Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Frosted Ginger Creams

The recipe for today is Frosted Ginger Creams and comes from one of Grandma’s old church cookbooks. It’s sounds like it’s supposed to be a bar, but this batch got higher, like cake. Regardless, the smell of these bars/cake baking will get you in the Christmas spirit – the scent of the spices and molasses – heaven!

If you’ve noticed the lack of posts again, I had another bout of pancreatitis and hospital stay the week  before Thanksgiving. Yes – I was actually on a feeding tube for Thanksgiving. My family stepped up and took on the meal duties while I seriously tried very hard not to curl up in the fetal position in a corner somewhere. That was a rough one.  Hopefully I’m finally on the road to recovery. This is taking waaaaay too long in my opinion, but Ebenezer (that’s what we’ve named my carmudgeon-ly pancreas – he does get better in the end) is really trying very hard to get better and stop giving me pain.

Anyhoo – back to posting. I realized that I haven’t shared an old photo in a while, so here’s one from my first Christmas. This was spent at Grandma and Grandpa’s farm where we were living at the time because my dad was stationed in Turkey in the Army.

I love how they thought I wouldn’t leave the tree alone, so it was put up on a table. Obviously they forgot to put the presents up and out-of-the-way!

This is another of my new favorites! You can see the “Good” connotation again here!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Frosted Ginger Creams

Cream together:

1 cup butter

1 cup sugar

Add:

2 eggs

Beat.

Add:

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 cup molasses

Mix well.

Mix together:

1 cup hot coffee

1 teaspoon baking soda

Add coffee/soda to first mixture alternately with:

2 cups flour

Stir in:

1 cup chopped raisins or dates

Pour into 9″ x 13″ cake pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

The batter is pretty straightforward for this one, as is the frosting.

Make sure that if you’re going to make them pretty with sprinkles, you need to put them on right away or the frosting will be too dry and they won’t stick.

Perfect with a cup of coffee!!

So festive, so pretty, so fragrant, so good!! This was another great recipe from one of those old church cookbooks! They just don’t get any better. Try these Frosted Ginger Creams, let the spices and molasses waft through your house during the baking process, and get in the Christmas spirit!

 

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

I’m so thankful for you faithful readers!

Thank you for your support!

I appreciate it so very much!

 

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White Chocolate Dipped Pumpkin Spice Cookies

This recipe for White Chocolate Dipped Pumpkin Spice Cookies really is no recipe at all. I saw the cookies in the store and had an idea for an incredibly easy Thanksgiving treat. I have to keep things simple after my surgery – the strength and stamina are NOT coming back the way I’d like them to – so this one is perfect. It’s a no brainer that’s just right for sending to college students (or my nieces), great for an unusual hostess gift, or just for snacking on while the turkey cooks away in the oven.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

White Chocolate Dipped Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Melt according to the manufacturers instructions:

1 package of white chocolate chips or 1 package of white almond bark (I used almond bark for these)

Dip the pumpkin spice cookies (there are several brands making them now) into melted chocolate.

Lay cookies on baking sheet covered with parchment paper.

Sprinkle on fall colored sprinkles of your choice before the chocolate dries.

Let dry.

Done.

I melted the almond bark in an old mixing bowl from my mom’s old mixer. It’s the perfect shape for dipping and I have used it for dipping my Christmas candies for years. It’s glass, but it’s old and the glass gets warm and keeps the chocolate melted – it doesn’t cool down too fast. I love it.

There really isn’t anything to say – these are just too simple to make!

I love the non-perils in these fall colors – so cute! These are adorable and delicious and festive as all get-out. Make up a batch (or two or three) of these White Chocolate Dipped Pumpkin Spice Cookies so you’ll have plenty for all your holiday needs!

 

 

 

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My 4 Favorite Thanksgiving Desserts

Today’s post is about My 4 Favorite Thanksgiving Desserts. My last post was about my favorite pies, and since we don’t ALWAYS have to have pie for Thanksgiving, I thought I should also show you my favorite desserts appropriate for Thanksgiving. Again – I hope you can find one perfect for your Thanksgiving dessert table.

Apple Cake with Butter Sauce

Pumpkin Pie Dessert

Autumn Gold Pumpkin Cake

Pumpkin Crunch Dessert

 

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My 5 Favorite Thanksgiving Pies

Today I’d like to share My 5 Favorite Thanksgiving Pies that I’ve made on Plenty Sweet Life. It’s just that time of year when we make pies – comfort food pies. You know, the ones that make us feel oh so good and warm inside, bringing memories of Thanksgivings past and making new ones. Here they are – I hope you’ll check them out and find one that’s just right for your Thanksgiving dessert table.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Pie

Cranberry Pineapple Pie

No-Bake Pumpkin Cream Pie

Apple Pie with Old-Fashioned Pie Crust

Pumpkin Pie – the Chiffon Kind

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Apple Galette

Today’s recipe is for Apple Galette. I had to try this so-called simple dessert that you see all over the internet, Pinterest, and Instagram right now. What I found was that it IS easy, fast, and absolutely delicious. It’s fancy enough for company and casual enough for a weeknight dessert. You could even whip one up for your Saturday afternoon coffee. The smell of the apples and cinnamon baking fill the house with – you know – that smell – so warm and homey and comforting. You HAVE to try this. Grandma would have LOVED this – even though she was a stickler for a good pie crust. This uses a pie crust, just not in the usual formal way.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Apple Galette

Crust:

Make a single pie crust and roll it out into a circle as big as you can make it.

Put crust onto baking sheet.

Filling:

Peel, core, and slice 4 baking apples.

Pile slices in middle of pie crust.

Sprinkle on:

1/4-1/2 cup sugar, depending on how sweet your apples are

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 Tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces

Fold edges of pie crust up over edge of apple slices.

Brush crust with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until the apples are tender and the crust is brown.

Due to technical difficulties (I’m not back to speed yet on all of this after the surgery!), these photos were taken with my phone.

You can see how golden brown the crust gets when you use the egg wash. You can use a sprinkling of regular sugar, but I used a sanding sugar, which is a little coarser.

Oh wow. This smelled so good when it was baking, and it’s so beautiful. Add a little whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream – heaven! This could almost replace an apple pie on your Thanksgiving dessert table! It’s so easy to do, and it’s so delicious! Try this Apple Galette – you and your guests will LOVE it!

 

 

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Lucy’s Caramel Bars

Today’s recipe is for Lucy’s Caramel Bars – perfect for fall. This is Grandma’s recipe, written for one of her sisters, but came from the recipes of a different sister. Doesn’t surprise me a bit. Grandma and her sisters shared and exchanged recipes all the time. I have several recipes where I have the same recipe written by each sister – in her own handwriting! It’s so much fun to have them. Apparently they all had similar food likes. I wonder if Lucy was someone they knew, or just the name of the recipe. I guess we’ll never know. These bars are caramely and nutty and absolutely delicious!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Lucy’s Caramel Bars

Mix together:

1 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups oatmeal

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter

Save 1 cup mixture for topping.

Spread rest in 9″ x 13″ pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Heat in sauce pan until melted:

1 14 ounce package of Kraft Caramels (they come in 11 ounce packages now, so I bought two and used my scale to measure out 14 ounces)

9 Tablespoons cream (grandma noted that she used half-n-half, but I used 2% milk and it was fine)

Let it cool a bit.

Add:

1 cup nuts, chopped (I used pecans)

1 teaspoon vanilla

Spread over top of baked crust.

Sprinkle on reserved 1 cup of crust crumbs.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes more or until browned.

After you have the crust in the pan and baked, it’s time for the luscious caramel sauce. Pour it on!

Top the caramel with the topping mixture and into the oven it goes.

I love caramel anything, and these bars are a great way to get your caramel fix.

Try these delicious, caramely, nutty bars. They’re great for afternoon coffee, snack time, or to bring to your next fall gathering. Everyone is going to love these Lucy’s Caramel Bars!

 

 

 

 

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Salad #7

This is another in a long line of salad recipes that are in Grandma’s file, and we are on Salad #7 today. Grandma would use these salads for all of the family gatherings, church events, and entertaining she and Grandpa would do. There were a LOT of events of every kind, so she needed a lot of different recipes. She wouldn’t have brought the same recipe more than once. You needed to show your salad prowess at these things, and the easier the recipe, the better. If you were a busy farm wife and if you could do something to save time, I’m sure you’d be more than happy to do that, as she was. These easy recipes are great for all of us trying to save time, yet wanting to put delicious treats and food out there for everyone to enjoy.

This is another salad that really should be called dessert!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Salad #7

Combine:

1 package of Lemon Jello

1 package of Lemon Pudding (not instant)

2 1/2 cups water

Cook until it comes to a boil.

Cool.

Add:

2 cups Cool Whip (which is pretty close to a whole small container)

1 large can crushed pineapple (grandma had written “dried” pineapple, but I think she meant a drained can of crushed pineapple)

This recipe is so simple, and you can have the ingredients handy for making this last-minute.

It takes a bit of folding to incorporate all the ingredients, but it’s worth the time it takes!

You can leave the salad in a pretty bowl and let it firm up, or you can put it into pretty glasses (like I did here) and serve them individually. We enjoyed these with a Sunday dinner and had them while they were still a bit soft. They were delicious!

This is another ridiculously easy, ridiculously tasty recipe that you’re going to want to keep handy for any occasion. How can you not just love these recipes that are so easy, so good, so handy, and so “grandma”. I know that you and your guests will adore this lemon-y and pineapple-y Salad #7.

 

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Halloween Bundt Cake

Today’s post is for a Halloween Bundt Cake as I continue my quest to make a year of Bundt Cake using the same recipe and changing it up for each holiday. If you follow this blog with any regularity, you might have noticed that I’ve been MIA for the last 6 weeks. Well, I ended up in the ER one night at 2:00 am and after spending a week in the hospital with a bit of complication from pancreatitis and gall stones, had gall bladder removal surgery. Recovery has been long and tough (in my opinion), but I’m on the mend and hope to be back to posting with some regularity again soon. About a week ago I realized that Halloween was coming up and that I had to get a Bundt Cake done to continue the year. It was a challenge, to say the least. She wasn’t exactly what I had in mind, but I did the best I could under the circumstances. This post will be a bit brief (because this is still exhausting to me right now), but I still think it’s a good idea.

 

I just love this recipe.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Halloween Bundt Cake

Mix all together:

4 eggs

1 cake mix (I used Devil’s Food for this one – it IS Halloween, after all!)

1 small box instant pudding (I used chocolate for this one)

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup oil (I used canola)

Put batter into well buttered bundt pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

Cool in pan 25 minutes.

Turn cake out onto rack to cool completely.

Vanilla Glaze:

2 cups powdered sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

3 Tablespoons milk, or more to get the consistency you want

Spoon or pipe over top of cake.

Top with sprinkles or colored sugar before glaze dries.

I drizzled this cake with a Vanilla Glaze, and I colored half of it with green, the other half I left white. Full disclosure – I had to make the glaze thinner than I usually do because I was too weak to mix it when it was thicker. Ugh. This surgery has really put a damper on things for the holiday season. I sure hope I can get some stamina and strength back before long. Next, I put sprinkles on top, and that in itself was a beautiful cake. It would have been festive if I left it just like that.

What I had in mind was more like the malts or shakes that you see all over the internet now, where it’s totally loaded with all kinds of goodies. So I put treats on top. Lots of treats. I stuck toothpicks into the bottom of the candies and poked them right into the top of the cake. There were a few suckers that I stuck right in there.

There is a fine line between putting the treats on and putting TOO MANY treats on. Too many and they start to tip over – the cake is only so dense. It looks very festive and would be fun to do for a Halloween party, or to send to a college student, or just to celebrate the holiday. Have a Happy Halloween, everybody, and try this recipe for Halloween Bundt Cake – see how much fun you can have decorating it for Halloween and each and every special occasion!

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Wild Rice Casserole

This recipe for Wild Rice Casserole is absolutely delicious. It originally came from my aunt, and when thinking about this recipe, I started remembering my aunt and uncle’s wedding. It was the most special weekend, ever! It started with me being able to have my hair done. When I look at the pics of it now, it just makes me laugh. Whomever did my hair got a bit carried away with the teasing and hairspray. I mean, seriously – I was just a little girl. That’s how I look at it now, but back then I felt so grown up and special. Here is a photo from their wedding.

The wedding was about 100 miles from our small home town, in the metropolis of St. Paul, so after having our hair done (I assume my mom had hers done, too) we drove to St. Paul for the Groom’s or Rehearsal Dinner (I don’t know if I have the name of it right) and then stayed in a hotel overnight. That was also something that was incredibly special. I had never done that before. I remember that Grandma and Grandpa stayed there, too, and their room faced the Minnesota State Capital, which was lit up at night. I had never seen anything so magical. I have so many wonderful memories of that weekend. It was pretty special to a little girl who got to be all grown up for a weekend. Or at least she pretended she was.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Wild Rice Casserole

Cook in 2 1/4 cup boiling water:

1/2 cup wild rice

Cook 20 minutes.

Add:

1/2 cup uncooked long grain white rice

Cook 20 minutes more or until water is absorbed.

Cook until tender:

3 teaspoons margarine (I used butter)

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped celery

Mix together with rice, onion, and celery:

1/4 cup soy sauce

4 oz can sliced mushrooms

Small can sliced water chestnuts, drained

1/3 cup slivered almonds

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

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This recipe seems to have several parts, and it does, but they come together very easily.

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There is another easy way to cook wild rice at the bottom of the card. I’d use that next time. The water evaporated when I was cooking the rice and I don’t think the wild rice got quite done enough, but I was afraid it would stick to the pan and didn’t know if I should add more water. It might have cooked a bit differently, or faster, because I have a gas range, instead of an electric one? I’m not sure.

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These are really pretty simple ingredients.

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Mix them all up and bake. Done.

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I used my Meatloaf recipe and made some individual ones to serve with this casserole.

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It looks good enough to eat!

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This casserole is so good and goes wonderfully with any kind of main dish. I highly recommend you try this Wild Rice Casserole – it is absolutely delicious!

 

 

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