Within these pages you’ll find expanded stories and detailed cook-alongs of the recipes in the book (I blog about 1 or 2 of them a month) along with photo galleries of the dishes cooked by readers like you, videos, music, and much more (the site is constantly changing and growing). Everything can be accessed from the tool bar at the top or the menu directly below. Scroll down this page to see the most recent blog postings…
BACK HOME AGAIN
The nights have gotten cooler. The first rains have allowed the over baked earth beneath the olive trees to turn a vivid green; the harvest has already begun. The hillsides are covered in specks of light pink; wild cyclamen, signalling the start of wildflower season here in Greece. And even though the maple tree outside my kitchen window hasn’t started dropping it’s leaves yet, it’s the time of year when we cozy up in the evening with blankets and thoughts of comfort food seem to satisfy the soul. After all…it’s months away from bikini season again, right?
The holiday season starts later here in Greece. Most people don’t decorate their homes until after the 17th of December (but all the festive lights DO stay up until the second week of January). As of this writing, I still don’t have my tree up. I decided on a cake recipe for this posting; a unique and delicious cake that’s perfect for whenever people are gathering to celebrate the season. Richard Thomas’ Applesauce Cake with Whiskey Frosting! It’s a spice cake, lush with raisins, walnuts, and apple goodness…sweetened with the subtle, warm flavors of bourbon. This cake is a seasonal celebration, in and of itself!
OCTOBER 19, 2017
SPIRITS OF HALLOWEEN
The air has suddenly turned crisp and trees are beginning to paint the skyline in shades of amber, gold, and crimson. Our hearts grow a little more FESTIVE with thoughts of the approaching seasons. Halloween, kicking it all off, has always been one of my favorites and I’ve got the perfect recipe to share…a magical party trick-or-treat, complete with stories of fanciful costumes and make-believe. This is the time of year we start to think about celebrations…entertaining in our homes…and gatherings with friends and loved ones…
MEET ME AT THE FORMOSA
September is upon us again and every James Dean fan’s thoughts drift to Fairmount, Indiana. The last, full weekend of this month (Sept 21-24, 2017) is the 42nd annual James Dean Festival, the time when tens of thousands of fun seekers descend on Dean’s tiny, Indiana hometown. Food, carnival rides, craft booths, 100s of classic cars, the world famous James Dean look-alike contest, live music, the big dance contest….
DATES WITH DEAN
Here’s another “lost” recipe that arrived too late to make it into the Recipes for Rebels cookbook. Unseen for many years, debuting here in The Deanzine! Ortense Winslow’s Date Pudding! This recipe comes from the kitchen of Jimmie’s Aunt Ortense and is one that she made for pot luck dinners or special occasions at home. One that little Jimmie, known for his sweet tooth, truly loved. Ortense contributed this recipe to the Favorite Recipes fundraiser cookbook from The Community Home Economics Club…
ROUND-UP AND REVUE
The 2017 Cowboy Day Cook-Along was great! Creativity and imagination was abundant! Again, there was enthusiastic participation from around the world… Here are the participants…click the links on EVERY one! Most all the stories or videos are fast and fun, and ALL are highly entertaining! My short video revue is at the bottom of the page…
COWBOYS & COCKTAIL PARTIES
YEE-HAAW!!! It’s the 2nd annual Cowboy Day Cook-Along! I’ve been having so much fun watching folks from all around the world getting ready for their Cowboy Day celebrations! The Velveteen lounge Kitsch-en was the first to post. Angela from Bath, UK sent pics of her little boy all duded-up in his cowboy finest…maybe he’s finding it too hard to wait until Saturday! I can relate.
PIE-ATHLETES around the world are baking up FUN in the 4th annual PIEATHALON! WHO DOESN’T LOVE PIE? This is the 2nd time I’ve had the opportunity to participate in this exciting event! “What’s a Pieathalon,” you ask? Well, it’s a food bloggers fantasy, dreamed up 4 years ago by Yinzerella of DinnerIsServed1972.com and here’s how it works… Bloggers are invited to submit a pre-1990 pie recipe to Miss Yinzerella, weeks before the event. She shuffles the recipes and redistributes them to the Pie-Athletes…
COWBOY DAY COOK-ALONG 2
Cowboy Day is here again! The 4th Saturday of July is designated National Day of the Cowboy. This year that date is July 22nd, 2017. Gee whiz, seems like last years event wasn’t so very long ago…but I’m totally excited it’s here again! We had such exuberant and creative participants in the 1st Cowboy Day Cook-Along…many who expressed they’d like to do this again! There are a few changes this year. So saddle-up, here we go…
Spring is full speed ahead and the plethora seasonal wildflowers popping up each week has been a tonic to the monotony of winter. All my dormant plants are suddenly bursting with colorful blooms and the potted herbs are exuberantly exhibiting fragrant new growth. The first tourists have arrived on the island and the locals are all light-hearted as they diligently prepare their business’ for the upcoming months. The recipe for this posting is Susan Strasberg’s Cheese Blintzes. It’s fast, easy, and versatile… It’s a celebration!
APRIL 21, 2017
FEUDS AND FEASTS
More than 5.17 million people tuned in to watch the premiere of Feud: Bette and Joan. I’m one of them (although NOT in the 18-49 year old demographic that anyone cares about)! So of course I had to do a posting about it. If you’re reading this, you’re probably watching too. If you’re not watching, Feud chronicles the famous rivalry of Bette Davis and Joan Crawford during the shooting of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962, the year I was born). The imagery within the…
Several months ago Pam Crawford, president of the JAMES DEAN REMEMBERED international fan club and publisher of the club’s quarterly magazine the Deanzine, asked me if I would write an article. “Of course!” I told her. Pam is uniquely beautiful person and a friend for many, many years. She suggested I write about how I became a Deaner or perhaps about my many trips to Fairmount, Indiana. Through messages back and forth, we agreed that the Deanzine might just be the best place to unveil a VERY IMPORTANT FIND that…
SLEUTHING OUT THE RECIPE
Here’s a short bonus posting…one that I never expected to relate to James Dean. But in that magical realm of The Kevin Bacon Game (Six Degrees of Separation), it ended up tying in…in several ways! I have a big SURPRISE posting scheduled for the end of this month (coinciding with the release of the March issue of the Deanzine…the wonderful quarterly James Dean International fan club publication)… HINT: That question (that I asked myself and have been asked so many times), “Did James Dean cook?” may be finally resolved…!!!
THE JAMES DEAN BIRTHDAY CAKE CHALLENGE
Let me start with this statement… I am ABSOLUTELY NOT a cake decorator! I dread and struggle with it every time an occasion calls for cake… So for the past several years, as the 8th of February approaches, I start planning and scheming weeks ahead of time. I still enjoy the challenge, work, and outcome of making cakes. Practice makes perfect…I have aspirations and dreams…
GOIN’ BANANAS OVER DEAN
It’s January…(or it will be by the time of this publishing) …and while the holidays are just a memory for most of the world, Greece keeps celebrating all the way through the 6th of January. The rains are more frequent now and the temps have dropped. More home cooked suppers and warm wood fires at night… NICE! And finally there’s a little extra time to explore a blog topic that was suggested to me by David Nall (high school classmate of James Dean, and son of Dean’s drama teacher Adeline Nall)…
December…always seems to sneak up on me WAY too fast! It’s a busy month. My Aunt Katie’s birthday was on Dec 3rd…which always sent me into a panic when I realized after all the Thanksgiving festivities and prepping for the upcoming holiday season, that I was often late getting a card in the mail. My birthday falls on the 12th…and then there’s all the social gatherings and merry making and shopping and working in retail and…and… But it’s all FUN! So this month’s blog entry is a continuation from the last…with 2 more GREAT…
November brings to our island some much needed rains, milder temperatures, and the start of the olive harvest…The air will soon be fragranced with the earthy aromas of processing oil, wafting from the numerous surrounding mills (our nearest one, only a block away). I like it. But the steady flow of farm tractors, hauling in sacks of the daily harvest and hauling away barrels of oil…
GHOSTS OF HALLOWEEN PAST
October celebrates one of my favorite holidays and my favorite vegetable…Halloween and Pumpkins! When I was growing up, Halloween lasted about a week (now it runs the whole month or more). I came from very creative and crafty parents, who often started planning early with a homemade costume for me…
SEPTEMBER 25TH, 2016
DAYS OF WINE AND REBELS
SO HERE IT IS…the one-year anniversary of launching Recipes For Rebels: In the kitchen with James Dean…and I’m celebrating with this 2 in 1 special tribute! As the summer draws to an end, James Dean fans flock to the tiny town of Fairmount, IN, celebrating Dean and commemorating the 61st anniversary of his death. The end of summer also means the kids are back in school…families stay closer to home…and we start to spend more time in the kitchen…
I had EVERY intention of posting another summer-time blog entry, in between the last one and this… But somehow Cowboy Day, with all the before, during, and after activity, just whupped my butt…and here it is, already the beginning of September. And EVERY Deaner knows what that means…the annual James Dean Festival in Fairmount, IN!
COWBOY DAY COOK-ALONG ROUND-UP!
Cowboy Day 2016 was a lot of FUN! MAYBE we should do this again next year??? It made me as happy as a dog with 2 tails! We had participants from ALL over the world…celebrating all kinds of cowboys! Here’s a short video compilation of all the Cook-along celebrants! Everyone had a different take on Cowboy Day…follow the links to CHECK OUT EVERY SINGLE ONE! You’ll laugh, you’ll learn, you’ll find more than a few surprises (and maybe discover a fabulous new blog to follow)…
HAVIN’ A HOOTENANNY
YEE-HAW! Hosting a #CowboyDayCookalong party was so much FUN! This is the story of OUR personal Cowboy Day Cook-along here in Zakynthos, Greece. We had a great time! Everyone around the world, it seems, loves dressing up like cowboys for a party! (The BIG write-up comes the week after July23rd.) Here’s a few notes about the successes (and fails) from our party and my “EPIC WESTERN” video from the event…
ORTENSE WINSLOW’S SOUR CREAM DRESSING FOR SLAW
This is a short and fast one, just in time for your 4th of July festivities… A real taste of that Indiana home cooking that James Dean loved so much.
A handful of recipes fell into my lap within a week of sending Recipes for Rebels off to the printer…they never made it into the book, and have never been published. This is one of them! (Another, is a recipe
COWBOY DAY COOK-ALONG
Howdy Buck-a-Roos! In honor of National Day of the Cowboy, Recipes4Rebels is throwing a party…THE COWBOY DAY COOK-ALONG! I hope y’all will drop by!!! It,s an ACTUAL and VIRTUAL party…taking place in many locations and times around the globe. Join in! It’s EASY and it’ll be lots of FUN!
A couple of years ago, when I started the Recipes for Rebels project, I also began reading all kinds of food blogs (knowing that eventually I would be doing something similar). My favorites tended to be those about vintage recipes, about celebrity recipes, and about the history of cooking. Soon I found myself surrounded by “Lime Jello, Marshmallow, Cottage Cheese Surprise”-type people who dedicate their lives to perfecting the ultimate 1950s gelled ring-mold party delicacies…and I love it!
ROLLIN’ WITH A COWBOY
Jane Withers’ Chocolate Roll…little slices of heaven. This edition features the recipe for the wonderfully delicate and light but full of flavor, Jane Withers’ Chocolate Roll. It’s little fork fulls of chocolate clouds. A classic 1950s dessert that’s fast and easy to make. The presentation is a perfect visual finale to any meal with versatile flavoring options. If you’re…
HATS OFF TO HEDDA
Hedda Hopper’s Malice in Hollywood Cocktail is a perfect Spring-night-on-the-porch kinda drink full of warming flavors and sweet early fruit. The simplicity of it’s ingredients provide a surprising complexity of aroma and taste. It’s a powerful potion concocted in the 1940s by The Duchess of Dish, Gargoyle of Gossip, and Scariest Woman in Hollywood herself. Hedda created and ruined many careers in her Tinseltown kingdom, but was a friend and fan of James Dean. The recipe and tips appear…
MORE BOUNCE TO THE OUNCE
James Dean’s first professional acting job was Pepsi Cola’s first television commercial…and it almost didn’t happen. The recipe for the Easter edition of this blog is Pepsi Cola Cake with Broiled Peanut Butter Frosting from the Recipes for Rebels cookbook… It’s a great vintage treat to add to your Easter feast (and a history that ties-in, as you’ll read below). The cake is light, moist, and fluffy with flavors of chocolate, caramel and peanut butter (think Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs)…
DEEP IN THE HEART…OF MARFA
James Dean’s third and final iconic film Giant, put Marfa, Texas on the map. Many of it’s elderly, lifelong residents have cherished memories of the hot summer months of 1955, when Hollywood took over their tiny town. This is the story of that summer and of The Old Borunda Cafe’s Enchiladas Montadas…a recipe that James Dean went back for again and again, and a flavor of history that you can savor at your own table…
NEVER ON A SUNDAE
February 8th, 2016 marks what would have been James Dean’s 85th birthday. To celebrate, we’re throwing a party at the iconic Hollywood meeting spot, Schwab’s Pharmacy. It was a favorite spot of Dean’s and full of legendary Hollywood history and lore. The featured recipe is Schwab’s “Don’t Care Sundae,” a homemade coffee syrup, ice cream, whipped cream, nuts, with a cherry on top delight that was the favored pick-me-up of ambitious…
AUTOMAT TIME MACHINE
Everything old is new again… and this blog posting is guaranteed to transport you back to another time and place. The year is 1951 and James Dean has just taken up residence in the bustling metropolis of New York City, the mecca of post-WWII culture, the newest of Jazz, the newest painters, of Ballet dancers, and a scene he knew he was destined to become a part of.
HEAVENLY HONEY ROLLS AND HOOSIER HOSPITALITY
I’ve been trying to write this blog for several weeks, but the holiday season overwhelmed my schedule (and intentions). The Honey Rolls recipe from Dr. James DeWeerd (page 143 in Recipes for Rebels) are a party essential, just right for any time of year when people gather to share a meal. Great as a dinner roll or fabulous as mini sandwich buns. These rolls are fluffy and light, perfectly textured with just a hint of delicious sweetness…
CHRISTMAS AND THE LEGEND OF NICKY BAZOOKA
The festive holiday season surrounds us, and everyone is busy baking, decorating, shopping, and taking a little extra time to spend with friends and family.I’m pleased to have this opportunity to discuss one of the VERY SPECIAL recipes from the pages of Recipes for Rebels…Nicky Bazooka’s Christmas Bread (the recipe appears about halfway down this page).
THE INDIANA HARVEST TABLE
As Americans prepare for Thanksgiving in the coming week, I thought I’d share the recipe that James Dean’s Aunt Ortense Winslow would have prepared at this time each year, an Indiana traditional favorite, Persimmon Pudding. (There are several other dishes from the Recipes from Rebels cookbook that could find their way onto MY and possibly YOUR harvest feast tables this year, we’ll discuss those at the end of this blog.)
ENTER TO WIN!
Enter to win 1 of 3 copies of Recipes for Rebels: In the kitchen with James Dean, being given away at GoodReads.com (Entries open from November 3rd until midnight on the 14th. Free to enter). And if you already own the book, please drop by and leave me a review…telling other readers what you think.
LUNCHING AT SARDI’S
While contemplating the writing of this blog entry, I was reminded of Steve Martin’s play, Picasso at the Lapin Agile (1993). I saw the play twice , back in the ’90s at the magnificent Fox Theater in St. Louis, MO. The play imagines “what if” the two genius’ Pablo Picasso and Albert Einstein, just before their respective major career break-throughs, had met at a small cafe in Paris. So too this blog entry imagines “what if,” and was inspired by Jenny at Silver Screen Suppers and her Vincent
Recipes for Rebels traveled to America last week, and we had a blast! Still a little jet-lagged… here’s some of the great memories we brought home. This story is being written in a “burst” (Thanks Miss Pamela) with no edits or rewrites…just a stream of consciousness telling of our adventure. The week leading up to our departure was crazy busy. We wisely decided to split our big travel day into
R4R ZAKYNTHOS BOOK LAUNCH PARTY
What a day! (or for that matter, what a week, what a year!) 500 copies of Recipes for Rebels arrived here yesterday (and a huge shipment, now headed for the States). Up early and headed to the produce market to acquire some last things for the party. The colors…the textures…the fragrances…such an inspiring place. I’ve tried (unsuccessfully) to capture it in photos or video to share here…but someday I’ll get it and you’ll see just what I mean. Then off to the bakery for more sensual stimulations…
COMPANY COMING? SERVE PIE! (Elizabeth Taylor’s White Chocolate Banana Cream Pie)
Elizabeth Taylor was a contract player to MGM at the age of 4. Her first screen credit at age 10 was in Universal Studio’s There’s One Born Every Minute (1942) and in 1944 she became an international star with her performance in National Velvet. Elizabeth accumulated 72 film and TV credits throughout her career. She was renowned for her extreme beauty that was accentuated by her violet-colored eyes…
AUGUST 12, 2015
NEW R4R VIDEO: “THE MAKING OF A REBEL”
Watch my latest video documenting the printing of the book! This is very exciting for me!
COOKBOOK TRAILER VIDEO
Sing, dance, and laugh along with the trailer to the cookbook!
JOHN STEINBECK’S OLD-FASHIONED SLAW
Be the talk of the block party when you walk in with not just that cook-out essential dish, cabbage slaw…but with John Steinbeck’s cabbage slaw. This is what Recipes for Rebels: In the kitchen with James Dean is all about…these aren’t just tasty recipes for satisfying dishes, these are recipes that come with stories and history. This dish is all-American. Perfect for your 4th of July barbecue and all those summer-time gatherings.
JUNE 23, 2015
HIT THE BEACH WITH DEAN (AND A LITTLE HELP FROM HIS FRIENDS)
Summer’s here, and soon the garden will be bursting with all things fresh and good. Neighbors start leaving anonymous bags of surplus tomatoes, cucumbers, and zucchini; and the searing heat makes thoughts of a cool refreshing salad sound like the perfect meal. Here’s a few suggestions from James Dean’s friends on the best ways to top your salad and keep that swim suit figure in shape. (Disclaimer: practically none of these
HYDRA ISLAND AND 6-DEGREES OF JAMES DEAN (Mojito recipe included)
MARCH 10, 2015
MEET ME AT CHASEN’S (COCKTAIL RECIPE)
Working on Recipes For Rebels never fails to surprise me. I learn so many unrelated, trivial things while doing research. So in an attempt to free-up some precious hard drive space in my brain…I’m going to dump some of it on you! This posting was inspired while digging up information on Chasen’s…the famed West Hollywood restaurant. Dave…
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