Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Mid-Century Kitchen with Molly Starlite - Episode 4: Empty Bowl Potato Salad!

I, probably like a lot of people, didn't like potato salad when I was a kid. In fact, I don't think I willingly ate any potato salad even through most of my young adulthood. And then one day, I was a potential drummer's house for him to try out for my band and his wife served us all bowls of potato salad. Not wanting to be rude, I ate some. And I was shocked that I actually liked it. It wasn't weird in any way. It tasted like potatoes and bacon and there wasn't any weird crunchy things in it, but it had the taste of onions and pickles without the crunch of it.

But the audition didn't go well and I lost contact with that drummer and his wife and never got the recipe. So, I set out to make my own version, and this is the result! This potato salad is a crowd favorite to every place I have ever taken it to; I have never had to bring leftovers home when I bring this dish to picnics, potlucks, BBQs, etc. The secret is the inclusion of pickle juice and lemon zest and juice, which adds the traditional pickle flavor but kicks it up a freshness notch or two with the acidity of the lemon.

Alternate versions of this that I have made before when I have it on hand include adding bacon, but it really is delicious exactly like this. Watch me make it here:

Here's a printable recipe card. (Download & print PDF file HERE)

Empty Bowl Potato Salad
6 eggs (hard boiled)
5 medium potatoes (boiled)
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
Zest & juice of one lemon
2 tbs pickle juice
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbs chicken bouillon
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp black pepper

In a large pot, cover potatoes and eggs with water and bring to boil. After 7 minutes of boiling, remove eggs from water and set aside to cool. Continue boiling potatoes for another 10 minutes or until fork tender in the middles. Remove potatoes from hot water and allow to cool.

In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon zest & juice, and pickle juice and whisk until combined. Add in spices and seasonings and whisk until incorporated.

Peel and dice potatoes and put in large mixing bowl. Peel & rinse eggs and set aside.

Add dressing to bowl of potatoes, gently folding to combine until all potato pieces are coated.

Slice eggs on egg slicer and add 4 of the eggs to the bowl of potatoes. Gently fold to incorporate.

Transfer potato salad to serving bowl. Top with remaining two eggs, arranged in a pretty pattern for serving.

Serves 6 to 10.

Like what you see here? Want to help me make more awesome stuff? Support me on and get instant rewards! You could get a custom song, free copies of my books, free jewelry, a say in my projects, and so much more! Thank you for your patronage!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Jenny January - Day 7 (last day): Ice Blue Harlequin Print Dress

For the last day of Miss Amy May's Jenny January, I chose to wear the last Jenny dress I bought from Pinup Girl Clothing: the ice blue harlequin print! I am a harlequin diamond nut. I love this motif, so much, and so, outside of the Halloween harlequin (which I wasn't fond of the orange in it) and the purple harlequin print (which I didn't like the green and purple combo that doesn't look good on my skin tone), I have at last one item in every colorway. This dress... I didn't think I was going to be able to afford it, but my Tommy Lee surprised me with it as a Christmas present, and I am so glad that he did because it is really versatile, and the fit is amazing, in my opinion.

And that does it for another year of Jenny January posts. I am ready for a wiggle skirt tomorrow, though, and I'll be filming another episode of the Mid-Century Kitchen with Molly Starlite. What should I cook? I'm thinking potato salad.

Like what you see here? Want to help me make more awesome stuff? Support me on and get instant rewards! You could get a custom song, free copies of my books, free jewelry, a say in my projects, and so much more! Thank you for your patronage!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Jenny January - Day 6: Cherry Border Print Dress

My second favorite Jenny dress that I own is this cherry border print dress that I wore for Miss Amy May's Jenny January Day 6. I ADORE this print because it is unusual compared to traditional all-over cherry prints... plus, this one is a dress that is actually three sizes too big for me that I tailored to fit me. That means that the waistline of the dress makes it all the way to my navel and my natural waist, accommodating my freakishly long waist better than any other dress I own.

I wore this dress to walk in the Women's March on Washington Sister March in Sandpoint, Idaho this morning/afternoon. It was a near-blizzard out there today, and, while the weather ruined my wet set, it couldn't stop our spirit and determination and solidarity... and my dress kept me warm while we were out there for about 2 and half hours with about 800 other like-minded souls.

Like what you see here? Want to help me make more awesome stuff? Support me on and get instant rewards! You could get a custom song, free copies of my books, free jewelry, a say in my projects, and so much more! Thank you for your patronage!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Jenny January - Day Five: Black/Teal Harlequin Jenny Dress!

This is, bar none, my favorite Jenny dress, mostly because of the print and color scheme. I wore this dress for Day Five of Miss Amy May's Jenny January, where you wear a different Jenny dress or skirt every day for seven days. This was the first Jenny dress I bought from Pinup Girl Clothing and the start of a bit of an obsession: I love the cut and style of this dress as well as the whole midcentury harlequin motif. So much heart-eyes.

Like what you see here? Want to help me make more awesome stuff? Support me on and get instant rewards! You could get a custom song, free copies of my books, free jewelry, a say in my projects, and so much more! Thank you for your patronage!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Jenny January, Day 4: Jenny Skirt in Black!

A plain black swing skirt is a must-have staple for any pinup wardrobe. It's simple, elegant, and pairs with virtually any top or blouse by virtue of its neutrality. The black Jenny skirt from Pinup Girl Clothing that I chose to wear for Day Four of Miss Amy May's Jenny January is a high quality choice for putting such a work horse in your closet. I found mine to be rather long when I got it - and I am pretty tall at just a hair under six feet - so I have hemmed mine 2 inches. While you'll want to keep a lint roller on hand - as you would with any black or dark colored apparel - the black Jenny skirt is such a versatile piece that I can't see how anyone wouldn't recommend it. For my Day Four outfit, I paired my black Jenny skirt with the Carole top in Villain's print (with art by Stephanie Buscema) and the perfect pinup shrug in black, all from PUG.

Like what you see here? Want to help me make more awesome stuff? Support me on and get instant rewards! You could get a custom song, free copies of my books, free jewelry, a say in my projects, and so much more! Thank you for your patronage!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Jenny January - Day 3: White Harlequin Jenny!

White harlequin Jenny dress from Pinup Girl Clothing
Day three of Miss Amy May's Jenny January, and I chose to wear the Jenny dress in white harlequin. I love the harlequin diamond motif; it's so retro and 1950s kitsch... it instantly calls to mind that time period, and this print adds to that with its color scheme on a white background. The moment I saw it, I thought of this Sears ad:

And it doesn't get any more retro, 1950s than that!

Mid-Century Kitchen with Molly Starlite - Episode 3: 1950s Coffee Cake!

When I was kid, my mom used to make this delicious coffee cake that would be waiting, warm, when I got off the school bus. I loved how the topping was crunchy and the cake was crumbly with gooey veins of sweetness running through it.

I don't get many opportunities to make a coffee cake - being as Pinochle and Bridge have fallen out of style, as it were - but I still like to make this authentic 1950s coffee cake recipe every once in a while. Call it nostalgia, but there really isn't any treat tastier than a real midcentury coffee cake.

Watch me make it in episode three of my Mid-century Kitchen series on YouTube, and be sure to subscribe to my channel if you like what you see!

You can also support my video efforts by becoming my patron on, a web site that connects makers and patrons. I have tons of awesome rewards already available with more coming soon!

Here is the 1950s Coffee Cake Recipe (Download PDF - Click Here)

2/3 cups sugar
3/4 cups flour
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tbs cinnamon
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
3/4 cup butter or shortening
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 tsps baking powder
2 tsps vanilla
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
1 1/4 cups milk
3 3/4 cups flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan or two 9" round cake pans.

Make the topping by whisking together the sugar, salt, flour, and cinnamon. Add the melted butter, stirring until well combined. Set the topping aside.

Make the filling by mixing together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and cocoa powder. Set it aside.

To make the cake: In a large bowl, beat together shortening, salt, sugars, baking powder, and vanilla until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream and milk till well combined. Add the flour to the butter mixture alternately with the milk/sour cream mixture, beating gently to combine.

Pour half the batter into the prepared pans, spreading all the way to the edges. If you're using two 9" round pans, spread 1 1/3 cups batter in each pan. Sprinkle the filling evenly atop the batter. Gently spread the remaining batter atop the filling. Sprinkle the topping over the batter in the pan.

Bake 55 minutes. When pressed gently in the middle, the cake should spring back. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool for 20 minutes before cutting and serving.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Jenny January Day Two: Pink Mary Blair Parasols!

Mary Blair parasols Jenny skirt in pink!
Day Two of Miss Amy May's Jenny January is the first Pinup Girl Clothing skirt I ever stalked on their "coming soon" page: the Mary Blair pink parasols print Jenny skirt! Literally, as soon as I saw this skirt, I knew I had to have it. I literally watched the "coming soon" page for months, waiting for it to be released. The moment I got the "your products are in stock" email, I rushed to the site and bought the skirt - as well as the cardigan I am wearing in the picture, which matches perfectly, BTW - ten minutes from receiving the in-stock email!

This is the first-run version, so it doesn't have pockets, but I love it so much. I wear this skirt all the time, even though the pink is a tough color to match. It really looks best with a white top and this pink cardigan, which, upon looking for it to link it for you all, appears to have been discontinued. :(

In this picture, I have accessorized my outfit with chrome Mary Janes from Zappos, vintage starburst jewelry, and a two-tone pink pinup hair flower from my Valentine's Day collection.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Jenny January - Day One: Red Harlequin

Chocolate harlequin Jenny dress from Pinup Girl Clothing
Jenny January is an event started by Miss Amy May in which pinup ladies dress in a different Pinup Girl Clothing Jenny dress or skirt every day for a week. It's a lot of fun, and you sometimes get to match outfits with other pinup ladies. It's a huge event on Instagram, and last year, I collaborated with over a dozen pinup ladies to match outfits for all seven days.

This year, I have been too busy to schedule any collaborations on purpose, but I am still participating. For Day One of Jenny January, I am wearing one of my favorite Jenny dresses: the chocolate harlequin Jenny dress! I love this dress because the color scheme looks great with my coloring, and it's a bigger size that I tailored to fit me, so the bodice fits all the way to my bellybutton on my freakishly long waist. It's eye-catching and a perfect precursor to Valentine's Day next month.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Mid-Century Kitchen: The Cocktail

Nothing is more important to the mid-century meal time than the quintessential cocktail. Over the years, I've tried a lot of liquors; not many have suited my tastes, and fewer mixed drinks really call my name. So, I devised my own (you wouldn't really expect anything less from me, would you?). I call this drink "Cheerio's Cherry" because it tastes like cherry punch and my Grandpa called me Cheerio (because I had as much energy as the Cheerio Kid).

Watch me make a Cheerio's Cherry in the Mid Century Kitchen:

Download the recipe card:


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Mid-Century Kitchen with Molly Starlite: Cooking with SPAM?!?!

Can any recipe make Spam taste good to modern mouths? Let's find out!
One of my all-time favorite dishes growing up was this rigatoni pasta and Spam concoction my mother made every other Sunday afternoon. It's creamy, the Spam adds salt, and the BBQ chips on top add the perfect crunch.

Though a lot of people turn their noses up at Spam, it really is the key component to this tasty dish of comfort food. This casserole takes less than half an hour to put together, 20 minutes to bake, and is also GREAT to take to potlucks! (You'll come back with just an empty pan, I promise!)

No, it's not gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, lactose free, low carb, or low calorie, but it is darned delicious!

Here's the recipe in text; a printable recipe card is below, in both JPG and PDF format, and you can follow along with my video (below), too!

1 can of Spam (any flavor - I like Hickory Smoke)
1 box of rigatoni noodles
2 cups of milk
1/2 cup of flour
1/2 cup of butter
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup crushed BBQ potato chips
Salt & Pepper to taste
Paprika for color (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 375-degrees.
Prepare pasta according to box directions.
Dice Spam into small cubes and put in foil-lined baking pan (no sense in making more work for yourself)
Melt butter in saucepan over medium-high heat.
Add flour to butter to make a paste.
Add milk to roux (your flour/butter mixture)
Whisk constantly until sauce reaches a medium-thick consistency. Add salt & pepper to taste. Remove from heat and set aside.
Drain pasta (do not rinse) and add to baking pan. Stir in white sauce and mix until fully incorporated.
Top with a layer of cheddar cheese, a layer of crushed chips, and a second layer of cheese. Top with a sprinkle of paprika, if desired.
Place in pre-heated oven and bake for 20 minutes.
Serves 4-8 people for a main dinner meal; many more at a potluck.

Click to view larger or print.