Sunday, August 19, 2018


Retro food blogging is one of those hobbies that never leaves you. It sticks to you like a sweaty pair of capri pants on a hot Summer day.

This is why every single time I try to hang up my jello molds or throw away that box of Knox Gelatin - I always ALWAYS come back. Retro food: I wish I could quit you. But I can't.

So when my old pal Yinzerella from Dinner is Served 1972 invited me to participate in this year's Pieathalon - I literally could not say no. (Even though I am still scarred for life from my last horrifying Pieathalon experience with a Nesselrode Pie -- Please check it out here on my Retro WW Experiment blog if you feel so inclined)

What is Pieathalon, you ask? Oh only the biggest international retro blogging challenge EVER. And this year is the biggest Pieathalon of all time with 24 retro bloggers participating. The Pieathalon rules are simple: Choose the most horrifying or fabulous pie recipe from your retro recipe collection, and after a random re-assignment - the lucky recipient must make it, eat it and blog about it. And then the internet basically EXPLODES with PIE.

My assignment comes from S.S. at the Book of Cookyre blog and the recipe is featured in "The Babes are Cookin' - The Liberty Babes Booster Club Cookbook". We think it is from the early 80's but the page with the date on it fell off so its anyone's guess really.

The recipe is simply called The Millionaire.  And I love it immediately. First of all - it is easy. Like really easy. We are talking NO BAKE, my friends.  Also in the category of things I love about this pie -  it calls for an entire stick of oleo and 2 cups powdered sugar right from the get go. Then you add a heavy dose of whipping cream and MORE sugar. And then you finish it all off with some crushed pineapple, chopped pecans and a pinch of clear gelatin for good measure. Oh and I almost forgot to mention that this recipe makes not one but TWO PIES.

Why is it called The Millionaire you ask? I can't say for sure, but I am guessing because this pie is RICH. AS. F#@&!

Step One: Fill Pie Shell with inordinate amounts of FAT and SUGAR 

Step Two:  Whip up more SUGAR and MORE FAT!

Step Three: Add NUTS and more SUGAR. And some pineapple.

Have I mentioned that I am a life-long Weight Watchers member? Have I also mentioned that I usually blog about salads and dietetic recipes from the 70's? Have I mentioned there hasn't been a pie in my house since...NEVER? 

Do you know what happens when a calorically-deprived woman who hasn't eaten anything but salads and boiled chicken in 20 years suddenly has 2 FREAKING MILLIONAIRE PIES in her kitchen?

Let's just say it wasn't pretty.

Here is an obligatory fancy and professional-looking picture of the final product:


And here is a picture of the finished product after I completely crushed one of the pies and ate half of it straight from the pan:


And with that, my friends, you can find me on the treadmill for the next 39 days straight. Thanks to all of the Pieathalon participants and especially to our hostess, Yinzerella who organizes this whole pie extravaganza every damn year. If you have the time and you want to get all up in some Retro Pie Business – go check out the other Bloggers and their recipe challenges. 

Grab a slice of the Pieathalon!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Seafoam on the Range

Good Golly and Heavens to Betsy! It has been a while since I posted a jell-o creation, hasn't it? Thanks for your patience as it has been a little crazy in my world. But alas! I did recently find the time to whip up a very interesting salad from the 1972 Pennsylvania Grange Cookbook.

And boy, oh boy - What a reminder that 1972 was a really special year for retro recipes...


OK. You Guys. First can I just say - THIS COOKBOOK. Oh my lawd. I can't even.

There are over 1,500 retro recipes submitted and compiled by rural housewives and farmers residing in 66 counties of Pennsylvania. This is the REAL DEAL. Let me tell you that these ladies are not playing around. The cookbook is JAMMED with over 500 pages of retro cooking awesomeness. I get light-headed just thinking about it. 

So you can expect to see many, many more jello adventures from this cookbook. But for now, we begin with...

When I began working on this salad, my biggest quesrion was - I wonder what color it will turn out to be?? That was very exciting to imagine. The ingredients came together quite easily. But - as always this step resembles something that you might find in the halls of a pre-school during the stomach flu season.


I decided to use my heart shaped mold since Valentine's Day is coming up...

As you can see, there is nothing better than opening up the refrigerator door to find a heart shaped jello mold doing its thing.

Love is in the Air

The unmolding was pretty simple. No layers, no frills. So that's always a relief. I was actually a bit disappointed in the color, though. I expected it to be brighter. Like toxic waste, or something. But the chunks of red cherry and specks of brown chopped nuts really added a flair to the presentation of the seafoam green delight. Dontcha think?

To be honest, I had my doubts about this one. But there was no avoiding this next step. That's just how we roll - If you have come this far, you gotta go all the way. So slice off a big slab and take a bite.

Oh - by the way, that cherry fell out of the mold when I sliced it. So I picked it up from the floor and used it as a garnish. Yep. I am classy.

Here We Go!

THE VERDICT:  Totally, 100% completely tasty! In fact this may be the best mold I have made yet! Or perhaps I was just happy to eat something that didn't make me gag a little. Who knows.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Pink Fluff Salad

You voted for it on my Facebook page. You said you wanted it. So here it is: the fluffy salad!

I do enjoy a fluffy pink salad, and have made them before. Remember the "Pink Thing" I made on the old Retro WW blog?


Well if you thought that one was bad. Wait until you get a load of this one.

I found the recipe in my Weight Watchers HOT STUFF Magazine (volume 10) circa 1978. Immediately I was drawn in by the name of the recipe: "Pink Fluff". Doesn't it sound fancy??

Well it's not.

First of all, the main ingredient is Diet Red Flavored Artificially Sweetened Carbonated Beverage. I used Diet Faygo Red Pop. And then I dissolved some gelatin into it. And then I stuck it in the blender and made it "fluffy". And then I sat down and contemplated my life choices.

The Salad Maker!

Next up: I chopped up some veggies and an apple. Cabbage, celery and Fuji to be exact.

Why not just leave the poor fruits and veggies alone?
Why must we encase them in gelatin?
Why Why WHY!?

And then... you guessed it...I mixed it all together and chilled until it was firm. Oh boy.

I just have one teeny-tiny question.



THE VERDICT:  I took one bite and spit it in the sink. Seriously. This was really foul. I mean for me to say that - you know its pretty bad. Most of you know that I have eaten some really nasty stuff, but this is the first time I can recall actually being personally offended by a food.  

But I'll get over it. I always do. Nothing a little Listerine can't fix.

Friday, December 22, 2017

A Christmas Miracle!

It's only 3 days  until Christmas, and I have been a busy little bee. Between work, holiday shopping, decorating and merry-making, there hasn't been much time for molding!

But I did squeeze in a festive little gem for you just in time for Christmas!


Merry Christmas, my friends! Feast your eyes on my "Red and Green Gelatin Salad" from Taste of Home magazine...

There is nothing quite like a Pyrex pitcher filled
with lime jello and crushed pineapple.
Am I right?

Add some happy marshmallows and top with the second layer
of cherry jello + cherries

Yes - this is called a "salad" for some reason.

So fancy!

THE VERDICT: Festive and Fabulous!

Well - I sure hope you enjoyed this molded marvel, because I have some pretty scary surprises up my sleeve for the new year.

You have been warned.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Jiggly Holidays!

I don't know about you, but I am in full-blown Holiday mode. Thanksgiving just passed and Christmas is right around the corner, so I am plotting my festive gelatinized dishes!

There are SO MANY to choose from!

And why shouldn't there be? A gelatine mold is the PERFECT food for any holiday party. It's colorful, versatile and convenient! Any good homemaker knows that jello molds are great for entertaining. They can be made ahead of time, then unmolded and proudly displayed when your guests arrive. No muss, no fuss!

Also - jello molds are a great way to impress your friends and/or make them jealous. What could be better than a triple-layer multi-colored molded masterpiece sitting in the middle of your buffet? Nothing. That's what. And your guests will have no choice but to stand there in awe of your amazing creation. They might even clap.

Just look at this and tell me you don't agree:

What a Show Off
Having said all that, let's take a look at my very own holiday-themed gelatine project for week #1 of December....

According to my "Knox on Camera Cookbook", the Cranberry Souffle Salad is a fit companion for holiday turkey, chicken or ham. It is colorful, festive and has chopped nuts. And mayonnaise. So not only is it creamy, but it is also crunchy. Ummm...

That's right - This recipe involves cranberry sauce, pineapple tidbits and a hearty serving of mayo and chopped walnuts. But before placing all of the ingredients into the mold, we get to beat the gelatine and mayonnaise together until "frothy". Let me tell you, if you ever get the chance to take a sniff of this combo - don't. Just no. The smell will never leave you. It will haunt your dreams.

OK - so here are some action shots as it all came together...

I love this moment just before unmolding!

Extreme Close-Up

More like "No, No, No", am I right?? LOL

Well...What do you think? Would you ever serve this at your next holiday gathering? What do you think your friends and family would do? Would your guests enjoy it or would they stage an intervention and have you committed? Do tell...

Obligatory pre-taste shot with Oakley staring awkwardly at it

THE VERDICT: Not as bad as you would imagine. You really can't taste the mayo, and the balance of sweet & savory is sorta interesting. The crunchiness of the walnut is a bit unsettling, so I would leave it out. Otherwise - I say thumbs up to the Cranberry Souffle for your holiday table!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Salad Toppers

This week, I decided to mix things up a little.  Instead of making a full-blown molded jell-o salad, I made some tangy Knox blocks to spice up my boring greens.

In case you didn't know - I am a big fan of salad toppers. Huuuuge fan. My all-time favorite was Jean's Butterfly Salad Toppers from the 1972 Weight Watchers Program Cookbook. Go check them out!

I truly believe no salad should be boring. Ever. In fact, I have a tattoo on my bicep that says "No Boring Salads, Ever!!"

Just kidding, I would never do that! I'm not that wacky.

Anyway, Barbecue Knox blocks are a great way to add some flair to your sad, boring salad. These little cuties are courtesy of "The Joys of Jell-O" cookbook, and they are as easy as pie! Just dissolve your Knox in some tomato sauce and add some onion juice, Worcestershire sauce and a pinch of tabasco. Pour into a square pan and cut into cubes when solid.

Seriously...Look how cute they are!!!

So shiny too!!

But how do they taste??

THE VERDICT: They taste EXACTLY how you would expect them to taste. Like cold, gelatinous tomato soup on top of a salad. They also add a very disturbing and unexpected texture to the salad. Like the opposite of a crouton. But overall, I have eaten worse things - so I guess they were not too bad.

What is YOUR favorite way to top a salad?? Do tell....

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Mousse Madness

Allow me to start off this post by saying that I loooooooooove cottage cheese. Always have. Always will.

But when you combine Cottage Cheese with Knox Gelatine - well, that's another story my friends.

This week's salad adventure is from the "Creative Cooking with Cottage Cheese" cookbook. I am guessing mid-1960's although the copyright date is not printed anywhere. How annoying.

Anyway, my "Cottage Tuna Mousse" salad started out innocently enough. I assembled some chopped veggies, some pimento-stuffed olives, and a can of tuna...

But - It was when I started putting together my gelatin mixture that things got a little ugly. You see, when you combine tomato juice, cottage cheese and sour cream with a packet of Knox gelatin and then suspend your other ingredients all up in there...well let's just say it ain't pretty.

In fact it might scare you a little.

Here is a view of the underbelly
But after chilling it for a few hours and unmolding it onto some salad greens, it literally becomes a thing of beauty...

Breathtaking, isn't it?

Try this angle on for size

Surprise!! Sometimes a jello mold that starts out as an ugly duckling might just turn out to be a swan! A beautiful, stinky, shiny, gelatinous swan.

As for the flavor, well that remains to be seen. So let's slice off a big ol' slab and find out...

FYI - It jiggles and smells really bad

THE VERDICT: Well I'll be honest, at first I was horrified to put this in my mouth. The texture and color were a bit off-putting to say the least. But once I talked myself into taking a bite, it really wasn't too bad. I could definitely taste the cottage cheese. And the tuna. And the olives. But you know what? It was a pretty good combo! Thus proving once again, cottage cheese makes EVERYTHING better!