parmesan dressing

Parmesan Dressing RecipeA Tale of Two Dishes

When I first picked this recipe from Mom’s cookbook, I thought I’d be making a creamy salad dressing chock-full of grated parmesan.

I was so very wrong!

A few minutes into the prep for this recipe and I knew to set my salad aside.

I was making dressing. Or was it stuffing?

Turns out I wasn’t sure the differences of either.

I grew up loving me some Stove Top Stuffing. Not that my Mom “Betty” regularly made it – I did. My love for stuffing started and swelled during my college years and since I’ve polished off more than a few boxes of the stuff like it was a main course … and a dessert.

A Foodie War Rages On

After a little bit of online research I was left even more conflicted about the differences between dressing and stuffing.

Some posts I found noted that the only difference was whether you prepared and served the dish from inside a bird (hence stuffing) vs. from the side of the bird (or dressing).

Another post said it was due to differences in dialect as in the south dressing was a more “genteel” way of referring to stuffing. Reading this made me feel like I time-warped back into a scene from Gone With The Wind.

Others posts pointed to stuffing being super moist and dressing more like a special combination of sticky-pillowy soft with a hint of crisp – this is the style I am used to.

Stuffing vs. Dressing - What's the Difference?All I know is based on this Butterball survey, the various regions of the country do have differences in preference. No wonder my confusion! As a Texan, I live in a region where the popularity of “stuffing” vs. “dressing” is an arm-wrestle more evenly matched than anywhere else in the nation! Heck, even in this Paul Deen video, the Southern Queen of Comfort Food herself uses the terms interchangeably… yet her end result looks more like porridge than what I’m used to. Heck, y’all, if Rachael Ray was weighing-in here, she’d probably call this dish “druffing,” as she’s known for inventing words that are a made-up mish-mash of food itself!

So, what does your family call it?

I simply call it “get in my belly!” And just like the war over chili with or without beans, I’ll leave it to you to make and enjoy the very best of your favorite recipes!

foodie tips

  A word about parsley … While I’m fairly certain that in the good ol’ days any reference to parsley implied the curly-leaf kind, today I’m a lover of Italian flat-leaf parsley because I find it less “grassy” and “scratchy” on my palate. The good news is you can pick whichever variety you like!

  Step 3 below is optional, but I tried the dressing before and after and preferred the dressing with a slight toasting.

i. ingredients

1 large | white onion, chopped
4 tablespoons | vegetable oil
3 cups | soft bread crumbs
½ cup | parmesan cheese, grated
½ cup | fresh parsley, chopped (Italian flat leaf suggested)
2 tablespoons | hot water
Parmesan Dressing Recipe from Betty's Cook Nook

ii. what to do

1. In a medium pan over medium-high heat, sauté the onions.

2. Add the onions to all the other ingredients and mix well.

3. This step is extra (from me)… I transferred my dressing into a 350°F preheated oven for about 5-7 minutes to toast it up a bit. I added a bit more freshly grated parmesan on top to give it a little punch.

Enjoy!

~ Patrick

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

Parmesan Dressing Recipe

Parmesan Dressing Recipe

A Scan Of Mom’s Original Parmesan Dressing Recipe Card

A few more vintage Stove Top commercials from me to you!

NPR Kitchen Set~ ~ ~

Stove Top Stuffing: Creepy, Remarkable, or Somewhere in Between?!

Listen to this NPR spot about the origin of Stove Top Stuffing and its creator, Ruth Siems.

After listening to this I gained a greater appreciation for the culinary convenience of Stove Top Stuffing as well as the time-tested art of conventional stuffing!

~ ~ ~


minestrone

A Minestrone Soup Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

Souper Trouper

This isn’t our first time at the minestrone rodeo! In 2012 we made this minestrone recipe and Mom must have surely loved this soup because I think I’ve found 3 different minestrone soup recipes in her cookbook.

While the formal definition of minestrone calls for a thick soup with bits of pasta, this recipe – sans the pasta – is just as tasty as our first find, which included dittalini. With Italian origins, this tasty soup warms you up on a cold day! It’s good all by itself or partnered with some fresh baked bread and a salad. For those who don’t know me, a side of wine is a given. :)

foodie tips

  I used red cabbage for a pop a’ color.

  I was concerned at first sight by the mass quantity of soup. But when I later did the math I realized it’s perfect for a party of eight. Or 4 days of 2 bowls each.  :/~  You can also bag and freeze leftovers for a quick meal when you’re short on time.

  “Navy beans” are referred to by many a name. Haricot. Pearl Haricot. Pea Bean. This high fiber bean isn’t navy blue in color – rather white – and prized for its cholesterol-lowering health benefits plus its ability to retain an oval shape after being cooked tender. Navy beans received their nickname after being a popular staple of the U.S. Navy in the early 20th century.
Why Are They Called Navy Beans?

i. ingredients

2 cups | navy beans
4 quarts | cold water
| beef bouillon cubes (or beef broth)
2 tablespoons | vegetable oil
1 ½ cups | onion, chopped
2 cups | celery, sliced
2 cloves | garlic, minced
3 tablespoons | parsley, chopped
1 pound can | tomatoes, chopped (including juice)
1 teaspoon | basil, crumbled (or a few fresh leaves, torn by hand)
½ teaspoon | oregano, crumbled
2 teaspoons | salt (we prefer kosher salt or grey sea salt)
¼ teaspoon | pepper, freshly cracked
1 cup (3 medium) | carrots, thinly sliced
4 cups (4 small) | unpeeled zucchini, sliced
10 ounce package | frozen green peas
10 ounce package | frozen cut green beans
¼ head (2 cups) | cabbage, sliced
to serve | parmesan cheese, grated

Use Red Cabbage For Minestrone Soup... For A Pop Of Color!ii. what to do

1. Wash the navy beans. Place beans, water and bouillon (or broth) in a large pot. Bring slowly to boil and simmer, covered 1 ½ hours, or until the beans are soft. While the beans soften now’s a good time for a little wine rest break! #LongDay

2. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion, celery, and garlic. Sauté 5 minutes. Add this mixture to the beans and broth.

3. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the cheese. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.

4. To serve, sprinkle each serving with the grated parmesan cheese and ENJOY!

Yields: About 8-9 servings (~2 cups each, in size). Nutritional info is below in the original recipe scan!

~ Patrick

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

 

How To Make Minestrone Soup

A Minestrone Soup Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

A Scan Of Betty’s Original Minestrone Soup Recipe


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.


artichoke spread

An artichoke spread recipe from Betty's Cook Nook
A Hearty Artichoke Dish

Each time I dive into Mom’s cookbooks to select a recipe it usually winds up being a journey in time picking out the chosen one.

  • With more than 125 recipes under my belt since 2011 it’s becoming difficult to remember which ones Joe and I have already made.
  • With hundreds more recipes to choose from it can be hard to pick the next recipe.

This week I landed on a new strategy – to simply pick the next recipe in order from front to back in Mom’s index card holder or her recipe book. This makes choosing super simple.

As luck would have it the very first recipe chosen under this new form of culinary law and order was this amazing artichoke spread. This recipe quietly sat at the front of Mom’s appetizer section like a wallflower – probably because I had already made this artichoke dip … in the process this spread recipe had been passed over for more than 4 years.

Turns out this spread beats the pants off the dip recipe. Which just goes to show to never underestimate the power of a wallflower.

foodie tips ~

  Surely Parmesan Cheese isn’t the same thing as Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese, right!? What you find when you click this link may surprise you!

  Whatever you do please don’t use “shaker cheese” for this recipe. Go fresh. I used my hand grater and made a coarse shred that melted into perfection.

  Love artichokes? Click here to peruse other artichoke recipes here at Betty’s Cook Nook.

  This recipe inspired me to create a new category for connecting you to my favorite Betty’s Cook Nook dishes. Just click on “The Best Of The Best” category link at right!

An Artichoke Spread Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

i. ingredients

2 cans | artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
2 cups | mayonnaise
2 cups | parmesan cheese, grated
to taste | salt and pepper
7 shakes | tabasco brand pepper sauce
to taste | garlic powder
to serve | ritz brand crackers

ii. what to do

0. Preheat oven to 350°F. Whew, that was easy!

1. Drain the artichoke hearts and chop them up. Place the artichokes into a casserole dish. Add the mayo, cheese, salt, pepper, Tabasco sauce, and garlic powder and mix everything together.

2. Bake in your preheated oven for 30 minutes. My spread got warm and bubbly with a little bit of browned cheese on top. #yum!

3. Remove the warm spread from the oven and let it rest a few minutes. If you add more parmesan on top we won’t be surprised. That’s what we did!

Enjoy by topping on Ritz crackers, tortilla chips, Naan bread, tortilla roll-ups … the list is never-ending. It’s that good.

Best served warm. Leftovers refrigerate well and they did not last long!

~ Patrick

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

An Artichoke Spread Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

Mom’s original recipe gifted to us from our next door neighbor Mary Stephenson. :)


Who is “Mary Stephenson”?

We Kikers lived at 2927 Trailend Drive and Mary was the Mother of the Stephenson family living next door to us.

Mary was a fabulous foodie friend of ours and you’ll see a few recipes from Mary’s kitchen here at Betty’s Cook Nook.

Our two families spent many shared dinners and laughs together so I was happy to find some of Mary’s recipes tucked in Mom’s cookbook since the Stephensons were a magnificent and memorable part of my wonder years.


onion lover’s twist

Onion Lover's Twist Bread RecipeAre You Bready For This?

After setting my appetite on making this twisted bread, I realized that Mom’s cut-out recipe had a seriously odd shape and some of the article was missing (see the original far below). I flipped the time-worn clipping over and realized that Mom must have really cut out the recipe on the reverse as the shape and article size were spot on. Finger to forehead!

An Artist's Rendering Of The 1968 World's Fair in San Antonio

An Artist’s Rendering Of The 1968 World’s Fair in San Antonio

What was on the back, er front, of the recipe? A 1970s story about NIOSA which included a recipe for Quiche Lorraine – a dish that garnered serious street cred at the 1968 World’s Fair held in my hometown of San Antonio. H.R. Pufnstuf debuted at the fair – something I just learned!

A few words about this recipe: I was super-surprised to learn that the recipe’s creator – Mrs. Nan Robb – won $25,000 for the recipe … in 1970!

$25,000 is a lot of money today. So while I joked about eating $25,000 bread, today I found out that after inflation, in 2015, $25,000 of 1970 money is really worth about $155,000! For real!

So now you have a funny story to serve along with this bread!

 

Patrick's Bucket List. I'm Honing In On SNL, The Lotto, Ellen And Oprah!foodie tips ~

❤  I’ve had a few foodie fails here at Betty’s Cook Nook. My first attempt at making the dough for this recipe is one of them! Turns out the yeast I had on hand was old and after mixing everything together I think the bread actually fell rather than rose. LOL. So make sure and score some fresh yeast from the store to ensure your bread will rise to the rooftops.

  Feeling a little insecure about my ability to rise bread, I resorted to some online research to look for tips. Warm ovens and heating pad suggestions aside, I netted out with boiling some water in a glass measuring cup to warm my microwave. I covered my dough-filled bowl with a towel, inserted it into the microwave along with the water and let it do its thing for an hour. The dough more than doubled in size. Magic!

  You can easily half this recipe. What I wound up with was about the size of a boogie board. You can also make two “half-sized” loaves by cutting the dough strips in half before braiding – what better way to give a $12,500, er $77,500 gift (post inflation) to a friend?!

  I’m not going to point out the obvious but since I obviously pointed something out … you can introduce any of your favorite ingredients into the filling for this twisted bread recipe. I’m thinking of ham and cheese or bacon and maybe a little scallion.

i. ingredients

for the dough:
1 package | active dry yeast
¼ cup | warm water
4 cups | flour (separated into two 2 cup piles)
¼ cup | sugar
1 ½ teaspoons | salt
½ cup | hot water
½ cup | whole milk
¼ cup | butter, softened (Mom’s Mom “Nanny” always insisted on Falfurria’s brand butter)
| cage free egg

for the filling: 
¼ cup | butter (you know what to do)
1 cup | onion, finely chopped (we used yellow)
1 tablespoon | parmesan cheese, grated (we used 2-3 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon | sesame seeds or poppy seeds (we used sesame)
1 teaspoon | garlic salt
1 teaspoon | paprika

ii. what to do

1. Grease a large cookie sheet and set aside. That was easy!

2. In a large mixer bowl dissolve the yeast in warm water. There’s no need to sift the flour – add 2 cups of the flour to the yeast mix (reserving the 2 cups of flour for later), and add the sugar, salt, water, milk, butter and egg. Blend at low speed until moistened then crank up the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes. By hand, stir in the remaining 2 cups flour to form a soft dough. Mix it well! Cover the dough and let it rise in a warm place until light and it has doubled in size, about 45-60 minutes.

Onion Lover's Twist Bread Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook3. While the dough is doing it’s thing let’s make the filling. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the remaining filling ingredients above and mix well. Let rest.

4. After the dough has risen, stir it down. Transfer from bowl then toss it around on a floured surface until no longer sticky. Roll the dough out to a 18″ x 12″ rectangle. Cut the dough into three 18″ x 4″ strips.

5. Spread each strip with the filling mixture, making sure to leave about a half inch around all edges filling-less so you’ll be able to pinch and seal the edges together (you’ll want them sticky). Start with the 18″ side and roll each strip up and press/seal the edges together so the filling is safe inside the doughy roll-up.

6. On your prepared cookie sheet, braid the 3 rolls together. Cover and let it rise in a warm place until light and doubled in size, about 45-60 minutes.

7. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown.

I loved this bread warm and fresh out of the oven. You could also slice it to make a savory sandwich bread.

~ Patrick

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

Here’s a scan of Mom’s original recipe.
I joked above about the odd shape of this cut out. Here’s another Betty’s Cook Nook recipe with a funky shape!

A Scan Of Mom's Onion Lover's Twist Recipe

Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner!

It’s not a chicken dinner per se but today is your lucky day – I’m posting the reverse side of the Onion Lover’s Twisted Bread recipe! Go on, click on it for a larger view of what’s coming next to Betty’s Cook Nook!

Special Preview : A Scan Of Mom's Coveted Quiche Lorraine Recipe


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.


lasagne

A Lasagne Recipe From Bettys Cook NookYou Say Lasagna. I Say Lasagne.

Lasagne is plural for lasagna, so the more, the merrier! This dish is the epitome of comfort food.

Fun Foodie Facts ~

  July 29 is National Lasagna Day, just 72 hours from my official birthday!

  The word “lasagna” originally referred to the pot the dish was made in – not the dish itself.

  While there are several ways to prepare lasagne, most folks automatically think of a red tomato-y ragu when they think of lasagna. The earliest recipes of lasagna date back to the 13th century, before tomatoes were known to Europeans (they came to Europe via South America).

  Northern Italy (Emilia-Romagna) is credited as the birthplace of lasagne. For those who don’t know me, if you want to learn more about Italy, check out my website ForTheLoveOfItaly.com – I created this site to inspire all to travel to this magnificent land.

  More fun facts about lasagna are here – check all the links!

i. ingredients

¾ pound | ground meat
1 tablespoon | olive oil
½ clove | garlic, chopped
1 small | onion, minced
1 can | tomato paste
1 cup | water
to taste | salt and pepper
to taste | parsley, chopped (I suggest Italian flat leaf)
| bay leaf
8 ounce package | lasagne
½ pound | mozzarella cheese
¼ pound | ricotta or cottage cheese (small curd)
to garnish | parmesan cheese, grated (not the stuff from the can)

ii. what to do

1. Brown meat in the oil. Add garlic, onion, tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, parsley and the bay leaf. Simmer about an hour. Remove the bay leaf before layering (below).

2. While the sauce is simmering, cook the lasagne (if you aren’t using “no boil” or “oven ready” noodles). Mom would have cooked the noodles the old-fashioned way as the speedy version wasn’t on supermarket shelves until years later. Drain the noodles.

3. Preheat your oven to 350°F.

4. Arrange lasagne in layers alternating with layers of sauce, mozzarella and ricotta. Sprinkle the top with parmesan cheese.

5. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the mozzarella is melted and the dish is heated through.

A Belt Buster

A Lasagne Recipe From Bettys Cook Nook - Layers Of Noodles

A Scan Of Mom's Lasagne Recipe From Bettys Cook Nook