lemon light drop cookies

Lemon Light Drop Cookies From Betty's Cook Nookthe power of lemon

Those who know me well know my love for lemons.

I’ve grown a few lemon trees from seed, I make my own limoncello, and anytime I incorporate the bright, citrusy flavor into food or drink, I’m reminded of its amazing power.

puttin’ on the spritz

After mastering the simple art of the drop cookie, I was ready to raise the bar by trying my hand with my cookie press, which I recently discovered due to this cheese straws recipe.

My Mom “Betty” had a metal cookie press that I remember well, but where do pressed cookies come from? I wasn’t too surprised to learn they originate from Germany… all the way back to the 16th century. Spritzgebäck or “Spritz” cookies are pressed butter cookies that are made by squirting dough through disks that make a variety of cool-shaped cookies. The cookie press is like a baker’s version of everyone’s favorite childhood toy – Play-Doh!

Lemon Light Drop Cookie RecipeHungry for more cookie history? You can learn a lot of interesting facts about the origins of cookies at this website.

foodie tips

  If using self-rising flour, decrease the soda to ¼ teaspoon and omit the baking powder and salt.

  The original recipe (below) makes about 70 2 ½” cookies. That’s right, 70! Since we weren’t having a party I decided to cut the recipe in half, which still yielded over 30 cookies.

  For the second half of my dough I experimented with my cookie press and was able to churn out some fun-shaped cookies*. Whether you try this or go the simple “drop” route, I wouldn’t suggest hand-rolling the dough into balls; these lost some of their charm and looked more like mini biscuits than cookies. So drop or cookie press all the way!

* Note: To get my cookie press to best form the dough, I chilled the dough-filled press in the freezer for a few minutes to stiffen the dough. I clicked the cookies onto an ungreased cookie sheet and voilà!

i. ingredients

to grease cookie sheet | shortening or cooking spray
1 ½ cups | sugar
1 cup | shortening, at room temperature
1 tablespoon | lemon peel, freshly grated
| cage free eggs
1 cup | sour cream or lemon yogurt (I used sour cream, my childhood BFF)
1 teaspoon | lemon extract
3 ½ cups | Pillsbury brand all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons | baking powder
½ teaspoon | baking soda
½ teaspoon | salt
to sprinkle | sugar

ii. what to do

0. Preheat oven to 350°F.

Lemon Light Cookie Dough

1. Let’s make the dough! In a large bowl, cream the sugar, shortening, and lemon peel until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat well. Add the sour cream (or yogurt) and lemon extract mix well. Lightly spoon the flour into a measuring cup; level off. To the batter add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Blend well.

Lemon Light Cookies Going Into The Oven

2. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle the cookies with sugar before placing them into the oven.

3. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until a light golden brown around the edges.

Enjoy!

~ Patrick

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

Lemon Light Drop Cookie Recipe from Betty's Cook Nook

Lemon Light Drop Cookie Recipe

A Scan Of Mom’s Recipe Clipping

Here are some vintage Play-Doh commercials from me to you!


quiche lorraine

A Quiche Lorraine Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook
Quiche Masterpiece

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. A postcard from HemisFair 1968, San Antonio, Texas

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.

foodie tips

  “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!

Quiche Lorraine Ingredients

i. ingredients

9 inch | pie crust
¼ pound | bacon or ham (or both)
1 ½ cup | gruyere or aged cheddar, grated (I used gruyere)
| 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.

2. Cook until crisp the bacon – and or – lightly brown the ham. Set the dynamic duo aside to cool off a bit.A Quiche Lorraine Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

3. Place your grated cheese (yum, cheese!) in the bottom of your pastry-lined pie pan. Over that, sprinkle your meats.

4. In a medium-sized bowl beat the eggs. Add the cream and the four seasonings and beat a little longer until everything is well-mingled. Pour this egg mixture over the cheese-meat medley.A Quiche Lorraine Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

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!

~ Patrick

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

 

A Quiche Lorraine Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

A Quiche Lorraine Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

A scan of Mom’s recipe for Quiche Lorraine. Click to read the interesting story!

Watch this interesting video series about HemisFair 1968! I learned much about my hometown city!


eggplant parmigiana

An Eggplant Parmigiana Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

Aubergine Supreme

Found on the same page of Mom’s cookbook as this savory pepper steak recipe is this eggplant parmigiana recipe.

We Americans often shorten words down to make them easier to pronounce:

    • When referring to cheese, “Parmigiana” (Italian origin) is shortened to simply “Parmesan”. But somehow saying “parmigiana” just makes anything made with it sound fancier … and tastier.
    • “Aubergine” (British English) is known as “Eggplant” this side of the big pond <– I’m pointing to Texas. I’d rather refer to my walls being the color of aubergine than eggplant. Any day, hands down.
    • Shaking My HeadWhen in Italy “Rome” is “Roma,” “Naples” is “Napoli” and “Florence” is Firenze.” On my first trip to Italy in 2006 I had a full on adult melt-down in the Naples train station when I thought we couldn’t purchase a ticket to Florence … only to discover a few minutes later that Firenze and Florence were the same city. Finger to forehead! Still shaking my head to this day.

While I’ve spent much of my recent adult life researching and traveling Italy, I look for ways to incorporate the Italian romance language into my everyday life as often as I can, so while the use of “eggplant parmigiana” would appear to be on the decline according to Google Ngram Viewer, I can assure you this dish will be making a repeat appearance in my kitchen … and more importantly in my belly. :)

This dish hails from southern Italy’s regions of Campania and Sicily. Layers of cheese and tomato sauce? Count me IN!

foodie tips ~

❤  While the debate over whether to salt (sweat) or not salt your eggplant rolls on, this recipe doesn’t call for it. Once your eggplant is layered between tomato and cheese, even the discriminating pallet shouldn’t notice any eggplant bitterness.

❤  Love eggplant? Check out more of Mom’s recipes here at Betty’s Cook Nook using the nav at left!

i. ingredients

2 tablespoons | unsalted butter (Falfurrias brand butter, per Betty’s Mom “Nanny” – she is my grandmother)
½ cup | onion, chopped
1 clove | garlic, crushed
1 pound | ground beef chuck
1 can (~1 pound 1 ounce) | Italian-style tomatoes, undrained
6 ounce can | tomato paste
2 teaspoons | dried oregano leaves
1 teaspoon | dried basil leaves
1 ½ teaspoons | salt
¼ teaspoon | pepper
1 cup | water
1 tablespoon | brown sugar
1 large | eggplant (about 1 pound in size)
| cage free eggs, slightly beaten
1 tablespoon | water
½ cup | dried bread crumbs
1 ¼ cups | parmesan cheese, grated
¼ cup | salad oil (vegetable oil)
8 ounces | mozzarella cheese, grated

ii. what to do

1. Melt the butter in a large skillet. Sauté the onion, garlic and beef chuck until the meat is no longer red (about 5 minutes).

2. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, brown sugar and the water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes.

3. Let’s get the oven preheating to 350°F. Lightly grease a 13″ x 9″ baking dish and set aside.

4. Wash the eggplant and leave the peel on. Cut the eggplant crosswise into slices about ½” thick and set aside.

5. In a pie plate, combine the eggs and 1 tablespoon more water; mix well.

6. Are you ready to bread? On a sheet of waxed paper, combine the bread crumbs with ½ cup of the parmesan cheese and mix well. Dip the eggplant slices into the egg mixture and coat well. Then dip into the breadcrumb mixture, coating evenly.

7. In a new pan sauté the eggplant slices a few at a time in 1 tablespoon of hot oil until golden brown and crisp on both sides. Add more oil as needed.

8. Arrange half of the eggplant slices in the bottom of the prepared dish. Sprinkle with half of the remaining parmesan cheese. Top each slice with half of the mozzarella cheese; cover with half of the tomato sauce.

9. Arrange the remaining eggplant slices over the tomato sauce. Cover with the rest of the parmesan, and the tomato sauce.

10. Bake, uncovered, 20 minutes. Arrange the remaining mozzarella over the top; bake 20 minute longer, or until the cheese is melted and slightly browned.

Yields 6 servings

~ Patrick

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

Eggplant Parmigiana Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

A scan of Mom’s original recipe clipping.


squash casserole

Squash Casserole Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

This recipe is dedicated to the music teachers of my life. Bill Brady (drums at MacArthur High), Cliff Robertson (piano), and Miss Nance (beginning band, drums, at Garner Middle School).

Thank you for the talent and confidence you gifted me; I lean on both every day!

~      ~

The Magnificent Seven

This dish comes to Mom’s cookbook courtesy of our 1970s next door neighbor Mary Stephenson.

Mary and my Mom were the best of foodie friends; when I was a younger Patrick trading marbles they were trading recipes and sharing stories about the greatest of foods for family and friends. You can find more of Mary’s recipes here at Betty’s Cook Nook by searching for “Stephenson” in the search bar at right. I probably have more of Mary’s recipes than any other of Mom’s friends. And I’m all the better for it!

This recipe combines 7 key ingredients in 7 simple steps to make one savory, buttery casserole that makes me want to yodel from the hilltops. ← Click this link if you think I’m kidding. I’m highly confident that this dish would have made an appearance at the best-dressed Thanksgiving table. Give it a taste and you’ll see!

foodie tip ~

❤  Cooking terms decoded: Per below, “squash” had to be yellow squash, “onion” would be a white onion, “sharp cheese” would be sharp cheddar cheese, and oleo is margarine (I had to look that one up!) … but in this family we only stick with butter. Falfurrias brand butter, to be precise. Betty’s Mom (my grandmother), “Nanny” insisted on it and that is a tradition that has stuck with me through the years.

Being fooled by the term olio has me remembering a battle between the butters, so to speak. If you are too young to remember the war between butter and margarine you’ve gotta enjoy this vintage TV commercial from the 1970s where we see what happens when you fool with Mother Nature.

I’m not sure if Mother Nature needs to see the doctor or what but she seems to have “ChiffonWare” bowls of margarine confused with daisies confused with butter. Just sayin’.

PS ~ I love you Mother Nature!
Squash Casserole Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

i. ingredients

2 pounds | squash, chopped
1 | medium onion, chopped
¼ stick | oleo (unsalted butter)
to season | a little salt and pepper
1 cup | crackers, crumbled
| cage free eggs, well beaten
1 cup | sharp cheese, grated
¼ cup | mayonnaise

for the delightful topping:
3 tablespoons | oleo (3 tablespoons? now we’re talking!)
¼ cup | crackers, crumbled

ii. what to do

1. Boil the onion and squash until tender. Drain the water then mash ’em both together.

2. Season with the butter, some salt and fresh cracked black pepper, and of course the mayo. My lips have been waiting for the mayo.

3. Add the eggs, crackers crumbs and cheese. My hips have been waiting for the cheese.

4. About now I’d rev-up the oven to 350°F.

5. To make your casserole topping, melt the additional 3 tablespoons of oleo in a skillet. Add ¼ cup of more cracker crumbs and coat them well in the butter.

6. Transfer the squash mixture into a casserole dish and sprinkle with your buttery, crumbly topping.

7. Bake for 30 minutes. Let rest but best served warm.

Yields 8 servings

A Squash Casserole Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

A Scan Of Mom’s Original Recipe Card

Still Hungry For More Senseless Lore?

You’ve stumbled into the right cyber-place!

While “The Magnificent Seven” is a phrase I’ve heard of pretty much my entire life. I realized today I really didn’t know where it truly originated.

A couple of clicks later and I learned “The Magnificent Seven” was actually a film from 1960.

Picture 7 gunslingers comprised of a star-studded cast including Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, and James Coburn.

A few seconds into the trailer and I instantly recognized an all-too familiar tune I played over and over in band at Garner Middle School. Even more interesting is that I read that in 2013 the movie was inducted into the U.S. National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, making this a must watch movie.

How ironic all this is. And how “sweeter” this dish is to my heart!

Cheers to 7!

~ Patrick

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

Confident

Just in case you missed it above…


harvey wallbanger supreme cake

I made this special cake in honor of my longtime friend Sarah’s birthday ~ we should
all be so lucky to have friends like her. Great friends + tasty food = groovy living!

~ ~

Harvey Wallbanger Recipe Glazed CakeThe Wallbanger Cliffhanger

I remember my Mom making this cake and when I hear the Wallbanger name, “orange” always comes to mind. This recipe surely was a favorite and still sits near the front of her cookbook‘s “desserts” section in the exact location where I found it.

With orange on the brain I decided to research who this Mr. Wallbanger was and how this cake came to be. I quickly learned that Harvey Wallbanger wasn’t just a who; it was a what. It’s a drink that jettisoned to popularity during the “me decade” when I spent my wonder years. This drink is made from vodka, orange juice and Galliano, making the Wallbanger a drinky-doo Dopplegänger to the Screwdriver.

Harvey Wallbanger Cocktail Recipe

The retro cocktail has a bit of a mystery surrounding its origin. But no matter where it came from we can revel and enjoy the tasty Wallbanger delight whether in a highball or on a plate, in the form of this supreme cake.

foodie tips ~

  I’m sure if it was intentional or not that the original recipe below calls for frozen orange juice for the cake then orange juice (frozen was not specified) for the glaze. I followed the directions to the “T”. Just make sure and thaw your OJ before you blend it or you’ll wind up with a chunky cold glob to contend with in the mixer, as I did.

  Galliano is a golden yellow Italian liquor that is crafted by a guarded recipe since 1896 that includes 30 herbs, spices and plant extracts. Mediterranean anise, juniper, musk yarrow, star anise, lavender, peppermint, cinnamon, and vanilla will help you along your flavor journey! Score an online .PDF of the The Galliano Guide and learn more about this libation that hails from Livorno, Italy.

 Did someone say Italy? Check out my other passion site that is celebrating its 10th anniversary this very month. Enjoy For The Love Of Italy!

Duncan Hines Orange Supreme Cake Mixi. ingredients

the cake:
1 package | duncan hines orange supreme deluxe cake mix
1 package (3 ¾ ounce) | vanilla instant pudding mix
½ cup | crisco oil
4 ounces | frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
4 ounces | water
| cage free eggs
3 ounces | galliano l’autentico (the original)
1 ounce | vodka

the glaze:
1 cup | confectioner’s sugar (a.k.a. powdered sugar)
1 tablespoon | orange juice
1 ½ tablespoons | galliano
1 tablespoon | vodka

ii. what to do

0. Preheat your oven to 350°F.

1. Blend all of the cake ingredients in a large bowl, about 5 minutes.
Harvey Wallbanger Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook
2. Pour the batter into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan (bundt pan).

3. Bake for 4555 minutes until the center springs back when lightly touched. While it’s cooling in the pan (about 15 minutes)…
A Harvey Wallbanger Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

4. Let’s make the glaze! Blend well the above glaze ingredients.
Harvey Wallbanger Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook
5. To serve, invert the warm cake onto a serving plate and drizzle the glaze on top. It was at this moment I reconnected with a childhood memory of the gooey greatness that forms in the center of the cake. There was no mistaking that my hand “accidentally” scooped a little extra of the amazing glaze onto my plate each and every time!

This cake is best enjoyed warm and fresh. For breakfast or dessert and with or without a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I hope you enjoy this time honored favorite!

Yields about 12-16 servings

~ Patrick

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

Harvey Wallbanger Supreme Cake Recipe

A scan of Mom’s original recipe from her cookbook

Harvey Wallbanger Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

Harvey Wallbanger Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

Harvey Wallbanger Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook


marion’s brownies

Marion's Brownie Recipe from Betty's Cook NookThe Real Deal

Back in a time before baking on the quick, folks made things from scratch.

Sure, it takes a little more time but you might just find that the food tastes better – especially since you’re in full control of what goes into your creation. And more importantly, what goes into your belly!

All Aboard The Chocolate Choo Choo

As one who loves chocolatey greatness, my earliest creations used Hershey chocolate powder mixed into a cold glass of milk. But it wasn’t until the likes of Messy Marvin kicked his way into my life when my sights on chocolate really took off. Before we dive into Marion’s recipe let’s have a peek at some of my favorite vintage chocolate TV spots from the 50s – 80s:

So what’s makes these brownies so good? Real chocolate made with TLC. Thanks for the tasty treat, Marion! If you make a batch of these, let me know how you liked them. :)

foodie tips ~

  Don’t forget to let the chocolate cool after melting.

  I like my brownies soft and chewy. So if you’re making me a batch, you know what to do!

  A cold glass of milk or some ice cream is brownie’s BFF. Just sayin’.

i. ingredients

¾ cup | flour, sifted
½ teaspoon | baking powder
½ teaspoon | salt
1 cup | sugar
½ cup | shortening
| cage free eggs, unbeaten
1 teaspoon | vanilla
2 squares (2 ounces) | unsweetened baking chocolate, melted and cooled
1 cup | nuts. And in Texas “nuts” = pecans.

Marion's Brownie Recipe from Betty's Cook Nook

ii. what to do

0. Preheat oven to 350°F.

1. In a large bowl sift together the first 4 ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt and sugar).

2. Add the next 3 ingredients (the shortening, eggs, and vanilla). Beat for 1 minute, making sure to scrape the bowl to ensure a smooth blend.

3. Add the cooled and melted chocolate and the pecans. Beat for 30 seconds longer.

4. Pour the brownie mixture into a greased pan (about 8″ x 8″) and bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes.

Cut brownies into squares while they are still warm. 

~ Patrick

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

Marion's Brownie Recipe

Who is “Marion” 

After checking-in with my brothers, Tim and Roger, Tim knew who Marion was. Her name was Marion Praino Sands and she was married to Bob Sands.

I did some Googling and found recent obituaries for both. After reading a bit more into their lives I learned that they lived a few minutes from me where I lived in Dallas for 20 years! My heart sunk knowing that Marion’s brownie recipe was sitting in Mom’s cookbook within reach. And if I had researched this post a little sooner our paths may very well have crossed.

My hunch is that Marion and Bob met my Mom and Dad when they lived in San Antonio. The connection didn’t end there – I learned that Marion was a member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Dallas for over 50 years. And if memory serves correctly my Mom was a member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in San Antonio, where I was born… and I believe how I came into my name.

 

 


fudge pie

A Fudge Pie Recipe From Betty's Cook NookOh, Fudge!

When things go wrong I’m not quite sure why “oh, fudge” became synonymous with its less appropriate saying but to me “oh, fudge” is a great thing!

Even though one of my favorite movies wasn’t created until 1983, one of the most famous of “oh, fudge” scenes was created in this passage from A Christmas Story. Before we make fudge pie let’s enjoy a bit of this timeless classic:

foodie tips ~

 In the 1970s we would likely have enjoyed whipped cream from the can. Thank you, Reddi-wip! These days I use my gourmet whipper that I scored at Williams-Sonoma – it really creates a great whip. When you make your own whipped topping you can flavor the creams but for this recipe we chose to go with the standard recipe.

A Fudge Pie Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook
i. ingredients

1 stick | unsalted butter (my Mom’s Mom “Nanny” insisted on Falfurrias brand butter)
3 squares | unsweetened chocolate
| cage free eggs, slightly beaten
3 tablespoons | white corn syrup
¼ teaspoon | salt
1 teaspoon | vanilla
1 ¼ cup | sugar
| unbaked pie shell
to serve | fresh whipped cream

ii. what to do

0. Preheat oven to 350°F.

1. Melt butter and chocolate in a double boiler.

2. To the eggs add the corn syrup, salt, vanilla and sugar.

3. Temper the eggs by adding the chocolate mixture in thirds. Turn then pour into the unbaked pie shell.

A Fudge Pie Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

This Fudge Pie Is Ready For The Oven

4. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes (we cooked our pie for quite a bit longer – we were using our new gas oven). The pie’s center will be moist and fudgy.

To serve: Let the fudge pie rest until cool. Slice and top with some fluffy whipped cream.

~ Patrick

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

A Fudge Pie Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

A Fudge Pie Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

A Scan Of Mom’s Fudge Pie Recipe – Compliments Of Mrs. Henry Cohen