A Great American Restaurant of the Past

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If you visit Dawn Lowenstein’s Facebook page, I guarantee you will leave it smiling, hungry, and wanting to adopt a kitty!  Dawn’s bright and friendly face will greet you with mouth-watering food photos and cute kittens .  She also made me smile when this vintage cookbook ended up in my kitchen from her home in Pennsylvania.

Dawn is another one of the lovely Field Editors from Taste of Home that I mentioned in an earlier blog who generously send me such great cookbooks.  Many people may not even have heard of Stouffer’s Restaurants, but are probably familiar with Stouffer’s line of frozen foods.  Yep – same family, but I believe Stouffer’s is now owned by Nestle’s.  However, Stouffer’s has a rich culinary history in the American food industry.  In the early 1920’s, A.E. Stouffer of Cleveland, Ohio opened a stand-up dairy counter where he sold buttermilk fresh from a churn. He later added an open-grilled cheese sandwich on one-inch thick homemade bread.  When customers asked for a dessert, his wife made her famous Dutch Apple Pie.  By 1924, the first Stouffer’s Restaurant opened.  The food was a hit and well-received for its freshly made homestyle food.  The desire for Stouffer’s kind of food is what eventually led to their line of frozen foods.

The cookbook is a history of the restaurant’s recipes from appetizers and dips, soups, casseroles, hot and cold sandwiches, cakes, salads, to the ever popular Dutch Apple Pie from the original 1920’s recipe from Mrs. Stouffer.  I searched the cookbook for the recipes that had been longtime favorites.  Since it is now officially fall, and everything pumpkin is around, I stopped at the Pumpkin-Raisin Muffin recipe.  The sentence about the recipe says: “There isn’t a week that goes by that someone doesn’t ask for this recipe.”  Of course I had to try them!

The muffins are moist, flavorful, all bumpy with raisins, and go together in minutes.  We loved them!  Serve warm from the oven by themselves or with slathered with some butter.

Thanks, Dawn, for this great cookbook.  Keep that beautiful smile and posting those tempting food photos, even if I do leave hungry every time I see your page!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Pumpkin-Raisin Muffins
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup canned pumpkin
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • ¾ cup dark raisins
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Stir flour, baking powder, salt, ½ cup sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a mixing bowl; set aside.
  2. In bowl of electric mixer, or by hand, beat egg slightly. Add milk and mix thoroughly. Blend in pumpkin and melted butter.
  3. Add liquid to dry ingredients and stir to moisten. Add raisins and mix just until blended. Do not beat.
  4. Spoon batter into well-greased muffin tins. (recipe says it makes 12 muffins - I found it made 11 muffins). Sprinkle ¼ teaspoon sugar evenly over each muffin.
  5. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden and testers inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm.


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18 Responses to A Great American Restaurant of the Past

  1. September 28, 2017 at 6:21 am #

    My mother in law used to always serve pumpkin muffins at Thanksgiving using the Libby pumpkin recipe. I just copied this one to try. My family loves pumpkin muffins and these will be enjoyed on my Thanksgiving table this year! Thanks for the recipe Debbie!!!

    • September 28, 2017 at 8:55 am #

      You’re welcome, Ronna! Hope you like them.

  2. September 28, 2017 at 8:37 am #

    I was a waitress at the Pittsburgh Stouffers during college breaks … first place I ever tasted real blue cheese dressing – yum!

    • September 28, 2017 at 8:52 am #

      I’m so excited you wrote, Gretchen! How fun that you used to work at a Stouffer’s! I just looked up the dressing in the cookbook and it sounds delicious! Here’s what it says above the recipe:
      “From Atlanta to New York they ask for this recipe. And this is the first time we have ever given it.” That being said, how can I not give it out here!

      Bleu Cheese Dressing- From Stouffer’s Restaurant Cookbook:
      6 ounces bleu cheese
      1/4 cup cream cheese
      1 cup salad oil
      2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
      1 teaspoon granulated sugar
      1/2 teaspoon paprika

      Combine bleu cheese and cream cheese; mix well. Add oil and vinegar alternately, beating constantly. Add sugar and paprika; beat until well-blended. Cover and store in refrigerator. Mix well before serving.

      Thanks again for writing, and I’m sure there are some people who will love to have this recipe!

  3. October 2, 2017 at 7:54 am #

    I love the Fall and with it pumpkin muffins! Going to whip up some muffins right now! Thanks for sharing the recipe, along with the Blue Cheese dressing recipe. Yum! Can’t wait to try it, also.

  4. October 12, 2018 at 6:15 am #

    I started working at the Stouffer’s Restaurant in Garden City, Long Island when I was 16.
    50 years later I am still in foodservice….teaching cooking classes at Central Market in Plano.
    I learned so much working in the kitchen at Stouffer’s….and can duplicate MOST of their frozen food!

    • October 12, 2018 at 8:58 am #

      What a great story, Tom! I bet there are many people who would want to pick your brain for some of those recipes! How wonderful that you are teaching cooking classes all these years later. I wish I lived closer so I could take your classes! Thanks so much for sharing this with us.

  5. October 7, 2021 at 6:20 pm #

    I too worked at a Stouffer’s during college breaks. The one in Detroit and they had the most wonderful food. Nor were they chintzy with food for the staff either. The only thing you couldn’t have was steak. I worked a split shift so I could have those FAB pecan rolls in the morning and the hot apple pie with their warm vanilla sauce for my evening dinner. I have looked for both those recipes and would like to know if they are in the book.

    • October 7, 2021 at 9:27 pm #

      M- I’ll see what I can find for you. It must have been a great place to work!

  6. October 8, 2021 at 7:24 pm #

    I have lived in Garden City, NY for over 65 years. I recall dining at the wonderful
    Stouffers Restaurant when I was a lot younger. I cannot recall when it closed but it know
    It was long ago. I still have an orange 3×5 card with the Stouffer’s pumpkin muffin
    recipe printed on it. I believe Stouffers gave out the recipe cards. I have been making the
    muffins for decades. They are a Thanksgiving tradition. These pumpkin muffins are the best
    and everyone loves them.
    **** I bake them in my mom’s cupcake pans which are much smaller then the larger muffin/
    cupcake pans sold today. Each of my pans makes 12 muffins….not oversized. My pans have to be 80+ years old!

    • October 8, 2021 at 11:43 pm #

      Lynette, I love your Stouffer memories. If you have been making the pumpkin muffins all these years, they must be very special. Could you share the recipe? I would love to try them!

      • October 24, 2021 at 12:52 pm #

        It is the above Pumpkin Muffin recipe from Stouffers! Exactly as printed above. They truly are the best. I noticed the Stouffer’s Cookbook on this website and was able to buy one on EBay for a decent price. Thanksgiving is just around the corner

        • October 24, 2021 at 11:31 pm #

          Thank you, Lynette! I’m glad you found a copy of the cookbook.

  7. March 20, 2022 at 5:40 pm #

    Thanks for printing the bleu cheese salad dressing recipe. I too worked at a Stouffer’s restaurant in the late 60’s, in Short Hills NJ. I’m going to look for the cook book mentioned above to see if it has the salmon salad recipe. Thanks again

  8. November 26, 2023 at 3:00 pm #

    i began eating at the Stouffer’s in Garden City, Long Island as a child about 50 years ago and am forever grateful to have had that place to train my palate.

    Would love to have their hushpuppy recipe and their gingerbread cake recipe if anybody has them.

    • November 27, 2023 at 12:45 am #

      Maria- I’ll see if I can find it, and maybe someone here has the recipes? Thank you for writing!

  9. February 10, 2024 at 4:19 pm #

    I remember the Stouffers in the Short Hills N.J. A great elegant resteraunt, it opened in july 1961 and it closed in august 1977 i think it actually closed four days after elvis presley death it closed on the 20th of august 1977 I remember it being a resteraunt which had capacity for the three hundred people and it was a two storey resteraunt was a fountain with a statue of a cherub in the downstairs part of resteraunt, sadly i remember little about it since I was only seven when it closed I remember all of their managers were women except for the first manager great reseraunt served food until eleven on friday and saturday and until ten monday through thursday where can you get service like that, Stouffers great american resteraunt from yesteryear, at least the frozen food line still exists all the resteraunts were closed in the late 1970s earlyt 1980s

    • February 10, 2024 at 10:49 pm #

      Hi Nathan- I love hearing all the Stouffer’s history, and you remembered a lot at age seven! It must have made quite an impact on you. Thanks so much for writing.

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