I'm a big fan of Helen Gurley Brown. Her brand of advice - brash and brassy in its day - is such fun to read and so insightful. That's why years ago, when I found a copy of her Single Girl's Cookbook in a thrift shop, I knew I must have it.
Published in 1969, the book is an off shoot of her wildly successful best seller, Sex and the Single Girl. Instead of advice on how to meet men at the office or how to shed your inhibitions, this little missive has advice on how to throw a New Years Eve party and how to cook for the various stages of an affair. This section is particularly interesting. It takes you from the first blush of love (salami and cream cheese hors d'oeuvres), to the heat of passion (chicken Kiev), right through to the final breakup (refried beans and cheese).
When Helen came on my show on the Style network to talk about meeting men at work, she was kind enough to sign my now dog eared copy.
I'll treasure it always!
The book is overflowing with fun recipes - some easy, some more challenging - and pithy, clever commentary as only Helen can write it. There are even humorous and stylish line drawings that open each chapter.
Here's one of the cuter recipes from the book. It's from the "What a Friend We Have in Cheeses" chapter:
"Phony (But Good!) Cheese Souffle The cheese souffle recipe on page 81 is the classic one, but this one is delicious, too. It was born of desperation on a cold winter's night when a particular girl had little in the house to feed a darling burly guest (laid up with a skiing accident) except a jar of cheese spread and some eggs. He loved the concoction, although of course he was weak. (Alas , he finally got well and went home.)
1 jar (5 ounces) any sharp cheese spread
4 eggs, separated
Melt cheese spread in top part of a double boiler over hot water. Beat the egg yolks until light and lemon-colored. In another bowl beat the egg whites stiff. Add the melted cheese gradually to the egg yolks and blend thoroughly. Carefully fold in the stiffly beaten whites. Pour into an ungreased straight-sided casserole (a heatproof glass bowl is fine) and bake in a 350 degree F. oven until puffed and browned. 30 to 45 minutes."
Clever no? I suggest looking around for a copy. There were a few around on Amazon and eBay when I looked.