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” 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


“nuts and bolts” party mix

Mmmmm ~

Ready to get the party started?

This recipe was a Kiker family favorite during the holidays.

It still is.

The more we made, the more we shared. And the more we shared, the more we ate. The circle of life.

I found it interesting to see that Mom’s *original* recipe (below) called for Corn Pops… and that it was later scratched out and replaced with Cheerios. I’m guessing perhaps the sweet-salty match-up was too “avant garde” back in the 70s… Or was it?

I dove-in head first with my first attempt re-making this classic by using both the Corn Pops and Tabasco. And you know what? I loved them both!

While my childhood friend “Snoopy” later popularized the Party Mix, Mom was making this original before it was available, pre-made in a bag, at the grocery stores (there’s not much fun in that).

Brother Roger said “Nuts and Bolts” would often be served warm in Mom’s white CorningWare bowls, which he still has to this day. And his favorite part? Taking the pretzel sticks and “stabbing” the Cheerios in their center hole, so he could stack ’em up.

Move over, popcorn. There’s an old snack in town. Nuts and Bolts rules. Hands down.

PS ~ I take responsibility for the doodling on the back of the well-worn recipe card; seems I was too young to have respect for life’s “little treasures.”

i. ingredients

group 1 :
1 stick (1/2 cup) | oleo (Nanny loved Falurrias Brand Butter!)
1 tablespoon | Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon | garlic salta close-up shot of the
¼ teaspoon | salt
to taste | Tabasco (if desired)
to taste | Lawry’s brand seasoned salt with black pepper (if desired)

group 2 :
2 cups | cheerios (the “bolts”)
3 cups | wheat chex
3 cups | rice chex
to taste | pretzel sticks
1 package | lightly salted peanuts (the “nuts”)
1 package | cashews (the “nuts”)
1 package | Texas pecans (the “nuts”)

ii. what to do

0. Preheat oven to 325°F.
1. Melt the oleo (butter) in a large baking pan and add the “group 1” ingredients. Stir well.
2. Stir-in the “group 2” ingredients until well coated.
3. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
4. Serve warm, if you can.

foodie tips ~

This recipe is great for making treats for gift-giving… especially during the holidays when friends and family may pop-in for a visit.

I remember mom also using Lawry’s brand seasoned salt on the party mix. Roger remembers it, too. Rahhhh, salty! I sprinkled some seasoned salt with black pepper on top just before I put them in the oven and it brought back the good times.

Why not consider adding Corn Chex to the party? The more, the merrier.

mom's party mix recipe


french onion soup

french onion soup ~ one of mom's favoritesI remember as a kid I was not a fan of soups; they seemed kinda boring to me.

In “walked” cheese.

Cheese transformed everything for me. It had magical superhero powers that could turn sad days sunny. And frowns upside down. The best part? It still does!

I only remember eating mom’s french onion soup once. And once is all it took to tickle the tummy… and the heart.

This soup is a delicious “pick-you-up” during rainy days and chilly nights. It’s easy to make and even easier to eat! Why don’t you share a bowl with a friend or two?

Whaddayawaitin’ for? Soup’s on!

i. ingredients

3-4 | medium onions, thinly sliced (3 cups)
2 tablespoons | falfurrias brand butter (Nanny says so)
2 cans | condensed beef broth
1¼ cups | water
1 teaspoon | worcestershire sauce
2 handfuls | your favorite sliced bread
1-2 cups | freshly grated parmesan cheese
to taste | freshly ground black pepper

ii. what to do

sliced onions used in mom's french onion soup0. Get ready to toast the bread. Preheat toaster oven (or oven) to 350°F .

1. Cook the onions and the butter in a medium-sized pot until lightly browned (about 15 minutes).

2. Add broth, water and worcestershire sauce. Simmer 20 minutes.

3. While the soup is simmering, generously sprinkle cheese on top of the bread and toast in a toaster oven (or oven) until lightly browned.

4. Spoon the soup into serving bowls and top with the toasted cheese bread. The more, the merrier.

5. Garnish with fresh black pepper.

Still hungry for more? Consume more french onion soup goodness here at wiki.

Foodie Tip ~

  If you’re in a pinch, you can use croutons instead of making bread the good old fashioned way. It won’t be as delicious, but you’ll still take your taste buds on a flavor adventure.

the original french onion soup recipe


broccoli mushroom dip

betty's broccoli mushroom dip

When boasting I was making this dish to one of my coworkers, I was promptly scolded because she could not believe that I would make a dish with canned mushrooms, instead of fresh.

Well, fresh or not, this recipe is H-O-T!

Enjoy it on game day or any day you want a little taste of 70s cooking.

Here’s to you, mom!

i. ingredients

1 – 10-oz. package | frozen chopped broccoli
1 – 6-oz. roll | garlic cheese*
1 – 10-1/2 oz. can | mushroom soup
1 – 7 oz. can | chopped mushrooms, drained
1/2 onion | minced
2-3 stalks | celery, finely chopped
to taste | salt and pepper
1 teaspoon | worcestershire sauce
few drops | tabasco sauce
dash | cayenne pepper
to serve | corn chips (me gusta “scoops”)

* Good luck finding a “roll of garlic cheese” at your local grocery store. I learned Kraft discontinued production of this former staple which upset thousands of folks who used it in a variety of dishes (especially Christmas grits). “Kiss my grits, Kraft!”

After doing some intense online research, I found and ordered my garlic cheese from a Missouri meat company named Oberle Meats. Sure the shipping cost more than the product itself to have it 2-dayed to Dallas, but it was worth it. If you’re in a hurry to make the dip and can’t mail order it, here’s a quick substitute you can melt all together:

3 oz ~ Velveeta
3 oz ~ Smoked American Cheese
1/8 teaspoon (not heaping) ~ Garlic Powder

Now that you have your garlic cheese…

ii. what to do

1. Cook the broccoli according to the directions on the package *and drain*. I forgot to drain the broccoli, so my dip was a little soup-y.
2. Transfer the broccoli into a chafing dish and add the remaining ingredients. Stir until blended and thoroughly heated.
3. Serve with corn dips (I prefer Frito’s brand “Scoops” corn chips)!

Serves 6-8 folks.

Buon appetito!

mom's original broccoli-mushroom dip recipe card


san diego steak


T
his special recipe is dedicated to my nephew Travis ~
a spirit who teaches us all to savor the great steak of life!
~      ~

Julia Child once said “The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.”

The Kiker family knows this well as the word “diet” rarely crosses our lips. That being said…

…You better have a couch nearby after eating this foodie family fave!

my family's san diego steak recipe ~ thanks to roger!

Probably the best part about creating an online haven for mom’s recipes is that my brother “Roger” chimed-in with this San Diego Steak recipe, which wasn’t in mom’s cookbook. So this recipe hails from mom to Roger’s kitchen… and now, to your belly.

After a few clicks searching online for a look-a-like recipe yielding *no results,* I’m thinking this San Diego Steak recipe is literally “from the inner Kiker family vault.” So get ready for a savory family treat named after “America’s finest city!”

Roger says San Diego Steak was a real treat growing up ~ usually partnered with mashed potatoes.

San Diego Steak really hits home as showcased above on mom’s actual table sporting sparkling water served from her own “Special Occasion” glasses.

The food and the ambiance of yesteryear is still kicking today, so let’s eat!

i. ingredients

4 strips | thick cut bacon strips, sliced in 1/2 length-wise then cut into small cuts, about ¼” square
1 pound | ground sirloin
2 tablespoons | worcestershire sauce
6 shakes | lawry’s brand seasoned salt
12 twists | freshly milled black pepper (medium grind)
garnish | sour cream
garnish | bacon bits
garnish | thinly-sliced avocado
garnish | lawry’s brand seasoned salt

ii. what to do

1. Begin by frying the small cuts of the bacon ’til CRISP. Drain the bacon bits on a paper towel(s).

2. WHOA! Save the bacon drippings for cooking the steaks, coming up next.

3. While the bacon is cooking, mix the four next ingredients (above) by hand until you can’t wait any longer and form into two or four patties (depending on the growl).

4. Cook the steaks in the bacon drippings. When done, let the San Diego Steaks rest on a paper towel or two.

5. Place steaks and potatoes on plates and garnish as shown (splitting 1/2 the bacon bit between steaks and potatoes) and loosen your belt. You’ve arrived “home.”Nanny Insisted On Texas-Made Falfurrias Butter ~ You Should Too!

Foodie Tip From Roger ~

  “Only use Falfurrias brand “real butter” for the potatoes, like our grandmother ‘Nanny’ always did.”

Foodie Fact ~ San Diego Steak was the first “missing recipe” added to Betty’s Cook Nook, compliments of my brother Roger. Foodie props to you, big bro, for remembering how to make this tasty dish! Almost lost, the San Diego Steak recipe is now in the family’s digital cookbook.