This year marks Western Living’s 50th Anniversary, and we’re spending it looking back at the previous decades with a proud, but also critical eye. Here we’ve gone back to the 1980s when we published our first cookbook. The pictures are definitely dated, but the recipes themselves are pretty solid. So for our June issue we hired stylist and recipe developer Tracey Kusiewicz to give them an update. Here is her new take on the original cookie recipe and the Kefta recipe, both below€”the other updates will follow in the coming weeks. But for now let’s dive back into the decade that brought us Wham!, Reagonomics…and pastel food styling!


Wonderfully refreshing with Mexican food, this mixture can be frozen and served as a slush. Freeze the glasses ahead of time and roll their rims in a little salt at serving time.

1 part lime juice, freshly squeezed
1 part Triple Sec or orange liqueur
3 parts Tequila, preferably 80-proof natural
1 egg-white
Ice cubes

Mix in a blender. Add one egg-white and blend. Add four or five ice cubes and blend again until frothy and the ice cubes are broken up.


500 g (1 lb.) regular ground beef
5 to 10 mL (1 to 2 tsp.) cumin
2 to 5 mL (½ to 1 tsp.) powdered ginger
2 to 5 mL (½ to 1 tsp.) string saffron
5 to 10 mL (1 to 2 tsp.) paprika
5 mL (1 tsp.) ground chilies
15 mL (1 tbsp.) crushed fresh garlic, with small palmful of fresh coriander
½ onion, grated
5 mL (1 tsp.) ground black pepper
Salt to taste
Dash or two of cinnamon

Mix all ingredients except beef. Spread the meat on a plate, sprinkle with the spice mixture, and then work the meat by hand for a few minutes until spices are mixed in. don't work it until meat is gluey. To cook over charcoal, put a small palmful of meat mixture in your hand and work the meat around a small skewer. Pinch the ends of the meat. don't use too much meat or it will fall off during cooking. Grill over charcoal until just done €” cook fast over high heat to seal in the juices.


You can serve kefta with a side-sauce of puréed tomatoes mixed with fresh parsley, fresh coriander, salt and a red chili sauce (or ground red chilies). Add a bit of oil. don't mix this in a blender or it will become foamy. Vary the ingredients to taste. This sauce is not cooked.


Regular tomatoes and mushrooms can be substituted with only a slight variation in flavor.

4 large dried mushrooms, such as boletus, porcini, cep, shiitaké
1 spaghetti squash
2 whole, sun-dried tomatoes
30 mL (2 tbsp.) butter
30 mL (2 tbsp.) oil

Cover the mushrooms with hot water to soften. Cut the spaghetti squash in half and place the pieces cut-side down on a baking sheet. Bake at 180°F (350°F) until tender when pierced with a skewer, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Scrape out the meat of the squash (it will look like strings of fine spaghetti) and place in a bowl.
Sliver the sun-dried tomatoes. Drain the mushrooms and pat dry. Discarding any tough stems, sliver the mushrooms.
Just before serving time, heat butter and oil in a large frypan or spray with vegetable spray. Add the squash, tomatoes and mushrooms. Toss and cook until heated through. Serve as a vegetable side-dish.


Coarsely chopped semi-sweet chocolate (170g/6 oz.) can be added to this basic recipe.

250 mL (1 cup) butter
250 mL (1 cup) white sugar
250 mL (1 cup) brown sugar, lightly packed
1 large egg
15 mL (1 tbsp.) molasses
5 mL (1 tsp.) vanilla
375 mL (1½ cups) all-purpose white flour
5 mL (1 tsp.) baking soda
5 mL (1 tsp.) baking powder
7 mL (1½ tsp.) cinnamon
5 mL (1 tsp.) nutmeg
5 mL (1 tsp.) allspice
250 mL (1 cup) coconut
250 mL (1 cup) rolled oats, any type
250 mL (1 cup) pecans, coarsely chopped

Cream together the butter, sugars, egg, molasses and vanilla. Stir together the flour, soda, baking powder and spices. Stir into the creamed mixture. Add the coconut, rolled oats and pecans. Mix well. Form into 2.5 or five-centimetre (1 or 2-in.) balls and freeze on a cookie sheet. Store in freezer bags and bake as needed. Bake frozen at 180°C (350°F) for 12 to 15 minutes or thawed for 10 to 12 minutes. Taken from the oven while puffy, the cookies flatten down and are chewy in the centre. (Parchment paper on the baking sheet will prevent burned bottoms.)