1980s recipes Feed

Aloha from the 80s

I may be the only person in America who's never tried Shake 'n Bake.

And I'm probably the only person who's visited Hawaii without ever attending a luau. 

This Pork Luau recipe was invented for me.

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Pork Luau
Retro recipe from 1980 advertising

1 envelope Shake 'n Bake Seasoned Coating Mix for Pork
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
6 pork chops, 1 inch thick 
1 can (20 oz.) sliced pineapple in juice
1 pkg. (6 oz.) Stove Top Stuffing Mix for Pork

Place Shake 'n Bake and ginger in shaker bag; shake to blend. Coat chops and arrange on rack as directed on package. Drain pineapple, measuring juice; add water to equal 1 3/4 cups; set aside. Top each chop with a pineapple slice; dice remaining pineapple and set aside. Bake chops at 425˚ for 40 to 45 minutes, or until tender. Always cook pork thoroughly.

Meanwhile, prepare stuffing mix as directed on package, substituting measured pineapple juice for water and stirring in the diced pineapple after the crumbs. Serve with pork chops. 


I miss the days when travel agents, with their office walls covered in posters, would do all the work of planning and booking your vacation for you. 


Recipe via Charm and Poise
Image via DP Posters

Impossible Cheeseburger Pie

This is called Impossible Cheeseburger Pie because the pie does the impossible by making its own crust.

Nice alternative for folks who don't own a grill.



Impossible Cheeseburger Pie
Vintage recipe from 1981 Bisquick advertising

1 lb. ground beef
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 cups of milk
3/4 cup Bisquick baking mix
3 eggs
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 cup shredded Cheddar or process American cheese

Heat oven to 400K. Grease pie plate, 10 x 1 1/2 inches. Brown beef and onion; drain. Stir in salt and pepper. Spread in plate. Beat milk, baking mix and eggs until smooth. 15 seconds in blender on high or 1 minute with hand beater. Pour into plate. Bake 25 minutes. Top with tomatoes; sprinkle with cheese. Bake until knife inserted in center comes out clean, 5 to 8 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

High Altitude: Increase first bake time to 30 minutes.


This is my dad, my brothers and me in our backyard pool in 1968.

(If you're doing math, trying to figure out how old I am, we can no longer be friends.)


Recipe via livejournal

Retro Kahlua Mousse

Decadent chocolate mousse with a little Kahlua kick.

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Kahlua Mousse
Vintage recipe from 1987 Kahlua advertising

1 lb. dark sweet chocolate, cut into pieces
3 oz. butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup Kahlua
1 tsp. instant coffee powder
2 cups whipping cream
3 egg whites

Melt chocolate and butter in top of double boiler set over simmering water. In large bowl, combine sugar, yolks, Kahlua and coffee. Blend chocolate mixture into this. In another bowl., whip cream until stiff, gently fold into chocolate mixture; blend well. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form; fold into chocolate cream. Refrigerate overnight. Serve in goblets or bowl, as shown. Makes 10 to 12 servings.


Speaking of decadent... I don't know the story behind this old photo, but I'm sure it's nothing our mothers would have approved of.


Recipe via Shelley's mom
Image via Charlie A Go Go

Retro Heat: Tabasco Popcorn

You know what sounds great? Making some Tabasco popcorn and bingewatching I Love Lucy reruns.

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Tabasco Popcorn
1985 recipe from old Tabasco advertisement

1/4 cup melted butter
1 1/2 tsp. Tabasco pepper sauce
2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Makes enough for 3 quarts popped corn.


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Recipe via Shelley's Mom

Retro Holidays: Ribbon Fantasy Fudge

When a fudge recipe tells you to stir constantly, it means STIR CONSTANTLY.

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Ribbon Fantasy Fudge
1981 recipe from vintage Kraft advertising

3 cups sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter
6-oz. pkg. semi-sweet chocolate pieces
2/3 cup evaporated milk (5 1/3 oz.)
7-oz. jar Kraft marshmallow creme
1/2 cup peanut butter (crunchy or creamy style)
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine 1 1/2 cups sugar, 6 tbsp. butter and 1/3 cup milk in heavy 1 1/2 quart saucepan. Bring to full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Continue boiling 4 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Remove from heat; stir in chocolate pieces until melted.

Add 1 cup marshmallow creme and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla; beat until well blended. Pour into greased 13×9 inch pan. (Personally, I line the pan with aluminum foil and grease that; makes it much easier to get the fudge out and cut nice neat pieces later.)

Repeat above steps substituting peanut butter for chocolate pieces. Spread over chocolate layer. Cool at room temperature; cut into squares. Makes 3 pounds.


When keying in recipes for this blog, I use the term aluminum foil. But when speaking, I give away my age and call the stuff tin foil.

Tin foil is the new icebox. 


Recipe via ClickAmericana
eynolds ad via Pinterest

Almond Papaya Salad with Goat Cheese

Make an impressive salad with very little effort.

85 salad ad

Almond Papaya Salad with Goat Cheese
old recipe from 1985 Blue Diamond advertising

3 tbsp. white wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt
pinch black pepper
6 tbsp. olive oil
4 bunches watercress, tough stems removed
1 papaya, peeled and sliced
4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
2/3 cup Blue Diamond Sliced Natural Almonds, toasted

Combine vinegar, salt and pepper, beat in oil. Toss watercress with 6tbsp. of dressing and divide among 4 plates. Place one-fourth each papaya, goat cheese and almonds on each plate. Drizzle with remaining dressing. Makes 4 servings.


In the 80s, if you wanted to take a photo of your food, you needed a camera and some film. Then you had to wait until you finished the roll before you finally took your film to Fotomat for developing. Then you had a wait a day to get your print. And there was a pretty good chance your photo was blurry, over-developed or under-developed.

The good old days were a lot of trouble.


Retro Hot Potato

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Tabasco Potato Butter
old recipe from 1985 Tabasco advertising

1/4 cup melted butter (or use softened butter at the table)
1 tsp. Tabasco pepper sauce
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Serve on baked potatoes. Makes 1/3 cup.


Baked potatoes were big in the 80s — not coincidently around the same time microwaves became ubiquitous.


Image via Soda Head

Retro Happy Hour: 1980s Sambuca cocktails

85 sambuca ad

Cocktail recipes from 1985 Sambuca Roman advertising

White Cloud
1 oz. Sambuca Romana
Club soda
Pour over ice in tall glass.

Romana Caffe
1 oz. Sambuca Romana
3/4 cup hot coffee
Top with sweetened whipped cream.
Dust with grated nutmeg.

Con Mosca

1 oz. Sambuca Romana
3 roasted coffee beans
Float coffee beans on top.

Chocolate Chip Sambuca

1 oz. Sambuca Romana
3/4 cup chocolate chip ice cream
Blend and serve or freeze until serving.

Sunny Sam

1/2 oz. Sambuca Romana
1 oz. vodka
Orange juice
Pour over ice in 8-oz. goblet.

Reunion for 2

1 oz. Sambuca Romana
1 oz. vodka
12 fresh strawberries
6 oz. orange juice
2/3 cup crushed ice
Mix ingredients in blender until almost smooth.


Our moms and dads didn't just party, they got dressed up to do it. Impressive.


Image via Retro Space

Easiest pumpkin pie recipe ever

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Impossible Pumpkin Pie
vintage recipe from 1980s Bisquick advertising

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup Bisquick baking mix
2 tbsp. butter 
1 can (13 oz.) evaporated milk
2 eggs
1 can (16 oz.) pumpkin
2 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp. vanilla

Heat oven to 350˚. Grease pie plate, 9 x 1 1/2 or 10 x 1 1/2 inches. Beat all ingredients until smooth, 1 minute in blender on high or 2 minutes with hand beater. Pour into plate. Bake until knife inserted in center comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes.

High altitude: Heat oven to 375˚. Bake 45 to 50 minutes.


Love this old McCormick spice can.


Recipe via Dying in Downey