kim’s loaded cauliflower casserole

Loaded Cauliflower Casserole RecipeCauliflower Power

This recipe comes to Betty’s Cook Nook via my Niece Kimberly.

Halloween 2018 proved to be the perfect time for Kim and her fiancé Chris to come for a visit. They were both on the keto diet, being just two months before their wedding date. Kim raved about this dish and was so excited to make and share it with us.

After tasting her loaded cauliflower casserole creation, we understood why – we could each easily devour the entire casserole! This dish reminded me so much of loaded mashed potatoes, but it’s low in carbs, the hallmark of the ketogenic diet. And it only calls for six ingredients!

I’m parking this recipe here at my Mom “Betty’s” Cook Nook because it’s a family favorite and Mom would wholeheartedly approve! Plus, now I know where to turn whenever I get a hankering for bacon, cheese, sour cream, and mayo delight.

i. Time

Total prep: About 45 minutes.

ii. Ingredients

6-8 strips | bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 large head (about 6 cups) | cauliflower, cut up into bite-sized pieces
2 cups | sharp cheddar cheese, grated
6 tablespoons | fresh chives, chopped
½ cup | mayonnaise
½ cup | sour cream

Loaded Cauliflower Casserole Recipe

Ladies And Gentlemen – Start Your Engines! CHEESE!

iii. What to do

1. Cook your bacon as you like (skillet or oven). Drain off the grease and set the bacon aside to cool.

2. Add the cauliflower into a large pot, fill it with water, and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 8-10 minutes. Drain the cauliflower and set it aside to cool.

3. Preheat your oven to 425°F. Now’s a good time to crumble your bacon.

How To Make Loaded Cauliflower Casserole

4. Combine 1 cup of cheddar cheese, ½ of the crumbled bacon, ½ of the chives, all the mayonnaise, sour cream, and the cauliflower. Mix well.
Loaded Cauliflower Casserole Going Into The Oven
5.
Transfer the mixture into a casserole dish and sprinkle the rest of the cheese and bacon on top.

6. Place the casserole into the oven and bake it for 15-20 minutes, until the cheese is melted.

7. Remove from the oven, sprinkle the reminder of the chives on top and serve.

Serves: One to a few, depending on your ability to resist deliciousness.

~ Patrick

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

Kim and Cauliflower

Kimberly ❤ Forever Loved

Loaded Cauliflower Casserole Recipe


pimiento cheese

Pimiento Cheese Recipe From Betty's Cook NookPimiento Cheese: A Texan’s North Star

Whether you enjoy it as a side dish or a main course, there’s one recipe that’s an essential for the southern foodie – pimiento cheese!

Ironically my Mom “Betty’s” cookbook didn’t contain a pimiento cheese recipe… likely because making the stuff was a culinary instinct for my Texas born and bred Mom – the recipe was memorized.

I interviewed my family (Jennifer!) and friends and curated the recipe below which makes a nice staple for your kitchen or as a gift for friends. Whether you serve pimiento cheese from a china plate or at a tailgate, “P.C.” is one dish that’s an undisputed crowd pleaser.

Pimento vs. Pimiento?

Pretty much my entire adult foodie life I’ve been plagued with how pimiento is spelled. I’ve often heard it referred to as “pimento” (3 syllables) or “pimiento” (4 syllables). Pimiento appears to be the correct spelling according to the Southern’s Bible, Southern Living, as well as the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. While either pronunciation will work, I prefer “pimiento” to “pimento.” Just pronounce it with confidence and don’t second guess the raised eyebrows you may receive. :)

I encourage you to explore the numerous ways to enjoy pimiento cheese including:

  • Pimiento cheese-bacon cheeseburgers (score Bobby Flay’s recipe here)
  • Pimiento cheese grits
  • Pimiento cheese dip (see the bonus recipe below)
  • Grilled pimiento cheese sandwiches
  • Macaroni and pimiento cheese
  • Pimiento cheese deviled eggs
  • Pimiento cheese sausage balls
  • Pimiento cheese ravioli
  • Pimiento cheese schmeared on celery (my long-standing favorite)

Growing up my Mom would simply spread ¾ – ½ inch of the Texas gold between some sliced ButterKrust bread and that was that. Heaven!

Foodie Tips

  In a pinch for a few of the ingredients? There is an actual difference between pimientos and red bell peppers. So if you don’t use true pimientos, you can use a jar of roasted red bell peppers (drained and chopped) or red bell peppers, (roasted, seeded, and chopped). You can substitute white wine vinegar for the sherry vinegar.

  There are several alternate ingredients for making pimiento cheese including paprika or cayenne spices, yellow onion, finely chopped green onion tops – even toasted and chopped Texas pecans. Try your hand at finding the ones you like best!

  There are also several options to pair with your pimiento cheese – Triscuit crackers, naan, artisan breads, toasted breads, pita chips, vegetables… or as my Cousin Jennifer suggests “amply by spoon.”

i. Time

Total prep: Same day or longer… depending on your patience. And your palette.

ii. Ingredients

½ pound | cream cheese, softened
1 cup | mayonnaise
1 cup | goya brand jarred pimientos, chopped (see substitute above)
1 teaspoon | lea and perrin’s worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon | sherry vinegar (see substitute above)
¼ teaspoon | cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon | kosher salt
½ pound | monterrey jack cheese, grated
¾ pound | sharp cheddar cheese, grated
handful | green onion tops, chopped (optional, but wildly suggested)

iii. What to do

0. Set out the cream cheese to soften (about 45 minutes to an hour).

1. In a medium-sized bowl stir the first seven ingredients with a spatula or spoon.

2. With a spatula, fold in the Monterrey and Cheddar cheeses and mix well. If you prefer a smoother (vs. chunkier) cheese you can continue to mash the cheese with a fork. If desired add the green onions inside the pimiento cheese and or sprinkle them on top for some color.

3. Transfer the cheese into storage/serving containers. Spreads easiest fresh; if you store it in the fridge until you’re ready to devour, you’ll likely want to let it rest, uncovered, until it’s creamy and pliable.

Cheers to the gold and red!

~ Patrick

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

*** BONUS RECIPE > PIMIENTO CHEESE DIP ***

My cousin Julie emailed me a recipe she said she saw in Southern Living for their spin on a melty Pimiento Cheese Dip. I couldn’t find the recipe online so this is extra special:

4 ounces | velveeta
¼ cup | whole milk
3 tablespoons | pimientos
½ teaspoon | paprika
½ teaspoon | fresh cracked black pepper

what to do: 

1. Microwave the Velveeta for about 1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds. Microwave a few more seconds until the cheese is melted.

2. Whisk in the milk, pimentos, paprika, and pepper.

Serve while it’s warm with your favorite pairings (pita, celery, etc. per above).

Pimiento Cheese Bacon Burger

Pimiento Cheese-Bacon Burgers > Can You Dig It ?

Southern Pimiento Cheese

Southerners Share A Lot. Go On… Share This Recipe!


pumpkin bread

Pumpkin Bread Recipe From Betty's Cook NookThe Best Of Fall

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – when wearing flannel and smelling like patchouli is top of mind. Also top of mind? PUMPKINS!  🎃 There’s no better way to ring in fall’s greatness other than watching the fall favorite “It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.” 

The Peanuts gang were probably my best friends growing up. In a time before you could record TV I never missed a show. I remember sketching Snoopy on top of his doghouse… and funny, I never thought it was odd that Snoopy slept *on top* of his doghouse rather than in it. Childhood innocence.

While your pumpkin bread is baking, come back and watch the movie below – share it with your family and friends and celebrate the way we were… and the way we are with the best of fall!

Foodie Tips

  I halved this recipe and made 2 medium-sized loaves. If you’re gift-giving or a lover of loaves, go all the way!

  One small can pumpkin? I presumed it was a 15 ounce can.

  The recipe didn’t note it but I greased my loaf pans before adding the batter.

  This bread is most great served sliced and toasted with a schmear of Phildelphia Whipped Cream Cheese.

i. Time

Total prep: About 75 minutes (minus resting)

ii. Ingredients

3-⅓ cups | flour
3 cups | sugar
1 teaspoon | cinnamon
2 teaspoons | nutmeg
2 teaspoons | baking soda
1 teaspoon | salt
| cage free eggs, beaten
1 cup | oil
⅔ cup | water
15 ounces | canned pumpkin
¾ cup (2 small boxes) | raisins
¾ cup | chopped nuts (a.k.a. “pecans,” here in Texas)
to top | more pecans (optional)

Pumpkin Bread In The Works

iii. What to do

1. Measure the dry ingredients into a large bowl.

2. Add the eggs, oil, water, and pumpkin. Mix everything well.

3. Fold in the raisins and the pecans.

4. Pour the batter into two large or four small loaf pans at 325°F until the bread tests done.

ENJOY

~ Patrick

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

Pumpkin Bread Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

Peanuts Cook Book Circa 1970One of my most cherished childhood items is this Peanuts cookbook. Originally printed in 1970 it still remains in my kitchen today, almost 50 years later!

This cookbook was not mine, originally… but at the magical age of 10 I was such a fanatic about The Peanuts Gang I was able to smooth talk this cookbook out of my neighborhood friend’s kitchen and into mine!

Pumpkin Bread

A Scan Of Mom’s Pumpkin Bread Recipe

Sous Chef Note: While acquainting myself with this recipe I noticed a credit to “Barbara Harris” and took to the internet to see if I could find out who she was. Turns out Barbara was a San Antonio restauranteur who ran some popular food establishments in San Antonio and Dallas.

I found reference to Barbara’s Pecan Pie Muffins in Karen Haram’s 50 Favorite “Good Taste” Recipes – these muffins are surely a culinary cousin to the Pumpkin Bread recipe above. Karen was a food author for the San Antonio Express-News for more than 30 years so you know these recipes have gotta be tasty… I have Karen’s Good Taste cookbook printed out for my culinary archives and you can score a digital copy of her fifty favorites here > Karen Haram’s 50 Favorite Recipes.


cornbread con chili

Cornbread Con Chili RecipeTwo Treats In One

I often enjoy my corn bread alongside a piping hot bowl of chili.

This recipe cuts to the chase by adding chili con carne to the corn bread mix – it’s the perfect mashup of these two food groups essential for any Texan!

Perhaps the secret weapon in this recipe is that of good ol’ Tabasco. Mom always had a bottle of it in our kitchen pantry and she had a love for the spicy that was passed on to my tastebuds!

Love Tobasco, too? While your cornbread is baking why not check out some of the vintage ads I included below that celebrate the spicy good stuff!

Foodie Tips

  Don’t do what I did – make sure and add the parsley flakes to the batter before baking! #Doh!

  While I’m sure Mom used curly-leafed parsley, I’m a devoted lover of Italian flat leaf parsley. It’s a texture thing for me but this post credits the Italian variety with being more flavorful.

  Hungry for more chili and cornbread recipes? Treat your tastebuds to my award-winning chili and homemade spicy-stuffed cornbread recipes!

i. Time

Total prep: Less than an hour.

ii. Ingredients

8 ounce box | corn bread mix
1 teaspoon | tabasco pepper sauce
1 tablespoon | parsley, chopped
1 ~ 15 ounce can | chili con carne

Making Cornbread Con Chili
iii. What to do

1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.

2. In a medium-sized bowl prepare the cornbread per the box directions.

3. Add the Tobasco, parsley, and the chili. Mix everything until well blended.

Cornbread Con Chili Going Into The Oven

4. Pour the chili batter into a greased 8″ x 8″ baking dish and bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown on top. I had to bake my cornbread for a tad longer than 25 minutes – it may have had something to do with my Texas-shaped baking dish (Central Texas took a little longer to bake).

Serve Warm: With fried chicken, pork chops, meat loaf… or just because. I like my cornbread on top of chili ‘n cheese, please!

~ Patrick

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

Cornbread Con Chili Recipe

A Scan Of Mom’s Recipe For “Cornbread With Chili”

Vintage Tabasco Outer Limits Ad Victorian Tabasco Box Ad Victorian Tabasco BBQ Sauce Recipe Tabasco Vintage Nippy Salad Recipe Tabasco Vintage Ad Vintage Tabasco Oysters Ad


holiday bean salad

Holiday Bean Salad Recipe

Flanked by turkey and stuffing this bean salad brightened my Christmas Day plate!

I’m not sure “beans” come top of mind when thinking of the holidays but when the word “holiday” is in the name, we had to make this salad for Christmas Day feasting.

But before we dive into this hearty dish, let’s chat a little more about beans. Whether it’s bean dip, refried beans, chili with beans, baked beans, pork and beans, or pinto beans — I think we can all agree that beans are a part of everyday living.

My Dad loved the movie Blazing Saddles and let’s look at a slice from the movie that has direct ties to beans and making music, so to speak. I can still hear my Dad laughing!

Distinct parts of my family have a fondness for, shall we call it, “bathroom humor!” I can remember shortly after my college graduation scoring this amazing Santa who has more skills than a (breaking) wind symphony!

foodie tip

  While we were in a scurry preparing the holiday festivities we forgot to enjoy this salad from lettuce cups. Doh! The note below says to decorate the tops of the salad with tiny star-shaped pimientos. Save yourself some frustration and use some tiny cookie cutters to do the work for you!

i. ingredients

1 package | italian salad dressing mix
4 packages | whole or cut green beans, frozen
2 packages | ford hook lima beans
| green onions, thinly sliced
¼ cup | celery, thinly sliced
¼ cup | pimiento strips
to serve | lettuce cups

ii. what to do

1. Prepare the Italian salad dressing and set it aside to marry.

2. Cook the green beans and the limas according to package directions. When both types of beans are done, cool, drain, and set them aside.

Holiday Bean Salad Recipe

3. In a large bowl add the beans, limas, onions, celery, pimiento strips and 1 cup of the prepared salad dressing. Gently toss everything together then chill 2 – 3 hours in the fridge, occasionally turning in the dressing to help things marinate.

How To Make Holiday Bean Salad

4. You can serve the bean salad solo but the original recipe (below) calls for the bean salad to be served in lettuce cups with cutout stars of pimiento.

Yields 10-12 servings. Time to dig in!Holiday Patrick

~ Patrick

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

PS ~ Enjoy these vintage classics below!

Holiday Bean Salad Recipe

A Scan Of Mom’s Holiday Bean Salad Recipe PLUS A Few Extra Recipes From Santa To You!


dilly-brussels sprouts

Dilly Brussels Sprouts Recipe

This recipe is another great example reminding me “you learn something new every day.”

I always thought it was pronounced “brussel sprouts” until today … when I was researching things and learned it’s actually “Brussels sprouts,” named after the capital city in Belgium.

My Mom “Betty” would surely know how to write the name correctly — it should begin with a CapitalB” and be plural, unless you’re referring to one mini tiny cabbage that you’re eating from a stalk o’ plenty (i.e. “Brussels sprout”). I’m not surprised people drop the “s” at the end of Brussels because ending one word with an “s” and starting the next one with an “s” requires your tongue to perform a linguistic double axle.

Regardless, from here on out it’s Brussels sprouts!

go silly for dilly

Dill weed makes an important appearance in this recipe and hopefully you’ll love the taste as much as I did.

Corn aside, eating my veggies when I was a kid was as exciting as a trip to the dentist or completing a 100-question test. So while calling this “Dilly-Brussels Sprouts” may have been culinary camouflage to entice kids to eat what’s been voted America’s most hated vegetable, the mere mention of the word “dilly” makes me smile and have a try at this dish.

While engaged with some “dilly” research I ran across this touching video of how one family’s lives were changed by another dilly of sorts — the DQ Dilly Bar. This sweet treat reminds me of the special place in my heart for Dairy Queen and their frozen ice cream treasures like sundaes, banana splits, chocolate-dipped cones, blizzards and of course the much beloved Dilly Bar. You can watch some vintage Dairy Queen commercials I curated below.

Several of the recipes I’ve shared on this blog take me back to my childhood home. From dishes that rekindle fond memories shared across the dinner table to long-forgotten tastes that ignite the heart and the belly. Never underestimate the power of cooking, sharing, and bonding over homemade food!

What favorite foods take you home?

foodie tips

  Don’t have Italian dressing on hand? You can whip up your own homemade dressing with this Italian dressing recipe, also here on Betty’s Cook Nook.

  Bring your Brussels frozen or fresh – we don’t judge.

  I like my sprouts best salted and garlic-roasted from the oven but ignore this and try this recipe at least once, as originally penned.

  Hungry for more facts about Brussels sprouts? Read this post, which I found quite interesting!

i. ingredients

10 ounce package | Brussels sprouts, frozen
½ cup | Italian dressing
½ teaspoon | dill weed
1 tablespoon | green onion, sliced

ii. what to do

1. Cook the Brussels and drain.

2. In a small bowl mix together the Italian dressing, dill weed, and green onion. Pour over the sprouts and chill several hours. Stir every now and again to keep things well marinated.

This pairs well with most meat dishes and it can be served as an appetizer before the main spread.

~ Patrick

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

Dilly Brussels Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

A Scan Of Mom’s Cookbook Recipe


mexican chef’s salad

Mexican Chefs Salad Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook“…a whole meal in itself…”

I’m not sure who coined the phrase atop this recipe but after enjoying this hearty salad I discovered it to be quite true!

Even more surprising – this Mexican Chef’s Salad calls for Thousand Island (with Canadian roots) or French Dressing (um, with American roots?) – hey where’s the south of the border taste with those?

The mere mention of Thousand Island dressing takes my laughs back to the 1980s with this memorable scene from the movie “Cracked Up” where Jerry Lewis’ character gets a little more service than he bargained for thanks to this rigorously exhaustive waitress!

Despite my salad sign as a Leo, fate had a fresh bottle of Thousand Island dressing in my hands so that’s what I used. What’s your salad sign?

foodie tips

❤  I’ve included Mom’s original recipe scan below. I enjoyed the way the ingredients were organized (chop, toss, crunch, slice, brown, decorate) but I’ve taken liberties to put the typed instructions in order to help make it easy for you to prepare.

❤ Red, white, or yellow onion – it’s all up to you! If you prefer your onion cooked you can add it to the beef medley when browning; otherwise get ready for a little “oompf” from the uncooked fresh onion kick, as did I.

  While I’m 99% confident that Mom used tortilla chips for this dish I went with tortilla strips – their multi-colors are more festive than their typical chip cousin plus they’re easier to eat with a fork! Tip: HEB makes tasty Tri Color Tortilla Strips that I stock in my kitchen. Now if you’re eating this dish with your hands, step up to the plate (or bowl) and get some full-sized tortilla chips … or better yet a bag of Fritos Scoops!

  This recipe makes A LOT of salad. I believe in its entirety this dish will serve up to 6 as a main course and even more as a sidekick! You can easily half the ingredients for 2-3 people.

❤  Make sure and introduce your tortilla chips (strips), avocado, and tomatoes just before serving; nobody likes a limp tortilla chip, brown avocado or mushy tomato! As you would guess it this dish is best consumed fresh as with leftovers the dressing will make your lettuce turn sad and soggy.

i. ingredients

Mexican Chef's Salad Recipe Central Market Kidney Beansbrown together:
1 pound | ground beef
1 can (15 ounces) | kidney beans, drained
¼ teaspoon (or to taste) | salt

for the salad:
1 head | lettuce, chopped
| onion, chopped
| tomatoes, chopped
8 ounces | thousand island or french dressing
4 ounces | cheddar cheese, grated
to top | tortilla chips or strips
to top | avocado, sliced or cubed

ii. what to do

1. In a medium-sized pan over medium-high heat brown the beef. Halfway through browining add the kidney beans and the salt. While the meat-medley is simmering for 10 minutes…

Mexican Chef's Salad Recipe Ingredients

Why yes! I do like my salad with cheese and a side of lettuce!

2. In a large serving bowl introduce the salad ingredients – lettuce, onion (unless browning), tomatoes. Pour your dressing on top and mix well. You can set this into your refrigerator to chill for a few minutes or if your beef is ready…Mexican Chef's Salad Recipe

3. Give one last mix to stir things up a bit… then toss in your beef mixture, top with cheese, chips, and your avocado. Serve pronto!

A Mexican Chef's Salad Recipe To Share

Yields up to 6 servings (using full ingredients)

~ Patrick

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

Mexican Chef's Salad Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

A Scan Of Mom’s Original Recipe PLUS a Bonus Recipe Found On The Back… For Moist Carrot Cake!