Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Cookbook Book Club -- BETTY CROCKER!

It wasn't my suggestion --
the group decided to do a "Betty Crocker" Cookbook Night
And I volunteered to Host
We do, after all, have a close personal relationship with

And if you read any of her old books, you know how to set the table . . . 

In the dining room
A tablecloth, real dishes, cutlery

A centerpiece should include flowers and ours did -- red carnations

We chose our Spode Blue Room, Jim's Grandmother's cutlery, damask napkins in silver rings
And our Quaker Lace tablecloth
Betty would be pleased!

Not an original but a reprint of the 1950 "Picture Cookbook" 
which revolutionized cookbooks
(a gift from Daughter Sarah)
The red carnations, cookbooks and spoons

Why spoons?    Why red spoons?
For more than 60 years, that red spoon is one of the world's most recognized logos, found on Betty Crocker products such as cake mixes, frostings, cookie mixes, meals . . . 

In 1954, they reasoned that putting Betty's image on the package wasn't realistic.
So what image could convey:   "kitchen helper", "warm and friendly" and "reliable guide"?
A red spoon it was determined!

When Betty Crocker herself heard that we were having a "Betty Crocker" night
for our cookbook club, she sent one of her iconic red spoons for each guest!

Along with the above tag.

One of the caveats of this Cookbook Book Club Night was that you were to bring the Betty Crocker cookbook that you got the recipe from:

All of our cookbooks on the living room coffee table.
Old, old cookbooks.    Beloved Cookbooks.    Much used cookbooks .
Cookbooks that had no cover from constant use.
Cookbooks that had the "scar" of being put on a hot burner
From two original Red and White Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook (one of which was a wedding present from her mother's co-workers when her mother got married in the 50s) , to a children's cookbook that one member received as a gift from her grandmother at age 8, to a grandmother's treasured cookbook

The menu:

Orange Pecan Chicken and Rice
(As hostess my contribution)
From Betty Crocker's Best Christmas Cookbook

4 chicken breasts
1 box of quick cook white and wild rice
2 ounces of chopped pimento
1/4 cup chopped pecans
2 cups orange juice

In a square baking dish, mix rice and packet mix with pimento and pecans.    Pour orange juice over all and top with chicken breasts.      Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.     Sprinkle with parsley to serve

Rita brought Squash and Apple Bake from Betty Crocker's Cookbook

Angela's recipe was from the internet
Creamy Garlic Asparagus Bake

quarts water
lb fresh asparagus spears, trimmed (about 35 spears per lb)
packages (5.2 oz each) Boursin™ cheese with garlic and herbs, softened
cup heavy whipping cream
cup shredded fresh Parmesan cheese
medium plum (Roma) tomatoes, seeded and chopped
teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1
    Heat oven to 400°F. 
  • 2
    To blanch asparagus, heat 4 quarts water (add 1 tablespoon salt, if desired) in 6-quart Dutch oven to boiling. Add asparagus; cook 3 to 4 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender. Remove asparagus, and immediately immerse in bowl of ice cold water. Let stand 5 minutes. Drain well; pat dry with paper towels.
  • 3
    Place asparagus spears in ungreased 13x9-inch (3-quart) baking dish.
  • 4
    In medium bowl, mix Boursin™ cheese and whipping cream with whisk or fork until blended. Stir in Parmesan cheese; spread over asparagus. Top with tomatoes. 
  • 5
    Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with thyme

Barbara brought a cabbage salad from the
Original Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook
Salads, she said, were not as plentiful in the 50s as they are now
It was dressed with cooked (boiled) dressing
(which I've always wondered about -- I will say it was delicious and now
I am eager to make a dish with it -- thank you Barbara!)

Michelle didn't own a Betty Crocker cookbook but found the third edition of Betty Crocker's Picture Cookbook  at a used book store (and if you saw Michelle's collection of cookbooks you would wonder why Betty was not represented!    However, she remedied that and bought three!)
Michelle had never made a molded gelatin salad (although she had owned a Tupperware salad mold "forever") nor had she made mayonnaise.    
This was a delicious recipe and the tangy tomato was a nice compliment to our meal!

Donna's "starch" was a rice dish -- from one of those pamphlet cookbooks that are at the checkout aisle.    Easy Mexican Cooking.     It was delicious and went with our non-Mexican meal but we all felt that it would make a Mexican meal extra special to serve this rice dish with tacos or an enchilada casserole.

Rhonda brought easy Buttery Cheese biscuits (correctly named Cheddar Biscuits with Old Bay Seasoning). .     Not her original plan for her original plan was "From Scratch Biscuits" from her mother's much loved original Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook
but after having to deal with a 12 foot trench after her work day ended, her time was limited . . . so she found these on the internet

Cheddar Biscuits With Old Bay Seasoning


cup butter, melted
teaspoon salt
teaspoon OLD BAY® seasoning (from 6-oz container)
teaspoon garlic powder
teaspoon parsley flakes


cups Original Bisquick™ mix
cup milk
cup butter, melted
cup shredded Cheddar cheese (2 oz)
  • 1
    Heat oven to 425°F. In small bowl, stir together Topping ingredients; set aside. 
  • 2
    In medium bowl, stir Biscuit ingredients until soft dough forms. Drop dough by 8 spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. 
  • 3
    Bake 16 to 18 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown. Immediately brush hot biscuits with Topping. Serve warm.
And, of course, we have to have dessert!

When Liz graduated from Nursing School, she knew that she had to learn to quick and so bought Betty Crocker's Quick and Easy Cookbook.    It is much beloved and instead of the spiral book that she originally bought, it was so loved that she had to take it apart, put each page into a plastic sleeve and put those sleeves into a 3 ring binder.
Because it's from Betty Crocker's Quick and Easy Cookbook -- it is quick (canned pears) and easy (the lemon topping).     She told us the recipe and, of course, I thought I would remember but I didn't. I do know that it was made with lemon pudding and whipped cream and lemon zest and a soupçon of powdered sugar but I forgot the proportions.     
It was delicious!
And a dessert that our mother's might have served to the Bridge Club ladies!

 Chocolate Fudge and Peanut Butter Creams.     Brought by Sara.
From the cookbook, Betty Crocker's Boys and Girls Cookbook.   The cookbook was
given to Sara by her grandmother when Sara was 8.    The copyright is 1950 so she thinks that he grandmother may have bought it used.     Sara wasn't 8 in 1950.   In fact she wasn't even born!
But she's treasured that cookbook for many years (for she's more than 3 times 8 years old now!)

It was a nice compliment after the pears and lemon sauce and we kept passing the compote around.    Taking another piece of fudge or one more peanut butter cream

We always say each month that it was THE BEST!
And we certainly said that last night!

It was a fun evening as we visited and talked about food
and our experiences with Betty Crocker

Before they left, the girls wanted to say:

Thank You Betty!


Bernideen said...

As far as I am concerned - you all deserve a trophy! What a wonderful meal and such variety and interesting items! Great success!

Lady of the Manor said...

What a fun and delicious evening!! This sounds like a great way to try some new/old recipes at one time.

Denise said...

This is so special! I love seeing your beloved cookbooks and appreaciate that you included all the recipes. It sounds like your group has a great time together. Thanks for sharing your ventures. Also, I enjoy seeing your table settings - always so lovely!
(Our youth group toured Betty Crocker headquarters in Minneapolis in 1973, when I was 13. Each of us received the large red spoon. I was so excited to add it to my hope chest.)

Autumn's Glory said...

I think that is so cool that Betty Crocker sent you red spoons to commemorate your Betty Crocker Luncheon. My first cookbook given to me for a wedding present is still used today and is one of my favorites.