Friday, May 25, 2012

The Breakfast of Champions

Most mornings, I start my day with a strong cup of coffee. But when Summer arrives, and I get a chance to take a break from the daily grind - I like to greet the morning with a refreshingly festive Bloody Mary.

Now, I know this recipe has absolutely nothing to do with alcohol or Bloody Marys or anything enjoyable whatsoever. But it's my day off, it's a holiday weekend and I took many liberties with this one. So cut me some slack.

All Hail the 1974 Weight Watchers Recipe Cards

In an attempt to make the Jellied Tomato Refresher slightly more enticing, I adapted the ingredients just a bit. First of all, I ditched the tomato juice and used a zesty Bloody Mary mix. I also left out the beef bouillon cube and just spruced it up with some jazzy spices like chili powder and paprika. Oh--and instead of dehydrated green pepper flakes, I chopped some fresh green pepper and dropped it in right at the moment of final gel.

Did I add vodka? I'll never tell.

Yes, it is chunky. Yes, it tastes like a glass of curdled, cold tomato soup. No, there is absolutely no way to look classy while consuming this. Let's face it - it is basically a big ol' Bloody Mary jell-o shot.

But off I go, Jellied Tomato Refresher in hand, to be fabulous in my lounge chair.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Cornball Cake

During my days as a Retro Weight Watchers Gal -- I have made "cookies", "candy", "ice cream" and one time I even almost made a "pie". But the other day I realized that there is one dessert dish I have never made in the classic Retro Weight Watcher "Quotation Mark" style...

CAKE! Or as we like to call it: "CAKE".

So I found a wonderful cake recipe in my 1978 WW Hot Stuff Recipe Pamphlet, and got to work on it right away.

Strawberry Corny "Cake"

1 cup skim milk
2 tbsp artificial sweetener
1 ounce cornmeal
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup strawberries

Heat milk & sweetener and bring just to a boil in saucepan. Sprinkle cornmeal into milk gradually, and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat and cool. Stir in vanilla and egg. Fold in strawberries and turn into a baking dish. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes.

Here's a tip: don't bother pulling out your 9x13 pan. This cake is just a tad bit smaller than that. Luckily, I had a very teeny, tiny cake pan (thank you, Pyrex). For reference, here is a picture of the entire cake (before I baked it) sitting next to my cell phone. 

The good news is - you get to eat the entire thing! Yep. It is only one serving. Yeeehaw!

Ladies and gentlemen. Every so often, I stumble upon a Retro WW recipe that truly blows me away. It is so good, it makes me want to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony. A recipe like this spans the generations and brings us all together! Modern day Weight Watchers girls can enjoy this entire cake for a mere 6 PointsPlus! Retro WW gals can rest assured that this is a perfectly legal way to eat cake. We can all hold hands and rejoice.

Cake is good. Cake is corny. Cake is our friend.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Fellowship of the Pin

Funny story.

I was at work yesterday, having a casual conversation with one of my co-workers. We'll call her Peggy. She was telling me a story about her family, and we were chatting about life in general. You know. No big whoop.

At some point during our discussion, I noticed something shiny on her shirt. It was a pretty round brooch. It had gold swirlies with a tiny chip of diamond in the center. Upon further inspection, I realized it was the 1972 Weight Watchers 16-week award.

Holy. Flipping. Crap.

My eyes fixated on that thing like a fighter jet pilot locked on his target.

As Peggy told me a story about her grandson, I found myself staring at the pin and bursting with excitement. Where did she get it? Was she aware of its powers? Could I touch it???

So I waited for Peggy to pause from her story, and I jumped right in.

"Peggy." I said. Trying to sound calm. "Is that a 1972 Weight Watchers Pin? And if so, can I take a picture of it?"

The Precious

Luckily, she agreed. We laughed and shared some fun Retro WW stories. Turns out Peggy was a WW member as a teenager. She loved tuna, but never ate the liver, though. She joined with her mom and her sister back in the 1970's, and they all lost weight together. 

Peggy's story gave me a warm feeling inside as I thought about all the daughters and moms out there who have made Weight Watchers a "family affair". With Mother's Day approaching, I can't think of a better way to celebrate the female bond than to salute all of the women who have been inspired by their moms, daughters, sisters, aunts and best friends to get healthy and change their lives.

My mom has always been my role model. She's also my best friend and Weight Watchers buddy. We stick together through thick and thin. Then thick again and thin again. But mostly thin.

And there's nobody else I'd rather hang out with and share a carton of low fat cottage cheese.

Have a Happy & Healthy Mother's Day

Monday, May 7, 2012

WTF "Ice Cream"

After more than two years of Retro Weight Watchering, the question I am most frequently asked by my friends, family and followers is - "How long are you going to keep this up?"

My answer is simple: "Until I run out of crazy and interesting Retro WW recipes."

It never fails. Every couple months, I fear I have hit the end point. I flip through my cookbooks and magazines, but nothing strikes my fancy. Everything seems just ordinary. And then I say to myself, "OK, Mimi. I guess it's time to pack up your jello molds and call it a day."

Then I turn the page, and a beauty like this one shines upon me like a ray of sun. Just like that, the day is saved.

Please note the recipe illustration. It takes the mind to a very dark place.

When you see an Ice Cream recipe that involves Condensed Milk, Coconut Extract and Sauerkraut - you don't just WANT to make it. You HAVE to make it. You really have no choice in the matter.

I spent a LOT of time debating whether or not to invest in a bottle of coconut extract. Yeah, it was only $4.00, but still. I saved a little by purchasing the generic sauerkraut. I'm not proud of that. How did it taste? Not unlike an air freshener dipped in sauerkraut juice. Really. Try getting that flavor out of your sense memory. We might need to perform an exorcism up in here.

Perhaps I didn't rinse the sauerkraut well enough? Perhaps next time I will use a different extract flavor? Perhaps I should just move on with my life and pretend this whole thing never happened? Yep. That's the ticket.