Try Some Retro Recipes from These Americana Cookbooks

Retro diner photo

When it comes to throwing a party everyone needs a theme and my favorite theme has always been the retro good times and recipes of the 1950s. Linda Everett has written a series of books that make finding drink and food recipes a snap. So grab that cocktail shaker and throw in some ice while we wander through the party ideas collection in the days of Diners, BBQ s and Tiki parties.

Retro Diner

book cover for Retro Diner cookbook by Linda Everett

Retro Diner starts us out with comfort food from the American roadside. From Mile high Biscuits, Willy’s Diner Pancakes, and Home-Style Meatloaf this book takes you back to locations such as Mel’s, Kullmans’s and O’Mahonys.

Retro Diner Recipe: Mile High Biscuits


  • 2 cups salted flour
  • 2 1/2 tsps baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 2/3 cup milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Blend in shortening and butter.
  3. Stir in milk with a fork a little at a time until the dough is soft but not sticky.
  4. Dump onto a lightly floured board and knead for about 20 minutes.
  5. Roll out dough until it is about 1 inch thick, Cut out biscuits with a glass.
  6. Place biscuits about 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet and bake until golden brown.

Retro Barbecue

Retro Barbecue book cover. Cookbook by Linda Everett.Retro Barbecue is described as tasty recipes for the grillin’ guy. It’s 2015 so I’m sure the grillin’ ladies are getting into the fun as well. Just remember your bowling shirt and retro white grilling apron. “Yes, Dad was the master of the flame, singeing his eyebrows, while smoking out the neighbors…” —page 6 of Retro Barbecue

Retro Barbecue Recipe: Too Good To Be True Burgers


  • 1 small sweet onion peeled
  • 1 carrot washed and peeled
  • 1 medium uncooked potato peeled
  • 1 cup dried breadcrumbs
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 egg, 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp coarsley ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup butter melted


  1. Put the vegetables through the food processor.
  2. In a large bowl mix together the vegetables with the breadcrumbs, meat, egg, salt, pepper, paprikam, and parsley.
  3. Form into 8 patties.
  4. Grill. Baste occasionally with butter.

Retro Happy Hour

Retro Happy Hour book cover. Cookbook by Linda EverettRetro Happy Hour contains drinks and eats with a 50s beat. Get out the cocktail shaker because that’s how it’s done. You can’t just toss the ingredients into a glass. It’s all about the presentation! This book starts with Ten Tips for the Absolute Perfect Party (Hint number seven is clean the house) and moves on from there. You don’t get to the good stuff until section four, titled “The Bar is Open.”

Retro Happy Hour Recipe: Tiki Torcher Cocktail

Ingredients and Instructions

  • 1 oz. orange juice
  • 3/4 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 oz. light rum
  • 1/4 oz. orgeat syrup
  • 1/2 oz. brandy
  • shaved ice, cracked ice. (You know a drink is cold when you have two types of ice; what’s that all about?)

Add ingredients to hurricane glass and stir.

Retro Beach Bash

Retro Beach Bash book cover. Cookbook by Linda EverettRetro Beach Bash is a sun lover’s guide to food and fun. Grab your shovel bucket and towel because we are off to the beach. We used to bring Kentucky Fried Chicken but this is a party-themed cookbook so get ready to grill something.

Retro Beach Bash Recipe: Channel Islands Chicken Pack


  • 1 broiler/fryer chicken (3 to 3.5 pounds), quartered
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 envelope of onion soup mix
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 can mushroom, stems and pieces drained


  1. Rinse chicken. Pat dry and remove fat and skin.
  2. Tear off four sheets of heavy duty aluminum foil. On each piece of the aluminum foil put one part of the chicken and sprinkle with butter, paprika, and soup mix.
  3. Divide mushrooms in fourths and place on top of chicken.
  4. Bring up the foil and fold into a sealed pack.
  5. Grill over medium hot coals for about 45 minutes, turning packet every 10 minutes.

Bonus Recipe: Retro Luau

Retro Luau book cover.Linda Everett isn’t the only one getting in on the Americana fun. This time the author is Richard Perry. His book Retro Luau will help you plan the perfect Polynesian Party.

Retro Luau Recipe: Crab Wontons

For the Wonton Filling

  • 8 oz. fresh crab meat
  • 1/4 cup water chestnuts, minced
  • 3 tbsps chives, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp port wine
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Additional Ingredients

You will need 1 package of wonton papers and 1 tsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tsp water. Peanut Oil for frying.


  1. Mix the filling ingredients until just blended.
  2. Place 1/2 teaspoon dollop of filling onto the center of each wonton paper.
  3. Mix water and cornstarch until smooth. Fold as desired and seal the edges with cornstarch and water mixture.
  4. Fry at 375 degrees until golden brown. Serve with soy sauce.







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