Liberace Day?

According to THIS website, today is LIBERACE DAY.

Now, it’s not his birthday, because that’s on May 16 (remember? I did an entire week of Liberace-inspired dishes). So why would today of all days be Liberace Day?

Oh, who cares? Any excuse to pull out photos of our good friend Lee!


Lee’s doing some major creeping here.




Click on this photo for an interesting interview with Lee on the ladies


Intimate photographs, eh?


DEBBIE REYNOLDS, TOO? This is actually available on Amazon Prime. Click to buy!

BTW, did you hear that a virtual Liberace is going to play Vegas this year?   It’s true. And I am so stoked.

As soon as I get the deets, I am booking a ticket to Las Vegas.

For serious. There will be nothing that can stop me from seeing that.

In the meantime, here’s a super-cute 1968 interview in which Liberace discusses his clothes, being an entertainer, and…government spending?

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Hooray for Hors d’oeuvres: Artichoke Devils

OK, it’s the last day of hors-d’oeuvres!

We go back to the Smirnoff Brunch Book to the BEFORE THE GAME chapter for a nibble from the All on a Summer’s Day menu:

It’s the “in” thing to watch football, baseball, and basketball and hockey on TV in the comfort of your own home in the company of good friends. Today he’s going to be watching the baseball game, right? And you’re not. So instead of doing the mending, as your conscience tells you, invite company for brunch–then he’ll have companions from his game-watching and you can neatly avoid the mending by gabbing with the girls.

smirnoffbrunchbookGod forbid the woman would sit and watch baseball!

I mean, I wouldn’t watch baseball at home (because: boring). But it’s definitely better than doing the “mending.” What does that even mean? Darning socks? Throw them out and buy a new pack at the Target, girlfriend. And what in the world are these 2 people doing to their clothes that it would require the 7 hours it takes to play a baseball game to fix said clothes? For serious.

But anyway…for the Ravens/Pats game I made Artichoke Devils.

I know that Sean chose this one for the weird name. And it is a weird name, until you read the recipe and say “oh. Yeah. Those should be called Artichoke Devils.”

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Hooray for Hors d’ourves: Pickled Mushrooms

Another one!

smirnoffbrunchbookThis recipe is from The Smirnoff Brunch Book (1971). I first saw this book when it was featured on I commented on how much I enjoyed the photos and recipes form the cookbook, and I was so surprised when the owner of the site, Heather, said she’d send it to me so I could start making some of the recipes!

It’s a very fun cookbook because all of the menus are for brunch, and every single brunch features a Smirnoff cocktail (or punch). One day I’d love to just make a full brunch, from A to Z, but in the meantime I just picked a couple of dishes from the “BEFORE THE GAME” chapter to take to a game-watch party hosted by my friends Emily & Sean. The game was the Baltimore Ravens vs. the New England Patriots.

I believe that I have given my opinion on both of these teams multiple times on this blog, so it’s no surprise I couldn’t root for either team. This was the Sophie’s Choice of NFL match-ups. But a good party trumps any football allegiances, amiright?

The first dish on the docket: Pickled Mushrooms.

These were featured in the “Hint of Autumn” brunch:

The days are getting hazy. Here and there a leaf is beginning to turn and at night there’s a definite chill in the air. But you really know it’s autumn because next Saturday the first pro football game will be on TV…

OK, well, it wasn’t autumn. It’s the playoffs for fuck’s sake, but football season is football season. And, I gave Sean a handful of dishes from this cookbook to choose from for the party and this was one of them.

Pickled Mushrooms

  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp thyme 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2/ tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds button mushrooms
  • snipped chives

Combine first 8 ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Add oil. Wash mushrooms and pat dry. Remove stems. Put caps in wine-vinegar-oil mixture. Simmer until mushrooms are barley tender (8 to 10 minutes). Refrigerate until ready to serve. Sprinkle with chives. Serve with toothpicks for spearing.

OK, so here’s the issue–I confused the Ravens game the week before with the game that was this particular day. The week before, kick-off was at 8. This game started at 4:30. I didn’t start making these until 2.

I thought I had so many more hours!!!

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Hooray for Hors d’Ouerves: Avocado Dip & Marinated Shrimp

Hors d’ Ouerves Week continues with two other dishes from card A1 from the Cookindex recipe card set.

Cookindex recipe set

Oh, the culinary tricks and treats that lie in this box!


Card A1 through the “magic window”

First up is Marinated Shrimp!

thanksgiving dishes 002

The little pink pan there indicates that this is an electric skillet dish. Isn’t it so funny how big the electric skillet was in the 50s? I mean, I love mine–but why would I drag out the electric skillet when all I had to do was boil some water and cook the shrimp in it? Well, all I had to do was boil some water and cook the shrimp in it, so the electric skillet stayed in the cupboard.

Now. boiling and chilling would just make a regular ol’ shrimp cocktail. But these are marinated! And what an odd marinade it is. Just because it is so basic. And bland. There isn’t enough vinegar to give it a pickled flavor. The Tabasco and Worcestershire levels are low. And sugar. Sugar?

thanksgiving dishes 005

It just seems like there should be more to it, right?

Well, whatever, I tossed the shrimp in it and put it in a Tupperware to chill.

Moving on…

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Hooray for Hors d’Ouerves: Deviled Eggs

Hors d’Ouerves Week continues with a party classic, Deviled Eggs.

This recipe is from the very cool Cookindex (1959) card set that I received from the very lovely Susan Marks, the author of the book Finding Betty Crocker: The Secret Life of America’s First Lady of Food and the accompanying Betty-themed blog. She is also a film producer and is the woman behind the documentary Of Dolls and Murder, narrated by one of the neatest people on the planet, John Waters. It was at a Baltimore screening of the movie that I got to meet Susan. She was incredibly sweet and she thought of me when she came across this set. So what a surprise it was when it arrived in the mail for me!

Cookindex guide to nutritionCookindex

The set is hefty, like many of the other recipe card sets that I own, but 2 things make this different: 1. the illustrations, which are VERY 1950s, and 2. the super-cool window in the top of the box that allows you to view the recipe without damaging or dirtying the card! Clever! (the set’s booklet actually calls it a magic window). The booklet also outlines some healthy eating guidelines and names Seven Basic Food Groups:

  1. Leafy and green and yellow vegetables–raw, cooked, frozen, canned (1 or more servings daily)
  2. Potatoes and other fruits and vegetables raw, cooked, frozen, canned, dried (2 or more servings daily)
  3. Citrus fruits, tomatoes, raw cabbage and other fruits and vegetables (1 or more servings daily)
  4. Milk, cheese, and ice cream (drink or eat the equivalent of cheese or ice cream, 1 pint a day)
  5. Meat, poultry fish–fresh, frozen, canned or cured. Eggs, dried beans, dried peas, nuts (Meat, fish or poultry, 1 serving a day. Eggs, 4 or more a week. Dried beans and peas, nuts: 2 or more servings a week)
  6. Bread, flour and cereals, whole grain or enriched (2 or more servings a day)
  7. Butter and fortified margarine (1 serving with each meal)

Yep. Ice cream in an acceptable dairy food. And that’s 4 servings of carbs a day and butter or margarine with EVERY MEAL.

And then there are ENERGY FOODS!

Foods listed below provide chiefly energy. Eat some of these in addition to, but not in place of the foods listed in the Basic Seven: bacon, salad dressings, salad oil, salt pork and fat back, suet, honey, jams, jellies, molasses, preserves, syrups, sorghum, hominy grits, macaroni, noodles, white rice, spaghetti, cakes, candy , chocolate, cocoa, cookies, pastries, sugar, other sweets.

I think I am already on the Cookindex healthful diet plan. Bacon, spaghetti, candy and chocolate are all energy foods. But where is the wine?

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Hooray for Hors d’Oeuvres: Double Weenie Wreath

Howdy, kittens!

Are you somewhere that’s getting snow?


Charles Street & 23rd January 2010


Snow drifts on 23rd. No way to drive through that.


Channeling Gene Kelly. I may have been a little drunk here.

If so, I really hope that you went out shopping yesterday and already have your milk, bread, and toilet paper. I’m looking specifically at our friends in New York and New England.

Speaking of New England, I only remember it snowing once when I lived in Boston and it wasn’t all noteworthy. Isn’t that weird? I know that it had to more than that, but I only remember the one time. Well, that’s aside from the time I nearly killed myself and Frank the Cat while driving back to school after Thanksgiving; my VW Beetle did a full 360 spin-out in the middle of I-80. But I guess that was more ice than snow.

When I lived in Brooklyn, I remember there being a big snow storm because my brother was staying with me and he had taken the train into Manhattan to see a friend and he had the worst time getting back to Brooklyn. We ended up playing A LOT of Super Nintendo because there was absolutely nothing to do. It seemed like the city shut down.

Much like when I was here in Baltimore for the Snowpocalypse of 2010. The city definitely shut down. I didn’t even live here yet, I was just visitin Dearly Departed Cleve. We were trapped in his apartment (which eventually became my apartment) with no cable tv and no furniture. Seriously. The only furniture in the house was his futon, a tv stand, a desk chair and folding table with his computer on it. Oh, and a slow cooker! I made ropa vieja in the slow cooker. Thank the lord that my mother suggested to me to buy a shit-ton of booze before I drove down (I think I brought a box of red, a box of white, a fifth of Jim Beam and I think a couple bottles of sparkling something or other); it got us through the initial snow. Really, drunk is the best way to get through an event like that. Luckily, urban living allows for a walk up the block to the bottle shop or to the local bar/restaurant for some boilermakers and wings.

And speaking of cities shutting down, when I lived in Richmond with my brother it snowed/iced for a few days and everyone in VA lost their minds. They don’t have plows down there and they don’t have salt, so I remember guys in those orange jumpsuits going around and throwing sand everywhere like that was somehow going to create traction or melt something. All it did was make tan slop. Silly Southerners.

Now ending snowy walk down memory lane.

Well, all of that is neither here nor there. I am hoping to this week do a little bit of clearing house with a lot of the posts that I have up in the queue–so I am hoping that this week will be The Week Of Hors d’Oeurves! 

To kick it off, here is something wintry: The Annual Weenie Wreath!

But this year, due to how popular Weenie Wreath was in 2013, I made a DOUBLE WEENIE WREATH!!!

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Yinzerella’s Lazy Pierogie Casserole

pierogie todayIt’s going to snow here today. I don’t know how much, but snow is in the forecast. And when snow is in the forecast, there is nothing better to eat than a big, stick-to-your ribs, comfort food casserole. And when it comes to comfort foods, two of the best are pierogies and lasagna.

There are a lot of pierogie casserole/lasagna recipes out of there, but they are typically just potato and cheddar. But me, the Pittsburgh girl that I am, I like all of the pierogies. And I love a combo platter. So I decided to make my own version that combines the classic potato-cheese with the cottage cheese pierogie and the sauerkraut pierogie; as well as have that sauteed-in-onion and butter flavor.

OK, now this recipe might not be that lazy because there are a lot of steps to this recipe (duh, it’s a lasagna), but it’s definitely less work than if you were to make your own dough and filling.

Yinzerella’s Lazy Pierogie Casserole

  • 1 bag of mashed potatoes, prepared (4 – 4.7 oz bag makes about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • lasagna noodles (I used 10 noodles)
  • 4 slices bacon (turkey or pork)
  • 1 cup drained sauerkraut
  • 2 tbsp butter/margarine
  • 1 Vidalia onion, sliced
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 egg
  • garlic powder
  • black pepper
  • paprika

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Happy Cheese Lovers’ Day!

Cooking With CheeseJanuary 20 is a day for those of us who love cheese to celebrate. And I really love cheese. I actually have CHEESE listed on my OKCupid profile under “6 Things I Could Never Do Without.” Also included: cable TV and liquor stores.

I’m a classy gal.

Anyway, a shit-ton of cheese has made it onto this here blog, so here’s a bit of a cheese retrospective. Click on the picture to revisit one of these old favorites.

Take your Lactaid.

hot olive cheese puffs

Hot Olive Cheese Puffs

party cheese ball!

Party Cheese Ball

Cheese Souffle

Cheese Souffle

cheese spread

Cheese Spread

Chili Cheese Log

Chili Cheese Log

Ham and Cheese Fondue

64. Ham & Cheese Fondue

chili cheese dog

Chili Cheese Franks (Weiner Wednesday!)

I really wish I was going to go out tonight and wine and cheese it up. Instead, I see Indian leftovers in my future. But paneer totally counts, right?



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Uncle Bob’s Jell-O Salad

This was part of Casey’s Ham Loaf dinner. Which I haven’t written about yet. But I will. And then link back to this post so you’ll remember that THIS is the Jell-O that went with the loaf. Oh, how I have reservations with dishes that are made in loaf-form! Why loaf, why?

But I digress. Casey gave me the recipe because apparently you can’t have Ham Loaf without this gelatin dish. It’s a rule. Here is the recipe:

Two small boxes of black cherry jello. Add two cups boiling water and dissolve. Add 8 oz cream cheese and use fork to break up into small pieces. Drain liquid from one can crushed pineapple in its own juice and one can of black cherries into 2 cup measuring cup. Add water to make two cups and add to the mix. Then stir in the pineapple and cherries. Pour into a suitable container and chill til it sets.

Well, that’s easy enough. Although I couldn’t find a can of black cherries.

Hands up if you’re surprised that the Safeway didn’t carry cherries in a can.


I didn’t think so.

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Posted in Dessert, Food, Fruit, Jell-O, Recipes, Retro Food, Retro Recipes, Salad | Tagged , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Readers’ Choice!

In my Flank Steak Teryaki post I pointed out that it has been a long, long, long time since I prepared a complete meal from the DiS! set. How long? It was summer.

That’s a long-ass time.

I have been away from the cards so long that I didn’t even know that there are only 11 left. Yes, you heard me right: ELEVEN. That’s one-a-month if I start in February.

Now I realize: I can do this. I can totally do this. I can finish the cards this year!

But all I need to do is start. I look to you, gentle readers, to give me a kick in the ass and get this show on the road.

I have chosen 4 DiS! cards, all with different proteins, but all suitable for the season (I wasn’t about to start doing some outdoor grilling in this cold).

What’ll it be?

readerchoice 001

As always, that is some damn fine food photography, Marjon Promotions, Inc.

27. Swedish Meatballs

  • Assorted Herring Appetizers
  • Swedish Meat Balls
  • Pickled Beets
  • Cucumber Pickles
  • Jannsson’s Temptation (card #91)
  • Apple Squares with Vanilla Sauce

53. Stuffed Breast of Veal (or Lamb)

  • Stuffed Breast of Veal
  • Sage Potatoes
  • Tomato, Cauliflower, and Olive Salad with French Dressing
  • Babas Au Rhum

60. Orange Duck 

  • Orange Duck
  • Wild Rice
  • Green Beans Almondine
  • Dinner Rolls
  • Whipped Jello Parfaits

111. Broiled Fillet of Sole

  • Peppery Tomato Juice or Bloody Mary
  • Broiled Fillet of Sole With Coral Shrimp Sauce
  • Broiled Mushroom Caps
  • Rosti Potatoes
  • Cheese Pinwheels
  • Grape and Orange Ambrosia
  • Coffee or Tea

Voting opens today and will go til Monday. So if you are just bonkers for meatballs, love Jell-O, or have strong feelings for cheese pinwheels, you got a lot of time to stuff the ballot box.

Speaking of strong feelings–over the weekend (and by the weekend I mean Friday night and Saturday morning/afternoon) I binge-watched The Affair–and I have a lot–A LOT–of feelings about Joshua Jackson a.k.a. Pacey Witter.

hot pacey

He plays a cowboy/surfer. Not kidding.

So. Many. Feelings. I could watch that clip all day long.


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