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60's Theme Party and I Need Help, Appetizers , Main dishes from 60's era

Hi, Does anyone have good suggestions for Appetizers,Main Dish, Desserts for a Big 50th Birthday Party I am hosting?

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  1. Lots of ideas in this recent discussion and the other threads linked in it.


    1 Reply
      1. Sukiyaki and Fondue for main dishes are very '60s.
        ...and don't forget the onion soup/sour cream dip!

        9 Replies
        1. re: VenusCafe

          thank you so much ! I will have to google Sukiyaki , as I have never heard of that. I have been looking into different Fodue's.

          1. re: VenusCafe

            Onion dip is certainly a classic. Ina's updated version is ALWAYS a hit.

              1. re: 60sPartyBash

                Clam dip was the dip I remember eating back then. By the gallon. mmmm

                1. re: Berheenia

                  And the clam dip needed to be scooped up with Fritos!

                  1. re: susan1353

                    Fritos were preceded by the original corn chip - the long-forgotten Dipsy Doodles. But how Madison Ave. can manipulate memory of a young kid to remember the jingle decades after the product has disappeared from the shelves. I'm humming it now.

                    1. re: Chefpaulo

                      Oh, Dipsy Doodles...I remember you well :)

                  2. re: Berheenia

                    Grew up on clam dip almost every Sunday afternoon around a card game! Family afternoon - Canasta, Pinochle, Poker, etc.

                  3. re: 60sPartyBash

                    you'll be serving Ripple Chips with this, I'm thinking?

              2. it's not a party without those little hot dogs in pastry

                3 Replies
                1. re: zackly

                  Doing this , Thank you !! Wrapped in bisquits?

                  1. re: 60sPartyBash

                    Wrapped in Pillsbury Crescent rolls. (Canned Vienna sausages.)

                  2. re: zackly

                    I make these but use chicken-apple sausage. Started making them for lunch for my son when he was young, and they're good with spicy brown mustard.

                  3. stuffed celery, hot dogs in pastry as mentioned below, onion dip with potato chips (not healthy ones - we didn't use those). Used to love fondue back then but abhor it now (go figure) sloppy joes if going casual (you could have a big crock pot with all the fixins)

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Linda VH

                      Is that when Sloppy Joes came in? that would be great for all the hearty eaters ! thank you

                      1. re: Linda VH

                        Stuffed Celery - Yes! Used Kraft Old English Spread, Kraft Pimento Spread and even some with Peanut Butter!

                        1. My mom always made Swedish meatballs when entertaining in the sixties.

                          4 Replies
                            1. re: Ttrockwood

                              And the first dinner I ever made for my mom in 1960 at age nine when she returned home from the hospital. I still have the recipe in her original Joy of Cooking (well stained and held together by multiple rubber bands.)

                            2. One party nibble I remember from the 60's were sausage balls cooked in equal parts beer and catchup. Buy spicy bulk pkgs of breakfast. Get the beer and catchup at a low boil. Form small meatballs (small=no fork, party picks). Drop the balls in the gently bubbling sauce and cook for an hour. They can be refrigerated and warmed later, you can make the dish up to 3 days in advance. At one party I had people asking for bread to sop up what ever sauce was left.

                              1 Reply
                              1. Chicken a la King and Baked Alaska

                                Don't know if these are really 1960s dishes, but these are things that my mom used to make for dinner parties when I was a kid:

                                1 Reply
                                1. Some sort of molded Jell-O "salad" was on the menu. I recall one my grandmother always made. One layer was lime jello with cream cheese and "fruit cocktail" and the top layer was plain lime jello with fruit cocktail. Pretty to look at.

                                  She also always made liver pate' ~ it was yummy and I hate liver!

                                  The ladies always had fru fru ice cream drinks ~ brandy alexanders, pink squirrels and grasshoppers.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: Scoutmaster

                                    Thank you all so much !! This is fantastic ! I ran myself short , due to deciding to plan retro dinner for this party !

                                    1. re: Scoutmaster

                                      This is basically what it looked (a little more colorful with fruit cocktail). If you don't have a mold, just serve it in a pretty glass bowl. The recipe was simple (not the one in the link). Just dissolve the jello in a cup of boiling water as per the instructions. Use the drained liquid from the canned fruit instead of cold water. With an electric mixer, SLOWLY add COOLED jello mix to softened, room temp. cream cheese (8oz). Keep mixing til incorporated and smooth. Then stir in fruit. If you try to add the jello to the cream cheese too fast, it will end up looking "curdle-y". Let it set rather firmly, but NOT COMPLETELY before adding the next layer. If you let the first layer completely set, the next layer won't "stick", however if you don't let it set long enough, the 2nd layer will sink into the first. Actually, I seem to recall not using an entire package of jello for the cream cheese layer ~ maybe ~1/2. Go by color. You want it to look the color in the picture, not too clear/opaque.

                                      If you want to go super simple, there's always the "pistachio fluff" thing. That was instant pistachio pudding, mixed with crushed pineapple and cool whip (although Dream Whip was used back then).

                                      1. re: Scoutmaster

                                        Awesome , Thank you !! I recall my grandmother making this as well . This will be served as well. : )

                                    2. Anything made with Campbells soup and sherry.

                                          1. re: meatn3

                                            genius! I'm going to make that and I don't usually bake.

                                          2. Sweet and sour meatballs would also be representative.


                                            I would also add a splash of lemon juice or red wine vinegar.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. Relish Tray, featuring stuffed and black olives, gherkin pickles, cubed cheese, celery sticks and carrot curls. I remember referring to the Better Homes & Gardens cookbooks, such as Holidays and Entertaining.
                                              Rum punch, tea punch, martinis and manhattans.

                                              1. I think no sixties party would be complete without a proper lime jello mold and of course don't forget the fruit cocktail that goes inside.

                                                For an extra festive jello consider making it into a large jello shot... lol.


                                                9 Replies
                                                1. re: sparky403

                                                  Oh heavens, jello with canned fruit cocktail. I shudder at the memories: my mom never stirred the jello & hot water enough to dissolve the gelatin, so we had a rubbery 1/4 inch of jello at the bottom, then that mushy fruit cocktail. Blergh.

                                                  1. re: pine time

                                                    Blergh? I like it much better than "blechh," especially when in reference to any food that moves.
                                                    Submit to Oxford for consideration.

                                                  2. re: sparky403

                                                    I don't think these were big east of the Hudson. More of a mid west item. Our salads were green with endive or avocado in the sixties. Croutons too.

                                                    1. re: sparky403

                                                      Red jello had fruit cocktail; lime jello had canned pear halves, lemon jello had grated carrots and orange jello had canned mandarin oranges....I'm not sure who made that a law in the 60's, but it WAS a law ... right up there with not wearing white shoes after Labor Day or before Easter.

                                                      1. re: marcyfitz

                                                        hahahaha !! I love it., I will follow the color code !! Thank you !

                                                        1. re: marcyfitz

                                                          Grandma must've been a rebel then. She put fruit cocktail in any flavor!

                                                        2. re: sparky403

                                                          I agree and it willll be served !! Thank you !

                                                        3. Oscar Meyer used to make mini hotdogs, about an inch and a half long. They used to stick a toothpick in them and then heat them up in a commercial bottled barbeque sauce. I suspect with some searching, you could find some mini hotdogs by some manufacturer, not necessarily Oscar Meyer.

                                                          Take 8 ounces of cream cheese and mix in eight ounces of blue cheese, using a mixer. Roll into balls with your hands and then roll in toasted (to make them very crisp), crushed walnuts. Don"t crush the walnuts very thoroughly. You want to have some quarter to half inch pieces left.

                                                          Slice some fresh strawberries. Add sugar. Let sit for four hours in the refrigerator. Make crepes. Fill each crepe with homemade whipped cream or the pressurized can stuff. Add to each crepe the strawberry mixture. (Don't mix it into the whipped cream. You want the contrast between the lightness of the whipped cream and the heaviness of the strawberry and sugar mixture.) Roll the crepe into a tube and serve. Don't let this sit for very long or the crepes will become soggy.

                                                          Make a bechamel sauce. Add in grated American processed cheese. (If you can find something sharper that is processed or will still melt anyway, maybe non-processed colby?--more power to you.) Saute green peppers and garlic sauteed in butter. Drain the butter from the green pepper. Add the green pepper to the bechamel sauce. Add shelled shrimp with the tails removed. (Precooked shrimp tend to get tough if left in the sauce too long but are probably what my mother used. You can also use uncooked shrimp and let them cook in the cheese sauce.) A medium sized shrimp, like a 21-25 count size works well. Bigger shrimp also work well. Smaller ones seem to dry out in the bechamel and get tough.) Drain a can or two of whole tomatoes. Cut into quarters and add to the cheese sauce. Heat the whole mixture up to just below boiling and serve over white rice. (A dash of worcestershire sauce or some garlic sauteed with the green pepper would be good, too, but is probably not very 1960's, as I recall the era.)

                                                          1 Reply
                                                            1. On my last birthday I received a great vintage cookbook from my fiance. It's called, "Come for Cocktails, Stay for Supper," it was published in 1970, and let me tell you, it's fabulous. He knows me so well lol.

                                                              Oh, I wish you could just see this book! Canapes and "Oriental Shrimp," Pinwheels, Gratins, Casseroles, Aspics. And the desserts! You be in 60's heaven. Sounds like you're having the kind of party I've been dreaming about since I received it. :)

                                                              Here's a recipe, then, for Puffed Cheesies
                                                              Adapted from Come For Cocktails, Stay for Supper
                                                              Marion Burros & Lois Levine

                                                              Knead together:
                                                              1 1/2 cups grated Swiss cheese
                                                              1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
                                                              1/2 cup butter at room temperature
                                                              3/4 cup flour
                                                              3/4 teaspoon salt
                                                              1/8 teaspoon cayenne
                                                              1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

                                                              Form into ball and chill 15 minutes or more. Roll tablespoon-size balls, then flatten into 1/4" discs. Line up on baking sheet, about an inch apart.

                                                              1 egg with
                                                              1 teaspoon water

                                                              Brush egg glaze over puffs. Sprinkle with
                                                              1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese

                                                              Refrigerate until needed.

                                                              When ready to serve, preheat oven to 425 F, and bake for 10 minutes, till puffed and lightly browned.

                                                              Very happy cooking to you!

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: WhatThePho

                                                                Thank you so much for taking the time to do that !!! I will definately make this !!! Awesome.,and I wish I could get my hands on that book right now lol

                                                              2. I remember mom always doing the slices of ham, spread with cream cheese and rolled up and sliced. Sometimes she even put a dill pickle spear in it before rolling it up. Very 60's.

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: boyzoma

                                                                  Thank you !! Perfect appetizer !! making this too

                                                                  1. re: 60sPartyBash

                                                                    Try making this with hard salami -- my husband's uncle always made these and we love them to this day.

                                                                    1. re: DebinIndiana

                                                                      Yes, I remember that with Salami !! thank you !!

                                                                2. Cheese fondue (still one of my favorites)

                                                                  Swedish meatballs

                                                                  Steak Diane

                                                                  Relish tray -- make sure you have stuffed celery and gigantic canned black olives

                                                                  Layered jello "salad"

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: C. Hamster

                                                                    Thank you !! Love the list !! We are really going to have a variety : )

                                                                    1. re: boredough

                                                                      Oh I remember that !!!! Perfect side dish !

                                                                    2. Something I remember my mom making for cocktail parties was salmon butter. Served with club crackers.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: blackpointyboots

                                                                        Salmon Butter, is there a certain way she did it?

                                                                      2. Hi and welcome! I think if you go to the Food Network webpage and search under "Sandra Lee" you may find many recipes that would be from that era and fit your 60's party theme. I hope you will report back and let us know what did or did not work out. Have a fun party!

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: Fowler

                                                                          Thank you !! and Absolutely I will even upload a photo of the table spread !! Thank you all for all these fantastic thoughts, ideas, recipes and links !! Love it , you all have been so kind with your time and helping me !!!


                                                                        2. Oh, and don't forget the deviled eggs! That's been a standard forever!

                                                                          Also a big crock pot of spaghetti and meatballs (I know crock pots are 70's, but the spaghetti and meatballs are 60's).

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: boyzoma

                                                                            Thank you !! There will be a big pot of this !!

                                                                            1. re: 60sPartyBash

                                                                              Oh, and one of my mom's favorite combos for a snack - home made Chex Party Mix (they didn't do the pre-made bags back in the 60's!) Just put a scoop in the bowl and maybe have some short "dixie cups" on hand that they can scoop the mix into.