pineapple cookies

A Pineapple Cookie Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook
Fabulously Fruity

I had never heard of a pineapple cookie before but when Joe found this recipe in Mom’s cookbook I was excited; we had all the ingredients in our kitchen meaning treat consumption was near. We just needed to get the featured ingredient – the pineapple.

A quick trip to the store and back we started cookie production … Lah de dah … I was following the recipe and noticed that it ended at the bottom of the page Mom tore out of a magazine and there was no continuation of the recipe – no extra page! Click here to hear the sound in my head when I realized the recipe was incomplete!

I scoured the front and back of the page (below) containing the recipe and noticed a small callout for folks to send their old-fashioned family recipes to “Southern Living” – and if their recipe was used they would receive $5/each. Note to self: Southern Living. I also noticed a Lemon Jell-O Peachy Cream Salad recipe with a copyright of 1979. Note to self: 1979. With these two data nuggets I should have been lucky enough to find the recipe but the interwebs did not produce; I couldn’t find any record of the recipe – not even on SouthernLiving.comBut I found this one, which helped me interpret and fill-in the gaps.

Pineapple is one of my most favorite fruits of all. I hope you give this recipe a whirl!

foodie tips ~

Morton Iodized Salt ~ When It Rains It Pours

 I added the nuts. “Nuts” is an abbreviation for Texas Pecans, y’all.

I read several online complaints about cookies like these being soggy and wet. Follow these instructions! Make sure and DRAIN the pineapple. I had no problems with soggy cookies!

 I recently purchased a cookie scoop which makes forming cookies a snap. Give it a squeeze and see!

 I’m confident iodized salt was used back in the day. Today I’m a salt lover and have five salt varieties in my kitchen. I used a kosher salt for these cookies and was treated to a little kick of salt in-between the pineapple nuggets. I liked.

i. ingredients

1 ¾ cups | all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon | soda
¼ teaspoon | baking powder
¼ teaspoon | salt
½ cup | brown sugar, firmly packed
½ cup | sugar
½ cup | shortening
1 | cage free egg
1 teaspoon | vanilla extract
½ cup | crushed pineapple, drained
½ cup | chopped nuts (these are not optional says me)

ii. what to do

0. Preheat oven to 375°F.

1. Combine flour, soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.

2. Combine sugars and shortening in a large mixing bowl (I used my Kitchen Aid); cream until light and … [ here’s where I pick up with the rest of the instructions ] … chunky.

3. Beat egg and vanilla into creamed mixture.

4. By hand stir-in the pineapple and nuts.

5. Fold-in half of the dry ingredients from step 1 above into the creamy mixture. Hand mix until well blended. Add/mix/blend the last half of dry ingredients.

6. Drop rounded tablespoonfuls of the cookie dough onto a greased cookie sheet.

7. Bake until light golden brown, about 12-15 minutes. If the first tray turns out a bit crispy, reduce the baking time on the next go.

Yields: About 24 cookies

A Scan Of Mom's Pineapple Cookies Recipe From A 1979 Issue Of Southern Living


beef stroganoff

A Beef Stroganoff Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

From Russia, With Love

Turns out I didn’t know much about savory stroganoff growing up; I surely didn’t know how to spell it or make it … but I sure knew how to eat it!

While researching a bit for my first stroganoff post back in 2011, I learned that stroganoff (as it’s name would imply) is a dish inspired from Russian cooking. I Googled “Russian Food Facts” and found this interesting passage …”Russia is mainly a northern country with a long-lasting cold winter. The food should give us much energy and warmth to survive during the winter time. So, the essential components of Russian cuisine are the ones, which provide more carbohydrates and fat rather than proteins.”

Yup. Those are my roots – carbs and fat (light on the proteins). LOL. Enough of the history lesson – let’s cook!

foodie tip ~

 Noodles or rice? Go for some wide noodles (shown) … nothing’s better!
 For you stroganoff fans out there give Mom’s Sausage Stroganoff recipe a whirl. It’s a different take on this beef stroganoff, it’s just as tasty and if you’re in a hurry to get your stroganoff fix, it’ll do the trick!

i. ingredients

¼ cup | flour
1 teaspoon | salt
⅛ teaspoon | pepper
1 ½ pounds | beef, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons | butter
1 cup | onion, sliced
1 clove | garlic, minced
½ cup | water
1 teaspoon | worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons | catsup
4-ounce can | button mushrooms
¾ cup | buttermilk
to serve | noodles or rice

ii. what to do

1. Combine flour, salt and pepper. Coat cubes of meat with this mixture.

2. In a large pan, brown the meat slowly with the butter. When the meat is brown on all sides, add the onion, garlic, water, worcestershire sauce, catsup and liquid drained from canned mushrooms. Cover and simmer for about 2 hours. Trust me, it’s worth the time as the meat should finish out very tender!

3. Stir in the mushrooms and the buttermilk and cook only until heated through.

Serve over noodles or rice.

A Scan Of Mom's Beef Stroganoff Recipe

OK. I lied about no more history lessons!

As you can see by examples of my Mom’s handwritten recipe cards here on Betty’s Cook Nook, Betty had great penmanship. This morning I was admiring her handwriting in her recipe card above and noticed the funny little “ands” … Mom wrote them like a little “o” with a cross through it. A few online clicks later and I found out this character stems from shorthand – a form of abbreviated writing – that was invented before recording devices- back then the tape recorder. The connection to this recipe?

Mom's Computer: The IBM PC XT Circa 1982.When I was growing up Mom was a court reporter. This meant she knew stenography (the process of writing in shorthand) and she was skilled at typing faster than the wind. Mom’s business tools were much different from today’s modern day tools; she often typed in duplicate and triplicate, making copies via carbon paper. To archive documents she made Xerox copy machine “copies” – not electronic scans. She had a typewriter – not a computer – until the early 1980s when technology started to transform her industry. I remember her first “green screen” IBM computer (sample above) … something that would completely revolutionize how she did work. And this funny little device called a stenomask she could place over her mouth to quietly repeat – almost in unison – what was being said in the court room; she could later come home and with a tape recorder and a “fancy” foot pedal device she could listen back-and-forth to court testimony while she typed it out the good ole fashioned way.

OK, now I’m done with the family history lessons. For now.  :)


chicken spaghetti

A Chicken Spaghetti Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

Ready For Spaghetti?

On top of spaghetti all covered with cheese.
I lost my poor meatball when somebody sneezed.

It rolled off the table, it rolled on the floor,
And then my poor meatball rolled out of the door.

It rolled in the garden and under a bush,
And then my poor meatball was nothing but mush.

The mush was as tasty as tasty could be,
And early next summer it grew to a tree.

The tree was all covered with beautiful moss.
It grew great big meatballs and tomato sauce.

So if you eat spaghetti all covered with cheese,
Hold on to your meatball and don’t ever sneeze.

~ Tom Glazer

Sung to the tune of “On Top Of Old Smoky,”On Top Of Spaghetti” was one of my favorite childhood songs. This dish brings back a lot of the tastes of the 70s and is the first from Mom’s recipe book that calls for Velveeta. And we all know about Velveeta; Velveeta is to the 1970s as this dish is to my belly!

I haven’t cooked chicken on the bone in years (I’m weird that way). Luckily I had some help in the kitchen from “Blademaster Joe” as my chicken “boning” skills are weaker than a wet noodle.

Foodista Featured Blog

This recipe?

It was featured on Foodista so you know it’s gotta be good!

i. ingredients for boiling the chicken

5 pounds | whole chicken (on the bone)
1 large | onion, chopped in large chunks
3 | carrots, chopped in large chunks
2 stalks | celery, chopped in large chunks
1 tablespoon | peppercorns
2 cloves | garlic, chopped
2 | bay leaves
2 teaspoons | salt

ii. ingredients for the dish

5 pounds | chicken (seasoned, boned and chopped per “step i”)
3 stalks | celery, chopped
| green pepper, chopped
2 large | onions chopped
2 teaspoons | garlic juice
4 ounce can | mushrooms
10 ounces | spaghetti, broken
16 ounce can | tomatoes, diced and drained
2 tablespoons | ripe olives, chopped
1 can | cream of mushroom soup
to taste | salt
to taste | pepper
to taste | paprika
dash | worcestershire sauce
1 pound | velveeta cheese, grated

iii. what to do

Prep Chicken:

1. Wash chicken well. Place all ingredients in large pot. Cover with water.

2. Cover and bring to boil over high heat. Set lid at angle so steam can escape from pot. Lower heat to gentle boil and cook for up to 1.5 hours. Add more water if needed.

3. When meat is falling off the bone, remove from heat. Remove chicken from broth, save broth and let chicken cool. Once cool, remove skin and bones and discard. Chop meat, place into large bowl and set aside.

Make Dish:

1. Strain broth using a cheesecloth or sieve. Discard seasonings (onions, carrots, celery, etc.).

2. Measure one quart of the chicken broth back into pan. To broth add the chopped celery, green pepper, onions, garlic juice and mushrooms.

3. Bring to a simmer and add spaghetti. Cook until spaghetti is done and almost all liquid is absorbed.

4. Add tomatoes, olives, soup, salt, pepper, paprika and mix well.

5. To chicken, add worcestershire and Velveeta and mix well. Then add chicken mixture to spaghetti.

Serves: Up to 12

~ ~ ~

Who is “Elizabeth Seale”

Sadly, I don’t know who Elizabeth Seale is. I did some online searching and no luck. She must have been a passionate foodie because she had pre-printed recipe cards with her name on them (see below). Personalized recipe cards were surely a rare thing back in the day! When scanning the card, I noticed a small imprint on the back that reads “Walter Drake & Sons., Inc. Made in U.S.A.” I’m writing the folks at Walter Drake to see if they can give me an approximate year for when the cards may have been sold. I know it was 1947 or later as 1947 is the year that Walter Drake was created.

After reading the recipe card a little further, I noticed Elizabeth was using keywords (today known as #hashtags) in her recipe. See her underlined words below for yourself: Simmer. Bone. Chop. Measure. Add. Simmer. Cook. Add. Mix. Add. #GoFigure!

A scan of the chicken spaghetti recipe card from Mom's cookbook


blue cheese bacon potatoes

blue cheese bacon potatoes about to get in my belly

You Say “Potato” …

I Say … “Get out of my way, It’s mine!”

There have been some great “home run” recipes in Mom’s cookbook and this is one of them. While blue cheese sometimes makes my nose turn and run for the hills, this dish isn’t smothered with the sharp and salty taste.

With the arrival of the microwave to modern cooking, potatoes were often “zapped” because who wants to wait for an twice-baked potato!?

After I made this recipe, I’m reminded of the slow-baked potatoes Mom used to make … they arrive on your plate super soft all the way through! And well worth the wait.

Cheers To My New Spud Bud

i. ingredientsSnoopy Celebrates The 2nd Anniversary For Betty's Cook Nook

to coat | shortening
| baking potatoes, medium
½ cup | sour cream
¼ cup | blue cheese, crumbled
¼ cup | milk
4 tablespoons | Falfurrias brand butter (per Nanny)
¾ teaspoon | salt
dash | black pepper, freshly ground
4 slices | bacon, crisp-cooked, drained and crumbled

ii. what to do

0. Preheat oven to 400°F.

1. Rub each potato with shortening. Place them in the oven uncovered or wrapped and cook for 1 hour, or until done.

2. Remove potatoes from the oven. Cut a lengthwise slice into each potato (the potatoes are hot so be careful)! Scoop out the inside of each potato and mash the innards (yup, I wrote “innards”) in a medium-sized mixing bowl.

3. Add sour cream, blue cheese, milk, butter, salt and pepper to the potatoes then beat with an electric beater until fluffy. Some remaining potato lumps are OK.

4. Spoon the blue cheese potato mixture back into the potato shells.

5. Place potatoes on a baking sheet and return them to the hot oven for 15 minutes or until heated through.

6. Remove from oven and sprinkle with the crumbled bacon.

Yields: 4 Servings (or 1 meal, if you’re me)

Twice Baked Blue Cheese Bacon Potatoes From Betty's Cook Nook

foodie tips ~

  It may take some practice but try and keep the potato from breaking into 2 separate halves. 1. When slicing, don’t cut it all the way through top-to-bottom. 2. When scooping, you can leave about an 1/8″ of the potato’s inside with the skin to give it a happy but hollow foundation.

  This is a great sidekick for this steak diane recipe that I also made on the 2 year anniversary of BCN. It’s also a good side for this barbecue pork chop recipe. Come to think of it, it’s really just a great recipe all by itself!

  Note below that this recipe hails from Better Homes and Gardens, March 1968. Why, I was just a young tot of one way back then!

a scan of Mom's steak diane meal - 6 recipes in 1 scan


steak diane

delicious steak dianeThe Great Steak Escape

When the Kiker-Sutton family had a special event to celebrate, the entire family went to La Louisiane (aka “La Lou”).

La Lou was certainly tops of the “frou frou” with white cloth covered tables, elaborate place settings and a fine dining menu, including favored treats like Steak Diane.

During the La Lou meal, my cousins and I would snort-laugh (in that order) as we tried to secretly place empty cracker wrappers underneath plates only to find that the wait staff’s magically darting eyes were too quick to pick them up and Snoopy Celebrates The 2nd Anniversary For Betty's Cook Nookdiscard them. Butter arrived pre-sliced and placed on your personal butter dish by the waiters who had a butter-flicking device I’ve never seen since!

La Lou opened in 1935 during the Great Depression. It survived for almost 60 years but sadly is no longer around. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have La Lou grace our kitchen compliments of this recipe from Mom’s recipe book.

I made this recipe on the 2 year anniversary of this blog. This recipe and the blog hold a special place in my heart … and most importantly my belly. Give Steak Diane a try and you’ll see!

Let’s Get Cookin’

i. ingredients

4 | sirloin strip steaks, ½” thick
to taste | salt
to taste | black pepper, freshly ground
1 teaspoon | dry mustard
4 tablespoons | Falfurrias brand butter (per Nanny)
3 tablespoons | lemon juice
2 teaspoons | chives, snipped
1 teaspoon | worcestershire sauce
to garnish | mushrooms, cooked and fluted

some of the ingredients for steak dianeii. what to do

1. With a meat mallet, pound steaks to 1/3-inch thickness.

2. Sprinkle one side of each steak with salt, pepper and 1/8 teaspoon of the dry mustard; pound into meat. Repeat on the other side of the meat and continue until all steaks are done.

3. Melt the butter in a skillet or chafing dish. Add the meat and cook 2 minutes only on each side. Transfer the steaks to a hot serving plate.

4. To skillet, add the lemon juice, chives, and worcestershire sauce; bring to a boil. Pour sauce over meat. Garnish with cooked, fluted mushrooms, if desired.

Serves 4

foodie tips ~

  Don’t overcook the meat. Go with the flow and follow the directions. A pink center is a tasty center.

  “Fluting a mushroom?” At first I thought it meant you held a jam session with mushroom to mouth, while wiggling the fingers. Not so much. Here’s a video and a blog that will help you turn mere fungus to life of the party. I couldn’t determine if you cook the mushrooms before or after fluting (per recipe) but they are really more for decoration so I’d suggest keep them raw and real and basting with lemon juice after cutting for a fresh presentation.

 This steak goes great with my newest favorite spud ~ the blue cheese bacon potato! I loved how the blue cheese taste didn’t punch you in the taste buds!

  Wiki says that Steak Diane is typically made with brandy. Somebody’s been holding out!

  Note that this recipe hails from Better Homes and Gardens, March 1968. Why, I was just a young tot of one way back then!

a scan of Mom's steak diane meal - 6 recipes in 1 scan


swedish meatballs

swedish meatballs : in the bowl and ready to rollA Swedish Dish

“A piece of bread in your pocket is better than a feather in your hat.”

~ Swedish proverb

I’ll need larger pockets, as I’m a foodie through and through. And I do love my bread! Feathers aside, this dish is one of my Top 10 “mom favorites.”

One of my earliest experiences with international food came in the form of these meatballs and the Swedish Chef making special appearances on The Muppet Show (no kidding).

Thanks goodness mom was able to bring a bit of international tastebud travel to our tummies, compliments of this recipe and some of the Tex Mex favorites you’ll find here on “The Nook.” I can remember well mom’s electric skillet bursting with steam carrying the sensational and savory smells of swedish meatballs; where hearty meets happy. No wonder I wore Husky jeans growing up!

Yeah, I know… “more to love.”

Let’s Make a’ Meatballs
(said with an Italian-Swedish accent)

i. ingredients

| cage free eggs, slightly beatenswedish meatballs ~ browned and ready for the sauce
1 cup | milk
½ cup | dry bread crumbs
3 tablespoons | falfurrias brand butter (per Nanny)
½ cup | finely chopped onion
1 pound | ground chuck
¼ pound | ground pork
1-¾ teaspoons | salt
¾ teaspoon | dill weed
¼ teaspoon | allspice
⅛ teaspoon | nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon | cardamom
3 tablespoons | flour
⅛ teaspoon | freshly ground black pepper
10-½ ounce can | beef broth
½ cup | light cream

ii. what to do

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, milk and dry bread crumbs.

2. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter. Sauté the onion until soft, about 5 minutes. Lift the onions out of the skillet with a slotted spoon; add to the bread crumb mixture, the ground chuck, ground pork, 1-½ teaspoons salt, ¼ teaspoon dill weed, the allspice, nutmeg, and cardamom.

3. With a wooden spoon or your hands, mix well to combine.

4. Refrigerate, covered, for 1 hour.

5. Preheat oven to 325°F.

6. Take the meat mixture from the fridge and shape it into meatballs, each about 1″ in diameter.

7. In remaining hot butter, divide the meatballs into groups of 2 or 3 and sauté them until they are browned all over.

swedish meatballs ~ hot outta the oven8. Transfer the meatballs into a 2-quart casserole, after they are browned.

9. Remove the skillet from heat. Pour off the drippings, reserving 2 tablespoons (add more butter if necessary).

10. Pour the dripping back into the skillet and add flour, the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and the pepper, stirring together to make a smooth slurry over medium heat.

11. Gradually stir-in the beef broth, bringing the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Add the cream and remaining ½ teaspoon dill weed. Pour sauce over meatballs in casserole dish.

12. Bake, covered, 30 minutes. Garnish top of meatballs with fresh dill sprigs, if desired.

Makes: 6 servings.

Foodie Tips ~

 Serve the meatballs atop some wide, wavy egg noodles.

 I love the sauce and will double it on my next “go” of this recipe.

While a salt lover, I found this recipe a little salty for me so I’ll decrease the sodium shakes on my next Swedish adventure.

a scan of mom's original swedish meatball recipe


pk’s rosemary chicken and dumplings

rosemary chicken and dumplingsTortillas

One of my earliest cooking tips hailed from a floury, flat, flying disc-like object; the tortilla.

Cooked in soup, tortillas were the fast and economical way to plump up chicken and dumpling soup, rather than making dumplings by hand. This cooking tip was shared with mom by our family friend and housekeeper Miss “Essie.”

I don’t remember a day when Essie wasn’t smiling. She was rich with a happiness that money cannot buy and she was a hard-working lady who helped our family for many years. She helped Mom pick-up and organize the house as Mom was more than busy raising three boisterous boys (I was the angel son, of course) and working as an independent contractor; a court reporter.

When the temperatures start to drop, I search for loose clothing, as I know chicken and dumpling season is among us. There’s no better comfort food than the warm, silky, doughy greatness of this belly pleaser.

I’m tucking this recipe here in Mom’s digital cookbook as it’s one of my favorites and certainly a dish I would make for Mom, Dad and you. Over the years, I’ve adapted this recipe and often include rosemary, one of my favorite homegrown herbs.

Let’s Get Cookin’

i. soup ingredients

1-2 pounds | boneless chicken breast, cubed.
2-3 medium | white onions (1 onion will be pierced with cloves, 1-2 onions will be chopped)
splash | olive oil for sautéing (or some chunks of butter, if you’d like)a peek at ingredients for rosemary chicken and dumplings soup ~ Mmmmm! Mmmmm!
whole cloves
3-4 medium | carrots, cut into 2-inch chunks
2 sprigs | parsley on stem (or cilantro, if you prefer)
1 teaspoon | salt
2-4 sprigs | rosemary (not chopped, just for flavor)
½ teaspoon | freshly ground black pepper
celery ribs, chopped
4 cups | water (or chicken broth, if you want to pump up the jam)
1 cup | whole milk

ii. dumpling ingredients

1 cups + 3 tablespoons | sifted flour
1 + ½ teaspoons | baking power
dash | salt (and some pepper, if you’d like)
2 tablespoons | shortening, chilled
½ cup | milk for dumplings plus ¼ cup milk for a “slurry”
2 – 4 sprigs (~ 4” each) | chopped rosemary

iii. foodie tips

❤  Add more pepper if you have a cold. Trust me.

❤  You can add more herbs if you like. Bay leaves, cilantro or thyme are all good. You can place the herbs in a cheese cloth and tie-off the ends so you don’t have to “fish” the herbs and stems out of the soup. You can also season the dumplings with some fresh cracked pepper or chopped rosemary or thyme.

❤  Need more fillin’? I’ve tried this by adding a couple of cans of yellow corn and chopped green chilies. My taste buds and tummy “high fived” each other.

❤  If you haven’t already read here on Betty’s Cook Nook, when I say butter, “Falfurrias Butter” is implied. Thank you to my Grandmother, Nanny!

❤  To form the dumplings I prepare them all ahead of time so they cook for a consistent amount of time. To yield about 40 dumplings I use a teaspoon to help cut the dough into similarly-sized dumplings. Hand roll them tight and use flour on your hands if you find the dough becomes sticky.

iv. what to do

1. Make Soup: In a large pot, sauté the chicken with 1 or 2 of the chunk-chopped onions and oil (or butter). Gently place into the pot the onion that’s pierced with cloves then add the carrots, celery, parsley (or cilantro), salt, rosemary, pepper, 1 cup of the milk, and 4 cups water (or chicken broth). Bring to a boil over medium heat stirring occasionally (between glasses of wine, of course). Reduce to low and simmer covered for one hour. Simmering will give you ample time to drink more wine and make the dumplings! [ side comment: Please realize step 1 is really 14 steps rolled into 1 but nobody will make soup that requires a lot of steps.]

2. Make Dough: I usually jumpstart my dumplings 25-30 minutes before the soup is done with its hour-long simmer. Sift 1 cup of the flour, the baking powder and salt (and pepper, if you choose) together in a medium-sized mixing bowl (I use my KitchenAid). Cut in chilled shortening until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add ½ cup milk all at once, any seasonings (pepper, rosemary or thyme) and mix until dough holds together.

three cheers for dumplings3. Make Dumplings: Form your dumplings per the cooking tip above. When they’re all ready remove the onion pierced with clove, parsley (or cilantro) and rosemary from the soup and discard. With a slotted spoon, remove the chunky items (chicken, carrots, celery) from the soup and place them in a bowl to rest/set aside. It’s OK to leave some of the chopped onion in the pot as it’s hard to fish out! Bring the remaining soup to a simmer and drop the dumplings on top of the liquid. Simmer the soup uncovered for 10 minutes; then cover and simmer 10 more minutes.

4. Make Slurry & Prepare To Dismount: Stir the remaining 3 tablespoons flour into the remaining ¼ cup milk until smooth. You just made “slurry!” Stir the slurry into the soup and bring things to a boil. Stir until thickened. Return the chunky items from the bowl to the soup and simmer for a few minutes. Spoon into bowls and sprinkle with chopped parsley (or cilantro or rosemary).

Enjoy!

~ Patrick

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

How to make Chicken and Dumplings

Piercing the onion with cloves is one of my favorite parts of this recipe

How to make Chicken and Dumplings

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How to make Chicken and Dumplings

Making homemade dumplings is just part of the fun. Eating them is the other part! This recipe will yield about 40 dumplings – Enough to keep me happy for at least a couple of meals! Nom! Nom! Nom!

How to make Chicken and Dumplings

Thar she goes – the onion into the early parts of the soup!