Monday, December 01, 2008

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

VHS format videos ... and a whole lot more

I'm not a big fan of the DVD format.

Beyond the interactive capability, which I do appreciate when I can find the remote, I am all too often transported back to a time when I laboriously dusted off my vinyl LPs, trying to remove whatever offending matter was completely undoing my "media experience".

VHS does eventually get old -- but it takes a whole lot of playing, or the grilled-cheese-in-the-VCR, didn't-supervise-the-toddler circumstance, to truly screw up a videotape playback, even if you don't keep it especially sterile.

And exercise videos don't really require the exquisite resolution of DVD, especially if you're exercising in front of the "second" TV, not the widescreen in the living room situated between the expensive objets d'art.

VHS video players are STILL AVAILABLE!!! You can buy a VCR for under $100. Usually in combination format with a DVD player.

Here's a sample of the hundreds of exercise videos in glorious, GUARANTEED to play, VHS format that are offered at my eCrater and BluJay stores. These four happen to be shrink-wrap-NEW, which adds much to their collectibility. But most of the videos I offer are of the very-gently-used variety, with lower prices and even higher value for the person who just needs some motivation and guidance in getting or staying in great physical shape.

Reebok Winning Body Workout Exercise Video - Nancy Kerrigan - NEW VHS

Stay motivated with a variety of winning exercises designed to improve overall fitness, led by Olympic medalist Nancy Kerrigan, professional hockey goalie Manon Rheaume, pro volleyball great Liz Masakayan, and Reebok University trainer Petra Kolber...

Tony Little Target Training Total Body Shape Up & Maintenance Exercise Video VHS

Non-impact exercise, one-on-one training to increase overall muscle tone, for all fitness levels. Tony Little, "America's Personal Trainer", enthusiastically demonstrates proper technique for this series of exercises, giving beginner, intermediate, and advanced versions...

Leslie Sansone You Can Do Pilates VHS Exercise Workout Video NEW

The creator of Walk Away the Pounds shows how to perform Pilates exercises to strengthen abdomen and back muscles, tone the lower body, and achieve more balance and flexiblity. The video contains 3 progressive learning segments...

Jane Fonda Lower Body Solution VHS Exercise Workout Video Tape NEW

Fun and effective 35-minute low-impact bench step aerobic exercise program for burning off fat, followed by 27 minutes of floor exercises for toning and shaping those bulges to the South..

There are more than just exercise videos in my store. I have a nice collection of cooking shows, classic movies, and children's videos, too. And, yes, even a couple in DVD format.

Not into videos? My stores have a whole lot more...books, including cookbooks and craft patterns, antique and vintage pottery and glass, and a whole range of collectibles. Browse through them all at, my one-stop shopping website with links to great deals at free-to-list,,, and, as well as my recommendations for other great online shops.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Hot Milk Cake

This simple old-fashioned recipe intrigued me in a lot of ways. First, I never heard of it before, even though my mother and grandmother were both big on cake baking. Lots of other people evidently have eaten it since childhood, considering the number of different recipes and nostalgic blog entries on the web. However, none of those recipes were exactly like this one. All of those called for butter, from a little (1-2 T) to a lot (2 sticks or more), but this one doesn't have so much as a smidgen -- qualifying (in my book, anyway) as a low fat alternative to angel food for a change.

Hot Milk Cake

2 well-beaten eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup hot milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt

Beat eggs and add sugar. Beat thoroughly. Add the flour mixed with the salt and baking powder. Add the hot milk and vanilla. Stir until smooth. Bake in a greased and flour-dusted cake pan eight inches by eight inches. Bake thrity-five minutes in a moderate oven (350 F). Turn out of pan. Cool. Ice.

-- The International Cookbook, Margaret Weimer Heywood, Boston, 1929.

Sponge cake consistency, good for use as strawberry shortcake, or accompaniment for yogurt.

Since it doesn't have any added fat, I figured I'd better use whole milk (the only kind available in 1929). I also used cake flour, although it probably wasn't necessary. The main thing is to make sure the eggs and sugar are really well-beaten -- I used a mixer and let it run until the egg-sugar mixture was thick and light yellow in color.

The need to beat the eggs vigorously wasn't real obvious in the recipe as it was written, but it was stressed in other similar recipes on the web and seemed logical. Incorporate enough air so the baking powder doesn't have to do all the work of keeping it light as it baked. I'm sure the cook-in-training in 1929 would have learned that trick eventually, if Grandma didn't give it up.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

I Coulda Hadda Tic Tac Toe!

Peanut Butter & Ketchup (alias "Tic Tac Toe") Cookies

Despite its ubiquity in the landscape of American fast food, ketchup is *not* a stealth ingredient in baked goods. It taunts the palate awaiting apple pie, and alters the flavor of peanut butter cookies so much that the Heinz booklet
calls them "Tic Tac Toe", not peanut butter, cookies. But, all in all, they're not bad, and when they're burnt, your kitchen's aroma will remind you of french fries at Mickee Dees.
    "Tic Tac Toe Cookies
  • 1-1/2 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup chunky or creamy peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • Sift together flour, soda, and salt. Cream together butter and next 3 ingredients until light and fluffy. Add ketchup and egg; mix well. Thoroughly blend flour mixture into peanut butter mixture. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets. With fork dipped in flour, press cookie flat, making impression in two directions. Bake in 375 degree oven, 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack. Makes 4-1/2 to 5 dozen cookies." -- Tomato Ketchup Recipe Collection, 1988, HJ Heinz Company.

Not sure if Henry would have approved. After all, he was the "first in the industry to package his products in clear glass bottles. By doing this, the consumer could see that Heinz foods were pure." And not used to adulterate perfectly delicious peanut butter cookies.

Even George Washington Carver, king of peanut possibilities, would probably not have promoted the intermarriage of his favorite legume with Heinz' favorite fruit. An intersection of 57 varieties with 105 uses shouldn't annihilate both sides.

On the other hand, let me repeat, they're not bad. The peanut flavor is muted by the tomato and a pleasant brown-sugar sweetness remains. Besides, the color achieved by the addition of ketchup both before
and after baking
makes these a good choice for Halloween. Lots better to (non-allergic) kids than those pumpkin spice cookies, anyway.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Exercise that Pie Away!

It's a Leap Year, so you get an extra day to get into shape with a selection from the nearly 200 VHS exercise videos at!

Here's a sample of tapes that will help you to make that "leap into fitness" ....

   Weight Watchers Get Moving! The 30 minute Moderate Intensity workout. VHS, 35 min.
Total body workout designed exclusively for Weight Watchers members, includes aerobic, resistance, and flexibility exercises at the moderate intensity level for maximum fat burning.

  Jenny Craig Personal Fitness Videos (3): Let's Get Started (60 min), Let's Get Moving (40 min), Let's Tone Up (50 min)
Motivating, effective, fun - this trio of videos will help you stick to your resolutions this year.

  FIRM Basics Sculpting with Weights Total Body Workout, VHS, 1997, BMG Video, 45 min.
Intervals of short and sweet aerobic exercises alternate with muscle toning with weights to provide "3 times the fat loss of aerobics" alone. Abdominal routine and stretches are also included in this 43-minute workout.

   Fitness Made Simple - 45-Minute Fat Burning Workout, with John Basedow, VHS, Manta Communications, Described as follows from the fitnessmadesimple website -
"Reshape your body in record time with Fitness Made Simple?s 45Min FAT BURNING WORKOUT. Workout at home with Fitness Celebrity John Basedow doing specifically targeted exercises to sculpt your chest, back, shoulders arms, legs, and abs. ..."

   Aerobics with Soul - African Rhythms, Maria Bergh, VHS, 1987, 60 min.
A creative aerobic exercise workout which incorporates traditional dance of Bergh's native Tanzania. Designed to work the entire body, promoting flexibility, endurance, coordination, and cardiovascular strength.

  Boxout - The New Way to Exercise with Sugar Ray Leonard, VHS, 1993, DiToro Films, 60 min (approx).
You'll want to burn calories with Sugar Ray as he leads you through the paces of his entertaining and easy to follow exercise video. It's easy to motivate yourself when you've got a contender for a teacher!

  The Original Buns of Steel, Intense Target Toning with Less Aerobics, Greg Smithey, VHS, 1987, 52min
A proven way to maintain or increase your fitness level. And an out-of-print, hard-to-find 1980s vintage collectible in its own right!

   Tamilee Presents For Women Only! Lower Body Workout with Staffan Perman, BodyVision, 1995,VHS, 30 min (approx).
Join Tamilee and Steffan Perman in effective lower body toning exercises. Because of the "superhunk" factor, you'll enjoy your preview of the tape (before you start exercising to it) as much as the results you get from active participation in the exercises!

   Reebok Rhythmic Power, Coordination and Power Dance Program, VHS, 50 min.
In another great video from Reebok University, Petra Kolber uses dance to exercise so that you almost forget you're getting a great aerobic workout!

Check out the wide variety of fitness videos in VHS format at my Videos Shopping Index. You'll feel great and save money, too!

Dawn in Michigan
Vintage home goods, books, & videos ... Great character, small prices!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Love Apple Pie

Everyone knows someone who puts ketchup / catsup on everything ... scrambled eggs, cottage cheese, a bowl of hot water the way Marlo Thomas did in "That Girl". And the Reaganian vegetable is an important ingredient in all sorts of recipes ... barbecue sauce, baked beans, meatloaf, even cake (if you use "That Girl" tomato soup, that is). But "love apple" pie? The photo in the Heinz recipe booklet shows a garish cherry red filling,

and I can assure you after having made it that it was only mildly enhanced (or generic catsup isn't thick and rich enough).

As for the flavor ... actually not bad, especially if you're a ketchup lover, because it certainly doesn't completely disappear into the mix the way other odd additions to desserts always do. I think Heinz is to be commended for coming up with a way to redden up a dessert that doesn't involve red hot candy.

Just make sure your relationship is solid or expendable before you spring this on your loved one for Valentine's Day.

    Love Apple Pie

    ... from Ketchup Recipe Collection, 1988, Heinz
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 5 cups thinly sliced peeled cooking apples (2 to 2-1/2 pounds)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell

Blend ketchup and lemon juice (if apples are very tart, add 1 to 2 tablespoons granulated sugar to ketchup mixture), combine with apples. Combine sugar, flour, and cinnamon; cut in butter until thoroughly mixed. Fill pie shell with apples; top with sugar mixture. Bake in 375 F oven, 40 to 45 minutes or until apples are cooked. Serve warm with ice cream, if desired. Makes one 9-inch pie.

I didn't notice the parenthetical caution so my pie was a little tart, and I didn't soften the butter because I know better than to try to "cut in" softened butter. Be sure to offer plenty of ice cream, and, to add to the dish's mellowing properties, an unopened packet or two of the condiment from your last order of french fries, for garnish.

The other recipes in the booklet: broiled cheese triangles, spicy stuffed mushrooms, red hot appetizers (with marmelade and hot dogs), surprise dip (I'm beyond being surprised at this point), family French dressing, simple tomato bacon dressing, Thousand Island dressing, Fiesta beef pie, Early American baked beans, family steak marinade, Hawaiian pork chops, novel baked beans, saucy beef and zucchini skillet, glazed top meat loaf, spaghetti sauce American style (doesn't it make you proud), spicy chicken saute, chicken fantastic, Mediterranean chicken, chicken in tomato herb sauce, chicken mexicana, barbecue sauce for chicken, marinated chicken, bayou jambalaya, tuna creole, barbecued fish rolls, chicken tacos, classic burgers, zesty blue cheese burgers, old-fashioned barbecues, spice nut cake, and tic tac toe cookies (which aren't pictured, probably because they look like peanut butter cookies that have been pinked ... stay tuned!)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Beat the Blahs with Heartwarming Goodies!

Some suggestions from to beat the midwinter blahs and keep that warm Valentines Day feeling all the way to spring ...

** books **
Fitness Through Pleasure: A Guide to Superior Health for People Who Like to Have a Good Time

19th century antiquarian "Self and Sex" Series "What A Young Boy / Girl Ought to Know" 1897

Men Are From Mars Women Are From Venus John Gray 1st ed hc w dj

Little Women, Louisa Alcott, Grosset & Dunlap 1947 ed 1976 ptg

Little Men, Louisa Alcott, Vintage 1955 Whitman hc

The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, Ina Garten, New

Vintage Candy Cookbook - Containing Over 500 Candy Recipes, 1966

** crafts **
Looks Like Love Ziggy Cross Stitch designs

Cross Stitch - Blue Boy and Pinkie - Victorian design

Holidays in Cross Stitch 1991 Oxmoor book 35 designs Christmas Easter weddings +++ like new

Silk Ribbon Embroidery for Gifts and Garments

Basket Book Lyn Siler Basketweaving Basketmaking How To 30 baskets to Make and Enjoy

Standard Book of Quilt Making and Collecting Marguerite Ickis vintage 1959

** jewelry **
Monet signed butterfly brooch - FREE SHIPPING!

dramatic Sarah Coventry signed brooch in black velvet box

** pottery **
Vintage Red Wing Provincial sugar bowl with rosebud handle on lid

Homer Laughlin Pink Magnolia serving platter

Homer Laughlin Romance bread plates

Meito Corsage dinner plate

** glassware **

Crystal Glass Wine Decanter & Glass Set by Luigi Bormioli of Italy

Vintage amberina goblet by L G Wright Daisy & Cube -- pair it with ...
... Vintage L G Wright amberina goblet Daisy & Button pattern

** videos **
Much Ado About Nothing, starring Emma Thompson, VHS

Ancient Art of Bellydance VHS

My specialty is finding high quality but undervalued vintage goodies -- classic home goods, books, cookbooks, craft patterns, & videos -- and passing much of the savings on to you. The shopping index -- -- helps you search all the goodies by keyword, category, and store -- three of which are YesterYearsGoodies at, YesterYearsGoodies at, and YesterYearsCrafts at

Multiple item discounts, Golden Rule Guarantee, fast order fulfillment, careful, efficient shipping -- you'll *love* shopping at!