crabbie canapés

A Crab Canapé Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

Fresh From The Sea : Canned Crab

Per Wiki a canapé is a type of hors d’œuvre, a small, prepared and usually decorative food, held in the fingers and often eaten in one bite. The name comes from the French word for “couch”, drawing on the analogy that the garnish sits atop the bread as people do a couch.

i'm too tasty to be crabby!So let’s read between the lines – you eat these canapés with your fingers while sitting on the couch? Oui, oui, parfait – yes, yes, perfect! I’m in!

You can read more about my family’s love for the Texas Coast here … including some nuggets about why I’m not a huge fan of seafood. But I have to admit – these were quite good and while you eat hors d’oeuvres in one bite the two of us almost ate all 36 canapés in one sitting. That says a lot! #cryforhelp

Snap, snap – let’s get to this recipe (pun intended)!

foodie tips ~

  Canned crab? Yeah, all I can say is “it was the 1970s.” A time before everything farm-to-fork fresh was expected. The 70s were a time when speed to market (or in this case speed to belly) was key. There’s no doubt my parents loved fresh seafood because we spent many summers crabbin’ and fishin’ at the Texas Coast. See the crabby pic below!

  I had a difficult time finding the Old English Sharp Cheddar Cheese Spread (below). I discovered after some online research that it’s hard to find in stores but you can order it from the folks at Amazon.com. I found its kissin’ cousin – Kaukauna Spreadable Cheese from Wisconsin at my local HEB. Hint: After scouring the aisles for the creamy cheese stuff I finally found it in the refrigerated section by the deli.

  I like these canapés broiled until just a little toasted black develops here and there. The result was a crispy, bubbly texture that complimented the nook and crannies with the cheese and crab mixture.

  You don’t have to broil these all at once. In fact there wasn’t a way for my pan to hold 12 prepared english muffins halves *and* fit in my freezer. We prepared these in two batches and you’ll find these are best enjoyed warm, which works out perfectly for entertaining.

i. ingredients

1 stick | butter or oleo (my Grandmother Nanny insisted on Falfurrias brand butter)
1 jar (5 ounces) | Kraft brand Old English Sharp Cheddar Cheese Spread (see substitute above)
1 ½ teaspoon | mayonnaise
½ teaspoon | garlic salt
½ teaspoon | Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
1 can | crabmeat (or shrimp) – we used Chicken of the Sea
| Thomas’ english muffins, split
to garnish | green onions, sliced (optional)

ii. what to do

1. Let the butter (or oleo) and cheese spread soften to room temperature – about 30 minutes or more. 

2. Mix the butter and cheese spread together with the mayonnaise, garlic salt and seasoned salt until creamy. Gently fold-in the crabmeat (or shrimp) and combine.

3. Spread the crab mixture on the split English muffins and place them on a cookie sheet that will fit into your freezer. Freeze for about 10 minutes so the crab mixture sets well.

Crabbie Canapés Going Into The Freezer

Crabbie Canapés Going Into The Freezer

4. After chilling, cut the muffins into ⅙-ths. You can broil them now or freeze them for later use. If freezing, I inserted a piece of wax paper between laters to prevent the crab mixture from sticking together.

5. To Serve: broil the crabbie canapes until they are bubbly crisp. You can garnish with some sliced green onions, which I thought added a tasty texture.

Yield: 36 Crabbie Canapes

A Crabbie Canapé Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

Crabbie Canapés ~ Fresh From The Oven

I hope you enjoy this recipe!

~ Patrick

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

Here’s a scan of the original recipe from Mom’s cookbook – she received it from a family friend named Gere Cahill who lived down the street in the La Fiesta Apartments. I remember Gere always dropped off Christmas presents for us every Christmas Day and he had me over to swim a few times, which was tons of fun. His gifts live on thanks to this recipe.

A Scan Of Mom's Crab Canape Recipe

Texas Crab Master

My Dad hypnotizing a live crab at the Texas Coast, July 1975.


steamed artichoke

A Steamed Artichoke Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

Knock? Knock!

“Who’s there?”

“Artichoke!” “Artichoke, who?” 

“Arti chokes when he eats too fast!”

This was one of my most favorite childhood jokes. While many friends say I have a good sense of humor, my biggest deficit is I can count on one hand the funny jokes I can remember. Go figure!

Tasty Chokes

When I think of Mom, I think of her special white artichoke plates; these made frequent appearances for our great gatherings in the 1970s. I don’t think I’ve had an artichoke since then but was happy to be reunited with their taste as an adult – the artichoke reminds me of the great taste of an avocado – just with a different texture/composition.

Foodie Tips ~

  My Grandmother “Nanny” absolutely loved Falfurrias brand butter. If you want to make your taste buds happy, buy it!

  I never knew how to prepare this tasty deliciously awesome treat but I did my research and found THISTHIS and THIS!

  I’m a big fan of warm butter. I don’t have any butter warmers but will be looking to get some soon!

A Steamed Artichoke Recipe From Bettys Cook Nooki. ingredients

1 or more | fresh artichokes
1-2 | cloves (optional)
1 | lemon slice (optional)
1-2 | bay leaves (optional)
¼ cup | falfurias brand butter
1-2 teaspoons | lawry’s brand seasoned salt

ii. what to do

1. Wash the artichoke well and drain. Prepare the artichoke by cutting and discarding about ¾” – 1″ of the artichoke top as well as part of the stem. Some folks like to eat the stem but you can remove all of it if you have no plans on eating it.

2. If you want a “restaurant style” presentation, you can cut and remove the tops of the leaves as shown; this is typically done to remove the thorned tips of the leaves. Rub the top and bottom of the artichoke with lemon to help prevent discoloration.

3. You can boil, microwave or steam your artichoke. Mom always steamed her artichokes so this is how we’ll detail them here in this post. To do so, insert a steaming basket into a pot and fill with water (fill to just underneath the bottom of the basket). You can add a couple of cloves, a slice of lemon and a bay leaf to season the water.

4. Place the artichoke on top of the steaming basket, cover the pot with a lid and bring the water to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer the artichoke for 25-45 minutes – until the leaves are soft and they can be removed.

5. Just before the artichoke is done prepare the sauce by melting the butter and mixing some Lawry’s seasoned salt into it.

A Steamed Artichoke Recipe From Bettys Cook Nook

6. Remove the artichoke from the pan and place on a serving dish similar to the white one shown – below not the soup bowl I used (sorry, I don’t have the proper plates)! Remove a leaf, dip the bottom/root end into the sauce and place it in your mouth, dip side down, and pull the leaf through your teeth to remove soft, pulpy, delicious portion of the petal. Discard remaining petal.

A Sample Artichoke Plate

7. Dip, pull, repeat until all leaves are gone! You can enjoy the artichoke heart by scraping out and discarding the inedible fuzzy part (called the “choke”) covering the artichoke heart. The remaining bottom of the artichoke is the heart. Cut it into pieces and dip into sauce to eat.

Delicious!

A Steamed Artichoke Heart

A Steamed Artichoke Heart That's Ready To Eat


beef tamale pie

the beef tamale pie finale

Growing Up, Christmastime Meant “Tamaletime” For The Kikers

And living in San Antonio meant we had easy access to some of the best hand-made tamales on the planet.

This tamale pie recipe is a variation on the handmade tamales we enjoyed during the holidays. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do; you’ll find this savory pie won’t last long … In fact …

… Here today, gone tamale!

i. ingredientssome of the ingredients for mom's beef tamale pie

1½ pounds | lean ground beef
1 | white onion, chopped
½ cup | chopped green pepper
1 teaspoon | lawry’s brand seasoned salt
1 package | chili seasoning mix
1 pound | tomatoes, chopped
1½ cups | cooked and drained whole-kernel corn
1 cup | pitted black olives, sliced
1 cup | yellow corn meal
1 teaspoon | salt
2½ cups | cold water
1 cup | shredded cheddar cheese

ii. what to dobeef tamale pie in the works

0. Preheat oven to 350°F.

1. Brown the beef in a medium skillet, breaking up meat with spoon; drain and return meat to skillet.

2. And the next 5 ingredients and simmer 5 minutes.

3. Stir in the corn and olives; transfer to a 2-quart baking dish.

4. In a separate pot, combine the corn meal, salt and water, stirring until thick over medium heat.

the corn meal mixture atop the beef tamale pie5. Spread corn meal mixture over the beef mixture and bake about 40 minutes.

6. Remove your pie from oven briefly to sprinkle with cheese then return to bake for another 5 minutes.

Makes 6 servings

Foodie Tip ~

 Let’s go all the way – why not garnish your pie with sour cream, chopped scallions, guacamole and jalapeño?!

a close-up view of the pie fresh from the oven. me? about to dive in!

I found the original recipe (below) in mom’s 3-ring black binder. I think mom was more likely to “clip” recipes in her early days until she learned the art of freestyle cooking; the green index card file contains many of the recipes that are handwritten indicating they were favorite creations of hers… or her friends.

mom's favorite beef tamale pie recipe




“nuts and bolts” party mix

Mmmmm ~

Ready to get the party started?

This recipe was a Kiker family favorite during the holidays.

It still is.

The more we made, the more we shared. And the more we shared, the more we ate. The circle of life.

I found it interesting to see that Mom’s *original* recipe (below) called for Corn Pops… and that it was later scratched out and replaced with Cheerios. I’m guessing perhaps the sweet-salty match-up was too “avant garde” back in the 70s… Or was it?

I dove-in head first with my first attempt re-making this classic by using both the Corn Pops and Tabasco. And you know what? I loved them both!

While my childhood friend “Snoopy” later popularized the Party Mix, Mom was making this original before it was available, pre-made in a bag, at the grocery stores (there’s not much fun in that).

Brother Roger said “Nuts and Bolts” would often be served warm in Mom’s white CorningWare bowls, which he still has to this day. And his favorite part? Taking the pretzel sticks and “stabbing” the Cheerios in their center hole, so he could stack ’em up.

Move over, popcorn. There’s an old snack in town. Nuts and Bolts rules. Hands down.

PS ~ I take responsibility for the doodling on the back of the well-worn recipe card; seems I was too young to have respect for life’s “little treasures.”

i. ingredients

group 1 :
1 cube (1/2 cup) | oleo (Nanny loved falurrias butter!)
1 tablespoon | worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon | garlic salta close-up shot of the
¼ teaspoon | salt
to taste | tabasco (if desired)
to taste | lawry’s brand seasoned salt with black pepper (if desired)

group 2 :
2 cups | cheerios (the “bolts”)
3 cups | wheat chex
3 cups | rice chex
to taste | pretzel sticks
1 package | lightly salted peanuts (the “nuts”)
1 package | cashews (the “nuts”)
1 package | texas pecans (the “nuts”)

ii. what to do

0. Preheat oven to 325°F.
1. Melt the oleo (butter) in a large baking pan and add the “group 1” ingredients. Stir well.
2. Stir-in the “group 2” ingredients until well coated.
3. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
4. Serve warm, if you can.

Foodie Tips ~

This recipe is great for making treats for gift-giving… especially during the holidays when friends and family may pop-in for a visit.

I remember mom also using Lawry’s brand seasoned salt on the party mix. Roger remembers it, too. Rahhhh, salty! I sprinkled some seasoned salt with black pepper on top just before I put them in the oven and it brought back the good times.

Why not consider adding Corn Chex to the party? The more, the merrier.

mom's party mix recipe


san diego steak


T
his special recipe is dedicated to my nephew Travis ~
a spirit who teaches us all to savor the great steak of life!
~      ~

Julia Child once said “The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.”

The Kiker family knows this well as the word “diet” rarely crosses our lips. That being said…

…You better have a couch nearby after eating this foodie family fave!

my family's san diego steak recipe ~ thanks to roger!

Probably the best part about creating an online haven for mom’s recipes is that my brother “Roger” chimed-in with this San Diego Steak recipe, which wasn’t in mom’s cookbook. So this recipe hails from mom to Roger’s kitchen… and now, to your belly.

After a few clicks searching online for a look-a-like recipe yielding *no results,* I’m thinking this San Diego Steak recipe is literally “from the inner Kiker family vault.” So get ready for a savory family treat named after “America’s finest city!”

Roger says San Diego Steak was a real treat growing up ~ usually partnered with mashed potatoes.

San Diego Steak really hits home as showcased above on mom’s actual table sporting sparkling water served from her own “Special Occasion” glasses.

The food and the ambiance of yesteryear is still kicking today, so let’s eat!

i. ingredients

4 strips | thick cut bacon strips, sliced in 1/2 length-wise then cut into small cuts, about ¼” square
1 pound | ground sirloin
2 tablespoons | worcestershire sauce
6 shakes | lawry’s brand seasoned salt
12 twists | freshly milled black pepper (medium grind)
garnish | sour cream
garnish | bacon bits
garnish | thinly-sliced avocado
garnish | lawry’s brand seasoned salt

ii. what to do

1. Begin by frying the small cuts of the bacon ’til CRISP. Drain the bacon bits on a paper towel(s).

2. WHOA! Save the bacon drippings for cooking the steaks, coming up next.

3. While the bacon is cooking, mix the four next ingredients (above) by hand until you can’t wait any longer and form into two or four patties (depending on the growl).

4. Cook the steaks in the bacon drippings. When done, let the San Diego Steaks rest on a paper towel or two.

5. Place steaks and potatoes on plates and garnish as shown (splitting 1/2 the bacon bit between steaks and potatoes) and loosen your belt. You’ve arrived “home.”Nanny Insisted On Texas-Made Falfurrias Butter ~ You Should Too!

Foodie Tip From Roger ~

  “Only use Falfurrias brand “real butter” for the potatoes, like our grandmother ‘Nanny’ always did.”

Foodie Fact ~ San Diego Steak was the first “missing recipe” added to Betty’s Cook Nook, compliments of my brother Roger. Foodie props to you, big bro, for remembering how to make this tasty dish! Almost lost, the San Diego Steak recipe is now in the family’s digital cookbook.


patrick’s rosemary smashed potatoes

tah dah! my rosemary smashed potatoes!
T
his special recipe is dedicated to my niece Laura ~
her naturally beautiful spirit reminds me that I love her
“a bushel and a peck” more than my never-ending love of potatoes!

~      ~

Mom’s mom “Nanny” used to make her well-known “lumpy mashed potatoes” for special holidays, which were Roger’s favorite time of year. Why? well, on fancy occasions, like Thanksgiving, Roger would perform his signature “choking napkin-in-the-mouth trick,” which usually resulted in Nanny tabbing out, saying “oh, stop it!”

When it comes time to make your own mashed potatoes, I offer-up my home-grown recipe, compliments of freshly-claimed rosemary. After making and tasting these potatoes, you might get all “choked-up” yourself.

In a good way.

i. ingredients

6 | medium-to-large russet, yukon gold or red potatoes
a dash or 2 | gray sea salt
a hearty splash | evoo
38 twists | freshly milled medium/course pepper
6-8 | 6″ long fresh rosemary sprigs (leave rosemary on the stems)
1/2 stick | salted falfurrias brand butter (per Nanny)
1 cup | sour cream
2-3 handfuls | shredded cheddar and or mozzarella cheese (even better if mixed)
to taste | lawry’s brand black pepper seasoned salt

meet the cast of ingredients for my rosemary smashed potatoesii. what to do

1. Chunk-cut the potatoes 1″ square and place them in an large, empty stock pot. Leave the potato skins on; they add texture and more Vitamin C vs. peeled.

2. Fill the pot and add the salt, evoo, fresh pepper and the rosemary sprigs. Bring to a boil and stir periodically for about 15-20 minutes, or until tender (when you can easily separate the chunks with your wooden spoon).

3. Drain (do not rinse) the potatoes in a strainer but leave the “loose” rosemary and pepper, clinging to the potatoes. Remove/toss the rosemary twigs, reserving any rosemary leaves for the potato mixture.

4. Return the warm potato mixture to the stock pot and fold-in the butter, sour cream and cheddar cheese. Stir with a wooden stick, leaving the potatoes somewhat lumpy. Make sure the cheese is melted (reheat a bit if you have to).

5.  Serve potatoes on your serving plate (platter) and top with a dash of freshly ground pepper or Lawry’s brand black pepper seasoned salt. Maybe even more butter. Go on, it’s the Kiker way.

Foodie Tip ~

  If your rosemary is stubborn and won’t fall from the stem during cooking, make sure and clip the green leaves into the potatoes before discarding the stems. These are, after all, *rosemary* smashed potatoes!
  These potatoes are best experienced fresh. You *can* store them in the fridge, but you’ll need to reheat them on stove top or microwave.

Fun Fact ~

  What the heck’s “A bushel and a peck?” Mom’s mom “Nanny” used to say she loved us a “bushel and a peck.” I never really knew the true meaning of the saying until I researched it for this recipe post. Now I get it! “A bushel and a peck” was a song sung by Doris Day. See it here and read the lyrics below.

a picture of my niece laura in an appropriately themed picture frame
Doris Day’s “A Bushel And A Peck” Lyrics

I love you a bushel and a peck
A bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck
A hug around the neck and a barrel and a heap
A barrel and a heap and I’m talkin’ in my sleep
About you, about you
‘Cause I love you a bushel and a peck
You bet your purdy neck I do

A doodle-oodle-ooh-doo
A-doodle-oodle-oodle-ooh-doo

I love you a bushel and a peck
A bushel and a peck though you make my heart a wreck
Make my heart a wreck and you make my life a mess
Make my life a mess, yes a mess of happiness
About you, about you
‘Cause I love you a bushel and a peck
You bet your purdy neck I do

A doodle-oodle-ooh-doo
A-doodle-oodle-oodle-ooh-doo

I love you a bushel and a peck
A bushel and a peck and it beats me all to heck
It beats me all to heck, how I’ll ever tend the farm
Ever tend the farm when I wanna keep my arm
About you, about you
‘Cause I love you a bushel and a peck
You bet your purdy neck I do

A doodle-oodle-ooh-doo
A-doodle-oodle-oodle-ooh-doo
A-doodle-oodle-oodle-ooh-doo
A-doodle-oodle-ooh-doo-doo
~      ~