« February 2010 | Main | May 2010 »

April 2010

More blender magic

(originally posted 1.15.06)

This gets a thumbs down. 



It's Blender Cucumber Salad with Cottage Cheese Dressing. Yes. a cup of pureed cucumber is added to dissolved gelatin for this tasty delight, and then a dressing of of pureed cottage cheese, lemon juice, sugar and milk, is poured over the top, which--I am uncomfortable with this, because, have you ever accidentally put both lemon and milk in your tea? It looks like a 4th grade science experiment. Plus, I still don't know how to manage the carrot curls when serving this cool and crisp lunch delight.

Even stranger, though, is the non-pictured recipe beneath this one, for Avocado Salad Ring. You blend lemon jello and boiling water, then add sour cream, mayo, avocado chunks, onion, lemon juice and salt, puree til smooth, and add food coloring. What color? Why, green, of course. (Kind of makes you wonder with surprise why Jell-O never introduced guacamole-flavored gelatin, doesn't it?)

The center of this beauty gets filled with orange and grapefruit sections, then served with "blender mayonnaise." Yum.

Sometimes I am a child

(originally posted 1.10.06)

From Family Circle Illustrated Library of Cooking, Volume 1, published 1972

How To Dress Drinks For A Party:

Make a catchy cartwheel: spinning kebabs look summery-gay and are so easy to make.

Go gay with kebabs; thread combinations of fruits on drinking straws or stirrer sticks.

The camera adds 10 pounds

(originally posted 1.10.06)

This food might have actually tasted good before it congealed. The recipe calls for 1/4 cup of brown sugar, though. It perplexes me how they'll call for 1/4 teaspoon of some random spice and call the meal zesty! or zippy! But they have no qualms about just dumping a heap of sugar into it. 


I always want to know who gets the kicky little bit of garnish on top. Do people fight over it, like with the frosting roses on a birthday cake? Or do they discreetly avoid it, dipping the spoon around it, until all that's left on the plate are wilted carrot curls and parsley, quick-set into congealed sauce along with a piece of onion and half a noodle? Heh. I sort of just grossed myself out. Enjoy!

Who chooses which recipes get photos?

(originally posted 1.10.06)

It seems sort of suspect, really.

From Better Homes & Gardens Meat Stretcher Cookbook, published in 1974

Ravioli Roulade: the "ravioli" is refrigerated crescent rolls, wrapped around a "roulade" of ham, cheese, and spinach mixture, baked, then topped with marinara sauce and garnished with pimento olives. 4.13.10 UPDATE! I now have a photo of ravioli roulade! Unlike with most of these recipes, the photo actually looks better than it sounds. I'll add it soon, in a post about meat stuffing.

Sombrero Surprises: Sometimes the name yields no clue as to what sort of food it represents. If you were handed a sort of flattened, stuffed and baked biscuit with melted cheese on top, would you expect to find a hamburger inside, fully dressed with lettuce, onion, ketchup and mustard?

Ham Souffle in Pepper Cups: This is a fairly simple recipe; a cheese souffle with chopped ham, baked in hollowed-out green peppers. It's just that any recipe with ham in the title cracks me up, like a little kid who laughs when someone says "boobies."

Shregglive bowl

(originally posted 1.10.06)

I dunno. This photo was on the back cover of Good Housekeeping Complete Book of Home Entertaining, and I just can't figure out where the recipe is inside the book. There are some really pink shrimp, eggs with a sauce on top, olives, and capers. There might be a whole layer of other stuff underneath that we can't see. Or two layers, even.


4.13.10 UPDATE:

I really can't find the exact recipe. It might be called Shrimp À La Cocina (kitchen shrimp, y'all,) as part of the Mexican Luncheon, or one of the appetizers for Brunch À La Barcelona. It could be part of the French Peasant Supper. But the pineapple leads me toward Mexican as the most likely choice. They do recommend paper napkins with large flowers on them. So there's that.

It's *all* in there

(originally posted 1.10.06)

Now, if you saw this photo without benefit of the recipe, or if you actually saw this concoction on a buffet table, a few questions might come to mind. For example, what is this food, in terms of category? Is it a sort of gelled antipasto? Feeling adventuresome, how do I shift some of it onto my Chinet plate? Do I then spoon it onto crackers, or dip pretzels into it? Finally, there are only two egg halves: am I allowed to have one? (Of course, this is probably a dumb question, as most likely there are two egg halves garnishing each dish on the table.)


You're wondering what's in there, aren't you? That amuses me. And now that I look at it again, I can't decide if the plant is hanging down, dragging in the food, or if in fact it is growing up out of the gelatin cornucopia.

Okay. Yes, you guessed it. Those are chunks of veal in the gelatin. And miscellaneous crunchy items.

Apres theatre


Another over-the-top presentation, to my way of thinking. Balls of meat: more Super Bowl, less Ballet Russe.The information on the picture is a little misleading, because it states that "these sophisticated meatballs are seasoned to a chef's taste," yet no actual seasoning is used in the meatballs during cooking. However, each unseasoned meatball is formed around a pimiento-stuffed olive.This dish is both sophisticated and surprising! The sophistication arrives tableside, where, if you desire a heightened flavor bouquet, you may sprinkle the meatballs with dried herbs. 


Dried chervil is de rigueur for the upper class meatball-eating set.

I could actually eat this...

(originally posted 1.10.06)

...as long as it's not too zippy. 


Yes, those are eggs. Interestingly to me, this brunch treasure is actually worse than it looks. That is because it has canned cream of chicken soup in it. Plus cheese, of course, mixed into the soup and some nonfat dry milk in order to create a sauce for "one-step cooking at its finest." Remember, mustard adds zip! But only if you use no more than 1/2 teaspoon. Let's not get all crazy, now. Anyway, it's not meant to be served, only stared at.

Black and white means sophistication

(originally posted 1.10.06)



It's just that this goes way beyond dressing up a pig. That's Wonder Bread white toast on that plate. I don't know what's on the toast, but even if it's truffles and caviar and saffron, this is still way over the top, presentation-wise. But it's not that stuff; it's most likely calf livers in tomato sauce. I will find out and reveal all in time.

4.13.10 UPDATE:

This photo was taken from Woman's Day Famous French Cookery, published in 1969.

It is veal sweetbreads. And ham. With a sherry and onion cream sauce. On Wonder bread. I'm not sure why there's ham in it; who'd want to overwhelm the sophisticated delicacy of baby cow glands with something as common as salty preserved pork thigh? Maybe it's a yin-yang thing.