mom’s layered salad

A Layered Salad Recipe From Betty's Cook NookLayers Of Taste

This salad recipe should be in everyone’s cookbook, so best bookmark it now.

My Cousin Julie said this dish is very popular for potluck meals – and when she’s taken this she’s always been asked for the recipe.

It’s that good!

Foodie Tips ~

  If you plan to eat this salad right away, run hot water over the frozen peas before adding so that they will defrost. Or you can use canned or fresh peas.

  Ingredient amounts may be doubled and layers may be doubled for large party servings. You can add any of the optional ingredients below to make this salad more of an entree then serve it with rolls, iced tea and a dessert! Need some dessert ideas?

  You may notice that in my pic above I served my salad from a glass champagne bucket. Whoopsie – no big glass dish for me! If you don’t care as much about the presentation you can layer this salad in any bowl that you’d like but make sure it’s large enough to hold the head of lettuce and all its friends.

  If you can serve the salad with the layers in tact send me a pic! It’s probably best to toss the salad just before serving. That is, after everyone has already viewed and snapped pics of your multi-layered wonder.

i. ingredients

the main stuff:
1 head | iceburg lettuce, chopped
1 box | frozen peas
2 cans | water chestnuts, drained (I added a can to the recipe below)
| green onions, chopped
1 cup | swiss cheese, shredded
optional | ham, chopped
optional | black olives, sliced or chopped (I used 2 cans)
optional | hardboiled eggs, chopped
optional | green peppers, chopped
optional | dealer’s choice  :)

the topping:
1 cup | mayonnaise
1 cup | sour cream
½ – 1 teaspoon | sugar (it’s not me, it’s the ’70s calling!)

to serve:
1 bottle | hormel brand bacon bits (yummm… a bottle)
1 cup | parmesan cheese, shredded

ii. what to do

1. In a large glass dish layer the first five ingredients to form the base of the salad. Add the optional ingredients, as you wish.

2. Mix together the three topping’s ingredients above and spread over the top of the salad. Be sure to cover to the edges to seal. The salad may be covered with plastic wrap and left in the fridge for a day or two or enjoyed now.

3. When ready to serve sprinkle the salad with the bacon bits and the parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!

mom's layered salad recipe from betty's cook nook

 

This photo is of Julie’s original Mom’s Layered Salad recipe. I took this pic on her dining room table which is as big and beautiful as Texas. The wood originated from a bowling alley.

Who would have thunk? My spectacular Cousin Julie, that’s who!


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.

 





impossible taco pie

Go Loco For Taco

Mmmm... Taco Pie!This Pie Makes Its Own Crust ~ Total magic!

The idea of “magic” was something I was obsessed with when I was in 5th grade. I dreamed of being a professional magician after seeing a store display on Broadway Avenue… a mechanical magician who could perform tricks compliments of his table, a cup and a few eye-shifty shenanigans.

Oh, yeah… I was hooked.

Magically obsessed, one day I drug my Dad and best friend Sean to Central Park Mall to a magic shop. My eyes rest upon on a magic kit and I knew in a blink it was meant for me.

Dad selflessly bought me and Sean each the magic cred (I remember triple digits, so it was a big deal ~ especially in the 70s).

Back at our upstairs playroom at 2927 Trailend, complete with black light, cloth-covered table and my instruction manual cleverly tucked underneath, I performed ~ almost flawlessly ~ some of the tricks I could decipher.

This recipe? Totally easy to make. And especially easy and great to eat!

impossible taco pie ingredients

Ta Dah!

Let’s.
Make.
Magic!

i. ingredients

1 pound | ground beef
½ cup | onion, chopped
1 package | taco seasoning mix
4 ounces | chopped green chilies, drained
1¼ cups | milk
¾ cup | bisquick brand baking mix
3 | cage free eggs
2 | red tomatoes, sliced
1 cup | monterey jack or cheddar cheese, shredded
to garnish | ice burg lettuce, chopped
to garnish | red tomato, chopped

slice of heaven...ii. what to do

0. Preheat oven to 400°F.

1. Grease a 10½” pie plate and set aside.

2. Cook and stir beef and onion until brown; drain, then stir in taco seasoning mix.

3. Spread in pie plate and top with chilies.

4. With a blender or hand mixer, beat milk, baking mix and eggs until smooth; about 1 minute.

5. Pour into pie plate.

6. Bake pie 25 minutes then remove from oven.

7. Top with sliced tomatoes and cheese; return to oven and bake until knife inserted in the pie’s center returns clean (about 10 minutes).

8. Cool 5 minutes then top with sour cream, chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce and cheese.

Serves 6-8 Texans

Great For Breakfast Or Dinner

Foodie Tips ~

Wanna spice up life? Add fresh diced jalapeños to the beef before you cook it. Adventurous!

Tre colori!

mom's impossible taco pie recipe. impossible? think again!






sweet and sour grapes

so sweet... so sour... so easy to make!You’ll Go “Ape” For These Grapes

There are only a handful of recipes that I can recall from childhood memory. You’re looking at one of them.

You may at first grimace at the idea of sour cream with grapes… but the sweet and sour taste was one of the earliest I can remember and topped with brown sugar, it was very easy to get me to eat them!

I remember mom serving this grape salad in her white Pfaltzgraff Heritage style custard cups. I’ve still kept her dinnerware all these years as the simple style withstands the test of time.

You can serve this as a side to the main course, but I think this is best enjoyed as a dismount from the table ~ a dessert!

i. ingredients

1 pound | washed green grapes, chilled
8 ounces | sour cream
½ teaspoon | vanilla
1 cup | brown sugar
optional ~ ½ cup | texas pecans, chopped

ii. what to do

1. In a large mixing bowl, mix the sour cream and vanilla until well blended.

2. Gently fold-in the grapes and coat well.

3. Transfer the grape mixture into individual-sized serving cups or onto a wide and flat serving platter (for folks to serve themselves).

4. Sprinkle the brown sugar on top… and the pecans, if desired. Try and ensure you get the brown sugar on top of the grapes (merely blending the sugar into the mixture will cause the sugar to dissolve).

Makes A Great Summer Treat

Foodie Tips ~

♥ Make sure and serve this treat chilled.

 You can double the recipe depending on how many folks you’re serving.

 As a young study, I don’t quite remember the pecans in mom’s original rendition of this, but it’s possible I forgot. I found a similar recipe during research online and feel that mom would approve; who doesn’t love the crispy crunch of Texas pecans? Today’s version of this treat calls for 4 ounces of sour cream and 4 ounces of softened creamed cheese (vs. 8 ounces of only sour cream). You can decide what tastes best.

If you love sour cream, why not test out the mom’s frozen fruit delight ice cream? No churning required!





hot mushroom turnovers

fresh in the oven ~ hot mushroom turnovers“You Say ‘Mushroom’ Like It’s A Good Thing” (And it is!)

Growing up, there were certain foods I avoided, like school; brussel sprouts, split pea soup, LIVER and our old pungent friend, the mushroom.

I’ve learned to “never to say never” as, with time, things change. Palettes change. And as we grow, we learn to try food before we judge it, as our expectations are sometimes greatly surpassed as we take magical flavor journeys with with world’s wonderfully wide assortment of food.

Pair anything with cheese and I’ll love it (well, except liver). So over the years, as mushrooms popped-up here and there at friends’ feasts, I was more and more open to mushrooms. Then my adventures to Italy taught me how the Italians prize porcini mushrooms and truffles. Italians include mushrooms into delicious dishes, just as if they (the mushrooms) had a seat at the head of the dinner table.

So this week, when out fell this recipe during my search for what to make, I decided to make these turnovers inspired by mushrooms. What’s not to like?

Let’s make mushroom magic!

i. ingredientsshrooms!

9 ounces | cream cheese, softened
½ cups | butter, softened (use Falfurrias brand butter per Nanny)
1½ cups | sifted flour
½ pound | mushrooms, minced
1 large | white onion, minced
3 tablespoons | more butter, softened
1 teaspoon | salt
¼ teaspoon | fresh thyme leaves, minced
2 tablespoons | flour
¼ cup | sour cream
1 | cage free egg, beaten

ii. what to do

1. Early in the day or 2 hours before serving, place in large bowl the cream cheese, butter and flour. Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed until soft dough forms.

2. Wrap dough in waxed paper and refrigerate at least one hour.

3. About 1 hour before serving, preheat oven to 450°F.

4. In a medium-sized skillet over medium heat, cook the mushrooms and onion in 3 tablespoons butter until tender, about 5 minutes.

5. Stir in salt, thyme and 2 tablespoons flout until blended and then stir in the sour cream (yes!).

6. On a floured board, thinly roll-out one half of the dough and cut into about 12 circles using a 2¾” cookie cutter. Roll dough scraps into ball and refrigerate.

7. On one ½ of each circle, place a teaspoon of the mushroom mixture. Bush the edges with egg and fold the edges over the filling to meet the bottom edge.

8. With a fork, press edges together and prick tops in three places to let the steam out.

9. Place turnover on an ungreased cookthe art of mushroom makin'ie sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and mushroom filling until you’re all done.

10. Brush turnovers with egg.

11. Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes about 50 turnovers. Serve warm.

Foodie Tips ~

Use fresh mushrooms for a flavor explosion. Try a little more salt and some pepper if your tongue doesn’t tingle on your first “go” of it.

Can’t find three 3-ounce packages of cream cheese? You’re not alone. It seems our modern day bellies are bigger than the “small packs” so you’ll most likely have to buy multiple 8-ounce blocks or containers of the good stuff and trim ’em down.

Don’t have a 2¾” cookie cutter? I found a small juice glass in my kitchen that measured-up quite fine.

 While the original recipe calls for an ungreased cookie sheet, I think I went a little liberal with the egg brushing. I found some PAM Baking Spray helped a lot.

Why not create a mushroom masterpiece of your own? I used a clover-shaped cookie cutter and made my own version of this tasty treat… debuting this St. Paddy’s Day 2012.shake your shamrocks for these hot turnovers

~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~

Who is “Mary Stephenson?”

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

Mary was a fabulous foodie friend of ours and you’ll find 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.

Mary typed-up this recipe on an 8½” x 11″ piece of paper, and I found the original recipe (below) in Mom’s 3-ring black binder.

a scan of the original hot mushroom turnover recipe compliments of mary stephenson




frozen fruit delight

Mom's frozen fruit delight recipe“Think Snow”

One of my favorite childhood memories was spent with Mom as we’d “will” snow to come for a delightful visit.

During special winter nights, when the temperature dropped and the dark sky was fluffy white, we’d patiently sit together by the dining room window with the back porch floodlights aglow. We were watching the sky for flurries.

South Texas snow flurries!

While snow flurries didn’t arrive until I was 18 years old, this seemingly fruitless ritual instilled in me the basic belief of hope. Hope for a snowier tomorrow. And more importantly… the belief that something great was just around the corner… no matter how long it took to arrive.

While the South Texas snowflake is a treasured rarity, the greatest of all snowfalls arrived in January of 1985. Still living at home with Mom, (she was a widow just 3 years young), we woke to discover a 13 inch snowfall in our Alamo City! It was like a Texans’ Colorado-loving dream come true.

Oh, and it was.

It was then I found my most favorite frozen delight. And now I share with you Mom’s culinary frozen *and fruity* treat, compliments of this recipe. Now you don’t have to wait for winter to muster-up your own frozen delight.

Think Snow!

i. ingredients

1-8 oz. can | crushed pineapple (Dole doesn’t make 8.25 oz. cans any more)
2 large | bananas
¾ cup | sugar
2 tablespoons | lemon juice
2 tablespoons | chopped cherries
2 cups | sour cream
1/2 cup | chopped texas pecans

ii. what to do

0. First find yourself a 1.5 quart mold. Since “quarts” aren’t referenced much these days, a 1.5 quart mold holds 6 cups.

1. Chop the cherries and pecans if need be and set ’em aside.

2. Drain the pineapple and dump the mixture into a medium-sized prep bowl.

3. Mash the banana and add it to the pineapples.

4. Mix in all of the remaining ingredients.

5. Pour the mixture into the mold and freeze until firm (about 4-6 hours).

To serve, dip the mold into warm water a few seconds to loosen the frozen delight. Place an upside down serving plate on top of the mold… flip… and lift the mold up. If you’re lucky the delight will release from the mold and you’re ready to dig-in!

This is an easy dessert to make with kids ~ a fine alternative to the hand crank ice cream machines used back in the 70s, when I was a tot.

Foodie Tip ~

  I’m sure Mom used jarred red maraschino cherries for this tasty dish. You can also use Amarena Fabbri wild cherries from Italy to spice this up a bit. And you can add a few more than just 2 tablespoons. For posterity.

Mom's frozen fruit delight recipe ~ psst... think snow!

Mom’s Original Recipe Scan

The Kiker Family Sled

Think Snow