The Recipe Finder Files: A collection of obscure, lost and beloved recipes

The Recipe Finder Files: A collection of obscure, lost and beloved recipes

Recipe Finder is your ticket to locating an old recipe you misplaced, figuring out the secret ingredient to that dish you just ordered at a local restaurant, and recreating classic meals from some of Baltimore's favorite gone-but-not-forgotten dining landmarks. 


4:06 PM EST, March 4, 2014

Gooey butter cake

Linda Lahey from East Baltimore was looking for the recipe for gooey butter cake that her father used to bring home every Sunday from the Marquad bakery when she was growing up. The bakery, on Belnord Avenue near Fayette Street, is long gone, but the memory of that delicious cake still makes her mouth water.

4:12 PM EDT, March 18, 2014

Harvey's cheese spread re-created

Amy Dickman from Owings Mills was hoping someone would have the recipe for the garlic herb cheese that was served with the breadsticks at Harvey's restaurant, which used to be located at Green Spring Station in Baltimore County. The restaurant and its adjacent gourmet shop closed some years ago, and since then she has attempted to re-create the spread time and time again, but it never tasted exactly right.

3:26 PM EST, January 23, 2014

Bottega's Salted Chocolate Caramel Pie

Ed Levy from Baltimore was hoping I would be able to get the recipe for the salted chocolate caramel pie that he and his wife so enjoyed at Bottega, the new restaurant located in the Station North neighborhood in Baltimore. It was one of two desserts on the menu the night he and his wife dined there with friends, and they all thought it was one of the single best desserts they had ever had. They ordered one slice to share and liked it so much they asked for a second.

5:57 PM EDT, March 11, 2014

Rice Krisipies treat ice cream sandwiches

Barbara Block of Berrien Springs, Mich., was searching for a recipe for Rice Krispies treat ice cream bars that she said were very popular in the 1960s.

6:19 PM EST, March 4, 2014

Torta del re (Italian king's cake)

Sophie Filippetti from Santa Rosa, Calif., was searching for a recipe for Italian king's cake. She said her mother-in-law used to make it often and even won first prize at their county fair some time ago. She has lost the recipe and wanted to be able to make it for her family again.

12:37 PM EST, December 31, 2013

Easy and delicious 7-Up cake

Veronica Robinson of Baltimore was in search of a recipe for making a 7-Up cake. She had a recipe long ago for the cake, but she misplaced it.

6:04 PM EST, December 17, 2013

Stained-glass candy

Doris Smithson from Greeneville, Tenn., was looking for a recipe for making "Stained Glass" candy. She said she used to buy bags of this colorful homemade treat at a church bazaar in Lexington, Ky., around the Christmas holidays and that it made great stocking stuffers.

3:46 PM EST, December 3, 2013

Marzipan cake

Elizabeth Skenderovic from Dundalk was looking for a recipe she misplaced for making an almond cake using almond paste.

11:48 PM EST, December 23, 2013

Chocolate Bliss Bites

Joan Metcalf from Westminster asked for help finding the recipe for Chocolate Bliss Bites. She had clipped the recipe from the February 2007 issue of Prevention magazine but said she was missing the complete directions. She liked the fact that the cookies had no fat.

2:05 PM EST, January 14, 2014

Haussner's creamed spinach

Marie Cox from Bel Air was hoping someone would have the recipe for the creamed spinach that was served at Haussner's restaurant in Baltimore. Sadly, the restaurant closed a number of years ago, but many of their most popular dishes live on in people's memories. Cox said she has tried many recipes for creamed spinach but she has not been able to duplicate the special flavor of the restaurant dish.

1:03 PM EST, January 28, 2014

Cornbread salad fit for a Super Bowl party

Lawrence Prather from St. Albans, W.Va., was seeking a recipe for a making a cornbread salad.

5:49 PM EST, February 4, 2014

Rice and beans

Joann Delmonico from Utica, N.Y., was looking for an authentic recipe for making Spanish-style rice and beans. She said her granddaughter loves the dish, and she would like to be able to make it for her.

6:38 PM EDT, March 25, 2014

Baltimore City Schools sticky buns

Barbra Katz Rosenberg from Baltimore, a frequent contributor to this column, was seeking the recipe for the sticky buns that were served in the cafeterias at many Baltimore City schools back in the '60s. She said before her family moved to Baltimore County, her lunch would consist of one of the sticky buns, a hard pretzel and orange juice five days a week. "I didn't know about carbs way back then," she said. She would really like to be able to taste the sticky buns again.

11:35 PM EST, February 6, 2014

Fudge from P.S. 84 fundraiser

Paula Pumphrey from Glen Burnie was hoping someone would have the recipe for the fudge that was made and sold for a fundraiser for Public School 84 and the Salem Lutheran Church around the corner when she was growing up in South Baltimore. She said her mother, who is 90, also attended P.S. 84 and remembers the fudge fondly. She said the fudge was about a half-inch thick and snapped when you bit into it. It immediately melted in your mouth.

5:48 PM EST, December 10, 2013

Recipe Finder | Eggnog, a seasonal favorite

Gene Green from Baltimore requested a recipe for making homemade eggnog.

1:08 PM EST, November 19, 2013

Barbecue water chestnuts

Roseanne Glick from Mount Washington was looking for the recipe for a delicious appetizer that someone brought to a potluck cocktail party recently. She said it was a water chestnut wrapped in bacon and coated with some type of a barbecue sauce. She, along with many other guests at the party, found the single-bite morsels surprisingly irresistible.

6:32 PM EST, November 12, 2013

Applesauce spice cake

Jan Griffin from Cary, N.C., was looking for a recipe for the spice cake that used to be made and sold at A&P stores across the country many years ago.

1:04 PM EST, November 6, 2013

Polish pumpkin soup

Mary Mossman of Baltimore was looking for a recipe for making Polish pumpkin soup with dumplings.

4:29 PM EDT, July 23, 2011

Very berry coffee cake

Rebecca Burris of Owings Mills said she has "recently fallen in love with Starbucks' Very Berry Coffee Cake," and she was looking for a similar recipe so that she could make the cake at home.

3:23 PM EDT, September 24, 2013

Raisin nut coffee cake

Alisia Verdoorn from Cupertino, Calif., was looking for a recipe for a coffee cake that is made with raisin bran as the main ingredient. She said her grandmother had given her the recipe and she has lost it and she would like to be able to make it again. She said she remembers that the cake was very moist and was made with buttermilk and orange juice in addition to the raisin bran and that it had a nutty crumble topping.

4:00 PM EDT, September 24, 2013

Meatloaf Pinwheel

Kathy Blair from Somerset, Ky., was looking for a recipe she had clipped from a magazine years ago and has since lost for an unusual meatloaf. She said this meatloaf mixture was rolled out flat; mashed potatoes and chopped celery leaves were spread over the mixture and then it was rolled up jellyroll-style. It was then baked and when cooled slightly it could be sliced and the slices resembled pinwheels.

10:06 AM EDT, October 2, 2013

Good old pickled green beans

Barbara Daniel of Cross Lanes, W.Va., was looking for a "good old" recipe for making pickled green beans. She said that her grandmother always made them, but most of her recipes are long gone.

4:44 PM EDT, October 8, 2013

Bubby's Noodle Kugel

Claire Green from Parkton was looking for a recipe for a noodle kugel like the one she remembers her grandmother making for the Jewish holidays when she was growing up.

5:34 PM EDT, October 18, 2013

Marconi's chopped salad

Joann Levin of Baltimore was looking for the recipe for the chopped salad that was served at the now-closed Maison Marconi restaurant in downtown Baltimore. Marconi's, which opened in 1920, was an institution in Baltimore famous for its Old World charm. It was favorite dining spot of such notables as H.L. Mencken.

4:29 PM EDT, October 29, 2013

Mexicali cheddar bean salad

MC Savage from Baltimore said she is trying to find ways to get more nutrient-packed beans in her diet and was hoping for a recipe for a three-bean salad that was a little bit different from the classic versions that most commonly have a dressing made with vinegar, oil and sugar.

3:17 PM EDT, September 10, 2013

A delicious, sticky caramel mess of cinnamon bread

Cindy Mosier from Dowagiac, Mich., was searching for a recipe for making a cinnamon loaf similar to the one she enjoyed growing up that she said was made by a bakery in her hometown in the 1950s and '60s. She said it was baked in a loaf pan and was moist yet firm. When it was turned upside down after baking, it had a wonderful gooey caramel topping and swirls of cinnamon throughout the loaf. She said she has searched for a similar recipe but has not had any luck finding a really good one.

1:06 PM EDT, September 3, 2013

Sweet, tart cranberry chicken

Sherri Trilling from North Chicago, Ill., was looking for the recipe for the cranberry chicken dish that was served at the Indian Trail restaurant in Winnetka, Ill. She said the restaurant is no longer open but that it was quite famous back in the day and had a very loyal following.

11:22 AM EST, March 6, 2013

Sour cream white cake

Marlene Millard from Longview, Wash., said that back in the 1960s she had a recipe for making a delicious sour cream cake that used a boxed white cake mix as the base. She said it was one of those cravings she had during pregnancy that she thought she would never get back, so she threw away the recipe. Now she finds herself craving the cake some 50 years later and would like to be able to recreate the taste.

2:33 PM EDT, March 19, 2013

Old timey brown sugar pie

Linda Settles from Havre de Grace was looking for a recipe for brown sugar pie that duplicated the one her grandmother used to make. She said her grandmother had five daughters but none of them remember how she made the pie. Jeannie Armstrong from Dayton, MD found a recipe for the pie in a cookbook she bought at an antique store years ago. It was first published in 1915 and revised in 1944. I tested the recipe that she kindly sent in and found that it needed a little tweaking. When I made it just as it was written there was not quite enough filling. The flavor was very good but the pie was very thin.

12:40 PM EDT, May 1, 2013

Crave-worthy hashbrown casserole

Stanley Levy from Baltimore was in search of the recipe for the cheesy potato casserole that he enjoyed at a Cracker Barrel restaurant in Pennsylvania. He said it reminded him of macaroni and cheese but instead of pasta it was made with potatoes.

9:20 AM EDT, March 13, 2013

Oyster pie

Kira Eying from Baltimore was seeking a recipe for oyster pie. She said her husband's grandmother used to make it but no one in the family can find her recipe. She said was it was similar to an oyster stew, with potatoes, carrots and other vegetables but baked in a deep-dish pie plate with a flaky crust.

7:41 AM EDT, March 27, 2013

Hearty spaghetti casserole

Brenda Cox from Raleigh, N.C., was looking for a recipe for making a baked spaghetti casserole like the one her mother used to make back in the 1950s. She remembers that her mother used tomato soup in her recipe. She has tried over the years to recreate the dish without success.

8:09 AM EDT, April 3, 2013

Almond Cake

Val DeSantis from Utica, N.Y., was looking for a recipe for a Scandinavian-style almond cake like the one she purchased some years ago at a fundraiser. She thought it was made with almond paste as well as almond extract, and she said that it's "an almond lover's dream cake".

5:50 PM EDT, April 9, 2013

Quickie sticky buns

Jeffrey Clayton from Baltimore was hoping someone would have the recipe for the sticky buns that were served in the cafeterias at Garrison Junior High and Forest Park High school back in the 1950s when he and his wife were students there.

1:57 PM EDT, April 16, 2013

Vegetarian "meat" loaf

Holly Renew from Baltimore was looking for a recipe for a mushroom loaf that was served at the now-closed restaurant in Canton called the Wild Mushroom. She said it was a featured item on the menu and similar to a meatloaf in consistency but contained no meat.

12:05 PM EDT, April 12, 2013

Amaretto-almond pound cake

Rose Dodds from Bel Air was searching for a recipe for a cake similar to one that she enjoyed at a party. She said the texture was similar to poundcake and the almond flavor reminded her of Italian amaretti cookies.

9:54 PM EDT, May 7, 2013

Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake

Steve Frazer from Reisterstown was looking for the recipe for the chocolate chip cake that used to be sold at Miller's Delicatessen in Northwest Baltimore in the 1970s. He remembers that it was a very dense cake and most likely made with sour cream with an abundance of tiny chocolate chips and a sugary crunchy topping.

6:40 PM EDT, April 23, 2013

Tomato basil soup

Viola Brown from La Pointe, Ind., was looking for a good and easy recipe for making tomato basil soup. She said she is 82 years old and has a hard time finding things she still likes to eat. It's not surprising that she would be in search of a recipe for homemade tomato soup, as it's a classic comfort food no matter what the season.

5:58 PM EDT, May 14, 2013

Puffed-up salmon patties

Pat Arata from Mishawaka, Ind., was looking for a recipe she had lost for making crispy fried salmon patties that she thought was once printed on a can of Crisco. She said the patty puffed up a little when fried, which made her think the recipe likely contained baking powder or soda.

2:35 PM EDT, July 9, 2013

Decadent crab casserole

Mary Sloan Roby of Baltimore was looking for the recipe for the crab casserole from the old Robertson's Cafeteria in Charleston, S.C. She said it was very creamy and had cheddar cheese melted on the top.

7:23 PM EDT, June 4, 2013

Good old Louisiana Ring Cake

Mary Quinn from Baltimore was looking for the recipe for the Louisiana Ring Cake that was made by the long-ago closed Rice's Bakery. She said the tube cake had a crunchy outer crust and the cake itself had a slightly orange flavor. The bakery cake clearly was one that was enjoyed and remembered by many in the area, and over the years the Sun has published the recipes for it several times dating as far back as the 1960s.

2:59 PM EDT, May 21, 2013

Back-of-the-box lasagna

Liz Williams from Newton, N.C., wanted help finding a recipe for making baked lasagna that she had lost. She said the recipe came from a box of pasta she was using probably around 20 years ago, and it was the best lasagna ever.

10:45 AM EDT, June 19, 2013

Use up those plums with Pflaumenkuchen

Mary Geis from Baltimore was looking for a recipe for a dessert that her mother made many years ago that was a kind of buttery shortcake topped with plum halves. She said it was not too sweet and instead was rather tart.

3:38 PM EDT, June 11, 2013

Incomparable tomato preserves

Anne Kilmurray from Pottsville, Pa., was looking for a recipe for tomato jelly or tomato preserves. She used to have an old recipe of her mother's but she has misplaced it and the farmers' market in her area used to sell a good one but no longer does. She said all she can remember about her mother's recipe is that it contained lemon peel.

10:46 AM EDT, July 2, 2013

Tasty and healthy cioppino

Jim Reichenberg of Rockville wrote for help locating a recipe that he said ran many years ago in The Baltimore Sun for cioppino, a seafood stew that was developed in the late 1800s by Portuguese and Italian fishermen who settled in San Francisco.

Recipe Finder: Cream of crab soup

2:37 PM EDT, May 7, 2012

Cream of crab soup

Karen Russell from Bryan, Texas, was looking for a recipe for cream of crab soup similar to the one she had at a restaurant in Chestertown when visiting the area a few years ago.

2:53 PM EDT, April 16, 2012

Rhubarb Custard Pie

Aylene Gard from Columbia was looking for the recipe that she misplaced for her husband's favorite rhubarb custard pie. Jerry Fore from Towson sent in a pie recipe he says is guaranteed to please rhubarb lovers. The recipe came from his mother and is a family favorite. He says the filling can be covered with a lattice, extra pieces of pie dough, or just left plain as his mother usually did.

1:55 PM EDT, June 12, 2012

Oven puff pancake

Alice Teel from Perry Hall is looking for a recipe for a puff pancake that she had lost. She remembered that a cast-iron skillet was put in the oven with butter to melt and then the batter was poured into the hot skillet and baked.

8:43 AM EDT, August 28, 2013

Pillowy cheese dumplings

Kathy Stumer from Tuscarora, Pa., was looking for a recipe that her husband's grandmother used to make and called cheese dough. She described it as pillow-like dough squares filled with cottage cheese and topped with breadcrumbs and sour cream.

12:27 AM EST, November 13, 2011

Grilled Scalloped Potatoes

Ellen Delson from West Palm Beach, Fla., was looking for a recipe she had many years ago but lost for making scalloped potatoes on the grill. She doesn't remember the exact ingredients or method, but she recalls that thinly sliced potatoes, onions and mayonnaise, in addition to some other ingredients, were combined, wrapped in aluminum foil and cooked on the grill.

9:13 AM EDT, August 21, 2013

Seafood Boil

Diane Ball from Baltimore was looking for a recipe for a seafood boil that once ran in the Taste section in an article about tailgating parties. She thought the recipe might have won some kind of a tailgating cooking contest at the time.

11:14 AM EDT, August 7, 2013

Coffee-cake mystery solved

A while back I had a request from Steve Frazer of Reisterstown who was seeking the recipe for the chocolate chip coffee cake that used to be sold at Miller's Delicatessen in Northwest Baltimore in the 1970s. At the time I ran his query I received an email from Leslie Miller-Scherr, whose family was the original owner of the deli.

3:25 PM EDT, July 30, 2013

Old-fashioned banana cream pie

Mary Kilby from Timonium was in search of the recipe for the delicious banana cream pie that used to be served at Toddle House restaurants in the 1950s. Toddle House was a national quick-service restaurant chain with locations throughout the United States. It specialized in breakfast but was open 24/7. Even though the chain has been closed for years it still has quite a devoted fan base, including its own Facebook page. While there are copycat recipes for some of the chain's other famous dishes, unfortunately, I had no luck finding any recipes for their banana cream pie.

2:41 PM EDT, July 23, 2013

Rich blue cheese terrine

Brenda Stup from Ellicott City was looking for the recipe for a blue cheese pate or terrine that was served many years ago at the Kings Contrivance Restaurant in Columbia. It was served as an appetizer on a bed of greens. She said it was absolutely delicious and she used to order it every time she ate there, but it is no longer on the menu.

4:15 PM EDT, July 17, 2013

The almost-famous butter kuchen

Betty Bensel from Columbia was looking for a recipe for a butter kuchen like the one made by the Heitzman Bakery in Louisville, Ky.

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