king crab appetizer puffs

King Crab Appetizer Puffs

Let’s Get Crabby

In my younger years I spent most summers visiting the Texas Coast at Port Aransas. My Dad loved to wade fish and my Mom loved to crab. Port A’s north and south jetties are where I learned to maneuver the giant granite blocks that extended into the sea. There were countless nooks and crannies where the sea met the granite boulders and this was the special place my Mom “Betty” loved to go crabbin’.

The Joys Of Coastal LivingMom would bait her crab net with a small piece of chicken and lower it into the water and wait a bit. Moving very slow and being extra quiet we’d quickly raise the nets to see if we had caught a crab – two if we were lucky! Females went back into the water and the males we’d take back to our short-term home at Executive Keys to boil and create some crab delicacies.

foodie tips ~

 This yields about 3 dozen appetizers. You can half the ingredient quantities if you’re just having a snack. They are best consumed fresh but don’t reheat them in the microwave – only the oven, so they will be crispy!

 I couldn’t find King Crab at my local HEB so I substituted it with plain ol’ crab.

i. ingredients

1 package (6-8 ounces) | frozen crab, thawed
2 tablespoons | butter (my grandmother insisted on Falfurrias brand butter)
¼ cup | green onions, sliced
1 cup | fresh mushrooms, chopped
1 cup | monterey jack cheese, shredded
3 ounce package | cream cheese, softened
⅓ cup | mayonnaise
2 tablespoons | parsley, minced
¼ pound | phyllo pastry sheets
¼ cup | more melted butter

ii. what to do

0. Preheat oven to 350°F.

1. Drain and slice the crab. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet. Add the onions and sauté them 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and sauté 1 minute longer. Combine the mushroom-onion mixture with the crab, cheeses, mayonnaise and parsley.

2. Spread phyllo sheets out in layers, two at a time (we did 3 layers because we love the crisp of phyllo). Cut each group of two into strips about 2 inches by 10 inches.

How To Make King Crab Appetizers

Look at the butter! Mmm – BUTTER!

3. Brush each phyllo strip with melted butter. Mmm … butter! Spoon a scant tablespoon of filling onto the end of the phyllo strip. Fold the pasty over the crab filling to form a triangle. Continue folding into triangles as you would a flag for the length of the strip. Seal the seam with a little more butter.

4. Place seam side down on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or until crisp and golden.

Serve these hot!

~ Patrick

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

King Crab Appetizer Puffs Recipe

A Scan Of Mom’s “Crabetizer” Recipe

King Crab Appetizer Puff Recipe

They kinda look like crabs already. Next time I’ll fashion these just right!


lemon cheese cake

Lemon Cheese Cake From Betty's Cook NookAn Easy Cheesy Cake Pie

I’m not sure of the technical definition for what distinguishes a pie from a cake but I’m pretty sure this would best be referred to as a pie. Oh, well – no matter what we call this it still tastes the same and it’s one of the easiest recipes I can think of. So if you’re in a hurry and you need to produce a cake-pie, I suggest you bookmark this recipe!

foodie tips ~

  Because lemon is a versatile flavor you can garnish your cake with some lemon zest, a few drizzles of some Fischer & Wieser Raspberry Chipotle Sauce or even a few chopped Texas pecans to liven up the party.

  If you like easy to make desserts, you should check out more of Mom’s recipes for Blueberry Cheese Pie and Easy Cheese Cake.

i. ingredients

8-ounce package | cream cheese, softened
1 package | instant lemon pudding mix
½ cup | milk
1 ½ cups | more milk
8 inch | graham cracker crust
to garnish | any of the items from the “foodie tips” section above

ii. what to do

0. Soften your cheese. Let your cream cheese sit on the counter for at least 30-45 minutes. I usually open the package to help this process speed-up a bit. If you rush this step your cream cheese may turn out lumpy and nobody likes lumpy cream cheese. :)  Please note that I numbered this as step “0” because this step is so easy it really doesn’t deserve a number.

1. Blend things up. In a medium-size bowl blend the cream cheese and the ½ cup of milk. Add 1 ½ cups more milk and the pudding mix and beat as directed according to the pudding mix instructions.

2. Pour it up. Pour the cream cheese mixture into your crust and chill until set.

Serve cold

~ Patrick

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

Lemon Cheese Cake Recipe

A scan of Mom’s original recipe

Lemon Cheese Cake From Betty's Cook Nook


blueberry cheese pie

A Blueberry Cheese Pie Recipe From Betty's Cook NookTastes Like Cheesecake … But It’s Really A Delicious CheeseFake

This no-bake cheese pie recipe is super simple to make! There are just a few ingredients involved and a little bit of time in the fridge and voilà – you’re ready to send your tastebuds off on a fruity flavor adventure.

I’m ok with a cheesecake imposter recipe – especially when it means less time preparing and more time eating a delicious treat!

foodie tips ~

  One of my favorite foodie “secret weapons” are mini fillo cups. These bite-sized wonders are perfect for desserts and raclette. You can keep them in your freezer and they require no defrosting or baking! The instructions below assume we are making the mini cups version.

  The blueberry topping is good and I see cherry pie filling was listed below as an option. You can also top this pie with fresh fruit like strawberries, banana, kiwi – or all of your favorites!

  You can leave these in the fridge for a few hours but I wouldn’t suggest you leave them more than 4-6 hours; these present best fresh.

Betty's Cook Nook Turns 4

We’re turning four this weekend! Thanks to my Mom Betty and fellow Foodies who keep our passion alive!

i. ingredients

8 ounce package | cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons | lemon juice
½ cup | sweetened condensed milk
9 inch | pie crust, baked then cooled (or the mini fillo cups )
21 ounce can | blueberry pie filling (or cherry … or fresh fruit)
to serve | powdered sugar (optional)

ii. what to do

1. Soften It Up: Let the cream cheese soften before you jump to Step 2. This will ensure that you can get a really creamy cheese mixture. Just rest the cream cheese on your kitchen counter while you phone a family member, play fetch with the dogs, write a friend a letter … or whatever your heart desires.

Ingredients For Your Blueberry Cheese Pie2. Mix It Up: Beat until smooth the cream cheese, the lemon juice and the condensed milk. (sidenote: I laughed out hard when I saw the recipe instructions originally said to “beat up” the ingredients. “Kitchen violence” is not tolerated here at Betty’s Cook Nook! LOL.)

3. Fill ‘Em Up: Fill your mini fillo cups (or your pie crust) with the cheese mixture. Leave a little bit of room for your fruit topping (Step 4). You can use a spoon to do this … or … one trick I like is to transfer the filling into a Ziploc bag, close it tight and snip a bit of one corner off with some scissors. You just made your own piping bag which makes filling the cups a snap.

4. Top ‘Em Up: Top the filled cups with your fruit filling or fresh fruit and chill thoroughly for an hour or two. If you don’t plan on serving these in a few hours you can always reserve the fruit until about an hour before you’re ready … and let the cheese-filled cups (sans fruit) chill ahead of time.

5. Serve ‘Em Up: Plate your pies. You can dust with some powdered sugar to create a pretty contrast on top of the fruit.

Serves: 8-12 folks, depending on how you make this dish (pie or mini cups).

~ Patrick

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

Here’s a scan of Mom’s original recipe.
The handwriting isn’t Mom’s but it looks suspiciously like my Aunt Delores’ handwriting. Cousin Julie says she thinks it’s hers, so either way, I win!

A Blueberry Cheese Pie Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook


holiday cake

A Holiday Cake Recipe From Betty's Cook NookA Christmas Spectacular
(Part III)

This holiday recipe is a continuation of the ultimate holiday meal which begins with this tomato bisque recipe, which you’ve gotta check out if you want your holiday meal to be complete. ;)

You’ll also be able to read a little more about how this recipe was selected for Betty’s Cook Nook plus learn about the photographer who took the picture of the 1970s Christmas family below.

foodie tips ~

  Butter instead of margarine? Call me hard-headed, but yes. Plus, I don’t like to anger Mother Nature.

  Green maraschino cherries? I had trouble finding them at my local HEB so I went red all the way. Below, when it calls for well-drained cherries, after draining them in a colander transfer them to a paper towel then blot them with a paper towel.

  I had lots more glaze leftover. You could easily cut the powdered sugar and milk quantities below in half unless you want more glaze than what’s pictured above.

i. ingredients

1 cup | falfurrias butter, softened (falfurrias is from Texas, y’all)
1 package (8 ounce) | philadelphia cream cheese, softened ahead of time
1 ½ cups | sugar
1 ½ teaspoons | vanilla extract
| cage free eggs
2 ¼ cups | cake flour, sifted and divided into 2 cups in one bowl and ¼ cup in another
1 ½ teaspoons | baking powder
¾ cup | red and or green maraschino cherries, well drained
1 cup | pecans, chopped and divided into halves (½ cup each)
1 ½ cups | powdered sugar, sifted
¼ cup | milk
to top | more maraschino cherries

ii. what to do

1. Make sure your butter is softened then preheat your oven to 325°F. Things are about to heat up!

2. Combine butter, cream cheese and sugar then cream together until light and fluffy. We used our tried and true KitchenAid mixer for the ultimate fluffy. 

3. Stir in the vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating well with every addition.

4. In a medium bowl gently hand mix 2 cups flour and baking powder then gradually add to the creamed mixture.

5. Combine the remaining flour, cherries and ½ cup of the pecans and fold into the cake batter.

6. Sprinkle the remaining pecans into a greased 10-inch Bundt or tube pan; pour in the cake batter.

7. Bake for 1 hour or until cake tests done. Cool 5 minutes then remove from pan.

8. Combine powdered sugar and milk. Pour this glaze over the cake and garnish with cherries.

Here’s a scan of the original recipe! Note the missing Apple Cider recipe (how could they?!). No worries – I have a substitute recipe coming soon. 

Southern Living Magazine December 1978

 


jojo’s spinach

Jo Jo's Spinach Recipe From Bettys Cook Nook

You’re Looking At Green Bean Casserole’s Kissin’ Cousin

Sadly, this recipe sat for many months lonely sandwiched amongst many other recipes hoping to be brought to life from Mom’s legacy cookbook.

On “lucky day” it was the chosen recipe because it sounded like the perfect side dish for fast approaching Thanksgiving. Boy, we were right! We loved the creamy-savory smash-up that reminded us of green bean casserole . . .  but with spinach.

Popeye would be proud.Popeye Loves Jo Jo's Spinach Recipe From Bettys Cook Nook

foodie tips ~

 By “mushroom soup” I’m 99.99% confident that “Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup” was implied. If for some reason Cream of Mushroom soup makes your tummy twitch, try Campbell’s Golden Mushroom Soup.

 This dish makes a great Thanksgiving side and it’s a great way to get kids to eat their spinach (Winky, Winky – we all know kids will love the onion rings, just like me).

 I canNOT believe my Mom wrote “We like it best w/o onion rings.” The rings were my favorite part! The hips don’t lie. Push off, Popeye!

 We prepared the spinach in the microwave. For shame. And speed.

i. ingredients

onion, sliced
2 10-ounce packages | frozen spinach, chopped
3-ounce package | cream cheese
½ can | mushroom soup
¼ can | fried onion rings

ii. what to do

0. Preheat oven to 350°F.

1. Sauté onion in a pan over medium heat then set aside.

2. Cook the spinach according to package instructions and drain well.

3. In a casserole dish combine the onion, spinach, cream cheese and soup.

4. Cover and bake for 15 minutes.

5. Remove casserole from oven, add onions on top and return everything to the oven to bake 10 minutes longer, uncovered.

6. Dish up and enjoy!

~ ~ ~

Who is “Jo-Jo?”

Jo-Jo and her husband Charles (Chizzy) Davis were our next door neighbors when I was a little kid. Sadly I don’t remember them very well. My brother Tim said they moved from the home they built at 2923 Trailend Drive a couple of miles away from us to Treasure Way in San Antonio. Who moved in to their former home? The Stephenson family! The Stephensons were our neighbors on Trailend until Mom and I moved out of the home shortly after Dad died.

A Scan Of Mom's Orignal Recipe - Jo Jo's Spinach Recipe From Bettys Cook Nook


goat cheese dip

Goat Cheese Dip
st. paddy’s favorite dip

Since today is St. Patrick’s Day, my head, heart and belly turn to one of my favorite recipes shared by my friend Sarah. I first ate this goat cheese dip on St. Patrick’s Day a few years back and it was affectionately dubbed “Erin Go Bragh-less Dip.” Today, this dip has become a St. Patrick’s Day staple alongside “Wee Widdle Wienies” (a.k.a. Lil’ Smokies), green Jell-O shots and green beer.

Growing up a “Patrick” meant Mom celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with me. It was kinda like having a second birthday each year, although any treat I received was usually small and meaningful. Mom usually wore a St. Patrick’s Day pin and it was a fun day for us both. While I was hardly saintly growing up in a house of four boys, Mom’s love for us all was larger than any known pot of gold.

i. ingredients

6 ounces | crumbled goat cheese
8 ounces | cream cheese
6 cloves | minced garlic
to taste | salt and black pepper
½ cup | pesto
½ cup | chopped herb seasoned oil-packed sun dried tomatoes plus 1-2 teaspoons of the marinade
to serve | crackers or baguettes

ii. what to do

1. Mix together the goat cheese, cream cheese and garlic in a medium-sized bowl. Check the taste; add salt and pepper if you’d like.

2. Spray a small glass bowl or copper mold (about 3 cups in size) with non-stick cooking spray then line the bowl with plastic wrap; this helps remove the dip when you’re ready to serve.

3. Put ½ the pesto in the bottom of the lined bowl then place about ⅓ of the cheese mixture on top of pesto. Follow with the remaining pesto and another ⅓ of the cheese mixture. Add-in the sun dried tomatoes then top with the remaining ⅓ cheese. Place plastic wrap over the top of this and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 4 days.

4. To serve, invert bowl onto a serving dish. Carefully remove then discard the plastic wrap. Decorate the top o’ the dip with fresh herbs if you want. Serve with crackers or baguettes.

foodie tips ~

 If you find the dip is hard to remove from the bowl, try setting it in warm water for a few seconds… or microwaving it (if the bowl is microwave friendly).
 I like topping the dip with fresh finger-torn basil. And you can always drizzle the top with olive oil, but only use the good stuff.
 Nobody likes broken crackers! Make sure and accompany your spread with some dip spreaders. You’ll find the dip will soften as it sits out, but it won’t last long! Trust me – your friends will be green with envy for this recipe!
 Like clovers? Try this recipe out (scroll to bottom).


easy cheese cake

an easy breezy cheese cake recipe

Indulgence.

This is a quality I developed early on in life.

Perhaps the greatest form of “the sweet life” that I can remember was the day I polished off an *entire can* of Betty Crocker ready-made frosting. In mere minutes…The entire can of betty crocker frosting. IN. MY. BELLY.

…I found it in the pantry… It was lemon-y… My eyes were as wide as dinner plates! I partnered the frosting with a tablespoon and found myself watching TV for no more than 20 minutes of unadulterated over-the-top-don’t-stop-me-now pure sweetness.

Well, I never did that again. And I’ve never thought of lemon frosting quite the same way.

This sweet n’ easy cheese cake recipe makes clever use of sugar cookie dough to form the crust. I hope you’ll find it as tasty as I did!

Sweet, Up

i. ingredients (for 2 cakes)

2 packages | slice-and-bake sugar cookie dough
1½ pounds | softened cream cheese
1 cup | sugar
2 | cage free eggs, beaten
½ cup | softened butter (Nanny says make it Falfurrias brand butter)
1 teaspoon | vanilla
to garnish | fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries, etc.)

ii. what to do

a sugar cookie dough crust? yes, please!

0. Preheat oven to 400°F.

1. Line 2 greased 9-inch round pans with slices of refrigerated slice-and-bake sugar cookie dough.

2.  Blend the cream cheese and sugar. Add the eggs, butter, vanilla and blend thoroughly.

3. Pour into the lined pans.blend it up

4. Bake 25 minutes in oven. Remove and let it set/cool.

5. Garnish with fresh strawberries or other berries.

Slice, serve and enjoy!

Foodie Tips ~

♥ Each cake serves 8 folks. You can half this recipe, if desired. Or better yet, why not share one with a friend?

kinda looks like a sunflower, huh? When lining the pan with the cookie dough, fill-in holes/gaps with extra pieces of the dough. Hand cut the dough, if needed. Cut slices to no more than 1/4″ thick (see pic above).

 You can serve this at room temperature, but I prefer chilled.

The inspiration for the berry decoration shape above? I filled the berries inside the cracks left by the cooled cheesecake. What did the berries’ shape spell? A mighty “K!”

Yea, Kiker’s Cook Nook!

a scan of mom's orignal easy cheese cake recipe