1980's food ideas!!

dspenAugust 6, 2012

Hi, I am having a 1980's themed block party and need ideas on the food. We are doing mostly hamburg and hot dogs but would like ideas for some side dishes. I thought of seven layer salad, but not sure if that was 70's or 80's. Also 7 layer taco dip, and dip in a bread bowl. Any other ideas would be so helpful!!

Thanks so much

Diane

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ruthanna_gw

I seem to remember the '80's as a decade of endless pasta salads drenched in Italian dressing. Spiral shaped pasta, tomatoes, and green peppers were the requisite ingredients, with some also having broccoli and cauliflower added.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 8:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lindac

Oh yeah....pasta Italian dressing and fake crab!...or should I say "krab"...
Also wasn't that about the time Ranch Dressing became popular?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 9:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dspen

Thanks, I do remember the pasta salads and ranch dressing, I still make pasta salad and we always have ranch dressing in the fridge.

What about Texas Sheet Cake? Was that 80s?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 9:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
grainlady_ks

LOTS of pasta salads as ruthanna mentioned. I remember multi-colored pasta was available for the first time in my memory in the 80's. How many bowls of "Supreme Pasta Salad" made with spaghetti, fresh chopped veggies, bottled Italian salad dressing and the secret ingredient - McCormick Salad Supreme Seasonings - hit the tables of every potluck. We also made a lot of Bundt Cakes.

Here's a short list of foods that made their appearance to the market in the 80's....

-Fruit Roll-Ups (1980)
-Jell-O Pudding Pops (1980)
-Lean Cuisine frozen dinners (1981)
-Bud Light (1982)
-Chewy Chips Ahoy cookies (1984)
-Hidden Valley "ranch" dressing (1984)
-Hamburger Helper Taco Bake Dinner (1985)
-Tuna Helper Tetrazzini (1985)
-Cool Ranch Doritos (1986)
-Snapple bottled ice tea (1987)

Dinners:
Skillet Spaghetti, Skillet Stroganoff, Cheeseburger Pie

Breads:
Granola Bread

This recipe was a favorite for all occasions I first made in the 1980's.

CHOCOLATE CHERRY BARS
(source: Pillsbury Bake-Off Recipe)

Bars:
1 pkg. Pillsbury Plus Devil's Food Cake Mix
21-oz. can cherry fruit pie filling
1 t. almond extract
2 eggs, beaten

Frosting:
1 c. sugar
5 T. margarine or butter
1/3 c. milk
6-oz. pkg. (1 c.) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350-degrees F. Grease and flour 15x10-inch jelly roll pan or 13x9-inch pan. In large bowl, combine all bar ingredients. By hand, stir until well mixed. Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 350-degrees F in jelly roll pan for 20-30 minutes or in 13x9 pan for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

In small saucepan, combine sugar, margarine and milk. Heat to boiling; boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in chocolate chips until smooth. Pour over warm bars.

-Grainlady

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 9:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lpinkmountain

I went to college in the 80's and I remember bread bowls being all the rage. I could never be bothered to make one! But I was at a party once and the hostess served spinach dip in a bread bowl with the bread that she took out cut up around the dip. Everyone raved. I wondered what would happen to the "bowl" at the end.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 9:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
teresa_nc7

The remaining bread bowl soaked with the last bit of the dip was the best part! Ha!

Teresa

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 10:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dspen

The Chocolate Cherry Bars sound Awesome!! May try them.

I also found Mountain Dew, nerds, Bartle and James Wine Coolers, Coors Beer.

I will for sure do as pasta salad, and 7 layer dip or spinach dip in a bread bowl. We will be having lots of little kids. Is finger Jello an 80's food?

Thanks for all the help!
Diane

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 11:03AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dspen

The Chocolate Cherry Bars sound Awesome!! May try them.

I also found Mountain Dew, nerds, Bartle and James Wine Coolers, Coors Beer.

I will for sure do as pasta salad, and 7 layer dip or spinach dip in a bread bowl. We will be having lots of little kids. Is finger Jello an 80's food?

Thanks for all the help!
Diane

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 11:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
centralcacyclist

Aram sandwiches were everywhere. Oriental chicken salad, gazpacho, Chicken Marbella.

E

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 11:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dspen

Barnmom, what are Aram Sandwiches?

I dont think I have ever heard of them?

D

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 12:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
centralcacyclist

Aram sandwiches are made with softened Armenian cracker bread spread with cream cheese and then filled with an assortment of meats, vegetables, olives, shredded cheeses, etc. There are lots of variations. Then the bread is rolled up and sliced creating a pinwheel look.

You'll recognize these. Maybe they were called something else when you saw them.

Here is a link that might be useful: Aram sandwich basics.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 12:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lindac

We made them with tortillas and called them "tortilla rollups"...
also pickle slices...coat a small pickle with cream cheese ( dry it well first) and then in a slice of dried beef, refrigerate and slice for a cocktail tray!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 12:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
centralcacyclist

Sutter Home White Zinfandel, blackened fish, wine coolers, Long Island iced tea, pesto, baked artichoke dip, prosciutto and melon.

E

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 12:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dspen

You all rock!! Thanks for all of the great ideas!!! Keep'em coming, I have a few more days to decide what to make.

D

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 12:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lpinkmountain

I'm not sure when it was, but at some point sandwiches exploded. You used to be able to get a sandwich only on sliced bread, and only if you were lucky could you choose from white, rye or whole wheat. Then, sometime in the late 80's, early 90's along came--sandwiches in croisants, bagels, roll ups, pita bread . . . no ciabatta though, that came later. I made ham and swiss roll ups with herb mustard and brought to a party once, you would have thought I invented the martini! That was early 90's though. I remember my friend brought a giant fruit pizza to a party once, that was a huge hit! Both items still great, BTW!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 1:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bob_cville

For the bread bowl with the spinach dip, try to find King's Hawaiian Sweet Bread to use as the bowl. Its more authentically 80s than if you merely get a round bread from the local bakery, and it has a slightly sweet flavor the kids will love. I would also always buy a package of King's Hawaiian dinner rolls and cut them into slices because the part you cut out of the top of the round bread is never enough.

For the spinach dip recipe, I would always just buy a Knorr's Vegetable Soup Mix packet, and read the back of it for what else to buy, and for the recipe.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 12:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lindac

Never used King's hawiian for a bread bowl...didn't like the sweet with the dip.
Can't remember the recipe I used, but it was a hot cheese dip.
I bought 2 boules at the grocery store, they came packaged 2 to a package...and 2 were equal to one loaf of French bread. I cut the top off, scooped out the insides and put the shell into a 300 oven for about 20 minutes to dry out a little, then put the dip into it and returned to the oven. Can't remember what I put inside of it but I suspect it may have been based on Campbell's Cheese Soup....doctored with blue box parm and maybe garlic and chili powder and worchestershire.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 2:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lbpod

I am an OLD man, and I remember all of the decades of
my past EXCEPT the 80's. And I have been a 'foodie'
all of my life. What's up with that? (and no, there
was no horrific, life-altering experience that I had
during those years). Hmmmmmmmmmm.........

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 2:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ruthanna_gw

I used to make this in the 80's, both for children's parties and for bake sales, where we'd sell wedges of it on paper plates. It's too sweet and gooey for adults but kids of all ages used to gobble it up.

BROWNIE PIZZA

1 (21.5 oz.) package fudge brownie mix
2 Tbs. flour
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup M&¿½s
1/2 cup unsalted peanuts
1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine brownie mix, flour, water, oil, and egg in mixing bowl. Beat 50 strokes by hand. Pour brownie mix onto a pizza pan and spread out to edges. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Immediately after removing from oven, sprinkle with marshmallows, peanuts and M&M�s. Cool for 20 minutes. Drizzle with ice cream topping in a criss-cross design. Cool completely. Cut into squares or wedges with a pizza wheel to serve. Cover with plastic wrap to store. 12 to 16 servings.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 7:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chase_gw

Bread bowl with spinach dip for sure also cheese balls and sweet and sour meatballs our Swedish meatballs and those sausage rolled in crescent roll things. Mary Vickers bars

Harvey Walbanger cake.....maybe that was the 70's

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 9:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
annie1992

Amanda was born in 1982 and Ashley in 1988, so I remember little of the 80s, other than mashed carrots and macaroni and cheese!

I do remember Frusen Gladje, it was a kind of ice cream. I remember a list of ingredients that were NOT in it, they were advertising very natural ice cream, LOL. It's long gone, I think. I also remember Bubble Yum flavored soft drinks, very icky.

Riunite on ice, very nice. (grin) There was the Gallo "we sell no wine before its time" comercial too, but I remember wine coolers (Bartles and James "thank you for your support") and blue colored drinks were popular, everyone seemed to have a bottle of Curacao.

Reese's piece were big after "E.T." became a hit.

I think designer pizzas were big right about then too, goat cheese was brand new here!

Annie

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 10:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Cassandra

Quiche? It seems to me that I made a lot of it in the 80s. Or maybe it was a 70s thing.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 5:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
caliloo

I seem to recall Boone's Farm Strawberry Wine - but I was in college in the 80's and food wasn't a big priority (grin).

I do remember dips in bread bowls, and the tortilla roll-up things. Was that when the Hot Artichoke Dip became hugely popular too?

Alexa

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 8:28AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Bread baked in terracotta flower pots was popular and so novel!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 8:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dcarch7

People can't normally associate food with time periods. IMHO.

It's much easier with political events, music or fashion.

dcarch

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 9:02AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sally2_gw

Funny, Dcarch.

Actually, I was having kids in the 80's also, and don't really remember much about the food then. Other than my kids, I think forgetting the 80's is a good thing!

Sally

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 9:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bob_cville

chase wrote: "those sausage rolled in crescent roll things"

Instead of doing regular hot dogs make pigs in a blanket! It may just be me but pigs in a blanket really say 1980's to me.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 10:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
eandhl

Baked brie, Blooming onions and it seems like everything was sprinkled with Wheat Germ, from cereals to ice cream.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 11:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lbpod

Boones Hill Strawberry Wine.............
Now the old memory cells are starting to
wake up. I seem to remember it as 'Boones
Farm Strawberry HILL Wine, maybe Bully Hill?.
I was in college, in the late 60's and we would each buy a 6-pack of it and drive out to a small lake, just a few
miles from campus. We would swim out to a raft,
with our six-packs under our arms, and sit on
the raft, in the hot sun and drink all of it up.
We couldn't swim back to shore until we were
sober, so we were out there most of the day.
It's amazing none of us drowned.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 1:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
annie1992

LOL, lbpod, I'd forgotten about Boonesfarm, but it was around in the early 70s too. I graduated in 1973 from high school, at first it was only apple wine, and cost 96 cents a bottle. With 4 cents state sales tax, you could get a bottle for a buck, LOL. And you only had to be 18 to drink in Michigan then too.

Then came Strawberry Hill, the some kind of mixed berry stuff. It all tasted like Koolaid and kids drank it by the gallon. I didn't know any adults who actually drank the stuff then...

Annie

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 3:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ruthanna_gw

Geez, lbpod, I pictured you as a Ripple guy.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 3:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rob333

I'm just glad there are those saying they don't remember 80s. I sure don't. It was even my heyday! Back when I was 50 pounds slimmer and still able to stay up past 9:30. Ah the good ol' days. Except Bartle's and James. But that's because, last night, I was recalling when I walking into the kitchen with my boyfriend, and there stood my 15/16-ish sister holding one in her hand along with her best friend. And she said, "It's not what it looks like!" and I just laughed and laughed! Thinking, "What else could it be except you're drinking wine underage? You were trying to catch it before it fell on the floor in her house and you saved them by drivin' 'em to our house (it was a dry house at that point, me not living there and mom a recovering addict)?" HA! Bartle's and James. Good times, good times.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 4:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lindac

Monster cookies...
Those huge sub sandwiches which would feed 20....the bread made in a special oven and you had to put all the leaves in your table to serve it!\
Chicken cordon bleu...on every menu and often served for banquets and weddings.
Baked Brie....with raspberry jam under the pastry.
Kiwi.....didn't that come to our shores in the 80's?

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 6:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lpinkmountain

I honestly don't remember baked brie in the 80's. But I do know that wine coolers came out in the 80's because I could not drink beer due to an allergy and so being able to get a "six pack" of wine coolers was something novel for me. I was never into Boone's Farm, I could not bring myself to drink something called "Strawberry Ripple." Instead I got bottles of a wine made by "TJ Swan" whomever that was. It had names like "Easy Nights" and "Mellow Moments." But that's not food. I was a certified crunchy granola bar during the 80's, that's when I started cooking and I made all my own stuff from scratch. Quiche was very big, but I made a lot of stuff that nobody had ever heard of but it now ubiquitous. I remember carrot cake becomeing popular then, because I had a recipe for whole wheat carrot cake that I would make a lot. But that wasn't invented in the 80's, it was just popular then. I remember Mexican food was very popular then, I first started hearing of Chi Chi's in the 80's. Not sure that restaurant is even still around.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 7:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
centralcacyclist

Seems like Tex-Mex, spa food, and aioli were popular. Kiwis arrived in the 70s. I distinctly recall my introduction to a kiwi. "Tastes like a cross between a strawberry and watermelon," she said.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 8:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dilettante_gw

You've got to watch the Eighties episode of Supersizers Go (a British comedy series with Giles Coren and Sue Perkins). Obviously, it's geared to a British audience, but most of it applies to the US.

If you're interested in food history and enjoy British comedy, you'll love this series. Wish they'd do more episodes.

Here is a link that might be useful: Supersizers Go - The Eighties

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 12:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
teresa_nc7

And I've got a recipe for "E.T.'s Favorite Cookie" - made with Reece's Pieces of course!

I think pigs in blankets arrived on the scene much earlier than the '80s. But you all remember way more than I do, and I was not on anything at the time, but going thru a lot of stress in the '80s.

Teresa

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 8:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dspen

Wow Such great responses!! Thanks everyone.

I am responsible for a few side dishes, everyone else is bringing hot dogs and hamburgs for a cookout. Lots of little kids you know!
But I narrowed it down to a Texas Sheet Cake, Seven Layer Salad, Seven layer taco dip, Finger Jello, and Spinach Dip in a bread bowl. I also have 80's type candy to put out on each table. Doritoes!!

I am doing homemade decorations, like Pac Man, Valley Girl Slang, Neon streamers. Also some 80's trivia games with prizes like fixins for Fuzzy Navels, Wine Coolers, Sex on the Beach. I had a line on a Karaoke Machine, but it didnt work out!!
Thanks for all of your great ideas

Diane

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 8:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ruthanna_gw

Sounds like you'll have a fun party, Diane. Please let us know how it turned out.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 9:11AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sally2_gw

This is a fun thread. I keep saying, "Oh, yeah, now I remember that." lol

Pac Man came out in the 70's. I'm pretty sure it was passe by the '80's. Atari, and maybe even Super Mario Brothers towards the late 80's would probably be more the right time line, if I remember.

Sally

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 9:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
caflowerluver

I remember lots of quiche and fondue. Vegetarianism was really in and a lot of restaurants started offering more than just salads if you were one. (I was one at the time.) And there were a lot more restaurants based on only offering healthy food back then, or at least out here in CA. We use to love to go to The Good Earth restaurant. My favorite lunch was a bowl of their gazpacho, whole grain veggie burger and sangria to drink. They are all gone from around here. I miss them.

Other foods I remember are wine coolers, sushi, coconut shrimp, buffalo chicken wings, mud pie and frozen yogurt.
Clare

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 6:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
westsider40

Salmon mousse! Heat 1 can tomato soup, add 8 oz. cream cheese, large can of salmon, etc. Still delicious, unless my palate is stuck on the old time foods.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 7:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lpinkmountain

I'm now having a flashback of having a garden party for some friends who were traveling cross county in the late 80's, and making the NEW 7 layer nacho dip recipe for them. I still make it! And I started making spinach dip in the 80's too, and haven't stopped!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 8:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
publickman

I went back to university in the 1980s to get my second degree, and I remember taco salads being very popular - but then I was at UT Austin where Tex-Mex food has been supreme since I can remember. You might be able to do a mini version of a taco salad. I used to get mine made in a large, fried flour tortilla, and it had taco meat, beans, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, guacamole, and salsa. You can add sour cream, but I always omitted it. McCormick's makes a taco seasoning mix that would be appropriate.

Lars

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 2:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dspen

Thanks so much for all of the help on my 80's party. It was a HUGE success. Some of the guest had never heard of 7 layer dip or spinach dip. Of course some of them were born in the 80's!!! I did give out a few recipes. And you were right, I still make some of these dishes today.

I love this forum and thanks for all of the participation!!!

Diane

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 8:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lindac

Glad your party went well. Amazing how some foods are so iconic of an era. Wonder what they will say was iconic about the "twenty teens"?

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 9:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dspen

Lindac
Its so funny that you comment on the twenty teens! I was talking to a few of the moms that have small kids. We laughed and wondered just what thoses kids would remember of this era. One busy mom said her kids would remember PBJ sandwiches and mac cheese cause that seems all they will eat these days!!

We also dressed up in our own vision of the 80's. That was a riot. I think I looked much better in the 80's. I seemd to wear those stirup pants much better!!

Diane

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 3:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lbpod

Geeze Ruthanna, now you've got me wondering.
Maybe it was Ripple??????
Oh Gawd, now I'm so confused.
Yeah, I think you're right. . . Ripple
was what we drank in the late 60's.
Boone's Farm came out later, (maybe the 80's?).
I wish I had a dollar for every brain cell that
I killed during those years. But maybe not, as
I remember my days on the raft like they were
yesterday............now, if I can only remember
"HER" name.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 3:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dspen

LOL

I remember Boonesfarm in the early 70's. It was cheap and got the job done! I also think I left a few brain cells back there!

Diane

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 4:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jessicavanderhoff

We must be outdated- I see all these foods all the time. How about jello jigglers- were those big in the 80's? I'm not sure if I just don't see them anymore because I'm not a kid now.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 11:25PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
What can I make to go with..
Dh has a potluck on Friday. I am making red lentil...
tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM
As Seen on Food Fortunes -- Can you measure flour?
Have you seen this show? Shark Tank for the comestibles...
plllog
Half Ham (bone-in)
Which is best, shank or butt. If the package doesn't...
ryseryse_2004
Cookout for 150 people
I am having a cookout for my son's graduation, and...
Teffanie Hughett West
Weird "guy food" that's actually delicious?
You know what kind of food I mean? Not the kind of...
plllog
Sponsored Products
Trex Chairs Yacht Club Stepping Stone Patio Rocker TXR100SS
Home Depot
Purple Collapsible Food Umbrella
$7.99 | zulily
Kalon Studios | Changing Trunk
YLiving.com
Milk-Chocolate-Coated Potato Crisps - MILK CHOCOLATE
$19.00 | Horchow
Rain Quince Yellow Rectangular: 5 Ft. x 8 Ft. Rug
$345.60 | Bellacor
Lunares Stag Long Serving Tray
$189.00 | FRONTGATE
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™