Betty Crocker's Hostess Cookbook, 1967

Updated: Apr 27

Hostess Cookbook?! Hey, what about us hosts? In 1967 the idea that the male of the species might be the one having friends over for the evening and cooking up a dinner party still hadn't really caught on, at least in the mainstream. Dad's territory was still the backyard barbecue. That started to change just a few years later, and fast.


As for this terrific book, it's got over 400 "guest-tested" recipes, information for planning and presenting all kinds of parties. Ideas for decorating, for fun and games, tips for coping with emergencies and special problems. Step-by-step plans for the preparation of your menus plus suggestions for serving them. It hits many of the same marks as my new cookbook, especially in terms of the "Happy Holiday Specials"!


No shortage of "bright little" advice, ideas, and recipes.

Full of encouragement.

Full of organizing and decorating tips.

Fun! Games!

Looks like a respectable meat sauce to me.

Monosodium glutamate?! Still a common flavor enhancer (Accent being the leading brand), studies have yet to prove it's bad for you. It has less sodium than table salt and is gluten free. But if it wigs you out, leave it out.

Anchovy butter? Yes, please.

When, I ask, are fondue parties going to stage a major comeback?

Free as a breeze? I'll take it!

Confession: I use instant potatoes (aka flakes, buds) every once in a while, and nobody's ever stormed away from the dinner table in a huff.

How can you resist anything named "Stroganoff Superb?!"

Garnish with gusto!

There is a chapter in my new cookbook (and also on this website!) called "Patio Party." Full disclosure: it was just a title out there in my zeitgeist, even though it appears Betty got there first :-)

Perfect advice and inspiration for those long winters inside . . .

Extra credit for making your cocktail meatballs from scratch! I buy my Christmas Party Meatballs frozen then sweet 'n sour them up with added brown sugar, soy sauce 'n vinegar! (recipe here!)

Happy Holidays!

Lobster Newburg? Now that's romance!

When was the last time you festooned a festive Easter runner with rickrack?

Blue Hawaii . . .

This is really the holiday to plan for days (aka weeks) in advance.

I'm going to try this Bûche de Noël this Christmas. Watch this space!

Troll the ancient Yuletide carol

Fa la la la la, la la la la

And men!

Fun fact: This cookbook from 1967 was featured prominently in "Mad Men" series character Betty Draper's kitchen, during the years of 1962 and 1963, four years before it was actually in print :-)


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