Musings on Food and Life

Musings on Food & Life

Food is my passion. I create, read, write, breath, eat, photograph, love and live food. As a chef and culinary instructor, each day is a quest to learn something new about a food ingredient, recipe, history, or fact about all things edible. Three silly dogs share my passion for eating and I'm blessed to be married to my best friend Tracy. Tune in for my thoughts on food, recipes, dogs, travel, music and life.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Blast from the Past

Last month, one of my friends planned a wonderful surprise party for her husband's 60th birthday and asked me to create the food for the festivities. When she talked with me about menu possibilities, she mentioned a 60's theme. Growing up in the 60's, I remember my folks hosting many dinner parties which often included jello salad. Long out of vogue on the culinary scene, I picked up my Mom's recipe box to seek a colorful "blast from the past".

Nothing like a tasty walk down memory lane! As I thumbed through the recipes, I came upon the perfect offering. The recipe card was simply called "Orange Salad", but the description could read "Mandarin Orange Salad with Chiffon Icing". Voila - the salad was resurrected to see the 21st century.

The menu for Dave's party included classics like shrimp cocktail, herb dip with crudite, beef stroganoff with poppyseed noodles, and German chocolate cake. I also made a red velvet cheesecake (so good!) and of course, the mandarin orange salad. The birthday party was a great success as Dave was indeed surprised and the guests had an enjoyable time. As for me, I think the Mandarin Orange Salad will be on a menu at my house real soon. In case you want a blast from the past, I've included the menu below.

Mandarin Orange Salad

1 large box orange jello
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 pint orange sherbet (I used the no sugar added version)
2 cans Mandarin oranges
1 small can crushed pineapple (undrained)

Dissolve jello in boiling water. Add the sherbet and mix until melted and dissolved. Drain juice from oranges and add 1/2 cup orange juice to jello mixture. Add pienapple and oranges. Pour into a jello mold or a 8 x 11 dish. Chill until firm.

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup pineapple juice
2 tablespoons flour
1 large egg, beaten
1 package Dream Whip
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Cook the sugar, butter, pineapple juice, flour and egg together over medium low heat until thick. Allow to cool. Once sauce is cooled, mix the Dream Whip with milk and vanilla as directed and fold into the sauce. Spread on top of the firm jello layer and then chill until serving.

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