Monday, December 26, 2011

2011: A Year in Review

The Slim Santa Snacks have been served. The Egg-Less Nog has been drunk. Another year has come and gone.

It is so hard to believe that my little Retro WW Experiment is almost two years old! In my second year of blogging about the scary rules and recipes of Weight Watchers circa 1970-1978, I became bolder and braver. I tried food combinations that no human should ever consume. I tackled some culinary bucket list items.

I still haven't achieved my goal of meeting Jean Nidetch. Sigh. One day...

Anyway. In case you have forgotten, here's a look back on some of my finest moments from 2011. The good, the bad, and the horrifying.



A Deeply Disturbing Mystery Fluid

"French Fries"

Hint: They're NOT French Fries

Lemon Tuna Mold

My first ever double-decker and first ever video blog

Cucumber Zips

The ultimate freak food

Frankfurter Spectacular

There are no words.

Fluffy Mackerel Pudding

Video proof that I actually eat this crap

Rosy Perfection Salad

My role model in molded-salad form

Cinnamon Squares

The worst thing I ever ate.
And that's saying a lot.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Festival of Light Recipes

Jean Nidetch never missed an opportunity to renovate a favorite holiday recipe. In fact, she could take the most decadent delectable and turn it into a dieter's dream.

So with Hanukkah starting this week, I would be remiss if I didn't whip up some classic WW versions of this Holiday season's favorites.

Being a proud Jewish Brooklynite, and a self-proclaimed F.F.H. (formerly fat housewife), you can bet Jean knows a thing or two about Latkes, Kugels and Sufganiyot. Since most traditional Jewish foods are not often figure-friendly, Jean offers alternatives for the slim-seeking set.

Take for example, the Latke.

As a lover of Latkes, I have experimented with my share of Retro WW Latke recipes...

First there was the Retro WW Blueberry Latkes. They were delicious and nutritious. One of my very first Retro WW endeavors -- I loved them, but my husband didn't. Whatever.

And then came the Cauliflower "Potato" Latkes. These were a hands-down winner. I made them for lunch and gobbled up the whole batch. I'll swap my potatoes for cauliflower any old day.

But today, I decided to take a different route. Instead of a Latke, I made a Kugel. And I'm so glad I did.

Potato Kugel with Cheese Topping

1 Potato, scrubbed and grated
1 egg
1 slice bread, cut up
1 tsp dehydrated onion flakes
Salt & Pepper

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Transfer to a small casserole. Set in shallow pan holding 1/2-inch water. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. Top with cottage cheese and dill.

This recipe made one big serving of warm potatoey, cheesey goodness, and you can bet your sweet tuchus I ate every last bite.

I don't come from a Jewish family, but our love of starchy potatoes topped with cottage cheese runs so deep, it is almost like a religion. In fact, I would be willing to bet that as soon as my mom reads this post, she'll be running to the store to pick up the ingredients for this recipe.

I hope everyone has a happy & healthy Hanukkah. May your Latkes be light and your Menorah be bright! Gut Yontif to all, and to all a good holiday outfit that isn't too tight!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Slim Santa Snacks

Everyone knows that it is customary to leave a snack for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve.

Most normal people leave him cookies.

As a Retro WW Gal, I simply don't keep cookies on hand. They are not "legal".

Anyway--This Saturday night, as I was flipping through my 1970 Christmas issue of Weight Watchers magazine, I found the perfect treat for Santa. The "Snacks & Hors d'Ouevres for the Skinny Christmas Scene" centerfold recipe spread really caught my eye.

What? You don't put on a cocktail dress, sit by the tree and peruse magazines? Why not?

I thought -- with all those cookies he'll be eating, Santa will surely appreciate a slimming snack to carry him through his busy night. Right?

So I immediately put on my apron and got to work on these...

Slim Santa Snacks
1 1/2 cups tomato juice
pinch garlic powder
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
2 Tbsp water
1/2 pound large fresh mushrooms

Combine first 5 ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes. Soften gelatin in water and add to tomato juice mixture. Chill until syrupy.

Remove stems from mushrooms and place on rack. Spoon mixture over mushrooms and chill until set. Repeat 2-3 times until mushrooms are well coated.

I was so excited about my Slim Santa Snacks, I left out a few of them just in case Santa decided to arrive early. You never know, right?

Well! Lo and behold, when I awoke this morning -- I found an empty platter and a special treat in my stocking...

Merry Christmas everyone! I wish you the happiest of holidays filled with peace, love, joy and lots of "slimming" things to eat!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

An Interview with Mimi's Mom

For almost two years, I have been immersed in the 1972 Retro Weight Watchers Program. I have tried, somewhat pitifully, to follow the program and to sample the thousands of "healthy" recipes from that era. My progress has been mediocre. But I press on...

There are, however, millions of people who actually did follow this program over 40 years ago. They were dedicated, strong and successful. I want to pay tribute to them in a regular segment called, "The Retro WW Interview Project".

Today, I start with my Mom...

Mimi & Mom Before & After:

Q: Why did you join WW?
A: It was 1971. Living in Pittsburgh during the 1970's we were big Steeler fans, and one day I looked at the newspaper. In the sports section, it had all the stats of the Steelers players, and I screamed when I noticed that I outweighed all of them EXCEPT Mean Joe Green. I wanted to lose weight on a structured program, and I liked the idea of going to a meeting hearing others in my same situation. Knowing I had to weigh in weekly, to keep me on task.

Q: What is your most vivid Retro WW memory?
A: My first 10 lbs off, I was so happy!

What was your favorite Retro WW treat?
A: I would toast a slice of bread, slice it length-wise and put my portion of farmers cheese on it with a smidgen of sweet & low then broil till bubbly. I swear, it was like cheesecake to me!

What was your "Frankenstein Food"? (the one food that was most tempting to you)
A: Potato pancakes.

What was the hardest rule to follow on Retro WW?
A: No alcoholic beverages!!!!!!! It was so hard to be "social" on plan. As a young woman with a busy lifestyle, I was always in challenging situations with friends and family. It was hard to always say "no".

Q: What was the best thing about being a WW member in the 1970's?
A: Feeling there was a light at the end of the tunnel and that I could eventually fit thru it!

"Go Steelers! I'm so glad I weigh less than you now!"

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Solid Salad, Jack

At some point in your life you will do something that will shame you. You won't want to tell anyone about it, because it makes you look really weird and creepy. Or stupid. But, for some reason, you'll tell one person. Then that person will forever know that thing about you and there will always be an awkwardness between you. Forever.

Welcome to my circle of shame.

Last Thursday night, I was up late feeling really guilty about my Thanksgiving gluttony. I woke up early on Black Friday and went directly to the grocery store to stock up on lots of fruits, veggies and various salad fixins. My goal was to eat clean for the remainder of the holiday weekend. Really clean.

Here's where things get weird.

While flipping through my 1977 Weight Watchers Recipe Booklet, I noticed I had all of the necessary ingredients to make myself something called a Solid Salad. That's right...

Solid Salad

2 cups cooked green beans
4 ounces artichoke hearts
4 ounces chopped green onions
1 medium cucumber, peeled and cubed
1 medium tomato, cubed
salt & pepper to taste
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

Combine first 6 ingredients. Set aside. Mix mayo, lime juice and garlic salt. Blend all ingredients thoroughly. Chill several hours. Serves 4.

I chopped. I peeled. I mixed. And then I put it all in the blender. Looking back, I'm not even sure if that was really what I was supposed to do. But I did it anyway. In the world of Retro WW cooking, you just can't know for sure.

I put the pureed baby-food-like substance in a dish and stuck it in the fridge for about 15 minutes. Then I broke down and had to sneak a spoonful. It was tasty.

Five minutes later, I snuck another taste. It was still pretty tasty.

Within 15 more minutes I had eaten the entire Solid Salad. It stopped being tasty after the 4th or 5th bite. But I kept going.

In summation, I ate a giant bowl of lukewarm pureed vegetables and mayo. And I liked it.

By the way--if you Google the term "Solid Salad" here is the first thing that you'll find. Its a great video from 1944 with a trio of gals singing and dancing about a salad. Watch closely, and maybe you'll pick up some of the dance moves. They're fairly simple. Especially once you get past the one minute mark. Solid Salad, indeed!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Very Retro WW Thanksgiving

At precisely 6:30pm on Thursday November 26th, 1970 - a completely "legal" Retro WW Thanksgiving Dinner was served by a laser-focused WW member somewhere in America.

The Menu:

Founding Fathers Soup

Thanksgiving Day Roast Cornish Hen

Celery Mushroom Dressing

Parslied Squash

Creamed Spinach

Pumpkin-Orange Melange

Coffee and Tea

This awe-inspiring meal was featured in Weight Watchers magazine as the snazzy centerfold of the month back in November 1970.

Are you drooling? I thought not.

No mashed potatoes? No candied yams? No green bean casserole? No cornbread stuffing? No gravy? No pumpkin pie? No wine???

That's how they did it in 1970. It was hardcore, baby.

Let us now give thanks for the flexibility and forgiveness of modern day WW and PointsPlus. It just keeps getting better...Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Retro WW Experiment Interview Project

I know you are out there. And I want to talk to you...

Are you one of the many people who actually followed the original Weight Watchers program in the 1970's? Did you eat fish 5 times a week, top your toast with cottage cheese and serve up your wieners six ways to Sunday?

Did you actually eat things like this:

Salmon Mousse

Did you ever slice a piece of bread horizontally to make a "two-fer" sandwich? Did you always keep a box of Knox Unflavored Gelatine on hand just in case you wanted to whip up something like this:

Tomato Juice Aspic

If so, please email me, twitter me or leave your contact information in the comments section below - because I would love to interview you for a new feature on the 1972 Retro WW Experiment called...

Real Life Retro WW Success Stories!

You did the hard work. You lived the program. Now it's time to share your story with the world.

Don't be shy.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Keepin' It Fresh

Twelve years ago this week, I reached my ultimate weight loss goal and became a WW lifetime member. I remember this vividly, because it was also just before my birthday weekend, and my parents had given me a HUGE gift card to go shopping for clothes.

That was one of the best weekends of my life.

I remember running through the mall, trying on clothes in sizes that I hadn't worn in years, and grinning so hard my cheeks hurt. I remember squealing in the fitting room and hugging the saleslady who kept bringing me smaller sizes.

"Honey, that's too big on you." She said obliviously, "I think you need the next smaller size." I was literally exploding with absolute glee.

It was amazing.

Twelve years later, I am still going strong and keeping off my 40 pound weight loss (give or take a few pounds depending on the day), but for some reason - I no longer squeal with glee when I try on a pair of jeans.

So what happened?


It ain't thrilling. It ain't sexy. It ain't easy.

But it's necessary.

I mean, Jean Nidetch lost 72 pounds and has kept it off for 50 years. That's right. I said 50 years. You gotta respect that.

Maintenance is tough work, and it is not very rewarding. The compliments are scarce and the accolades are few and far in between, so we need to find ways to settle in for the long haul and learn how to keep the WW love alive.

I, for one, like to focus on small accomplishments and try new things. Here's an example:

"No Guts, No Glory"
Frankfurter Spectacular
Yea, I made that sucker. What of it?

So how do you keep it fresh? How do you stay motivated and keep yourself excited about the weight loss journey after the thrill is gone? What's your "Frankfurter Spectacular"?

Do tell...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Soup Season

Every WW gal knows that soup is a surefire weight loss secret. I mean--who hasn't made it through a tough week by loading up on WW Zero-Point Garden Veggie Soup?

And there are so many types of soup to chose from: hot soup, cold soup, creamy soup, chunky soup, and the list goes on and on.

But did you know that there is also a little known category of soup that will not only help you watch your waistline but also make you love your country?

Patriotic Soups!

Cue the marching band and fireworks.

There are two recipes on the 1974 Patriotic Soups card: Founding Fathers' Soup and Pumpkin Soup.

I decided to try the first one, because it just sounded like the right thing to do as an American citizen. What could be more patriotic than honoring our Founding Fathers with a hot bowl of sauerkraut and tomato juice?

Founding Fathers' Soup

1 quart water
1 1/2 cups sauerkraut
1 cup tomato juice
2 tbsp soy sauce
4 chicken bouillon cubes
4 beef bouillon cubes

Combine all ingredients in saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Makes 6 servings.

Can you just imagine our Founding Fathers enjoying a big crock of this soup after signing the Declaration of Independence? I can't help but wonder--While they were paving the way for the freedom of our country, were they also counting their calories?

Life, Liberty, And the Pursuit of Weight Loss? Hey. If it's good enough for Thomas Jefferson, it's good enough for me.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Halloween Miracle

This is not a Trick. This is an actual treat. And you will actually like it.

I had an extra can of pumpkin on hand, so I scanned my 1978 "Hot Stuff" Retro WW booklets for a good pumpkin recipe. And what I found just may shock you.

Pumpkin Cookies
16 ounces canned pumpkin
1 1/3 cups non-fat dry milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp imitation butter flavoring
Brown sugar replacement to equal 1/3 cup brown sugar (I used Splenda)

Combine all ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Drop by teaspoons onto non-stick cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Chill.

As my pumpkin cookies were baking away, I noticed something magnificent. An aroma started to fill my house. Not the odor of boiled celery. Not the odor of simmering tomato juice and cabbage. Not the odor of canned bean sprouts and onion flakes. It was the delicious and comforting aroma of cinnamon nutmeg yumminess baking to perfection in a warm oven. It was a Halloween miracle.

But how would my cookies taste? Needless to say, I had really high hopes for these little suckers.

I was so excited to eat one, I could barely wait to get them out of the oven. I even burnt my finger as I frantically pulled the first cookie directly from the baking sheet with my bare hand... My initial reaction?


But after I let them chill for a few minutes, I tried another. And so did my hubby. We both agreed they were waaaaay better when cooled and tasted very much like pumpkin pie filling. And you know they must be good, because he ate -- not one -- but six of them!

I figured these little guys to be about 1 PointsPlus per cookie if you make approximately 16-20 of them. So if any of you modern-day WW gals want to go retro for Halloween, here's your chance!

It's a known fact that WW gals can work wonders with a can of pumpkin. What will you do with yours?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Smoothie Smackdown

Smoothies are a mainstay in the Retro WW diet. The smoothie allows us to experiment with a variety of delicious fresh ingredients and puree them into a frosty cup of juicy goodness. I have sucked down many a Retro WW Smoothie in my day. Who can forget the Lettuce Orangeade Smoothie, the Purple Cow Smoothie or the Knox Gelatin Smoothie?

I sure do love a good Smoothie.

So when my blogger buddy The Skinny Architect tipped me off to a great new Smoothie place opening in my hometown, I had to go check them out.

Planet Smoothie Pittsburgh is not retro at all. In fact they are very modern and hip. The decor is bright, cheery and colorful. When you walk through their door, you instantly become a smoothie fan. You are now ready to place your order.

For a full listing of their smoothie combinations, I highly recommend checking out their website. What did I order? I was of course drawn to the "2-Piece Bikini Smoothie" in the weight loss smoothie section of their menu. It was a yummy mix of strawberry, banana, nonfat milk and vanilla. Under 300 calories!

And then my smoothie-maker asked me a mind-blowing question: "Would you like to add a fat-burner blast to your smoothie?"

Um. Yes, please?

Let it be known that everyone looks cooler while drinking a smoothie. Even me.

I was so inspired by my fabulous visit to Planet Smoothie, I decided to whip up a smoothie of my own. Let's just see how my Retro WW Smoothie compares...

The Pimento Asparagus Smoothie
1974 Weight Watchers Recipe Cards

2 cups fresh, cooked asparagus
2 (7 oz.) jars pimentos, drained
1/2 cup skim milk

Let it rip in blender. Garnish with a scallion. Drink up!

Oh dear... Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Someone please grab me a tic tac! And a memory-erasing pill! And a Silkwood shower!

Please Note: For my benefit and for the benefit of all people, my blender has been officially placed on hiatus until further notice.

The next time I crave a smoothie, I think I'll just visit Planet Smoothie, and leave my asparagus and pimentos alone.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Better Late Than Never

"On October 12th 1492, a man discovered America. On October 12th 1923, America discovered a lady who was born to 'discover' Weight Watchers. He was Christopher Columbus. She was Jean Nidetch. He took the mystery out of the world. She took the L out of flab." - The Jean Nidetch Story

This week was Jean Nidetch's birthday.

And I missed it.

Sorry Jean!

If I could, I would bake Jean a great big Black Walnut Flavored Cake with Strawberry Fluff Frosting - just like the one in her 1974 Weight Watchers Recipe Cards.

I have no idea how Jean spent her birthday, but I have no doubt it was fabulous.

As for me, I'll be sure to honor the awesomeness of Jean's birthday in some small way. Maybe I'll try to inspire someone to make a positive change in their life. Maybe I'll try to challenge myself to do something new and visionary. Maybe I'll set a new goal, chart a new course or find a new passion.

Or maybe I'll just whip up a wickedly awesome gelatin mold.

What will you do today that is awesome?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

An Apple and a Frank a Day

It was a perfect day for apple picking here in Pittsburgh: sunny, warm and clear. If you were smart, you went out and loaded up on bushels and bushels of juicy red apples at your local orchard.

And if you did that, you are now probably wondering: What the deuce am I gonna do with all of these apples?

If you are a Retro WW gal, you're probably thinking: I know! I'll chop up some wieners and stuff them in a couple of these apples. Then I'll sprinkle them with some onion flakes and curry powder and bake them in a big-ass Pyrex dish. Oh yes--that sounds downright delicious!

And that's exactly what I did today.

I couldn't resist whipping up the following recipe from my 1974 Best of Weight Watchers Magazine. It just seemed perfect for a day like this:

Apples and Franks Karachi

4 boiled frankfurters, diced
2 medium baking apples, cored
1/4 tsp dehydrated onion
1/4 tsp curry powder

Hollow out apples leaving only a thin shell. Finely chop the scooped-out apple and sprinkle with curry and onion. Stir in diced frankfurters. Spoon mixture into apple shells. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

The fragrant curry mingling with the pungent aroma of the frankfurters will turn your kitchen into an odoriferous Hell on Earth. Crack a window. You'll be fine.

If you really want to impress your friends, tell them that you picked up this recipe while visiting Karachi. They'll think you are very exotic and worldly. They don't have to know you heard it here. It'll be our little secret.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Let's Get Cheesy

Everyone knows that Cottage Cheese is a staple in the Retro WW diet. In fact -- in an earlier post, I explained the absolute necessity of it and I proclaimed my undying love for it.

So it shouldn't surprise you that when I stumbled upon this vintage cookbook in the 50 cent bin at the flea market -- I simply had to have it.

Creative Cooking With Cottage Cheese
From The American Dairy Association Test Kitchen
Rock On with Your Cheesy Self!

Oh the things you can do with Cottage Cheese! Page after page of creative ways to incorporate those creamy curds into virtually everything and anything. There are no limits to what you can do with a carton of Cottage Cheese.

That's why I always, ALWAYS keep a pound in the fridge. And a back-up pound, just in case.

But as I thumbed through my new cookbook, I was disappointed to learn that none of the recipes inside were Retro WW "legal". Bummer. They all contained at least one ingredient on my forbidden list. What to do?

After much consideration, I decided that sometimes you just have to break the rules. And furthermore--it's my blog and I can do whatever I want to do. So... let's get crazy with some Cottage Cheese!

My favorite retro recipes are the ones that combine a pathologically random list of ingredients in a blender. These are ingredients that would never, ever be put together my a clear-thinking normal person, but somehow they work.

Take for example, the "Teeners Special Dunk":

1 1/2 Cups Cottage Cheese
1/2 Cup Peanut Butter
2 Tablespoons milk
1/4 Cup Catsup
3 Tablespoons sweet pickle relish

I dipped some celery in it. I had to keep tasting it because it reminded me of something I once ate, but I never figured out what it was. Maybe it will come to me in a dream someday.

I don't know who came up with this messed up recipe, but those crazy Teeners sure do seem to enjoy it. Whoever the Hell they are.

How do you like your Cottage Cheese?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Canned Fruit-a-Palooza

We all have those blogs we follow that we love so much it makes us jump for joy every time we see a new post pop up in our reader. For me, one of those blogs is Caker Cooking.

Recently, Brian at Caker Cooking posted a crafty recipe involving Canned Pineapple Rings. He actually created a kitschy jell-o mold that you make right in the freaking can! And I was like -- Are you kidding me? Come on! How did I never think of this? I immediately began to ponder how Jean Nidetch missed out on this one. I was perplexed and inspired all at the same time.

And then I came across the following recipe in my new 1978 WW Hot Stuff Recipe Pamphlet:

Annie's Easy Fruit

1 can fruit cocktail, no sugar added (reserve the can)
1 envelope unflavored Knox Gelatin
1 drop red food coloring
1 teaspoon cherry flavoring

Drain fruit cocktail and combine the liquid with gelatin. Add food coloring and heat to dissolve. Remove from heat, add flavoring, and cool slightly. Stir mixture into can. Chill. Unmold and slice. Makes 4 servings.

OK. First of all. Who is Annie, and why does she think fruit needs to be made "easy"? Isn't it easy enough already? In my opinion this recipe made it more difficult. It should have been called "Annie's Difficult Fruit", because the whole process was a huge pain in the arse.

This recipe defies gravity

Secondly, this was awful. Just awful. I would've much preferred to have just eaten the fruit cocktail right out of the can, and ditched the Knox Gelatin. But that's just me.

Please note my cat looking on in the background. Horrified.

I have a feeling the Caker Cooking, super sweet, non-WW version might be quite a bit yummier. But maybe next time I'll just have a piece of fresh fruit and skip the can altogether. What do you think?

By the way-- did you know that today is Lose-a-Palooza, a one-day social media event sponsored by Weight Watchers to help fight world hunger? So if you are looking for something more virtuous to do with your canned goods -- why not contribute them to the Weight Watchers Lose for Good Campaign instead? Visit for more info!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

More Hot Stuff

Have I ever mentioned how much I love the people who read this blog? Well, I do. I love them very much.

Especially the ones who send me presents!

Recently, a loyal Retro WW Experiment reader contacted me to let me know she wanted to send me a box of Weight Watcher's "Hot Stuff" recipe booklets from 1978. These booklets are similar to the one I blogged about in my recent Wiener Soup post. Of course, I gladly agreed to accept them.

Upon receiving the booklets, I squealed and nearly peed my pants. Oh so many crazy recipes. Even the recipe names made me happy. Some examples include:

Marge's Micro Lunch
Zippy Bean Salad
Freda's Flan
Frankfurter Moussaka
Hungry Gal Skillet

Almost a Pie
Liver Delight

Um-Boy Brownies
Cranberry Tongue

Tuna Wiggle

And these are only the tip of the iceberg. Every single recipe filled me with glee, and I have plans to give many of them a whirl. But the one I chose to make first was simply called "Annie's Easy Fruit".

You'll have to wait for my next post to get a look at the final product. And, trust me, you won't want to miss this one.

In the meantime -- I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who continues to follow this wacky experiment. And a special shout out to my new friend, Kathy - for sending me the groovy Retro WW Hot Stuff Booklets and providing us all with many, many more months of Retro WW enjoyment.

Whether we like it or not.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

My Rosy Perfection

I've had many role models along my weight loss journey, but the most unusual by far comes in the form of a molded salad.

That's right. I've finally snapped. I'm striving to be like a gelatin mold.

While some people collect inspirational quotes, success stories or motivational photos, I keep one single recipe card pinned to my mirror to always remind me to stay positive and never give up.

The 1974 WW Rosy Perfection Salad is the perfect balance of sweet and tart. It is bold and has a slight bite, but it is never bitter. Although some may say there are newer or better or more appealing salads out there -- the Rosy Perfection Salad does not care. It knows it is pretty, and it is proud. It has staying power. It has confidence. Not to mention, it is the most beautiful shade of pink I have ever seen.

How can you not love the Rosy Perfection Salad? I adore it in so many ways, but I have never actually whipped up one of my own.

Until today. The ingredients include...

1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup artificial sweetener
1/4 cup vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cups shredded red cabbage
1 cup chopped celery
1 tablespoon chopped pimento

When you fold it all together into one beautifully molded masterpiece, you feel like you can take on the world. Or at least just take on the day. Which isn't always easy to do, is it?

So won't you please have a piece and join me? It never hurts to have a little Rosy Perfection in your day.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Back to Basics

I had an epiphany at my Weight Watchers meeting this week.

The topic was "Getting Re-Started", and how it helps to go back to the basic program fundamentals when you need to recharge your weight loss efforts. For the purposes of the 2011 Points Plus Program, the basic rules for re-booting are:
  • Stay on Target
  • Power Up
  • Treat Yourself
  • Get Moving
It all seems so simple. So basic. So intuitive.

It got me thinking about the "basics" of the original Weight Watchers program and what a royal pain in the patootie it is to get back on track after falling off the Retro WW wagon. Here's a quickie run-down of the 1972 WW Rules. Just in case you were wondering:
  1. Eat only the foods listed in your Menu Plan, in the quantities specified and only at the meals specified. Get ready...
  2. EGGS: Limit them to 4-7 per week. Only at breakfast or lunch. Easy enough.
  3. CHEESE: Only hard cheese, pot, or cottage. Only at breakfast or lunch. Only in quantities permitted per your menu plan. Hint: learn to love cottage cheese.
  4. FISH: You must eat a minimum of 5 fish meals per week at lunch or dinner. There is a lot more to this fish thing, but it gets really complicated, and I don't have the energy to explain it right now.
  5. MEAT AND POULTRY: No more than 3 meals per week for certain meats, such as beef, lamb or ham. Others can be used as desired in limited quantities. Aside from your basic chicken and turkey, get ready to start eating some crazy stuff here. Pigeon anyone?
  6. LIVER: Must be eaten once a week, either for lunch or dinner. Yeah, right.
  7. BREAD: 1 slice at breakfast and one slice at lunch. Must be eaten at mealtime only. Creativity is required here.
  8. FRUIT: Fruits are divided into 3 groups. Some are permitted daily. Some are permitted once per week. FYI- Apparently bananas are evil. 3 fruits per day are permitted for women.
  9. VEGETABLES: Some are limited and some are unlimited. Go easy on the parsnips -- Get crazy with the celery!
  10. MILK: Choose wisely. You get 16 oz skim or 12 oz buttermilk or 8 oz evaporated skim per day.
  11. FATS: I love this one. 1 tablespoon of fat per day. Must be spread with a spatula or knife -- never with a brush. Seriously.
  12. Do NOT eat or drink the following:
Cake, cookies, crackers, pies
Candy, chocolate
Catsup, chili sauce
Cream cheese
Fried foods
Dried fruit
Ice cream, ice milk, sherbet
Jam, jellies, preserves
Luncheon meats
Muffins, biscuits
Non-dairy creamer
Olive or olive oils
Pancakes, waffles
Peanut butter
Peanuts, other nuts
Popcorn, potato chips, pretzels
Pork products
Puddings, custards, flavored gelatin
Raw fish or meat
Specialty breads
Salad dressings
Smoked fish, smoked meats
Soda pop, punch

Honestly, I don't know how anyone survived this plan. They did it, though. I know this, because I have the certificate which proves that my own mother followed this plan, lost weight and lived to tell about it.

So now that Summer is un-officially coming to an end, are you reluctantly getting "back to basics" with your weight loss efforts? If so -- just remember. It could be worse. It could be 1972.

Friday, September 2, 2011

That's What She Said

What is it about Retro WW Gals and their love of wieners? They seemingly cannot get enough of them.

With six ounces of all-beef frankfurters permitted every day if desired, I suppose it's easy to get a little wacky with all those wieners.

For example--we had the Crown Roast of Frankfurter, the Frankfurter Pie, and who can forget the awe-inspiring Frankfurter Spectacular?

We are always looking for something new to do with our wieners.

So I was thrilled when a friend gave me this rare Retro WW recipe pamphlet from 1978. This mini-cookbook is simply called "Hot Stuff", and contains some never-before seen treasured legal recipes. I could tell right away that this particular recipe pamphlet was authentic, because it has a pineapple/liver recipe handwritten on the back cover and some unidentified grease stains on the front cover. Classic.

And the best part...when I opened up this greasy little pamphlet to page 10, what did I find? A franktacular recipe for "Wiener Soup".

Wiener. Freaking. Soup.

Oh yeah. Dinner is served!

The recipe made two servings, but when I offered my husband a delicious bowl of hot Wiener Soup, he politely turned me down. I can't think why.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Portion Control

Aside from my obsession with Retro Weight Watchers, I also have a mild addiction to a little thing called Vintage Pyrex.

By far--my favorite Pyrex piece is the mini fridgie which is a teeny-tiny covered casserole dish. It comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns. Here's a sampling from my collection...

Why do I love the mini fridgie so much?

Two words: Portion Control.

I challenge you to find a modern-day bowl or casserole with the portion power and versatility of the mini-fridgie. It can go from fridge to oven to freezer, and is small enough to make even the most minuscule WW dishes look appealing.

Did someone say Mock Chopped Liver?

When everything you eat is 6 ounces or less, you really need a serving dish that can make you feel better about your sad state of gastronomic affairs. Am I right?

For more Pyrex fun, please hop on over to my other favorite blogging spot - The Pyrex Collective and check it out! Caution - Vintage Pyrex can be highly addicitve!