fondue

Fondue Recipes From Bettys Cook NookFor The Love Of Fondue

Growing up the youngest of three boys meant I was the small, quiet one. The one who listened and watched to center stage from afar.

Older me tells younger me that’s AOK because it helped me make the most of the precious time I had with my parents. I was able to soak it all in and pick up on a few tips I still hold near and dear to this day… including a few memories like the joy of fondue.

I’m not sure the first time I had fondue but I was likely about the age of 12.

My family would gather around the spirited fondue pot to create our meal using individual spears, dipping things in hot oil or cheese and then a sauce or two that Mom would create. The simple things.

Little did I know back then but fondue was more than “just that.” Fondue marries food with the imagination and to me, there’s nothing better!

Santa and Fondue CheeseA Christmas Story

This summer I stumbled upon a random search result for a vintage fondue pot that reminded me of the one my parents had. I knew what I had to do.

A few days later the electric fondue set arrived at my home and I set it aside for a special day when I would unveil the 1970s fondue pot. It sat in the dark since then as most of 2021 brought some challenging times caring for – and parting with – my secondary shadow in the form of my yellow Lab, Harley.

This Christmas Day I thought there was no better way to round out the year than by revving-up the fondue pot and reliving and sharing this foodie form with my family and here, with you.

If you’re not already a fondue fan, I hope you give fondue a try! It’s remarkably simple and will treat you to the joy of this dish with Swiss origins!

Vintage Oster Electric Fondue SetFon-dos and Don’ts

❤  Fon-do try these out: I’ve included a variety of my favorite recipes that caught my Mom’s eye below – cheese and beef fondue and a few sauce suggestions, including butter-browned mushrooms, caper butter, mustard, and a red sauce! Scans of the recipes from her cookbook are also below.

❤  This is a dish of variety! Fon-don’t just try one dip or item to be dipped – go for a range of flavor and put the power of the fondue pot to the fullest! For the cheese fondue you can try cubed pears or apples as an appetizer entry or a dessert dismount! I don’t have two pots but I’m only guessing that cooked beef fondue dipped into cheese fondue is a double fondue delight!

❤  Fon-do check out some of the vintage fondue pots I found strolling on Etsy. They’re hot so get yours before they’re gone!

Vintage Oster Fondue Poti. Time

Total prep: There’s no rush here in the land of fondue, but I’d allow at least 90 minutes – 2 hours for the whole shebang. 

Emmentaler Swiss Cheeseii. Ingredients + directions

cheese fondue:
to dunk  french bread, torn or cut into bite-size pieces
¾ pound (about 3 cups)
  swiss cheese, cut into thin julienne strips
1 tablespoon   flour
1 clove   garlic, halved
1 ¼ cups   sauterne (a sweet french wine)
dash  fresh cracked black pepper
dash  nutmeg
3 tablespoons  dry sherry

Fondue Julienned EmmentalerSauternes Fondue

cheese fondue directions: 1) I toasted up my bread a bit to give it a little crunch. Toasting the bread on a foil-lined pan for 5 minutes at 350°F should do the trick. 2) Toss the cheese with the flour to coat and set aside. 3) Rub the inside of the fondue cooker vigorously with the cut surface of the garlic clove. 4) Add the sauterne and warm it just until air bubbles start to rise. Don’t cover and do not let it boil. 5) With a wood or silicon spatula stir constantly from this step forward and in the same direction – a process known as “shear thinning” which helps the cheesy fondue become thinner. Add a handful of cheese strips and wait until the cheese has melted before tossing in another handful. Keep stirring! After all the cheese has been incorporated and the mixture is bubbling gently, stir in the pepper, nutmeg and the sherry. 6) Dunk spears of the cubed bread into the cheese, twirl and enjoy! If the cheese becomes too thick pour in a little warmed sauterne (or butter, if you are channeling my inner foodie).

Beef Fonduebeef fondue:
4-5+ cups
  salad oil, for cooking (vegetable, canola, corn, peanut, etc.)
1 ½ pounds   beef tenderloin, trimmed and cut into ¾ inch cubes
to serve  your chosen sauces/sidekicks (recipes below)

directions: 1) Pour the salad oil in the fondue pot to 2″ or no more than ½ full. 2) Heat to 425°F or until the oil slowly boils. 3) Spear a beef cube with your fondue fork and place it in the oil. 4) Rotate the beef so it’s evenly cooked to your desired doneness. It doesn’t take long! Dip the beef with your sauce and enjoy!

butter-browned mushrooms:
2 tablespoons  butter (my Grandmother “Nanny” insisted on Falfurrias)
2 cups  fresh mushrooms, sliced

directions: 1) Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. 2) Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until evenly browned. Season with salt and better and serve alongside the beef fondue.

Fondue Caper Buttercaper butter:
½ cup   butter, softened
3 tablespoons  capers, with liquid

directions: 1) Place the butter and capers, with liquid, in a small mixing bowl. 2) Beat until light and fluffy. 3) Serve alongside the beef fondue.

mustard sauce:
bottle   dijon style hot mustard (we used french’s stone ground dijon mustard)

directions: Simply squeeze the mustard into a serving bowl and use it as a dipping sauce for the beef fondue. What could be easier?

red sauce:
¾ cup   catsup
2 tablespoons   vinegar
½ teaspoon   prepared horseradish

directions: Combine all the ingredients together in a small bowl and let chill and mingle for at least 30 minutes. You’ve just made a tangy dipping sauce for the beef fondue. I used leftovers on a homemade hamburger and it was great for french fry dipping!

From the simple to the savory and everything in between, I hope you have fun creating your own special fondue tastes and memories to last a lifetime!

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook

I’m still on the hunt for what publication these recipes came from (below). I recognize the font and some of the type treatments and I think this likely hails from the 1970s or possibly the 60s. The fabulous food of skiing!

Fondue Recipes The Fabulous Food Of Skiing

A Scan Of Mom’s Fondue Recipes

Vintage Fondue Pot

Oster Fondue Inside Label

A Scan Of The Insert Inside My Vintage Fondue Pot


pumpkin cheesecake

Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe From Betty's Cook NookLet’s Break For Cheesecake

With all the pumpkin proliferation that erupts at the tail end of summer this is a recipe that might stand out from the orangey crowd.

I was a little leery about baking a sour cream topping but I was reminded that folks in these parts don’t mess around with sour cream. Go on – feel the force – the sour cream worked and made a nice topping for the cheesecake.

I don’t recall eating cheesecake until the 80s, when I dove fork first into a Sara Lee cheesecake. With origins to the 1940s Sara Lee cheesecake had been my north star for what a cheesecake should be. Nowadays baking a homemade cheesecake is simply worth the extra love.

Foodie Tips

❤  The amount of graham crackers caused some intense discussion in our household. We netted out that “18 double graham crackers” actually meant 18 sheets of 4-up crackers, which is 72 total crackers not 36. I guess in the golden days a single cracker was assumed to be a 2-up cracker whereas today it would likely be considered 2 separate crackers.

❤  Make sure your spring form pan is well seated and sealed. Mine leaked a little bit in the oven which I solved by placing a pan underneath to catch any drips. After a few minutes baking the cake had set and all was good!

❤  You definitely do not want to over bake your cheesecake. Over baking will likely form cracks through and on the top resulting in a dry vs. moist end result. I’m reminded that the creamiest cheesecake I ever had was the one we water bathed in our oven. To do so we just wrapped the bottom of the springform pan with foil and placed it in a small pan of water while it cooked. The extra moisture will treat you to an amazingly moist cheesecake. I’ll try this method on the next go of this recipe!

i. Time

Prep: About 1.5 hours, including 30 minutes for prep and 1 hour for baking. Most people prefer their cheesecake chilled, so cooling it in the fridge for a few hours or overnight is recommended!

ii. Ingredients

18 sheets (72 total)  graham crackers, crushed and divided
1 cup (2 sticks)   butter, melted (my Grandmother “Nanny” insisted onFalfurrias)
3 (8 ounce) packages  cream cheese
1 ½ cups  sugar
4  cage free eggs, separated and beaten
15 ounce can   pumpkin
2 teaspoons  ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon   ground ginger
½ teaspoon
   ground cloves

for the topping:
1 pint (16 ounces)   sour cream
4 tablespoons   sugar
1 teaspoon  vanilla

iii. What To Do

1. Preheat your oven to 375°F.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Making Crumble Topping2. Crush the graham crackers in a bowl by hand or you can place them in a Ziploc bag, seal, and crush with a rolling pin or simply by hand. Mix the butter into the crumbs and press it into the bottom of a spring form pan. Reserve enough of the crumbs to cover the top in step 8 below.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Making Sour Cream Topping3. Cream together the cream cheese, sugar, beaten egg yolks (not the whites yet!), the pumpkin and the 3 spices.

4. Hand fold-in the egg whites.

5. Pour everything into the spring form pan and bake for ~25 minutes at 375°F. I was using my gas oven and needed to add an additional 10-15 minutes for the cake to set.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Fresh From The Oven6. When done remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it cool a bit. We’re not done with the oven yet – increase the temperature to 475°F.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Sour Cream Topping7. While the cake is cooling lets make our topping by hand-stirring together the sour cream, sugar and vanilla. Pour this mixture on top of the cheese cake and return it to the oven to bake for 5 minutes at 475°F

Pumpkin Cheesecake Crumble Topping8. Remove the cheesecake from the oven, sprinkle on the remaining (reserved) buttery graham cracker crumbs from above and let it cool. I let my cheesecake rest on the bottom of the springform pan insert and chilled it in the fridge for a few hours until we were ready to cut it into slices and enjoy it!

A Slice Of Pumpkin Cheesecake

Yield: About 8-16 slices, depending on how hungry you are.

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook

Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe Scan

A Scan Of Mom’s Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe

11/30/21


peanut butter slice-and-bake cookies

Peanut Butter Slice And Bake CookiesPeanut Butter Slice And Bake CookiesThe Cookies With A Twist

This recipe hails from the August 1982 issue of Southern Living, so it’s been patiently waiting in Mom’s cookbook for almost 40 years. I had seen the recipe many times flipping through my Mom’s cookbook, but “slice and bake” never really motivated me to explore more… until I later had a hankering for peanut butter and then I found myself headed to the store to get some fresh milk.

This recipe was surprising for a couple of reasons: 1) “Slice and bake.” The bake part threw me because you *don’t* bake these in your oven – you nuke them in your microwave! Making cookies in the microwave is a new one for me but not surprising given that the microwave was a rage making its debut in most American kitchens in the late 1970s. 2) The end result tasted like a homemade nutter butter cookie which was one of my favorites growing up in the 70s and 80s. Enjoy some vintage nutter butter memories below!

I was quite leery that these cookies would turn out great, but boy they sure did, and after the final schmear of peanut butter tucked between two homemade cookies I was thinking I had just made a fresh homemade home run nutter butter cookie sandwich!

Foodie Tips

❤  You can reduce the recipe ingredients by half; we were on a diet that week but it didn’t stop me from diving in! We wrapped and stored some of the remaining dough in the fridge for a couple of days and it lasted just fine.

❤  If you’re in a hurry to dive in you can chill the “baked” cookies in your fridge ~10 minutes to reduce the on counter cooling time. I did this and the end result was surprisingly crunchy.

❤  I laughed when I saw instructions to manually turn the cookies. We are lucky to live in a time when the microwave does the turning for us! I was also curious if these might do well in an air fryer and will try that on the next adventure with this recipe.

i. Time

Total prep: About 3.5 hours, including a 2-3 hour chill timeout in the fridge.

ii. Ingredients

1 ¾ cups  all-purpose flour
½ cup  sugar
½ teaspoon  baking soda
¼ teaspoon  salt
½ cup  shortening
¾ cup (or more)  creamy peanut butter, divided
¼ cup  light corn syrup
1 tablespoon  milk

Peanut Butter Slice And Bake CookiesPeanut Butter Slice And Bake Cookie Doughiii. What To Do

1. In a medium-sized bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. With a pastry cutter (or if you don’t have one try a KitchenAid stand mixer) cut in the shortening and ½ cup of the peanut butter until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Stir in the corn syrup and the milk.

Peanut Butter Slice And Bake CookiesPeanut Butter Slice And Bake Cookie Dough Log2. Shape the dough into a long roll, about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap the roll in waxed paper and chill it in the fridge 2 to 3 hours, or until firm. 

Peanut Butter Slice And Bake CookiesPeanut Butter Slice And Bake Cookies3. Unwrap the roll and cut the dough into ¼ inch slices. Place 6 slices at a time on a wax paper-lined plate, arranging them in a ring. 

4. Microwave the slices at medium heat (50% power) for 2 to 4 minutes or until the cookies are dry on the surface. If you don’t have a rotating microwave dish, manually rotate the dish at 1-minute intervals to promote “even baking.”

Peanut Butter Slice And Bake Cookies Cooling On A Cookie Rack5. Slide/transfer the wax paper with the cookies from the oven onto your kitchen counter and let them cool for 2 minutes. Remove the cookies from the wax paper and place them on a wire rack to completely cool. Repeat the procedure with the remaining dough.

How To Make Peanut Butter Slice And Bake Cookies6. Here’s the magical part: spread half the cookies with a schmear of peanut butter. I was generous with my schmear! Top with a remaining cookie slice on each to form your cookie sandwich.

Yield: About 2 dozen.

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook NookPeanut Butter Slice And Bake Cookies Cooling On A Plate.JPGPeanut Butter Slice And Bake Cookies On A Plate

Let’s have a peek at some vintage ads:

Nutter Butter Born In 1969

Peanut Butter Slice And Bake Cookie Recipe

A Scan Of Mom’s Original Slice And Bake Cookie Recipe Clipping

 

 

 


lemon pie hawaiian

The Hawaiian Pie Of My Eye

This pie definitely tastes like it flew straight out of the 1950s or 60s and flashed forward into my mouth. And based on where this recipe was located in my Mom Betty’s cookbook, I’m likely not that far off on its origins. I’ll continue some research to see if I can determine the publication for this recipe because I recognize the size, format and paper.

The original recipe below claims this pie is a cross between lemon chiffon and lemon meringue. I had to Google the difference between both in order to put my stink eye at ease.

I love that this recipe calls for a pre-made pie crust vs. fresh (hey, this era was a time often about making fast meals which were often a combination of part scratch and part ready made). This has a definite sweet-sugary taste which is one of the reasons I recommend unsweetened coconut – you don’t need extra in this.

I’m not sure how Hawaiian this pie actually is but with coconut in it, the taste will likely remind you of soothing tropical sunsets and beautiful beaches. You can read more about my Texas family’s connection to Hawaii through a few more Hawaiian-inspired recipes. Enjoy!

Foodie Tips

❤  What’s a pie shield? It’s typically made of silicon and it can help prevent the top edges of your crust from burning. Here’s ours from Williams-Sonoma which is adjustable and its been a life saver! You can also make your own impromptu version by using foil and shaping it around the crust’s edge.

❤  A word about the filling. We had a lot of filling left over but we didn’t opt to make a second pie as we were on diets (yeah, that’s the ticket)! We poured the extra filling into some custard cups to devour on some weak moments after our initial pie festival.

i. Time

Total prep: Allow 1 hour for Hawaiian pie prep plus 4 hours for chilling. 

ii. Ingredients

8 ¼ ounce can  crushed pineapple, drained (I could only find an 8 ounce can of Libby’s)
¼ cup  brown sugar, packed
¼ cup  unsweetened flaked coconut
2 tablespoons  unsalted butter, softened (my Grandmother “Nanny” insisted on Falfurrias)
9-inch  pastry shell, unbaked
4-serving size  regular lemon pudding mix
½ cup  granulated sugar
1 ¾ cup  water
cage free egg yolks, slightly beaten (save the whites for below!)
2 tablespoons  fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon  more butter
cage free egg whites
¼ cup  more granulated sugar
to garnish  toasted coconut (optional but highly recommended)

iii. What To Do

0. PREP
Set out your butter to soften to room temperature. Preheat your oven to 425°F

1. MAKE THE PIE BASE
Combine the drained pineapple, brown sugar, ¼ cup of the coconut and 2 tablespoons butter. Spread it over the bottom of the pastry shell.

2. BAKE THE PIE’S BOTTOM
Cover the edge of the pastry with foil or a silicon pie shield. Bake in your preheated oven at 425°F for 15 minutes, removing the crust protector after the first 5 minutes of baking. When done, remove the pie from the oven and set it aside to cool.

3. LET’S MAKE CUSTARDY FILLING
In a  medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat combine the pudding mix with a ½ cup of the granulated sugar. Stir in the water and egg yolks and cook and stir until things are bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in the lemon juice and the remaining butter. Cover with clear plastic wrap and let things cool, stirring occasionally.

4. LET’S PREP THE WHITES
In a bowl beat the egg whites on high speed with your mixer until you see soft peaks. Gradually beat in the remaining ¼ cup sugar until everything forms stiff peaks. Fold the egg whites into the cooled filling. Pile everything on top of the baked pastry shell.

5. PREPARE FOR DISMOUNT
Place the pie in the fridge for at least 4 hours. When ready to serve garnish with some toasted coconut.

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook

A Scan Of Mom’s Original Recipe Clipping


brazil nut chips

Brazil Nut Chips HeroGet Ready To Go Nuts

I’m not sure where Brazil nuts have been hiding my entire life. It’s likely because as a native Texan “nuts” really just means “pecans” which have been the center of my world since I was a younger me. Also surprising to me is that Brazil nuts aren’t nuts per se but seeds that hail from the Amazon rainforest’s Brazil nut tree.

Low and behold we were on a low carb diet and had ironically had just purchased a big bag of them from Costco. Even at only 2 net carbs for about 9 nuts they had a buttery good flavor but a little too bland right out of the bag for my liking. Turns out a little lovin’ from the oven transforms the nut-seeds into a rightfully righteous super snacker!

Butter and Brazil NutsFoodie Tips

❤  These nut chips are super-easy to make and eat! You might just want to go ahead and multiply the recipe so you’ll have extra for impromptu snacking or pop-ins. Jarred and wrapped with a ribbon these also make great gifts!

❤  This is a simple recipe that literally heightens the flavors that you use for seasoning. The next time we make these (oh, and we’ll be making them again) we’re eyeing some cayenne (for heat) and for herbs thyme, oregano or rosemary. You can’t go wrong!

i. Time

Total prep: About 20 minutes.

Kirkland Organic Whole Brazil Nutsii. Ingredients

1 ½ cups  whole brazil nuts, shelled
2 tablespoons  unsalted butter, melted (my Grandmother “Nanny” insisted on Falfurrias)
½ teaspoon  seasoned salt*

* A word about seasoned salt: A family favorite for as long as I can remember is Lawry’s brand seasoned salt. It wasn’t until my post-college years when I was convinced my taste buds needed more “oomph” when I switched to Lawry’s seasoned salt with black pepper. That’s what I used for this recipe and it was amazing, as always!

Brazil Nuts On The Stovetopiii. What To Do

1. To Soften The Nuts
Place the Brazil nuts  in a medium-sized saucepan. Cover with water and over a medium-high heat bring things to a boil. Simmer 2-3 minutes then drain.

2. Make Nut Slivers
While still warm shave each nut lengthwise into thin slices with a paring knife. We left the skin on for extra flavor.

Brazil Nut Slivers Dotted With Butter3. Season & Bake
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a shallow baking pan with foil. Spread the Brazil nut slivers into the pan and sprinkle “dots” of butter all over them. Lightly season and bake until lightly browned and crisp for about 12 minutes, stirring or shaking along the way (about every 2-3 minutes). With each stirring I added a little bit more seasoning until I arrived at my preferred taste.

Brazil Nut Chips In A Baking Pan4. Enjoy
Remove the prepared nut chips from the oven and let them cool a bit. Dig in and store any leftovers in a container with a tightly-fitting cover. This just might be the perfect time to learn more about the Brazil nut with this article while you enjoy your newest culinary creation!

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook

Brazil Nut Chips Recipe

Delicious! I can eat an entire 2-cup batch by myself!

More About This Recipe
I found the recipe recipe tucked in my Mom Betty’s Black Recipe Cookbook. From the looks of the yellowed paper and because older recipes came from the black recipe book closest to when my Mom and Dad married I’d say this recipe is from the 1950s or 1960s. 

Brazil Nut Chips Recipe

The Original Scan Of the Brazil Nut Chips Recipe From Mom’s Cookbook


dee’s margarita

Dee's Margarita | Betty's Cook Nook

Shaken Or Stirred : Let’s Drink

The culinary art of the margarita is about as varied as a color wheel. Fruity, tart, lime green, burgundy, blue, frozen, on the rocks… and just about everything else in between!

It’s truly hard to believe this cocktail is not even 100 years young! I don’t remember when or where I was the first time I had my very first margarita but such is the luck of a Texan. Nowadays the margarita is one of the classic essentials we hold near and dear (and trust me, I clutch my margaritas close to the heart and even closer to the lips)!

The Marvelous Margarita

A unique slice of my history lands me back to Dallas circa 2005 and my favorite watering hole Mariano’s Hacienda, which was born in 1971. This is a place I’ve spent many a day and night enjoying Tex-Mex delights including Queso Mariano, table side guacamole, brisket tacos, mesquite grilled fajitas and without a doubt their “potent but polite” margaritas. Just to name a few things.

It was the restaurant’s founder Mariano Martinez who, like me, dreamt of only the coldest of margaritas. Ironically at the time my client was 7-Eleven and their prized frozen drink machine inspired Mariano to adapt a Slurpee machine to fashion what we know today as the frozen margarita! Soon thereafter the marvelous margarita machine helped catapult the iconic taste of Texas across the world and now the frozen margarita machine has a forever home in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.

It’s been a few years since I’ve been back to enjoy my BFFF (Best Frozen Friend Forever) but if you’re in Dallas swing on by 6300 Skillman Street and after successfully ducking past the giant stuffed bear guarding the entrance send our biggest howdy to the staff from me, with love. (Umberto, if you’re reading this M.P.H.!) While Joe and I always preferred to sit on the patio the bar was not to be missed! It had a concrete top with a cold trough to place and keep your margarita frozen – even in the glass! I’d like to nominate that invention to the Smithsonian as well!

Click on the pics for the full-on view!

Home Alone

When you can’t enjoy the margarita outside the home why not handcraft your own? It’s remarkably easy given that top shelf margaritas are often $12-$15/each these days! A bottle of tequila served homeside pays for itself it just a couple of sips!

I hope you enjoy Dee’s Margarita – it’s a simple margarita that will dial the Texas heat down to a fantastically enjoyable sensation.

Foodie Tips

❤  Margarita Rule #1: Nobody likes a lukewarm margarita! These puppies are best served icy cold so make sure and have a freezer and ice handy.

❤  Margarita Rule #2: Kick the bottle. Always use freshly-squeezed lime juice. Trust me on this!

❤  Cointreau vs. triple sec? Your wallet might notice a distinct difference between the two but will your taste buds? Martha helps us understand the differences in this really helpful article.

❤  Love margaritas? You’re not alone! Try out my spicy margarita recipe that I invented with one secret weapon – the heartfelt jalapeño! Hold onto your sombreros!

i. Time

Total prep: About 15-20 minutes.

ii. Ingredients

1 ounce  tequila
½ ounce  triple sec or cointreau
2 ounces  sweet and sour mix*
to garnish  a salted glass rim and a lime wedge

* Sweet and sour: If you don’t have sweet and sour mix on hand you can fashion your own by combining ⅓ cup each: freshly-squeezed lime juice, lemon juice, water and sugar. Heat it all together over medium heat. Chill and voilà!

Betty's Cook Nook Margaritaiii. What To Do

1. Place your margarita glasses in the freezer for at least 10-15 minutes to chill them up good. Be bold. Go cold! Beforehand, I often rinse my glasses and leave them a little bit wet so folks know they are fresh from the freezer. Ice is nice!

2. In a cocktail shaker place a giant cube of ice (I make ’em with these) and the tequila, the orange liqueur of your choosing, and the sweet and sour.

3. Shake, shake, SHAKE!

4. Remove your glass from the freezer and line the rim with a slice of lime and dip and rotate the edge of the glass in salt (kosher salt works great).

5. Optional Step: You can put some crushed ice or a giant cube in your glass. On super-hot days I dial it down 1,000%. 

6. Strain the margarita into your frozen glass and serve with a lime wedge sidekick.

Sip and savor this sensational drink!

Yield: 1 grande or two “meh” grande margaritas (shown). Go for the grande!

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook

Dee's Margarita Recipe

A Scan Of Dee’s Margarita Recipe
(penned by my Mom Betty)

Who is Dee?

It’s funny how I remember random things from my childhood. “Dee Martinez” was a friend of my Mom (Betty). I’m not sure I ever met Dee but I remember my Mom often talking about her, so I know she was a dear friend. So while Mom’s recipe is missing her last name I’m noting it here for those to know. :)

I’m still researching to see if I can find out how my Mom and Dee were connected but in the meantime let’s raise our margarita glasses to Dee for sharing this recipe with the rest of us!

And the “Mexican Emmy” Goes To…

OMG with the amount of time and money we spent at Mariano’s, Joe and I should have been invited to this party!


sausage stroganoff finale

A Sausage Stroganoff Recipe from Bettys Cook NookHit Me Baby One More Time

Ladies and gentlemen, fasten your seatbelts – we’re on for another taste bud adventure compliments of this sausage stroganoff recipe!

This isn’t the first time I’ve waxed on about stroganoff (it’s the fourth time to be precise) but it may be the last. Sadly I think this is the final stroganoff recipe in my Mom’s cookbook. As the last Betty’s Cook Nook meal of the year this dish marked the perfect culinary dismount to a wacky and wild 2020!

So What Makes This Recipe A Classic? 

Well, a couple of things. For starters I’m 99% confident this recipe hails from an early 1980s Southern Living magazine clipping; I recognize the recipe’s font (see the original clipping below)!

Secondly I incorporated a hidden weapon ingredient which you can learn more about below: the Wendish noodle is a blast from the past and it has a special connection to this recipe and the people of Texas. Incoming story below!

Tip: If you just prefer the recipe please fast-scroll to the Foodie Tips section below. If you want to enjoy a random family story about early Texas in the 1800s, please grab your favorite beverage and read on!Texas Wendish Heritage Society Wendish Noodles

A Little Bit About Dime Box

It all started harmlessly with a random pic my Cousin Alison texted of a likely relative “Adolph Hannes” who surely lived in the greater Dime Box, Texas area. Dime Box is the birthplace of my Maternal Grandmother “Nanny” who was ironically also one of my bestest of friends when I was a kid. Dime Box isn’t a big city – in fact even today it’s an unincorporated community of about 1,100 residents. But for the European immigrants who claimed it as home, they found Dime Box a small but magnificent place that rests on the eastern Texas prairie offering big sky views and wide open spaces that could cultivate new beginnings.

A Dram by Henry Kruemcke and Adolph HannesAfter a few online queries I learned Adolph’s picture was from a 1961 book “Texas Wends – Their First Half Century,” authored by Lillie Moerbe Caldwell.

Texas Wends tells the magnificent story of how in 1854 the Wendish people of Lusatia (east Germany and southern Poland) fled to Texas in search of religious and political freedom. After 3 months at sea on the Ben Nevis clipper ship they disembarked in the port city of Galveston and ventured by wagon and foot to Serbin, Texas which is just a few minutes drive from Dime Box and 69 miles from where I live today. The story of the Wends is wild and wondrous and sadly 1 in 8 of the 588 crammed ship voyagers lost their lives on their journey to Texas. I had hoped to connect the Wends to my nuclear family (was I Wendish?) but after receiving the book I quickly combed through the Ben Nevis’ ship manifest only to find no surnames that I recognized. Regardless, Adolph’s picture proved my family was friends of the Wends!

There on page 80 of Texas Wends was a picture of Adolph Hannes that became a remarkable key to a chapter in my life that has connected the past with the present! Adolph shared a surname with my grandmother “Nanny’s” husband Harry Hannes and there in the pic Adolph was enjoying a “dram” with his friend Henry Kruemcke. I quickly and luckily discovered a hardbound copy of the book on eBay and it’s now in my library. I did some Ancestry.com research and discovered that Adolph is my Grand Uncle! #MicDrop

Texas Wendish Heritage Museum, Serbin, TexasInto The Car We Went

Soon after geeking out on our family lineage Cousin Alison and I decided to travel to Dime Box and nearby Serbin to inspect a few things. We visited the Hannes-Old Dime Box cemetery where we saw several headstones bearing our family’s surnames (Hannes and Hejtmancik). It was surreal being in the very origin of our Texas roots! A 20-minute ride from Dime Box landed us just outside Giddings in Serbin. We visited the Texas Wendish Heritage Museum, its next door historic painted St. Paul Church and while taking in the historic sights we learned about black wedding dresses, the art of decorating Wendish Easter Eggs and low and behold we scored the glorious egg noodles that are made on site and that I used in this recipe!

We’ve made two trips back thus far and are planning a third. We’ll return to the Dime Box Heritage Society Museum where we gratefully discovered family photos and artifacts with ease. And of course no trip would be complete without paying our respects at the Heritage Museum where I plan to reunite the Texas Wends book to the Memorial Library of its author, Lillie Moerbe Caldwell.

So there you have it – how a little noodle has great big ties to this recipe and newly-discovered great chapters of my family history! I never underestimate the power of food.

Foodie Tips

❤  The Wendish noodles are about 3 inches in length and have an al dente (“to the tooth”) texture that I love. No soggy noodles here! Don’t live near Serbin, Texas? No worries – you can score your noodles online!

❤  I cooked the Wendish noodles separately according to the package instructions then poured the stroganoff on top to serve. On my next go of this recipe I think I’ll add the uncooked noodles and let them simmer in the stroganoff per the original recipe instructions below – they will likely absorb more of the tasty stroganoff flavor.

❤  Fan of the stroganoff? Luckily there are a few more you can try out here on Betty’s Cook Nook. Click and scroll down!

i. Time

Total prep: About 45-60 minutes.

Sausage Stroganoff Ingredientsii. Ingredients

1 pound  bulk pork sausage
1 cup  white onion, finely chopped
1 cup  green pepper, finely chopped
16 ounce can  diced organic canned tomatoes (Kirkland)
8 ounces  sour cream
1 cup  water
1 tablespoon  sugar
2 teaspoons  kosher salt
2 teaspoons  chili powder
8 ounces  egg noodles (Wendish noodles if you can)

Texas Wendish Noodlesiii. What To Do

1. In a skillet over medium heat combine sausage, onion and green pepper and stir until the sausage is brown and the onion is tender. Drain off the pan drippings.

Sautéing Sausage StroganoffHow To Make Sausage Stroganoff2. In a separate bowl combine the tomatoes, sour cream, water, sugar and seasonings. Stir this mixture into the sausage mixture.

Simmering Sausage Stroganoff3. Gently stir in the noodles. Cover and simmer about 30 minutes or until the noodles are tender. Stir occasionally.

Yield: 4-6 servings

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook

Sausage Stroganoff Recipe Betty's Cook Nook

A Scan Of Mom’s Original Stroganoff Recipe Clipping

One more time: This video may not qualify as an antique or vintage… but it’s certainly retro!


pumpkin dump cake

Pumpkin Dump Cake Recipe by Betty's Cook NookA Bit Of Dump Cake History

The folks at Epicurious describe the dump cake as “the worst name in the history of desserts.” I, on the other hand, snickered when the name first graced my being. In fact it was more of a snortle of sorts.

The year was 2005 and my Cousin Julie had emailed me the dump cake recipe below that she was impressed with. Being one of the early bathroom humor pioneers (poo-oneers?) I simply replied: “you know I’ll try this because it has the word DUMP in it!” Well that email got filed away with good intentions and sadly forgotten. This year when I was missing my Cousin I went digital dumpster diving into my old email account and a few clicks later the recipe floated to the surface (pun intended).

Flashback: Dump Cake

Before we dive into this recipe I was curious the glorious origins of the dump cake. While some online posts said the first dump cake would send us to 1980, others threw me off track saying the dump cake actually went by other names, including “wacky cake.” For my purposes my culinary etymological research is purely of “dump cake.”

The Los Angeles Times Economy Cook Book No. 5 Dump CakeAs can be seen by the Google Books Ngram Viewer let’s have a peek at the usage of dump cake over time. There it was – nestled on page 50 of 1917’s The Los Angeles Times Economy Cook Book No. 5: Practical and Economical Recipes by Skilled Cooks – this nugget for Dump Cake. Albeit the recipe instructions read more like a conventional cake (think more effort), the origins of the name take us back to when my Grandmother “Nanny” was 17. You can click this link and see for yourself! I can’t wait to let this useless trivia factoid rip at my next party!

What’s even more interesting is I discovered I lived at the trifecta of perfection – when word usage of dump cake and two sidekicks near and dear to my heart – “pac man” and “bean roll” – were in pure alignment. The year was 1979 and little did I know I was living the glory days. Who knows if this moment in time will rise again?
Google Books Ngram Viewer Dump Cake Pac Man Bean RollFoodie Tips

❤  I have to admit I was leery that this cake would come together. But just as the name implies the magic of the dump cake took over once it was in the hot oven and things began to mingle.

❤  Striving to curtail holiday overeating (which later proved to be a farce) we split the recipe into three greased 9″ round foil pans. I was nervous if they would turn out OK and they did! We gave two cakes to unsuspecting neighbors who said they enjoyed it greatly.

i. Time

Total prep: About 60 minutes.

ii. Ingredients

29 ounce can  Libby’s 100% pure canned pumpkin
12 ounce can  evaporated milk
cage free eggs
1 cup  sugar
1 teaspoon  salt
3 teaspoons  cinnamon
1 box  Duncan Hines classic yellow cake mix
1 cup  Texas pecans, chopped
¾ cup  unsalted butter, melted (my Grandmother “Nanny” insisted on Falfurrias)
to serve  whipped cream or ice cream (optional)

iii. What To Do

1. Preheat oven to 350°F degrees.

2. Mix the first six ingredients until well blended and pour the batter into a 9″ X 13″ greased pan.

Making Pumpkin Dump Cake

3. Sprinkle cake mix on top and then sprinkle that with pecans.

Pumpkin Dump Cake

4. Pour melted butter or margarine over top. Bake for 50 minutes.



Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream. My Cousin Julie topped her cake with dulce de leche and said it was really good!

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook

Let’s have a peek at some vintage Libby’s pumpkin ads:

October 1986 Great Pumpkin Cookie Recipe

Libby's 1964 Pumpkin Pie Ad Typo

Libby's Pumpkin Life Magazine Ad 1950


texas kolaches

How To Make Texas-Czech KolachesWhere Old Meets New

In the golden days of past my Mom “Betty” subscribed to Southern Living magazine and to this day, so do I. 

In SL’s most recent September 2020 issue they gave claim to the seven “Cooks of the Year” for their culinary innovations. I, too, love innovators for without them we’d be eating the same thing day after day… (fancy some porridge and toast?). But I will continue the foodie fight to honor those in the rear view mirror – the ones who fed our bellies when we were kids. Our Mothers, Grandmothers, and best of all – the ones likely before we can remember. These are the true culinary geniuses who made mealtime a favorite time without the aid of modern kitchen contraptions like microwaves, silicon utensils, immersion blenders, air fryers, and bluetooth ovens (I’m guilty of owning all these items)!

The Missing Piece

With more than 200 recipes here at BettysCookNook.com, the Southern Living kolache recipe fills a missing puzzle piece in my Mom’s culinary legacy; Mom’s kolache filling recipes (below) had been in her cookbook without their much needed pastry crust recipe until now! And since kolaches hold a near and dear place in the heart of Texans right up there with queso, big hair, and cowboy boots you have plenty of recipe ideas thanks to my Mom’s 3 filling recipes below – apricot, prune, and cottage cheese. In addition, there’s a streusel recipe to top things off!

Thanks to Southern Living Magazine I’m gratefully able to connect the past with the present. I hope you try and enjoy this recipe! Thank you, Lydia Faust, for sharing a slice of the great days with the rest of us! #HatsOff

While I usually veer off the I-35 interstate in the city of West, Texas for some of the world famous savory Czech Stop kolaches (bless you, jalapeño, sausage and cheese) let’s not forget their sweet kolache friends! I didn’t make all 3 fillings but the apricot filling was my first pick and it was dy-no-mite! I’d suggest starting with that one first.

This is a recipe for those with a little kitchen grit. I found kolaches much easier to make than homemade tamales (which had me sore for 2 days) or puffy tacos (Joe does most of that work) and you’ll have plenty of leftovers to share with friends and family. I’ll never bat an eye at how much these cost as I found hand making these to be a labor of pure love.

Foodie Tips

❤  This kolache recipe made 53 of the yeasty delights and ironically Mom’s apricot filling recipe filled them all to the last scoop!

❤  It’s customary for the kolaches to touch while baking; they often come out of the oven square-ish. I had giant stainless baking sheet pans so my kolaches came out round. Despite the tweaked shape they tasted the same!

❤  To form the hole we wrapped a spice jar with saran wrap to prevent the dough from sticking and pressed away (shown).

❤  I remember growing-up my Mom’s friend “Miss Joyce” called some savory pigs in a blankey “koblasniky.” Turns out she wasn’t kidding – the sweet treats are kolaches and the savory friends koblasniky. I was happy to confirm in this article. My Moravian ancestors would be proud I stand corrected! Here in Texas folks just refer to anything wrapped in the billowy dough kolaches and we all know what’s involved.

How To Make Kolaches

i. Time

Total prep: Your entire morning. (includes 60 minutes for baking)

ii. Ingredients

for the kolache pastry:
1 ½ tablespoons  active dry yeast
½ cup  warm water (105°F115°F)
¼ cup  unsalted butter (my Grandmother “Nanny” insisted on Falfurrias)
¼ cup  vegetable shortening (Crisco)
1 ½ cups  lukewarm whole milk (100°F105°F)
6 cups  all-purpose flour, divided, plus more for the prep surface
¾ cup  evaporated milk
⅓ cup  granulated sugar
1 tablespoon  kosher salt
2 large  cage free eggs
1 large  cage free egg yolk
5 tablespoons (or more)  unsalted butter, melted

for the apricot filling:
1 pound  dried apricots
¾ cup  granulated sugar
3 tablespoons  unsalted butter

for the streusel:
½ cup   granulated sugar
½ cup   flour
½ cup   butter, melted

iii. What To Do

1.
Sprinkle the yeast over warm water and stir to combine. Set aside. Place the butter and shortening in a large microwavable bowl, and microwave on high until melted, about 1 minute. Stir well to combine. Whisk in the lukewarm whole milk and yeast mixture.

2. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Sift 3 cups of the flour over mixture. Add the evaporated milk, sugar, salt, eggs, and egg yolk. Beat on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Remove the whisk attachment and replace it with a dough hook. Gradually add the remaining 3 cups flour; beat on medium speed until dough is smooth, about 2 minutes. Let the dough sit at room temperature for 5 minutes; then beat it on medium-high speed until the dough is elastic and very smooth, about 10 minutes.

Kolache Dough Rising3. Brush the top of dough with 1 tablespoon of the melted butter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour. Punch the dough down and cover it again and let the dough rise until doubled, about 30 more minutes.

Making Kolaches

4. Generously flour a work surface. Gently roll dough out to a 1-inch-thick rectangle (about 18 x 14 inches). Using a 2-inch round cutter, cut out circles, and place them 1 inch apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Brush the tops with 2 tablespoons of the melted butter. Let rise in a warm place until almost doubled in bulk, about 20 minutes.

How To Make A Kolache

Texas Kolache
Apricot Kolache Filling5. While the dough rises, let’s make the apricot kolache filling. Prepare the apricots according to the package directions (I boiled mine in water for about 10 minutes then drained the water). Add the sugar and butter. I used an immersion blender to get things soft but I was careful not to over process it; you still want it a bit thick (not like apple sauce) and a few chunks here and there are OK. Set the filling aside.

6. Let’s continue on by making the posypka (streusel topping): Use a pastry cutter (suggested) or your fingers to combine the sugar, flour, and butter to form a crumbly texture. Store this in the refrigerator until ready to use.

7. Back to the kolaches! Make one small indentation in the center of each dough circle (see tip above or you can use your fingers), and fill each with about 1 tablespoon of the filling. Sprinkle each kolache with 1 to 2 teaspoons of the posypka. Let the kolaches rise until they’ve doubled in size, 20 to 30 minutes.
Kolache with Apricot Filling
8. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Position racks in top third and lower third of oven. Bake the kolaches until golden brown, about 20 minutes, rotating baking sheets between top and bottom racks halfway through the baking time. Remove from oven. Brush the kolaches with the remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter and transfer them to wire racks. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Apricot Kolaches

You may be tired by this point so sit back and enjoy a few bites of the sweet life!

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook

Apricot Filling Recipe For Kolaches

A Scan Of Mom’s Original Apricot Kolache Filling Recipe

Prune Filling Recipe For Kolaches

A Scan Of Mom’s Prune Kolache Filling Recipe

Cottage Cheese Filling Recipe For Kolaches

A Scan Of Mom’s Cottage Cheese Kolache Filling Recipe

Streusel Topping Recipe

A Scan Of Mom’s Streusel Topping Recipe


playboy chili

Playboy Chili with FritosPlayboy Magazine: I Read It For The Recipes

In a bygone era when I was far too young to know what Playboy Magazine was, someone in the family scored this chili recipe. Mom hand wrote the original recipe (the scan is below) so the magazine owner must have dictated it to her. I nominate my Dad or my older brother Tim.

So after returning home after a long September Saturday of shopping for new Halloween graveyard additions, Joe and I decided that despite it being 90 degrees there was no better way to kick-off fall in Texas than with a bowl of chili. So into Mom’s cookbook my fingers strolled until they landed on this ol’ recipe. There’s no telling when this chili was last made but I can tell from the yellowed, stained paper that this recipe was used more than a few times.

While this Playboy Chili recipe isn’t my tried, true and award-winning Kiker’s Kicker Pot Licker Chili, it packed a lotta punch.

Foodie Tips

❤  Some people just see a chili recipe. I see a recipe that’s a glorious gateway to the belly! You can put chili on more than just a spoon – try it on nachos, chili baked potatoes or what’s better than chili and eggs? Not much! I can picture my Dad enjoying chili and eggs right this very minute with eyes as wide as dinner plates and a smile bigger than Texas.

If you decide to make chili baked potatoes (I wildly recommend), don’t just microwave the potato – that’s far too easy. Take a delicious tip from this blue cheese bacon potato recipe – slather the potatoes with shortening, wrap ’em in foil, and bake ’em in the oven for about an hour. The end result? The softest, most delicious baked potato you’re likely to encounter! After all a baked potato is just that – otherwise we should call them nuked potatoes!

Playboy Chili Potato

Over The Lips… Past The Gums… Watch Out Belly Here It Comes!

❤  Important Lesson: Not since I learned why bagged grated cheese is inferior to freshly grated cheese (goodbye, wood pulp) have I realized that when making chili, plain ol’ ground beef is inferior to coarse ground beef. Why? I find that the typical ground beef often breaks down into more of a grainy mush than a hearty, bold consistency which is a chunky must when beef is the featured ingredient like when in a bowl of chili. Sadly my local grocery stores were out of coarse ground chili beef, so I resorted to the mundane. Note: You can ask your butcher to prepare it fresh for you.

❤  The typical sidekicks for the Kiker family bowl of chili include shredded cheddar cheese, Nabisco saltine crackers, corn bread, Fritos, sour cream and chopped green onions (to name a few).

Playboy Chili Spices

Let’s Spice Things Up

i. Time

Total prep: About 90 minutes.

ii. Ingredients

2 pounds  coarse ground chili beef
½ cup (or less)  olive oil
1 cup  white onion, minced (Mom would likely chop or dice)
1 tablespoon  fresh garlic, minced (I used 5 cloves)
1 large  green bell pepper, minced (or chopped/diced)
1 large  bay leaf (I used 2)
1 teaspoon  oregano
3 tablespoons  chili powder
1 teaspoon  cumin
¼ teaspoon  cayenne
½ teaspoon  fresh cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon (or to taste)  kosher salt
1 tablespoon  paprika
½ teaspoon  red pepper flakes (aka crushed red pepper)
3 tablespoons  flour
1 ½ quart  beef stock
2 teaspoons  sugar
¼ cup (about 10)  cracker crumbs
1 cup  pinto beans, drained
to serve  your favorite sidekicks (see suggested ideas above)

Play Chili Spices and Bay Leaves

My Favorite Part… The Bay Leaves


iii. What To Do

1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, sauté the meat in the olive oil.

2. Add the onions, garlic, green pepper, bay leaves, oregano, chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, pepper, kosher salt, paprika, and red pepper flakes. Whew!

3. Stir things well and sauté, covered, about 5 minutes.

4. Stir in the flour; blend well. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour.

Note: I noticed at this stage the chili was a little too oily for my liking which is why I think you can totally dial back on the olive oil (noted above).

5. Stir in the sugar, cracker crumbs and the drained beans. Simmer 10 minutes longer.

6. Serve with your favorite sides/toppings.

Leftovers store well in the fridge or they may be frozen for impromptu meals when that cold front blows in and you’re in a flurry for some chili.

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook

Playboy Chili Recipe

A Scan Of Mom’s Playboy Chili Recipe

Ever since watching the 1989 hit When Harry Met Sally I can’t see the word “paprika” without thinking of the funny paprikash scene. “Paprikash” is a popular Hungarian paprika chicken dish. Enjoy the clip!

Chili Potato Recipe

Another View Of Le Chili Potato