The Tromp Queen COOKS!

The Tromp Queen Cooks! Family Favorites: old and new — all delicious!

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Fried Fish

fried meat with potato fries and ketchup dip on plate

Photo by Lukas on

Freshly caught and cleaned fish (bluegill, sunfish, crappie) from the lake, breaded and fried  served with tartar sauce and fried potatoes was a frequent summer meal at our house when I was growing up. I still love this meal!

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Mom often served it with coleslaw. In later years this was always Marzetti’s dressing on a bag of shredded cabbage and carrots. In earlier years, she made a sweet and sour type of coleslaw with a vinegar dressing. The recipe she followed for that bore no resemblance to the slaw.


Lake Erie walleye

Breading Preparation:
First prepare a plate of flour with salt and pepper to taste. Next you’ll need a bowl of 1 beaten egg with about 1/2 Cup of milk mixed together. Last in line is a shallow bowl or plate of crackermeal.

Fish should be thawed if frozen and pre-soaked in water (lemon juice and salt added). Dip the fillets in the flour, then in the milk/egg, then in the crumbs. Do all the breading and then all the frying. I usually stack the breaded fillets on a plate with waxed paper in between the layers. Fry in hot oil (either in a skillet or a deep fryer) until lightly browned on each side. Oil should be about 375*.


To make homemade Tartar Sauce:
Mix Hellman’s mayo, some finely chopped onion, a dab of yellow mustard, some sweet pickle relish and a little of the pickle juice.

bake blur close up cook

Photo by Pixabay on

To make fried potatoes:
Peel and thinly slice Idaho potatoes (as many as can fit in your skillet!) Cover the bottom of the pan with a thin layer of Crisco oil. Heat the oil a bit first, then add the taties, salt and pepper and (secret ingredient alert) a sprinkle of white sugar. Fry the taties covered over medium or medium high heat until nicely browned turning them with a flat spatula 2 or 3 times. It should take 20 to 30 minutes until they are nicely browned and tender.


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Vintage Recipe Blog

I ran across this wonderful blog:  Gram’s Recipe Box

vintage recipe box

Grandma’s Recipe Box

I read one of the blog posts about a handwritten book of family recipes which were all in German.  The author of the blog was asking for help translating the recipes.  My daughter, in her first year at university, is minoring in German.  I sent her the link to the blog and asked if she might be able to help with this woman’s project.  Fortunately my daughter is an excellent baker (and a big fan of the British Baking Show) and is also a thoughtful, generous human being.

You can see the original blog post and my daughter’s translation (with notes) here.


Zimtsterne (Cinnamon Stars) image from Anson Mills

The recipe for the cookies pictured above is here.

Another version from Canada is here.


Zimtsterne cookie (CookinCanuck)

There are some new pages posted on the blog.

Check out the rest of the recipes there if you are into vintage cooking at all.  Many good-looking ideas might inspire a blast to the past.

The next few pages were posted and translated by my daughter.  You can find her translation in the comments of this blog post.

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Tortellini Summer Salad

Tonight was one of those nights.  I looked into the refrigerator and tried to figure out what I could cook for dinner that was not too complicated, not too hot, not too much effort.

I spied a package of fresh tortellini.  I thought, “Hey, I could boil that and throw in some vegetables and some meat and cheese.  It would be a main course salad!”


Uncooked Tortellini. Image via Flickr by Scott Feldstein CC license

I put some water on to boil.  I started to gather ingredients.

1 small white onion, diced
4 stalks of celery, diced
1 jar of marinated artichoke hearts, drained
4 carrots, grated
1 box cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
several slices of deli ham, diced (1/4 to 1/3 of a pound)
1/2 jar Muffuletta olive salad (use a fork to dig it out of the jar)
Most of a bottle of creamy Caesar dressing (or could use vinegar and olive oil)

Boil a package of cheese tortellini according to the package directions.  Undercook just slightly.  Rinse with cold water.  While pasta cooks, combine the rest of the salad ingredients in a large bowl.  Add the pasta.  Toss and mix.

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Oatmeal Pancakes


Oatmeal Pancakes

1 1/2 c. oatmeal (old fashioned works best)

3/4 c. milk

1 egg

2 T. veg oil

2 T. brown sugar

1 T. baking powder

1/2 t. salt

Put the dry oatmeal in a blender (or food processor or Bullet) and grind it into flour.
Set the oat flour you just made aside.
Put the remaining ingredients in the blender then add the ground up oatmeal flour back in.  (OR you can mix the remaining ingredients into the oat flour in a bowl and mix it together with a wooden spoon.)
Blend until mixed.  Let stand 5 minutes.  Fry as usual for pancakes.

Serve with butter and real maple syrup.  YUMMMM.

We often double this recipe.  They really are VERY good.

This recipe came with the blender we got as a wedding present 32 years ago.  My husband’s Dad always cooked breakfast for their family at home, and he was used to “from scratch” pancakes, waffles and omelets.  My husband, doing his best to emulate his Dad, tried this recipe soon after we were married  and has made it throughout all the years between then and now.


Oatmeal Pancakes (Taste of Home photo)

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Creamy Mushroom with Brown and Wild Rice Soup

I sometimes crave a warm bowl of soup late at night when I can’t sleep.

Recently I made a pretty good version of cream of mushroom soup for my late night craving — with a few twists.

Creamy Mushroom with Brown and Wild Rice Soup

Creamy Mushroom with Brown and Wild Rice Soup by The Tromp Queen Cooks. Image by TTQ, CC license 4.0

Heat 1 T olive oil and 1 T butter in a fairly large saucepan or dutch oven.
Add 8 oz. or more of sliced mushrooms (any kind). Mine were kind of old so I picked off the stems and just used the caps.
Add a little salt and pepper.
Chop up 1/2 of a small onion. Add it to the pot.


Penzeys Spices Lemon Pepper Seasoning. Image from their website.

Add 1 t. of Penzeys Lemon Pepper seasoning. This might seem like a strange choice, but it worked!  It contains: salt, Special Extra Bold black pepper, citric acid, lemon peel, garlic and minced green onion

Let all that cook until the mushrooms and onions are very soft and lightly browned.

Sprinkle the mushroom mixture with 3 T. of flour.  Stir it around for about a minute.

Add about 2 – 3 c of chicken or veg broth.  (I had an open box in the fridge.  I’m not completely sure how much I added, but it was in this ballpark).

Then, I added a single serving of Minute brand brown and wild rice. The package looks like this:

You pull off the lid of the little plastic cup, stick it in the microwave on high for 1 minute and it is ready to go! (Yes, I heated it in the micro before adding it to my soup).

I let all this simmer for a few minutes.

At the very end I added about 1/2 c. of half and half. I might have added more but that is about all we had left.

This made a very tasty and filling soup if I do say so myself.

I think the Lemon Pepper seasoning really added a nice touch. I will definitely try that again.

Until next time: Happy Soup Snacking!



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Tromp Queen’s Porcupine Meatballs

I got this recipe from a Wisconsin state politician during a parade many years ago. The guy was not in my preferred political party, but I took the recipe anyway.

I’ve tweaked it over the years, and the version I made tonight for dinner was really quite good.

CC Chapman "Porcupine Burgers" via Flickr CC license

Porcupine Meatballs. Image by CC Chapman via Flickr Creative Commons license.

Here is the Tromp Queen’s version:

Mix together:
1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 cup regular long grain rice, uncooked (I used basmati)
1 1/2 to 2 slices whole wheat bread, crumbled
1 egg
1/2 t. onion powder
1 t. salt (or less, to taste)
1/2 t. ground black pepper
1/2 t. Italian herb mix
1/2 c. tomato juice

Mix well.
Heat a large skillet or dutch oven over medium heat (med high if you are watching it carefully). Add 1 or 2 T. (or more) olive oil to the pan.
Optional: add 2 to 3 cloves of garlic to the olive oil.
Using medium-sized scoop or your hands, form meatballs,
adding the meatballs to the skillet as you make them.
Gently turn the meatballs 2 or 3 times, until they are mostly browned (about 5-7 min.)

Add 2 to 2 1/2 cups of tomato sauce to the skillet.
Add 1 t. Italian herb mix to the sauce.
Optional: Add 1/2 t. sugar.

Bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat, and simmer for 20-25 min. Spoon some of the sauce over the top of the meatballs as you turn/stir occasionally.
Add more tomato juice, water or broth if needed to keep the sauce from disappearing.

Serve with vegetables or salad, maybe a baguette, or crispy bread of some sort?

You can use any kind of herb you desire: marjoram, oregano, basil or a mixture such as the Italian herb mix from Penzeys. The original recipe called for 1 c. of minute rice, but I prefer the taste and texture of “real” rice.

Enjoy! Please let me know if you try this recipe and how you like it if you do.




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Chickpea Curry

Steven Jackson turmeric

Turmeric image by Steven Jackson, via Flickr CC license

Chickpea Curry

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 approximately 2-inch piece of ginger, grated
2 teaspoons Sweet Curry powder
1 teaspoon Penzeys Curry Now powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 (15 oz ) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed (smash one can with a fork)
28 oz can, petite diced tomatoes
1 can full fat coconut milk
2-3 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt
Chopped fresh cilantro


Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
Add onions, salt; sautè until translucent, about 6 minutes stirring every now and then. Add garlic and sautè for 1 more minute.
Add ginger and all the spices; sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add diced tomatoes then chickpeas.
Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
Stir in coconut milk and simmer for 5 more minutes.
In a small bowl mix cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water. Stir in the chickpea mixture and cook for 5 more minutes or until thickened.
Take a taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
Remove from the heat, sprinkle with chopped fresh cilantro.
Serve over basmati or brown rice.

I made this recipe for the first time this evening for our dinner. The balance and depth of flavors was very good. Most of the ingredients are easy to have on had, with the exception of the fresh cilantro (which seems to go bad in just a few days — or is it me?).

This is a quick and easy, delicious (meatless) curry.

Recipe revised and tweaked by The Tromp Queen. Original recipe here: