peanut butter slice-and-bake cookies

Peanut Butter Slice And Bake CookiesPeanut Butter Slice And Bake CookiesThe Cookies With A Twist

This recipe hails from the August 1982 issue of Southern Living, so it’s been patiently waiting in Mom’s cookbook for almost 40 years. I had seen the recipe many times flipping through my Mom’s cookbook, but “slice and bake” never really motivated me to explore more… until I later had a hankering for peanut butter and then I found myself headed to the store to get some fresh milk.

This recipe was surprising for a couple of reasons: 1) “Slice and bake.” The bake part threw me because you *don’t* bake these in your oven – you nuke them in your microwave! Making cookies in the microwave is a new one for me but not surprising given that the microwave was a rage making its debut in most American kitchens in the late 1970s. 2) The end result tasted like a homemade nutter butter cookie which was one of my favorites growing up in the 70s and 80s. Enjoy some vintage nutter butter memories below!

I was quite leery that these cookies would turn out great, but boy they sure did, and after the final schmear of peanut butter tucked between two homemade cookies I was thinking I had just made a fresh homemade home run nutter butter cookie sandwich!

Foodie Tips

❤  You can reduce the recipe ingredients by half; we were on a diet that week but it didn’t stop me from diving in! We wrapped and stored some of the remaining dough in the fridge for a couple of days and it lasted just fine.

❤  If you’re in a hurry to dive in you can chill the “baked” cookies in your fridge ~10 minutes to reduce the on counter cooling time. I did this and the end result was surprisingly crunchy.

❤  I laughed when I saw instructions to manually turn the cookies. We are lucky to live in a time when the microwave does the turning for us! I was also curious if these might do well in an air fryer and will try that on the next adventure with this recipe.

i. Time

Total prep: About 3.5 hours, including a 2-3 hour chill timeout in the fridge.

ii. Ingredients

1 ¾ cups  all-purpose flour
½ cup  sugar
½ teaspoon  baking soda
¼ teaspoon  salt
½ cup  shortening
¾ cup (or more)  creamy peanut butter, divided
¼ cup  light corn syrup
1 tablespoon  milk

Peanut Butter Slice And Bake CookiesPeanut Butter Slice And Bake Cookie Doughiii. What To Do

1. In a medium-sized bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. With a pastry cutter (or if you don’t have one try a KitchenAid stand mixer) cut in the shortening and ½ cup of the peanut butter until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Stir in the corn syrup and the milk.

Peanut Butter Slice And Bake CookiesPeanut Butter Slice And Bake Cookie Dough Log2. Shape the dough into a long roll, about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap the roll in waxed paper and chill it in the fridge 2 to 3 hours, or until firm. 

Peanut Butter Slice And Bake CookiesPeanut Butter Slice And Bake Cookies3. Unwrap the roll and cut the dough into ¼ inch slices. Place 6 slices at a time on a wax paper-lined plate, arranging them in a ring. 

4. Microwave the slices at medium heat (50% power) for 2 to 4 minutes or until the cookies are dry on the surface. If you don’t have a rotating microwave dish, manually rotate the dish at 1-minute intervals to promote “even baking.”

Peanut Butter Slice And Bake Cookies Cooling On A Cookie Rack5. Slide/transfer the wax paper with the cookies from the oven onto your kitchen counter and let them cool for 2 minutes. Remove the cookies from the wax paper and place them on a wire rack to completely cool. Repeat the procedure with the remaining dough.

How To Make Peanut Butter Slice And Bake Cookies6. Here’s the magical part: spread half the cookies with a schmear of peanut butter. I was generous with my schmear! Top with a remaining cookie slice on each to form your cookie sandwich.

Yield: About 2 dozen.

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook NookPeanut Butter Slice And Bake Cookies Cooling On A Plate.JPGPeanut Butter Slice And Bake Cookies On A Plate

Let’s have a peek at some vintage ads:

Nutter Butter Born In 1969

Peanut Butter Slice And Bake Cookie Recipe

A Scan Of Mom’s Original Slice And Bake Cookie Recipe Clipping

 

 

 


dee’s margarita

Dee's Margarita | Betty's Cook Nook

Shaken Or Stirred : Let’s Drink

The culinary art of the margarita is about as varied as a color wheel. Fruity, tart, lime green, burgundy, blue, frozen, on the rocks… and just about everything else in between!

It’s truly hard to believe this cocktail is not even 100 years young! I don’t remember when or where I was the first time I had my very first margarita but such is the luck of a Texan. Nowadays the margarita is one of the classic essentials we hold near and dear (and trust me, I clutch my margaritas close to the heart and even closer to the lips)!

The Marvelous Margarita

A unique slice of my history lands me back to Dallas circa 2005 and my favorite watering hole Mariano’s Hacienda, which was born in 1971. This is a place I’ve spent many a day and night enjoying Tex-Mex delights including Queso Mariano, table side guacamole, brisket tacos, mesquite grilled fajitas and without a doubt their “potent but polite” margaritas. Just to name a few things.

It was the restaurant’s founder Mariano Martinez who, like me, dreamt of only the coldest of margaritas. Ironically at the time my client was 7-Eleven and their prized frozen drink machine inspired Mariano to adapt a Slurpee machine to fashion what we know today as the frozen margarita! Soon thereafter the marvelous margarita machine helped catapult the iconic taste of Texas across the world and now the frozen margarita machine has a forever home in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.

It’s been a few years since I’ve been back to enjoy my BFFF (Best Frozen Friend Forever) but if you’re in Dallas swing on by 6300 Skillman Street and after successfully ducking past the giant stuffed bear guarding the entrance send our biggest howdy to the staff from me, with love. (Umberto, if you’re reading this M.P.H.!) While Joe and I always preferred to sit on the patio the bar was not to be missed! It had a concrete top with a cold trough to place and keep your margarita frozen – even in the glass! I’d like to nominate that invention to the Smithsonian as well!

Click on the pics for the full-on view!

Home Alone

When you can’t enjoy the margarita outside the home why not handcraft your own? It’s remarkably easy given that top shelf margaritas are often $12-$15/each these days! A bottle of tequila served homeside pays for itself it just a couple of sips!

I hope you enjoy Dee’s Margarita – it’s a simple margarita that will dial the Texas heat down to a fantastically enjoyable sensation.

Foodie Tips

❤  Margarita Rule #1: Nobody likes a lukewarm margarita! These puppies are best served icy cold so make sure and have a freezer and ice handy.

❤  Margarita Rule #2: Kick the bottle. Always use freshly-squeezed lime juice. Trust me on this!

❤  Cointreau vs. triple sec? Your wallet might notice a distinct difference between the two but will your taste buds? Martha helps us understand the differences in this really helpful article.

❤  Love margaritas? You’re not alone! Try out my spicy margarita recipe that I invented with one secret weapon – the heartfelt jalapeño! Hold onto your sombreros!

i. Time

Total prep: About 15-20 minutes.

ii. Ingredients

1 ounce  tequila
½ ounce  triple sec or cointreau
2 ounces  sweet and sour mix*
to garnish  a salted glass rim and a lime wedge

* Sweet and sour: If you don’t have sweet and sour mix on hand you can fashion your own by combining ⅓ cup each: freshly-squeezed lime juice, lemon juice, water and sugar. Heat it all together over medium heat. Chill and voilà!

Betty's Cook Nook Margaritaiii. What To Do

1. Place your margarita glasses in the freezer for at least 10-15 minutes to chill them up good. Be bold. Go cold! Beforehand, I often rinse my glasses and leave them a little bit wet so folks know they are fresh from the freezer. Ice is nice!

2. In a cocktail shaker place a giant cube of ice (I make ’em with these) and the tequila, the orange liqueur of your choosing, and the sweet and sour.

3. Shake, shake, SHAKE!

4. Remove your glass from the freezer and line the rim with a slice of lime and dip and rotate the edge of the glass in salt (kosher salt works great).

5. Optional Step: You can put some crushed ice or a giant cube in your glass. On super-hot days I dial it down 1,000%. 

6. Strain the margarita into your frozen glass and serve with a lime wedge sidekick.

Sip and savor this sensational drink!

Yield: 1 grande or two “meh” grande margaritas (shown). Go for the grande!

~ Patrick

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

Dee's Margarita Recipe

A Scan Of Dee’s Margarita Recipe
(penned by my Mom Betty)

Who is Dee?

It’s funny how I remember random things from my childhood. “Dee Martinez” was a friend of my Mom (Betty). I’m not sure I ever met Dee but I remember my Mom often talking about her, so I know she was a dear friend. So while Mom’s recipe is missing her last name I’m noting it here for those to know. :)

I’m still researching to see if I can find out how my Mom and Dee were connected but in the meantime let’s raise our margarita glasses to Dee for sharing this recipe with the rest of us!

And the “Mexican Emmy” Goes To…

OMG with the amount of time and money we spent at Mariano’s, Joe and I should have been invited to this party!


sausage stroganoff finale

A Sausage Stroganoff Recipe from Bettys Cook NookHit Me Baby One More Time

Ladies and gentlemen, fasten your seatbelts – we’re on for another taste bud adventure compliments of this sausage stroganoff recipe!

This isn’t the first time I’ve waxed on about stroganoff (it’s the fourth time to be precise) but it may be the last. Sadly I think this is the final stroganoff recipe in my Mom’s cookbook. As the last Betty’s Cook Nook meal of the year this dish marked the perfect culinary dismount to a wacky and wild 2020!

So What Makes This Recipe A Classic? 

Well, a couple of things. For starters I’m 99% confident this recipe hails from an early 1980s Southern Living magazine clipping; I recognize the recipe’s font (see the original clipping below)!

Secondly I incorporated a hidden weapon ingredient which you can learn more about below: the Wendish noodle is a blast from the past and it has a special connection to this recipe and the people of Texas. Incoming story below!

Tip: If you just prefer the recipe please fast-scroll to the Foodie Tips section below. If you want to enjoy a random family story about early Texas in the 1800s, please grab your favorite beverage and read on!Texas Wendish Heritage Society Wendish Noodles

A Little Bit About Dime Box

It all started harmlessly with a random pic my Cousin Alison texted of a likely relative “Adolph Hannes” who surely lived in the greater Dime Box, Texas area. Dime Box is the birthplace of my Maternal Grandmother “Nanny” who was ironically also one of my bestest of friends when I was a kid. Dime Box isn’t a big city – in fact even today it’s an unincorporated community of about 1,100 residents. But for the European immigrants who claimed it as home, they found Dime Box a small but magnificent place that rests on the eastern Texas prairie offering big sky views and wide open spaces that could cultivate new beginnings.

A Dram by Henry Kruemcke and Adolph HannesAfter a few online queries I learned Adolph’s picture was from a 1961 book “Texas Wends – Their First Half Century,” authored by Lillie Moerbe Caldwell.

Texas Wends tells the magnificent story of how in 1854 the Wendish people of Lusatia (east Germany and southern Poland) fled to Texas in search of religious and political freedom. After 3 months at sea on the Ben Nevis clipper ship they disembarked in the port city of Galveston and ventured by wagon and foot to Serbin, Texas which is just a few minutes drive from Dime Box and 69 miles from where I live today. The story of the Wends is wild and wondrous and sadly 1 in 8 of the 588 crammed ship voyagers lost their lives on their journey to Texas. I had hoped to connect the Wends to my nuclear family (was I Wendish?) but after receiving the book I quickly combed through the Ben Nevis’ ship manifest only to find no surnames that I recognized. Regardless, Adolph’s picture proved my family was friends of the Wends!

There on page 80 of Texas Wends was a picture of Adolph Hannes that became a remarkable key to a chapter in my life that has connected the past with the present! Adolph shared a surname with my grandmother “Nanny’s” husband Harry Hannes and there in the pic Adolph was enjoying a “dram” with his friend Henry Kruemcke. I quickly and luckily discovered a hardbound copy of the book on eBay and it’s now in my library. I did some Ancestry.com research and discovered that Adolph is my Grand Uncle! #MicDrop

Texas Wendish Heritage Museum, Serbin, TexasInto The Car We Went

Soon after geeking out on our family lineage Cousin Alison and I decided to travel to Dime Box and nearby Serbin to inspect a few things. We visited the Hannes-Old Dime Box cemetery where we saw several headstones bearing our family’s surnames (Hannes and Hejtmancik). It was surreal being in the very origin of our Texas roots! A 20-minute ride from Dime Box landed us just outside Giddings in Serbin. We visited the Texas Wendish Heritage Museum, its next door historic painted St. Paul Church and while taking in the historic sights we learned about black wedding dresses, the art of decorating Wendish Easter Eggs and low and behold we scored the glorious egg noodles that are made on site and that I used in this recipe!

We’ve made two trips back thus far and are planning a third. We’ll return to the Dime Box Heritage Society Museum where we gratefully discovered family photos and artifacts with ease. And of course no trip would be complete without paying our respects at the Heritage Museum where I plan to reunite the Texas Wends book to the Memorial Library of its author, Lillie Moerbe Caldwell.

So there you have it – how a little noodle has great big ties to this recipe and newly-discovered great chapters of my family history! I never underestimate the power of food.

Foodie Tips

❤  The Wendish noodles are about 3 inches in length and have an al dente (“to the tooth”) texture that I love. No soggy noodles here! Don’t live near Serbin, Texas? No worries – you can score your noodles online!

❤  I cooked the Wendish noodles separately according to the package instructions then poured the stroganoff on top to serve. On my next go of this recipe I think I’ll add the uncooked noodles and let them simmer in the stroganoff per the original recipe instructions below – they will likely absorb more of the tasty stroganoff flavor.

❤  Fan of the stroganoff? Luckily there are a few more you can try out here on Betty’s Cook Nook. Click and scroll down!

i. Time

Total prep: About 45-60 minutes.

Sausage Stroganoff Ingredientsii. Ingredients

1 pound  bulk pork sausage
1 cup  white onion, finely chopped
1 cup  green pepper, finely chopped
16 ounce can  diced organic canned tomatoes (Kirkland)
8 ounces  sour cream
1 cup  water
1 tablespoon  sugar
2 teaspoons  kosher salt
2 teaspoons  chili powder
8 ounces  egg noodles (Wendish noodles if you can)

Texas Wendish Noodlesiii. What To Do

1. In a skillet over medium heat combine sausage, onion and green pepper and stir until the sausage is brown and the onion is tender. Drain off the pan drippings.

Sautéing Sausage StroganoffHow To Make Sausage Stroganoff2. In a separate bowl combine the tomatoes, sour cream, water, sugar and seasonings. Stir this mixture into the sausage mixture.

Simmering Sausage Stroganoff3. Gently stir in the noodles. Cover and simmer about 30 minutes or until the noodles are tender. Stir occasionally.

Yield: 4-6 servings

~ Patrick

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

Sausage Stroganoff Recipe Betty's Cook Nook

A Scan Of Mom’s Original Stroganoff Recipe Clipping

One more time: This video may not qualify as an antique or vintage… but it’s certainly retro!


pumpkin dump cake

Pumpkin Dump Cake Recipe by Betty's Cook NookA Bit Of Dump Cake History

The folks at Epicurious describe the dump cake as “the worst name in the history of desserts.” I, on the other hand, snickered when the name first graced my being. In fact it was more of a snortle of sorts.

The year was 2005 and my Cousin Julie had emailed me the dump cake recipe below that she was impressed with. Being one of the early bathroom humor pioneers (poo-oneers?) I simply replied: “you know I’ll try this because it has the word DUMP in it!” Well that email got filed away with good intentions and sadly forgotten. This year when I was missing my Cousin I went digital dumpster diving into my old email account and a few clicks later the recipe floated to the surface (pun intended).

Flashback: Dump Cake

Before we dive into this recipe I was curious the glorious origins of the dump cake. While some online posts said the first dump cake would send us to 1980, others threw me off track saying the dump cake actually went by other names, including “wacky cake.” For my purposes my culinary etymological research is purely of “dump cake.”

The Los Angeles Times Economy Cook Book No. 5 Dump CakeAs can be seen by the Google Books Ngram Viewer let’s have a peek at the usage of dump cake over time. There it was – nestled on page 50 of 1917’s The Los Angeles Times Economy Cook Book No. 5: Practical and Economical Recipes by Skilled Cooks – this nugget for Dump Cake. Albeit the recipe instructions read more like a conventional cake (think more effort), the origins of the name take us back to when my Grandmother “Nanny” was 17. You can click this link and see for yourself! I can’t wait to let this useless trivia factoid rip at my next party!

What’s even more interesting is I discovered I lived at the trifecta of perfection – when word usage of dump cake and two sidekicks near and dear to my heart – “pac man” and “bean roll” – were in pure alignment. The year was 1979 and little did I know I was living the glory days. Who knows if this moment in time will rise again?
Google Books Ngram Viewer Dump Cake Pac Man Bean RollFoodie Tips

❤  I have to admit I was leery that this cake would come together. But just as the name implies the magic of the dump cake took over once it was in the hot oven and things began to mingle.

❤  Striving to curtail holiday overeating (which later proved to be a farce) we split the recipe into three greased 9″ round foil pans. I was nervous if they would turn out OK and they did! We gave two cakes to unsuspecting neighbors who said they enjoyed it greatly.

i. Time

Total prep: About 60 minutes.

ii. Ingredients

29 ounce can  Libby’s 100% pure canned pumpkin
12 ounce can  evaporated milk
cage free eggs
1 cup  sugar
1 teaspoon  salt
3 teaspoons  cinnamon
1 box  Duncan Hines classic yellow cake mix
1 cup  Texas pecans, chopped
¾ cup  unsalted butter, melted (my Grandmother “Nanny” insisted on Falfurrias)
to serve  whipped cream or ice cream (optional)

iii. What To Do

1. Preheat oven to 350°F degrees.

2. Mix the first six ingredients until well blended and pour the batter into a 9″ X 13″ greased pan.

Making Pumpkin Dump Cake

3. Sprinkle cake mix on top and then sprinkle that with pecans.

Pumpkin Dump Cake

4. Pour melted butter or margarine over top. Bake for 50 minutes.



Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream. My Cousin Julie topped her cake with dulce de leche and said it was really good!

~ Patrick

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

Let’s have a peek at some vintage Libby’s pumpkin ads:

October 1986 Great Pumpkin Cookie Recipe

Libby's 1964 Pumpkin Pie Ad Typo

Libby's Pumpkin Life Magazine Ad 1950


texas kolaches

How To Make Texas-Czech KolachesWhere Old Meets New

In the golden days of past my Mom “Betty” subscribed to Southern Living magazine and to this day, so do I. 

In SL’s most recent September 2020 issue they gave claim to the seven “Cooks of the Year” for their culinary innovations. I, too, love innovators for without them we’d be eating the same thing day after day… (fancy some porridge and toast?). But I will continue the foodie fight to honor those in the rear view mirror – the ones who fed our bellies when we were kids. Our Mothers, Grandmothers, and best of all – the ones likely before we can remember. These are the true culinary geniuses who made mealtime a favorite time without the aid of modern kitchen contraptions like microwaves, silicon utensils, immersion blenders, air fryers, and bluetooth ovens (I’m guilty of owning all these items)!

The Missing Piece

With more than 200 recipes here at BettysCookNook.com, the Southern Living kolache recipe fills a missing puzzle piece in my Mom’s culinary legacy; Mom’s kolache filling recipes (below) had been in her cookbook without their much needed pastry crust recipe until now! And since kolaches hold a near and dear place in the heart of Texans right up there with queso, big hair, and cowboy boots you have plenty of recipe ideas thanks to my Mom’s 3 filling recipes below – apricot, prune, and cottage cheese. In addition, there’s a streusel recipe to top things off!

Thanks to Southern Living Magazine I’m gratefully able to connect the past with the present. I hope you try and enjoy this recipe! Thank you, Lydia Faust, for sharing a slice of the great days with the rest of us! #HatsOff

While I usually veer off the I-35 interstate in the city of West, Texas for some of the world famous savory Czech Stop kolaches (bless you, jalapeño, sausage and cheese) let’s not forget their sweet kolache friends! I didn’t make all 3 fillings but the apricot filling was my first pick and it was dy-no-mite! I’d suggest starting with that one first.

This is a recipe for those with a little kitchen grit. I found kolaches much easier to make than homemade tamales (which had me sore for 2 days) or puffy tacos (Joe does most of that work) and you’ll have plenty of leftovers to share with friends and family. I’ll never bat an eye at how much these cost as I found hand making these to be a labor of pure love.

Foodie Tips

❤  This kolache recipe made 53 of the yeasty delights and ironically Mom’s apricot filling recipe filled them all to the last scoop!

❤  It’s customary for the kolaches to touch while baking; they often come out of the oven square-ish. I had giant stainless baking sheet pans so my kolaches came out round. Despite the tweaked shape they tasted the same!

❤  To form the hole we wrapped a spice jar with saran wrap to prevent the dough from sticking and pressed away (shown).

❤  I remember growing-up my Mom’s friend “Miss Joyce” called some savory pigs in a blankey “koblasniky.” Turns out she wasn’t kidding – the sweet treats are kolaches and the savory friends koblasniky. I was happy to confirm in this article. My Moravian ancestors would be proud I stand corrected! Here in Texas folks just refer to anything wrapped in the billowy dough kolaches and we all know what’s involved.

How To Make Kolaches

i. Time

Total prep: Your entire morning. (includes 60 minutes for baking)

ii. Ingredients

for the kolache pastry:
1 ½ tablespoons  active dry yeast
½ cup  warm water (105°F115°F)
¼ cup  unsalted butter (my Grandmother “Nanny” insisted on Falfurrias)
¼ cup  vegetable shortening (Crisco)
1 ½ cups  lukewarm whole milk (100°F105°F)
6 cups  all-purpose flour, divided, plus more for the prep surface
¾ cup  evaporated milk
⅓ cup  granulated sugar
1 tablespoon  kosher salt
2 large  cage free eggs
1 large  cage free egg yolk
5 tablespoons (or more)  unsalted butter, melted

for the apricot filling:
1 pound  dried apricots
¾ cup  granulated sugar
3 tablespoons  unsalted butter

for the streusel:
½ cup   granulated sugar
½ cup   flour
½ cup   butter, melted

iii. What To Do

1.
Sprinkle the yeast over warm water and stir to combine. Set aside. Place the butter and shortening in a large microwavable bowl, and microwave on high until melted, about 1 minute. Stir well to combine. Whisk in the lukewarm whole milk and yeast mixture.

2. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Sift 3 cups of the flour over mixture. Add the evaporated milk, sugar, salt, eggs, and egg yolk. Beat on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Remove the whisk attachment and replace it with a dough hook. Gradually add the remaining 3 cups flour; beat on medium speed until dough is smooth, about 2 minutes. Let the dough sit at room temperature for 5 minutes; then beat it on medium-high speed until the dough is elastic and very smooth, about 10 minutes.

Kolache Dough Rising3. Brush the top of dough with 1 tablespoon of the melted butter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour. Punch the dough down and cover it again and let the dough rise until doubled, about 30 more minutes.

Making Kolaches

4. Generously flour a work surface. Gently roll dough out to a 1-inch-thick rectangle (about 18 x 14 inches). Using a 2-inch round cutter, cut out circles, and place them 1 inch apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Brush the tops with 2 tablespoons of the melted butter. Let rise in a warm place until almost doubled in bulk, about 20 minutes.

How To Make A Kolache

Texas Kolache
Apricot Kolache Filling5. While the dough rises, let’s make the apricot kolache filling. Prepare the apricots according to the package directions (I boiled mine in water for about 10 minutes then drained the water). Add the sugar and butter. I used an immersion blender to get things soft but I was careful not to over process it; you still want it a bit thick (not like apple sauce) and a few chunks here and there are OK. Set the filling aside.

6. Let’s continue on by making the posypka (streusel topping): Use a pastry cutter (suggested) or your fingers to combine the sugar, flour, and butter to form a crumbly texture. Store this in the refrigerator until ready to use.

7. Back to the kolaches! Make one small indentation in the center of each dough circle (see tip above or you can use your fingers), and fill each with about 1 tablespoon of the filling. Sprinkle each kolache with 1 to 2 teaspoons of the posypka. Let the kolaches rise until they’ve doubled in size, 20 to 30 minutes.
Kolache with Apricot Filling
8. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Position racks in top third and lower third of oven. Bake the kolaches until golden brown, about 20 minutes, rotating baking sheets between top and bottom racks halfway through the baking time. Remove from oven. Brush the kolaches with the remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter and transfer them to wire racks. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Apricot Kolaches

You may be tired by this point so sit back and enjoy a few bites of the sweet life!

~ Patrick

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

Apricot Filling Recipe For Kolaches

A Scan Of Mom’s Original Apricot Kolache Filling Recipe

Prune Filling Recipe For Kolaches

A Scan Of Mom’s Prune Kolache Filling Recipe

Cottage Cheese Filling Recipe For Kolaches

A Scan Of Mom’s Cottage Cheese Kolache Filling Recipe

Streusel Topping Recipe

A Scan Of Mom’s Streusel Topping Recipe


playboy chili

Playboy Chili with FritosPlayboy Magazine: I Read It For The Recipes

In a bygone era when I was far too young to know what Playboy Magazine was, someone in the family scored this chili recipe. Mom hand wrote the original recipe (the scan is below) so the magazine owner must have dictated it to her. I nominate my Dad or my older brother Tim.

So after returning home after a long September Saturday of shopping for new Halloween graveyard additions, Joe and I decided that despite it being 90 degrees there was no better way to kick-off fall in Texas than with a bowl of chili. So into Mom’s cookbook my fingers strolled until they landed on this ol’ recipe. There’s no telling when this chili was last made but I can tell from the yellowed, stained paper that this recipe was used more than a few times.

While this Playboy Chili recipe isn’t my tried, true and award-winning Kiker’s Kicker Pot Licker Chili, it packed a lotta punch.

Foodie Tips

❤  Some people just see a chili recipe. I see a recipe that’s a glorious gateway to the belly! You can put chili on more than just a spoon – try it on nachos, chili baked potatoes or what’s better than chili and eggs? Not much! I can picture my Dad enjoying chili and eggs right this very minute with eyes as wide as dinner plates and a smile bigger than Texas.

If you decide to make chili baked potatoes (I wildly recommend), don’t just microwave the potato – that’s far too easy. Take a delicious tip from this blue cheese bacon potato recipe – slather the potatoes with shortening, wrap ’em in foil, and bake ’em in the oven for about an hour. The end result? The softest, most delicious baked potato you’re likely to encounter! After all a baked potato is just that – otherwise we should call them nuked potatoes!

Playboy Chili Potato

Over The Lips… Past The Gums… Watch Out Belly Here It Comes!

❤  Important Lesson: Not since I learned why bagged grated cheese is inferior to freshly grated cheese (goodbye, wood pulp) have I realized that when making chili, plain ol’ ground beef is inferior to coarse ground beef. Why? I find that the typical ground beef often breaks down into more of a grainy mush than a hearty, bold consistency which is a chunky must when beef is the featured ingredient like when in a bowl of chili. Sadly my local grocery stores were out of coarse ground chili beef, so I resorted to the mundane. Note: You can ask your butcher to prepare it fresh for you.

❤  The typical sidekicks for the Kiker family bowl of chili include shredded cheddar cheese, Nabisco saltine crackers, corn bread, Fritos, sour cream and chopped green onions (to name a few).

Playboy Chili Spices

Let’s Spice Things Up

i. Time

Total prep: About 90 minutes.

ii. Ingredients

2 pounds  coarse ground chili beef
½ cup (or less)  olive oil
1 cup  white onion, minced (Mom would likely chop or dice)
1 tablespoon  fresh garlic, minced (I used 5 cloves)
1 large  green bell pepper, minced (or chopped/diced)
1 large  bay leaf (I used 2)
1 teaspoon  oregano
3 tablespoons  chili powder
1 teaspoon  cumin
¼ teaspoon  cayenne
½ teaspoon  fresh cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon (or to taste)  kosher salt
1 tablespoon  paprika
½ teaspoon  red pepper flakes (aka crushed red pepper)
3 tablespoons  flour
1 ½ quart  beef stock
2 teaspoons  sugar
¼ cup (about 10)  cracker crumbs
1 cup  pinto beans, drained
to serve  your favorite sidekicks (see suggested ideas above)

Play Chili Spices and Bay Leaves

My Favorite Part… The Bay Leaves


iii. What To Do

1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, sauté the meat in the olive oil.

2. Add the onions, garlic, green pepper, bay leaves, oregano, chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, pepper, kosher salt, paprika, and red pepper flakes. Whew!

3. Stir things well and sauté, covered, about 5 minutes.

4. Stir in the flour; blend well. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour.

Note: I noticed at this stage the chili was a little too oily for my liking which is why I think you can totally dial back on the olive oil (noted above).

5. Stir in the sugar, cracker crumbs and the drained beans. Simmer 10 minutes longer.

6. Serve with your favorite sides/toppings.

Leftovers store well in the fridge or they may be frozen for impromptu meals when that cold front blows in and you’re in a flurry for some chili.

~ Patrick

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

Playboy Chili Recipe

A Scan Of Mom’s Playboy Chili Recipe

Ever since watching the 1989 hit When Harry Met Sally I can’t see the word “paprika” without thinking of the funny paprikash scene. “Paprikash” is a popular Hungarian paprika chicken dish. Enjoy the clip!

Chili Potato Recipe

Another View Of Le Chili Potato


garden salad with pesto dressing

Garden Salad Recipe

Fresh ‘n Tasty 

The scan of the Mom’s original recipe clipping (below) hails from a Family Circle Magazine recipe from 1978. I don’t remember eating many salads in my younger years (hooray!) so I definitely dodged a bullet, as a lover of carbs.

Family Circle was one of my Mom’s go-to reads and I thought it was still in circulation. Sadly, it is no more but it had a good run of it from 1932 – 2019. You can read more about Family Circle Magazine here.

This salad is super versatile. You can add veggies or a protein and make it a mouth-watering meal. We added some grilled chicken to the salad and it was delicious!

We made the salad and pesto just a few days before departing on our 2020 Covid getaway to Colorado.

Foodie Tips

❤  For just two people we cut the salad and pesto recipes in half. If you are OK with leftovers for another meal, go all the way.

❤  A little pesto goes a long way. You don’t have to glob it on like a pasta sauce. If you love pesto you should try our family favorite that is a 100% legit basil pesto.

❤  I saw no evidence for what the asterisks were pointing to in the original recipe for parsley and basil. I can only presume the author meant to include “USE FRESH HERBS ONLY” because using dried parsley and basil sounds like a culinary disaster.

  We seasoned our chicken with a gift from a friend who makes it by hand – JB’s Special Blend is a staple in our home!

Garden Salad Veggies

i. Time

Total prep: About 90 minutes (includes chilling time).

ii. Ingredients

for the dressing:
½ cup  olive oil or vegetable oil
¼ cup  tarragon vinegar
1 cup  parsley clusters
1 ½ teaspoons  fresh basil leaves
1 clove  garlic
½ teaspoon  salt
teaspoon  pepper
2 tablespoons  fresh parmesan cheese, grated

for the salad:
3 cups  |  lettuce, hand torn
3 cups  |  spinach, hand torn
|  red pepper, seeded and cut into strips
|  green pepper, seeded and cut into strips
2 cups  |  zucchini, thinly sliced
1 cup  |  raw green beans, slivered
|  tomatoes, cut into wedges

JB's Special Blendiii. What To Do

1. For the pesto: Combine all of the ingredients (except the cheese) using an electric blender or immersion blender until smooth. Hand-stir in the cheese. Chill 1 hour to let the flavors mingle.

Seasoned Chicken

2. For the salad: Line a serving bowl with the lettuce and spinach. Arrange your chosen vegetables on top and chill until serving time. Serve tossed with the pesto dressing.

~ Patrick

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

Garden Salad with Pesto Dressing Recipe

A Scan Of Mom’s Original Clipping From 1978
I included the back of the recipe pointing to the origin of this recipe plus a surprise for a tempura batter recipe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




nanny’s green beans

Nanny's Green Bean RecipeThe Taste Of Yesteryear

Sometimes it can be difficult to get excited about green beans. But when your taste buds are delightfully reunited with the taste of your childhood – something you may have forgotten about but when you reconnect with it you remember instantly – it can be a great thing.

Such is the case with this green bean recipe! I can remember my Grandmother “Nanny” making green beans just like these when I was a mini me.

The Power Of A Grandmother

Of my grandparents I was closest to my maternal grandmother, who we affectionately called “Nanny.” You can find pictures of her on the old photos tab here on Betty’s Cook Nook.

Spring Chicken

Mere days before 1900 Nanny was born in Dime Box, Texas – a tiny unincorporated community in the southeast central Texas prairie. Nanny saw a lot during her 91 years and one thing we’ll always remember her for is her good-time food. Nanny’s green beans were one of her signature creations right up there with her chicken noodle soup, her prized waffles, and the coconut ambrosia she’d bring over on Easter Sunday.

This recipe comes to Betty’s Cook Nook from my fellow foodie Cousin Jennifer who scored it from our awesome Julie, who was the matriarch of our family for many years. Jennifer said she and Julie would enjoy these beans most Sundays for lunch. I hope you enjoy them! Who knows – whether it’s this recipe or another – maybe you’ll create a new tradition of your own shared through the art and love of food!

Foodie Tip

❤  Paired with bacon, onions, tomatoes and garlic it’s really easy to like these green beans. I realized while eating these that the canned beans tend to be a little soft for my preference. You may feel quite the opposite! Then I did a little research and realized I actually prefer what I knew as a kid as plain green beans (aka haricot verts) vs. the canned Italian cut. The next time I try these beans I’ll try substituting the Italian cut with fresh sautéed green beans with a little more bite (firm to the tooth) to it and see what happens.

Allen's Italian Green Beans

i. Time

Total prep: About 35 minutes.

ii. Ingredients

4 slices  |  bacon, cut into pieces
white onion, thinly sliced
14 ½ can  diced tomatoes, with the liquid
1 envelope  Lipton’s dry onion soup mix
½ teaspoon  dried tarragon
½ teaspoon  fresh garlic, minced
½ teaspoon  sugar
2 cans (28 ounces each)  Allen’s Italian-cut Kentucky wonder beans, with the liquid
to taste  salt
to taste  fresh cracked black pepper

iii. What To Do

Frying The Bacon1. Fry the bacon in a skillet until crisp. Add the onion slices and cook until tender and translucent.

2. Add the diced tomatoes with the liquid, the onion soup mix, tarragon, garlic and sugar. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Green Beans Going Into Things

3. Add the green beans, salt and pepper. Simmer for 15-20 minutes and voilà!

~ Patrick

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

A scan of the original green bean recipe is below. Sorry, Mary A. Peterson. I renamed your recipe to honor my Grandmother “Nanny.” Plus, I don’t have an Aunt Mary. But props to you for sharing this forward – that’s exactly what an awesome foodie does!


Aunt Mary's Green Beans Recipe

 

 


pork chop limas

Pork Chop Limas RecipeA Lima Good Tima

When I least expect it I’m surprisingly rocked by one of my Mom “Betty’s” recipes. This one totally changed how ima gonna feel about limas from today going forward.

In my former me, I thought limas were right up there with split pea soup – green, gross … grody to the max! Had my Mom called them by their other given name – the butter bean – I would have dove mouth first into a large bowl of ’em. Superfan of butter here! #Bombdiggity

Decades later I decided to revisit my mental block for limas by making this recipe and you know what? It wasn’t all gag me with a spoon. If fact, I wanted a bigger spoon – I actually loved limas! Totally gnarly! Are you channeling some 80s lingo yet? If not, best saddle up to this vintage classic for a refresher, if you wanna be a cool kid again:

I’ve also included The Periodic Table Of 80s Slang down below to help you on your way!

Foodie Tips

❤  During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic we couldn’t easily find dry limas. Lame. But we could source frozen and they worked just fine. In fact they seriously reduced the prep time in a rad way by 2 hours. Legit!Lima Bean Retro Sticker

❤  Mom noted the caraway seeds as optional but I totally included them – their earthy unique taste makes dishes extra fresh and special.

❤  Wanna profess your love for limas beyond mealtime? I just ordered a lima bean T-shirt and sticker to keep things legit!

❤  While your chops ‘n limas are baking why not enjoy some vintage lima bean art?! I’ve peppered a few examples below for you to peruse and enjoy.

i. Time

Total prep: About 90 minutes (includes 60 minutes for baking)

ii. Ingredients

1 ½ cups  |  dry california limas (or frozen if dry is hard to find)
1 quart (4 cups)  water
½ teaspoon  |  salt
pork chops
to taste  salt
to taste  fresh cracked black pepper
white onion, sliced
1 can  cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
½ cup  |  milk
1 teaspoon  |  caraway seeds (optional)

A bowl of lima beans

iii. What To Do

1. Prep the limas!

  • If using dry limas: Rinse the limas with cold water. Put into pan with water and salt and bring things to a boil. Simmer about 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until tender.
  • If using frozen limas: Bring 2 cups of salted water to boil over high heat. Add the frozen lima beans and return to a boil. Cook uncovered 20 to 25 minutes or to desired tenderness. Drain the limas and set aside.

Making Pork Chop Limas2. Prep the chops ‘n onions!

  • Our pork chops are usually from Costco and they are hella thick. So we usually trim them in half; they usually end up more tender.
  • Season the chops with salt and pepper. Brown them quickly in a skillet with a little fat/oil/butter (we used olive oil). Remove the chops.
  • In the same skillet brown the onion slices in a little fat/oil/butter.

Pork Chop Limas About To Go Into The Oven3. Bake those chops ‘n limas!

  • Turn (pour) the drained limas into a baking/casserole dish.
  • Arrange the chops and onions over the lima beans.
  • In a medium-sized bowl mix together the soup, milk, and caraway seeds then pour over the whole shebang.
  • You can refrigerate this dish until you’re ready to bake or roll forward by covering the casserole with foil and baking at 350°F for 45 minutes… then remove the foil and bake for 15 additional minutes. Plate up and enjoy!

Limas: Bad To The Bone

~ Patrick

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

Pork Chop Limas In Casserole

Pork Chop Limas Fresh From The Oven

 

Enjoy this vintage lima bean art!

Spam and Limas Recipe

“Ah” Inspiring? Or “AAaaacckkk!” Inspiring?!? LOL #SPAM

Pork Chop Limas Recipe

A Scan Of Mom’s Original Recipe Card

The Periodic Table Of 80s Slang


puffy tacos

The Art Of The Puffy Taco

My Homemade Birthday Puffies July 26, 2020

2 Treats In 1

If you’ve never eaten a puffy taco, you’re missing out on one of life’s greatest culinary creations! Picture the usual taco shell but it’s filled with air (kinda like a blow fish) and about ¼” thick. The shell is not crunchy but when made properly arrives in-between a soft and crunchy taco and it’s made of corn flour. The taste is 100% authentic and delicious!

Growing up in San Antonio I thought puffy tacos were as common as burgers, hotdogs or soda pop. Almost since the very beginning in 1937 my family has scored our favorite Tex-Mex delights from Teka Molino which is still in operation. Whenever I visit my hometown of San Antonio I make sure and load-up on an a la carte plate filled with my favorite edibles: bean and cheese cups, guacamole cups, and of course puffy tacos.

It wasn’t until about 30 years later in life I found myself living in Round Rock (a mere 90 minutes away) and was surprised that our Tex-Mex waitress had never heard of a puffy taco. And no, they didn’t carry them.

Teka Molino Treats

A Pic Of Teka Molino Delights

Behold The Puffy

We accidentally fell into making the puffy tacos. We were making empanadas with masa and decided to give it a whirl. After watching the Hilah video below we realized after a couple of fails we could make the puffy tacos! They were way easier to make than holiday tamales of 2019, when I was sore for two days later from the 5-6 hours of labor. I will never see a tamale the same way again!

What’s even better my Cousin Jennifer told me that the usual beef mixture inside the puffy taco wasn’t just mere old taco meat but picadillo, so that recipe is here as well! My favorite part of the picadillo are the small potatoes that are married-up with green bell peppers and the seasoned meat. Give this dish a whirl and I think you’ll love it!

red tortilla press

Press On!

Foodie Tips

❤  No tortilla press? I found some tips for how you can press your own without a formal press. Here’s one approach that makes use of plastic cutting boards and in this YouTube video you can see what you’re doing while you press, thanks to a glass pie plate! Since our tortilla press was on extra backorder we used the pie plate method with Ziploc bags (vs. plastic wrap) and it worked like a charm.

❤  Don’t be discouraged if your first few tacos shells crack or don’t fold properly! You can use the imperfect tacos for masa chalupas, make an impromptu taco salad, dip them into queso, serve with fresh pico de gallo, etc.

❤  For the best taco filling this recipe goes hand-in-hand with this picadillo recipe. You can trust me on this one! #PinkySwear

❤  I’ve never seen a yellow (orange) Mexican cheese but that’s how Teka Molino serves theirs. So a mild cheddar would work or possibly grated Velveeta. If you want to try a white cheese, go Oaxaca or Monterey Jack.

❤  For the best creamy jalapeño dressing recipe (shown above) click here.

  Want to learn more about the history of the puffy taco? This video is my favorite!

  Using a small wire whisk we dipped the masa tortillas into the fryer and formed puffy cups! These are similar to the cups Teka Molino serves and super easy to make. AND EAT! Just load ’em up with beans n’ cheese, guacamole, picadillo… and you’re off to outer space!

Puffy Taco Cup

The Puffy Taco Cup Is My BFF

 i. Time

Total prep: About 30 minutes (excluding the makin’ of the picadillo). This dish is best consumed fresh. We enjoy ours progressive style, meaning we set up our taco bar and eat as we make.

ii. Ingredients

for the puffy:
2 cups  |  maseca brand corn flour
1 ½ cups  warm water
1 teaspoon  |  salt
to form  tortilla press (or see alternate pressing tips above)
to press  PAM Spray, plastic wrap, or a Ziploc bag with the sides trimmed away with scissors
to fill pot 2 inches deep  canola, peanut or vegetable oil (we found canola didn’t stink up the kitchen as much)
1  deep pot or pan for frying
thermometer (for testing the oil temperature)
1  large metal spider strainer or strainer spoon ladle
1  metal spatula

to dress your puffy:
lettuce, thinly sliced
mild yellow or white cheese, shredded
tomato (diced or sliced)
fresh pico de gallo (chopped tomato, onion, salt, lime juice, and cilantro)

Puffy Chalupa

Even Dressed As A Chalupa The Puff Makes All The Difference

iii. What To Do

A word of caution: Remember you’re frying in hot oil! Please keep kids and pets safely away from the range top in case of any wayward oil splatters.

1. Prepare the masa!

  • I have a feeling for best results make your masa fresh; don’t make the masa tortillas in advance and refrigerate them.
  • In a medium-sized bowl combine 2 cups of the corn flour and the water.
  • Mix by hand until the dough is nice and soft. The dough should be moist but not stick to your hands. If the dough feels dry you can add a teaspoon or two of water and continue mixing until you’re happy. Don’t put too much water or else the puffy taco will get holes in it as it fries.
  • Hand roll the masa into the size of a golf ball.
  • Take one ball at a time and press it using your chosen pressing technique. You can press them all at once or press as you fry.

2. Puff those tacos!

  • We used a 2 quart cast iron pot filled with our chosen oil and the temperature gauge attached. The oil was heated precisely to 375°F. Make sure your range vent is on!
  • Insert one flattened tortilla into the oil and let it fry! Flip it over once after it has fully puffed (about 20 seconds). You’ll cook it no more than 60 seconds. After you flip the taco, form the signature fold by gently press and holding a metal spatula into the middle of the puff – this is where your toppings will eventually go. Be careful not to cut the taco in half! While forming the fold, keep the taco submerged under the oil to keep it cooking.
  • Using your strainer, lift the taco from the oil, lightly shake the puffy shell a few seconds and transfer it to a cooling rack that is sitting on top of a baking sheet (to catch any oil drippings). Let the taco rest with the inside of the taco fold facing down.
  • Ensure that the oil has returned to 375°F then continue making additional tacos until all the rolled masa balls are complete.
Puffy Taco Side View

Puffy Taco Shells Should Be Like An Al Dente Noodle – Soft To The Bite – Not 100% Crunchy Or Soggy

Puffy Taco Recipe

3. Dress those tacos!

  • This isn’t Taco Bell! So a properly dressed taco is what tastes Um Um, vs. OH. MY. GAWD! delicious! (we’re going for the latter).
  • Fill a taco with about a 1/4 cup of picadillo (or your chosen filling) then add your toppings.
  • While I could go crazy with an assortment of toppings, I prefer to enjoy my puffies how Teka Molino makes them – rather simple, so the picadillo doesn’t get lost with an avalanche of other toppings. My suggestion: lettuce, cheese then the tomato slice on top.

Perfection!

~ Patrick

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

How To Make Picadillo

Picadillo Is So Much Tastier Than Plain Ol’ Taco Meat (Sorry, Taco Meat)

Spicy Shrimp Puffy Tacos