Cooking with a Foreign Accent, 1952

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If you read my previous blog about our California trip that included visiting local wineries, and then finding a couple of fun cookbooks at a flea/antique market, I had to try a recipe I found in this Sunset book from 1952.

Cooking with a Foreign Accent caught my eye in a pile of books because I saw that it was a Sunset book.  Since I love Sunset magazine and have subscribed to it for decades and have numerous Sunset publications, I knew it had to be a good one.  Since it was also vintage, that made it even more attractive.  Even better, the person who owned it previously had her name written in the book which is also an indication that she probably jotted notes inside or at least I would find splattered pages of recipes she tried.  Yes to both.

The book has complete “Foreign Accent” menus as follows:

-Javanese Buffet
-Greek Company Dinner
-Japanese Sukiyaki Dinner
-Filipino Buffet
-Korean Dinner
-Siamese Dinner
-Chinese Festival Dinner
-Indian Curry Dinner
-Lebanese Dinner

There are also chapters for foreign dishes of soup, breads, pancakes, cereal products, fish, meats, poultry, vegetables, pastries, and desserts.  You will find recipes such as Dutch pancakes, Swedish pancakes, Stollen (yes! my favorite!), gnocchi, cioppino, curries, Balkan cabbage rolls, fried noodles, apple strudel, Baba au Rhum, Hawaiian coconut pudding, Yugoslavian Christmas cookies, Sicilian nut pudding, and the recipe I decided to make:  Wine Sticks, also known as Biscotti.

These biscotti were very simple with just chopped almonds and anise flavoring, which is perfect for dipping into wine or espresso.  They are also a beautiful color and so easy to make, not to mention much less expensive than purchased biscotti.

The “wine sticks” were great dipped in Dry Creek Zinfandel.


They are equally delicious dipped in espresso or coffee.  Give them a try!

Wine Sticks (Biscotti)
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon anise extract
  • 1 cup chopped blanched almonds
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment; set aside.
  2. In bowl of electric mixer, thoroughly cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. Sift flour with baking powder and salt. Add to creamed mixture and mix well.
  4. Mix in anise extract and chopped almonds until combined.
  5. Turn mixture out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead briefly until smooth. Divide dough in half and form into two logs, 1-1/2 inches in diameter and place on prepared baking sheet lengthwise and a few inches apart.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. The rolls will feel firm to the touch. Remove from oven and while still warm and using a sharp knife, cut rolls slightly on the diagonal and about ¾" thick.
  7. Lay slices cut side down back on the cookie sheet and return to the oven for another 10 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool completely.





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8 Responses to Cooking with a Foreign Accent, 1952

  1. May 26, 2017 at 9:45 am #

    Never thought of dipping biscotti in wine! Will give it a try! I do like it with coffee. Blessings on this Memorial Day weekend.

    • May 26, 2017 at 12:59 pm #

      Yes! We did that in Italy!

  2. May 28, 2017 at 9:39 am #

    I remember this cookbook from my youth. My sister made onion soup – with way too much pepper!

    • May 28, 2017 at 12:55 pm #

      Hi Debbie- I looked up the soup in the book and there were two. One is called “Casserole Onion Soup” with French bread lining the bottom of a casserole dish with the soup poured on top and baked, and the other is cooked in a soup pot called “Onion Soup Supreme” with 2 quarts of beef stock, lots of onions (yellow, white, and red), and 1 teaspoon of pepper, which is probably the one you are remembering. Maybe with all that liquid and onion, your sister thought it needed more pepper? I love that you remember it!

  3. July 20, 2019 at 7:58 am #

    Hi Debbie! I have a “prized” spaghetti sauce recipe from my husband’s grandmother that I can’t decipher. She cites Cooking with a Foreign Accent, page 23, but I can’t seem to find a copy anywhere. Would you mind sharing if you still have your book? I’d love to surprise his family with it!

    • July 20, 2019 at 11:11 am #

      Hi Emily- Sadly, I am almost positive this wonderful book was lost in the flood. I will go check to see, but I’m fairly certain it is gone. I’m so sorry! I would have loved to have seen the “prized” spaghetti sauce recipe. If it turns out I still have it, I will email you ASAP. In the meantime, if anyone reading this has the book, please post the sauce recipe here for Emily! I’m so sad I can’t help at this moment.

    • July 12, 2020 at 9:29 am #

      Hi Emily! Did you ever find your recipe? I just purchased the Cooking with a Foreign Accent cookbook. However the spaghetti sauce recipe is on page 71. When I searched the internet I did notice there is another cookbook with the same title but a different cover. I do not know if the recipes are the same but if you would like this one please contact me and I can email it to you.

      • July 12, 2020 at 10:02 am #

        Pascale, that’s so nice of you to offer the recipe to Emily. I wish I could help, but as I told Emily, I lost this wonderful book in a flood. If I ever find a copy, I’ll look for the spaghetti sauce recipe.

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