I love when I get a little history lesson along with a recipe. It’s like two treats in one! Found along with this recipe my Mom clipped from The San Antonio Express-News in 1970 the article tells an interesting story about this recipe’s creator, Ester MacMillan.
Ester helped introduce quiche to foodies near and far after it arrived at the 1968 World’s Fair dubbed “HemisFair” that was held in San Antonio. What a sight that must have been when the Tower of the Americas – an observation tower more than 600 feet tall complete with a spinning 360° top – debuted at the expo! You can read more about Ester and her story about the origin of quiche via the original recipe scan I scored from my Mom’s cookbook below.
As a child I remember my Mom, “Betty,” talking about Quiche Lorraine and a few decades later (ahem, just a few) this was the first time I made it. I absolutely loved it! I found the recipe extremely forgiving, meaning you can adapt it to your liking by adjusting the ingredients you introduce into the custard.
Perfect for a brunch-time gathering or a couch-side treat this recipe scored a well-deserved spot in “The Best Of The Best Recipes” category (at right) … as well as my heart.
I’ve discovered more than one quiche recipe in Mom’s cookbook so I’ll be trying other versions soon and will share them here at Betty’s Cook Nook.
❤ “Blind baking.” I had never heard of it before until my friend and colleague Suzanne told me about it when I commented that I longed for a crispier quiche crust. Essentially all you do is pre-bake the crust a few minutes before filling it; doing so will help give it more “fluff.” I’ll give blind baking a try on the next making of this dish. And there will be a next time.
❤ I may have “accidentally” used a teeny bit more meat than the recipe suggests. In fact, Ester called for bacon or ham. A lover of both, I used bacon and ham. #Carnivore. This recipe presumes you will follow suit and use both. I scored some peppered ham at my local HEB and I loved the extra peppery kick.
❤ After reading the recipe below if you want to learn more about NIOSA and score some of the festival’s recipes, click this link and enjoy!
9 inch | pie crust
¼ pound | bacon or ham (or both)
1 ½ cup | gruyere or aged cheddar, grated (I used gruyere)
5 | cage free eggs
1 cup | cream, half and half or undiluted evaporated milk
½ teaspoon | salt
dash | white pepper
dash | nutmeg, grated
1 teaspoon | dried onion
dash | cayenne pepper
ii. what to do
0. Preheat your oven to 400°F. That was easy, right?
1. Line a 9-inch pie pan or fluted quiche pan with pie crust. If you choose, blind bake the doughy crust (per above) and set aside.
3. Place your grated cheese (yum, cheese!) in the bottom of your pastry-lined pie pan. Over that, sprinkle your meats.
5. Bake for about 30 minutes or until crust is golden and custard is set. Remove from oven and cool a bit to lukewarm and serve.
Yield: About 8 servings. Enjoy!
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook
Watch this interesting video series about HemisFair 1968! I learned much about my hometown city!
I’m not quite sure how to pronounce “timbales” (2 syllables or 3) – it seems to depend on whether or not you are using the French or Spanish pronunciation.
The name derives from “kettledrum” after the drum-like mold in which the dish is baked.
Growing up I was a drummer and we often played drums called “timbales.” We pronounced them like this.
Foodie Tips ~
♥ In a hurry? I think you can substitute canned peas for the frozen and save yourself a step. And a pot to clean.
♥ I must have been a salt block lovin’ cow in a former life. For some reason I couldn’t get enough salt on these so I used more than what was noted below.
♥ White Pepper? Didn’t find it at my grocery. I just used fresh cracked black pepper. Sorry, Mom!
♥ I don’t own any custard cups so I used the 4 ramekins, shown below. As a result I made larger timbales which required a little more time cooking. If you’re not planning on eating this as your only item I’d suggest making 6 and serving as a side.
10 ounces | frozen peas
1 cup | cooked rice
1 cup | chicken broth
½ cup | cream
4 | cage free eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon | parsley, chopped
¼ teaspoon | celery salt
¼ teaspoon | onion salt
for the sauce:
1 cup | falfurrias brand butter
¾ cup | celery tops, finely chopped
¼ cup | flour
¼ teaspoon | salt
⅛ teaspoon | celery salt
⅛ teaspoon | white pepper
2 cups | milk
to garnish | more chopped parsley
ii. what to do
0. Heat oven to 325°F.
1. Cook the peas and drain. Combine the peas with the next seven ingredients – the rice, broth, cream, eggs, parsley, celery salt and onion salt.
2. Grease 6 custard cups (or ramekins) and fill each 2/3 full of the pea mixture from step 1 above. Place the custard cups on a shallow roasting pan filled with 1 inch of hot water and place in oven.
3. Bake 45 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean.
4. After the timbales have been baking about 25 minutes, let’s make the sauce. Melt the butter in a sauce pan. Add and sauté the celery. Blend-in the flour, salts, pepper and milk. Simmer 6-8 minutes, stirring often until thickened.
5. Un-mold the pea timbales onto a warm serving platter and top with celery sauce and some chopped parsley.
Yields about 4-6 servings.
Here’s a scan of Mom’s original recipe!
If you missed the Sofia Vergara You Tube link above you have to watch it now. A guaranteed belly buster!
Everything But The Kitchen Sink Soup
This “BIG SOUP” recipe is insanely flexible! It starts with a base of chicken broth and our familiar friends onion, celery, carrot and herbs. But then the party gets a little crazy – you add whatever fresh, canned or frozen veggies, pasta and or meats that you have loitering around the kitchen, making this soup “soup-er” flexible.
Some of the best cooks never follow a recipe to the “t” and this is surely one of their favorites!
Foodie Tips ~
♥ Note the variations on the original scan –
For more soup: Add additional vegetables and broth.
For two meals: Freeze the leftovers.
For creamed soup: Add ½ to 1 cup cream 5 minutes before serving. Do not boil the cream!
For pureed soup: Put all ingredients (no bones) into a blender and work your magic, until smooth.
♥ If you discover a version you really like, make record of the ratios so you can make it again on the next go.
♥ I was 10 when this recipe appeared in the 1976 edition of Apartment Life Magazine. How alarming it is to see the office phone hanging on the wall in the photo below! PS ~ I also love the bananas T-shirt!
i. base ingredients
2 cans | chicken broth
4 | chicken breasts
1 | large onion, chopped
1 | celery stalk, chopped
1 | carrot, chopped
2 sprigs | parsley
1 teaspoon | thyme (or dill weed)
1 | bay leaf
to “cover” | water
ii. “scavenge” for these accessory ingredients
1 small can | pinto beans, chickpeas and or plum tomatoes
1 medium can | corn
½ package | frozen okra, asparagus, artichokes and or pea pods
2 | potatoes, chopped
1 small | zucchini, chopped
1 | green pepper, chopped
¼ pound | mushrooms, sliced
¼ cup or more | pasta or rice
1 length | seasoned sausage
cubes | leftover meat
1 | kitchen sink (just checking if you’re paying attention!) :)
iii. what to do
1. In a medium/large pot over medium heat, add the first eight ingredients in step “i” above. Add water to cover.
2. While waiting for the soup to simmer, scavenge for your step “ii” ingredients above, whatever form they take.
3. Add fresh veggies and rice after the soup’s been simmering 15 minutes or canned, frozen ingredients and pasta after 20 minutes. Simmer soup for 30 minutes or until everything’s done.
Click To View –> An Original Scan Of The Big Soup Recipe
Our first Kiker family trip outside Texas was to a small, out-of-the-way place we never heard of named Cuchara, Colorado.
Mom read about Cuchara in the San Antonio Express-News and it sounded perfect: A working dude ranch with cabins to rent. Mountains as far as the eyes could see. Nature in every direction. And no city stoplights to slow the adrenaline rush. We were hooked!
A few weeks of planning and a 800+ mile drive later we arrived at Yellow Pine Ranch.
After a few days enjoying the freshest air, hiking, horseback riding and experiencing true nature (like the hummingbird that sat on my finger), we knew we desperately needed more of what Dad dubbed “God’s Country.”
Mom and Dad ultimately wound up building a timeshare cabin nestled alongside the Cuchara River, magically tucked underneath blankets of beautiful quaking aspen trees. They couldn’t have afforded to build our little slice of Heaven on Earth without the help of their good friends from Waco, Margie and Herb, who were co-owners and co-inspirers for the cabin retreat.
This ice box dessert hails from Margie’s kitchen. It impressed Mom enough to find its way into Mom’s green index card holder.
Dad died in the cabin on the very first Christmas the two families were to converge and enjoy the newly-built cabin ~ it was suddenly the worst of times that were strangely connected to the best of days. Deep, deep down I know there were no regrets building our little cabin in the woods since it was proof that dreams really can come true.
Hats Off To Great Friends
1 ⅓ cup | milk
4 tablespoons | cornstarch
1 cup | sugar
dash | salt
2 | cage free eggs, separated
⅓ cup | moist coconut
6 ounces | frozen orange juice, canned
2 dozen | ladyfingers, split
½ pint | whipped cream
ii. what to do
1. Combine milk, cornstarch, sugar and salt in a double broiler. Cook until thick. Cover and cook 10 minutes longer, stirring occasionally.
2. Add egg yolks that have been beaten slightly. Cook 2 minutes more.
4. In the bottom of a 9″ x 9″ pan, put a layer of ladyfingers that have been split. Spread the orange custard and more ladyfingers on top, in layers.
5. Chill 24 hours.
Sous Chef Note: I was happily surprised to see that over 30 years later, the Yellow Pine Ranch is not only still in existence, it has expanded. Check ’em out online. Better yet, stay there in person.
This recipe is dedicated to my foster family in Italy ~ the hospitality
they shared was bigger than Texas! I’ll never forget us uniting over this dish
during “Tex Mex Night” in Tuscany.
~ ♥ ~
a flan on fire?
You betcha! This is one of the most amazing recipes that made my Mom look more magician than chef.
When I was growing up this flan was typically served at Thanksgiving. When it was time for dessert the lights would be dimmed and Mom placed the flan in the middle of the table and lit the brandy. Widening eyes were aglow. Pure deliciousness on many levels!
I was on holiday in Italy when I made this recipe for the very first time; it was something that we had for dessert for “Tex Mex Night.” A memory for a lifetime.
¾ cup | sugar
1 cup | canned or cooked pumpkin
1 cup | milk
1 cup | light cream
6 | cage free eggs
½ cup | sugar
½ teaspoon | salt
2 teaspoons | vanilla extract
⅓ cup | brandy
2 tablespoons | brandy (more brandy!)
ii. what to do
0. Preheat oven to 325°F. Place a 8 ¼” round, shallow baking dish into the oven. See my Texas twist on the dish shape below!
1. In a large, heavy skillet over medium heat, cook ¾ cup sugar until it melts and forms a light-brown syrup. Stir to blend and do not overcook!
2. Immediately pour syrup into the warmed baking dish. Holding the dish with pot holders, quickly rotate it back and forth, to cover bottom and side completely. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl with a rotary beater, add eggs and beat them slightly. Add sugar, salt and vanilla. Gradually stir in the hot pumpkin-milk mixture and ⅓ cup brandy. Pour into the prepared baking dish.
5. Set the baking dish into a shallow aluminum pan. Pour boiling water to a ½-inch level around the dish. Put the dish/pan into the preheated oven.
6. Bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the flan comes out clean. Remove the custard from the oven, let cool and refrigerate overnight.
7. To serve, run a small spatula around the edge of the dish to loosen the flan. Invert the dish onto a shallow serving dish and shake gently to release. The caramel acts as a tasty sauce. Lower the lights in the room, gather your foodies, and at the table ignite 2 tablespoons of warm brandy and quickly pour it over the flan. It was at this point back when I was in Italy that our Italian host “Fausto” grabbed a pitcher of water in case things got fiery. Oh, they did, but only in pure awesomeness. We were all impressed. Me? I was simultaneously surprised and proud. At this step you can whisper some magic chant or a funny limerick for full effect. Your foodies will admire you! Or at least fear you. :)
foodie tips ~
♥ In step 4 above, make sure and slowly add the hot pumpkin-milk mixture into the egg mixture to prevent cooking of the eggs! This step works great with two people; a “stirrer” and a “pourer.”
♥ Stumped with your limerick? Try making your own with a little help from the limerick factory!
When you think of bananas, you think of monkeys. Right?
Growing up in the 70s meant enjoying the ritual of watching Saturday morning cartoons for hours. And one of my favorites was the Tom & Jerry Grape Ape Show. Let’s have a watch (play the video below, folks)!
So bananas. I was shocked this recipe listed the marshmallows as “optional” (really?) and that it didn’t call for the joy of the nilla wafer. Just make sure you include ’em both for an over-to-top old world tasty treat.
Oooh! Ahhh! Oooh! Ahhh!
ii. what to do
1. Whip cream in a mixing bowl.
2. Add the vanilla and whip some more.
3. Make the pudding per the box instructions.
4. Fold in the cream.
Serve from the casserole dish or spoon into individual custard cups. Eat it up! If you’re lucky, it’ll all be gone before any bananas on top brown.
Foodie Tips ~
♥ Get creative and find a way to decorate the top of your pudding masterpiece. I made a banana sunflower out of sliced bananas and chocolate chips. Or, at least I tried to!
♥ Nilla wafers. On the top. “Chunky crush” ’em first.
♥ No nilla wafers? Mom would approve of some chopped Texas pecans, y’all.
♥ Do you go bananas for bananas? Click here! Then scroll down to your heart’s content.
Each summer, the Kiker Family of 5 usually found our feet in the warm and sandy beach of the Texas Coast…
…Dad sporting his silver anti-reflective hat, Mom wearing her hand-painted denim shirt and a straw hat wrapped with a brown burlap ribbon. Me? I was reluctantly wearing zinc oxide on my nose and face… and a sunburn on the rest of me.
Here in Port Aransas, you’d find Dad, Tim and Roger fishing in the Gulf. And Mom? You’d find her (and alternating family members and friends) at the South Jetty with nets in hand.
We Were Crabbin’
There on the jetties, I spent many a day darting amongst the giant rocks looking for floating treasure… yet our favorite treasured time was checking the traps to see if we might have caught gold; crabs. Female crabs went back in the water, but males, we would keep. Mom would boil them rosy red later in the day back at our hotel (usually Executive Keys) and transform them into seafood spectacular.
In the meantime, grab a couple of fresh crabs (or canned ones if you’re celebrating the simplicity of the 70s) and give props to the kissin’ cousin of la quiche… Crab Supper Pie!
Even though I don’t love seafood without a disclaimer, there are a few dishes I love (fried shrimp, grilled salmon creamy nutty tuna)… and now creamy, crunchy crab supper pie.
Let’s Go Crabbin’
1 cup | natural Swiss cheese, shredded
9-inch | pastry shell, unbaked
7½ ounce can | crab meat, drained and flaked
2 | green onions, sliced with tops
3 | eggs, beaten
1 cup | light cream*
½ teaspoon | salt
½ teaspoon | grated lemon peel
¼ teaspoon | dry mustard
dash | mace
¼ cup | sliced almonds
ii. what to do
1. Sprinkle cheese evenly over the bottom of the pastry shell.
2. Top with crab meat and sprinkle with green onion.
3. Combine eggs, cream, salt, lemon peel, dry mustard and mace. Pour over crab meat.
4. Top with sliced almonds.
5. Bake in a slow-oven (at 325°F), for about 45 minutes or until set.
6. Remove from oven and let stand about 10 minutes before serving.
Great For Breakfast Or Dinner
♥ Despite the fact I’m not a Sea Foodie at heart, I added more canned crab because it was sold in 6 ounce cans (not 7½ ounce cans). The result? Uber meaty crab pie!
♥ Mace? I had never heard of this as a seasoning but turns out that mace is not something you spray in someone’s eyes… it’s a warm spice that’s a milder cousin to nutmeg. Think pepper + cinnamon. It’s about $9.00/bottle, so get ready for this nutmeg substitute!
Family Fun Fact ~
♥ A “Port A” ritual was for mom to get her chicken gizzard fixin’ and for us… a bean burger on Mustang Isle.
While most folks cringe when hearing me speak of a “bean burger,” relax… it’s a beef burger topped with refried beans, cheddar cheese and fritos… something we enjoyed back home in S.A. at Sills Snack Snack on Austin Highway. Later on at college I found a replica at College Station’s Deluxe Burger bar (now closed).
One my most favorite dishes is any meal that includes pasta. I’m a sucker for carbs and savory, so this dish hits the spot. Toss-in eggs, butter, cream, cheese and bacon and I get weak in the knees.
What’s interesting is that as I looked closer at mom’s original recipe clipping (below,) I noticed it was from the March 1976 issue of “Apartment Life” magazine.
A few clicks online and I found a picture of the magazine (below) on eBay that was selling at $12.99 ($12.04 above it’s original cover price of $.95). Since we lived in a house at the time, I thought it was odd that mom subscribed to an apartment themed magazine but then I remembered that when I was a baby, our house at 2927 Trailend suffered from an electrical fire and burned to the ground.
I don’t remember the fiery ordeal since I was still living in a crib, but we Kikers put up a fight… we all survived and my parents moved to the 1965 built El Chaparral apartments while our house was rebuilt. I suppose mom kept the subscription when we moved back home because of the lifestyle content (that and how to make life better, like with a “sausage bolster,” shown below). Hah!
There on the pic of the original cover I spotted the headline “The Short-Order Gourmet: Quick and classy dinners for a pair or a party.” I was able to confirm the cover’s ’70s-esque couple on another recipe that mom clipped along with the spaghetti carbonara recipe.
Just call me online digital sleuth (a.k.a. cyber stalker). I can usually research and find anything online.
Carbonara hails from Italy around the 1950s, although the exact story about its creation varies widely, according to this wiki post. Regardless, this is a tasty Italian home-cooked dish (the first I can remember), and you’ll love it, too!
Mangia! Mangia! (Italian for let’s eat!)
½ pound | vermicelli spaghetti
2 | cage free egg yolks
¼ cup | parmesan cheese, grated
2 tablespoons | romano cheese (or more parmesan), grated
to taste | ground black pepper
¼ pound | lean bacon, diced (or ¼ pound prosciutto)
1 tablespoon | soft unsalted falfurrias brand butter (per my Grandmother, “Nanny”)
¼ cup | heavy cream
garnish | romano cheese, grated
ii. what to do
1. Start the spaghetti by bringing water to a boil in a medium-large stock pot. Drop spaghetti into the boiling water and cook according to directions.
2. Lightly beat the eggs, cheesees and pepper. Set aside.
3. In a large frying pan, saute the bacon (or prosciutto) just short of crisp. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat. Keep warm in pan.
4. When the spaghetti is just firm, drain it and ross with bacon in the frying pan or a large serving bowl.
5. Quickly add the butter, cream and the egg and cheese mixture, tossing constantly.
6. Garnish with some of the romano cheese and serve immediately; it’s best enjoyed when it’s very hot (“molto caldo” in Italian).
Serves: Due (2)
Foodie Tip ~
♥ My favorite long cut dried pasta is a traditional Italian spaghetti named “Pastificio Lucio Garofalo.” It’s made in Napoli (Naples) and is crafted 2 feet long and cooks in just 11 minutes. This pasta means business; it’s birthed with an expiration date and comes in a set of two wrapped in a purpled-colored eco-friendly paper, perfect for gift-giving. I found my pasta at my local Dallas Italian Market… Jimmy’s Food Store.
♥ Serve with a Texas toast side kick… or go totally Italian and whip up a batch of garlic and herb bread from Giada.
♥ I really like a lot of creamy sauce on my pasta, so if you agree, double-up on all ingredients (except the pasta).
Being a native Texan guarantees you certain inalienable rights; using “crutch words” like y’all and “fixin’, wearing jeans and boots for any occasion… and the insatiable love of the praline.
For me, Christmastime was trimmed with midnight mass, tamales, the yearning for snow and the sweet, sweet treats that mom would make. It was a season of indulgence for the tummy.
This recipe is from Elouise and Frank Kallina’s kitchen. Mr. Kallina was one of dad’s great friends in the oil and gas biz. I remember visiting their house on Oak Park Drive more than once. Good people.
3 cups | light brown sugar
1 cup | heavy cream
¼ cup | butter
2 tablespoons | light corn syrup
¼ teaspoon | salt
1 teaspoon | vanilla
1 1/2 cups | toasted texas pecan halves
1. In a large, heavy saucepan, mix sugar cream, butter corn syrup and salt.
2. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally ’till the mixture reaches a soft ball stage (about 234 F on a candy thermometer).
3. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.
4. Add vanilla and pecans.
5. Beat until the praline mixture looses its gloss.
6. Spoon onto wax paper to form patties. Let cool.
Foodie Tip ~
♥ Make sure and heat the mixture to the soft ball stage. I was in a rush to eat these and the sugar was a bit gritty because I didn’t heat it up all the way.