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 dillweed)
| 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

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potato slices baked with onion butter

A Potato Slices Baked With Onion Butter Recipe From Betty's Cook NookTater Time

Over time, my love for potatoes has mushroomed. Er, potato erupted!?

As a tot (pun intended), my earliest recollections of potatoes began with my Grandmother “Nanny.” Nanny would make our family favorite “lumpy potatoes” for special holiday meals and I remember my brother Roger demanding them come holiday time.

As I grew older I discovered instant mashed potatoes. These puppies were dangerous because you could make them super-fast and eat them even faster. I would top mine with some Lawry’s seasoned salt and some cheese and eat them right out of the pan. Ahhh, the secret to my hour glass shape!

As my potato love matured I now appreciate the art of a really good potato. I love them cubed and coated with olive oil, rosemary, sliced onions and salt roasted on the grill or the love that goes into the twice-baked potato – the end result is pure potato heaven!

The first time I made these I was big-time bummed because my oven broke while these were baking so they came out crunchy tough. The second attempt was perfect so I plan on making them again. This recipe is an easy way to create a great-tasting potato dish in a few easy steps. Pretty spud-tacular, if you ask me!

Foodie Tips ~

  My Grandmother “Nanny” loved Falfurrias brand butter. If you want to go right, buy it!

  Love potatoes? Try my own Rosemary Smashed Potatoes – delicious! Don’t forget to search for recipes with the keyword “potato” here at Betty’s Cook Nook – there are many dishes that all share the love of spud.

i. ingredients

¼ cup | butter, melted
¼ cup | onion soup mix
1 teaspoon | salt
cup | water
4-5 medium | baking potatoes

ii. what to do

0. Preheat oven to 350°F.

1. Combine butter, onion soup mix and salt.

2. Pour water into a 2-quart casserole.

3. Scrub the potatoes and do NOT peel them. Cut potatoes into ¼-inch thick slices.

4. Arrange a single layer in the casserole dish and spread with a tablespoon of the onion mixture. Repeat making about 5 layers.

5. Cover and bake 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until potatoes are fork tender.

Yields: 6 servings

A Scan Of Mom's Potato Slices Baked With Onion Butter Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook


stayabed stew

The Stayabed Stew Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook
One Easy-To-Make Stew

When I saw the recipe card below, I stared at it for a few minutes trying to figure out what Mom had written. After doing a Google search I learned that in fact there was something called “Stay Abed Stew”. Something that has been extended by some to be called “Stay In Bed Stew” as it turns out it’s so easy to make. I prefer the Stayabed name.

I learned that this recipe The I Hate To Cook Book By Peg Brackenoriginated from the “I Hate To Cook Book” written by Peg Bracken in 1960. The book was made for everyone, men and women alike, who want to get from cooking hour to cocktail hour in as little time as possible. I learned a little bit about Peg and she was a copywriter at an ad agency. I would have loved to meet her as I’ve worked with many writers in my days in the ad agency world.

Peg wrote that “Stayabed Stew” could be left to cook by itself and was perfect “for those days when you are en negligee, en bed, with a murder story and a box of bonbons, or possibly a good case of flu”. What’s not to love there?

Despite the slow-cook process, the dish was totally easy to make and very tasty. Thank you, Peg, for showing us that speed and sustenance – above all – are golden.

foodie tips ~

 I’m pretty sure I forgot to add the ½ can of water; make sure you do this to give it a little more juice.
 My interpretation of this dish involved using cannellini beans, 3 carrots and a russet potato. Delicious.
 If you decide to use peas vs. beans I saw an online post where someone said they added the peas during the last 30 minutes of cooking to avoid them being “mushy.” Seems legit.

i. ingredients

1 pound | stew meat
2 | white onions, cut into chunks
| carrots, cut into chunks
1 | potato, cut into chunks
1 can | cream of mushroom (or celery) soup
½ can | water
to taste | salt
to taste | fresh cracked black pepper
1 can | beans (or peas), including the juice

Stayabed Stew Going Into The Ovenii. what to do

0. Preheat oven to 275°F.

1. Combine everything in a casserole dish with a tight-fitting lid.

2. Cook in oven for 5 hours. No stirring necessary!

Yields: About 5 servings

A Scan Of Mom's Stayabed Stew Recipe Card


blue cheese bacon potatoes

blue cheese bacon potatoes about to get in my belly

You Say “Potato” …

I Say … “Get out of my way, It’s mine!”

There have been some great “home run” recipes in Mom’s cookbook and this is one of them. While blue cheese sometimes makes my nose turn and run for the hills, this dish isn’t smothered with the sharp and salty taste.

With the arrival of the microwave to modern cooking, potatoes were often “zapped” because who wants to wait for an twice-baked potato!?

After I made this recipe, I’m reminded of the slow-baked potatoes Mom used to make … they arrive on your plate super soft all the way through! And well worth the wait.

Cheers To My New Spud Bud

i. ingredientsSnoopy Celebrates The 2nd Anniversary For Betty's Cook Nook

to coat | shortening
| baking potatoes, medium
½ cup | sour cream
¼ cup | blue cheese, crumbled
¼ cup | milk
4 tablespoons | Falfurrias brand butter (per Nanny)
¾ teaspoon | salt
dash | black pepper, freshly ground
4 slices | bacon, crisp-cooked, drained and crumbled

ii. what to do

0. Preheat oven to 400°F.

1. Rub each potato with shortening. Place them in the oven uncovered or wrapped and cook for 1 hour, or until done.

2. Remove potatoes from the oven. Cut a lengthwise slice into each potato (the potatoes are hot so be careful)! Scoop out the inside of each potato and mash the innards (yup, I wrote “innards”) in a medium-sized mixing bowl.

3. Add sour cream, blue cheese, milk, butter, salt and pepper to the potatoes then beat with an electric beater until fluffy. Some remaining potato lumps are OK.

4. Spoon the blue cheese potato mixture back into the potato shells.

5. Place potatoes on a baking sheet and return them to the hot oven for 15 minutes or until heated through.

6. Remove from oven and sprinkle with the crumbled bacon.

Yields: 4 Servings (or 1 meal, if you’re me)

Twice Baked Blue Cheese Bacon Potatoes From Betty's Cook Nook

foodie tips ~

  It may take some practice but try and keep the potato from breaking into 2 separate halves. 1. When slicing, don’t cut it all the way through top-to-bottom. 2. When scooping, you can leave about an 1/8″ of the potato’s inside with the skin to give it a happy but hollow foundation.

  This is a great sidekick for this steak diane recipe that I also made on the 2 year anniversary of BCN. It’s also a good side for this barbecue pork chop recipe. Come to think of it, it’s really just a great recipe all by itself!

  Note below that this recipe hails from Better Homes and Gardens, March 1968. Why, I was just a young tot of one way back then!

a scan of Mom's steak diane meal - 6 recipes in 1 scan


ground beef goulash

Mmmm... beef goulashA New Favorite

On the anniversary of Betty’s Cook Nook, it was a unanimous decision to make this somewhat off-ishly-sounding dish, but a tasty delight.

I always pictured goulash as something that was made from cabbage, sauerkraut, an perhaps an eye of newt… and stirred by a witch maneuvering a wooden stick into her cauldron.

Tonight, it was a nice surprise to celebrate the 1st birthday of BCN (that’s Betty’s Cook Nook, y’all)!

Let’s Eat

i. ingredients

2 tablespoons | falfurrias brand butter (per Nanny)
2 cups | thinly sliced onion
2 pounds | ground beef
1 tablespoon | sweet paprika
to taste | salt
1 | green pepper, cut into strips
½ cup | canned tomato sauce
| beef bouillon cubes
1 cup | water
3 medium | potatoes, diced and cooked
½ cup | sour cream

ii. what to do

1. Melt butter in a large, heavy skillet.

2. Add onion and cook, stirring often, about 10 minutes.

3. Add meat, paprika, and ~1 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, until meat loses its red color.

4. Add green pepper, tomato sauce, bouillon cubes and the water.

5. Cover and simmer about 20 minutes.

6. Add potatoes and heat. Stir in sour cream.

7. Don’t add more salt, unless you *really* need it. : )~

Serves 6

Foodie Tips ~

Dish it over noodles or mashed potatoes, folks.

 





orange brandied yams

Pouring the brandy mixture on top of the yams. Makes for a great presentation!With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I’m on the hunt for foods that are ripe for sharing.

Brandied yams? Bring them on! Stay tuned for pics of this delicious dish that’s good as a side… or a delicious dessert!

I’m made this recipe and other favorites in honor of “my first” Thanksgiving here at Betty’s Cook Nook!

i. ingredients

2-1 lb. 2 oz. cans | yams
1/3 cup | butter
1 cup | brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup | orange  juice
1/2 teaspoon | salt
1/2 cup | slivered and toasted almonds
1/3 cup | brandy

ii. what to do

1. Halve the yam-potatoes and place in a serving dish.

2. Place the almonds in a pan over medium heat and toast until lightly browned. Do not burn! Set aside.

toasting-up the almonds for the yams3. Melt the butter and add the sugar, juice and salt.

4. Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar dissolves; boil gently 5 minutes.

5. Pour the sugary mixture over the yams and sprinkle with the toasted almonds.

6. Heat the brandy gently in a small pan and light with a match. Pour the brandy mixture over the yam tops (pic shown above).

Raise your arms in the air… you’re a fire starter!

Foodie Tips ~

  When I opened the canned yams, I promptly thought they were “small” enough to eat sized from the can. Listen-up to the instructions and cut them in 1/2 anyway.

  I prefer my yams warm and this is pretty much a room-temperature recipe. Next time I make these, I’m going to cook the yams in their canned juice on stove top in for a few minutes to warm them up. Then drain the juice. Then I’ll transfer the “yammers” to a serving bowl as the brandy mix is ready and light ’em up.

  Over the Thanksgiving table, we got into a heated debate over whether or not yams and sweet potatoes were one in the same. Fact is, they are not.


california potato salad

delicious california potato salad

One of the best things about recovering Mom’s cookbook is that I’m able to discover new food journeys with ease. With literally hundreds of recipes to choose from, I didn’t experience them all growing up; in fact I only remember a few special handfuls.

When I stumbled across this unique potato salad recipe that packs a lotta punch compliments of avocado instead of hard boiled eggs, I knew I had to give it a whirl.
I can see why mom clipped this recipe ~ it has a super great taste!

This potato salad made its debute in my cucina on the 4th of July in 2011 and it has since visited many times!

i. ingredients

3 cups | potatoes, cooked then cubed
1 cup | sour creamspices join forces in this california potato salad recipe
½ teaspoon* | salt
½ teaspoon | seasoned pepper
½ teaspoon | caraway seed
to taste | lemon juice
bunch | parsley sprigs
3 | california avocados
¼ cup | chopped onions
8 slices | hickory-smoked bacon, crisped and crumbled
1 | large tomato

ii. what to do

1. Scrub then boil the potatoes in a medium-sized pot. Boil until tender, but not “mushy.” Set aside to cool.

2. Blend the sour cream with the salt, pepper, caraway seed and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice.

3. Chop the parsley to yield ¼ cup; set aside.

4. Cut 2 of the avocados lengthwise into halves, removing the seed and skinning.

the avocado-potato salad mixture before adding the sour cream5. Cube the avocado and gently combine it in a medium-sized salad bowl with the chopped parsley, potatoes, chopped onion, sour cream mixture and 1/2 of the bacon.

6. Arrange additional parsley sprigs on the top around the outer edge of the salad. Cover and chill.

7. To serve, prepare the remaining avocado by slicing lengthwise into halves. Remove the seed and skin and cut into slices. Slice the tomato crosswise then cut the slices in half.

8. Alternate the avocado and tomatoes on top of the potato salad and sprinkle with lemon juice.

9. Sprinkle remaining bacon on top of the potato salad and serve.

Foodie Tips ~

  While the original recipe calls for 1½ teaspoons of salt, I found this a bit too salty and suggest using just ½ teaspoon of salt. You can always add more salt later, should your taste buds beg for it.

  If you prefer, you can omit the ring of parsley used for presentation … and you can dice and scatter the tomatoes and avocado that sit atop the salad.

Buon appetito!

A scan of the original california potato salad recipe from Mom's cookbook