savory meatballs

Savory Meatballs Recipe From Betty's Cook NookAnniversaries of the Heart

In May: This blog celebrated 5 sensationally savory years of enjoying cooking and sharing my Mom “Betty’s” recipes.

This Summer: My foodie partner in crime and I celebrated rather large birthdays, both turning 40! Um, yeah, 40!

Tomorrow: Joe and I celebrate our 12th Manniverary™. Those of you who placed bets … time to settle up! I accept cash or debit cards. Especially cash. 

This Week: My parents Betty and Louis would be celebrating 60 years in marriage on August 27th. Hats off!

Flashback 1976. I remember the moment when my Mom gave my Dad a fancy gold watch for Christmas. It was the first time I saw my Dad break into tears and it was at that moment when the bell went off in my head, ringing to the tune of “Hey, dummy, this must be true love!” Dad was so overwhelmed with his new watch and Mom had cleverly kept the secret all along. Way to go, Mom! #props

Time Flies. Yes, Really!

I remember sitting many a day in math class at MacArthur High literally counting the seconds until the school bell would ring. I would stare at my watch and wonder why the second hand took its slow-sweet time advancing to the next second, the next 5 minute mark, and so on.

These days I look at my watch and I swear it’s beating faster than ever! My eyes wish the second hand would slow down and take it easy so I could catch up and savor what just happened. With the likes of toll roads, Amazon Prime Now and lightening fast download speeds, we truly live in a New York minute – where patience has grown rice paper thin and immediacy scores expected brownie points. Did somebody say brownie?

So this anniversary weekend I asked Joe to pick out the next recipe from Mom’s cookbook for us to try; it’s this simple dish that my native Italian friends would likely laugh at because it calls for frozen peas and minute rice. But hey, we’re in a 1970s state of mind. And that’s how we roll at Betty’s Cook Nook.

Enjoy every. Single.. Minute… Of…. It!

Wait! Did somebody say roll?

foodie tips ~

❤  Ingredients. Per the original recipe below, by “onion” I’m 99.99% certain “white onion” is implied. Also, for soft bread crumbs Progresso is the way to go in my family – plain, Italian Style or Parmesan.

Let's Make Meatballs!

  Let’s make a meatballs (said with an Italian accent)! To make meatballs of uniform size I used a medium-sized cookie scooper that I scored at Bed Bath and Beyond. Great balls of firethat was lightening fast!

  The recipe doesn’t suggest any side dishes, so I will. Flashing back to the 1970s we would likely accompanied these meatballs with a tossed salad. And some bread. Oh yeah, never forget the bread. My meatball dish was dressed with a savory side of garlic bread from my neighborhood HEB.

i. ingredients

1 pound | ground beef
¼ cup | onion, minced
2 tablespoons | soft bread crumbs
½ teaspoon | salt
1 tablespoon | salad oil
1 can | Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup
1 cup | water
10 ounce package | frozen green peas
½ teaspoon | salt
1 ⅓ cups | Minute Rice

A Savory Meatballs Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook
ii. what to do

1. Combine ground beef, onion, bread crumbs, and ½ teaspoon salt; shape into about 20 meatballs.

2. Brown meatballs in salad oil in a skillet. Turn the meatballs here and there so they don’t brown irregularly.

3. Add the soup, water, peas, and the last ½ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil and stir in the rice.

4. Cover and simmer 10 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.

Yields 4 servings

~ Patrick

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

Savory Meatballs Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

This is a scan of my Mom’s original recipe clipping.
This is the back of the same clipping as the “Turkey Stove Top” recipe already I’ve published.
You gotta check that one out – it was rather tasty!

 

 

 

 

 


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


beef and lima bake

A Beef And Lima Bake Recipe From Betty's Cook NookLima Time

This recipe is dedicated to my much older brother Tim on his birthday.
Growing up I’m pretty sure he liked lima beans more than me.
 

~      ~

I don’t remember eating this dish as a child; probably because at the dinner table my eyes were rolled back in my head while I thrashed about. What child wants to eat limas? 

Years later, lima beans don’t seem so scary; I ate this dish and even had seconds. And I even woke up the next day and was able to write this post.

I read that lima beans are actually good for you with low sodium, fat and cholesterol so it turns out Mom wasn’t trying to poison us with horrible food. If my Mom were still alive I’d tell her the whole thing was just an unfortunate misunderstanding – mostly on my part – and that I do know tater tots are truly not better for us than lima beans.

Foodie Tips ~

  As photographed, I deviated from the recipe and used baby limas as I was trying to ease my way into things come “lima time.” I think these baby beans taste the same as the bigger Fordhook limas but they are smaller in size, as their baby name implies.

The Front Cover Of The Burpee's 1901 Seed Catalog  As a former lima avoider for many years I was obviously thrown for what a “Fordhook” lima bean is. You can read here about how these beans received their name and their relationship to the Burpee’s Seed Company. Quite interesting.

  As a salt lover, I automatically adjusted the amount of salt below since ⅛ teaspoon of salt is hardly enough to get excited about. :)

  The recipe instructions – I’m not sure what “turning” the beef mixture into a casserole dish means, so I performed a standing self-spin a few times while spooning the mixture into the casserole dish. Dizzying!

i. ingredients

1 package | fordhook lima beans, frozen
2 tablespoons | cooking oil
1 medium | white onion, sliced
1 pound | ground beef
2 tablespoons | parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon | salt
1 teaspoon | freshly cracked black pepper
1 can | condensed tomato soup

A Beef And Lima Bake Recipe From Betty's Cook Nookii. what to do

0. Preheat oven to 400°F.

1. Let the package of lima beans stand at room temperature while preparing the other ingredients.

2. Heat the oil in a skillet over moderate heat. Add the onion and cook it until soft.

3. Add the beef, breaking it up with a spoon. Cook and stir until the meat is brown.

4. Blend in the chopped parsley, salt, pepper and soup.

5. Break up the lima beans and add to the meat mixture.

6. Bring mixture to a boil then turn it into a greased 1 ½ quart casserole.

7. Bake 20 minutes. The recipe doesn’t say whether to cover it or not, but I covered mine.

Yields: 4 servings. 

Enjoy!

A Scan Of Mom's Beef And Lima Bake Recipe Card


texas hash

A Texas Hash Recipe From Betty's Cook NookThe Taste Of Texas

If you love to  s t r e t c h  your food dollar, it’s hard to knock any recipe that’s been featured in The Unemployment Cookbook.

While my Mom’s recipe is a slightly different version, most hash recipes are a simple combination of beef, onions, tomatoes, rice and seasonings.

Perfect for a hearty, quick dish that’s budget friendly.

foodie tips ~

 For oil we used olive oil. But I bet Mom would have used Crisco Vegetable Oil.

 For the big can of tomatoes we used 28 ounces of San Marzano tomatoes . . . my favorite.

 If you like to kick up the heat a bit add some chopped jalapeño while sautéing or a few cracks of fresh black pepper just before stirring and baking. Sets my heart on fire!

 Before baking you don’t have to stir the ingredients but we preferred stirred to layered for the finished dish.

i. ingredients

onions
| green pepper
3-4 tablespoons | oil
1 pound | ground beef (not browned)
½ cup | raw white rice
2 teaspoons | salt
1 teaspoon | chili powder
big can | tomatoes
dash | sugar

ii. what to do

0. Preheat oven to 350°F.

1. Sauté the onions and the green pepper in oil in a pan over medium-high heat.

2. In a casserole dish add the uncooked ground meat, the sautéed onions and pepper (from step 1 above) and the remaining 5 ingredients. Stir to combine.

3. Cover the casserole and cook for 1 hour.

Yields: 6 – 8 servings. 

A Scan Of Mom's Texas Hash Recipe



spanish rice

A Spanish Rice Recipe From Betty's Cook NookA Sidekick That’s Also Great Front And Center

Don’t let this recipe fool you. 

This rice isn’t spicy hot. But that doesn’t mean it’s not delicious.

I was surprised to read this dish calls for ground beef … but all the happier since it was my main squeeze tonight. That’s right – this dish and I are going steady.

After making this dish per Mom’s instructions I read up a little more on the history of Spanish Rice which you might want to check out.

foodie tips ~

 Bacon drippings or shortening? Seriously ~ this is Texas. Go for the bacon drippings.

 We all know that food portions were smaller back in the 1970s. So when this calls for a “small box” of rice, I’m thinking it must have been 3 ½ cups of rice. The smallest box of rice I found at my local grocery store was about 7 cups strong (14 ounces). Supersize me.

 This is a great-tasting recipe but if you want something spicy you better add some cumin or chili powder or maybe even a can of Rotel (drained).

i. ingredients

¼ cup | bacon drippings (or shortening)
| onion, thinly sliced
small box | minute rice
½ | green pepper, diced
1 pound | ground beef
2 8-ounce cans | tomato sauce
1 teaspoon | prepared mustard
to taste | pepper
to taste | salt
1 ¾ cups | hot water

ii. what to do

1. In a medium sized pot prepare the bacon over medium heat. Remove the bacon strips and set aside reserving the drippings in the pan. The bacon isn’t used in this recipe so now you have something to snack on while you finish this out.  :)

2. Add the onion, rice, pepper and meat. Stir over high heat until lightly browned (including the rice).

3. Add the tomato sauce, mustard, pepper, salt and hot water. Bring to a boil; then simmer uncovered for about 5 minutes. Shake your maracas – it’s ready!

Serve warm, as a sidekick or a main dish. Leftovers refrigerate well. This makes a lot of rice!

A Spanish Rice Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

A Spanish Rice Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

A scan of Mom’s original recipe card:

A Spanish Rice Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

And for those who want to learn a little more about how to shake your maracas:


one dish macaroni dinner

A One Dish Macaroni Dinner Recipe From Betty's Cook NookMacaroni Is My Blankey

Macaroni is the epitome of comfort food.

Ground beef, tomatoes and green beans team-up to make this a tasty dish that’s sure to satisfy any appetite.

foodie tip ~

 My grandmother Nanny always called for Falfurrias brand butter so it has become a staple in my kitchen.

i. ingredients

2 tablespoons | butter or margarine
1 pound | ground beef
6 small | white onions
1 can | tomatoes
1 ½ teaspoons | poultry seasoning
1-10 ounce package | frozen or small can French cut green beans
½ cup | parsley, chopped
2 cups | elbow macaroni, cooked and drained

ii. what to do

1. Melt butter in a medium pan. Add beef and onions. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until meat is lightly browned.

2. Add tomatoes and poultry seasoning. Heat to a boil, cover and simmer 10 minutes.

3. Add beans and parsley. Cook, covered, for 10 minutes or until beans are tender.

4. Meanwhile, cook the macaroni, drain, then add to meat mixture. Mix well and heat.

Serve warm

A Scan Of Mom's One Dish Macaroni Dinner Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook


glazed ham balls

Glazed. Ham. Balls. Aloha!A handful of days after moving to my temporary apartment in August 2012, I christened my new kitchen with this “BCN” delight.

When I think of the popular duo of pineapple and ham, my thoughts turn to Hawaii. I’ve never been to Hawaii, but Mom and Dad honeymooned there in the 50s before Hawaii joined The Union. Aloha, Hawaii! They were married August 27, 1955 (see below).

During my early years Aloha, Glazed Ham Balls
of life, the Kiker family of 5 would watch Hawaii 5-0, a popular TV show that originally aired from 1968 – 1980. Hawaii-50 was named such because Hawaii was the 50th US state. Oh, the fabulous 50s!

So go on, strap on your coconut bra, grass skirt and lei. Get in the island spirit and make a batch of these glazed ham balls!

Book THAT, Danno!

pineapple + lei = glazed ham ballsi. ingredients

1 pound | ground cooked hamthe original glazed ham balls recipe
½ pound | ground beef
¾ cup | soft bread crumbs
½ cup | milk
¾ cup | unsweetened pineapple juice
½ cup | maple syrup
2 tablespoons | cornstarch
to serve | hot cooked rice
optional | chopped basil or parsley

ii. what to do

0. Preheat oven to 350°F.

1. Combine ham, ground beef, bread crumbs and milk; mix well.

2. Shape into eighteen 1½” meatballs.

3. Place meatballs in a 8″x8″x2″ baking dish.

4. Bake the meatballs, uncovered, in oven for 20 minutes.

craze the glaze!

5. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the pineapple juice, maple syrup and cornstarch. Cook and stir until thick and bubbly.

6. Pour sauce over meatballs.

7. Bake the meatballs 20 minutes more.

8. Spoon and serve over rice. Top with chopped basil or parley, if desired, and enjoy!

Makes: 6 servings

Foodie Tips ~

Mix the rice with a little snipped basil or parsley, for a burst of flavor and color.

Ground ham? Unsweetened pineapple juice? Soft bread crumbs? Not at my local grocery! I was forced to use ground pork, organic pineapple juice and bread crumbs from a can. It’s all good.

mom and dad's original wedding invite ~ the reception was at aunt sister and uncle bill's house in beautiful terrell hills (san antonio)