spaghettini bolognese

A Spaghettini Bolognese Recipe From Betty's Cook NookCrazy For This Bolognese

I’m confident this is the first of Mom’s recipes I found cut out with Pinking Shears (see the pic below).

Mom was an expert artist, although she would never consider herself as such [insert a Betty-blush here]. Mom’s artistic mediums spanned food, paper, wood, plants and cloth, where her pinking shears were one of her essential tools.

Mom loved sewing so much she found a way to include a sewing closet into her and Dad’s bedroom so there’s no doubting her passion for handmade clothes. Mom made many of her dresses, my band uniforms – she even sewed printed labels bearing my name into my clothes. I wish I still had the hand-painted denim shirt she made me based on my wish – a red barn complete with a scattering of farm animals painted in her “Oh, Betty” style.

I love it when I can find evidence of when Mom’s recipes came into existence. This one was from the May 1975 issue of Family Circle. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. My partner Joe said this sauce was better than his sauce. That really says a lot since his Red Sauce recipe is my favorite.

foodie tips ~

  Spaghettini? We had to look it up. And we briefly lived in Italy. It’s thin spaghetti. How to pronounce “bolognese?” This dish hails from Bologna, Italy, so it’s pronounced with four syllables – not three. Like boh-loh-NYEH-zeh. If you’re doubting your Italian pronunciation you can simply refer to it as a ragù, making sure to pepper your pronunciation with some hearty Italian hand gesturing.

  Pump up the jam. I added more carrot, celery and garlic. More cowbell? Well, that’s an ingredient for another special recipe.

  Why not serve this dish with some sidekicks? Some pepperoni-cheese bread and a side salad would hit the spot. It’s called a side salad so there’s more room for the bread. :~)

i. ingredients

¼ pound (about 1½ cups) | mushrooms, sliced
| carrot, sliced
1 clove | garlic, crushed or minced
½ cup | onion, chopped
½ cup | celery, chopped
½ cup | green pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons | wesson oil*
¾ pound | Italian sausage, casings removed and broken-up with a spoon
2 15-ounce cans | Hunt’s tomato sauce
½ cup | water
¼ cup | dry red wine (not optional)
1 teaspoon | sugar
¼ teaspoon | Italian herb seasoning

* We argued over this one. I wanted to use olive oil and Joe said “stick to the recipe the first time,” my very own cardinal rule. Joe won. But I still snuck-in more carrot, celery and fresh garlic since I wasn’t changing an ingredient. Besides, who gets all excited over one carrot, celery stalk or garlic clove?! Not me, that’s who!

ii. what to do

1. In a medium pan or Dutch oven, sauté the mushrooms, carrot, garlic, onion, celery and green pepper in the oil.

2. Add the sausage and cook until it’s no longer pink. Drain the fat (or not) … we don’t judge.

3. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer, uncovered, for about 40 minutes. Stir occasionally.

4. About 25 minutes into the simmer you can prepare your spaghettini by preparing your pasta according to the instructions.

5. Serve the bolognese over hot, cooked thin pasta.

Yields 5+ servings.

~ Patrick

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

Here’s a scan of Mom’s original recipe.

A scan of Mom's Spaghettini Bolognese recipe ... as clipped from the May 1975 issue of Family Circle Magazine.

A scan of Mom’s Spaghettini Bolognese recipe … as clipped from the May 1975 issue of Family Circle Magazine.


beef polenta pie

A Beef Polenta Pie Recipe From Betty's Cook NookA Pie To Try

Mom clipped this recipe from the April 1976 issue of Better Homes and Gardens. I was just cough-cough-9-years-old-cough-#omg-gasp at the time. In the original recipe scan below you can read the story about how this recipe was chosen for the “He Cooks” section of the magazine.

While my first attempt at this recipe didn’t present as beautifully as I had hoped, it was surprisingly tasty. Mastering my Nikon DSLR is a constant work in progress so I’ll plan on another photo session when I make this tasty dish again.

foodie tips ~

  Looking for polenta in the ingredient list? You won’t find it there labeled as such, but cornmeal is often used to make the Italian dish, so there you have it! Besides, eating “Beef Cornmeal Pie” just doesn’t sound as tasty. To learn more about the differences (or not) between polenta and cornmeal visit this nice article I discovered.

  Me gusto processed American cheese. We used Velveeta slices for the polenta pie topper then later revisited the article and saw the stacked pyramid shape (below) which had more foodie flair than our cheese-flung approach. I think next time I make this I will grate cheddar or mozzarella to better coat the top of the pie.

  If you don’t want to make the “peppy sauce” below, you can substitute it with your favorite homemade or jarred sauce. Here’s one of mine. We preferred doubling the peppy sauce recipe to yield 2 cups of sauce. I guess I’m a saucy kinda guy.

i. ingredients

½ pound | ground beef
5 ounces (about 2 cups) | fresh mushrooms, chopped
¾ cup | green pepper, chopped
½ cup | onion, chopped
1 clove | garlic, minced
| cage free egg, beaten
¾ cup | soft bread crumbs
1 teaspoon | salt
½ teaspoon | dried oregano, crushed
⅛ teaspoon | fresh cracked black pepper
few drops | bottled hot pepper sauce
¾ cup | cornmeal
¾ teaspoon | salt
2 cups | water
3 slices | processed American cheese

for the peppy tomato sauce topping:
8 ounce can | tomato sauce
⅛ teaspoon | garlic salt
⅛ teaspoon | celery salt
dash | worcestershire sauce

How To Make Beef Polenta Pieii. what to do

1. Make the beef mixture: In a 10-inch skillet, cook the ground beef, mushrooms, green pepper, onion and the garlic until beef is browned and the veggies are tender. Remove from heat and set aside. In a bowl, combine egg, bread crumbs, 1 teaspoon salt, oregano, pepper and the hot pepper sauce. Combine this mixture with the meat mixture. Turn into an ungreased 9-inch pie plate and set aside.

2. Make the cornmeal mixture: In a medium saucepan combine the cornmeal, ¾ teaspoon salt and the water. Cook and stir over medium heat until it’s thick and bubbly. Spread this mixture atop the meat mixture that’s been waiting for you in the pie plate. Cover with foil then bake in a 350°F oven for 30 minutes. Uncover the pie and top it with the cheese. Return the pie to the oven until the cheese melts, about 3-5 minutes more. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

3. Make the peppy tomato sauce (if not using your own sauce substitute): Combine the tomato sauce, garlic salt, celery salt and the Worcestershire sauce. Heat through. Makes about 1 cup of sauce.

4. To serve: Cut your polenta pie into your desired wedge and top with the sauce.

Makes 4 servings

~ Patrick

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

Here’s a scan of Mom’s recipe clipping (note the time worn folds in the paper). This recipe has a great intro story I hope you read. Note: The recipe’s author, Stephen Braitman, is wearing a button that I’m pretty sure reads “I’m An Advocate For Women”. Right on, Stephen! :)

A Beef Polenta Pie Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook


eggplant appetizer

An Eggplant Appetizer From Betty's Cook Nook
Olive (I love) This Dish

With over 100 Betty’s Cook Nook recipes under my foodie belt I was surprised that this is the first dish that calls for eggplant. I was also surprised that there’s a pretty healthy debate over whether eggplant is a fruit or a vegetable.

Mom loved squash, cucumber and pretty much anything fresh so without doubt eggplant is a welcomed guest at our family’s table.

My favorite part of this chunky tapenade style dish is the eggplant’s sidekick – the olive; it packs a lotta salty love that just warms the belly. Served on a chip or on the side, this savory dish gives your tongue one tasty ride.

Foodie Tips ~

  When I first read this recipe I was surprised to learn it was served cold. Try it cold and hot. Cold is great for summer chillin’ and hot is great for cooler months (my preference) … plus you can shave off the time for it to chill several hours. 1 … 2 … get in my belly!

  I had never heard of a “salad olive” before and gave up researching its origin – I think it’s basically the same thing as a green pimiento-stuffed olive. While this calls for whole salad olives, I could only find sliced salad olives at my HEB, so that’s what I used and I liked it. Want to learn more about olives? Take a spin at my well-respected foodie friends’ website at Zingerman’s.

  I don’t think you have to eat this app solo – experiment with it and find your “flavorite” ways to enjoy it. I ate spoonfuls of mine on a grilled chicken breast atop some pasta and found it made a tasty, chunky red sauce that really brightened up the dish.

An Eggplant Appetizer From Betty's Cook Nook

i. ingredients

1 medium | eggplant, peeled and diced
½ cup | green pepper, chopped
medium | onion, chopped
¾ cup | sliced mushrooms (go fresh)
2 cloves | garlic, crushed
¼ cup | extra virgin olive oil
1 can | tomato paste
¼ cup | water
2 tablespoons | wine vinegar
6-7 ounces | stuffed salad olives
1 ½ teaspoon | sugar
½ teaspoon | oregano
½ teaspoon | sugar
1 teaspoon | salt
⅛ teaspoon | fresh cracked black pepper

ii. what to do

1. Put the first six ingredients into a skillet. Cover. Cook gently, stirring occasionally.

What's That Cooking? Love!

2. Then add the remaining eight ingredients from above. Cover and cook 30 minutes.

3. Chill several hours (if you choose) then serve.

Feeds about 4-6 or more, depending on how you serve.

Here’s a scan of my Mom Betty’s original recipe!

An Eggplant Appetizer Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

Cold Or Hot This Eggplant Appetizer Rocks


patio potatoes

Patio Potatoes From Betty's Cook NookOur Patio Long Ago

Our patio at 2927 Trailend Drive in San Antonio was such a great space. A little before its time, our paved patio was surrounded by short walls of bricks that matched the house proper and it had a built-in charcoal and wood grill that was all Dads; his cooking kitchen. The grill was 2 levels tall and I’m sure considered an outdoor gourmet kitchen at the time it was built in the 1960s.

A Backyard Baseball Game From Home Plate at 2927 Trailend San Antonio TX 78209
The patio was our main portal to the outside world. There were three patio exits into the backyard, north, east and west. If the yard could speak it would likely tell you stories about many baseball games (shown above) … family adventures with the riding lawnmower, clothes that were line-dried, lots of Easter and 4th of July celebrations and my first hammock. And while the yard was our green space, the patio was our center to family fun.

Probably the craziest thing I remember us doing was boarding-up the patio exits one super cold night so we could try our hand at filling-up the patio with enough water to freeze and make an ice rink! I don’t remember our devious plan working but suffice it to say we all loved that patio.

With the love of the patio in mind, I hope you like this recipe! It’s savory, bacon-y and Texas-tasty. Give it a whirl!

Foodie Tips ~

  If you haven’t read other recipe posts here on Betty’s Cook Nook yet, you may have missed the 4-1-1. My Grandmother “Nanny” insisted on Faulfurrias brand butter for all cooking. So while this recipe clearly calls for Kraft Miracle Brand Whipped Butter, I’m sorry I have to insist on Nanny’s behalf that we use butter. Just doin’ my job!

  Whoopsie. The same is true about the Kraft grated parmesan cheese from a can. Tres 1970s. For an updated taste go fresh n’ cheesy and hand-grate it. Sorry, Kraft, we make up for our pet foodie peeves by eating plenty of your other greatness, like Kraft Mac n’ Cheese. From a box. Gasp!

  I can’t figure out why this recipe is called “Patio Potatoes” since they are cooked on the stove top … maybe if you have a gas grill on your patio with a side burner you can get in some patio time.

  Adding the onions and peppers a little later into the potato browning stage is a good idea; our veggies were a bit over cooked.

A Patio Potatoes Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

i. ingredients

1 stick | falfurrias brand butter
4 cups | cooked potatoes, sliced no larger than ¼” thick
1 cup | white onion, sliced
⅓ cup | green pepper, chopped
to taste | salt and fresh cracked pepper
¼ cup | fresh grated parmesan cheese
4 slices | crisply cooked bacon, crumbled

ii. what to do

1. Melt butter in skillet; add potatoes and brown lightly. Add onion and green pepper. Cook until browned, turning frequently.

2. Season to your liking with the salt and pepper; top with the cheese and bacon.

Yields 4-6 1970s servings or 2-3 2014 servings. :)

Here’s a scan of Mom’s original Patio Potatoes recipe!

A Patio Potatoes Recipe Scan From Betty's Cook Nook

Patrick and a Pumpkin

How did this get in here? Oh yeah, I couldn’t resist! Here’s a picture of me as a wee tot on our patio at Trailend. Proof positive it didn’t take much to make me smile. Or wear striped shorts.


savory pepper steak

A Savory Pepper Steak Recipe From Betty's Cook NookPeter Piper and Patrick Picked This Plate of Pepper Steak

The old saying goes “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

I know Mom loved this recipe: a) because I found it in her cookbook and b) because it has black pepper in it and I love pepper and know she did as well!

Foodie Tips ~

  Never trust anything that is ⅛ teaspoon in size. Either don’t waste your time adding it into your dish or pump up the jam and add more. In this case I’d add way more than ⅛ of pepper. Go for the gusto!

i. ingredientsA Savory Pepper Steak Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

1-½ pounds | round steak, cut 1/2 inch thick
¼ cup | all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon | salt
⅛ teaspoon | fresh cracked pepper
¼ cup | cooking oil or shortening (we used oil)
8 ounce can (1 cup) | tomatoes
1-¾ cups | water
½ cup | white onion, chopped
1 clove | garlic, minced
1 tablespoon | beef-flavored gravy base
1-½ teaspoons | worcestershire sauce
2 large | green peppers, cut into strips
to serve | hot cooked white rice

ii. what to do

1. Cut steak into strips.

2. Combine flour, salt and pepper and coat the steak strips.

3. In a large skillet, cook the steak strips in hot oil until until browned on all sides.

A Savory Pepper Steak Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

4. Drain the tomatoes, reserving their liquid.

5. Add the tomato liquid, water, onion, garlic, and gravy base to the steak. Cover and simmer in the skillet for about 75 minutes until the meat is tender.

6. Uncover and stir-in the worcestershire and the green pepper strips. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes more. If desired, you can thicken the gravy by adding a mixture of flour and cold water.

7. Add the drained tomatoes then cook for about 5 minutes.

8. Take a few deep sniffs of your dish. It smells like AWESOME!

TO SERVE: Pour spoonfuls of the peppery steak and gravy over hot rice. The recipe says this yields 6 servings. But if you’re like me, this dish actually yields 2 bountiful servings. :)

This dish was brought to you by the letter “P”!

A Savory Pepper Steak Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

 

PS ~ Now that we have peppered steak on the brain let’s watch a Peter Piper video from one of my favorite childhood TV shows – Sesame Street.


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!


broccoli chicken stew

A Broccoli Stew Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

Soup’s On

Salad dressing and wine make this chicken stew worthy of top honors.

Did somebody say wine? :)

My Mom Betty Hugging A ChickenMy Mom (Betty) loved chicken. Proof at right of Mom huggin’ a chicken so big it was almost bigger than she was!

Every year when we went to the Texas Coast, Mom had a favorite hole in the wall in Port Aransas that was a “must” on her list at least a few times while we were there. She was on the hunt for chicken in the form of fried gizzards and fried livers. While not my cup of tea, so to speak, I laugh when I think of the fact that my ancestors always seemed to eat every part of an animal while I can barely eat ribs without 2 packages of floss at the ready.

Foodie Tip ~

  “Chicken pieces” for me means chicken removed from the bone, then cut into bite-sized pieces.

i. ingredients

2 tablespoons | cooking oilIngredients For A Broccoli Stew Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook
12 (2¼ pounds) | chicken thighs, skinned
.6 ounce package | italian salad dressing mix
1 teaspoon | salt
4 cups | water
½ cup | dry white wine
¼ cup | catsup
3 medium | potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾” cubes
1 medium | green pepper, cut into strips
10 ounces (2 cups) | small whole onions, frozen
10 ounce package | frozen cut broccoli
2 cups | fresh mushrooms, sliced

ii. what to do

1. In a 4-½ quart Dutch oven slowly brown 6 of the chicken thighs at a time in hot oil.

2. Remove the chicken, set aside on paper towels to rest, then drain oil from the Dutch oven.

3. In the same Dutch oven mix the dry salad dressing mix and salt. Stir in water, wine and catsup. Add the chicken pieces, potatoes and green pepper.

4. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes.

5. Add onions, broccoli and mushrooms. Simmer 10 more minutes.

Serve and Enjoy!

A Broccoli Stew Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

A Scan Of Mom's Original Broccoli Stew Recipe