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Frango Mint Liqueur

From: Fiona 
Sent: Monday, November 04, 2013 7:56 PM
Subject: base spirit for Frango Mint Liqueur

Good evening.

I hope that you are well.

The Marshall Fields department store had a liqueur that had their Frangos in it.  
I have looked all over to see what sort of alcohol they used as a base, but to no avail.
Would you please look into it for me?

Thank you very much for your time and efforts,

Hello Fiona,

Let me talk about Frango a bit. It’s interesting. Wikipedia says the name “frango” was trademarked by the Frederick and Nelson Company in 1918 according to a trademark document from the U.S. Patent Office. Frederick & Nelson was a department store chain based in Seattle, Washington. Founded in 1891 as a furniture store, it later expanded to sell other types of merchandise. The company was acquired by Marshall Field & Company in 1929. Later the company changed hands again and came under the Macy's umbrella. I believe frango candies are currently sold by Macy's, at least at some locations.

One site that I found said that “frango” was a combination of FR from “Frederick” and Ango from “tango”, which was a popular dance at the time. However, another site says that it was originally “franco” and that it began as an acronym for FRederick And Nelson COmpany. The C was changed to G when General Franco became dictator of Spain. The grandchild of a former Frederick and Nelson employee says that in the 1930s, some employees thought that the name Frango was an acronym for FRederick And Nelson GOodness, said to be a reference to their candy.

The first “frango” was a frozen dessert that was a popular item on Frederick and Nelson's Tearoom menu and it was available in maple and orange flavors. The word later came to be used by Frederick & Nelson/Marshal Fields/Macy’s for their line of fine chocolates. Candy maker Ray Alden is credited with developing the Frango Mint. His secret recipe called for chocolate from cocoa beans grown on the African Coast and South America, triple-distilled oil of Oregon peppermint and 40 percent butter.

I could not find any statement of exactly what type of alcohol was used as a base for making Frango Mint Liqueur, but there is quite a lot of information on the web about making homemade liqueurs. There are a few liqueurs that are made with whiskey, such as Irish Crème, and there are flavored brandies made with brandy, but by far the most common alcohol base for liqueurs is vodka or its equivalent. In making a liqueur, you want an alcohol that has very little flavor of its own so that you can control the flavor with your additions. Vodka is the readily available choice.

See here for some liqueur recipes: Homemade Liqueur Recipes

There is a chocolate liqueur recipe here: Homemade Chocolate Liqueur Recipe

There is a chocolate mint liqueur recipe here: Homemade Chocolate Mint Liqueur Recipe


Italian Layered Casserole

-----Original Message----- 
From: Betty 
Sent: Sunday, November 03, 2013 4:09 PM
Subject: Italian casserole made of Veal, penne pasta, potato, and peas

I'm looking for an italian dish my grandmother who is Napolitan and from a 
small town in Italy called Catanzara.  She made this dish for me every year 
on my birthday.  She passed away many years ago and I would love to make 
this again.  It was a layered dish and baked in the oven.  The first layer 
was raw potatoes, then a layer of mostacolli or penne pasta, then bread 
crumbs and grated parmigiana cheese, then a layer of cubed veal that was 
dredged in flour and fried, followed by baby artichokes par boiled, and I'm 
not sure if she put another layer of pasta and more bread crumbs and cheese 
and last was a layer of peas.  Could be the last few layers are not in order 
and she used the liquid from the boiled artichokes that had olive oil in it 
and drizzled the liquid over some of the layers.  I'm fuzzy on her 
technique, but I'm certain the first layer was potatoes followed by the 
pasta.  I don't have a name for this recipe but I think grandma called it an 
italian casserole.  Can you help locate this recipe if one exists?

Thanks, Betty

Hello Betty,

I have searched all of my sources, and I cannot find a recipe with potatoes, pasta, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, veal, artichokes, and peas. It might be on the web in Italian, but it's very difficult to search for an Italian recipe in Italian by ingredient. One almost always needs the Italian name of the dish in order to be successful. "Italian Casserole" is, of course, too vague. I found recipes with that name, but none with the correct ingredients.

Is there someone in your family who might know the Italian name of the dish?

All I can do is post your request on my site in the hope that a reader will recognize the dish. It will be approximately a month before it appears.


From: Anna
Sent: Sunday, November 24, 2013 10:57 PM
To: Uncle Phaedrus 
Subject: Italian Layered Casserole

Hi, Uncle Phaedrus! 

I think your reader is looking for a variation of Tijeddra, a layered dish of pasta and potatoes from Calabria. 
The south being a very poor region, every household used whatever ingredients were at hand to make it more nourishing.


Hi Anna,

I found recipes for “Pasta e patate ara tijeddra” on these sites and others:

Pasta e patate ara tijeddra


This dish is basically just penne pasta, potatoes, and parmesan cheese, although the second recipe has cherry tomatoes, pecorino cheese, and breadcrumbs. I didn’t find any recipes for it that even mentioned putting meat and vegetables in it. None with veal (vitello), artichokes (carciofo), and peas (pisello), or even one of those ingredients.

Tijeddra may have been the basis for a unique family dish in this case.

I’ll post this below the request.


McCormick Salad Herbs

-----Original Message----- 
From: Suzanne 
Sent: Monday, November 04, 2013 3:05 PM
Subject: McCormick's Salad Herbs Mix

McCormick's used to sell an herb mixture of Tarragon, Basil, Thyme, Parsley, 
Marjoram and Spearmint which when mixed together they labeled "Salad Herbs"...
The bar code number was 0  523921 4. 
I remember the ingredients but need to know the correct proportions in order 
to recreate the mixture.  If you can send it to me I appreciate it as my family 
keeps asking for "that salad with the Salad herbs mixture."  

Thank you, suzanne

Hello Suzanne,

I had no success with this other than what is already on my site. I received a recipe request in 2009 for Schilling Vegetable Dip, which had McCormick Salad Seasoning as an ingredient. A reader sent me a copy of a recipe that McCormick's had sent out as being similar. It is posted as part of the Schilling Vegetable Dip post on that page at: Schilling Vegetable Dip They also recommended using "herbs de Provence", which they said is similar.

I also found an unopened bottle of McCormick's Salad Herbs for sale on E-Bay. See: E-Bay


Crock Pot Steak

From: Allison 
Sent: Monday, November 04, 2013 2:03 PM
Subject: Trying to Locate Crock Pot Steak


I am trying to locate a recipe called Crock Pot Steak.  It was in the Lite Switch cookbook from years ago.  
The ingredients that I can recall are round steak, whole peeled tomatoes, garlic powder, Worstershire sauce.  
I can't recall if it had cream of mushroom soup in it or not.



Hello Allison,

I cannot find a “crock pot steak” or “crockpot steak” recipe from “The Lite Switch Cookbook”. You can buy a copy of that cookbook from Amazon or E-Bay:

Lite Switch Cookbook 1

Lite Switch Cookbook 2


I did find some similar recipes with more or less ingredients than what you list, but none with exactly the ingredients that you list. See below.


Crock Pot Steak    

Round steak
3 tbsp. flour
1 can tomato wedges
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 med. onion
1 med. bell pepper
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut steak into strips; put in crock pot. Cover steak with flour, pour cream of mushroom soup over steak; 
add tomatoes, diced onions and pepper. Cook on high 1 hour, then turn down to low for 6-7 hours.
Swiss Steak (Crock Pot)     

2 lb. beef round steak, about 1 inch thick
1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 carrots, pared and chopped
1/4 c. onion
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 can (16 oz.) whole tomatoes
1/2 c. grated process American cheese

Cut steak into 4 serving pieces. Dredge in flour mixed with salt. Place in crock pot. Add chopped vegetables 
and Worcestershire sauce. Pour tomatoes over meat and vegetables. Cover and cook on low setting for 7-10 hours. 
Just before serving, sprinkle with grated cheese. Recipe may be doubled for 5 quart crock pot. Cook the maximum time. 
Crock Pot Steak Supreme 

1 round steak 
1 stalk celery
1 lb. carrots or more
1 can cream of mushroom soup
4 med. potatoes
4 onions
1 can mushroom pieces

Trim fat and bone from steak and brown in skillet with small amount of oil or fat. While meat is browning, scrub 
or peel potatoes, onions, carrots and celery.  Quarter potatoes and other vegetables, carrots can be sliced, 
if preferred.  Place vegetables in bottom of Crock pot, they take longer to cook. Add browned steak, seasoned 
with a little salt and pepper, if desired. Pour can of mushrooms over steak, top with cream of mushroom soup. 
Cover and cook slowly (may be started on high setting). Allow at least 3 or 4 hours.  Steak should be very tender 
when potatoes and carrots are done. 

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