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

 

 


the big soup

The Big Soup Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

Everything But The Kitchen Sink Soup

This “BIG SOUP” recipe is insanely flexible! It starts with a base of chicken broth and our familiar friends onion, celery, carrot and herbs. But then the party gets a little crazy – you add whatever fresh, canned or frozen veggies, pasta and or meats that you have loitering around the kitchen, making this soup “soup-er” flexible.

Some of the best cooks never follow a recipe to the “t” and this is surely one of their favorites!

Foodie Tips ~

  Note the variations on the original scan –

  For more soup: Add additional vegetables and broth.
  For two meals: Freeze the leftovers.
  For creamed soup: Add ½ to 1 cup cream 5 minutes before serving. Do not boil the cream!
  For pureed soup: Put all ingredients (no bones) into a blender and work your magic, until smooth.

  If you discover a version you really like, make record of the ratios so you can make it again on the next go.

  I was 10 when this recipe appeared in the 1976 edition of Apartment Life Magazine. How alarming it is to see the office phone hanging on the wall in the photo below! PS ~ I also love the bananas T-shirt!

i. base ingredients

2 cans | chicken broth
4 | chicken breasts
1 | large onion, chopped
| celery stalk, chopped
| carrot, chopped
2 sprigs | parsley
1 teaspoon | thyme (or dill weed)
| bay leaf
to “cover” | water

ii. “scavenge” for these accessory ingredients

1 small can | pinto beans, chickpeas and or plum tomatoes
1 medium can | corn
½ package | frozen okra, asparagus, artichokes and or pea pods
2 | potatoes, chopped
1 small | zucchini, chopped
| green pepper, chopped
¼ pound | mushrooms, sliced
¼ cup or more | pasta or rice
1 length | seasoned sausage
cubes | leftover meat
1 | kitchen sink (just checking if you’re paying attention!) :)

iii. what to do

1. In a medium/large pot over medium heat, add the first eight ingredients in step “i” above. Add water to cover.

2. While waiting for the soup to simmer, scavenge for your step “ii” ingredients above, whatever form they take.

3. Add fresh veggies and rice after the soup’s been simmering 15 minutes or canned, frozen ingredients and pasta after 20 minutes. Simmer soup for 30 minutes or until everything’s done.

Shazam!
An Original Scan Mom's Big Soup Recipe

Click To View –> An Original Scan Of The Big Soup Recipe


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


turkey stove top

A Turkey Stove Top Recipe From Bettys Cook Nook
Easy As 1, 2, Turkey

Green, white and red make this colorful all-in-one dish a hearty way to satisfy your meat, veggie and carb craving in every bite.

Did somebody say carbs? ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 

foodie tip ~

 Turkey stove top will make great use of Thanksgiving turkey leftovers (sliced or cubed).

i. ingredients

10 ounces frozen cut asparagus tips and pieces
1 can | campbell’s cream of celery soup
1  cups | water
1 ½ cups | diced cooked turkey
½ teaspoon | salt
¼ teaspoon | worcestershire sauce
dash | fresh cracked pepper
1  cups | minute rice
3 tablespoons | pimiento, diced
to garnish | parsley

ii. what to do

1. Prepare asparagus according to package directions. Now drain.

2. In a large saucepan combine the asparagus, soup, water, turkey, salt, worcestershire sauce and pepper.

3. Bring the mixture to a boil. Stir in rice, cover and simmer or 10 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.

4. Stir in pimiento and garnish with parsley.

Yields: 4 servings
A Scan Of Mom's Turkey Stove Top Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook


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


green rice

A Green Rice Recipe from Bettys Cook Nook


Green

Where would we be without the color green?

When I close my eyes thinking of “green” transports me to St. Patrick’s Day, when Mom would celebrate her little Saint, summer days I spent mowing yards, the homemade green taffy Mom and I made with Bristol and Chris and Christmastime when I loved to pinch the branches of our tree and smell the evergreen scent.

This dish receives its flecks of green from freshly chopped green pepper and parsley. There’s a labor of love involved in making this green rice recipe but it was worth it – I loved the crunch of the green pepper and hope you do too!

i. ingredients

1 cup | rice
2 teaspoons | salt
2 ½ cups | boiling water
4 eggs | separated
| green pepper, finely chopped
1 | small onion, finely chopped
½ cup | parsley, minced
5 tablespoons | parmesan cheese, grated
1 teaspoon | paprika
1 cup | heavy cream, whipped

A Green Rice Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

ii. what to do

1. Add rice and 1 teaspoon of the salt to boiling water. Cover. Cook over low heat until rice is tender and all the water is absorbed, about 20-25 minutes.

2. Beat egg yolks. Combine the yolks with the green pepper, onion, parsley, grated cheese and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and paprika.

3. Blend mixture with the cooked rice then fold in the whipped cream.

4. Beat the egg whites until foamy. Fold into the rice mixture.

5. Turn the rice into a greased 2-quart casserole. Place the casserole in a pan of hot water. Bake at 350°F until set, about 50-60 minutes.

Yield: 6-8 portions

A Scan Of Mom's Green Rice Recipe From Bettys Cook Nook


chopped sirloin with mushroom gravy

chopped sirloin with mushroom gravy

Where’s The Beef? You’re Looking At It, Kid!

We had an outdoor built-in grill growing up at 2927 Trailend.

When the grill was hot, we knew fine dining was soon within arm’s reach. Sometimes Dad grilled what he killed (wild game). Other times we’d go visit the meat counter at Jim’s Restaurants production center on Austin Highway. And we left with arm fulls of the stuff to freeze and save for a hungry, special day.

Jims Restaurants LogoDad was a regular at Jim’s at 8427 Broadway Street and it’s still standing today! He’d often meet his breakfast club there (mainly lots of fellow Texas oilmen) and enjoy the Huevos Rancheros. On special nights, we’d eat out at the Jim’s at the corner of Vandiver Road and Austin Highway. Sadly that location is now closed. My favorite Jim’s dish was the #4 – a Frontier Burger that was “dressed to the nines” wearing a delightful coating of chili, cheese and onions.

I think my favorite memory of my Dad occurred one holiday evening in the 1970s when he anonymously bought a priest and his wife their Jim’s meal. Way to pay it forward, Dad!

So there you have it! A great-little story about beef.

Beef. It’s what’s for dinner.

i. ingredients

| chopped sirloins
½ | onion, chopped
1 can | mushroom soup
to taste | milk
to taste | parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons | brown gravy mix

ii. what to do

1. Brown seasoned meat.

2. Remove meat from pan and pour off the excess drippings.

3. Sauté the chopped onion in a pan over medium heat.

4. While the onion is sautéing, mix together the soup, milk, parsley and gravy mix in a medium-sized bowl.

5. Pour the gravy mix into the pan with the sautéd onions and cook a few minutes.

6. Add the meat and cook covered about 20 minutes.

foodie tip ~

 Mom wrote that this danish tomato recipe was a good side with steak, so I made both on the same night!

a scan of mom's original recipe for chopped sirloin with mushroom gravy