Guest Post: Shirley Temple and Rob Roy


Today, April 23, is the birthday of Ms. Shirley Temple Black. So let’s toast this Hollywood icon with her namesake cocktail!

Originally posted on Rantings of an Amateur Chef:

Today we have Emily from Dinner is Served 1972. She brings not only two recipes for us but a story that brings me back to my own childhood and ordering a special drink. Take a look at Dinner is Served 1972 and Emily’s great post below

When I was a small child, there was no greater thrill than going to a restaurant with a cocktail lounge (or “lawnge” as I would say—look, that it is how it’s spelled!) and ordering a Shirley Temple. That was just the classiest, fanciest, most cosmopolitan thing that a girl could do. Especially if it was served in a pretty glass and garnished with fruit. An orange slice and maraschino cherry on a little red, plastic sword drove me absolutely wild.

According to the book Chasen’s, Where Hollywood Dined: Recipes & Memories, the drink was indeed created for Miss Temple herself when…

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The Bawlmertini

In Baltimore (or as they say it down here, Bawlmer, hon!)  there are 3 men who are revered more than any others: Cal Ripken, Jr., Johnny Unitas, and John Waters. Out of those 3 I think you can discern which one is my favorite.

So, in honor of the 69th birthday of John Waters, Baltimore’s favorite director, I bring you the most Baltimore of all drinks, the Bawlmertini!


  • Old Bay
  • National Bohemian
  • Pikesville Rye

Pour Pikesville Rye into shot glass. Rim big glass with Old Bay. Pour Natty Boh into Old Bay glass. Drink.

OK, you’re gonna think I’m crazy, but I do really dig Natty Boh with the Old Bay! It’s delicious.

Hm. Maybe I’ve been in Baltimore too long.


You like my Pink Flamingos coaster? And, yes, that is a Chi-Chi’s margarita glass. In this case it is a Cha-Cha Heels Margarita Glass.

And if you don’t get that reference, then you need to see Female Trouble, like yesterday.

Is it wrong that I soooooo want Divine’s pajamas? I also would totally sport that hair.

In fact I may have already

I measured. 6 inches.

I measured. 6 inches.

I miss those glasses. And how thin I was three years ago.

Happy birthday, Mr. Waters! If I were out tonight maybe I’d see you at Club Charles. It’s happened before!


Click on the photo for his insider’s look at what to do in Baltimore

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Best Wishes, Tom Selleck

On Saturday I received one of the greatest gifts ever:

selleckwishesYes, that is an autographed photo of Tom Selleck in a Speedo. And a visor.

This was a housewarming gift from my cousin Chuck, his wife Christine, and their boys, Charlie and Henry (you may remember them from my Orioles Magic Cheese Ball).

I initially thought that I’d hang Tom in Brian’s room (yes, Brian has his own room), but the frame matches the furniture on my first floor so well, that he now lives on an end table. And when I sit on the couch to watch TV, it looks like he’s yelling at me.

I wonder what Tom Selleck would say to me.

Anyway, in honor of this most awesome of presents, I want to make something special. So, I’m asking you, my friends, to pick a dish worth of Tom and his swim skivvies.

Vote as many times as you like!

Also, I just want to acknowledge that yesterday was Rex Manning Day, and the 20th Anniversary of Empire Records. Holy shit does that make me feel old! It is such a 90s time capsule.

Anyone recognize the man in that puffiest of puffy shirt???

Posted in humor, Recipes, Retro Food, Retro Recipes | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

How We Partied like Mad Men for the End of Mad Men

parties with personality

I plan and give Parties with Personality!


After weeks of teasing yinz guys, I finally threw my Mad Men Party featuring recipes from The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook by Judy Gelman and Peter Zheutlin in honor of the end of the show. My shindig was just one part of an entire virtual Mad Men party with other bloggers from around the globe. And boy-oh-boy, at my house did we party. Perhaps, we may have partied even harder than anyone else.

You see, when I host, I wanna be the Hostess With the Mostess. And I fully believe that, to quote my boy Liberace, “too much of a good thing is wonderful!” Consequently, this ended up the menu for the evening:

  • Oak Bar Manhattans
  • mad men party bar

    How cute are these card suit snack dishes?

    Grand Central Oyster Bar Martinis

  • Pete’s California Dip
  • Avocado Dunk
  • Betty’s Stuffed Celery
  • Deviled Eggs
  • Cheese & Nut Balls
  • Barbetta’s Roasted Fresh Peppers alla Bagna Cauda
  • Betty’s Around the World Rumaki
  • Lime Treat
  • Lindy’s Cherry Cheesecake

Yes. All that. Because I am a crazy person.

I just cued up my Cocktail Shaker Pandora Station and got myself a nice a little buzz from a couple of cocktails, so let’s get this party started!

First, the very, very, very delicious Oak Bar Manhattan:

Oak Bar Manhattan

Manhattan Cat

Pretty! Especially with Claude, my sweet 1950s TV lamp.


Manny (what a Beatnik!) and Noah enjoy Manhattans in my absolutely fabulous mid-Century pad. It is rather swanky, no?

And the equally delicious Grand Central Oyster Bar Martini (we switched out locally-produced Sloop Betty wheat vodka for the gin) and made them slightly dirty:

Mad Men Martini

mad men martinis
Now for the food (which there is a lot of. Like I said, I am a crazy person).

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Posted in 1950s, Beverages & Cocktails, cookbooks, Dessert, Eggs, Food, International Cuisine, Jell-O, Recipes, Retro Food, Retro Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

The Truth is Still Out There!

Oh. Em. Gee. THE X-FILES is coming back!!!  This is the SECOND best thing to happen to me in the past year, right behind the Blu-Ray release of Twin Peaks (remember, I did a slew of Tuesdays devoted to that) and then the announcement that David Lynch is going to revisit Twin Peaks in 2016 on Showtime.

I am a very happy girl.

I might just even join Mulder and Scully in a happy dance.


I don’t know why this happened, but it pleases me greatly that it did.

If you were around at the very beginning of this blog, you might remember that Dearly Departed Cleve and I embarked on a rewatch of all 65 seasons of The X-Files (believe me, once you get past season six it might as well be 65). And since we were in the midst of an epic rewatch, I wrote about The X-Files a lot. Like, really A LOT.

In honor of this most exciting news, I thought I’d revisit a few of my best X-Files-related dinners. Just click on the pictures!

Pennsylvania Baked Spareribs:

good rib photo

Barbecued Chuck Roast and The End of the The X-Files (complete with FROSTY MELON):

#23 Barbecued Chuck Roast

Braised Short Ribs with Spice Cake:

Braised Short Ribs of Beef with Vegetables

And finally, Marinated Lamb Roast, an Easter X-travaganza! Which is the real winner of all of these.


Easter and The X-Files. Seriously, is that dinner timely, or what?

Fingers crossed that David Duchovny will return to Twin Peaks as the other law enforcement agent he played, Agent Bryson. That would be the icing on the cake.

DEANice stems, Dave.

Posted in Food, Recipes, Retro Food, Retro Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Irish Cheer (One Day Late)

Well, on St. Patrick’s Day I posted the recipe for the drink that I was going to make that night, the Irish Cheer:irishcheerWhich I did, as promised, make on Tuesday night. But I was tired, so I didn’t post it until today. Whatever. Don’t hate me.

Now, let me note that I was rather skeptical of this drink because I’m not a big fan of sweet Vermouth–when I order a Manhattan I always tell the bartender to go light with it.

So, you must understand my surprise when I found that a cocktail with an entire 1/2 jigger of it was delicious.

Right hand up to god. I don’t know if it’s because I used Jameson Irish Whiskey and not Bourbon or Rye, but this drink was good!

Irish Cheer Cocktail

Sorry it’s not a prettier photo, but cabbage and potato were the best that we could do at the time.

Or maybe I just really hate bitters…something to think about.

Note: one recipe was enough to fill two small cocktail glasses about 3/4 full.

Now, I didn’t make the snicky snack recipe from the back of card #76 (Virginia’s Emerald Isle Shrimp) but you know who did? Our good ol’ pal Doctor Bobb from Doctor Bobb’s Kitschen!!!

Click on the little cookout here to see how it turned out!


And remember! I am hosting a little giveaway in honor of the upcoming Virtual Mad Men Party and the final season of the series.  You have until March 31st to get your grubby little hands on your own free copy of The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook. Click on Betty here to enter!


And tell your friends!

Posted in 1970s, Beverages & Cocktails, Food, Retro Food, Retro Recipes | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Seems like a lot of people plan on celebrating tonight, at least based on the number of folks who have checked out my recipe for Corned Beef & Cabbage in the past week or so.

I will be celebrating tonight as well (although I am not the least bit Irish!), with some friends. Rick is making corned beef and cabbage and I am bringing the libations. Since I always like to celebrate with Irish Whiskey, I am going to go the extra mile and make an Irish Whiskey St. Paddy’s Day cocktail!


I think I’ll like it. It’s an “Irish Manhattan!”

Sadly, I will not be making the green thing covered in shrimp, which is called Virginia’s Emerald Isle Shrimp; although I would have if I had decided to do this yesterday afternoon and not last night. I mean, the recipe contains the line shrimp will turn pate green as they absorb color from spinach. I need to see that happen before my very eyes.

Anyway, I wish you all a very happy St. Patrick’s Day. Go get drunk (but not too drunk) and celebrate whatever it is that we are supposed to celebrate today.

Seriously, what’s the point of St. Patrick’s Day again?

stpatrickdayTune in tomorrow to see how the Irish Cheer turns out!

Posted in 1970s, Beverages & Cocktails, Food, Recipes, Retro Food, Retro Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Party Like a Mad Man!

book-coverHey kittens! I have some very exciting news–I am participating in a virtual party on April 5th in honor of the last 7 episodes of Mad Men. So you can get in the spirit as well, I am giving away a copy of The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook by Judy Gilman and Peter Zheutlin!

Dine Like Draper and Drink Like Sterling with More Than 70 Recipes from the Kitchens, Bars, and Restaurants Seen on Mad Men!

Ever wish you could mix an Old Fashioned cocktail just the way Don Draper likes it? Or prepare Oysters Rockefeller and a martini the way they did fifty years ago at one of Roger Sterling’s favorite haunts, The Grand Central Oyster Bar? Ever wonder how Joan Harris manages to prepare a perfect crown roast in her tiny apartment kitchen? Or about the connection between Jackie Kennedy’s 1962 White House tour and Betty Draper’s Valentine’s Day room service order?

The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook: Inside the Kitchens, Bars, and Restaurants of Mad Men serves up more than 70 recipes to satisfy a Mad Men appetite! From the tables of Manhattan’s most legendary restaurants and bars to the Drapers’ Around the World dinner, The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook is your entrée to the culinary world of Man Men-era New York. Packed with period detail, The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbookprovides invaluable historical and cultural context for the food and drink featured in Mad Men, tips on throwing a successful ’60s cocktail party, and even a guide to favored Mad Men hangouts.

Whether you’re planning a Mad Men party or just can’t get enough of the show itself, this is your essential resource, a guide to all foods and drinks Mad Men.

I think we all know how much I like this cookbook. It’s appeared so many times on the blog. I’ve made the Canadian Club Punch, Rumaki and Gimlet, and assorted cocktails and canapes (be sure not to miss Don’s Old Fashioned).  I think it’s a must-own for fans of Mad Men, retro recipes, or food history.

Click on Don here to enter the sweepstakes!


Click on me, damnit!

Good luck!

And remember that April 5th is  the beginning of the end of Mad Men! Be sure to tune in to AMC on Sunday night and be sure to follow the fun on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #PartyLikeaMadMan.

Click on the banner below to find out more about the party (maybe you’ll even join me?)

Sweet Christ on a cracker, after looking at these graphics so many times, I really, really, really want a martini!

Posted in cookbooks, Food, Recipes, Retro Food, Retro Recipes | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

53. Stuffed Breast of Veal (or Lamb)

Remember that time I told you about the Best Worst Date Ever (or the Worst Best Date Ever, depending on how you want to spin it)? Well, to refresh your memory, one of the things that made the night so memorable was that the dude brought me a gift. On a first date. The gift was a meaningfully marked up copy of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass  because there is a reference to one of Whitman’s poems in my all-time favorite movie, Now, Voyager*** Oh, it’s a long story. Click on the linky thing up there if you want to read about the date in all its gory glory.

But here are my thoughts:

1. It’s weird to bring someone a gift on the first date. Especially if this is the first time you’re meeting the person in real life.

2. It’s super-weird to give a gift that is so specifically personalized. Especially if this is the first time you’re meeting the person in real life.

Well, that gets me to this story, which will then get me to #53.

sheepI met an OKCupid date at a whiskey and bbq joint not far from where I live.  In an earlier text conversation, when we were deciding where to meet, I mentioned that it was too bad that there is no good Chinese food in Baltimore (and there is no good Chinese food in Baltimore!) because the day of said date was Chinese (Lunar) New Year; so we really should have been getting our dim sum on, and it’s the year of the Sheep/Ram/Goat and that year is my year! But, as I said, there is no Chinese food in Baltimore, so we settled on the bourbon and barbecue.

When I arrived there was a little plastic sheep on the bar.

Me: What’s with this?

Guy: Well, you said it’s the Year of the Sheep.

True. And so a little plastic sheep watched me imbibe bourbon and nosh on pork.

I thought that the sheep was just some weird thing that happened to already be at that bar. You know how some places just have random tchotchkes and shit? Anyway, when we were leaving,

Me: Where does this little guy belong?

Guy: Oh, that’s yours.

Me: Mine? Cool…….But where the hell did you get a sheep?

He got it at a little shop in Hampden called Bazaar where they sell taxidermied shit and old medical equipment. You know, bizarre.

Me: Dude, that sheep’s kinda rad.

I mean, that is kinda rad. Bringing a plastic sheep was rather charming and not creepy at all. But, let’s recognize a giant truth: you can get away with a hell of a lot more if you’re cute (and I mean the guy, not the sheep).

Although the sheep is kinda cute, too.

cletusI have since named him (the sheep, not the guy) Cletus. And he lives on the windowsill in my kitchen.

So fast forward to this past weekend. I invited the Guy With the Sheep over to help make me 53. Stuffed Breast of Veal (or Lamb). Lamb is baby sheep. See? I totally tied that in there.

Or at least I tried. I actually was able to find veal.

That’s a first.

vealchop 001

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Posted in 1970s, dating, Dessert, Food, Recipes, Retro Food, Retro Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

27. Swedish Meatballs (Readers’ Choice)

Snow day! Snow day! Snow day!

Yeah, here in Baltimore we are getting hit by quite the winter (spring?) storm. And everything is closed. EVERYTHING.

It is supposed to snow until 5pm tonight, but look at what I’ve got outside my window before noon:


Falls Road, the main drag, is somewhat passable (although I haven’t seen a plow).


But if I turn the camera to the right, check out my street

My street doesn’t even look like a street. I don’t think I’ll be getting out of my house anytime soon. But it’s OK considering that I was diagnosed with tonsillitis yesterday at the Patient First and would not have gone to work anyway. I’m a little hopped up on cold meds/antibiotics but I’m gonna write through it. Bear with me.

I made the Swedish Meatballs! That’s what yinz voted for way back when I asked what my next dinner should be.

So, yeah, Swedish Meatballs won. And that made me happy because I do enjoy a Swedish meatball. Who doesn’t?27. Swedish Meatballs


Where does one buy assorted herring appetizers? IKEA!  I needed to make a trip to buy a new mattress for the daybed in Brian’s room (yes, I have decided to just call the front bedroom Brian’s room), so it’s not like I went specifically for the fish. But of course, in addition to the mattress and the herring, I came home with a bag of meatballs and lingonberry jam and pillows and a rug and an end table and candles…oh, IKEA. It always happens that way.

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Posted in 1970s, Beef cuts, Dessert, Food, Fruit, Ground Beef, International Cuisine, Potatoes, Recipes, Retro Food, Retro Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments