Dorothy Dean offered recipes that were budget-friendly and easy to prepare.
Instructions weren’t elaborate, usually running just a few lines. So it wasn’t unusual to find six or seven recipes per page – a real bargain.
Feeding families with economical, approachable and easy-to-follow recipes was key for Dorothy Dean, the pen name for Food editors who ran the Dorothy Dean Homemakers Service at The Spokesman-Review from 1935 to 1983.
Last year, the newspaper revived Dorothy Dean, re-running vintage recipes along with modern ones inspired by her anyone-can-cook spirit. This year, The Spokesman-Review and Yoke’s Fresh Markets are sponsoring the Dorothy Dean Home Cooking Show and, along with it, a recipe contest.
Entries had to be original creations that were adapted from or inspired by Dorothy Dean. Home cooks could enter either sweet or savory recipes.
Two winners are receiving VIP tickets to the Dorothy Dean Home Cooking Show, which is Saturday at the Spokane Convention Center in downtown Spokane.
They are Laurie Walters for her Rainbow Meatball Sliders and Kenneth Cameron for his Spaghetti and Eggs.
Walters was inspired by Dorothy Dean’s recipe for Cottage Meatballs, which featured cottage cheese, chopped spinach and tomato sauce.
Walters added veggies and started serving them on Hawaiian rolls.
In her entry, she wrote, “I love that Dorothy Dean recipes are always so easy and adaptable and have been using them for many years. I found this recipe years ago and loved that it stretched my meat and snuck some spinach in for the kids. I started adding the carrots and later pepper as an additional way to get the kids to eat veggies and switched up the sauce to make it more flavorful and less fatty.”
Walters used to serve her Rainbow Meatballs over pasta or mashed potatoes. Recently, she’s been making them as sliders for her grandkids, who “love them.” The recipe provides a “quick and easy meal after a day spent playing with them.”
Cameron said he wasn’t inspired by a specific Dorothy Dean recipe; rather, he was inspired by the “whole idea” of Dorothy Dean.
“The recipes were meant to allow women to provide a healthy delicious meal to their families without dirtying every pot in the house or spending the week’s food budget on one meal,” he wrote in his entry. “I am very lucky that I have the original recipes in the original binder as well as the reprints that come out every Wednesday.”
Rainbow Meatball Sliders
By Laurie Walters, adapted from Dorothy Dean
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach
2 containers favorite pre-made marinara sauce (or homemade)
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 cup cottage cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup minced red pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons season salt or to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper or to taste
1 package Hawaiian rolls
Fresh mozzarella, sliced
Fresh basil (optional)
Thaw spinach and squeeze out excess water. Heat marinara sauce in a saucepan. In large bowl, combine ground beef, cheeses, vegetables and seasoning. Shape into 12 meatballs (use an ice cream scoop for uniform sizing) and place on baking sheet. Refrigerate meatballs for 30 minutes. Drop meatballs into hot marinara sauce, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes.
To make sliders, slice top off rolls and set aside. Place tablespoon of marinara on each roll, add a meatball, slice of fresh mozzarella and sprig of basil. Cover with the top of rolls and secure with toothpick if needed.
Yield: about 18 medium meatballs.
Spaghetti and Eggs
By Kenneth Cameron, inspired by Dorothy Dean
Here’s a quick and delicious pasta dish to make when you have little time, and even less food in the house. All you need is a box of spaghetti, four eggs, olive oil and garlic. Parmesan is a delicious, but optional, addition.
1/2 pound thin spaghetti
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or lard
2 large cloves garlic, lightly smashed and peeled
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese, optional
Bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Start cooking the pasta when the water boils.
Combine 4 tablespoons of the oil with garlic in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Cook the garlic, pressing it into the oil occasionally to release its flavor; it should barely color on both sides. Remove the garlic, and add the remaining oil.
Fry the eggs gently in the oil, until the whites are just about set and the yolks still quite runny. Drain the pasta, and toss with the eggs and oil, breaking up the whites as you do. (The eggs will finish cooking in the heat of the pasta.) Season to taste, and serve immediately, with cheese if you like.
Yield: 2 or 3 servings