Classics Feed

Retro Happy Hour: The classics never go out of style

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Today's drinks come straight off a 1950s placemat.

Rob Roy
1 part sweet Vermouth

2 parts Scotch
Dash Angostura bitters
Stir with cracked ice, strain, serve with twist of lemon peel

Gin 'n Tonic
Juice and rind of 1/4 lime
1 1/2 oz. fry Gin
Quinine water (a.k.a. tonic water)
Put lime, gin, ice cubes in 8-oz. glass; fill with tonic

Champagne Cocktail
1 lump sugar
Dash Angostura bitters
Chilled Champagne
Saturate lump of sugar with dash of bitters, add ice cubes, fill with champagne, top with a twist of lemon peel


A classic cocktail deserves a classic cocktail dress. This one's from the 50s.


Recipes via Etsy 
Image via Hubpages Style

60s scotcheroos

You know what would make Rice Krispies Treats even better?

Chocolate and butterscotch.


Chocolate Scotcheroos
Retro recipe from 1960s Nestle's advertising

1 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup peanut butter
6 cups Kellogg's Rice Krispies
1 cup (6-oz. pkg. Nestle's Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
1 cup (6-oz. pkg.) Nestle's Butterscotch Morsels

1. Combine sugar and syrup in 3-quart saucepan. Cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until mixture begins to bubble. Remove form heat. Stir in peanut butter; mix well. Add Rice Krispies; stir well until blended. Press mixture into 13 x 9-inch pan.

2. Melt Nestles Chocolate and Butterscotch Morsels together over very low heat or over hot but not boiling water, stirring until well-blended. Remove from heat; spread evenly over Rice Krispies mixture. Cool until firm. Cut into bars.

Makes 48 bars, 2 x 1 inches each.



You've got to hand it to 3M. They managed to make a Scotch tape ad look sophisticated. 

Recipe via Shelf Life Taste Test
Scotch tape ad via my other blog Found in Mom's Basement

An American classic for your Thanksgiving table

New England Yam Bake. Not to be confused with the Sunburst Yam Bake or Apple Mallow Yam Bake.

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New England Yam Bake
1975 recipe from old Kraft advertising

1 (20 oz.) can pineapple slices 
2 cans (17 oz. each) Yams 
1/4 cup flour
3 tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. margarine (I would use butter instead)
1/4 cup Chopped nuts
1 cup miniature marshmallows


Drain the pineapple, reserving 1/4 cup of the syrup.

Line sides of a 10 × 6-inch baking dish with pineapple slightly overlapping. Arrange yams in center. Pour pineapple syrup over yams.

Combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Cut in margarine until mixture resembles coarse crumbs; stir in nuts. Sprinkle over yams.

Bake at 350˚F for 25 minutes. Top with marshmallows. Broil until lightly browned.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.


I not only remember making these, I remember EXACTLY what school paste tasted like.


Recipe via Click Americana

Retro Tuna Croquettes

You can still find croquettes on diner menus around the country.

Or you can just make them yourself.


Crisco-Fried Tuna Croquettes
recipe from old Crisco advertising

Make 1 cup thick white sauce.* Cool. Add 1 (7 oz.) can flaked canned tuna, 1 tbsp. chopped onion and 2 tbsp. lemon juice. Season to taste. Shape into 6 or 7 croquettes. Dip in egg beaten with 2 tbsp. water, then dip in fine bread crumbs. Fry 3 to 5 minutes in Crisco heated to 365˚ (or when an inch square bread browns in 60 seconds).


* Here's a recipe for thick white sauce from

3 or 4 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup milk or one half cup evaporated milk and 1/2 cup water

Melt butter in a sauce pan and whisk in flour and salt until smooth. Gradually stir in cold milk, cooking over direct heat and stirring constantly until sauce boils; reduce heat slightly and continue to stir until sauce becomes smooth and thick. When sauce thickens, simmer for an additional 10 minutes over very low heat, stirring occasionally.

Stir carefully to avoid lumps. If sauce becomes lumpy, use a stick blender or rotary beater to blend out lumps or else press through a sieve. Wondra flour may be used to great advantage since this flour does not have a tendency to lump.

Lipton Onion Soup Meatloaf

World's. Best. Meatloaf. Recipe.

Retro meatloaf

Superior Meatloaf
Makes about 8 servings

1 envelope Lipton Onion or Beef Flavor Mushroom Recipe Soup Mix (I ALWAYS use the onion)
2 lbs. ground beef
1 1/2 cups soft bread crumbs
2 eggs
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup ketchup (I use a packet of tomato flavor Cup-A-Soup instead)

Preheat oven to 350˚.

In large bowl, combine all ingredients.

In shallow baking pan, shape into loaf. (Don't put the meat mixture in a loaf pan or you won't get a crispy crust.)

Bake one hour or until done.

(The above ad also has microwave directions. Only a crazy person would microwave meatloaf. Don't be a crazy person.)

Retro Cooking with Soda Pop

My husband always marinates ham steaks in Coca-Cola and grills them. They taste great — kids are especially fond of them when they hear about the Coke.

If you prefer, you could easily substitute Coca-Cola for 7-Up in the following recipe.

Ham made with 7-up

Ham Basted with Seven-Up

Gash fat on a 1 1/2-inch center slice of ham. Put in a baking dish and pour 1/2 cup 7-Up over ham. Bake in slow oven (325˚) for 1 1/2 hours. Baste with additional 7-Up if necessary.

Via The Crypt of Wrestling

Retro Recipe: Tomato Soup Cake

I know it sounds weird, but my college roommate swears by this recipe.

Tomato soup cake

Magic Tomato Soup Cake

2 tbs. butter or margarine
1 c. sugar
2 c. sifted cake flour
1 tsp. each clove, cinnamon, nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1 10-oz.can tomato soup
1 tsp. soda

Cream butter, sugar well.  Sift flour; measure; resift 3 times with spices, salt. Alternately add dry ingredients with soup-soda mixture. Pour into greased loaf pan. (Size important; about 8-1/4 x 4-1/2 x 2-1/2). Bake 50 to 60 minutes in 350˚ F oven. 

Creamy Chocolate Frosting

1 3-oz. pkg. cream cheese
3 tbs. milk
3 c. sifted confectioner’s sugar
2 square bitter chocolate, melted
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla

Mash cream cheese. Add milk gradually, beating until blended.  Add sugar gradually, beating until smooth. Add melted chocolate, salt, vanilla. Beat until smooth.

Vintage Holiday Treat: Popcorn Balls

Have you read Damned by Chuck Palahniuk? It's a very dark, very funny, mildly disturbing book that takes place in hell. Definitely not a recipe book.

Palahniuk's vision of hell is full of bizarre sights, like mountains of toenail clippings and assorted monsters who feast on human flesh. Also, the floor of hell is covered with unwanted, unloved foods. Popcorn balls are plentiful.

If you like weird books, I highly recommend it.

If you don't, I'm sorry for this not very
Christmas-y post.

1950-popcorn-balls-advert recipe

Old-Fashioned Popcorn Balls

1 cup Light or Dark Karo Syrup
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tsp. vinegar
2 tbsp. butter or margarine
2 qts. unsalted popcorn

Combine the first 4 ingredients in saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture boils. Continue cooking, stirring almost constantly to hard ball stage (260˚ F) or until a small amount of mixture forms a hard ball when tested in very cold water. Remove from heat; quickly add butter and blend. Slowly pour over popcorn in large bowl, while mixing well. Form into balls, using as little pressure as possible. Butter hands, if desired. Makes 15 balls about 2-1/2 inches in diameter.

Pastel popcorn balls: Follow above recipe using Light Karo and substitute granulated sugar for brown. Add 2 teaspoons vanilla with butter. Tint syrup desired shade with vegetable coloring.

Via Clickamericana

Caramel apples and other classic fall treats

Do you pronounce every syllable in caramel?

I do, but I grew up mostly in New England. If you pronounce caramel as two syllables, chances are you're from the Midwest or West.

If you find regional pronunciations of certain words interesting (Hello, fellow nerd!), check out this website.

Retro fall recipes

Caramel Apples

1 lb. (56) vanilla caramels
2 tbsp. water
6 crisp medium apples
chopped California walnuts

Melt caramels with water in double boiler; stir till smooth. Stick a wooden skewer into blossom end of each apple; dip apple in caramel syrup; turn until completely coated. (If syrup is too stiff, add a few drops of water.) At once roll bottom half of each apple in chopped nuts. Set on cookie sheet covered with waxed paper. Chill till the coating is firm. 


Hot Mulled Cider

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 quarts cider
1 tsp whole allspice
1 tsp. whole cloves
3 inches stick cinnamon

Combine brown sugar, salt and cider. Tie spices in small piece of cheesecloth; add. Slowly bring to boiling; simmer, covered, 20 minutes. Remove spices. Serve hot. Float clove-studded orange slices atop. Serves 10. 



3/4 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
2 1/4 cups sifted enriched flour
2 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves 

Cream together shortening, brown sugar, molasses and egg till light and fluffy. Sift together dry ingredients; stir into molasses mixture till blended. Form in small balls, roll in granulated sugar and place 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet. Bake in moderate oven (375˚) about 10 minutes. Cool slightly; remove from pan. Makes 5 dozen.

Via Vintage Alter Ego

Retro Party: four soup-er dips from the 1970s

Chilled onion dip (or California Dip, as it's referred to in this 1979 ad) and potato chips. The. Best. Party food. Ever.

1979 4 souper dips

Guacamole Dip

1 cup California Dip (see recipe below)
1 medium avocado, mashed
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Blend all ingredients; chill.


Lipton California Dip 

In a small bowl, blend 1 envelope Lipton Onion Soup Mix with 2 cups (16 oz.) sour cream; chill.


California Horseradish 'n Bacon Dip

Add 6 slices bacon, crisp-cooked and crumbled, and 3 teaspoons horseradish, to 2 cups California Dip.


Skinny Dip

Substitute 2 cups (16 oz.) plain yogurt for sour cream in California Dip.


Click here for another retro party dip.