I don't want to *cook* the recipes, I just want to laugh at them.
October 17, 2011 1:08 PM   Subscribe

"Chicken Diane in only 30 minutes!" Please help me track down the name of this 1980s-90s quick-recipe card subscription service advertised on U.S. television.

So I have a predilection for accumulating Gallery of Regrettable Food-esque vintage recipes. While going through a recent acquisition (a 1960s Better Homes & Gardens cheese-themed cookbook with particularly lurid orange-toned photo reproduction) I was reminded of a commercial for a quick recipe card subscription service that was on heavy rotation probably in the late 80s to early 90s in the mid-Atlantic states. This was one of those deals where they send you an initial pack of cards, then more on approval periodically.

The Chicken Diane quote above the fold is my main recollection, though I know that throughout the commercial, various dish names and their cooking times were part of the voice-over. Sadly, I have no recollection of the name of the series and copious Googling has raised neither the commercial nor the cards themselves. It's not the NY Times 60 Minute Gourmet series. Hive mind, does anybody else out there have a better memory about this than I?
posted by jocelmeow to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Was it these from McCall's? There were several sets like this, as I recall, from different magazines, but I don't remember whether they advertised on TV.
posted by Quietgal at 1:34 PM on October 17, 2011

Oh MAN that brings back memories Greg Nog.
posted by sweetkid at 1:41 PM on October 17, 2011

Response by poster: Greg Nog nails it in two! Yes, that's the one. I had forgotten how totally cheesy (description of commercial; not description of recipe) it was. I suppose it didn't really stand out in that respect - that sort of ad was par for the course then. A friend and I were laughing our asses off two weeks ago at how cheesy the "Read the Book" ads for the Time-Life Mysteries of the Unknown series seem now.

Geez, 72 cards for $9.95 - that's $18.10 now - an expensive proposition. I'm sorry to see there don't seem to be a lot of complete sets out there floating around. The ones that are are going for a pretty penny.

Quietgal, I have those McCall's ones - they're much earlier than this series.
posted by jocelmeow at 1:51 PM on October 17, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks so much, Greg! So I wonder why that ad was on Nickelodeon so much? It seems like it must have been other places on cable as well - MTV and VH1 were my two other usual stops. I watched the rest of that series of breaks and was actually pretty glad I could skip through the boring ones (if you've seen one Pebbles cereal ad, you've seen 'em all). There were a couple interstitials that were very familiar, and it was fun to see Alasdair (my favorite - I was 12 in 1988) in the YCDTOTV spot. My brother got those Hit Stix for Christmas that year, as I remember.

Now I have to find the contemporaneous ad for that stupid frying pan with the tower in the middle with the holes in it that was supposed to allow you to fry with less oil.
posted by jocelmeow at 2:11 PM on October 17, 2011

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