Dinosaur Dracula!
Dinosaur Dracula

Ancient Holiday Appetizers, Part 9!

Guys, it’s time! Ancient Holiday Appetizers, Part 9! In this series, I dig through old cookbooks and recipe mags searching for edible Christmas treasure. Sometimes the dishes are best left in the past, but more often than not, they’re just as good now as they were back when every jacket came with Bo Jackson’s shoulder pads.

For Part 9, all of the recipes came from 1980s lifestyle magazines, like Women’s Day and Family Circle. This is one of my favorite Dino Drac to-dos, every year. Read on and take notes, because most of these dishes are sincerely worth trying!

Pepperoni Crescent Pinwheels! (1982)

SO GOOD. Using shredded mozzarella, sliced pepperoni and a tube of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, you construct these absurdly delicious things that look like sausage rolls but taste like calzones.

Think about how good those crescent rolls are on their own. So rich and buttery! Now picture them with salty pepperoni and gooey mozzarella baked in. My entire place stunk like a pizzeria mixed with the hot butter dispenser from a movie theater.

The recipe said to serve them with jarred pizza sauce, as a dip. If you do, this essentially becomes a deconstructed pizza. Given how easy they were to make, I can’t get over how good they taste, or how lavish they look. Like savory sticky buns.

SCORE: 10 out of 10. There is no way I won’t be making these again.

Kool-Aid Holiday Punch! (1981)

I grew up on a steady diet of holiday-themed sitcoms, where bowls of bright red punch were common props. I was obsessed with them. Those punches always looked like pure Kool-Aid, and in fact, they probably were just Kool-Aid.

(After all, why would set dressers spike 12-ingredient punches when plain old Kool-Aid looked exactly the same?)

Thus, I was thrilled to find an honest-to-goodness holiday punch recipe featuring Kool-Aid as the star ingredient. In this case, we’re mixing Tropical Punch Kool-Aid with grapefruit juice, cranberry juice and a bottle of club soda. The end result is a beautiful drink that straddles the line between red and pink. Looks like the stuff Skeletor popped out of in the post-credits scene from Masters of the Universe.

Interestingly, the Kool-Aid flavor becomes so muted under the fruit juices that you might not even be able to identify it. It’s deeply sweet with a citrus kick from the grapefruit, and like the best punches, it tastes more like “this and that” than any one particular thing.

SCORE: 10 out of 10. This recipe didn’t call for alcohol, but I can tell that it’d work with all sorts of liquor. Actually, it’s already such a medley of flavors that you could probably just dump various liquors into it with no rhyme or reason, and still end up with something tasty. I’m a fan! Read More…

Purple Stuff Podcast: The Santa Show!

The Purple Stuff Podcast’s big December show is here! If you’re having trouble getting into the holiday spirit, an hour-long discussion about wacky Santa Clauses oughta fix you right up.

Yes indeed! In our latest episode, me and Jay from Sludge Central name eight of our favorite SANTA CLAUSES from all walks of pop culture. Movies! TV shows! Cereal! Weird decorations! Creepy hotlines! It’s all here!

We don’t know what took us so long to tackle such an obvious subject, but we think this episode was worth the wait.

Click here to listen to this month’s show!

As a reminder, you can also support the Purple Stuff Podcast on Patreon, where you’ll get an exclusive bonus show every month. December’s is coming soon, but if you join today you’ll also get access to all of our older bonus shows. There are a lot of them!

Below are supplemental links about the Santas we’re featuring on the show. Don’t read if you’re avoiding spoilers!

1. Boris Karloff as Santa!
2. Harry from Christmas Evil!
3. Cap’n Claus from Christmas Crunch!
4. Santa from Christmas Comes To Pac-Land!
5. Empire’s Giant Santa Head Blowmold!
6. Creepy 900-Number Santa!
7. Morticia Claus from The Addams Family!
8. Santa from Power Rangers!

Thanks so much for listening, and for sharing the podcast around. (It really helps!)

Feel free to name some of your favorite pop culture Santas, in the comments!

Dino Drac’s December Funpack is here!

Hey! It’s time to show ya Dino Drac’s December Funpack. It’s ho ho hot.


Maaaan guys, this is a good one — a great mix of stuff that’s perfect as a holiday gift to yourself!

If you’re already a subscriber, good news, you’re locked in!

If you’re not a subscriber and you want this Funpack, here’s the deal: Subscriptions are currently closed, but I do have a small amount of extras that I can sell on an individual basis. These are very limited and may not last long. Scroll to the bottom to grab one, or keep reading to learn about everything in this month’s box! Read More…

Highlights from the 1986 JCPenney Catalog!

December is moving way too fast. I should be used to it, since it always does. What is it about this month? Why is December ten minutes long?

I can’t slow December down, but I can make the most of what’s left of it. By “make the most” I of course mean thousand-word articles about toy catalogs from 1986.

Today we’re gonna look at highlights from JCPenney’s 1986 Christmas catalog. I tried to avoid the most obvious stuff, which wasn’t hard since my catalog was missing 30-40 key pages. (If you’re looking for that year’s heavyweights, check out my older review of the 1986 Sears Wish Book.)

Enjoy this trip back to a time when kids rode robots instead of bicycles. It was a different world.

Armstrong Mobile Command Poweride!

This was produced by Tomy, the same company that gave us Verbot, Omnibot and so many other robot toys of the ‘80s. If anyone was gonna turn a tricycle into R2-D2, it had to be Tomy.

The Armstrong Mobile Command Poweride was a motorized scooter with an insane amount of features. Not only could kids drive him around, but Armstrong could even pick things up with his red robot hands. Assorted buttons triggered laser-like sound effects, and he even came with a microphone that made your voice sound robotic!

This was thirty-five years ago, but I guarantee you that all prior Armstrong owners still think about him every day. I’m sure you have distinct memories of riding your first Big Wheel. Well, imagine if your first Big Wheel had a robot head and arms that could lift bottles of soda. Jesus Christ! Read More…