Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Spinach Dip

We’re going back to the 80’s today with this Spinach Dip. It was the 80’s wasn’t it, where this dip showed up at every gathering everybody went to – EVERYWHERE? I think we just got sick of it, because we had it so much, but it’s so delicious and tasty! We should bring it back – cuz it’s so easy to make and it’s so good and good for you and – why not? This recipe comes from one of Grandma’s sisters, who got it from her daughter, who just happens to be my godmother. Got all that? Good!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Spinach Dip

Mix all together:

1-10 ounce package frozen spinach, chopped and drained

1 can water chestnuts, chopped

1 bunch green onions, chopped, white and green parts

1 pint sour cream

1 cup mayonnaise

1 package dry vegetable soup mix

Refrigerate overnight or several hours.

I thawed the frozen spinach, drained it, and then put it into a tea towel and twisted it to squeeze all the water out. We don’t want your dip to be runny or too wet.

I flattened out the spinach on the cutting board, cut one way and then cut it the other way, all the way across to make small pieces.

This takes a little bit of chopping, but it really is a fast and easy dip.

These are pretty simple ingredients.

Mix it all together, and it’s ready to go.

!!!Warning!!! – Do not, I repeat, DO NOT serve this right away. It needs to sit overnight (that’s best) or at least several hours. It has to have time for the flavors to meld and get all yummy and delicious. That’s why this is in the “Make Ahead” category.

You can serve this with any fresh veggies like I did here – with snap peas, carrots, cherry tomatoes. Or like the recipe says, you can serve it with – potato chips or sour dough bread.

Everybody’s into bringing back the 80’s, and that includes the weird clothes, the funky music, and the amazingly delicious food. This is so typically 80’s – I say we start with bringing this Spinach Dip back – don’t you agree?!!!

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Country Pie

I found this recipe for Country Pie in one of Grandma’s old cookbooks – it was submitted by one of Grandma’s sisters, who originally got it from her daughter – who just happens to be my mom’s cousin and my godmother. This cousin is the one who grew up so close – close in age, close in proximity, and close in relationship. They always say they were more like sisters than cousins, even though my mom is a year older. This is a photo of the two of them dressed alike. I love how their parents always used a nice backdrop for their photos! Ha! They have the same dresses, and hair bows, and even their hair is styled the same!

They were great friends – still are! They were just so stinkin’ cute – still are!

As for the recipe – it was submitted to the church cookbook, but I also found the handwritten copy of the same recipe from Grandma’s sister. I love those old recipes, so I put the recipe card in here instead of the recipe from the cookbook. This was a great dish I made when our daughter was over for lunch on a Sunday before a Minnesota Vikings game, but it would be an nice week-night meal, too – easy to do and delicious!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Country Pie

For the crust:

1 pound lean ground beef – not cooked or browned – yes, raw

1/2 cup tomato sauce

1/2 cup bread crumbs (I used panko crumbs)

1/4 cup onion, chopped

1/8 teaspoon dried oregano (I went crazy and added 1/4 teaspoon – I could have used more than that)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 of a small green pepper, chopped

For the filling:

1 1/2 cup Minute Rice

1 cup water

1 1/2 cup tomato sauce (I used a 15 oz can of tomato sauce total – close enough)

1 cup grated cheese (I used cheddar)

1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix all together (except 1/4 cup cheese for top).

Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Uncover, top with remaining cheese, and bake another 15 minutes (after uncovering, I baked it an additional 20 minutes – to make sure beef was fully cooked – before putting cheese on top).

I know it sounds a little strange to use uncooked ground beef, and I thought so, too, but it works! This is the crust, so I just patted it into the pie pan as if it was a pie crust. It’s more like a meatloaf crust layer.

Next, I poured in the filling – and yes! It all goes in!

I forgot to show that I covered the pie with foil. Luckily – and I DO mean luckily – I had just cleaned my oven!

After the baking it covered, I didn’t feel comfortable with how the beef still looked a bit pink, so I left it in for another 20 minutes or so.

Then, on went the shredded cheese and back into the oven it goes! I may have used more than 1/4 cup of cheese on the top – I like it cheesy.

It came out all bubbly and cheesy and delicious! My daughter and I were brainstorming about this recipe – you’ll probably see more variations of this one down the road!

That meatloaf type crust and the rice filled filling – yum! I would let this sit for 10-15 minutes before serving next time. There was a bit of liquid that wasn’t absorbed into the pie when I cut it for the first slice, but when we went back for seconds, it had.

This was an amazingly delicious lunch, but I just can’t help think it would be a great weeknight dinner – it’s pretty fast to pull together! I served it with a bit of sour cream and some chives from my garden, but ketsup and green onions would be good, too. I think this may just become a staple in this household – I hope you’ll try this Country Pie and make it a staple in your household, too!

 

 

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Pumpkin Muffins and Make Your Own Pumpkin Pie Spice

When making Pumpkin Muffins, you also need Pumpkin Pie Spice. Why not have your cake and eat it too? Mainly, this is necessary here because I was totally out of pumpkin pie spice after last year’s fall baking season, and I wasn’t going to buy it last year for making delicious pumpkin pie spice tasting things this year. However, I didn’t realize I was out (or I should say I didn’t remember I was out) until halfway through making these delicious Pumpkin Muffins. Well, if you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, I’m famous for being out of ingredients needed to make some of these recipes and because I don’t want to take the time to run out and get said ingredient when in the middle of a recipe, I’ll just try and use something else or make my own. Hence, the recipe for making your own Pumpkin Pie Spice. It’s fall, and with the popularity of pumpkin pie spice EVERYTHING, I go through a LOT of it. Instead of running out, I’d like to be able to make my own and always be able to have it on hand. I mean, who wouldn’t? We can’t have people running out of pumpkin pie spice – what would we do? The world just might collapse. Seriously. Once I started to make these muffins, I realized that it was a HEALTHY muffin recipe. Now, I found this recipe in my mom’s recipe box, and I have absolutely no idea why she would have had a HEALTHY muffin recipe. She’s not known for making healthy recipes – she has the family sweet tooth! I have made a couple of other healthy pumpkin recipes on the blog, 2 Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Muffins and Healthy Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Muffins, but I’m always willing to try one more.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Pumpkin Pie Spice

Mix together:

1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

You can always tweak these amounts depending on what you like – if you like it more cinnamon-y, add more cinnamon, etc.

You can change the ratio – if you need more spice, you just make a bigger batch. You might want to make a HUGE batch to last you all the way through pumpkin pie spice season.

Use what you need and store the rest in an airtight container.

Pumpkin Muffins

Mix and set aside:

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 1/2 cup white flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Whisk together:

3/4 cup vegetable oil (I used canola)

2 cups pumpkin puree

1 cup plain low-fat yogurt (I used non-fat yogurt)

3 large eggs

1 cup turbinado sugar

Mix until just moistened.

Put batter into muffin tins (recipe says 12 jumbo muffins, but I made regular sized muffins).

Sprinkle tops with:

1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts

2 Tablespoons turbinado sugar.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

Cool in pans 5 minutes.

Mix all the dry ingredients together first.

Next, mix the wet ingredients.

Now mix them together.

I made regular sized muffins instead of jumbo ones.

The aroma of these babies baking – OMG!

These muffins are so good AND good for you – you’re gonna love ’em! Your family will love ’em, too! You’re friends will also love ’em! Make a batch to keep in your freezer – bring them out when you need a quick breakfast or an afternoon snack – whatever you need them for, they’ll be ready to go. This is the first pumpkin pie spice recipe of the season – try these delicious and healthy Pumpkin Muffins!

 

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BBQ Sauce for Chicken and Grilled Chicken Sandwiches

A high school friend gave me this recipe for BBQ Sauce for Chicken about 30 years ago, and it’s delicious on any kind of chicken, but it’s especially good on Grilled Chicken Sandwiches. BBQ Sauce for Chicken sounds like it would be a ketchup type of sauce, but this is something just a little bit different. This sauce is lemon and oil based, and it’s very flavorful on the chicken. Grilling doesn’t have to stop just because summer is over. We grill year-round (except when it’s REALLY cold, maybe -20 degrees or so), but sometimes it’s nice to grill things in advance for having at a moment’s notice. We grill chicken breasts a lot to keep in the freezer for nights when we don’t have time to grill and we get a hankerin’ for a grilled chicken salad, grilled chicken wrap, or chicken tacos. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before, but I’m going to get a batch of chicken ready using this BBQ Sauce for Chicken and have it in the freezer and ready to make Grilled Chicken Sandwiches! Duh.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

BBQ Sauce for Chicken

Combine:

3 Tablespoons lemon juice

2 Tablespoons oil (I used olive oil)

1/2 teaspoons rosemary leaves

1/4 teaspoon thyme leaves

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

dash of pepper

dash of paprika

Add to the marinade:

1 pound of chicken breast tenders (I used regular chicken breasts which I cut in half the thick way – chicken breasts are waaaay too thick for sandwiches – you can use any kind of chicken for this if you’re not making sandwiches)

Marinate in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes and/or brush onto chicken before and during grilling.

Grill chicken.

To make the sandwiches, pile on the fixins’:

Ciabatta rolls (or any kind of rolls you like)

Tomato slices

Lettuce leaves

Provolone cheese

Mayonnaise:

1/2 cup of mayo with 1 Tablespoon Sriracha Sauce

and/or

1/2 cup mayo with 1 Tablespoon mustard (I used good old yellow mustard for this) and 1 Tablespoon honey

I used fresh herbs because I have them growing on my deck, but you can use dried if you prefer.

When I had everything for the BBQ sauce ready to go, I put it all in a jar and just shook it up.

I put the chicken into a zip top bag and poured the BBQ sauce in (I had a lot of chicken here, so I doubled the sauce recipe). The chicken went into the refrigerator for 30 minutes to marinate.

The more fixins’, the better! I used tomato slices (from our garden), lettuce leaves, provolone cheese, and flavored mayo.

Oh boy – there’s nothing like melted cheese on TOP of the delicious BBQ Sauce marinated chicken.

I love anything grilled, but these sandwiches really are the best! The sauce is delicious, the chicken is delicious, and the sandwiches are delicious. Grill up a batch of chicken tenders to freeze for later or enjoy today, using this BBQ Sauce for Chicken, and make some Grilled Chicken Sandwiches before summer is over and we end up grilling in the snow – or -20 degrees, whichever comes first.

 

 

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Iced Cocoa with Cinnamon

Iced Cocoa with Cinnamon is a recipe that I got from one of Grandma’s old church cookbooks, and I think it’s perfect for a first-day-of-school back-to-school after-school snack. Since today’s the first day of school here in Minnesota, this is a great day to share this after school treat. I LOVED the first day of school when I was growing up. There is just something about shopping for back-to-school supplies – I even enjoyed it when I got to shop for those supplies when MY kids were in school. There were definitely years when money was tight, and with three kids to get supplies for, it took a lot of organization and dedication. Even now, I still shop for school supplies when they start to have certain things on sale weeks before school starts. I have waaaayy too many supplies in my desk and office cupboards at this very moment – glue sticks, notebooks, pens, markers, scissors. It’s just my thing. Like after school snacks. I loved it when my other grandma (who babysat me after school grades K-2 until my parents came home from work) made me after school snacks and I became adept at making my own after school snacks when I was a latch-key kid from grades 3-12. When I had my own kids in school, I always tried to make sure they had after school snacks when they got home hungry from a great day of filling their brains to the brim with non-essential and some essential information. One of their favorites was Graham Crackers with Frosting, but I know if I had seen this recipe back then, they would have loved this snack, too. It does involve cocoa, whipped cream and sprinkles, after all!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Iced Cocoa with Cinnamon

Mix in a 2-quart saucepan:

1/4 cup cocoa

1/4 cup sugar

dash of salt

3 cups skim milk

Stir over medium heat until cocoa is dissolved and mixture comes to a boil.

Remove from heat.

Add:

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Pour into a heat-proof pitcher and chill for 4 hours or more.

The recipe says, for extra coolness, put the glasses into the freezer to chill while the cocoa is chilling.

To serve I poured the cocoa over ice and garnished with a squirt of canned whipped cream and sprinkles.

These are totaly simple ingredients that everyone has in their cupboard.

The cocoa doesn’t mix in very well until the milk warms up. It looks a bit gnarly at first.

Once the milk comes to a boil, the cocoa mixes in and it’s time to add the vanilla and cinnamon.

Once the flavorings are added, put it into a heat-proof pitcher to chill. I used my big 4 cup measuring cup.

I didn’t chill the glasses, but I did add some ice.

Next it was time for a squirt of whipped cream and some rather festive sprinkles. Once school starts, it’s time to break out the fall colors.

Oooh! So pretty!

This iced cocoa is “plenty sweet”, but it’s great for a first-day-of-school back-to-school after-school treat. Starting school can be traumatic after a long summer of running amok. Your kids will think you’re pretty awesome when you make them an after-school treat on the first day back-to-school. You should make them this festive and delicious Iced Cocoa with Cinnamon – they’ll love it!

 

 

 

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Salad #10

You all know how this goes – Grandma had so many “salad” recipes (recipes just named “Salad”) that we are now up to Salad #10. Remember that these “salads” don’t always contain vegetables. In fact, most of them are made with some kind of jello, fruit, whipped cream combination. There was that one Vegetable Salad that contained jello along with some vegetables and other weird things, but we don’t talk about that one. I did say I’d make ALL the recipes – but that one was waaayyy out there. Grandma just had so many family gatherings, potluck dinners, and church gatherings, that it seems that she kept a file of a LOT of different “salads” to pull out on a moments notice. She made this particular “salad” a lot, and I know why – it’s the most ridiculously easy salad EVER – AND it’s delicious. By the way – all of Grandma’s “salad” recipes are absolutely delicious. Except for that Vegetable Salad.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Salad #10

The recipe says to make a package of lemon pie filling or pudding mix as directed except use whole eggs and add 1/4 cup of lemon juice, and then cool.

I wanted to make this salad even easier, so I used a can of lemon pie filling instead – no mixing the pudding or pie filling ahead of time.

Whip:

1 cup of whipping cream (there’s no need to add any sugar to the cream – when you add the fruit, that makes it “plenty sweet”)

Mix in:

1 can lemon pie filling (I used this instead of the package of lemon pudding and pie filling mix – Grandma says on the card that you can also use apricot or peach pie filling)

Add drained fruit:

I added: fruit cocktail, pineapple, mandarin oranges

If necessary you can add some mini marshmallows – I used about a half of a bag just for demonstration purposes – the salad didn’t really need them (Grandma always did this when she felt the “salad” was too soft or runny from the fruit juice).

This recipe is seriously one of the EASIEST “salads” you could possibly make. You could even have the ingredients in your pantry, ready to go – especially if you wanted to use something like a frozen non-dairy whipped topping instead of whipping cream – just keep that in your freezer.

I mixed the lemon pie filling and the whipped cream together first.

Next, in went the drained fruit. After the fruit is mixed in, this is where you can then decide if you need some miniature marshmallows to make the salad less “soft” or “wet”.

I did add about a half of the bag of marshmallows, just for demonstration purposes. Plus they’re delicious – that is the goal here, after all.

This “salad” can be served straight from the big bowl, if you’re at a larger gathering, but it’s also pretty in individual dishes if you’re serving it for a smaller gathering.

Whether you need a “dish to pass” for a potluck dinner, or it’s just you and your special someone for a more intimate dinner, this “salad” is quick and easy to make, and it’s absolutely delicious. Add this Salad #10 to your recipe arsenal for all of your “salad” needs, and you’ll be able to whip this one up at a moment’s notice.

 

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Homemade Ricotta on Toasts with Tomatoes

I can’t wait to share this Homemade Ricotta on Toasts with Tomatoes today! This is something I’ve never tried to do before, and with the help of the unbleached, natural cheesecloth from Cheesecloth.com, I’m giving it a try! I love that Cheesecloth.com has an unbleached variety, because sometimes the cheesecloth that’s bleached white can have a bit of a bleachy smell, and who wants that? Not me! I LOVE this unbleached variety (plus its pretty). Who knew making your own ricotta cheese at home would be so easy? I loved making it! It’s like magic – only it’s science! It was easy to do, it was delicious, and I can’t wait to try it again. Let’s just get on with it so I can show you how I did it!

There are recipes for how to do this all over the internet, so I’m just going to type it out.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Homemade Ricotta

Set over a large bowl:

a sieve lined with a double layer of dampened cheesecloth (if you don’t dampen the cheesecloth, it may spill out over the top of the sieve instead of draining properly)

Pour into a large stainless steel pot:

4 cups whole milk

2 cups heavy cream

Stir in:

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Bring to a full boil, stirring occasionally.

Turn off the heat and add:

3 Tablespoons white wine vinegar or lemon juice (I used white wine vinegar)

Allow to stand one minute (I did give it a little stir), until the vinegar causes it to curdle and separate.

Pour the mixture into the cheesecloth lined sieve and allow to drain about 20 minutes (the longer your let it drain, the firmer the ricotta will be).

Discard the liquid that collects in the bottom of the bowl.

Transfer ricotta from the sieve to another bowl.

Discard remaining liquid and cheesecloth.

Use immediately (if you like it nice and warm) or refrigerate for up to 4 days.

For the tomato topping (depending on taste), mix all together:

2-3 red, ripe tomatoes, chopped

1/4-1/2 cup olive oil

4-6 Tablespoons balsamic or red wine vinegar

2-4 cloves garlic, minced

basil leaves, chopped (as much as you have in your garden or as much as you like)

Like I mentioned above, I LOVE this unbleached cheesecloth from Cheesecloth.com!

I cut the cheesecloth to the appropriate size and dampened it, then gave it a shake to get rid of any threads left on it from cutting it. Lay a double layer into your sieve over a bowl and you’re ready to drain the mixture.

4 simple imgreidents – that’s it!

Once your mixture has curdled, pour it into the sieve. My sieve is small, and I didn’t know if it would hold all of the mixture, so I made another sieve with cheesecloth using my colander (in the background).

It worked! Look how pretty! I got too excited and ripped the cheesecloth off and pulled a chunk off the side, but wow! I impressed myself!

I took the ricotta from both sieves, mixed them together, covered the bowl with plastic wrap, and put it all into the refrigerator until I needed it. It should last about 4-5 days covered in the frig.

I cut slices of a baguette, lightly drizzled olive oil on them, and baked them at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes until they were crisp, but not too crisp.

Next I made the tomato bruschetta-type mixture to put on the top.

I originally wanted to make this tomato mixture with balsamic vinegar (above photo), but when I was about to pour it in, decided to use a lighter red wine vinegar instead.

OMG. Yum. The ricotta cheese is SOOOO smooth and creamy and delicious and the tomato mixture adds a punch of flavor.

I know ricotta cheese is an Italian thing, but the kitchen totally smelled like Grandma and Grandpa’s kitchen when I was making this – they were dairy farmers, after all. Watch for a Scandinavian idea using ricotta cheese later this fall! Making ricotta cheese at home was SO easy to do, especially when I used the unbleached cheesecloth from Cheesecloth.com. The ricotta cheese is simple, pure, and made from totally natural ingredients. I will be making this again and again and again. I have found a new appetizer that really packs a punch and is amazingly smooth and creamy at the same time! It’s so easy to do – try this fun little science experiment, make your own Homemade Ricotta Cheese on Toasts with Tomatoes, and be the hit of your next party!

 

 

 

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Almond Bark Popcorn

I love popcorn and I love almond bark, so this Almond Bark Popcorn is perfect for me or anyone – for any occasion. A lot of people make this during the holidays, but I think it would also be a great Back-to-School or Back-to-College snack or treat. It might even be nice for a last-minute Labor Day gathering. For this batch, I used multi-colored sprinkles, but you can always change the sprinkles to make it holiday appropriate, not matter what holiday you’re celebrating. It’s delicious, it’s festive, it’s pretty, and it’s EASY – the perfect way to end our “Nothing But Easy Summer”! I know there are a lot of versions of this recipe all over the internet, but I sort of made this one up – it was pretty easy to figure out. I’m glad I decided to make this treat, so everyone can look it up here and make their own. They may decide to make more than one batch – one for themselves and one to share! Or maybe two for themselves and one to share! It’s so fast and easy to make – anyone could make it!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Almond Bark Popcorn

Put into a large bowl:

one bag of store-bought, salted popcorn

Melt:

2-3 squares of almond bark, depending on how coated you want the popcorn

Sprinkle on:

2-3 Tablespoons of sprinkles of your choice

Pour coated popcorn out onto baking sheets to cool and dry.

Put immediately into an airtight container and HIDE IT!

This snack uses simple ingredients: Store-bought popcorn, almond bark, and sprinkles. I only say “store-bought” popcorn because it’s nicely salted and you get that amazing sweet-n-salty thing going on – salty popcorn and sweet almond bark. You can totally used air-popped or your own kind of popcorn, but I vote for the already salted kind.

I melted the almond bark in my glass measuring cup, fully intending to pour the almond bark out and onto the popcorn with that. Guess what? Too thick. I ended up using the small spatula to plop the almond bark onto the popcorn.

It’s hard to see the white almond bark against the white popcorn, but it’s there. After topping the popcorn with the almond bark, I mixed it thoroughly with a spoon or spatula.

Last but not least, I added a few tablespoons of sprinkles to the almond bark moistened popcorn and mixed it again. The sprinkles stick to the popcorn and gives it a bit of a crunch. Oh boy.

One thing that I didn’t like about this popcorn – it got a bit soggy from the wet almond bark. I let it sit until the almond bark was dried on the popcorn, but it was still a bit soggy. While that could be from it being a humid summer day, it didn’t seem to bother anyone who tried this snack later. It still disappeared pretty fast.

Ok – so just a head’s up. This stuff is crazy addictive. I mean it. I wasn’t being totally serious in the first paragraph where I was saying someone would maybe make one batch and then I kiddingly said, well maybe they would make two batches, but whoa. You’re gonna make more than one batch. Don’t even bother making only one batch for your students – that would be just mean. Make several batches of this Almond Bark Popcorn – just to be on the safe side – you won’t be sorry!

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Canadian Bars

Why did they name these delicious bars Canadian Bars? I had no idea until I looked online for more Canadian Bars recipes and found the same recipe called Nanaimo Bars, named for the city in British Columbia. It’s practically the exact same recipe. Who knew? They are just one more no-bake treat to try before the summer is over. This has been a hot one, and we all know August and even September can also be hot. Summer’s not over yet, and there are still reasons to need a delicious no-bake treat. Because summer’s not over yet, I wanted to share this photo of some of Grandma’s family. Her mother and aunt and oldest sister are in the middle, along with various other family members. They look like they are truly enjoying the beautiful summer day. I love this photo so much, with the ladies wearing their high collared blouses and long skirts.

I’m sure they wouldn’t have minded having some no-bake recipes back then – those wood fired stoves that they had to use must have made the kitchen and house incredibly hot! Turning on the oven in our houses NOW can make the kitchen and house incredibly hot. So I’m glad I found just one more no-bake (it actually says unbaked) recipe from another of Grandma’s old church cookbooks to end the summer!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Canadian Bars

Mix together:

5 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

1/2 cup butter, softened

5 Tablespoons sugar

1 egg

Beat over boiling water until butter melts.

Add:

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

3/4 cup coconut

1/2 cup nuts, chopped (I used walnuts)

Pour mixture into 9″ x 13″ pan.

Cover with the following mixture:

1/4 cup butter

3 Tablespoons milk

2 Tablespoons Jello Instant Vanilla Pudding mix

2 cups powdered sugar

Let stand 15 minutes to firm up.

Spread with:

4 squares semi-sweet chocolate (you can use 1 package chocolate chips – I did)

1 Tablespoon butter, melted

This recipe has ingredients that you probably have in your cupboard.

The bottom layer is full of goodies!

The second layer barely covered the bottom crust. I’m beginning to think that even though the recipe calls for a 9″ x 13″ pan, I maybe should have used an 8″ x 8″ pan instead.

The top layer of chocolate did cover the second layer.

See how thin the bars are? When I looked up the other recipes and found the Nanaimo Bars, they were thicker.

While not a thick bar, these are definitely delicious and are a great no-bake option for a hot summer day. I might try using the smaller pan next time, to see how that goes. I have no doubt that before submitting the recipe for the old church cookbook, someone decided that they could get more bars and make them go further if they used a larger pan. Either way, they’re easy to make and really delicious. Try something new before this hot summer’s over – these no-bake Canadian Bars!

 

 

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Garden Salad

My mom had this Garden Salad recipe, and it’s perfect for this time of the summer – August and September – here in Minnesota because it includes all the vegetables that are ready to pick right now in our gardens. I mean, who doesn’t like a good garden salad this time of the summer? Both of my sets of grandparents had gardens, and we had one, too. I loved this time of year when things were ripe and ready to pick (that’s why I love Farmer’s Markets so much – that works, too). We’d all go out and pick boxes full of tomatoes, onions, green peppers, zucchini, carrots, green beans, and pumpkins. One year my mom decided to grow cabbage, and after a bout with some big green caterpillars found in them after they were picked, we never grew those again. When you grow a garden, you end up with a lot of vegetables ready to pick all at the same time, and in addition to freezing or canning the vegetables (and back when we were kids, we canned and froze A LOT), we look for salads and dishes that use those vegetables RIGHT NOW, when they’re fresh and sweet and juicy and ripe and . . . ok, ok. Whew. Guess I get carried away with the garden vegetable thing. This is one of those recipes – one of those salads.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Garden Salad

Cook according to package instrucitons:

1-7 ounce package of ring pasta (I used a half of a 1 pound box of the large rings)

Drain and cool.

Combine:

1 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)

Combine in a large bowl:

1 small head of cabbage, finely chopped (I shredded the cabbage)

1/2 green pepper, finely chopped

1 large cucumber, finely chopped

1/4 cup green onion, finely chopped

Fold together dressing, pasta, and vegetables.

Refrigerate, covered, several hours or overnight.

I shredded the cabbage (out of habit, I think) instead of chop it, but next time I’d just chop it so all the vegetables are the same shape.

When chopping the cucumber, I left the seeds in the first half until I remembered to use a small spoon and run it down the middle of the cucumber to take out the seeds. Nobody wants a runny salad.

Here we are, all ready to fold it all together.

I’m pretty sure someone decided to stretch this salad, at some point, by adding the pasta. Good idea!

Oh yum.

What a great side dish. You get to use some of your garden vegetable abundance, while enjoying a delicious, creamy, sweet and sour kind of salad. This salad would go perfectly with any main from sandwiches to pork chops to steak or burgers. If you have an over abundant garden right now, you’re going to want to make up a big batch of this Garden Salad – enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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The New Vintage Kitchen

A Vermont innkeeper's collection of vintage recipes, reimagined for today's cooks.

Bernadine’s Corner

Recipes * Lifestyle

Convivial Supper

Recipes from the Past

Cooking Without Limits

Food Photography & Recipes

Mrs. Twinkle

My Wonderful Little World

eASYbAKED

a collection of recipes