On Excavating a Recipe from the Past

A long-time friend of Constant Companion was in town for a recent weekend. They were great buddies in past Peace Corps times in Morocco and have kept in touch over the years. The friend entered the Diplomatic Corps; Constant Companion went in his own directions. They both collected a wide range of friends in many of the places they found themselves. For a long time, the friend had a pied a terre here, but he recently sold it and finally moved his storage elsewhere. Clearing that up was what brought him for this visit, though he needs no excuse!

A varied group of people who know our visitor from his many postings abroad and stateside, including our family, now happen to live in the area. When he honors all of us with his presence, one couple in particular hosts the motley crew for an afternoon (and evening) of memories, food, and drink at their comfortable home

A Saturday afternoon was planned for the start-of-the-year reunion. I wanted to bring something else  along with the requisite bottle of some sort of bubbly. I decided to unearth an old appetizer recipe that I saved many years ago from an AARP magazine. I had some of the essential ingredients leftover from our Hanukah party last month and this would put them to good use. And clear a little space in the fridge.

The first recipe in my handy spiral-bound, well-worn, and stained recipe keeper (Visual Feast) under the Appetizers & Snacks tab is the yellowed, yummy Blue cheese cake. I have no idea when I made this last, for some forgotten potluck I imagine.

If you Google “Blue cheese cake,” you’ll find a variety of recipes, but not this one. Well, I only searched on Page 1; I also tried to enter “Blue cheese cake, AARP magazine.” No luck. I was just curious if my old recipe made it to cyber space – I guess not. So here it is …

Caveat: I remember when this recipe was published at least one letter followed scolding AARP, whose audience might be fat and calorie counting older folks like me (well, I wasn’t when I first made it). The writer complained about the fat content of the “cake.” I think in the past I had substituted sour cream with yogurt (there was no Greek yogurt in American markets back then!) to cut some calories.

It came out of the oven really dark; I thought this was not a good sign!

Blue cheese cake


2 tbsp butter or margarine

1 cup cheese crackers, crushed

16 ounces cream cheese, softened (I had a container of crème fraiche in the fridge and used this in place of 8 ounces of cream cheese)

3 eggs, beaten

¼ cup flour

¼ tsp salt

¼ cup medium picante sauce (In the past, I used Pace brand; I omitted it this time, Daughter is ultra-sensitive to spicey food)

1 cup sour cream (I had some left over still from Hanukah latkes)

½ cup green onions

½ cup chopped walnuts


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Butter 8-inch springform pan (you can spray with Pam, also); sprinkle cracker crumbs on bottom & sides.

Blend cheeses, eggs, flour, salt, picante sauce, and sour cream. Fold in green onions.

Pour mixture into pan and sprinkle with walnuts.

Bake one hour.

Cool and chill overnight.

Garnish with parsley and chopped green onions.

Serve at room temperature with crackers.

The excavated recipe went over very well. My head was duly swollen all afternoon after many complements. I knew back than and I know now it’s in the category of “keeper” recipes. Who would have known?

Good enough to eat!


  1. Reblogged this on Creatively Annette and commented:

    There is a legend, maybe it’s true, of some really expert cook who does not like to share some very favorite, exquisite recipe – it often a grandmother is featured in the narrative, grandmothers never deceive, right? This cook, when finally convinced to share the valued recipe, leaves out one key ingredient.

    And so (thank you Nancy) here is the missing blue cheese! I am so sorry to have left it out; the omission was inadvertent, not malevolent.

    8 ounces of blue cheese is needed in this amazing Blue cheese cake! Give it a try and let me know what you think!

    My apologies dear readers!


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