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 www.weightwatchers.com/loseforgood 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.