Friday, July 31, 2020

Heavenly Peach Pie

Heavenly Peach Pie. Sounds heavenly, looks heavenly (as seen below)!

{image source}
{Click on image for recipe enlargement}

But it's just vanilla pudding in a pie crust, topped with half peaches, and a dollop of cool whip.
If that's heavenly to you then strap on your wings!

I found it a bit bland.  Also my pie crust edge skills are nonexistent so it bummed my enjoyment of this pie before I took a bite.

Recipe Repair:  Mix cinnamon in the vanilla pudding or some flavoring extract.  Vanilla is a snore.  Sprinkle a bit of coconut on the cool whip.  Use a prefab pie crust with a pretty edge already built in.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Chips 'n Chicken Bake

This dish looks just about as good as it tasted!
not too good. 
I have been making a lot of casseroles over the last few months.  They all involve using a white sauce or something pretending to be a white sauce.  This could be a combination of several things:  Chicken broth, skim milk, small amount flour, FF greek yogurt, or FF cottage cheese.  It just depends on what I have on hand (always using calorie cutting subs).
Sometimes for these meals I have been just perusing my cook books for serving suggestions.  Basically making the recipe up by what the photo looks like, taking a few hints from the recipe name.  No need to even look at the ingredient list!

 So, this dish is called Chicken N' Chips Bake:
{Better Homes and Gardens Casserole Cook book 1961}

I slightly saw it had a cup of mayo and that translated to me as "white sauce".
So the dish is basically a white sauce with chicken and potato chips.  I thought that sounded a bit weak for a dinner so I made a layer of mashed potatoes on the bottom.  I also added some peas, onion, and red bell pepper.  

This was the most bland, mediocre, denture-wearing-crowd meal I have ever made.  It would test well in nursing homes and Shoney's restaurants, which are pretty much one in the same.

It was just mush layered mush.  The potato chips became soggy from the waist down along with the tops taking on the qualities of wilted lettuce.

Recipe Rescue:  The recipe invention I made is more of a side dish, like mashed potatoes and gravy.  I would serve it as such and crumble potato chips on top right before serving.
Another option is to follow the original recipe, but baking a whole cup of mayo sounds like a bad idea to me.  Also that is a shit ton of calories.  When I use my "treat yo self" points/calories, it's not going to be on hot mayo...unless it's baked in a cake!

Monday, July 27, 2020

Spice-berry Cake

Sprightly as Spring!

"Welcome as the first crocus, this "cake with the delicate air" is different, delectable, designed for spring menus!"

{click on image for recipe enlargement}

"Ann Page Preserves do so much for so many heavenly pure fruit spreads, toppings, and garnishes, as dessert ingredients.  Yet these quality Preserves cost LESS to enjoy."

No where in that pitch is the apology I was looking for.  This cake recipe seems to have just about everything I love to make.  Basic ingredients and involving something with a twist.  Jelly mixed into cake batter?! Strawberry Spice cake with lemon icing?!
I saved this recipe for a special dinner because I knew it was going to be great.
This cake turned out to be a dud. The strawberry flavor didn't really come through. It was not "airy" but extremely dense.  Matter of fact the cake was only one layer of what you see above.  I had to stack another piece on top for the photo.
I will always take liberties with ingredients if they are not basics.  After I tried this cake I started thinking it was probably my fault.  The recipe must have called for nonessential cake flour...but nope, just basic all purpose.  I then wondered if it could have been my baking powder.  I checked the expiration date and it was only a week or so past due.  Ehhh...maybe.  But seriously, it should have been fine.  Maybe it was the massive 1 cup of gelatinous globby jelly in it?! Hmmmm....? Ann Page?  Hmmmmmm?!

I think there is some way you can test your baking powder to see if it's still got it's action.  Something involving bleach or ammonia or vinegar.... But I ain't taking this to court so I'm not looking for proof.  This is why I typically use prefab cake mixes.  Perfection in every box.
Thank you Betty Crocker!

Friday, July 24, 2020

Colorvision Pink Swirl Cake

Colorvision Pink Swirl Cake!

This cake has got it all, just about!  A fun name, day glow colors, an intriguing swirly interior, and jello is involved!
The only thing it's missing is marshmallows and coconut...but I'll take care of that!

{click on image for enlargement and recipe}

So as always, I used the recipe as a serving suggestion.  I decided to not waste my time making a "from scratch" cake as Gold Medal advises.  I went with a pre-fab white cake mix. I used a cranberry Jello as the "red fruit-flavored gelatin".   My marbleizing unfortunately did not turn out as amazing as the original.  But I have been studying on what I think I can do to improve it for another time.  First, I didn't take their suggestion of only tinting 1/3 cup of batter with the jello.  I called my own shots and did a whole cup...which was too much (but 1/3 is too little I think).  Their tip for the marbleizing was to pour colored batter on top of the white, while still in the bowl and giving it a few folds.  Then pour it into the pan.  Even with my using too much pink batter I would recommend a different way than this.  The original looks more like it has 'ribbons' of color.  Therefore I would scoop the individual batter colors into the pan, alternating kinda hodge podge layers.  I am really wanting to experiment with perfecting the ribbony look.  I think there are copious variations that can be done with different cake and jello flavors also.  Maybe even using a chocolate instant pudding mix in place of the Jello. 

For the icing I did not bother with making a homemade one as the recipe calls for.  I took a gamble and used a tub of Pillsbury Fluffy Frost Marshmallow Icing, which I had never seen or heard of  before.  I added the prescribed 3 tablespoons of jello powder along with a drop or two of coconut extract to the icing for funzies.  Not pictured, but right before serving I tossed some shredded coconut on the icing. 

It's just a bunch of prepackaged and processed sugary products but it was a huge hit.  Mr. Husband and a male pal of his were almost obsessed over it, even though it was pink girly swirly.  I will probably be making this one again because of demands and requests!

{Please note that I made this cake back in February.  We haven't visited our pals or family for months....and, well, we miss our pals.}

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Barber Pole Franks

It's National Hot Dog Day!
Celebrate with this "New recipe for happy summer meals!"

"New twist on good old hot dogs!  Turn them into gay gold "Barber-poles" with French's new recipe!"

"More fun than a circus for kids and grown-ups --and so easy for you!"

It's just hot dogs filled with mustard with a twist of biscuit dough baked on them.
French's Mustard must think we never get out of the house and are easily amused...oh, wait.  We don't get out of the house and are easily amused!
Yay! It's a circus of hot dog poles!

On a practical note, I say this is how you problem solve that issue with there never being enough buns for your pack of hot dogs.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Rattle Those Pots and Pans

  I have been cooking up a storm these last four months of staying home. The "refrigerator" (aka draft posts) is getting too full and my brain is starting to go stale on the details.  I have got to get these recipes dished up on MhiCTy before things go moldy.  For the next month, possibly longer, it's going to be nothing but vintage food recipes...done my way of course!  Lots of substitutes and liberties taken.  A recipe is only a serving suggestion!

Monday, July 20, 2020

Necco Wafers!

After a two year hiatus, Necco wafers are back!
No need to continue breaking off bits of drywall to get your fix anymore.
I bet those that paid hundreds of dollars on ebay to hoard back a few rolls are feeling pretty embarrassed right about now.  I got mine for just a buck fifty!
I hadn't been a big fan of Necco wafers before their absence, but once I was deprived of them I began to eagerly await their come back.  I am now a Necco wafer aficionado, with the pale purple being my favorite flavor (clove).
They are still made from the same recipe as before, with just a slight change being the chocolate one has been made more chocolaty.
   I can't vouch for the chocolate increase since I didn't eat Necco wafers much before but I can tell you that the pink ones are essence of toothpaste.

Check to see if they are available near you!

Friday, July 17, 2020

Hwy 19/ US 27

Always take the long way when going on vacation in Florida.  It's more scenic and can offer glimpses of the past.  On the way to our destinations, we take note of the neat stuff  but hold off on photos til the trip ride back home.  It adds a last bit of fun to our vacations.

During the mid-century, before interstate, there were several main highways that were traveled, one of them being Hwy 19/US 27.  Back in it's day it was loaded with motels, hotels, and restaurants for the weary traveler.  Some of these buildings, along with their signage, still survive!
I have included our photos we took during 2016 along with a corresponding vintage postcard, if I could find one.

Suwanee Gables Motel

This motel is still in business.  The main building in the front is two story and has rooms for rent.  It is located on a river and has cabins on the banks.  I have always thought this motel seems neat!

{vintage postcard image source}

El Dorado Motel

I think this motel may still be in business but appears to be efficiency apartments now.

{vintage postcard}

Westgate Motel

I believe this place was still in business, especially the camp grounds area.

{vintage postcard image source}

Salem Motel

This place is in shambles.  The motel was still there but the roof had fallen it, not much neat stuff there anymore other than the sign.

{vintage postcard image source}

Sun 'n' Sand Motel
Each time we pass this motel, it's a different business or set of businesses.

But it was originally the Sun-n-Sand Motel.

Circa 2003

Here are a few images of the motel.  It has really neat architecture:
{circa 2016}

{circa 2003}

{circa 2003}

The circa 2003 photos are ones I had taken during a past trip to Silver Springs.

Skylark Motel

This motel was still in business.

A metal spider and web?!  Super cool but I wonder how this plays into the theme of the motel.  It's certainly not going to be seen as a positive to most people looking for a restful place to stop.  Hotels with bed bugs infestations don't usually promote it with metal sculptures incorporated into the architecture.   In the vintage postcard below this section was part of an awning that has been shortened.  I can't tell if the spider web was original.

{vintage postcard image source}

This motel has a fun shape to it. The building for the restaurant is still there but has been turned into a boring metal warehouse with all the great features and signage looped off.  The brick bottom of the original sign is still attached to it though.  Click on the image source for the google maps street view.  If you look to the left of the motel you'll see what's left of the restaurant.

Driftwood Restaurant
{circa 2016}

{circa 2003}

The Driftwood Restaurant, located in Williston, Fl,  is a favorite place for a bite to eat.  The building has been "updated" way too many times for our liking but the vintage sign was worth the stop.  On the trip we took in 2016 things seemed a bit odd there.  Only one lady was working with the stark contrast of the air conditioning not working at all.  They only offered pepsi products which is a sure sign things are heading to the gutter.  A couple of years later we were driving by and saw to our horror that the sign had been stripped of it's neon and painted over. It was also in the process of  becoming a Mexican restaurant.  On our next trip through the area we'll have to try out what we will now call "El Madera Flotante" !

Time to put your shoes back on, we're home!
Hope you all enjoyed your virtual Florida sun burns or jelly fish stings!

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Roadside Shops

Getting home is half the fun!
Time to load up and head back home but that doesn't mean this vacation is over just yet!
It's not a complete trip to Florida without stopping at a few roadside souvenir shops on the way back home!

Pick yourself out something gaudy...

or nutty....

or creepy....

or tacky...

Also, why not bring back a little something for the person that already has everything?
I am willing to bet they don't have one of these:

That will be 35 smackaroos!  Enjoy your new dust collectors which will find their way into your next yard sale for a mere buck.  That's when we'll buy it for a steal!

Next up, sight seeing from your car window!

Wednesday, July 15, 2020


{vintage postcard image source}

In July 2016 we were able to squeeze in a short visit to Gatorland located in Orlando, Fl.  Most would probably think if you are in Orlando, obviously go to Disney World but no, no boo boo.  There is no amount of free turkey legs or mickey pretzels that can get us into that overcrowded sweltering heat misery trap in the summer.  While it was still hot on our visit, Gatorland did not disappoint.

Gatorland got it's start in 1949 as a family owned roadside attraction called the Florida Wildlife Institute.  Over the years the name has changed several times but it still is owned by the Godwin family to this day.

 The iconic gator mouth entrance was constructed in 1962, which remains there still as the perfect photo for people who aren't sweaty and moody from being overheated, which explains why you don't see us up there.

While it was really hot on our visit to Gatorland we had such a great time.  Mr. Husband has been to Gatorland before but it was PB and my first visit.

There are a ton of attractions, exhibits, and shows to see in the park.
You can pay extra to have your picture taken with live alligators right behind you, as seen above sans us.  There is also a zipline you can do over a pool of alligators for an extra fee.  We cheapskates stuck to the basic package experience and had plenty to enjoy.

Teenage gators...

A white alligator...


Gator wrestling show...

A nature trail board walk over the lagoons...

Also there was an alligator show with them jumping out of the water to eat raw chicken, a bird exhibit where you can walk around a huge caged area and feed exotic birds, plenty of silly photo op sets, a petting zoo with goats, and another animal show with snakes and other creepy crawlies.

The park had a number of neat vintage bits still around such as this Safe-T Cup ice cream sign.

As I mentioned before, it was horribly hot during our visit but the Gator Gully splash pad had us covered!  I would suggest bringing an extra set of clothes and taking your shoes off...of which we did not do.
Gatorland on it's own is just a ton of fun, but there's another fantastic feature it has to offer!
Not one, but two, MOLD-A-MATIC machines!

Also called Mold-a-rama (invented in 1962) , these plastic molding machines make you a souvenir figurine right before your eyes!

It's difficult to see above, this machine makes a white alligator.

And here it is in the tray, still warm and smelling of molten plastic from just being molded!  The other machine casts a green plastic man wrestling an alligator.

Gatorland is such a hoot!  We loved all of their quirky signage and gags.  In more recent times they put together a commercial about social distancing being enforced at the park by a Skunk Ape:

That's it for our attractions on this virtual Florida Vacation but the fun it's over just yet!