Monday, December 21, 2015

The COMPLETE 12 Days of Kitschmas

I can't imagine that anyone missed a single moment of the 12 Days of Kitschmas, but just in case, here are all the videos in one place, along with handy attributed recipes!

Episode I: Aunt Beru's Blue Milk Blancmange

Adapted from Haitian Coconut Fruit Jell-O:
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 3-oz. box Blue Raspberry Jell-O
1/2 cup milk
1 can (1-1/2 cups) coconut milk

Sprinkle  unflavored gelatin over 1/2 cup cold milk.
Heat (don't boil) coconut milk. Add flavored Jell-O powder and stir to dissolve. 
Combine with unflavored gelatin mixture and dissolve completely.
Pour into oiled mold and generously sprinkle in fresh or frozen blueberries. Chill until firm.

Episode II: Sarlaac Sazerac Cocktail

3 oz. Honey-infused bourbon
fresh lemon juice
Pappy's Sassafras Tea concentrate

In two chilled martini glasses, swirl and dump sassafras extract.  Shake bourbon and lemon juice in ice-filled shaker; pour into prepared glasses.  Garnish with lemon peel.

Episode III: Cuke Skywalkers

Adapted from Yummly and  
2 medium cucumbers
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 eggs, hard boiled and chopped
1 can salad shrimp
fresh dill

Slice cucumbers into one inch slices.  With spoon or melon baller, hollow out center of each slice. Mix cream cheese, yogurt, shrimp and eggs until smooth.  Fill cucumber cups with shrimp mixture, top with dill and paprika if desired.  Chill before serving.

Episode IV: Tatooweenies

2 lbs little smokies or cocktail wieners
1/2 cup brown sugar 
2 T. water
1 13 oz can pinapple chunks (reserve juice and add enough water to make 1 cup of juice)
2 T. cornstarch
1/4 teas. salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh green pepper
1 small jar maraschino cherries, drained 

Boil weiners for 5 minutes in large saucepan and drain, let set. This cooks the excess grease out of them.
To pineapple juice, add brown sugar, cornstarch, salt, and lemon juice. Cook in your large saucepan (you can use the same one you boiled your smokies in) until thickened.
Add wieners, cherries, pineapple and pepper to the thickened pineapple mixture.
Stir well and transfer to crockpot.

Episode V: Emperor Palpatinis

Adapted from The Aviation: 

2 oz Gin

.5 oz Maraschino liqueur

.25 oz Crème de violette or Crème Yvette

.75 oz Lemon juice 
Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice.
Shake, and strain into a cocktail glass.
Garnish with a cherry if desired.

Episode VI: X-Wings

(Honey-Sriracha Wings - 
For the Wings:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for the pan
2 pounds chicken wings, split at the joints, tips removed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the Sauce:
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup honey, plus more for drizzling
1/4 cup Sriracha 1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat a large rimmed baking sheet with vegetable oil. Dry the chicken wings with paper towels and place in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, the melted butter, granulated garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Pour the mixture over the wings and toss well to coat. Spread the wings in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake the wings until browned and crisp, 45 to 55 minutes. Meanwhile, make the sauce: Melt the butter in a small pot over medium heat. Add the honey, Sriracha, soy sauce and lime juice and stir until the mixture bubbles gently. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Carefully remove the wings from the baking sheet and transfer to a large bowl. Pour the warm sauce over the wings and gently toss to coat. Transfer the wings to a serving platter and drizzle with more honey; serve with lime wedges.

Recipe courtesy of Judi Stowell for Food Network Magazine
Episode VII: Darth Taters

1 lb. Mexican chorizo
1/2 green pepper, diced
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 package frozen tots
Shredded cheddar cheese, to taste
Brown chorizo. In same pan, sauté onions and peppers until soft.  
Add frozen tots to baking dish. Top with chorizo and vegetable. Top entire casserole with shredded cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Episode VIII: Boba Feta Dip
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (8 ounce) package feta cheese, crumbled
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
In a medium bowl, thoroughly blend cream cheese, feta cheese, garlic, and dill with an electric mixer. Cover, and refrigerate at least 4 hours.

Episode IX: Return of the Pad Thai

8 ounces dried, wide and flat rice noodles
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus wedges for serving
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 squirt (about 1/8 teaspoon) Sriracha (optional)
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
3 scallions (green onions), white and green parts, separated and thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 large eggs, light beaten (optional)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped roasted, salted peanuts
Soak noodles according to package instructions. Drain.
In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, lime juice, soy sauce, and Sriracha.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.
Add scallion whites and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add eggs and cook, scraping skillet with spatula until eggs are almost set (about 30 seconds). Transfer eggs to a plate.
Add noodles, scallion greens, and sauce to skillet. Cook, tossing constantly, until noodles are soft (about 1 minute). Add egg mixture and toss to coat, breaking eggs up gently.
Serve noodles with lime wedges, topped with cilantro and peanuts.
If desired, chicken or pork may be added.
Episode X: Princess Layer Cake/ Flan Solo

From Betty Crocker:

1 jar (12.25 oz) caramel topping 
1 box Betty Crocker™ SuperMoist™ triple chocolate fudge cake mix
1 cup water 
1/2 cup vegetable oil  
3 eggs
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated) 
1 cup milk
4 eggs 
 Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 12-cup fluted tube cake pan with butter. Pour 1/4 cup of the caramel topping in bottom of pan. Refrigerate remaining caramel topping for serving. 
In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, oil and 3 eggs with electric mixer on medium speed about 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour batter over caramel topping in pan. 
In blender, place flan ingredients. Cover; blend on high speed until smooth, about 40 seconds. Slowly pour mixture over batter. (Flan mixture will mix with batter, but they will separate during baking, forming 1 layer of cake and 1 layer of flan.) 
Cover cake pan with foil. Place in large roasting pan; add 1 inch of hot water to roasting pan. 
Bake about 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean. Remove cake pan from water bath to cooling rack; remove foil. Cool completely, at least 1 hour. 
Place serving plate upside down on cake pan; turn plate and pan over. Remove pan. Cut chocoflan into slices; serve with remaining caramel topping. Store in refrigerator.
Episode XI: Queen Ami-challah Bread Pudding
 From Bacon Today:
1 loaf Challah bread, torn into small pieces and toasted
1 lb. bacon
½ cup brown sugar (to candy the bacon)
1 cup Guinness beer
1.5 cups 1% milk
1.5 cup half and half
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup melted butter
11 ounces dark chocolate chips
4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt

To candy the bacon: Rub brown sugar on both sides of each bacon strip. Place on a baking sheet or casserole dish, then place in a cold oven. Turn oven to 400° F and bake for 17-20 min until bacon is crisp. You may need to flip the bacon halfway through to avoid burning on one side. Set aside and allow to cool, then chop into bits.
Reduce oven temp to 350° F. Place pieces of Challah bread on baking sheets and toast for 5-10 min until no longer soft. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 min.

In a large bowl, add eggs and gently beat until the yolks are combined with the whites. Add milk, half and half, Guinness, brown sugar, vanilla extract, salt and butter to the eggs and mix. Add the toasted bread to the liquid and mix until all the bread is wet. Get your hands in there and get ‘em dirty! Then add the chocolate and half the candied bacon until combined. Butter a 9 x 13 casserole or baking dish and then add the bread.
Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool for 15 min. before cutting. Drizzle with chocolate or caramel syrup then sprinkle remaining bacon on top and serve. 

Episode XII: Chewbaklava 
From Pilsbury:

2 cans (8 oz each) Pillsbury™ refrigerated crescent dinner rolls or 2 cans (8 oz each) Pillsbury™ refrigerated Crescent Dough Sheet  
3 to 4 cups walnuts, finely chopped 
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1/2 cup honey  
2 tablespoons butter or margarine 
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Heat oven to 350°F. Unroll 1 can of dough and separate into 2 long rectangles. Place in ungreased 13x9-inch pan; press in bottom and 1/2 inch up sides to form crust. (If using crescent rolls, firmly press perforations to seal.) Bake 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in large bowl, mix walnuts, 1/2 cup of the sugar and the cinnamon. 
Spoon walnut mixture evenly over crust. Separate remaining can of dough into 2 long rectangles. Place over walnut mixture; press out to edges of pan. With tip of sharp knife, score dough with 6 lengthwise and 6 diagonal markings to form 36 diamond-shaped pieces, using dough edges and perforations as a guide.
In 1-quart saucepan, mix remaining 1/4 cup sugar, the honey, butter and lemon juice. Heat to boiling. Remove from heat; spoon half of sugar mixture evenly over dough. 
Bake 25 to 30 minutes longer or until golden brown. Spoon remaining sugar mixture evenly over hot baklava. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 30 minutes. For diamond shapes, cut 6 straight parallel lines down length of pan; cut 6 diagonal lines across straight lines.
And in case you missed the Vodkatonix new single:
That's all for this year, I'm off to pick up Dr. Husband at the airport. We'll see you real soon! 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Crusty SPAM Bake!

contributed by Bryce W., Selden, NY
 Faithful follower and old pal Bryce has sent me a priceless treasure - two binders of meticulously cut out recipes from newspapers and magazines, found in his grandmother-in-law's attic. Just the sort of thing I can put to good use, in case you yourself happen to come across something of it's like.  In the meantime, you can show your appreciation to Bryce by picking up his CD, or stocking up on some or all of his children's books for the holidays!

So, on to "Crusty SPAM Bake".  Dr. Husband is a well-known hater of SPAM, so I chose an evening when he was away at work to try it out. I'm not so averse - there's really nothing like a slab of potted meat with Miracle Whip in between a couple of slices of white bread, after all - and not that it was entirely a hard sell, but to be perfectly frank it was the first recipe my eyes landed on when I opened the first binder.

The recipe:

1/2 c. cornflake crumbs (I used Panko instead)
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1 12 oz. can spam
2 tbsp. prepared mustard
pineapple slices
Combine cornflakes crumbs, brown sugar and cloves. Slice spam into 8 slices. Spread each side with mustard, then coat generously with crumb mixture. Top with pineapple slices and place in shallow baking pan.Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes.
Serves 4 with 2 slices each.

Easy assembly, easy cleanup, and not entirely disgusting. In fact, like most mid-century budget cooking, it kind of tastes like nothing:
 Our Rating: Three Screaming Husbands!
(all dishes are rated from one to five Screaming Husbands. One Screaming Husband equals a happy home where all problems are solved during cocktail hour. Five Screaming Husbands signals the beginning of divorce proceedings.)

Monday, October 19, 2015

Vincent Price Treasury Cookalong!

Poularde Pavillon (Chicken in Champagne Sauce)
Pineapple Nut Loaf
contributed by Vincent Price
Our friends over at Silver Screen Suppers are hosting a Vincent Price Treasury Cookalong, to celebrate the 50th Anniversary release of Vincent and Mary Price's A Treasury of Great Recipes. There's even time for you to participate yourself if you want, so follow the links below for everything you could possibly need to know!

Vincent Price Treasury Cookalong with Silver Screen Suppers
Cooking With Vincent Website – for details of celebratory events in the USA 
Vincent Price Legacy Tour – for details of celebratory events in the UK
Amazon Page for the 50th Edition of A Treasury of Great Recipes
I'll have to admit that for most of my childhood, I had no idea that Vincent Price was supposed to be scary, I just thought he was a kindly old man who came on Merv Griffin and shared recipes.

Here we have two gems right from the cookbook, and they're both keepers. Chicken in Champagne Sauce was adapted by the Prices from New York's Le Pavillon. It looks complicated on paper, but goes together pretty quickly. If you're serving for company, you'll have to coordinate your timing carefully since you have to wait til the end to do the sauce:

Preheat oven to 350
Season a 3 lb chicken with 1 teaspoon salt.  Truss it and place in a small casserole with 2 tablespoons butter and 2 cups dry French champagne.  
(I used thigh cutlets in lieu of a whole chicken)
Cook about 45 minutes.  Baste every 8 minutes and turn until the chicken is an even golden brown on all sides.  
Remove chicken, cut off string, and keep chicken warm on hot platter.
Add to juices in the casserole: 4 cups cream, 3 shallots, chopped fine, 4 mushrooms crushed by rolling with rolling pin, 1 sprig parsley, chopped, 2 bay leaves, and a pinch of thyme.
Simmer on top of stove until sauce has reduced to two-thirds of the original amount.  Strain through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan.
Place over a medium heat and swirl in 2 tablespoons butter.  Add 6 ounces (a glass) dry champagne.
Spoon some of the sauce over the chicken, serve the rest separately. 
 Now, then, for dessert. Pineapple Nut Loaf. I don't bake much, as you might remember, because I hate measuring and usually the kitchen ends up looking something like this:
But I rallied, and here's the recipe if you find yourself interested:
1 ¾ cups sifted flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons soft butter
¾ cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup crushed pineapple, including juice
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350
Butter a one-pound loaf pan
Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in the nuts.
In mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar then beat in egg and continue to beat until mixture is smooth.
Stir in half the flour-nut mixture.
Stir in pineapple, including juice.
Stir in the remaining flour-nut mixture and stir into well blended. Drop into the prepared pan.
Combine the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over batter. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until bread tests done. Let cool for 5 minutes, then turn out on the cake rack to cool.
Easy squeezy, and delicious (though not very pineapple-y).  But what did Dr. Husband think?

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Cheese Slaw!

contributed by James Fitzpatrick, Harwood, MD

I really can't write anything that would do this justice. It's slaw, made of cheese. Just watch. Be sure and stay tuned for a musical selection at the end.

PS - don't eat it like it's the last food you'll ever eat, or you be sorry the next day.
Our Rating: ZERO Screaming Husbands!
(all dishes are rated from one to five Screaming Husbands. One Screaming Husband equals a happy home where all problems are solved during cocktail hour. Five Screaming Husbands signals the beginning of divorce proceedings.) 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Peanut Butter Dipsies!

Party Perfect, 1960
contributed by Amy from Iowa City
New fan Amy from Iowa City writes:

Hi Dr. Bobb,

I found your blog a few weeks ago and I love it! 

I have a recipe request for you.  This is a recipe for "Peanut Butter Dipsies" from the 1960 edition of Party Perfect (images attached).  Could you please make it and try it out on Dr. Husband?  I need to know if I should make this for my next Saturday night get-together.  My husband refuses to try it :(

Thank you so much for all that you do - your blog is AWESOME!

Amy from Iowa City has done everything right - a recipe, pictures, and PLENTY of complimentary salutations. If you'd like to be at the top of my list like Amy from Iowa City, just drop me a line here! (or on Facebook. Or Twitter. Or Tumblr. Or Instagram.)

Now, then, let's see about these Peanut Butter Dipsies.  Nothing fancy, but plenty that
sounds horrific:

Peanut Butter Dipsies

1 cup peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
1/4 cup pickle relish, drained
1/2 tsp salt
3 slices crisp bacon, crumbled
30 small round-shaped pieces of bread

Combine peanut butter, mayonnaise, eggs, pickle relish, and salt.  Mix until blended.  Spread on bread rounds and top with small pieces of crisp bacon.  Makes 30 small 

Is your mouth watering yet? Well, let's see how it goes!

Our Rating: Three and a half Screaming Husbands!
(all dishes are rated from one to five Screaming Husbands. One Screaming Husband equals a happy home where all problems are solved during cocktail hour. Five Screaming Husbands signals the beginning of divorce proceedings.)

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Joan Crawford's Meatloaf! (and other things)

 I won't bore you with a lot of folderol (you can watch the video for that) but suffice to say that Dr. Husband provided me with exactly what I wanted for my birthday, and entire day devoted to Joan Crawford.  
After movie time came dinner, the centerpiece of which was meatloaf made from Miss Crawford's own recipe.  Accompanied by Limestone salad, and for dessert, an effervescent mid-century-inspired orange creamsicle poke cake. Recipes below, then stay tuned for Dr. Husband cooking!


1 pound bib lettuce, washed & gently torn into pieces
1 recipe Kentucky Limestone Salad Dressing - below
Put lettuce in salad bowl and chill thoroughly. Pour dressing over lettuce and gently toss and blend well. Serves 4.

1 clove garlic, put through press or minced
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
About 1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon salad mustard
1/4 cup pear vinegar (other vinegar's may be used - we used tarragon)
1/2 cup salad oil
Combine all ingredients and shake well in jar. Refrigerate at least 2 hours. Shake again just before pouring over lettuce.
1 box white cake mix
3 eggs
1 can orange soda
1/4 c oil
1 3 oz. pkg  orange-flavored gelatin
3/4 c boiling water
1 c cold water
1 jar vanilla frosting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prep a 9x13-inch pan with non-stick spray.

Prepare the cake mix in a large mixing bowl, using eggs, orange soda and oil.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until cake springs back when lightly touched and starts to pull away from the sides of the pan.

Remove from the oven to a wire rack to cool completely. Using a wooden chopstick, poke small holes through to the bottom of the pan, all over the cake.

In a small bowl, dissolve a box of orange gelatin with boiling water, mix well. Add cold water and mix well.

Slowly pour the orange gelatin mixture over the cake, making sure that the mixture gets into all the holes.

Cover and chill for 2 to 4 hours.

Frost the cake. 

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Tropical Cocktail!

A Year of Canned Pineapple Treats, date unknown

Our Rating: Four Screaming Husbands!
(all dishes are rated from one to five Screaming Husbands. One Screaming Husband equals a happy home where all problems are solved during cocktail hour. Five Screaming Husbands signals the beginning of divorce proceedings.)

Friday, July 10, 2015

Nina Gonzales' Pigeon Peas!

There won't be any rating this time, as I know Dr. Husband will eat this dip, and continue eating it until all of it is gone. I can't believe I haven't already told the world about this. It's my go-to bringalaong for pot lucks and parties, is easily adaptable for vegetarians, and is universally beloved by all. First introduced to us by our former colleague Nina Gonzales, I've made a few tweaks of my own. And so here it is!

2 cans pigeon peas (Green Gandules - Mexican aisle at the grocery) 
1/4 cup sweet relish 
3/4 cup olive oil 
1/2 cup vinegar 
2 tblsp. brown sugar 
2 envelopes culantro y anchote (Mexican aisle again) 
1/2 bunch chopped cilantro 
1/2 red or green pepper chopped 
1 medium onion chopped 
2 cloves minced garlic 

Drain and rinse the pigeon peas.  Boil for one minute in one cup chicken or vegetable broth or bouillon. Drain but don't rinse. Add remaining ingredients and chill.  Serve as dip with tortilla chips or as a side relish.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Pieathalon 2: Mincey Peach Pie!

It's Pieathalon!

I'll give you a moment to catch your breath, then proceed to tell you that Pieathalon is an annual event organized by our friend Yinzeralla over at Dinner is Served 1972, in which 19 like-minded gastronomes swap pie recipes (the more retro-slash-horrific the better), and then blog about the results. You will find a helpful list with links of all the participants at the bottom of the page, I encourage you to visit each and every one and share the internet traffic love!

Dr. Husband and I were off to a family reunion in my hometown this weekend (my side - lots of cousins I hadn't seen since infancy, but I'm happy to report that we all turned out swell) so I took my ingredients and recipe with me. My assignment was "Mincey Peach Pie" from Pillsbury's Entertainment Idea Handbook (1970).
Having never seen anything from this book but my assigned recipe, I can't say whether Mincey Peach Pie is indicative of the contents in general - the swinging bon vivants from the cover art would seem to speak to more adventurous fare, but who am I to judge?

Also, glancing over the assignments of my compatriots, I and my tasters clearly got off easy. I literally just dumped two cans of slop in a store-bought pie shell and cooked it. (Also got a stern lecture about the misuse of the word literally, but that's my own burden to bear.)

Here is the recipe as originally printed:

Double crust pastry for 9-inch pie
1 1/2 cups prepared mincemeat
1 1/2 cups (1 lb. 5-oz. can) prepared peach pie filling
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
Sugar, if desired

In a large mixing bowl, combine mincemeat, pie filling and orange peel. Pour into pastry-lined 9-inch pie pan. Roll out remaining dough; cut slits for steam to escape. Moisten rim of bottom crust. Place top crust over filling. Fold edge under bottom crust, pressing to seal. Flute edge. Brush top crust with cream; sprinkle with sugar, if desired. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes until golden brown.

The biggest challenge, quite honestly, was finding a jar of mincemeat in the summertime. (I briefly considered making my own, authentic meat-containing mincemeat, but we all pretty much know I would never work that hard.)

I was worried that mincemeat, never a particular favorite of mine, was a bit too heavy and reminiscent of winter to be suitable for my summertime audience, but I have to say that the peaches and orange peel really lighten it up considerably. My only complaint was that the finished product is so sweet, even without the optional sugar...but a slice of cheese melted on top will help that along. (As mother would say, "A piece of pie without the cheese is like a kiss without the squeeze.")
 Let's see what the unwitting party-goers thought:

And now be sure to check out the rest of this year's Pieathletes - just click and enjoy!


The Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en

Saucy Cherie

Yesterday's Menus

A Pinch of Vintage

Bittersweet Susie  


Kelli's Kitchen  

Retro Recipe Attempts  

Retro Food For Modern Times  

Silver Screen Suppers 

Heritage Recipe Box 

Grannie Pantries

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Two Cake Tuesday! Bologna Cake b/w Plum Fun Cake!

Bologna Cake Submitted by DEANNA
Plum Fun Cake My Mother
About a week ago, I got a frantic text from my sister, which read:

Mom is claiming that she used to make something called "plum fun cake" made w baby food. Do u know of this?

Well, I didn't remember the association with plums, but the baby food kind of rang a bell. A little quick Googling revealed that Plum Fun Cake was indeed something that was popular in the 1970s - one recipe I found claimed, in fact, that EVERYONE made it in the 70s.

Around the same time, new fan Deanna started devotedly following and commenting over on the Facebook page, and sent me the irresistible instructions for the Atkins-friendly hors d'oerve Bologna "Cake".  Cheese-covered processed meat is a particular favorite of the Kitschen, so I promised Deanna I'd get right to work. 

I'll start with the Bologna Cake, as it's by far the more time-intensive.  Here's the recipe as provided by Deanna:

12 ounces good quality bologna, sliced (I used Oscar Mayer, that's quality in MY house)
12 ounces room temperature cream cheese (one and one half blocks) 
 ½ package dry ranch salad dressing mix 
1 can aerosol cheese, sharp cheddar flavor 
Garnish: 1 sliced pimiento stuffed olive, a few slivers of green onion tops or few parsley leaves Buttery flavor crackers for serving 

In a medium bowl and with a spatula combine the dry ranch dressing mix with cream cheese until well blended. Place the first slice of bologna on a medium serving plate. Spread about a teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture evenly over the top of the bologna. Place another slice of bologna on top and repeat until all of the bologna slices have been used. Spread the remaining cream cheese over the top and sides, as if icing a real cake. Squirt dollops of the aerosol cheese around the base of the “cake” and around the upper rim. Garnish as desired with olives, parsley or green onions. To serve, place a very thin, sharp knife on the plate for guests to slice thin wedges. Place on top of a buttery-style cracker (Townhouse or Ritz). Serves 10-12 

It may sound like an easy task to spread cream cheese on bologna, but as you probably know, bologna is a frictionless surface, there's nothing for the cheese to cling to. So go into this with clean hands, you'll be using your fingers to get everything spread evenly. Once assembled, though, it will make a charming addition to your entertaining table:
Plum Fun Cake will come together much more quickly.  Only one problem - I'll be damned if I could find any plum & tapioca baby food. I'm not sure it's made any more.  I considered several alternatives based on what I found in the store, and finally settled on a prune-apple combination.  The result is still delicious, but if anyone knows a hidden source of authentic plum-tapioca flavor, let me know!

Here's the standard recipe as found on 
3/4 c. oil
2 c. sugar 
3 eggs 
1 tbsp. red food color 
1 tsp. vanilla 
2 sm. jars plum and tapioca baby food 
2 c. flour 
1/2 tsp. soda 
1/2 tsp. salt 
1 tsp. cloves 
1 tsp. cinnamon 
1 c. chopped pecans
Mix oil, sugar, eggs, food coloring, vanilla, and baby food together. Sift together flour, soda, salt, cloves, and cinnamon. Mix with wet ingredients, add pecans. Bake 1 hour at 325 degrees in well greased and floured pan (tube or Bundt pan).
Plum flavor substituted as mentioned, and I forgot to put the pecans in. My cake also wasn't done after an hour, I baked it about an hour and 20 minutes.
The batter is also the most intriguing blood-red color as it's mixing!
 But - moist and delicious!  Both offerings this week, in fact, were very well received:
Our Rating: Zero Screaming Husbands!(all dishes are rated from one to five Screaming Husbands. One Screaming Husband equals a happy home where all problems are solved during cocktail hour. Five Screaming Husbands signals the beginning of divorce proceedings.)