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.