Monday, January 26, 2009

200: Resolution #4: Add excitement!

Was 2008 a humdrum year for you? Perhaps your resolution for '09 is to break through the barrier of monotony and routine and create for yourself a more exciting, lively year. But how do you transform yourself from lifelessness and fatigue to vim and vitality? The Coca Cola Company has long insisted the 'Coke adds life,' so the obvious extension of their claim is to guzzle down as much Coke as you can possibly muster. And none of those second-rate other brands will do; if the can or bottle doesn't specify 'Coke,' then not only will it not 'add life,' but it will probably taketh away!

Once you start drinking more crisp, refreshing Coca-Cola, you'll notice that your diet just can't keep up with this amazing elixir. How could it? The Coca Cola Company divined this problem in 1978 and had a set of recipe cards created to address the issue head on. Feast your eyes on this 'Easy Meals' set from the 'Coke adds life to... your cooking' recipe collection.

Introductory card from Helen Geist, director of the Culinary Arts Institute.

Baked Ham and Sweet Potatoes - This dish requires two beverages: the mandatory Coke accompaniment and the orange juice marinade in which the ham is soaked. The ham does sort of look as if some of the Coke was spilled on it, though.

Beef Polynesian - The contents of this platter are largely unidentifiable. See if you can spot these ingredients: ground beef, mushrooms, golden raisins, green peas, orange slices, and cashews. The fried rice may or may not be seasoned with an ingenious mixture of Coca-Cola, curry powder, and soy sauce, but it must definitely be served with Coca-Cola.

Chicken Hawaiian Turnovers - Don't stray from Polynesia just yet! Chicken Hawaiian Turnovers capitalize on the crepe craze by stuffing chicken, banana slices, and pineapple into a paper-thin crepe. To ensure the authenticity of the dish (not to mention your enjoyment of it), it is best served with Coca-Cola.

The Comfy Buffet Casserole - You weren't thinking of making this delectable casserole and not drinking Coke with it, were you? To be fair, it's only spaghetti with added corn, but the Coke makes it so much more than that!

Lamb Patties on Eggplant Slices - This is a hideous crime against eggplant. Only that cure-all, Coca-Cola, can make this sight better!

Parmesan Macaroni Casserole - Usually one thinks of Coke as the ideal beverage for meats, but it's equally good with pastas or, in this case, macaroni and cheese with ham and green pepper!

Planked Fish Fillet Dinner - Ahoy there! Have a filling banquet on the high seas with this slab of fish and potato.. and a few cans of Coke!

Pork Chops with Onion and Lemon - So simple yet so classy.. made all the more stylish with cans filled with the energizing tonic, Coca-Cola!

Shrimp and Rice Au Gratin - Shrimp nestle near a bed of processed cheese cubes in the fanciest dish yet! Skip the wine and the champagne, and uncork a bottle of domestic Coca-Cola!

Man, is Coca-Cola good!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Resolution #3: Eat Well On A Budget

The introduction to Grace White's One-dish meals to pamper your pocketbook says it all: 'happy solution[s] to that old bogy meal-fixing--for where can you find a bigger bargain in easy serving, good eating, fast cleanup?' This Family Circle article is appropriate for all your resolutions, including thriftier living, simplification, more wholesome dining, and, most definitely, waist watching!

When you're short on time, just boil it! The New-style Boiled Dinner is ideally paired with lots of red beets. Don't be skimpy on the red beets (my mantra)! You can also make the Double-treat Lamb Stew in just one pot! It's just-right for men, and it practically makes itself! Just add Pep!

Noodles Milanese (aka lasagna) is great with Bananas Jubilee! Try the Creole Pork Chops or the... Polenta. The polenta may be easy-put-together and easier-on-the-budget, but it is anything but easy-on-the-eyes!

Travel to exotic locales in 2009 without leaving your zip code or spending a fortune on plane tickets with these authentic Chinese, Middle Eastern, and Germanic staples! Give the Chow Mein Bowl a whirl for Chinese New Year, or maybe the Near East Casserole is more your speed. All it requires is budget-priced lamb (does that even exist, and is it actually lamb?) and eggplant! And what's the first Middle Eastern dessert you can think of? Why, Apricot Shortcake, of course! For a European touch, indulge with the bargain Chicken Strogonoff and some Cheese 'n' Crackers!

When your dining budget is dwindling at the end of the month, it's time to pull out the comfort food menus, including Winter's Best Soup (aka Marrow Ball Soup), Wiener Salad Bake, and Supper Sandwich!

If you follow these menu suggestions, you'll have more time, more money, less frustration, and another figure altogether by the end of 2009!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Resolution #2: Renovate!

Changing your surroundings and moving into a $7,000 house may not be feasible at this point in the year. Maybe you already have a house, but its uninspired furnishings and odious walls make you want to pull your hair out. It might be time for a renovation! Just call on the trusty Family Circle for a few ideas from their 'Mild Makeovers: Home Edition' section!

First up is the model kitchen. Sue Shumeyko (pictured) had her cabinets, countertops, and appliances outfitted with a stylish combination of birch and copper-finish. Not only does it look a dream, but it also has the latest gadgets: can you believe this state-of-the-art kitchen has an undercounter dishwasher and a two-door refrigerator!? As you can see, these new conveniences allow for a lot more in the way of free time and counterspace. Here Sue is exploring her other love, flower arranging! While Sue is cutting flower stems, Sue's exuberant husband, Ted, tests the temperature of Junior's dinner on his wrist (bottom left). We also catch a glimpse of their shiny new wall oven unit!

In 'The house of many ideas' by Evan Frances (Family Circle, January 1956) we are treated to a smorgasbord of sheer speculation. From the copy: 'Here's what happened to a termite-ridden old house when its owners put their dreams into the hands of a sound architect.' Does the phrase 'termite-ridden old house' describe your current living situation too aptly? If so, you'll want to pay particular attention to this article welcoming us into the (frankly.. a little bohemian) Schrieber's hot new digs.

Some before and after shots. Below, a daybed, a hi-fi, and a Hollywood hunk poster? I think a teen-ager lives in that room!

I'm sure you'll agree that there's a lot of room for improvement in your life, and Curly Wurly is devoted to showing you how to fancify every aspect of your existence! Our resolution series will soon be addressing topics such as eating better than ever in the new year and how to become the life of the party!

Monday, January 19, 2009

It's Never Too Late

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 81% of all Americans over the age of 18 make a New Year's resolution. Single Americans are 63% more likely to make a resolution than their married or divorced counterparts, and homeowners are more resolution-prone than renters.

Since change is ostensibly the theme of the week, now is the time to revisit and reenergize those resolutions that have probably fallen by the wayside in the past two weeks. For the remainder of the month, Curly Wurly will be your one-stop resource for information regarding the most popular resolutions. Remember, it's never too late to make a change, as my recent Dr. Phil-approved fortune cookie fortune can attest.

The first resolution guide is this very topical article on becoming a homeowner, '7 Budget Houses From $6,700 to $9,700'. Yes, your dreams are within reach with this January 1956 article from Family Circle! The original article was written by Joseph B. Mason. Unfortunately, I can't decipher the artist's signature. House designs are all by Robert A. Jorgensen.

Mason suggests that this two-story would be the perfect setting for Romeo and Juliet. I'm sure, in an alternate play, Ma and Pa Montague would have been quite at home in this cozy farmhouse throwback.

If a secluded outdoor paradise is what you're after, this cute one-level (top) with its large terrace (with barbecue) will be a favorite hangout for friends and family! Or, if your dream-come-true is to own a house that includes a 'roomette', look no further than the 'salt-box' house (bottom)! This 728 square foot cutie is all ready for your dolls to move in right now!

Now, here's some style! These two mod designs (with carports!) are smart options for any young couple!

Finally, here we have another cool modern design (top). I can agree with the description: 'There's a zest to this two-bedroom design that holds special appeal for young people.' The smallest house of the bunch looks like one of the biggest (bottom). The roof is made of marble chip!

All of these houses would be quite affordable considering our current economic downturn, but I notice that there's no way to tell the price of each design, how you can buy one of these dwellings, or if any of them were ever actually constructed. But, you must admit, the price was right!

If you already have a home, stay tuned for hints about renovations, and more popular resolutions will be covered throughout January. Change will come not only as you get better but also as it gets better!