Sunday, January 30, 2011

Guest Post #11 - Are You Ready For This?

This next guest post is chilling in more ways than one. I have no words to describe it. I can't even think of a clever introduction. Just make sure you read to the very end and pay close attention to the final picture. Look very closely at this salad and you will notice one very frightening detail that will make you question everything you have ever known about bean salads. Allow me to introduce Karen and her 1974 Retro WW Bean & Mushroom Salad experiment...

I was very excited when I received this recipe, mainly because it was a great opportunity to use for the ancient box of Knox gelatin that had been hibernating in my pantry for years. I didn’t even flinch when reading the list of ingredients because although it seemed to be a very odd combination of flavors (green beans? dehydrated onions? artificial sweetener? GELATIN??), I knew that Weight Watchers would never deceive me.

Bean & Mushroom Salad

2 envelopes unflavored gelatin

2 1/2 cups cold water, divided

1 tbsp dehydrated onion flakes

1/2 cup tarragon vinegar

artificial sweetener equal to 1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp salt

2 cups whole canned green beans, drained

1/2 cup chopped pimento

1/2 cup sliced canned mushrooms, drained


Sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water in saucepan. Stir in onion flakes. Stir over low heat until gelatin dissolves. Stir in remaining water, vinegar, sweetener and salt. Chill until syrupy. Fold in beans, pimento and mushrooms. Turn into a 5-cup mold (or bowl). Chill until firm. Unmold. Garnish with watercress. Makes 4 servings.

The recipe was not hard to prepare. The only surprises I encountered were: 1) the odor from the boiled dried onions and gelatin required the opening of the kitchen window for ventilation, and 2) the resulting sediment sludge:

A less-dedicated Retro WW Recipe Attempter would have stopped the experiment at this point. I was determined to power through and finish the recipe at all costs. Next came the addition of canned vegetables, gently folded into the slightly gelled goo.

After chilling the concoction overnight, the salad was ready to unmold and serve. I invited two friends over for dinner (I decided it was best not to explain the menu before their arrival), and eagerly awaited their reviews.

It was met with mixed reviews. All of us decided that it was not something we ever wished to eat again. That said, it did somewhat resemble three-bean salad, and the flavor was not as horrible as it looked. I would recommend trying this recipe with fresh vegetables and no gelatin.

Thanks Mimi for this opportunity!

The Disappearing Guest Post #10

Enjoy this cool & delightful Retro WW treat from my twitter pal Lydia, because nothing can prepare you for what is coming next. If you think you've seen some scary Retro WW ain't seen nothin' yet! But for now, please enjoy this semi-tame and semi-yummy Zesty Cheddar Log before it disappears!

Zesty Cheddar Log (1974)

4 OZ. Cheddar Cheese, grated
1/4 Cup minced celery
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 1/2 tsp curry powder
1 medium cucumber, scored & sliced

Combine cheese, celery, and Worcestershire in a bowl. Shape into log, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Sprinkle curry powder in waxed paper. Roll cheese log in curry, coating evenly. Wrap loosely in wax paper. Chill 2 hours. Slice and serve, evenly divided with cucumber slices. Makes 2 luncheon servings.

When Mimi sent me this recipe, I was intrigued and eager to try it out. I imagined Jean Nidetch and a friend eating this after a tennis match or something. The project began with me assembling ingredients. I grated 4 oz of Vermont cheddar cheese, minced some celery to yield 1/4 of a cup, and snapped photo #1.

I combined the cheese and celery with the 1 Tbsp. of Worcestershire sauce. The mixture was very crumbly and did not easily form a log. (I wonder if cheddar in 1974 was softer.) I rolled the log in 2 1/2 tsp of curry powder on a plate.

Now I see that the recipe calls for wax paper, which would've made the rolling easier. The result was a crunchy, definitely zesty, crumbly mess when I tried to cut it. I ate some and then refrigerated it, planning to slice it and serve on scored cucumber slices the next day. In the morning, I searched the fridge for the cheese log and my husband confessed he'd tossed it, unaware of my important assignment!

The cucumber slices made a nice snack sprinkled with salt.

Review: I liked the crunch of the celery, but the curry and Worcestershire flavors were too strong and dissonant. I hope that my hunt for new ways to eat vegetables will bring me some ideas of what else to do with celery and cucumber!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Guest Post #9 - Kiss My Aspic

Have you met my Bloggy BFF, Heidi? She's quite a kick in the kitchen. That's why, when she asked me for a Retro WW Recipe, I have to admit - I didn't hold back on the gross factor. But I knew she could handle it. Check out her fantabulous blog kitschenfeast and you'll see why. Ladies. Hold onto your girdles. I give you: Creamy Luncheon Aspic.

You're Invited.

Nothing does wonders for the waistline like a ladies' luncheon circa '72. Cottage cheese was served 10 ways from Friday at card tables all across the United States. Often with pear halves, always with a green garnish.

When Mimi offered up the recipe for Creamy Luncheon Aspic, I couldn't wait to oblige. In big part because my better half presented me with the present of a lifetime this holiday season: a food processor! Visions of cheddar ale soups and pestos had been dancing in my head -- who knew one of my appliances virgin voyages would include gelatine. And Cottage cheese.

May I present to you -

Creamy Luncheon Aspic

1 envelope knox gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
1 1/3 cups cottage cheese
2 tbsp mayo
1 tsp Worcestershire
few drops red hot sauce

Sprinkle gelatin over cold water in small saucepan. Place over low heat, stirring constantly until gelatin dissolves. Remove from heat. Combine remaining ingredients in blender (or food processor) and puree until smooth. Add to gelatin mixture; mix well. Pour into small ring mold which has been rinsed in cold water. Chill. Unmold and fill center with greens. Makes 2 servings.

I must confess my guess - that the ladies I'd invite over to lunch on this mess-terpiece might not stick around for dessert. They would be, after all, watching their figures.

Thanks, Mimi, for a recipe that really broke the mold! Or, broke me of molding [and gelling]!

If your gag reflex needs some flexing, come visit me at - I've been known to induce vomiting from time to time.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Guest Post #8 - Time For Dessert!

When my Twitter pal Carrie asked for a Retro WW dessert recipe for her guest post challenge, I was thrilled. Up 'til now, no one had been brave enough to attempt a dessert. And, trust me, this one is worth the wait. Are you scared? You should be. But we WILL get through this. So pour yourself a cuppa joe, grab a Xanax and enjoy Carrie's "Brownies"...

This dessert was a classic WW attempt at making gelatin and some other random ingredients into "food." Therefore, I thought it deserved a classic WW-style photo — hence, the random props.

Chocolate "Brownie" Dessert (1974)
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
3/4 cup boiling water
1 1/3 cup non fat dry milk
artificial sweetener equal to 1 cup sugar
2 tbsp chocolate extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
red & green food coloring

Sprinkle gelatin over cold water in blender container to soften. Add boiling water; process at medium speed until dissolved. Add remaining ingredients, except food coloring; process at high speed to blend. Pour into an 8x8 square pan. Chill uncovered until firmly set. Makes 4 servings (although, we stretched it to 6). At 4 servings it’s 4 PP per serving; 6 servings makes it 3 points.

I had about half the ingredients in my pantry, and most of the others were easy enough to find, but I will warn anyone attempting this recipe that chocolate extract is not readily available. I had to hit a health food store in my community to locate some. Also, do not make this in a glass pan. The bottom gets quite shiny and unappetizing. I would also recommend not attempting this particular recipe at all. Ever.

I’m going to wager a guess that working with gelatin is akin to working in certain types of clay. There’s an art to it that I’m certainly not looking to master. One of the joys of this particular recipe was the realization that gelatin foams … a lot.

Also, I am going to go out on a limb here and guess that Weight Watchers members in the ‘70s resigned themselves to the fact that their food was going to look horrifying. Personally, I couldn’t get past the gelatinous gray goo that looked something like the beverage Luke Skywalker drinks at the beginning of the original Star Wars movie. I’ve always wondered what that was; now I know.

And yes, I said it was gray. Trust me, I tried for brown by mixing my red and green food coloring (incidentally, the recipe never said when to add the food coloring, so I guessed). It just started turning this putrid shade of lavender, and I admit, I ultimately gave up. After it set, it did darken up a bit, but as you can see from the pictures, it’s definitely not the rich shade of brown one would expect from traditional brownies. I’m guessing this is the reason it was dubbed “brownie” dessert.

All in all, the mixture itself tasted fine — like sugar-free chocolate typically does. But the texture of the fully set product was abysmal. I got through one bite of it, took a second, and had to spit it out. My husband ate the remainder. Then again, he eats week-old, cold Chinese food mixed with mustard and salad dressing without batting an eye. He also renamed the concoction “gray matter.” But bless his heart, he is always appreciative of my efforts: “You’re a provider, honey — meat, beans and gray matter!” (I had served it with barbecue chicken and baked beans.)

It was an adventure, to say the least.

Speaking of adventures, I’m working on blogging more regularly, and I’m currently a Tumblr addict.

If you’re looking for a few laughs with a heaping side of judgment:

If you’re looking for heart-felt reflections on a quest to start a family:

Or just follow my random, stream of consciousness on Twitter @carriepack.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mystery Salad Guest Post #7

One of my favorite things about Retro WW is the plethora of bizarro salads we have to choose from. These salads typically contain ingredients that simply should not EVER be combined together in nature. But yet somehow, in the end-- they seem to work. Tracy from TracyCooksItRight was willing to try one of these salads. I have no idea how she ate this, but she did it. A warning for those with weak stomachs: the following salad mixes gherkins, bananas, and mustard. I'm totally not making that up.

Hawaiian Beachcomber's Salad
8 oz. canned tuna
1/2 cup diced celery
2 tbsp chopped gherkins
1 medium banana, sliced
2 small slices pineapple (canned in own juice), diced - plus 2 tbsp juice
2 tbsp mayo
1 tsp dry mustard
2 cups shredded lettuce

Combine all ingredients except lettuce. Mix thoroughly, and divide evenly into 2 large bowls holding shredded lettuce. Makes 2 servings.

Since my mother and I were Weight Watchers during the 1960's and 70's, the recipes of that time are nostalgic to me. My experience in your Retro experiment was typical of what I've been reading from others. The recipe for "Hawaiian Beachcomber's Salad" sounded interesting, to say the least, but ended up tasting quite good. It was easy to put together, low in the present day Points Plus value, and filling. Thank you for the opportunity to participate. It brought back fond memories of my days as a child Weight Watcher. Thanks Mimi.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Very Salty Guest Post #6

My friend Roz at Weightingfor50 is a fun & fitness loving foodie with flair! So I knew she would turn this 1974 recipe for "Jackstraw LoMein" into a gourmet feast! She put her own spin on a Retro WW classic and made it into a modern day instant hit!

Jackstraw LoMein

8 onz cooked beef – cut into match like sticks

1 cup sliced celery

1/2 cup boiling water

1 cup shredded lettuce

1 1/3 cups cooked spaghetti

1 cup bean sprouts

1/4 cup beef bouillon

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 tsp dry mustard

Several things went through my mind when I saw the recipe: “shredded lettuce that is going to be cooked – gross”? “I see sodium in my future, and lots of it.” “thank God there is no liver in this dish” and “this may not end well”. BUT….I gathered and prepared all the necessary ingredients and went forth.

Combine celery and boiling water in a saucepan and cook over medium heat for 6 minutes. Water brought to a boil, celery in, timer set for 6 minutes. Check!

Add lettuce and cook for 2 minutes longer. Lettuce in, timer set for 2 more minutes. Check!

Drain. No check, pan was already dry.

Add spaghetti, bean sprouts and beef. Check!

Combine bouillon, soy sauce and mustard – mix well and pour over mixture in saucepan. Check!

Toss gently and serve. Not check.

Know what, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be (seems cooked lettuce has basically no flavour or texture at all) however, it was UBER salty (despite my lower sodium broth and soy sauce) but BLAND! (all capitals, VERY VERY bland!)

Luckily, I had a 2011 “contingency plan” on the counter in case it wasn’t to our tastes. Sorry Mimi and Jean Nidetch! I confess, I added some steamed red and yellow peppers, a bit of sesame oil, some hoisin sauce, garlic and some Chinese 5 spice powder.

Served with chopsticks…..and there you have it. The “Weighting for 50″ 1972 Retro Weight Watchers Experiment (with a 2011 twist).

Was the recipe edible? Absolutely! Was it enjoyable? No, can’t say it was, but once I doctored it up, dinner was a-ok! Our sodium levels are likely through the roof tonight, but other than that, I’d say the experiment was a success!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Very Spicy Guest Post #5

When Margo asked me for a "South of the Border" themed Retro WW Recipe. I knew it had to be Marcy's Enchiladas. The only question: Who is Marcy? We never did find out, but please enjoy Margo (aka: ShesNachoMama) and her Retro WW enchilada challenge!

First, let me say that I am honored to participate in Mimi’s blog-speriment, having been a lurker here at her blog for quite a long while now. Also, like Mimi, I am a HUGE fan of Jean Nidetch. Her autobiography was one of the most inspiring books I’ve read in the last year-seriously! Naturally, I requested a retro-ww recipe with a “South-of-the-Border” flair (like me.) And Mimi did not disappoint. I was delighted to receive the following recipe (almost as old as I am!) in my electronic mailbox:

"Marcy's Enchilada" (1974)

1/2 cup tangy tomato sauce

1 medium canned tomato, chopped

1tbsp chopped green chili pepper

1tbsp dehydrated onion flakes

2 tsp artificial sweetener

1/2 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp oregano leaves

1/4 tsp basil leaves

Dash garlic powder

1 slice bread, toasted (ok-here’s where I actually “rofl!”)

2 oz. Cooked chicken, chopped

1 oz. Grated montereyjack cheese

Combine sauce, tomato, chili pepper, onion flakes, sweetener, cumin, salt, oregano, basil and garlic powder in saucepan. Simmer 12 minutes. Place toast in baking dish. Pour sauce over. Place chicken on top, then spoon grated cheese over chicken. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Makes one serving.

So, I made the recipe exactly as instructed. And? It wasn’t that bad! The only downer was the soggy toast (nasty!) I guess corn tortillas were not nationally available in 1974 as they are today. But the stuff that went on the toast was actually pretty yummy! I calculated the recipe at 7 modern-day pointsplus per serving.

Now, I did have a hunch that the toast would come out soggy, so I took the liberty of preparing my own, lightened up, enchilada casserole-for dos...

Nacho Mama’s Enchiladas (serves 2 @6 pointsplus per svg)

2 oz. Cooked chicken, chopped

28oz can diced tomatoes

1/2c Enchilada Sauce (I like Las Palmas)

1/2c diced mushrooms

1tbsp chopped green chili pepper

1 diced zucchini

1 garlic clove, diced

1/4c diced onion

1/4c frozen corn kernels

1/8c chopped cilantro

6 large black olives, sliced

1/4t Chili powder

4 corn tortillas (I’m lucky enough to live where they are made fresh daily-this makes a big difference!)

2 oz. Grated light cheddar cheese

Spray Oil

1. Preheat oven to 350

2. Get your iron skillet nice and hot! Then spray each tortilla on both sides and toast until slightly crispy (WATCH YOUR TORTILLAS! They burn fast) Set aside.

3. In a large saucepot, combine all ingredients EXCEPT the cheese and olives. Bring to a boil, then simmer about 10 min.

4. Spray your small Pyrex casserole dish (I used my Mama Lola’s oval dish but a 5x9 dish will work perfectly) with oil. Coat the bottom of the dish with the sauce, then layer in the following order:




-sliced olives

You should be able to get at least 2 layers. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Makes 2 HUGE servings.

So here’s Nacho Mama’s vs. Marcy’s Enchiladas (mine are on the left):

OK, remember that mine is TWO servings! Just so you can get a better idea, I plated up a half of a single serving of each:

So the verdict: Marcy’s Enchiladas were not bad, but not something my dear, late Mama Lola would want in her casserole dish. Plus? (pun intended) They 1974 version not only had a higher pointsplus value, but I’m pretty sure that mine are far more nutritious since they are crammed with veggies. And mine are more filling because, well, there’s simple more of them per serving.

That said, if I had to live on the scary retro food that Mimi has braved for all our sakes, I’d be pretty darn pleased with Marcy’s Enchiladas, soggy toast and all. Ole!

Wishing you love with extra cheese, Nacho Mama


The Incredible Edible Guest Post #4

Today's Retro WW Guest Post Challenge submission is from an amazing lady named Lynn in South Carolina, USA. Wait until you hear how much weight she has lost! She is quite a WW success story. She can do anything! She can even make a 1972 Retro WW Recipe look delicious. Please enjoy Lynn's Chicken Cacciatore:

I am so happy to get to be a part of Mimi’s Retro WW Experiment. I was not a member of Weight Watchers in 1972 but by 1978, I had joined for my first time, lost 35 lbs and dropped out without reaching my goal weight. I have rejoined, lost and dropped out numerous times without ever reaching my goal and every time gaining back all of the weight I had lost plus more. The last time I rejoined I had ballooned to 376 lbs. I vowed I would stick to the program until one of two things happened; either I died or I reached my goal weight. I reached my goal weight in June having lost 196.4 lbs. I am now less than half of the woman I once was. I invite you to visit my blog where I frequently write about my journey. If you are someone struggling with your weight, please take the time to read the letter I wrote to the weight I lost (October 18, 2010).

Oh, and in case you are interested my next goal is to become the best leader WW has ever had! Are you paying attention David Kirchoff?

I made this for dinner tonight and served it on top of a small serving of whole-wheat pasta. We also had steamed broccoli, and a small salad. I thought it was great but my husband’s reaction was less positive. It went like this, “This tastes like a similar dish you made back in the 70’s, not my favorite” You can’t help but love his enthusiasm!

Chicken Cacciatore
4 (10 oz) Skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup tomato puree
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup dehydrated onion flakes ( I used real onions)
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped pimentos
1 garlic clove, minced
1/8 tsp rosemary leaves
pinch allspice
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp wine vinegar

Sprinkle chicken with salt & pepper, Brown over high heat in non-stick pan, turning frequently. Transfer chicken to baking dish. Set aside. Combine tomato puree, mushrooms, onion flakes, celery, pimentos, garlic, rosemary and allspice. Cook over low heat 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and wine vinegar. Spoon over each chicken breast. Bake at 325 for 35 minutes or until chicken is cooked. Makes 4 servings

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Guest Post #3 - A Carb Dilemma?

This Retro WW Guest Post Submission comes to us all the way from Australia. Yes, folks... The Retro WW love is spreading world-wide! We are officially an International movement for Pete's Sake! Please do enjoy my new friend Georgia's rendition of an old favorite...

Hi, I’m Georgia, food lover and former Weight Watcher. You can find my ramblings over at

As a lover of all Italian carbs (who isn’t?!), I was initially thrilled when Mimi sent me my Retro WW Recipe for “Spaghetti”. However, those pesky inverted commas got the better of me, and my “Spaghetti” was...umm…rather lacking in the carb department! Here’s why:

“Spaghetti” (1966)

2 tsp dehydrated onion flakes
1 clove garlic, minced
salt & pepper
12 oz. tomato juice
1 tsp sugar substitute
large can bean sprouts

Cook first 6 ingredients together to make think sauce. Simmer about 1 hour. Drain & rinse sprouts. Cook until soft. Dry thoroughly. Pour sauce over sprouts.

Sadly, I was unable to emulate the recipe in full – tinned bean sprouts are not available in Australian supermarkets. I suspect they were circa 1966, but can only be thankful that the fresh variety has superseded their canned counterpart.

So what can I say? Unnecessarily sweet, insipid and a ridiculously long cooking time (I can’t begin to describe how strange it feels to simmer what is essentially just tomato juice for an hour), and yet kinda a 1960s onion flakey, bean shoot-y way!

I’m not sure that I can say I’m an advocate of the sauce, but in a moment of health-inspired madness, the concept of using bean sprouts as a pasta substitute could just be a winner. Next time perhaps the bean shoots could be paired with a more traditional meaty bolognaise sauce…but let’s not forget to keep the 1960s theme alive with a prawn cocktail for starters and a nice cherry brandy to round out the meal. On second thought, perhaps not!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Guest Post #2 - Are You Inspired?

When Clare from told me she was interested in writing a guest post for the Retro WW Recipe challenge, I asked her what type of recipe she wanted to try. SOUP was her choice, and I knew immediately what dish to send her. My only advice? Light some funky candles and put on some mood music, because this soup is groovy, baby.

Inspiration Soup
3 cups tomato juice
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups canned bean sprouts, drained & rinsed

1 cup drained canned asparagus plus 1/2 cup liquid
1 cup drained canned green beans plus 1/2 cup liquid

1/2 cup canned sliced bamboo shoots, drained & rinsed
2 ribs celery, chopped
4 beef bouillon cubes
4 envelopes unflavored gelatin

1 cup cold water few drops Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup dehydrated onion flakes
Dash of each: celery salt, garlic powder, salt, pepper, oregano, thyme

Combine tomato juice, water, sprouts, asparagus/liquid, green beans/liquid, bamboo shoots, celery and bouillon in a saucepan. Bring to boil. Sprinkle gelatin over cold water to soften. Add to soup. Stir in remaining ingredients. Simmer 20 minutes, adding more water if needed. Divide evenly. Makes 8 servings.

Mimi - Thanks so much for the opportunity to contribute to the Retro WW Recipe Challenge! As I looked over all of the ingredients for my Inspiration Soup I must admit I felt completely inspired to skip dinner altogether. And then there was that pungent, nauseating smell as the cooking began. I could barely bring myself to taste the end result so I pinched my nose and closed my eyes was actually really good!

Even my family enjoyed it - so now we have a fridge-full of soup for dinner tomorrow too:). Cooking tomorrow night's dinner for the family on a Monday - how very 'Mad Men'! Now I just need to quit my job, start smoking and learn how to crochet. I am inspired!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Retro WW Guest Post Experiment - Phase 1

It's only appropriate that the very first guest post submission for this crazy challenge should come from the #1 lady in my life. She is a constant inspiration for this blog and was my very first follower. Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present to you Ms. Barby and her "Cottage Noodles"...

As Mimi's mom and an "old" member of the original 1972 WW program, I was delighted to be a a part of the Retro WW Experiment. I chose the recipe Cottage Noodles. (Pg. 67 in the 1972 WW Cookbook) Mimi and I love cottage cheese, eggs, and pasta in general. These 3 items were a staple in my avocado colored "fridge". When I was on the 1972 program, I counted the minutes when I could eat my lunch, which was the legal portion of cottage cheese with the legal portion of cooked macaroni. I mixed the 2 together and ate it COLD. This was my happy lunch. It was so much better then scoffing my tuna from the can. I probably ate it everyday. Boy!!! Have things changed. Thank goodness! So try the recipe, it tasted good - and Happy Weight Watcher"ing" ~Mimi's Mom

PS: I wouldn't mind making another guest appearance Retro WW style, if Mimi invites me again. It was alot of fun!!!!

Cottage Noodles
2/3 Cup Cottage Cheese
3 tbsp skim milk
1/4 tsp lemon juice
1 cup cooked egg noodles
1/4 cup diced pimento
2 hard cooked eggs, sliced
salt & pepper
1/4 tsp caraway seeds
1/4 tsp Worcestershire

Combine first 3 ingredients in blender and whiz smooth. Layer remaining ingredients in small baking dish and cover with blended mixture. Bake at 350F for 15 minutes until bubbly hot! Makes 2 luncheon servings. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Pause That Refreshes...

It's Sunday night. Time to unwind.

I've been super-busy all weekend sending out Retro WW Recipes to the many brave folks who stepped up for the Retro WW Guest Post Challenge. I'm not gonna lie to you: It's going to be crazy! And I'm a wee bit frightened.

Over the next few weeks, I will feature submissions from all over the Retro WW world. Brave men & women who, for whatever reason, have decided to try their luck at cooking up a bizarre and interesting recipe - courtesy of our friend and founder, Jean Nidetch.

So now I get to put up my feet and relax with a cocktail.

A 1966 Retro WW Tomato-Sauerkraut Cocktail, that is. Oh yea. This is Retro WW, baby. Only the brave and the strong stomachs survive!

Let the challenge begin!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Attention All Retro WW Wannabees!

I'm looking for a few brave souls.

Are you a Retro WW fan? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to whip up a gag-tastic Retro WW recipe and serve it up to your horrified friends and family?

Well now is your chance to officially join the Retro WW movement...

Here's the skinny:
  1. Email or Tweet me and let me know you'd like to give it a whirl.
  2. Let me know what type of recipe you'd like to try--be it snack, dessert, soup, main dish, mocktail, etc. -- I'll try to find & provide one to suit you.
  3. Get the goods, get in the kitchen and get to work!
When it's done, just send me a short post (and a pic or two) and I'll add your Retro WW experiment to the bunch! I'll also be sure to link back to your blog if you link to mine.

Ladies--let's get ready to mold, roast, poach, whip and spread the Retro WW Love!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Magic Mushrooms

Did you know that in the Retro WW universe, a mushroom can magically become a peanut? It's true.

Since nuts are strictly forbidden - or illegal as we Retro WW gals like to say - the alternative is to make these tasty little "Roast Peanuts" from the 1966 Weight Watchers Cookbook.

Now, if you have followed this blog for a while, you know exactly what those quotation marks around the title of today's recipe mean, don't you? For a quick review of the significance of quotation marks on Retro WW, please click here.

So now you know: These "Roast Peanuts" are not peanuts at all. They are canned button mushrooms, drained, salted and roasted at a low heat for one hour until they are brown and dry and withered and crunchy. Yum?

Try them if you dare! Jean Nidetch proclaims they are "just like peanuts."

I beg to differ. But in a pinch? They'll do. (And they're ZERO PointsPlus for all of you modern day WW gals out there!)

Many thanks to the fabulous Ms. Bitchcakes for the recent mention and a very big Retro WW Welcome to all of the new readers who have stumbled upon my crazy blog. Enjoy your weekend, everyone! Grab a beer, a handful of "roast peanuts", and paint the town red! Cheers!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

To Jean, With Love - Part 2

Now that 2011 is in full swing, I find myself thinking about goals and aspirations.

The overarching goal of my 40th year was to fit into my skinny jeans. An admittedly vain and shallow goal - but quite an adventure, nonetheless. And one I accomplished in the eleventh hour, I should add.

But there was another goal. One that may have slipped by you if you weren't paying close attention.

This goal is a curious one.... One that I have blogged about before...

And one that I will continue to pursue into the new year and beyond.

Jean Nidetch, the founder of Weight Watchers and author of the 1972 Revised WW Program Cookbook, will turn 88 this year. I'm pretty sure she can still whip up a lean, mean gelatine mold, and I spent all of 2010 practicing this skill. If there were a Jean Nidetch fan club--I'd be the President, Secretary and Treasurer. Truth be told: I consider myself officially primed and ready for any Jean Nidetch encounter that may arise.

So Jean--if you're out there--feel free to shoot me a call, text or Tweet, and let's meet up for a good ol' 1972 WW Cook-Off. I'll bring the Knox. It'd be the cherry on top of my Retro WW Experiment!

Until then, I'll be waiting by the phone and polishing my copper molds.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Worlds Colliding

I am truly a retro girl living in a modern day world. Or is it the other way around? I can never tell.


Since I have been doing so well on the new WW PointsPlus plan, yet I still have a strange affinity for those wacky & weird Retro WW recipes--I wondered what would happen if I took the two programs and mashed them together in some strange way? A sort of freakishly morphed version of the two WW plans I love so much.

I think it might look a little something like this...

I've noticed that many of the PointsPlus Power Foods also happen to be "legal foods" from the 1972 WW Program. So there are many opportunities for overlap.

Take, for instance, the recipe pictured above from the 1972 Revised WW Program Cookbook.

Peas Francaise

1/2 head shredded lettuce
8 oz. peas
2 tsp. dehydrated onion flakes
dash artificial sweetener
1/4 teaspoon butter flavoring
Salt & Pepper

Simmer all ingerdients in a saucepan for 15 minutes.
Makes 2 servings

Did I add some hot sauce? YES!

Did I add a Boca Burger? YES!

It was filling, delicious and only 4 PointsPlus for the entire bowl... A Pyrex bowl, I might add. Plus--it's Francaise which is code for "fancy". Right?

Do you think Jean Nidetch would approve?

Retro WW Hangover Cure

Happy New Year! And a Happy Hangover to all of you crazy kids who partied like it was 1972!

If you are like me, and you woke up with a little pounding in the head this morning, feeling a bit green around the gills -- Here's a surefire Retro WW hangover cure that is sure to do the trick!


2 cups hot, double strength coffee
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
2 cups chilled, diet orange soda

Combine hot coffee with lemon juice and rind. Chill. Add soda & stir. Makes enough for the whole rowdy crowd!

Now go back to bed and sleep it off!

Have a great year, everyone! Thanks for hanging out with me in 2010. Hope we can have lots more fun in 2011!