Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Party's Over

Returning from vacation is never easy. But, as a Retro WW gal, I can tell you--it's pretty close to torture.

For seven glorious days... I ate no knox gelatin. No tuna. No bean sprouts. And I drank alcohol. A lot.

But now I am once again faced with the dreadfully horrible task of jumping back on the Retro WW Wagon.

I'm not gonna lie. There were many times today when I asked myself: Can I do it? Can I return to the exciting life of a celery slingin', jello moldin', cottage cheesin', tuna eatin' Retro WW lady??? Can I???

The answer was simple. All I had to do was look in my September 1970 issue of Weight Watchers Magazine. On the first page was Jean Nidetch - all white pant-suited up and emanating an ethereal glow while beckoning me with the following ad:

And just like that, I'm back in the saddle.

So give me a few more days to adjust, hit the grocery store, and I promise I'll be back to my old tricks again. And I haven't forgotten about that can of mackerel sitting in my pantry...

In the meantime, please stop over and check out my recent guest post on the super fantastic Carla's blog - MizFitOnline. I was honored to contribute a post about retro fitness where I discuss the importance of leg warmers, leotards and satin gym shorts. Be sure to leave a comment and share your Retro Fitness Secret!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Feeling Mackerelly...

I recently had a change of heart.

Long time followers of the 1972 Retro WW Experiment will recall a weekly feature known as Thanks But No Thanks Thursdays. In the weekly TBNT post, I would typically select a recipe from my vast collection of 1970's Retro WW cookbooks and highlight it as a dish I would never EVER consume. These dishes, commonly known as "dietetic disasters on the platter" were not only horrifying. They were, in many cases, vomit inducing.

But now. Over a year later, I have done a lot of soul searching, and have decided to actually try one of my TBNT classics. I know. Crazy.

I've carried the Fluffy Mackerel Pudding 1974 WW Recipe Card around with me for over a year. I've slept with it under my pillow. I even made a special little outfit for it to wear:

So I think I am almost ready to whip up some Fluffy Mackerel Pudding for you. But we'll all have to wait one more week. You see, I'm getting ready for my Summer vacation, and I just don't think I can handle it right now. Come on--We've waited an entire year. What's one more week?

Oh but I did buy a can of Mackerel to prepare myself. And I'll be packing it in my suitcase. What? Doesn't everyone bring a can of Mackerel on vacation with them??

It warms my heart when I think of this dusty can of mackerel getting plucked off the grocery store shelf and being thrust into a world of Retro WW excitement. Oh you lucky mackerel!! You get to be in a Fluffy Mackerel Pudding. All your Mackerel friends would be so jealous!

So, I'm off to the beach. But, be patient, my friends, because the next time we meet, I'll be fluffing some mackerel and serving it up just for you!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bring on the Booze!

Sometimes you just need a cocktail. As I prepare for vacation, I decided we needed a little break from the Retro WW action, so I enlisted the help of a fellow blogger buddy. Since my vintage WW mags and cookbooks contain no recipes containing alcohol, I asked Emily (AKA the fabulous yinzerella) to mix up some retro cocktails and snacks for us -- figure friendly of course. She did not disappoint. So gather round, ladies and gents. Let's get loaded! And be sure to stagger on over to Emily's blog for more Retro Food & Fun...

Greetings and Salutations! Firstly, I want to say how flattered I am that Miss Mimi invited me to contribute to her fab blog.

I am currently working my way through the 1972 Dinner is Served! recipe card series, but since those are most definitely NOT ‘figure-friendly’ I turned to one of my new acquisitions, The 2 in 1 International Recipe Card Collection for Mixed Drinks and Hors D’Oeuvres, published in 1977 by Random House. This set of more than 300 cards includes a section titled “Low-Calorie Drinks.”

According to The 2 in 1:

“…there is no reason to go on the wagon just because you want to lose a pound or two. In fact, if you do give up liquor and substitute high-calorie sodas, or worse, milk shakes, or worse still, if you proceed to munch your way through the cocktail hour on cheese and creamy dips, take second helpings at dinner instead of a glass of wine, and raid the fridge at nightcap time, you’ll find yourself getting fatter than ever.”

Well, that makes perfect sense to me! Yay to wine! Yay to nightcaps! Ole! to Margaritas and No-Crust Chili Pizzettes!

I reduced the amount of beef (I used 93/7 ground) to 8 oz and reduced the amount of tomato paste and egg in half, but used the same amount of veggies and spices as directed in the recipe. I didn’t have any Cayenne in stock so I used extra chili powder and instead of regular ol’ green pepper I substituted the slightly spicier Poblano.

After they were balled, pattied, smothered, and sprinkled, the pizzettes went into a 400 degree oven in a cast-iron grill pan. About 15 minutes later they emerged from the oven and I plated them along the lo-cal Margs.

Here’s the result:

I love any reason to bring out my baby sombrero.

Where the hell was the ‘chili’ in the No-Crust Chili Pizzettes??? It wasn’t there. These were bland. In hindsight I should’ve used a Jalepeno or hotter pepper and seriously upped the spices as a whole (that doesn’t mess with points!). I can only imagine how super-bland it would’ve been if the flavors were diluted by twice as much ground beef. Also, in what parallel universe does ½ cup of tomato paste + oregano + garlic = enough topping for a full tablespoon on 8 patties let alone 16?

Furthermore, I love how at the bottom of the recipe it reads, “if desired, place patties on round sesame or Euphrates crackers.” Uh…doesn’t that totally negate the point of them being ‘No-Crust’?

The Margarita was skimpy. Thong skimpy. That’s not a cocktail. That’s a shot. I ultimately made the Margarita as prescribed but put it on ice in an 8 oz glass and topped it with diet 7Up. Yum. The result is the same points-wise but is a much more satisfying beverage.

According to current WW calculations = 2 pts. per No-Crust Chili Pizzette & 3 pts. per Margarita.

The verdict: for a mini fiesta, you’d be better off dipping crudités in bean dip and putting some Bethenny Frankel’s Skinny Girl margaritas on the rocks. I’m just sayin’.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Forbidden Aspic

It's time for me to come clean. I did something "illegal" today. In fact, I have done it on many other days too. It breaks my heart to confess this, but I have cheated on the 1972 Retro WW Plan.

What did I do?

I ate ketchup.

As any retro WW gal can tell you, ketchup was "illegal" in 1972. If you wanted to have some ketchup on your food, you had to make your own from boiled tomato juice, artificial sweetener and spices. I have done this. Its not good.

You see, I live in Pittsburgh. The home of the H.J. Heinz Company, and our ketchup is sacred here. As long as I can remember, I have been smothering my food in gobs of Heinz Tomato Ketchup - and no other brand will do. You just don't mess with my ketchup.

So when I came across this wonderful Retro Salad Cookbook from Heinz, I had to have it. And in a bold and defiant move, I selected a highly scandalous recipe:

Tomato Ketchup Aspic

1 Envelope of Knox Gelatin
1/4 Cup Cold Water
1 Cup Boiling Water
1/2 Cup HEINZ Tomato Ketchup
1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice

Kaboom! Oh no she didn't!!

I felt a bit naughty when it came time to un-mold my aspic. Believe it or not, I actually had some trouble coaxing the aspic out of the mold. Was this a sign? A warning? But then suddenly I heard that familiar thunk, and my forbidden aspic was finally set free to jiggle on the plate. How can something so wrong feel so right?

So there you have it. I'm a ketchup hussy. It feels so good to finally get that off my chest.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Cool It Now

During the Summer months, it is very important to keep cool. And I don't just mean temperature-wise.

There are so many opportunities to lose your cool when the weather gets warm. Cookouts, parties, cocktails and vacations can all make the Retro WW Gal experience Summertime distress!

So what do you do when you need a quick refresher to cool you off if you begin to stray from your weight loss goals? Mix up the following ingredients, and you'll be sure to get yourself back in the correct mindset almost immediately...

The Cooler Melange
(July 1971 Weight Watchers Magazine)

1/2 Cup Orange Juice
1/2 Cup Tomato Juice
1 Cup Buttermilk
1 Teaspoon Mint Leaves

After knocking back one of these, you'll forget all about those fun Summer parties & activities. The shuddering chill up your spine will remind you to get yourself back on track right away. Yes indeed.

Because when you suck down a glass of buttermilk and juice -- playtime is over.