Dinner Party Cooking – Circa 1946

Imagine eating something that looked like this, in 2014. I certainly can’t. Pink ice cream looking substance in a cantaloupe shell with some interesting placements of fruit.  It’s something about the bananas… just makes it so … wrong. It doesn’t look very appetizing. Thank goodness for me we don’t still have to eat like this, but just in case you are throwing a vintage party and need some ideas, let’s take a trip back in time.

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Lets go back again to the 1940’s and see what we should make for dinner tonight.  Put on the radio, roll up your hair and put on an adorable apron. Let’s consult my Lily Wallace New American Cookbook for some dinner ideas. Hmmmm .. . How about a Spaghetti Crown with Savory Spinach?


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Nooooo … I’m not really in the mood for fried cocktail pork sausages. What else looks good……  Oh I know, what about everyone’s favorite Spaghetti with Tuna Fish. Drat, I’m all fresh out of smelly canned tuna. Dang, that one looked promising!

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Maybe we should stick to something more traditional, like macaroni and cheese.  So many varieties to choose from…… Maybe I should just combine ALL these ingredients and put them in a jello mold. That’s what they did back then right?

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OK, now for dessert. I really need some inspiration. I could make one of these:

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These look too scary to eat, like some crazy old evil witch deep in forest made them to fatten me up so she can turn me into a stew or something…. they do not look appetizing in the least bit.  Besides, who puts a whole orange on top of a slice of cake and slathers it in some shiny sugary glaze? Or a circle of poop cookie filled with red jelly? Or a whole mushroom on top of a piece of cake? A witch I tell you, a witch. If you EVER see these at a party you are attending, RUN, don’t walk to the nearest exit and don’t ever go back!

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NO, NO, NO, and NO … none of these will do. It has to be really special. Something no one has had before that will really wow a crowd.


I’ve got it.. how about this! Recipe # 2978 PORK CAKE – YUMMMMMMY

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*** T H E *** E N D ***

Pear Bruschetta

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This is a wonderful and easy appetizer to make, especially when you can get a good deal on some red pears. All the flavors work so well together and compliment each other. The creamy cheese with the sweet pears, the toasted smokey bread and the pears make this a mouth watering dish that is so delicious I actually eat for dinner alone. Be prepared to impress your guests with this stunning taste sensation!

The first time I ever had this I was at some Italian restaurant many years ago and  it was with made with the marscapone. It was heavenly. The ingredients so simple, I knew it would be easy to recreate at home. The first time I made it, I bought cambozola cheese for some reason and I loved it even more. Cambozola has a stronger taste and is still creamy and spreadable, but it’s not quite as pungent and blue cheese.  Sometimes I have trouble finding one or the other, so I use which ever was available. 

If you are lucky enough to have a Trader Joe’s in your area, they carry a balsamic glaze that is out of this world. Even though I love to make as much from scratch as possible, I do love the convenience of not having to whip up some balsamic reduction just for a snack.

For a dinner I make 2-3 larger pieces per person. For an appetizer or afternoon snack, I make 1-2 small-medium sized pieces.

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Trader Joe’s Balsamic Glaze


 ::: Pear Bruschetta :::

Makes enough for 2-6 people

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Ingredients

  • 1-2 ripe red pears
  • cambozola or marscapone cheese
  • 1 loaf of rustic, sourdough, or french bread or baguette
  • honey
  • balsamic glaze
  • 6-12 fresh spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)
  • drizzle olive oil (optional)

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Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Slice bread loaf into about 1/2 inch slices and spread out on baking sheet
  3. Bake slices for about 10-15 minutes, or until toasted to your liking
  4. Wash and dry the pears, then slice into no more than 1/4 in thick
  5. Chop about 1/4 cup pecans and set aside
  6. Once the bread is done, let cool for about 5 minutes
  7. Spread a thin layer of cheese on each toast
  8. Place 2-3 spinach leaves on top of the cheese
  9. Drizzle a little honey over the spinach
  10. Place 3-5 slices of pears on top of the spinach
  11. Drizzle a little olive oil and balsamic glaze on top of the pears
  12. Sprinkle with the chopped pecans

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1 Month Green Smoothie Challenge

My goal in mid April was to have one healthy smoothie for breakfast, every day for one month. So far I am on  day # 12. A healthy smoothie is one that is blended with fruits & vegetables; things like avocados, kale, spinach, carrots, fruits, yogurt, coconut water, almond milk, 100% fruit juice or 100% fruit & veggie juice.  No added sugar, no ice cream or frozen yogurt, just things that give you natural energy and tons of vitamins.

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Having at least one smoothie like this a day, will give you all of your required 5 serving of fruits & veggies each day. You will soon start to have more energy and you might start to care more about what you are eating the rest of the day. Personally for me, it gets my day started off on the right foot and while I absolutely adore the taste of coffee, when I have a smoothie first thing in the morning, before any other food or drinks, I notice I am less hungry and I don’t NEED that cup of coffee to function. I end up having a cup of coffee later in the morning, or early afternoon, and sometimes I can just skip it altogether and I don’t get a caffeine headache.

The other reason this Green Smoothie Challenge is since it’s only one smoothie per morning,  you don’t have to give up eating regular meals for lunch and dinner. This way you are guaranteed to get the nutrients your body desperately needs. Starting your day off with something in your stomach besides coffee, doughnuts, bagels, and croissants, or nothing at all, is so much better for you. You will have more brain power at work, pay better attention in school, and have more energy overall. Some smoothie/juice diets are for several weeks and for “cleansing”, and yes I will do those from time to time. For a true cleansing you only are allowed juices or smoothies. When I do a cleanse, I have 2-3 healthy smoothies a day, and a salad for lunch with only fruits, beans, nuts, and veggies, topped with a low fat balsamic vinaigrette.  No cheeses, no meats, no creamy dressings, no croutons, and no bacon bits!  90%-100% of your food intake should be vegetables or fruits during the cleanse.

To get you started on your 1 Month Green Smoothie Morning Challenge, I have given you all the tools and instructions on how to become a smoothie expert. Below are the instructions to make the best, creamiest, and highly nutritious beverages. Mose people are afraid to try these because of their  green or brownish colors. If you think about it, those are colors in nature, healthy, not dyed, untampered with natural goodness. Please give it a try, I promise you, you cannot taste the greens in these smoothies. They are just amazingly tasty cups of magnificent splendor. Once you go green, you will be hooked.


Note: you will want a combination of fresh greens, fresh fruits and frozen fruit. The frozen fruit helps your smoothie be nice and cold, I personally prefer mine cold. If you prefer to drink your smoothie closer to room temperature, then use all fresh fruit. Also, you will want to have just enough for about a week, otherwise if you buy too much fresh produce it will go bad before you can use it. I like to alternate my greens every 5-7 days. I use one up until it’s gone. Leafy greens seem to go bad the fastest, and you only use a cup at a time, so one bag of pre-washed & chopped kale lasted me a week.


::: List of ingredients used over the course of a month :::

  • Almond Milk ( or Soy Milk or regular milk)
  • Coconut Water
  • Pineapple Juice
  • Orange Juice
  • Fruit & Veggie Juice such as Tropicana Farmstand
  • Kale – fresh
  • Spinach – fresh
  • Bok Choy – fresh
  • Avacados – fresh
  • Carrots- fresh
  • Bananas – fresh
  • Strawberries -fresh or frozen
  • Blueberries – fresh or frozen
  • Peaches – fresh or frozen
  • Raspberries – fresh or frozen
  • Blackberries – fresh or frozen
  • Kiwi – fresh
  • Pineapple – fresh or frozen
  • Mango – fresh or frozen
  • Apples – fresh
  • Your favorite fruits
  • Rolled quick oats
  • Natural peanut butter

::: Tools & Tips of the Trade :::

While any blender will work for your smoothies, a mid-high quality blender will last you longer than a cheap one. Since you will be using the blender at least once a day and trying to puree tough greens, you should invest in a decent one.  I highly recommend a blender with an ice crushing feature.  If you can afford a blender in the $75.00 – $150.00 range, you should be very happy with any of these.

I own the Kitchen aid 5 speed high performance blender. I got a great deal on it at a department store. I think I paid about $75.00 a year or two ago. My favorite things about this blender are the ice crusher setting and the fact that it came with two pitchers in different sizes. It honestly makes the best homemade smoothies. The only other smoothies that are blended this well have been from Jamba Juice or Juice Shack. It also doesn’t hurt that it makes killer margaritas and pina coladas too! I LOVE THIS BLENDER.

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If you are willing to spend a little more cash on a good blender any of these would work as well. You really do not need to purchase a restaurant quality $300-$500 blender. Unless you are going to be making dozens of smoothies everyday, you really don’t need to spend the extra money.

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Blending instructions:
1. Blend your liquid(s) and your leafy greens first. I use the ice crush mode, then switch to liquify for another 10-20 seconds or so. You want the greens to liquify as much as possible for a nice smooth texture.
2. If you are adding carrots or other harder veggies, throw those in with the greens before you start to blend.
3. Then add the remainder of your ingredients.
4. Use the ice crush mode again to break up the frozen fruit, until they are completely broken up.
5. Set it to mix for about a 10-15 seconds.
6. Kick it in high gear on the highest setting, mine is liquify, for about another 10-20 seconds, until completely smooth. (There should be NO LUMPS or chunks of fruit left. If there are, keep blending until you have a beautiful creamy consistency.)
::: Pay close attention to your blender, each one will take a different amount of time. If you push it too hard, you can wear the motor down. If you have to use a lower setting, that’s ok :::



::: 1 Month Green Smoothie Challenge ::: DAYS # 1-10 :::



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Day 1.  Blue Almond

  • 1 cup kale
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 banana
  • 1\2 cup strawberries
  • 1\2 an apple

Day 2.  Tropical Treasure

  • 1 cup kale
  • 1/2 cup OJ
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango
  • 1 banana
  • 3 strawberries

Day 3. Orange you glad I said Banana

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  • 1 cup kale
  • 1 cup OJ
  • 1 banana
  • 2 clementines
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries

Day 4. PB&J Oatmeal Bar

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup kale
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango 
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 cup fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of peanut butter

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Day 5. Pineapple Plantation

  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 cup kale
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango
  • 1 kiwi
  • 1 banana

Day 6. Sea Green Paradise

  • 1/2 cup coconut water
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango
  • 1/2 cup frozen peaches

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Day 7.  Strawberry Popeye

  • 1 cup Tropicana Pomegranate Blueberry Juice
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup frozen cherries
  • 1/2 cup fresh strawberries
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup frozen peaches

Day 8. Greener Pastures

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  • 1 cup Spinach
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 3/4 cup frozen pineapples
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 medium banana

Day 9.  Banana Berry Monster

  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 banana
  • 2 large strawberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen cherries
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries

Day 10. Peachy Purple Pom

  • 1 cup kale
  • 1 cup Tropicana Pomegranate & Blueberry  Juice
  • 1/2 avacado
  • 1 small banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen peaches
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries

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