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August 2019
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October 2019

Retro 50's Dinner Party

I bought the cookbook Retro Recipes from the ’50s and ’60s. My nieces Laurie, Ge and I decided to throw a 50’s themed dinner party. 
We got together to choose which recipes we wanted to make, that in itself was a lot of fun. My niece Laurie chose to make Salisbury steak and green bean casserole, Ge chose chicken and wild rice, and rice crispy treats. I chose to make rumaki, meatballs in grape jelly and strawberry pretzel salad.

The dish in the foreground is the Salisbury steak, then the chicken with rice Ge made, she's becoming quite the cook.  They were both so good. They are on my "I want to make this" list and I'm sure I will soon. 
, KCBp_8619
I quickly remembered why I don't make rumaki very often. They are a pain in the neck to make, they are slippery little devils. 
To the right of the rumaki is the pretzel strawberry salad, it was delicious, how can you go wrong with salty, sweet and crunchy. 

No '50s party is complete without the obligatory green bean casserole and meatballs in grape jelly. Laurie was thoughtful enough to use almond milk in the recipe knowing my "issues" with dairy, she even used fresh green beans, what a gal. 

I don’t even want to talk about the meatballs. The recipe in the cookbook didn’t look right to me, I thought the last time I made the meatballs in grape jelly sauce (a hundred or so years ago) it was made with the grape jelly and chili sauce, this recipe called for the jelly and BBQ sauce.
I didn’t do my due diligence and search for what I thought was right but followed the recipe. All you could taste was the BBQ sauce, the jelly was totally lost in there, so I added more jelly, at least it toned down the BBQ sauce a little. They were still very good, but not what they are supposed to be. I’ll post the “real” recipe not the one from the cookbook.

I'm sure they had lumpia in the Philippines in the '50s. We are a multi-cultural family ya' know. 

Served buffet style, then we dined Al fresco on the patio. 

No one could start eating until we all took pictures of the food. 
That's Tom, when his daughter saw him dancing she laughed so hard I thought she was going to wet her pants. We all did a lot of dancing, not as well as we did years ago, but fun anyway. 

Here are the recipes. 
Print No peek chicken and wild rice
Print Salisbury steak
Print Rumaki
Print Strawberry Pretzel Salad
The real Meatballs in grape jelly sauce

And that's that!

Coconut-Lemongrass-Braised Pork

Jump To Recipe  Print Coconut-lemongrass-braised-pork 


I don't know what to tell you other than your mouth will sing when you eat this dish. The braising liquid is made up of coconut, lemongrass, cardamom and curry, hits all the right notes, no? 
The recipe calls for the vegetables to be cooked separately which worked just fine because I pressure cooked the meat in the broth. Cooking the vegetables separately allows me to cook them to my preference, I like them a bit on the firm side. 

I didn't have the celery root, nor the fresh lemongrass but I did have lemongrass powder, so after a bit of research, I found that I can use one teaspoon of the lemongrass powder for one stalk of lemongrass, so happy I had it on hand. 

The recipe is from Dorie Greenspan's cookbook Around My French Table she states that sometimes when she doesn't have time to cook the vegetables, she adds some frozen peas to the pot at the end, or leaves it as is. 

Coconut-Lemongrass-Braised Pork


  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or olive oil
  • 3 pounds boneless pork (pork butt is good here), cut into 1-to 2-inch cubes and patted dry, at room temperature
  • Coarse salt, such as sel gris or kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons curry powder (Mild is suggested)
  • Seeds from 6 cardamom pods
  • 6 white peppercorns
  • 6 coriander seeds
  • 2 strips lemon zest, white pith removed
  • 1/2 lemongrass stalk, tender center part only, pounded to crush it a bit
  • 1 15 1/2-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk, well stirred, plus more if needed
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3 small potatoes, scrubbed or peeled and halved (optional)
  • 3 small carrots, trimmed, peeled, and halved (optional)
  • 3 small onions, halved (optional)
  • 1/2 small celery root, trimmed, peeled, and cubed (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon honey (optional)


  • Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

    Put a large skillet, preferably nonstick, over high heat and add the oil. When it’s hot, toss in some of the pork—don’t crowd the pan—and cook, stirring, until the pieces are golden on all sides. As the pieces are done, lift them out of the pot and place in a Dutch oven or other oven-going stew pot; season lightly with salt and pepper. Continue to brown the remainder of the pork.

    Put the Dutch oven over medium heat and add the spices, lemon zest, lemongrass, and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir everything around until the spices are toasty—you’ll smell them—and then stir in the coconut milk and water. Bring to a boil, cover the pot well, and slide it into the oven.

    Allow the stew to braise undisturbed for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the pork is tender and cooked through, (if you plan to make the dish ahead, cook the pork for 15 to 20 minutes.)

    While the stew is in the oven, cook the vegetables, if you’re using them: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the potatoes, carrots, onions, and celery root. Keep an eye on the pot, and remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon as they’re tender. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl and set aside until the pork is cooked.

    When the pork is done, put the Dutch oven over medium heat, add the vegetables, if you’ve got them, and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and simmer just until the vegetables are heated through. If you think the sauce needs it, you can add a little more stirred coconut milk to the pot—it will heighten the braise’s coconut flavor and thin the sauce (which is not particularly thick). Taste for salt and pepper, add a teaspoon of honey, if you’d like, and serve.


    SERVING Because the sauce is so good and so plentiful, you’ll want something to capture it—bread is an option, of course, but boiled rice or egg noodles are naturals as well.

    STORING Like all stews, this one is very good the next day. If you want to make it ahead, cook the pork for a slightly shorter time, so that you don’t overcook it when you reheat it. If you’ve got leftovers, remove the pork, reheat the sauce, and when it’s hot, add the pork and simmer just long enough to warm it through.
    Around My French Table Cookbook: Dorie Greenspan

And that's that!

Crustless Veggie Quiche

Jump To Recipe    Print Crustless Veggie Quiche


This crustless quiche is full of zucchini and carrots with a bit of cheese. You might want to make two if you want some leftovers, this went fast. 



Of course, I had to mix in a bit of cheese about one fourth a cup, to counterbalance the healthy veggies. 


Before I took the quiche out of the oven I sprinkled a little more shredded cheese on top, turned the oven off and left it in the oven just until the cheese was melted. 


So light and fluffy and browned just enough on the edges and bottom.

This is a quick and easy go-to recipe, you can use any vegetables you have on hand or add a bit of meat if you want. If you add some spice blends to taste, you can have a different quiche every time you make it. It freezes well and can be reheated in a toaster oven. 

Veggie Quiche


  • 2 medium zucchini, shredded and strained
    2 medium carrots, shredded
    1/2 cup shredded cheese of choice, divided use
    1 teaspoon salt 
    12 eggs, beaten
    1 tablespoon butter, or fat of choice for baking dish


  1. Preheat oven to 375 ° F.
    Put the zucchini in a cheesecloth or a kitchen towel and squeeze out the excess moisture. 
    Mix together with the carrots, half of the cheese, salt, and eggs.

    Grease a 9x 3-inch baking dish, pour the egg mixture into the pan. Bake 30 minutes or so, until the edges are starting to brown.
    Turn off the oven, top the quiche with the remaining cheese and leave in the oven just long enough to melt the cheese. 

And That's That!