vegetable dip

Vegetable Dip Recipe
Dippity Do

My Cousin Julie is a fantastic host.

When there’s a gathering at her house – whether simple or grandiose – the tastiest of foods are always at the ready. It’s like Christmas for the taste buds!

Cousin Julie’s veggie dip is easy to make and doesn’t require resting. Smooth and creamy with a natural green color, this is one of my favorite flavors that reminds me of home.

foodie tips

  Leftovers store well in the fridge. However, I have it on good word that being in possession of veggie dip leftovers is actually a misdemeanor here in Texas. Just sayin’. :)

  While typically dunked by sliced veggies (see below), this dip is also good on toasted or fresh-cubed bread, corn chips… you get the idea.

  I might sneak in some minced garlic into this on my next makin’ of this mighty dip recipe. Did you know that since garlic has leaves it’s actually a vegetable and not an herb?

  I can think of many ways to enjoy this dip: On a burger, by the fire, just because, and above all else… to show others how much you care!

i. ingredients

1 cup | mayonnaise
½ cup | fresh spinach
handful | fresh parsley (we used Italian flat-leaf)
3-5 | green onions, chopped
to serve | your favorite vegetables (carrots, celery, zucchini, peppers, radishes, etc.)

How To Make Vegetable Dip

ii. what to do

1. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.

2. Transfer the dip to a serving bowl and you’re ready to let ‘er rip.

3. Dip to your heart’s content!

A Vegetable Dip Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

Vegetable Dip Recipe

A Scan Of Mom’s Original Recipe

In my blog posts I typically include a nod to yesteryear. Let’s celebrate this time-honored dip with a flashback to some “Dippity Do” commercials from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. Enjoy!

~ Patrick

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


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!


sauerkraut bend’s potato salad

Sauerkraut Bend's Potato Salad Recipe From Betty's Cook NookTime For A Potato Fiesta

Give your typical cold egg and mayonnaise potato salad versions a rest and get ready for a tongue-tingling-tangy version with German roots. This potato salad recipe is unlike any other I’ve tasted! It’s not a bad thing, it’s just tastefully unique.

Before we dive into this dish let’s enjoy a special story behind it.

Sauer-what? 

When I found this recipe in Mom’s cookbook I expected it to be a dish from a restaurant named Sauerkraut Bend. Reading a bit closer, I saw a well-known word to me “NIOSA” –  an acronym for Night In Old San Antonio – a four-day celebration held during the city’s larger two-week long Fiesta. Two weeks of citywide partying!

Fiesta San Antonio Picture Credit: Pinterest User: Scarlettpayne99

Fiesta San Antonio Picture Credit: Pinterest User: Scarlettpayne99

The NIOSA festival dates back to 1937 and it’s held in La Villita (Spanish for “tiny village”), a small art community nestled along the San Antonio River and very close to The Alamo. NIOSA is synonymous with cascarones, crepe paper flowers, live music, thousands of happy dancing folks of all ages and loads of food and libation. If social media hashtags were around when the festival was founded I would have used #bestofdays.

Mom and Dad attended NIOSA from the time before I could walk on my own two legs until my teenage years when we worked side by side in a pretzel booth with her dear friend Bristol, an important lady to our family and this cooking blog. While I sadly don’t see the giant pretzels listed on the NIOSA menu for 2015, I’m happy to learn the festival still serves the super-crispy-cinnamon-sugary “Buñuelos” and savory Peruvian “Anticuchos.” (I also found the Anticuchos recipe in Mom’s cookbook and it’s coming very soon here at Betty’s Cook Nook).

After a few clicks on Google I surprisingly learned the origin of Sauerkraut Bend. It was one of the 15 cultural areas comprising the NIOSA festival. Sauerkraut Bend was nicknamed after a neighborhood located in San Antonio’s King William District that was founded by German immigrants flocking to Texas in the 1840s in search of a better tomorrow. The ties between this recipe, my German roots, the now historic district where a great family friend moved and NIOSA were literally fast-tracking in the overactive windmills of my mind. Turns out the pretzel booth I volunteered in as a child was located in NIOSA’s Sauerkraut Bend pavilion and I had no idea until I researched for this post (I think way back then I called the area “Germantown”).

It’s so amazing the connections a simple recipe written on an index card can ignite!

I then remembered the connection to a funny picture I saw in our family photo archive. I dug it back up – here’s Bristol and my brother Roger (behind her) having a great time in the ol’ pretzel booth in 1976!

Here's a picture ofHere's a picture of Bristol and my brother Roger at NIOSA in 1976. Note the pretzel in the right hand corner!

I’m not quite sure how my Mom scored this recipe. Perhaps she smooth-talked it from a fellow volunteer friend who also worked in Sauerkraut Bend or maybe it was printed in the San Antonio Express News. Either way, I’m so glad I found it and I’m happy to share it forward to you now. Mom would want it this way.

I could go on and on (and you know I could) about this story and why I love nostalgic food blogging but I’m sure you all have better things to do, like eat. So let’s bring on the Potato Fiesta!

Sauerkraut Bend's Potato Salad Makes A Perfect Side Dish For Most Grilled Dishes

foodie tips ~

  Five pounds of potatoes? That will feed a small army! We cut the recipe in half and this yielded about 6-8 servings. The type of potato wasn’t specified but we used gold.

  One stalk of celery to five pounds potatoes? I’m not pointing fingers, but I am making note of it.

  If you have an eye for potatoes like I do (get it?) you’ll have to try my Mom’s California Potato Recipe which to this day remains one of my top favorites EVER.

i. ingredients

5 pounds | potatoes
5 strips | diced bacon
⅔ cup | sugar
2 cups | vinegar
2 cups | pickles, chopped (we used Texas’ own Best Maid Dill Pickles)
| green onions, chopped
1 stalk | chopped celery
½ cup | parsley, chopped
to taste | salt and pepper

ii. what to do

1. Boil the potatoes, drain and let cool a bit. Peel and discard the skin and cut the potato into pieces.

2. Fry the bacon, reserving the drippings. To bacon and drippings add the sugar and vinegar. Heat and stir until well blended.

3. Pour the bacon mixture over the potatoes.

4. Add the remaining ingredients and blend. The recipe doesn’t specify, but a little research at Wiki mentions that a vinegar-based potato salad like this one likely came from southern Germany and was served warm. I enjoyed mine at room temperature, but either way I’m sure it’s tastefully satisfying.

Yield: A lot of potato salad!

Here’s a scan of the original recipe as penned by my Mom, Betty!

A Scan Of Mom's Recipe For Sauerkraut Bend's Potato Salad

What’s the Big “Dill?”
Here’s a Texas Country Reporter video you might like to watch about Texas made Best Maid Dill Pickles!

Hope you enjoy this recipe!

~ Patrick

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


mom’s layered salad

A Layered Salad Recipe From Betty's Cook NookLayers Of Taste

This salad recipe should be in everyone’s cookbook, so best bookmark it now.

My Cousin Julie said this dish is very popular for potluck meals – and when she’s taken this she’s always been asked for the recipe.

It’s that good!

Foodie Tips ~

  If you plan to eat this salad right away, run hot water over the frozen peas before adding so that they will defrost. Or you can use canned or fresh peas.

  Ingredient amounts may be doubled and layers may be doubled for large party servings. You can add any of the optional ingredients below to make this salad more of an entree then serve it with rolls, iced tea and a dessert! Need some dessert ideas?

  You may notice that in my pic above I served my salad from a glass champagne bucket. Whoopsie – no big glass dish for me! If you don’t care as much about the presentation you can layer this salad in any bowl that you’d like but make sure it’s large enough to hold the head of lettuce and all its friends.

  If you can serve the salad with the layers in tact send me a pic! It’s probably best to toss the salad just before serving. That is, after everyone has already viewed and snapped pics of your multi-layered wonder.

i. ingredients

the main stuff:
1 head | iceburg lettuce, chopped
1 box | frozen peas
2 cans | water chestnuts, drained (I added a can to the recipe below)
| green onions, chopped
1 cup | swiss cheese, shredded
optional | ham, chopped
optional | black olives, sliced or chopped (I used 2 cans)
optional | hardboiled eggs, chopped
optional | green peppers, chopped
optional | dealer’s choice  :)

the topping:
1 cup | mayonnaise
1 cup | sour cream
½ – 1 teaspoon | sugar (it’s not me, it’s the ’70s calling!)

to serve:
1 bottle | hormel brand bacon bits (yummm… a bottle)
1 cup | parmesan cheese, shredded

ii. what to do

1. In a large glass dish layer the first five ingredients to form the base of the salad. Add the optional ingredients, as you wish.

2. Mix together the three topping’s ingredients above and spread over the top of the salad. Be sure to cover to the edges to seal. The salad may be covered with plastic wrap and left in the fridge for a day or two or enjoyed now.

3. When ready to serve sprinkle the salad with the bacon bits and the parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!

mom's layered salad recipe from betty's cook nook

 

This photo is of Julie’s original Mom’s Layered Salad recipe. I took this pic on her dining room table which is as big and beautiful as Texas. The wood originated from a bowling alley.

Who would have thunk? My spectacular Cousin Julie, that’s who!


texas artichoke dip

a great-tastin' texas artichoke dip

Knock? Knock?

“Who’s there?”

“Artichoke!”

“Artichoke, who?” 

“Arti chokes when he eats too fast!”

~   ~   ~   ~   ~

That was one of the most memorable “knock-knock jokes” that I can remember from my favorite childhood “pop-up” book. That book is resting in storage, I’m sure.artichoke dip ingredients

The interesting part is that growing up, I wasn’t a total fan of the artichoke, outside of the above joke. But now that I’m a well-seasoned eater, I love ’em.

One of mom’s signature dishes was her steamed artichokes. She’d put two in a pressure cooker and when tender, she’d serve them centered on her white, round ceramic artichoke plates. Partnered with melted butter mixed with seasoned salt, we knew meal-time was a very special time when the artichoke made an appearance at the party.

I found this artichoke dip recipe in mom’s green index recipe card file. It’s super-easy to make and super-great tasting. Makes me think that the artichoke may be one of the most under-appreciated veggies on the planet.

Until now. artichoke dip ingredients

Let’s Eat

i. ingredients

1 can (12 oz.) | artichoke hearts, drained
3 heaping tablespoons | mayonnaise
3 tablespoons | canned parmesan cheese
½ cup | green onions, chopped
1 cup | fresh mushrooms, chopped
to taste | salt

ii. what to do

1. Break apart the artichoke hearts and set aside.

2. Mix together all ingredients and transfer/pour into an 8″ x 8″ baking dish.

texas artichoke dip ~ fresh from the oven3. Bake at 350°F for about 20 minutes, until bubbly and beginning to turn brown along the sides.

Serve Warm: With chips or crackers

Foodie Tips ~

 Substitute canned parmesan cheese with freshly grated cheese, if you’re not in a hurry.

 I found another recipe in Mom’s cookbook from our neighbor Mary Stephenson for a artichoke spread (coming soon) which calls for Ritz crackers. I’m probably one of the few people who can find their happy place eating an entire sleeve of Ritz crackers in one sitting!

the original texas artichoke dip recipe via yvonne katz


crab supper pie

tasty crab supper pieGot Crabs?

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 omom's beach hat by mymom's beach hat by my pool. no kidding. in the background, left-to-right, are harley and boomer, the wunderlabs! pool. no kidding. n 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.

You can learn more about our adventures at the South Texas Coast (and why I’m working on my sea foodie status) here and here.

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’

i. ingredients

1 cup | natural Swiss cheese, shredded
9-inch | pastry shell, unbaked
7½ ounce can | crab meat, drained and flaked
| green onions, sliced with tops
| 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

0. Preheat ovencrab supper pie... going into the oven!
to 325°F.

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.

Serves 6

Great For Breakfast Or Dinner

finutoFoodie Tip ~

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).

Golden times.

mom's crab supper pie recipe clipping






beef in casserole

Before Hamburger Helper, There Was Beef In Casserole.

where's the beef? it's here. beef in casserole!

This dish is really easy to make, and even easier to eat! I’m not convinced it served 8… but then again it was the 1970s… when food portions were smaller sized… and like hips… eyes were wide.

i. ingredients

1 pound | ground beef
2 teaspoons | salt
2 teaspoons | sugar
1 16-oz. can | diced tomatoes
1 8-oz. can | tomato sauce
2 cloves | garlic, crushed
to taste | fresh ground black pepper
1 8-oz. package | thin egg noodles
1 cup | sour cream
1 3-oz. package | cream cheese
6 | green onions, chopped with some of the tops
1 cup | cheddar cheese, grated

ii. what to dobeef in casserole ~ making the noodle mixture

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Combine and simmer 5-10 minutes: the beef, salt, sugar, tomatoes, tomato sauce, garlic and pepper.

3. While that’s all simmering, boil the noodles, drain and fold-in the sour cream, cream cheese and chopped onions.

4. In a greased casserole, arrange in layers ~ the meat mixture, noodle mixture and grated cheese.

5. Heat until bubbling, about 35 minutes @ 350°F.


Foodie Tip ~

  Just 1 cup grated cheese? Um, how about 4… or more!?

Mom’s actual recipe card shown below!

betty's beef in casserole