Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Scone Bread

How good does Scone Bread sound? Scones are one of my favorite things, so it makes sense that Scone Bread would also be one of my favorite things. I’m here to tell ya that yes – this bread is just as delicious as regular scones.

Scones remind me of coffee, and when I think of coffee, I really always think of the smell in the basement of church. Grandma and Grandpa’s church, to be exact. I know – it’s a round-about way of getting to this, but the family was just reminiscing recently about that smell. My son is in a band, and they played at a fund raiser at a church. He was telling us that it had that same smell in the basement that was always in the basement of Grandma and Grandpa’s church. He’s also a blood donor, and he loves to donate at a church in a little town west of where we live. Why would he go to a small town that isn’t our own town to do that, you ask? Because the ladies who work the blood drive send the donors down to the basement to feed them bologna sandwiches on white bread and home baked bars, and that reminds him of Grandma and Grandpa. It’s the smell of the church basement (where the kitchen always is) with that smell of coffee brewing mixed with the smells of tuna sandwiches and baked sweets. They just go together. That’s nostalgia, and for most of us in this family, it’s the smell of childhood mixed with memories of beloved grandparents and great-grandparents. Our kids were so lucky to have not only known their great-grandparents, but had a loving and memorable relationship with them. You don’t see that every day. I’m so grateful for that and all the wonderful memories they have of them.

This Scone Bread does taste like a regular scone, and my husband and I took this loaf with us for a weekend at a friends’ cabin in Wisconsin. We enjoyed it toasted with butter and cherry jam AND a nice cup of coffee – heaven! Because its a lot like Irish Soda Bread, I’m sure it would also be delicious with Beef Stew, Chicken-Noodle Soup with Vegetables, or Chili.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Scone Bread

In a large bowl, combine:

3 cups flour

1 Tablespoon sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

With a pastry blender, or 2 knives, cut in until it resembles coarse crumbs:

1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)

Stir in optional ingredients (I added 2 teaspoons poppy seeds).

Add to dry ingredients:

1 1/4 cups buttermilk (*I think this should be 1 1/2 cups – more on that later)

Mix lightly with a fork until mixture clings together and makes a soft dough.

Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead 8-10 times, until dough is smooth.

Shape into ball.

Place on greased baking sheet and pat into a 7 inch round.

With a sharp knife, make 1/8 inch cuts, scoring loaf into quarters.

Bake at 375 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until loaf is well browned and sounds hollow when tapped on top.

Cool on wire rack.

The recipe says it slices easier when stored in refrigerator wrapped in a damp cloth.

Variations:

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1-2 teaspoons caraway seeds

1-2 teaspoons poppy seeds

Sprinkle some seeds on top.

Again, simple ingredients = delicious!

After I mixed up the dry ingredients, I used my pastry blender to cut in the butter.

Next, in goes the buttermilk.

Using a fork works great to stir in the buttermilk.

Out onto a lightly floured surface to knead the dough. Does it look a bit dry?

This is what happened when I kneaded the dough. It was dry. Too dry. I did the unthinkable. I added another 1/4 cup of buttermilk (*this is what I mentioned above). Yes – AFTER kneading. Gasp! I wasn’t going to just throw it away – let’s just see what happens!

This is what happened. The buttermilk mixed in just fine, and while I’m sure purists will not love the texture after doing this, let’s just see.

Here it is on the pan. I might or might not have made the scoring more than 1/8″. This looks like I made it at least 1/4″.

Well, here’s the beautiful loaf after baking! Looks good to me! It does look a lot like Irish Soda Bread.

Oh my gosh – this smelled so good baking and so good AFTER baking. Yum.

Yeah – let’s just go ahead and spread on a little softened butter. Let’s just go ahead and let it get a bit melty. Uh-huh. Yep. Wow. I would also recommend putting this in the refrigerator and waiting a day – it’s a bit crumbly on top and when sliced, you lose some of those good bits. Try this with your favorite soup, or do what we did and enjoy it toasted with a nice cup of coffee. Either way, this Scone Bread is our new favorite, and it will be yours, too!

 

 

 

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Chocolate Fondue

I love Chocolate Fondue! It’s something that’s reserved for only once or twice a year, because boy oh boy – it’s a real treat! Valentine’s day would be one of those times when this special treat would be allowed and welcome. If you can’t make a special treat like this for your valentine, who would you ever make it for? It’s another recipe that’s quick to make, easy to do, and is – I mean, this totally goes without saying – amazingly delicious! It’s also tremendously romantical. Light a fire in the fireplace or light some candles, and start melting – the chocolate, I mean – come on!

Speaking of romantical, I’m sharing a photo of these two very special valentines today – my mom and dad – which was taken before they headed out to their senior prom in 1958. For some reason this photo has a pink tint to it – perfect for Valentine’s Day!

Don’t they just look like a perfect couple? She’s got on that beautiful pink gown with the white gloves to match and he’s looking pretty dapper in the white tux coat and bow tie! She was probably telling him what to do and he was giving her a hard time about it! Ha! Two and a half years after this was taken, they were married, dad was in the Army, and the first of their two bouncing baby girls was born – me! When I look at this photo of them and the room behind them, it tells so many stories of their life to come. Sigh. Such a sweet picture. Ok – on to this romantical treat!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Chocolate Fondue

In a saucepan, heat on low:

1-1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (I used semi sweet)

1/3 cup milk (I used 2%)

1/3 cup heavy cream or half-n-half (I used half-n-half)

Stir often until chocolate is completely melted and smooth – do not boil.

Add:

1 teaspoon vanilla

Add more milk, if necessary, depending on how thin you want it.

Pour chocolate mixture into a fondue pot to keep warm.

Serve with dippers:

strawberries

bananas

cookies

graham crackers

pretzels

marshmallows

the list is endless here!

Such simple ingredients make an amzaing treat!

Melt the chocolate and the milk and cream in the saucepan, then into the fondue pot with it!

Here is my platter of dippers: Strawberries, pretzel chips, marshmallows, Nilla wafers, Oreos.

Here you can see how the bowl keeps warm – with the little tea light candle underneath. This is really, really easy to do and it’s so pretty. You may want to serve this for more people than just you and your valentine. They’ll be impressed and very, very happy.

The chocolate is so smooth, so pretty, so chocolatey!

This is it – time for the special, special treat for that very special, special valentine! Round up their favorite things to dip, make up a batch of the delicious chocolate, and get romantical. Your valentine will be so, so, so happy that you took the 10 minutes it takes to make this special Chocolate Fondue treat – just for them!

 

 

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6 Romantic Treats for Valentine’s Day

I’m gonna make your life easier and share 6 Romantic Treats for Valentine’s Day! They’re all easy to do, they’re all fun to make, and they’re all delicious. You can’t go wrong – no matter which you pick – your valentine will love them all!

Rolled Butter Cookies That Never Stick

 

Brownies #3

 

Valentine Meringues

 

Chocolate Truffles

 

Chocolate Fudge Squares

 

Bundt Cake

 

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Dipped Oreos

How cute are Dipped Oreos? You can dip them and decorate them and make them pretty for any holiday or occasion! I’m going to make them and decorate them for Valentine’s Day. That is the next holiday, right? I mean, seriously, these are the easiest, yet most festive holiday treat you can make. I’m being real here – these are the easiest EVER! You can use any color of candy melts to dip these, but I happened to have some almond bark left from making Christmas treats, so that’s what I’m using. You can really dip anything in almond bark, and decorate it appropriately for any occasion – pretzels are always fun to do or Ritz Cracker Cookies. You could even make and decorate some Almond Bark Cookies with holiday sprinkles. This time I’m using Oreo cookies to dip – let’s get festive!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Dipped Oreos

Melt according to package instructions:

1 package of almond bark (I only had 4 cubes left from a whole package, so that’s how much I made – you could also do this with chocolate)

Dip one or more of the following into melted almond bark (you can also push a lollipop stick into the cream part of the Oreo cookie to make these a lollipop – I’m leaving them plain):

Oreo cookies (this is what I’m using today)

pretzels

peanut butter sandwiched between Ritz Crackers (Ritz Cracker Cookies)

anything you can think of and would like to dip in almond bark

Sprinkle with festive holiday sugars or sprinkles.

Let dry and harden on a parchment covered baking sheet.

I used my mom’s old mixer bowl to melt the almond bark – it keeps the almond bark warm and makes dipping easier. At this point, you could also color the almond bark, if you want to. Remember that you can’t use regular food coloring to color almond bark – you need to use powdered food coloring, or the almond bark will seize up and get lumpy or solidify. I just like how the white almond bark contrasts and shows off the pretty colored sprinkles better. Just use a fork, tap it on the edge of the bowl, and scrape the bottom of the cookie on the edge of the bowl. There really is nothing easier to dip than Oreo cookies, but dip whatever you want!

Once dipped, just set the almond bark covered cookies on the parchment lined baking sheet. Immediately sprinkle with sugars or sprinkles.

I got about a dozen cookies from the 4 cubes of almond bark I used.

I just love little treats like this – they’re so pretty!

These are so easy to make, they’re so fun to do, and they’re sooooooo good! This is another ridiculously easy, yet festive way to celebrate any holiday or special occasion. Kids or grandkids would love to get involved and help make these – maybe for a special parent or grandparent?! Trust me your valentine is going to LOVE these Dipped Oreos.

 

 

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Make Ahead Breakfast Sandwiches

I just found a way to make my husband’s day start in a more delicious way with Make Ahead Breakfast Sandwiches! This is the year that I want to get better at making things ahead and making my life and the lives of my family easier. My husband is famous for making egg sandwiches for our kids over the years. He made them for sleepovers, after sports practices and events, after choir concerts, after band concerts, after theater events, you name it. If someone came home hungry for any reason, he’d get out the fry pan and make up egg sandwiches for all. He still does (he’s such a pushover). Well, they do take some time to make – time he doesn’t have in the morning – so it’s not something he makes himself for breakfast very often. So instead of his usual quick breakfast of peanut butter smeared between two pieces of whole wheat bread (gulp – how can he even swallow?), I made a batch of these sandwiches he can grab for a good breakfast either before he heads to work, or on the way. This was so easy to do, I feel like I’ll be making these a lot. They’re so good we’ve found ourselves enjoying them for breakfast, but also for a light lunch, a snack, or a late dinner. Recipes for these are all over the internet – I kind of put my own twist on these.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Make Ahead Breakfast Sandwiches

Whisk together:

12 eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

splash of milk (maybe 2-3 Tablespoons)

At this point you could also add some sautéed onions, peppers, mushrooms, spinach, etc.- I’d do that next time.

Pour into greased 9″ x 13″ pan.

Bake at 325 degrees for 15-18 minutes.

Cool and cut into 12 squares.

Separate:

12 English muffins

Lay out the bottoms.

Layer on:

12 slices of cheese (I used cheddar)

12 pieces of your favorite breakfast meat – cooked bacon, Canadian bacon, ham, cooked sausage patty (I used bacon and ham for this batch)

the squares of cooked egg

English muffin tops

Wrap sandwiches in waxed paper and label with whatever is inside.

Freeze in zip top freezer bag labeled and dated.

The best way to serve – take out of freezer and thaw in refrigerator overnight. Don’t forget to take it out the night before!

Take sandwich out of waxed paper, wrap in paper towel, and place on a plate.

Microwave 1 minute on 50% power and then on high for 30 seconds.

You can thaw it in the microwave in the morning, but we’ve found that the sandwich doesn’t cook as evenly as when you take it out the night before.

It’s amazing how easy it is to cook eggs this way – and they don’t drip all over the front of your shirt when you bite into it and the yolk isn’t cooked through!

I just lined up the bottom of the English muffins and layered all the goodies on!

Wrap them up, but don’t forget to label what’s inside.

The next morning, wrap in a paper towel and it’s ready for the microwave.

There you go! The hubs is off to work and ready for the day! Carpe Diem! The egg and meat are warmed up and you can see how melty the cheese gets – yum! These breakfast sandwiches are delicious. It’s so great to just have them ready to go – this is making our lives so much easier – unless I have to make more than a batch a week! 🙂 Assemble some of these Make Ahead Breakfast Sandwiches with your family’s favorite breakfast meats, and send them off to have an amazing day!

 

 

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10 Super Easy Snacks for Your Super Bowl Party

Today I’m sharing 10 Super Easy Snacks for Your Super Bowl Party! If you’re having a party, you need a LOT of snacks, you need them FAST, and they need to be DELICIOUS!!! Well, here you go – at your service! Have fun!

Cajun Chex Mix

 

Marinated Chicken Wings

 

Poppy Seed Buns

 

Oyster Cracker Snacks

 

Tiny Meatballs

 

Party Mix

 

Buffalo Chicken Dip

 

Roast Beef French Onion Sliders

 

Spicy Ritz Crackers

 

Dry Beef Dip

 

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Pepperoni Bread

I first made Pepperoni Bread about 30 years ago, when we lived in our first apartment. We had a black and white tv and no cable. The only channels we got on that tv were local, one being the local PBS channel. Luckily for me, there were shows on during the day (I was a stay-at-home mom with our first baby) that I was interested in – cooking shows. I don’t remember the name of the chef, but I liked a lot of the recipes he made, so I wrote down the address of where to order the recipes from, ordered the recipe card collection, sent in my check (yes – that’s how we did it back then – I used an actual envelope to send in my check!), and several weeks later, I received my recipe cards of dishes he had made on the show. I wish it would have been as easy as printing it off like we do now, or even as easy as keeping it on my phone or in my “favorites”! It’s probably a good thing we didn’t have it that easy back when we were first married and I was trying to get a repertoire of recipes together for our new and growing family – I kind of have a problem with cooking shows and cookbooks and recipes.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Pepperoni Bread

2 loaves frozen bread dough (I made 2 loaves because that’s how many loaves I had in my freezer)

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, 2 Tablespoons reserved for topping

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4-1/2 pound pepperoni

1/4 onion, thinly sliced

1/4 green pepper, thinly sliced

1/4 red pepper, thinly sliced

1/2 pound mozzarella, shredded

Roll dough out into a rectangle.

Brush with beaten egg, sprinkle with oregano (dried from my herb pot), sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Roll up, pinch seam shut, put on baking sheet seam side down.

Brush top with beaten egg, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and oregano.

Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.

Take the frozen bread dough out of the freezer the night before you need to use it. Spray non-stick spray on a baking sheet, put the loaves of frozen dough on it, spray some non-stick spray on one side of plastic wrap so it doesn’t stick to the thawed bread dough. In the morning, the dough will be thawed and risen.

Get the ingredients ready before you start. I used pepperoni, shredded mozzarella, parmesan cheese, dried oregano (from my herb pot last summer), and thinly sliced onions and red and green peppers.

Roll the dough into a rectangle, then brush the dough with a bit of the beaten egg. Sprinkle on the parmesan cheese and dried oregano.

Next, on goes the pepperoni and then sprinkle with the shredded mozzarella cheese.

Lastly, on goes the thinly sliced onion, red pepper, and green pepper.

Now roll it all up as tightly as you can.

Pinch the seam together and put the roll, seam side down, onto a greased baking sheet. Then brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with the reserved parmesan cheese. Poke some holes along the roll to let steam escape – you don’t want the roll to explode!

Out of the oven and ready for slicing!

It looks like I could have rolled this one a bit more tightly, but that has no bearing on how delicious this is! It. Is. So. Good.

I think you’re going to love this Super Bowl party snack. Slice up the roll, put it on a platter, and you’re done! Yum! Your guests will all be raving about how good this Pepperoni Bread is, and no one needs to know just how easy it was to make!

 

 

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Teriyaki Wings

I have no idea when or where I got this recipe for Teriyaki Wings. It was written on a Peter Rabbit notepad years ago, and I haven’t seen this one for a long, long time, until I found it in some of my mom’s recipes. The Super Bowl is coming up, and that means we need new and unique snack recipes. Yes, I said snacks – football snacks. They have to be easy to make and they have to be delicious and you have to be able to eat them with one hand. Well, as much as that’s possible.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Teriyaki Wings

Mix up and set aside:

2 Tablespoons each:

Honey

Soy Sauce

Rice Wine Vinegar

Reserve 2 Tablespoons of sauce for dipping.

Salt and pepper a package of wings and broil them for 20 minutes (the wings I found were the whole wing, not cut into smaller pieces, and I decided to just try them that way).

Brush wings with sauce and broil 10 minutes more.

I mean seriously, could this sauce be ANY easier?

These are the big whole wings I found – they were delicious – but you could certainly buy the smaller, regular drumette or wingette, or just cut them yourself.

I was getting concerned after the first 20 minutes of broiling. They looked a bit dark, but I decided to just go with it. That was what the recipe said.

Here they are at the end. When putting the wings in for the last 10 minute broil, I did move my top rack down in the oven for the rest of the broiling.

Funny thing – they did NOT taste burnt – they were absolutely delicious! The only thing I would do differently next time is that I’d make an extra batch of the sauce so there is plenty for dipping – 2 Tablespoons was barely enough.

I have to say, this is another recipe that I’m so glad I found again. These wings are so good and have such a nice, light flavor and sauce – it’s not the thick, heavy sauce that you usually find on wings. Your guests will love these, but you’d better make two batches. These Teriyaki Wings are totally different from the usual kind of wings served at football parties – and they’re great!

 

 

 

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Freezing Cookie Dough

I want to discover the joys of Freezing Cookie Dough, because I’m all about anything easy and make-ahead these days. Our kids all live on their own now, and I really don’t find the need to make a big batch of cookies – unless they are coming for dinner and we all need a treat. Instead of making and baking whole batches of cookies, I’ve decided to try and freeze the cookie dough balls before baking them. This is supposed to be good for making just 1 cookie, or making a whole pan full – depending on your craving for said cookies. Now, to be fair, by husband is not really in favor of this system. He’d rather we just make a whole batch at a time and have them available for munching at that time. I’m trying to watch the fat (for Ebenezer’s sake), and I like this idea. I sometimes just want a cookie, or have a craving for one (just like anyone else), but if there’s a whole batch available for munching, I will munch the whole batch. You see where I’m going here – and I don’t need any cracks about my willpower – or lack thereof. So here we go – let’s give this freezer thing a try. I used the recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies – Made with Butterscotch Chips for this batch.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I doubled this recipe.

Sift together:

1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Add:

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup soft shortening (I used butter)

Blend all ingredients.

Add:

1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts)

3/4 cup chocolate chips

First I mixed up the batch of cookie dough. I made a double batch of this recipe since they’re going in the freezer, and this recipe makes a small batch.

Next I used my trusty scoop and scooped the dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet.

I got 2 baking sheets full of cookie dough balls (44 balls) from this double batch. Then they went into the freezer for about 30 minutes.

Once the balls had been in the freezer for 30 minutes, I took them out and put them into a zip top freezer bag.

I labeled the bag with the date (they should be good at least 3 months), the kind of cookie dough (I may have several different kinds of cookie dough balls in the freezer at one time), and the baking instructions.

Just to show him how great this system is going to be, I took pity on my husband and left out 6 balls to bake for him that night. (Ok, ok, I had a couple – man, these are good!) I put the frozen balls on the baking sheet while preheating the oven, then baked the frozen balls for a few more minutes than if they weren’t frozen – these baked at 375 degrees and took 15 minutes to bake instead of the 10-12 minutes recommended on the recipe.

The cookies are delicious – that goes without saying – but I LOVE doing this and having them ready in the freezer. I have made other kinds of cookies that you roll into a log and can freeze for later use, like Butterscotch Cookies and Christmas Cookies, and you can also freeze cut-out dough in a disc like pie crust for cutting out and baking later, but THIS is a game changer. I’m going to try other kinds of cookie doughs to do this with, like Ranger Cookies, Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies, Date Rocks, and maybe even Aunt Julie’s Summer Cookies. Try Freezing Cookie Dough and you, too, will see how easy it is to pull out just the right number of cookie dough balls to bake for your cookie craving!

 

 

 

 

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Sharon’s Veggie Dip

Oh how I love Sharon’s Veggie Dip! This recipe comes from Sharon, who is one of my dear friends – the Coffee Babes – 4 friends who have had coffee together every Friday (most weeks) for over 20 years, until we lost one of our babes to colon cancer two years ago. The 3 remaining Coffee Babes still meet on Fridays whenever we can! All those years ago, Sharon and I started a newsletter for our daughters’ volleyball club, met for coffee to discuss it, and have been meeting for coffee ever since! She does a lot of entertaining, and when at her house for a gathering years ago, she had this dip and I had to have the recipe for it. I’m addicted to it – it’s so good – and I make it all the time. I have altered it a bit to keep it more low-fat for me, but that doesn’t change how delicious and addicting it is. This dip is easy, tasty, and made with things you probably have in your frig and cupboard. Perfect for upcoming football parties!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Sharon’s Veggie Dip

Mix all together:

1 cup Hellman’s Mayonnaise (I used Hellman’s Light Mayonnaise)

1 cup sour cream (I used light sour cream)

1 Tablespoon Lawry’s Seasoned Salt

1 Tablespoon parsley flakes

1 1/2 teaspoon dill weed

1 teaspoon grated onion (I have used dried minced onion flakes in a pinch – like here)

4-5 dashes Worcestershire Sauce

Let flavors mingle for a few hours or overnight.

This is another great recipe to be able to make from things you probably have in your cupboard and frig. It’s totally alright to make this according to the recipe – it’s delicious – but I use the low-fat options for me. You can also totally use fat-free options, if that’s how low you want to go.

I have to say, this dip is so fresh – because of the dill weed – and tasty – because of the other ridiculously tasty flavors that go in.

It’s great with fresh veggies – carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, pepper strips, jicama, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower – I’ve tried them all! It’s also great with crackers – regular, if you like, or low-fat, as I have here – reduced fat Wheat Thins, Less Fat Cape Cod Potato Chips, Corn Thins! So good!

I have this dip in my frig most of the time – all year round – because it’s just so stinkin’ good! Did I mention that I’m addicted to this? I know you’re gonna love this one – bring it to any upcoming football party and you have your own little less fat, healthier snack amidst all the crazy, high fat, yet delicious options that usually show up at that kind of event. I’m addicted (have I mentioned that?) to Sharon’s Veggie Dip, and I know you will be, too – it’s a good thing to be addicted to!

 

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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