Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Cookbook Tribute to the Oscars

If you are visiting today in search of Pistachios, you've come to the right place, sorta kinda. It seems, since I celebrated World Pistachio Day last year with this fabulous Pistachio Cake... (click the cake for the recipe)

Pistachio Cake
...It's the perfect opportunity for me to share a few of my "star" quality cookbooks with you today, just in time for the Oscars tonight!

Bob & Bill

In February of 2011, fellow Long Islander, Billy Crystal returned to host the Oscars for the eighth time. Tonight he returns again. However, before there was a Billy Crystal, there was Bob Hope.
In Billy's Own Words:
The first televised Oscars was in 1953. I was five years old so for those of you who stink in math I'm 47. The host that year was Bob Hope. He hosted it 18 times, I hosted it eight and I was popped after two. Bob was the Oscars. He was funny, he was classy and he was what I think the Oscar host must be: a sexy movie star." (Movietone Blog)
As Billy mentioned, "Bob Hope was the Oscars" and a pretty amazing humanitarian too! "Bob Hope has more than two thousand awards and citations for humanitarian and professional efforts, including 54 honorary doctorates." He's been cited by the Guinness Book of Records as the most honored entertainer in the world. He also authored 13 books, seven were bestsellers!
This post could go on and on about both Bob Hope and Billy Crystal but, if we want to get down to some real fixins', perhaps we should see how these two fare in the kitchen. With the schedule Bob Hope exampled, I'm sure he had little time for the kitchen. He did however have a hankering for a good ol' lemon pie especially when it was baked the way his mother use to make it. According to the Bob Hope Recipe Page, "Mahm's" Lemon Pie recipe "has been printed in nearly every newspaper in every town Bob has performed in and in at least a hundred "celebrity" cook books." Here's the recipe I harvested from The National Enquirer Celebrity Cookbook published in newspaper format in 1991.
National Enquirer Celebrity Cookbook

Bob Hope's Lemon Pie
In an interview with People Magazine, Billy Crystal reveals his fondness for potatoes, Italian cooking, and the the television shows The Galloping Gourmet and The French Chef hosted by Julia Child.
"When a woman can drool and heavy breathe at the same time while talking about giblets, you have to go for her."~Billy Crystal
In the interview, he takes a somewhat "relaxed" approach to providing a recipe:) His most cherished recipe is for tension:

Billy Crystal's Down-Home Recipe for the Up-Tight
1 threatening legal letter
1 nuclear plant being built near your new home
5 incredibly bad reviews (If not in show business, substitute a severe oil slick on your favorite beach)
1 tax audit
½ day waiting in line for gas, only to be told once you get to the pump that it's an even day and you're odd
1 letter from your mother that confirms all the reviewers' thoughts

1. Make sure the threatening letter arrives the same day as the tax audit and the bad reviews
2. Read Mom's letter over and over
3. Convince yourself you'll never work again
4. Try to get gasoline
5. Read reviews while waiting on line
6. Let it all stew for six to eight hours
7. Go out and get something to eat and forget the whole thing
The 5th Academy Awards program was Held at the Fiesta Room of the Ambassador Hotel on Friday, November 18, 1932, During that presentation, Walt Disney received a special award for the creation of Mickey Mouse. Mickey has since become amongst many things, a Gourmet. Here's Mickey and a few of the appetizing recipes from Cooking With Mickey Volume II
Jamacian Hot Wings | Captain's Hideaway | Cooking With Mickey Volumn II

Gone With The Wind

At the 12th Academy Awards presentation in 1940, Bob Hope was the host when Gone With the Wind won eight Academy Awards. Gone With The Wind was also the first movie filmed in color to win Best Picture. Since I have previously posted a few recipes from The Gone With The Wind Cookbook here, I will simply share with you this epic picture from the back of the book.
Muppets creator Jim Henson made his only on-camera Oscar appearance when he presented Animated Short Film at the 58th Academy Awards. (1986) Here's a page from Jim Henson's Muppet Picnic Cookbook published in 1981 by Hallmark Cards.

Muppet Picnic Cookbook 1981 Hallmark Cards

The classic Muppet characters that debuted on The Muppet Show in 1976 have starred in eight full-length features; they are now owned and controlled by The Walt Disney Company and continue to appear in television, theme park and online productions.  Two Muppet films, “The Muppet Movie” and “The Great Muppet Caper,” received Academy Award nominations in music categories...

On that same night, an honorary award was presented to Paul Newman "in recognition of his many and memorable compelling screen performances and for his personal integrity and dedication to his craft." Grab a bowl of Paul's Picture Show Popcorn Crunch while you're watching the show tonight! I also just had to include Oscar winner Julia's Robert's recipe for Fresh Peach Crisp too:)
Newman's Own Cookbook
Julia Roberts won the Best Actress Academy Award during the 73rd Academy Awards for her role in Erin Brockovich and earned Oscar nominations as Best Supporting Actress for Steel Magnolias in 1989 and Best Actress for Pretty Woman in 1990. Julia Roberts will play the evil Queen in the upcoming adaptation of “Snow White; Mirror Mirror."
To close today's presentation, I would like to share a decadent chocolate recipe from Forrest Gump's Chocolate Recipes. Tom Hanks took home the Oscar for his portrayal of Forrest Gump at the The 67th Academy Awards in 1995.
Chocolate Decadence | Forest Gump's Chocolate Recipes
The only movie I've seen from the Academy Awards lineup is The Help. I really enjoyed it. For those of you who have seen it, you'll appreciate Janet's post for Minny's Chocolate Pie:) (Even if you haven't seen the movie you should check this out:)
The Oscar presentations will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide. Enjoy!

1. Academy Awards Trivia
2. Menu and program from the 1st Academy Awards
3. World Golf Hall of Fame Profile: Bob Hope
4. Celebrity Chefs article from People Magazine. (1979)
5. Newman's Own Recipes (previous post)
6. Cooking With the Stars (previous post)
7. Remembering Star Wars (previous post)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Happy Margarita Day!

I know I'm pushing the envelope here by presenting you this recipe for Frosty Pitcher Margaritas that uses bottled lime juice but to be honest, things are really hectic around here this week. I just don't have the time to prepare the post I had planned. Of course, you can substitute real lime juice if you like.

Frosty Pitcher Margaritas | Margarita Day February 22
While I'm busy trying to get things in order, feast your eyes on this Frozen Strawberry Margarita Pie. Happy Margarita Day!

Frozen Strawberry Margarita Pie | Margarita Day February 22
P.S. Channon don't forget National Dog Biscuit Day tomorrow. We don't want any pouting from those "girls" of yours:) See you Sunday for World Pistachio Day!
1. Margarita Pie
2. Betty Crocker Margarita Baking Recipes & Drinks
3. Guava Margarita
4. Citrus-Iced Mock Margarita Bars
Frosty Pitcher Margaritas from That Lively Lime Twist published by Bordens (1983)
Frozen Margarita Pie Classic Desserts Eagle Brand Condensed Milk (1984)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Pancakes or Doughnuts; It's Shrovetide

Well, it's that time of year again. Time to Kick Off Pancake Week!!! That's right folks Pancake Week is upon us and Fat Tuesday is just two sunny days away. You know what that means, Party Time!!!

As some of you may have already guessed, this blog is no stranger to Pancake Week, or Pancake Day celebrations for that matter. I've posted Dutch Babies,

a Pancake Layer Cake,

And of course, Shrovetide Tidbits & Delicacies.

So you see, both Pancake Week and Pancake Day are "covered so to speak:) But, just in case I've missed anything, here's a little pancake "ditty" I found in the Tummy Tingles booklet endorsed by the Wheat Institute.

As I was driving down the road yesterday, on my way to Katie's Greenhouse, I passed this sign along the road.

In Pennslvania Dutch country, Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday, is celebrated as Fastnacht Day.

In Germany and in sections of America settled by Germans, Shrove Tuesday is called Fastnacht, Eve of the Fast. The rich foods used in England to make pancakes were transformed in German communities to FastnachtKuchenor, more commonly in this country, fastnachts-rectangular-shaped doughnuts.

Fastnacht has been an important day for the Pennsylvania Germans, and a number of customs arose in connection with it. In some areas the last one out of bed on Shrove Tuesday was called a Fastnacht. The fat in which the doughnuts were fried was used to grease the wheels of the wagon in belief that it stopped destruction caused by rats, mice, and insects. Fastnacht lard was rubbed on the sore udders of cows. It was applied to wounds, and garden instruments were coated with it to protect the vegetables from bugs. Failure to eat Fastnachts on Shrove Tuesday could be highly dangerous, causing failure in the flax crop, an attack of the boils, the inability of the family chicken to hatch eggs, and general bad luck. In like manner, eating Fastnachts would bring good luck and be helpful in filling out the heads of cabbage.

There were also quite a few work taboos. If you sewed on Shrove Tuesday, the chickens would lay no eggs; or if you cut yourself while wielding an ax, the wound would not heal. The Complete Book of American Holidays by Robert J. Myers and the editors of Hallmark Cards. ©1972

I'm hoping to devour a couple of servings of these donuts on Shrove Tuesday. I know what you're thinking, they look more like Pączki. That's fine by me!

It wouldn't be fair for me to "eat in front of you," so here is a recipe for Chocolate Cinnamon Doughnuts from Taste of Home's Prize Winning Chocolate Recipes.

Lest we forget, February 20th is National Cherry Pie Day! And, Toothpick Day! That's right everybody, the first machine for the manufacturing of toothpicks, was patented on February 20, 1872, by Silas Noble and J.P. Cooley, of Granville, Massachusetts. See you all here on Wednesday just in time for National Margarita Day. In the mean time, I have some blog visiting to catch up on:) Enjoy, Louise:)

1. 10 Tips for Perfect Pancakes to Celebrate National Pancake Week 2012
2. Mardi Gras Hurricane Cocktail
3 Homemade Donuts Dunked in Cranberry Chocolate Sauce
4. "Famous" Pancake Recipes

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Who's Keeping Score?

As I was fumbling around for today's post, I happened upon this terrific poster at, of all places, The Wall Street Journal.

Since I've suddenly and unexpectedly been summoned down to New York for the next week, I won't be blogging or visiting. Actually, it's been such a crazy few days around here, I didn't even get to visit you all either. I won't have my computer with me and I haven't gotten around to buying a MacBook yet so online communications will not be happening.

Have a GREAT week everyone and I'll "see" you all when I return. Louise

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Leaping Into February's Food Celebrations!

Rose! thou art the sweetest flower
That ever drank the amber shower;
Rose! thou art the fondest child
Of dimpled spring,
the wood-nymph wild!

You might be thinking that I'm sharing this charming poetry card with you today because we have arrived at the month of Love. Kinda sorta...The fact is, late last year, the International Herb Association proclaimed The Rose Herb of the Year for 2012!

Every year since 1995, the International Herb Association has chosen an Herb of the Year...The Horticultural Committee evaluates possible choices based on them being outstanding in at least two of the three major categories: medicinal, culinary, or decorative.

Oh I know what you're thinking, roses herbs? I too had to give some thought to that notion. By definition, An Herb is:

1: a seed-producing annual, biennial, or perennial that does not develop persistent woody tissue but dies down at the end of a growing season. (check )
2: a plant or plant part valued for its medicinal, savory, or aromatic qualities. (check, check, √√)

Believe me when I say, I would like nothing better than to explore the essence of roses with you today. However, there are a few more food celebrations that must be tended to, too:) That's not to say you can't start planning how you are going to get Cooking with Roses this year. And yes, there is a future post planned. Perhaps in June for National Rose Month, perhaps before:) (click to enlarge)

Rose Petal Cupcakes

If you peek to the left, you will see I post the monthly food celebrations up top under February is...Lots of goodies this month for sure!!!

February 1st

National Baked Alaska Day

The first English cheese factory opened on February 1, 1815.

Skippy Peanut Butter was first sold on February 1, 1933.

February 2nd

It's the "The Barefoot Contessa's Birthday!!! Remember when we celebrated with these Ina Garten Quick Links!

It's National Kiwi Day! (Do groundhogs remind you of kiwi and vice-a-versa? Okay then, it's just me:)

It's Heavenly Hash Day too!!!

February 3rd

Dr. Henry J. Heimlich, as in Heimlich Maneuver, was born today in 1920.

It's Carrot Cake Day!

Bean Day in Japan is celebrated on the day before each season begins. However, the term actually refers to the Setsebun in spring. I am not familiar with this holiday but I did think it would be fun to explore one day:)

February 4th

Up until a few hours ago, I had no idea International Ice Cream for Breakfast Day even existed!

Happy Birthday Teflon. Teflon was patented (discovered accidentally BTW:) by Roy Plunkett on February 4, 1941...Here's the patent.

Alexis Benoist Soyer was born on this day in 1810. During the first half of the nineteenth century, Alexis Soyer, a Frenchman from Meaux, was the most famous cook in London.

National Stuffed Mushroom Day!

Homemade Soup Day is yet another new one to me. Most welcome I must add:)

"On February 4, 1862, Don Facundo Bacardí Massó purchased the first BACARDI rum distillery on El Matadero Street, in the town of Santiago de Cuba, for 3.500 pesos." Bacardi Rum Day anyone???

Pisco Sour Day can be a bit confusing to remember. It is now always celebrated on the first Saturday in February. A ksorta warm up for Super Bowl Sunday this year however, it is also the day Peru celebrates its National Drink!

The lovely graphic at the top of this post was found at a delightful Victorian site. There are tons of beauties to download for free. I must say, I stayed there way longer than I should have but, I had such fun!

I'll be back on Sunday with next week's food celebration but just in case your social network hasn't reminded you yet, Sunday may indeed be Super Bowl Sunday but, it is also World Nutella Day too!!!

Follow the shoe...