I realized about halfway through today that I hadn’t done a recipe this week. So many things are falling by the wayside in These Uncertain Times. But. We have to make time for the things that are important. And one thing that is important to me is doing recipes from Barbie’s Easy-as-Pie Cookbook and writing blog posts about them, damnit.
And it might be cheating to take one of Barbie’s pointers from 10 Bright Eyed Ways to Begin a Breakfast and call it a recipe, but I’m doing it. It counts! Pour some tomato juice, y’all! Put a lemon in it! Give yourself a gold star for doing All The Things.*
Continue reading “Bright Eyed Ways to … Whatever.” →
These mini pizzas were a nice change of pace from our usual quick lunches, which tend to be tuna, canned soup, or a sandwich. They aren’t as satisfying as the kind made with regular pizza dough, but they’re fast and convenient enough that “not quite as good” is a fair compromise.
Continue reading “Jim’s Mini Pizzas” →
This week, I tried Barbie’s “Creamy Peanut Salad Dressing.” And I’m not sure what to say. I guess if you can’t say anything nice, just go to the recipe?
Continue reading “Creamy Peanut Salad Dressing” →
Before I get into the nostalgia that today’s recipe inspired, let’s get down to the thing itself. This is an easy weeknight pasta dish with a fresh, unique, and decadent taste. It is listed in my collected recipes book as Sandra’s Excellent Shrimp Pasta, but in the spirit of this blog, we could just call it Friendship Pasta.
Continue reading “Friendship Pasta” →
This week’s recipe is Peanut Butterscotch Bits, another entry from the Peanut Butter chapter of Barbie’s Easy-As-Pie Cookbook. The mix of flavors is pretty great, but the overall recipe still wasn’t a big hit in our house. Read on for Barbie’s recipe and my ideas on how to adjust it.
Continue reading “Barbie’s Peanut Butterscotch Bits” →
This lemonade recipe is one of the simplest things in Barbie’s Easy-As-Pie Cookbook, but Barbie lists four options to fancy it up for company. Two of them are simple cosmetic differences, one adds fresh fruit flavor, and the last will turn your lemonade into a creamy, beautifully indulgent treat. Read on to check them all out.
Continue reading “Barbie’s Lemonade, Five Ways” →
Today’s recipe, which looks like a pancake but is actually a rich, creamy fried egg and cheese mixture, strays a bit from Barbie’s designs. She intended cottage cheese cakes to be sweet and topped with syrup or “frozen strawberries, slightly thawed and mashed.” I saw the potential for something savorier and more to my liking if I left out the sugar she calls for, and so I did.
Continue reading “Savory Cottage Cheese Cakes” →
I like tuna salad, but in my house it’s a lunchtime thing eaten in sandwich form. Barbie serves hers with lettuce and a few extras in an attempt to elevate this tuna salad into a satisfying entree.
The cookbook’s structure suggests that Barbie wasn’t entirely sold on the idea of tuna salad as the star of dinner though; despite claiming “Main Dish” status right in the recipe’s title, Barbie’s Easy-As-Pie Cookbook lists it under Sandwiches, Salads, and Snacks instead of putting it in the Most Delicious Main Dishes chapter. Is this a covert acknowledgement that tuna salad is not, in fact, a dinner-worthy main dish? Or does Barbie think that it is a main, just not one of the “most delicious” ones? Read on to take a look at this dish and decide for yourself.
Continue reading “Barbie’s Main Dish Tuna Salad” →
I decided to try making Barbie’s apple pancakes even though I usually avoid recipes that call for baking powder. I prefer recipes that read as nice suggestions rather than precise instructions, and the inclusion of baking powder in an ingredients list sends up a warning that I am dealing with the latter. But I had apples, and pancakes are tasty, so for this week’s Barbie experiment, chunky apple pancakes it was.
Continue reading “Chunky Apple Pancakes” →
Chopsticks Sandwiches is probably one of the lowest effort dishes in Barbie’s Easy-as-Pie Cookbook. And let’s just address the name and issues with ‘ethnic’ recipes in vintage cookbooks upfront. Reference to chopsticks aside, this is an American recipe. It comes in the middle of the Sandwiches, Salads, and Snacks chapter, and wisely contains no story vignette or Barbie-based flavor text at all. As a white girl who maybe kind of definitely wore a cheongsam to her senior prom in the 90s, let me tell you. Cultural appropriation does not age well, and naïveté is no excuse for it. I am more than happy to be spared whatever Barbie and Midge might have had to say about Chinese food in 1964.
I should backtrack and point out that the recipe might have been low effort in Barbie’s day, but it proved challenging in ours, as its main ingredient is frozen chow mein, and that… is not so easy to find it turns out. Both Donna and I were stymied in our early efforts. Still, the recipe appealed to my lazy side, to say nothing of the side of me that thinks that American Chinese food served with butter on a bun sounds … pretty good, actually. (Don’t judge me!)
The internet promised me that the product does still exist, although not in a form Barbie would have recognized, and eventually, I stumbled upon a carton of Tai Pei’s chicken chow mein in the freezer section of my grocery store. Score! (Note: The history of Chinese food in America is a really rich rabbit hole to fall into if you have some free time. You could start here!) I grabbed some hamburger buns and peanuts and was all ready for a delicious* if not culturally authentic lunch.
*At least, I hoped it would be delicious.
Continue reading “Chopsticks Sandwiches” →