear from you. Thanks for buying my book. Several are on sale for 99 cents right now. Everyone used and loved the Betty Crocker and Better Homes and Gardens books! I absolutely love ones that have notes in the margins. I have a ton of ones from my school days and organizations and all of them have my notes. My Granny and aunt were both professional cooks, so I have lots of their handwritten recipes. When I was in either junior high or high school, the Texas home ed teachers put together a number of cookbooks, each a special … desserts, meats, veggies, etc. and they are a wealth of information. I want to put together a cookbook, one of these days. Have a great day, my friend. Hugs, P

  11. Thank you for the fun post, Phyllis; I loved those instructions! And congratulations and good luck on the release of your book OUT OF A TEXAS NIGHT. All the very best to you, my friend. (I’m still out of step with the times, Phyllis, reading paper books so don’t enter me in the ebook contest; I just wanted to stop by to say hi and wish you well.)

    • Hi Eliza. Thanks for stopping by. I like a book in my hand; however, when traveling it’s sure nice to have my eReader because it holds so many books. I’ve heard that because of eBooks more men are reading romance than ever before because nobody knows what they are reading by looking at the cover. Funny, huh? Thanks so much for your good wishes. You’re entered because you left a comment, and we’ll work out something on an award if you win! Hugs to my friend, Eliza.

  12. Phyliss, really enjoyed your blog about old recipes. I have saved several of my Mom’s recipes (I lost her in 1982), and some of those recipes were handed down from her mother who was born in 1882. I especially love her cornbread dressing recipe for Thanksgiving, her deviled egg one, and cherry pie. Old recipes are like treasures, but everyday treasures that you can use over and over, pass on to your family and enjoy.

    Thank you for reminding us of these wonderful old recipes! Wishing you the very best with your romantic suspense.

  13. Hi Hebby. So good to have you stop by and leave a comment. You are so right about treasurers in recipes. A wonderful reminder of what our mothers and grands left behind. I’m sorry about the loss of your mother. We lost mine also. I have recipes going back nearly as far as yours. You made me super hungry with cornbread dressing and deviled eggs! WOW! You must be from the South since Daddy was from Ohio and they did another type of bread dressing. Nothing is better than cornbread dressing. A hint to anyone reading this, I found out the hard way, unless you use a lot of sage, buy new each or every other holiday season because it can lose it’s strength; thus the flavor Again, thanks for reading my blog and the good wishes. Have a great day!

    • Hi lady, oh you are so right. Sometimes cooks won’t even let other family members know “their secrets” to a recipe. Luckily, my family loves to share. Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Have a great day.

  14. I have some of the cookbooks from my grandmas. The church cookbooks are fun to look at. The old Betty Crocker has some weird recipes in it. Gross food they thought was cool in post-war America.

    I think it’s about time I pare down my cookbook collection. I have hundreds of cookbooks.

  15. Hi Denise, Wow! Hundreds of cookbooks! And, I thought I have a lot. You are so right about some of the weird recipes in many cookbook. Like you, I really, really love church and organization recipe books. They are so neat, like my aunt’s that I referred to. Small town recipes just full of interest tidbits. Thanks for dropping by ad leaving a comment. Have a great evening.

    • Hi Caryl. Good to see you here. Gosh, I can’t imagine anyone not cooking today … NOT … As I said earlier since we don’t have any kids at home any longer, I’m finding it so much easier to do microwave foods and take in or out whichever the case may be. I bet your mom really enjoys her collection. Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment.

  16. I love cookbooks and have way too many of them. Counting the little pamphlet style ones, I have over 500. I bought many of the older ones trying to find a recipe to make rice pudding the way my maternal grandmother did. I used to cook quite a bit, but have gotten so busy, I don’t cook as much as I’d like. I find many of my favorite cookbooks and recipes are 30 or more years old. Some of the recipes I got from my paternal grandmother are typical of older recipes. One for pumpkin cookies calls for lard the size of an egg. I have tried it a couple of times and they never turn out very well. I need to really look at the recipe to see what it might be missing. Luckily most of the other recipes from her work just fine.
    Thanks for sharing the “gems” with us.

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