caesar salad

La Louisianne Caesar Salad RecipeSeize The Caesar

More than 44 years after the original surprise party I received a surprise text from my cherished Cousin Alison.

December 28, 1974 Daughters Give Surprise Party in San Antonio

Click Image For A Close-Up View

Sadly Alison’s not near my front door to whisk me to Dime Box, Texas to visit family, but she’s texting because she’s found an old article from yesteryear about something I don’t even remember as a young tot – one special feast honoring my Grandmother’s 75th birthday!

I’ll spare you my many fabulously fond stories about my dear Nanny but I hope you’ve enjoyed one of the greatest gifts life has to offer – Grandparents! 

What’s special about this ol’ newspaper post is that it honored my Grandmother at one of the fanciest restaurants in San Antonio – La Louisianne. Sadly “La Lou” closed its doors in 1992 but trust me when I say it gifted memorable meals to thousands of folks who graced passed its front doors.

How remarkable that this birthday party appeared in the San Antonio Express-News. I’m crediting my Mom, Betty, for what’s probably the only time my name has been in *real* newspaper print. Hooray!

While Cousin Alison’s name didn’t make 1974 print, just the week before Nanny’s great dinner my Cousins Billy and Debbie found out they were blessed with her arrival, coming in 1975. What a great gift in our lives!

My Cousin Lorin texted me this caesar salad recipe proving that food can last beyond the best of times. Thank you, Lorin!

Enjoy food, salad, and family to the fullest!

La Louisianne Caesar Salad Bread Crumbs

Homemade Breadcrumbs Are Easy To Make… And Eat

Foodie Tips

❤  Two heads of lettuce? Yikes – where’s room for dessert!? We cut this recipe in half. Even for two ambitious Texans.

❤  To coddle and egg: Don’t hug it near and dear. :) Drop it in hot water for about 40 seconds to make it nice and toasty!

❤  Hangry? Add sliced grilled chicken breast for a more bountiful meal.

❤  Love salads? Don’t forget to click here (and scroll down) for more salad ideas here at Betty’s Cook Nook!

❤  Thanks to Joe! I bought a head of CABBAGE at the store, thinking it was Romaine lettuce. He fixed my wrong. #Guh

i. Time

Total prep: About 15 minutes (sans the grilled chicken)

ii. Ingredients

2 heads | romaine lettuce, cold, dry, and crisp
¼ teaspoon | salt
¼ teaspoon | fresh cracked black pepper
½ cup | croutons
2 ounces | garlic oil
½ ounce | worcestershire sauce
½ ounce | red wine vinegar
½ ounce | lemon juice
1 | cage free egg, coddled
1 tablespoon | anchovies, chopped
2 tablespoons | parmesan cheese, shredded

iii. What to do

1. Pull apart the Romaine lettuce into 2-inch pieces.

2. Mix the lettuce with salt and pepper.

3. Form a bed of croutons in the center of the lettuce,.

4. Mix the next 4 ingredients and pour over the crouton-lettuce mixture.

La Louisianne Caesar Salad Recipe

Here Goes The Egg + The Anchovies

5. Add the egg and anchovies.

6. Toss well and sprinkle with the parmesan cheese.

La Louisianne Caesar Salad Recipe

Let’s Give This A Good Toss

Serves: 4

~ Patrick

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


shrimp victoria

Shrimp Victoria Recipe From Bettys Cook NookTales From The Sea

I found this recipe folded in my Mom “Betty’s” index card holder. I recognized her handwriting immediately.

There’s no doubting Mom’s love for seafood as this recipe is one of several shrimp recipes I’ve discovered in her cookbook (surf the shrimp recipe archive).

While I tell a few funny stories on this food blog about my dislike for most types of seafood, this recipe is delicious, proving once again that my distaste for seafood is waning. Mom would be proud.

The Write Stuff

I look closer at the paper containing the recipe and notice the phone number “CA6-4141”. I was time-warped back to an era when phone numbers began with exchange names. Exchanges were phased out in the 1960s and 70s, so this would date the origin of this recipe back about 50 years ago. The number CA6-4141? “CA” stood for “Capitol” which translated to “22” so the full phone number would have been 226-4141. Confusing short-code, huh? Today San Antonio has 10-digit dialing like most large cities. The city’s newest area code 726 went into effect in 2017 and made me smile because 726 is my birthdate, July 26th.

Also on the paper recipe (below) I see The Clegg Company. A quick Google and this San Antonio Business Journal article popped-up in sight. I was surprised to learn that the then 104-year-old retailer was purchased by Herman Miller – the maker of the iconic Herman Miller Aeron chair. This very chair was one I sat on during my days working for a large internet consultancy that went belly up after the dot-com bust. That’s another long twisty, turbulent story for another day!

While stories like these likely don’t mean much to folks outside my family I include them here as an example of the amazing ways we are connected to the past if we’re open to it. All this from a Shrimp Victoria recipe scribbled on a notepad… and tucked away for more than 50 years!

Foodie Tips

  The rice was good but believe it or not I’m trying buttered toast on the next go (we were out of bread)!

  Not sure how to clean and devein your shrimp? I’ve included a couple of YouTube videos below that will show you how easy it is!

  I thought I was being fancy by letting my shrimp marinate overnight in the fridge. Turns out that it’s not really necessary! My online sleuthing showed that a 30-minute marinade should be fine but with an acid-based marinade (this recipe has lemon juice) the shrimp can turn “mushy” as the acid can start to break down the shrimp. I didn’t experience this with my dish, however!

  While stores may not be consistent in how they classify shrimp, when you’re at the seafood counter there’s a method to the madness for how many shrimp typically come per pound (this is indicative of their size). Resources that will be helpful include the Certi-Fresh Shrimp Sizing Guide you can print, and keep with your cookbooks (score!)… and the Farm to Table guide that provides some detail on larger-sized shrimp. Now you’ll be able to decipher shrimp-like code like PUD, P&D, U/15, and 61/70!

i. Time

Total prep: About 30 minutes.

ii. Ingredients

½ cup | unsalted butter (my grandmother “Nanny” insisted on Falfurrias)
1 ½ pounds | cleaned, raw shrimp
½ cup | onion, chopped
1 cup | fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons | lemon juice
1 tablespoon | worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons | flour
1 ½ teaspoons | seasoned salt
dash | fresh cracked black pepper
1 ½ cups | sour cream
1 tablespoon | fresh parsley, chopped
to serve | rice or buttered toast (optional)

Shrimp Victoria On The Stove

iii. What to do

1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat melt the butter. Cook shrimp and onion, stirring until the shrimp is almost tender, about 5 minutes.

Shrimp Victoria Recipe With Mushrooms

Shrimp Victoria With Sour Cream

A Mound Of Sour Cream? Texans “Yee Haw” About This!

2. Add the mushrooms, lemon juice and the Worcestershire sauce. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat.

3. Stir in the flour, seasoned salt and black pepper. Then the sour cream. Return the skillet to the heat and cook over low heat stirring until hot, but not boiling.

Shrimp Victoria Recipe

4. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve at once over rice or buttered toast.

Yields 6 servings

~ Patrick

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

Shrimp Victoria Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

A Scan Of Mom’s Shrimp Victoria Recipe ~ Note The Suggested Pairings
For The Perfect Meal (see bottom of recipe)


meat loaf medley

a meat loaf medley recipe from betty's cook nookI Would Do Anything For Loaf

Some of the best recipes are filed away solely in memory. As awesome as this is, it can mean that unless one coverts the recipes to paper or blog before the recipe creator passes, their cherished recipes can pass right along with them.

This is the case with some of my Mom’s and virtually all of my Maternal Grandmother’s recipes! Lucky for me my Mom curated two cookbooks so I have a few hundred recipes for my tastebuds to feast upon (you, too, if you fully experience this blog). The only recipes I have from my Dad are the cherished few that he taught us in person and I don’t have any of my Paternal Grandparent’s (or beyond) recipes. I hope this blog will put a digital stake (steak) in the ground and break my family’s culinary recklessness as I archive many of the recipes fueling my childhood. So far, I’ve published more than 130 recipes … and I have a healthy appetite to keep ’em rollin’!

So given the ease in which some foodies “just remember” how to create in the kitchen, I was not at all surprised that this recipe simply calls for us to literally “make a meat loaf mixture” … yet there is no detail for how to do so! Yeah, I don’t know how to do that! Joe found and adapted an easy-to-make meat loaf recipe so I included the details below if you need a little help making your meat loaf. Feel free to substitute this loaf recipe with your very own favorite; this dish is extremely forgiving – Hello, it’s graced with instant mashed potatoes!

I found this recipe clinging on for dear life near the bottom of this chicken breasts au vin recipe that we recently made so consider these posts a tasty “twofer” for your tummy! This recipe ran in print without a name, so I lovingly named it “meat loaf medley” because it made me chortle a little when the name came to mind. The world “chortle” also makes me chortle! :)

foodie tips ~

  The discerning foodie eye will likely notice that I doubled the servings of mashed potatoes for the top of the meat loaf medley. Eight servings tasted even better – no paper-thin smears of the fluffy stuff for me! Nah, I just won’t do that. Neither would the original Meat Loaf.

  To toast the cheese on top of the meat loaf to a golden brown, as shown, place it under your oven’s broiler for a couple of minutes.

  Most Moms have a favored meat loaf recipe. If you don’t already know hers beyond the heart, I encourage you to get your Mom (or Grandmother) to give you the recipe details so you can safely secure and share it with foodies to come!

i. ingredients

for the meatloaf:

1 pound | lean ground beef
¾ cup | whole milk
1 tablespoon | worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons | fresh sage, chopped
½ teaspoon | salt
½ teaspoon | dry mustard
¼ teaspoon | fresh cracked black pepper
2 cloves | garlic, minced
1 bunch | scallions, chopped
½ cup | dry bread crumbs
½ cup | ketchup or barbecue sauce

for everything else:Idahoan Buttery Homestyle Mashed Potatoes

8 servings | smashed potato buds (we used Idahoan buttery homestyle)
2 handfuls | your favorite shredded yellow cheese (cheddar, colby-jack, etc.)
to coat | butter (optional, per below)

ii. what to do

0. Preheat oven to 350°F.

1. Combine all meat loaf ingredients except the ketchup in a large bowl, and mix well. Place the meat loaf mixture into an ungreased 9-inch pie pan and spread the ketchup or barbecue sauce over the top of the loaf.

2. Bake uncovered for about an hour, until no pink remains in the center of the meat loaf (the internal temperature should be ~160 degrees).

3. Just before the meat loaf is done, make the mashed potatoes according to the package instructions and set aside. If you want to add some butter, I won’t tell! Make sure and use Falfurrias brand butter because that’s what my Grandmother “Nanny” (Betty’s Mom) always used.

meat loaf casserole with cheese recipe

4. Remove the loaf from the oven and spread the mashed potatoes on top. Sprinkle with cheese and return to the oven for a couple of minutes, until the cheese is all melted and toasty good.

meat loaf medley casserole from betty's cook nook

5. Remove from the oven and let rest a few minutes and serve. We enjoyed ours by the spoonful.

Yields 4 – 6 servings

~ Patrick

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

Chicken Breasts Au Vin Recipe

A scan of Mom’s original recipe

 

In case you missed the multiple plugs to Meat Loaf (the musical one), here’s one more treat you might “loaf” just as much as this dish!

meat loaf and potatoes recipe

Just one more helping!

 


beef polenta pie

A Beef Polenta Pie Recipe From Betty's Cook NookA Pie To Try

Mom clipped this recipe from the April 1976 issue of Better Homes and Gardens. I was just cough-cough-9-years-old-cough-#omg-gasp at the time. In the original recipe scan below you can read the story about how this recipe was chosen for the “He Cooks” section of the magazine.

While my first attempt at this recipe didn’t present as beautifully as I had hoped, it was surprisingly tasty. Mastering my Nikon DSLR is a constant work in progress so I’ll plan on another photo session when I make this tasty dish again.

foodie tips ~

  Looking for polenta in the ingredient list? You won’t find it there labeled as such, but cornmeal is often used to make the Italian dish, so there you have it! Besides, eating “Beef Cornmeal Pie” just doesn’t sound as tasty. To learn more about the differences (or not) between polenta and cornmeal visit this nice article I discovered.

  Me gusto processed American cheese. We used Velveeta slices for the polenta pie topper then later revisited the article and saw the stacked pyramid shape (below) which had more foodie flair than our cheese-flung approach. I think next time I make this I will grate cheddar or mozzarella to better coat the top of the pie.

  If you don’t want to make the “peppy sauce” below, you can substitute it with your favorite homemade or jarred sauce. Here’s one of mine. We preferred doubling the peppy sauce recipe to yield 2 cups of sauce. I guess I’m a saucy kinda guy.

i. ingredients

½ pound | ground beef
5 ounces (about 2 cups) | fresh mushrooms, chopped
¾ cup | green pepper, chopped
½ cup | onion, chopped
1 clove | garlic, minced
| cage free egg, beaten
¾ cup | soft bread crumbs
1 teaspoon | salt
½ teaspoon | dried oregano, crushed
⅛ teaspoon | fresh cracked black pepper
few drops | bottled hot pepper sauce
¾ cup | cornmeal
¾ teaspoon | salt
2 cups | water
3 slices | processed American cheese

for the peppy tomato sauce topping:
8 ounce can | tomato sauce
⅛ teaspoon | garlic salt
⅛ teaspoon | celery salt
dash | worcestershire sauce

How To Make Beef Polenta Pieii. what to do

1. Make the beef mixture: In a 10-inch skillet, cook the ground beef, mushrooms, green pepper, onion and the garlic until beef is browned and the veggies are tender. Remove from heat and set aside. In a bowl, combine egg, bread crumbs, 1 teaspoon salt, oregano, pepper and the hot pepper sauce. Combine this mixture with the meat mixture. Turn into an ungreased 9-inch pie plate and set aside.

2. Make the cornmeal mixture: In a medium saucepan combine the cornmeal, ¾ teaspoon salt and the water. Cook and stir over medium heat until it’s thick and bubbly. Spread this mixture atop the meat mixture that’s been waiting for you in the pie plate. Cover with foil then bake in a 350°F oven for 30 minutes. Uncover the pie and top it with the cheese. Return the pie to the oven until the cheese melts, about 3-5 minutes more. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

3. Make the peppy tomato sauce (if not using your own sauce substitute): Combine the tomato sauce, garlic salt, celery salt and the Worcestershire sauce. Heat through. Makes about 1 cup of sauce.

4. To serve: Cut your polenta pie into your desired wedge and top with the sauce.

Makes 4 servings

~ Patrick

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

Here’s a scan of Mom’s recipe clipping (note the time worn folds in the paper). This recipe has a great intro story I hope you read. Note: The recipe’s author, Stephen Braitman, is wearing a button that I’m pretty sure reads “I’m An Advocate For Women”. Right on, Stephen! :)

A Beef Polenta Pie Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook


nanny’s barbecue sauce

Nanny's Barbecue On The GrillA Blast From The Past

After I safely recovered Mom’s cookbooks in 2011, I was quick to notice one thing missing – recipes from her Mom – Nanny. Nanny was the Grandparent I was closest to and she had a few “home run” recipes like her coconut-fruit (Ambrosia) salad, homemade chicken noodle soup and waffles served hot from the press. What’s not to like there?

I’ve been deeply saddened that Mom didn’t have any of Nanny’s recipes in her own cookbook but I find “the closer to home, the less likely you are to write things down.” This is certainly true with cooking as many of Mom’s favorite recipes were in her head – not on paper – so good luck to us all in documenting our family’s tried and tastefully-true recipes!

My family’s recipe void began changing earlier this spring when I visited Julie, who’s my 1st Cousin and our family’s much loved Matriarch. Julie has a mind like a steel trap, so after blogging my way through almost 100 of Mom’s recipes I decided to dig deeper; a trip to San Antonio with the specific culinary reconnaissance mission of recovering a few family recipes I didn’t have. And recover, I did!

In addition to Julie gifting me Nanny’s Iced Tea recipe, I scored the Grandmother-load of all – Nanny’s Barbecue Sauce Recipe (below) which we’ll get to in a moment. Why, in a moment? Well, for those of you who haven’t read most of Betty’s Cook Nook you may be disappointed to hear that I have the gift of gab which translates quite nicely online as I’m also fast-to-type (so was my Mom, Betty). So if you want a “CliffsNotes” version of this recipe, you best scroll down to this post’s “Foodie Tips” section and continue on. If you want to read a free and fabulous story about family and food, read on!

More Of Nanny's Barbecue On The Grill

The Art Of Family Cooking

When creating Betty’s Cook Nook I knew I wanted to weave in family stories along with our recipes because to me, eating goes hand-in-hand with daily living for all of us regardless of geography, culture or perceived socioeconomic status. Celebrating great food and friends was something my parents Betty and Louis absolutely loved to do, so it just felt right to try to honor my Mom’s love for cooking by creating this blog so I could translate her conventional cookbook online for generations to come.

While my storytelling is primarily for my family, I’ve heard from several non-family members – even strangers – who say they love reading the stories so I know the true essence of my effort extends far beyond a handful of my closest family members, maybe even to you! So I want to share a really touching story about something that happened today that directly ties to this recipe in the most fantastic way.

Who Do You Think You Are? (a.k.a. You Are What You Eat!)

For a few years I’ve enjoyed watching the TV series “Who Do You Think You Are.” I’ve seen some incredible stories uncovered through research. Because I lost my parents at a young age I have several family “holes” to fill, so last night after watching Valerie Bertinelli‘s amazing story I finally signed-up for a free 2-week trial at Ancestry.com. No, the folks at Ancestry didn’t pay me to write this post, but they should have. ;)

I was instantly addicted to my family’s online research – I’m quite skilled at online sleuthing, so Ancestry.com fits right up my alley. Within a few hours I had connected over 50 of my family members dating back to 1874. One of the most impressive things I quickly found was the address where my grandparents “Nanny” and “PaPaw” and my Mom “Betty” lived in 1944 thanks to a local city directory listing. Years after I grew-up in San Antonio, lived in Dallas 20 years then moved to Italy and returned to Texas in 2012. I learned they lived just 20 miles from where I live today in Austin, Texas … and I had no clue!

Betty's Austin House Circa 1981

With their home address I was quickly able to find driving directions – even score a recent picture of the house from GoogleMaps.com. The home was a charming stone house, and the more I looked at the online photo I realized it looked strangely similar to one photo among the thousands of family photos that I have. It was well after midnight so I went to bed. At 4am hope and excitement woke me up. I pulled out the family photos and within 10 minutes had found the match for the online photo!

I knew I had to visit the house today. While the Google picture from the front of the street looked relatively the same with just a few modern updates to the carport and entry, I was nervous the house was no more as online records suggested their house had quadrupled in size. Today I bundled-up my two Labs “Boomer” and “Harley” and drove to Nanny’s and Mom’s old neighborhood and was thrilled to find that the house had not been torn down – it was doing just fine – including the two huge oak trees that flanked the 1981 family picture I have of the house (above).

Betty's Austin House Circa 2014

The Way We Were

Standing in front of the house at 1701 Virginia Ave. here in Austin was a bit strange for me. While my feet were 70 years late arriving to the party, I felt an awesome peace; the peace that comes from discovering something special. I pictured the old 1938 stone house with my Mom “Betty” and her Sister “Delores” playing in the yard … then my Grandmother  “Nanny”, sticking her head out the screen door to summon her two girls to dinner.

Today, while I may have arrived 70 years late for dinner, I’m able to recreate one of their family favorites thanks to Nanny’s Barbecue Sauce recipe. So can you!

Foodie Tips ~

  This sauce works well with chicken, beef or pork. Feel the force!

  Julie said my Grandfather Harry would make a basting “sop mop” by wrapping a T-shirt strips around a stick. Feel free to create your own … or use a modern silicon basting brush shown above.

  What are those yellow wrappy-things below? They’re lemon cover stretch wraps and you can find them online or at a store near you! They make juicing lemons a seedless, pulp-less pleasure!

  A nice side for this dish would be one of my all-time favorites here on BCN – California Potato Salad. It’s that good!

Nanny's Barbecue Sauce - Featuring Lemon Stretch Wraps!

i. ingredients

1 cup | shortening
| white onions, peeled and quartered
| green bell pepper, cut into chunks
4 pieces | celery, cut up
1 can | tomatoes (we used a 14.5 ounce can of diced toms)
1 can | tomato sauce (we used a 15 ounce can of Hunt’s)
½ cup | vinegar
2 cups (or more) | water
| lemon, juiced then quartered and everything added, including the peel
3 teaspoons | yellow mustard
¼ cup | catsup
2 teaspoons | chili powder
3 teaspoons | salt
1 teaspoon | fresh cracked black pepper
2 dashes | hot sauce
2 dashes | tobasco
¼ cup (or more) | worcestershire sauce

Nanny's Barbecue Sauce Simmering On The Grill - Betty's Cook Nook

ii. what to do

1. In a large stock pot simmer everything uncovered until it’s all cooked down and reduced. While the original recipe below says “at least ½ hour,” my Cousin Julie was quick to point out that it takes much longer than noted! I think we simmered everything for about 2 hours, stirring every few minutes. 

2. Taste and adjust the sauce as you like, because these measurements aren’t “exactly right!” Gottaloveit.

Nanny's Barbecue Sauce Sop Mop

3. When the sauce is done to your liking, baste the meat on the grill with a sop mop or basting brush. We made sure to heavy-up on the last basting just before removing everything from the grill.

If you want to enjoy this the way Julie said our family did (throw away nothing), save the vegetables and serve them as a side dish for your barbecue meal.

Enjoy!

Family Fun Facts ~

 The vintage “Fire King” measuring cup above is my Mom, Betty’s; it has surely measured-up over the years and can probably tell bountiful stories about the families and friends it has fed! I alone can tell more than a few stories. :)

  Cousin Julie told me that when they lived in the old stone house my Grandpaw Harry worked at the IRS in Austin; turns out he was too old to enlist for WWII so worked this government job instead. What’s even more impressive is that my Mom (Betty) her Sister (Delores) and Delores’ Daughter Julie (my Cousin who was barely 2 in 1944) also lived in the house. It must have been a lively party of five, indeed! Delores also worked at the IRS which Julie said was “filled with women” as most men were off serving in the war.

  Cousin Julie said Nanny and PaPaw (Grandpaw Harry) would hose down the old stone house above in the hot summer days to keep it cool inside; these were days before air conditioning!

  In 2014 I sent a letter to introduce myself to the residents of 1701 Virginia Avenue but sadly they did not reply; still sad about “no reply” to this day (2020).

  Here’s my original scan of Nanny’s BBQ recipe – Cousin Julie said this was Nanny’s recipe penned by Mom’s sister Delores Sutton who is one of the most elegant ladies I ever met. I love her handwriting! The paper? It can tell a story all its own. Click the pic for a bigger view.

Nanny's Original Barbecue Sauce Recipe


savory pepper steak

A Savory Pepper Steak Recipe From Betty's Cook NookPeter Piper and Patrick Picked This Plate of Pepper Steak

The old saying goes “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

I know Mom loved this recipe: a) because I found it in her cookbook and b) because it has black pepper in it and I love pepper and know she did as well!

Foodie Tips ~

  Never trust anything that is ⅛ teaspoon in size. Either don’t waste your time adding it into your dish or pump up the jam and add more. In this case I’d add way more than ⅛ of pepper. Go for the gusto!

i. ingredientsA Savory Pepper Steak Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

1-½ pounds | round steak, cut 1/2 inch thick
¼ cup | all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon | salt
⅛ teaspoon | fresh cracked pepper
¼ cup | cooking oil or shortening (we used oil)
8 ounce can (1 cup) | tomatoes
1-¾ cups | water
½ cup | white onion, chopped
1 clove | garlic, minced
1 tablespoon | beef-flavored gravy base
1-½ teaspoons | worcestershire sauce
2 large | green peppers, cut into strips
to serve | hot cooked white rice

ii. what to do

1. Cut steak into strips.

2. Combine flour, salt and pepper and coat the steak strips.

3. In a large skillet, cook the steak strips in hot oil until until browned on all sides.

A Savory Pepper Steak Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

4. Drain the tomatoes, reserving their liquid.

5. Add the tomato liquid, water, onion, garlic, and gravy base to the steak. Cover and simmer in the skillet for about 75 minutes until the meat is tender.

6. Uncover and stir-in the worcestershire and the green pepper strips. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes more. If desired, you can thicken the gravy by adding a mixture of flour and cold water.

7. Add the drained tomatoes then cook for about 5 minutes.

8. Take a few deep sniffs of your dish. It smells like AWESOME!

TO SERVE: Pour spoonfuls of the peppery steak and gravy over hot rice. The recipe says this yields 6 servings. But if you’re like me, this dish actually yields 2 bountiful servings. :)

This dish was brought to you by the letter “P”!

A Savory Pepper Steak Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

 

PS ~ Now that we have peppered steak on the brain let’s watch a Peter Piper video from one of my favorite childhood TV shows – Sesame Street.


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


beef stroganoff

A Beef Stroganoff Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

From Russia, With Love

Turns out I didn’t know much about savory stroganoff growing up; I surely didn’t know how to spell it or make it … but I sure knew how to eat it!

While researching a bit for my first stroganoff post back in 2011, I learned that stroganoff (as it’s name would imply) is a dish inspired from Russian cooking. I Googled “Russian Food Facts” and found this interesting passage …”Russia is mainly a northern country with a long-lasting cold winter. The food should give us much energy and warmth to survive during the winter time. So, the essential components of Russian cuisine are the ones, which provide more carbohydrates and fat rather than proteins.”

Yup. Those are my roots – carbs and fat (light on the proteins). LOL. Enough of the history lesson – let’s cook!

foodie tip ~

 Noodles or rice? Go for some wide noodles (shown) … nothing’s better!
 For you stroganoff fans out there give Mom’s Sausage Stroganoff recipe a whirl. It’s a different take on this beef stroganoff, it’s just as tasty and if you’re in a hurry to get your stroganoff fix, it’ll do the trick!

i. ingredients

¼ cup | flour
1 teaspoon | salt
⅛ teaspoon | pepper
1 ½ pounds | beef, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons | butter
1 cup | onion, sliced
1 clove | garlic, minced
½ cup | water
1 teaspoon | worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons | catsup
4-ounce can | button mushrooms
¾ cup | buttermilk
to serve | noodles or rice

ii. what to do

1. Combine flour, salt and pepper. Coat cubes of meat with this mixture.

2. In a large pan, brown the meat slowly with the butter. When the meat is brown on all sides, add the onion, garlic, water, worcestershire sauce, catsup and liquid drained from canned mushrooms. Cover and simmer for about 2 hours. Trust me, it’s worth the time as the meat should finish out very tender!

3. Stir in the mushrooms and the buttermilk and cook only until heated through.

Serve over noodles or rice.

A Scan Of Mom's Beef Stroganoff Recipe

OK. I lied about no more history lessons!

As you can see by examples of my Mom’s handwritten recipe cards here on Betty’s Cook Nook, Betty had great penmanship. This morning I was admiring her handwriting in her recipe card above and noticed the funny little “ands” … Mom wrote them like a little “o” with a cross through it. A few online clicks later and I found out this character stems from shorthand – a form of abbreviated writing – that was invented before recording devices- back then the tape recorder. The connection to this recipe?

Mom's Computer: The IBM PC XT Circa 1982.When I was growing up Mom was a court reporter. This meant she knew stenography (the process of writing in shorthand) and she was skilled at typing faster than the wind. Mom’s business tools were much different from today’s modern day tools; she often typed in duplicate and triplicate, making copies via carbon paper. To archive documents she made Xerox copy machine “copies” – not electronic scans. She had a typewriter – not a computer – until the early 1980s when technology started to transform her industry. I remember her first “green screen” IBM computer (sample above) … something that would completely revolutionize how she did work. And this funny little device called a stenomask she could place over her mouth to quietly repeat – almost in unison – what was being said in the court room; she could later come home and with a tape recorder and a “fancy” foot pedal device she could listen back-and-forth to court testimony while she typed it out the good ole fashioned way.

OK, now I’m done with the family history lessons. For now.  :)


chicken spaghetti

A Chicken Spaghetti Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

Ready For Spaghetti?

On top of spaghetti all covered with cheese.
I lost my poor meatball when somebody sneezed.

It rolled off the table, it rolled on the floor,
And then my poor meatball rolled out of the door.

It rolled in the garden and under a bush,
And then my poor meatball was nothing but mush.

The mush was as tasty as tasty could be,
And early next summer it grew to a tree.

The tree was all covered with beautiful moss.
It grew great big meatballs and tomato sauce.

So if you eat spaghetti all covered with cheese,
Hold on to your meatball and don’t ever sneeze.

~ Tom Glazer

Sung to the tune of “On Top Of Old Smoky,”On Top Of Spaghetti” was one of my favorite childhood songs. This dish brings back a lot of the tastes of the 70s and is the first from Mom’s recipe book that calls for Velveeta. And we all know about Velveeta; Velveeta is to the 1970s as this dish is to my belly!

I haven’t cooked chicken on the bone in years (I’m weird that way). Luckily I had some help in the kitchen from “Blademaster Joe” as my chicken “boning” skills are weaker than a wet noodle.

Foodista Featured Blog

This recipe?

It was featured on Foodista so you know it’s gotta be good!

i. ingredients for boiling the chicken

5 pounds | whole chicken (on the bone)
1 large | onion, chopped in large chunks
3 | carrots, chopped in large chunks
2 stalks | celery, chopped in large chunks
1 tablespoon | peppercorns
2 cloves | garlic, chopped
2 | bay leaves
2 teaspoons | salt

ii. ingredients for the dish

5 pounds | chicken (seasoned, boned and chopped per “step i”)
3 stalks | celery, chopped
| green pepper, chopped
2 large | onions chopped
2 teaspoons | garlic juice
4 ounce can | mushrooms
10 ounces | spaghetti, broken
16 ounce can | tomatoes, diced and drained
2 tablespoons | ripe olives, chopped
1 can | cream of mushroom soup
to taste | salt
to taste | pepper
to taste | paprika
dash | worcestershire sauce
1 pound | velveeta cheese, grated

iii. what to do

Prep Chicken:

1. Wash chicken well. Place all ingredients in large pot. Cover with water.

2. Cover and bring to boil over high heat. Set lid at angle so steam can escape from pot. Lower heat to gentle boil and cook for up to 1.5 hours. Add more water if needed.

3. When meat is falling off the bone, remove from heat. Remove chicken from broth, save broth and let chicken cool. Once cool, remove skin and bones and discard. Chop meat, place into large bowl and set aside.

Make Dish:

1. Strain broth using a cheesecloth or sieve. Discard seasonings (onions, carrots, celery, etc.).

2. Measure one quart of the chicken broth back into pan. To broth add the chopped celery, green pepper, onions, garlic juice and mushrooms.

3. Bring to a simmer and add spaghetti. Cook until spaghetti is done and almost all liquid is absorbed.

4. Add tomatoes, olives, soup, salt, pepper, paprika and mix well.

5. To chicken, add worcestershire and Velveeta and mix well. Then add chicken mixture to spaghetti.

Serves: Up to 12

~ ~ ~

Who is “Elizabeth Seale”

Sadly, I don’t know who Elizabeth Seale is. I did some online searching and no luck. She must have been a passionate foodie because she had pre-printed recipe cards with her name on them (see below). Personalized recipe cards were surely a rare thing back in the day! When scanning the card, I noticed a small imprint on the back that reads “Walter Drake & Sons., Inc. Made in U.S.A.” I’m writing the folks at Walter Drake to see if they can give me an approximate year for when the cards may have been sold. I know it was 1947 or later as 1947 is the year that Walter Drake was created.

After reading the recipe card a little further, I noticed Elizabeth was using keywords (today known as #hashtags) in her recipe. See her underlined words below for yourself: Simmer. Bone. Chop. Measure. Add. Simmer. Cook. Add. Mix. Add. #GoFigure!

A scan of the chicken spaghetti recipe card from Mom's cookbook


steak diane

delicious steak dianeThe Great Steak Escape

When the Kiker-Sutton family had a special event to celebrate, the entire family went to La Louisiane (aka “La Lou”).

La Lou was certainly tops of the “frou frou” with white cloth covered tables, elaborate place settings and a fine dining menu, including favored treats like Steak Diane.

During the La Lou meal, my cousins and I would snort-laugh (in that order) as we tried to secretly place empty cracker wrappers underneath plates only to find that the wait staff’s magically darting eyes were too quick to pick them up and Snoopy Celebrates The 2nd Anniversary For Betty's Cook Nookdiscard them. Butter arrived pre-sliced and placed on your personal butter dish by the waiters who had a butter-flicking device I’ve never seen since!

La Lou opened in 1935 during the Great Depression. It survived for almost 60 years but sadly is no longer around. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have La Lou grace our kitchen compliments of this recipe from Mom’s recipe book.

I made this recipe on the 2 year anniversary of this blog. This recipe and the blog hold a special place in my heart … and most importantly my belly. Give Steak Diane a try and you’ll see!

Let’s Get Cookin’

i. ingredients

4 | sirloin strip steaks, ½ inch thick
to taste | salt
to taste | black pepper, freshly ground
1 teaspoon | dry mustard
4 tablespoons | Falfurrias brand butter (per Nanny)
3 tablespoons | lemon juice
2 teaspoons | chives, snipped
1 teaspoon | worcestershire sauce
to garnish | mushrooms, cooked and fluted

some of the ingredients for steak dianeii. what to do

1. With a meat mallet, pound steaks to 1/3-inch thickness.

2. Sprinkle one side of each steak with salt, pepper and 1/8 teaspoon of the dry mustard; pound into meat. Repeat on the other side of the meat and continue until all steaks are done.

3. Melt the butter in a skillet or chafing dish. Add the meat and cook 2 minutes only on each side. Transfer the steaks to a hot serving plate.

4. To skillet, add the lemon juice, chives, and worcestershire sauce; bring to a boil. Pour sauce over meat. Garnish with cooked, fluted mushrooms, if desired.

Serves: 4

foodie tips ~

  Don’t overcook the meat. Go with the flow and follow the directions. A pink center is a tasty center.

  “Fluting a mushroom?” At first I thought it meant you held a jam session with mushroom to mouth, while wiggling the fingers. Not so much. Here’s a video and a blog that will help you turn mere fungus to life of the party. I couldn’t determine if you cook the mushrooms before or after fluting (per recipe) but they are really more for decoration so I’d suggest keep them raw and real and basting with lemon juice after cutting for a fresh presentation.

 This steak goes great with my newest favorite spud ~ the blue cheese bacon potato! I loved how the blue cheese taste didn’t punch you in the taste buds!

  Wiki says that Steak Diane is typically made with brandy. Somebody’s been holding out!

  Note 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