Sunday, October 28, 2012


There is a lot of scary shit going on this week. A hurricane mega-storm is whipping our way. There is a cut-throat presidential election turning us all into frothing maniacs. It is also the creepy Halloween season.

And I made this:

The Pie of the Dead

That's right. I may have actually conjured up the most disgusting thing ever created in any kitchen since the beginning of food and time. My husband took one look at it, and declared it "The Necronomicon of Pies" and begged me to throw it away. I have been lovingly referring to it as simply, "Frankenpie". Jean Nidetch officially calls it...

Fluffy Chocolate "Pie"
Grand Illusions

1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 cups chocolate flavored dietetic carbonated beverage
artificial sweetener
1/2 teaspoon chocolate extract
1/4 teaspoon imitation butter
dash salt
few drops brown food coloring

Dissolve gelatin over beverage in saucepan over medium heat. Add remaining ingredients. Chill until slightly set. Whip with rotary beater until thick. Transfer to 9 inch pie plate. Chill until firm. Makes 2 servings.

First of all - how funny is it that Jean Nidetch actually printed the words "Grand Illusions" under the title of this recipe in the 1972 Weight Watchers Program Cookbook? Like this recipe would actually fool anyone into thinking they are eating a real piece of pie.

A Slice of Hell

 If I served this to any normal person, they would look at me like I had totally lost my mind. They might even call the local authorities to have me committed. And they sure as shit would never eat it. Grand illusions? Um. No.

Also - There are two problems with this recipe.

1 - It is not easy to find dietetic chocolate flavored carbonated beverage in the year 2012.

2 - It is not easy to find chocolate extract in the year 2012.

So I decided to go with diet cream soda and vanilla extract. I wound up with a vanilla flavored Fluffy Brown "Pie" which actually turned out to be a sort of a khaki-grey color. And it really wasn't fluffy at all. And it was frankly upsetting to even have it in my fridge.

What a freaking nightmare.

It didn't taste too bad, but honestly I couldn't get past the horribly freakish color and the truly pitiful state of this dish. To call this a pie is really just a tragedy. I know I have made a lot of crazy-ass excuses for food on this blog, but this is where I have to draw the line.

Some things are just plain wrong.

source: arcaneimages

Have a creepy Halloween! Hope your treats are yummy!

Monday, October 22, 2012


A few weeks ago (or maybe months - I lose track sometimes), I won a very special prize. The Caker Cooking Blog held a giveaway, and the grand prize was a signed copy of Caker Brian's best-selling book, Natural Order, as well as a Caker Recipe hand-picked by the author himself.

Here is a reenactment of my reaction when I found out I had won:

source: Reminisce Magazine

First, let me say that Brian's book is beautiful. It is touching and funny and real. Everyone should read it. No really. Go get it NOW.

The recipe that Brian picked for me, however, is another story altogether.

Ladies and Gentlemen.  The recipe I am talking about is the always ubiquitous PINK THING.

When I announced to the Twitter Universe that I would be making the Pink Thing, I received many responses. Some where intrigued. (What is it??)  Some where amused. (It sounds dirty!) Some even had their own versions (Pink Fluff, Pink Sh*t, etc.), but most just wanted to know why. God WHY?!?

Now, when I saw this recipe, I had two immediate thoughts.
  1. I would have to lighten it up. You know - Do it up WW Style.
  2. I would have to invite some friends over to share my Pink Thing. Because this recipe makes a crapload.
Typically, my Retro WW recipes only make one or two servings. So I was surprised to see this recipe served eight! I had no other choice than to call up some friends and tell them to head over to my place for a Pink Thing party!

I even selected a beverage to go along with the Pink Thing.

Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale FTW!

Luckily I remembered to prepare my Pink Thing the night before, because it really thickened up and took on a nice pink hue just in time for the party. When I pulled it out of the fridge, and popped off the lid, we all just sort of stood around it in a circle and stared for a moment. No one said a word.

Until one brave friend broke the silence.

"It's really... Um... Glossy."

Then I served it up. As you can see, I was really excited.

My husband and his friend gobbled up the Lion's Share of the Pink Thing. They really, really liked it. Of course, they had just done a Jager Bomb - so maybe that could've had something to do with it?

I should note that the Pink Thing came from the London Newcomer's Cookbook, 1983. Of course, I totally Weight Watchered it up by using all low-fat ingredients. I also left out the chopped pecans, because - frankly I forgot. 

So let us review. In summary: Jager Bombs, Bacon Beer, and Pink Thing.

Did we enjoy our evening? What do you think?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Happy Birthday Jean Nidetch!

Jean is out there. Somewhere.

And today is her birthday.

This makes me smile.

In 1970, Jean made the following statement on page 30 of her book "The Story of Weight Watchers":

You know something? Your own birthday cake is not fattening. You can hold it close to you, you can smell it, you can serve it. It's not fattening. It's only fattening when it gets into your stomach. It gets into your stomach via the weapon that's attached to your wrist. You're in control of the weapon, so blow out the candles, serve the cake to your guests and then have a half a grapefruit. Your stomach doesn't know it's your birthday. 

Can't argue with that, I guess.

So today I celebrate Jean's birthday in the best way I know how - with a great big pink grapefruit and a glass of champagne.

Here's  to you, Jean. May you enjoy many, many more birthday grapefruits.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

True Cookie Confessions

Here's another Retro Weight Watchers recipe that sounds awful on paper, but actually turns out to be shockingly edible and (dare I say) even a bit tasty in reality.

Chocolate Cookies

1/3 cup dry milk
1 oz quick oatmeal
1 to 3 tsp cocoa
1 tsp vanilla extract
water to moisten

Combine all ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Drop by spoonfuls onto a non-stick cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 6-8 minutes. Makes one serving for the morning meal.

I should stop here to mention that Jean Nidetch, the founder of Weight Watchers, loves cookies. She calls them her "Frankenstein Food". She is also a self-proclaimed "closet cookie-eater". In fact, legend has it that at the very first Weight Watchers meeting ever, Jean confessed to her fellow overweight friends that she used to hide cookies in her laundry hamper and then secretly binge-eat them in the bathroom after her family went to sleep.

I guess this would explain why there are so many "legal" cookie recipes in the Retro WW cookbooks and magazines. 

Yes. I took a bite outta one. I couldn't wait.

You guys. These cookies are good. And the best part is that the whole recipe is one serving! I made four little cookies and had them all to myself with a big ol' cup of coffee.

But next time, I am totally making one giant cookie. Just because I can.