Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Oreo Frozen Dessert

This heat is getting to me.

We need a cool and creamy treat for the Labor Day weekend!

Something really decadent.

Today’s recipe is Hydrox Frozen Dessert. Since I don’t think they make Hydrox Cookies anymore, I’ve renamed this recipe Oreo Frozen Dessert.

Hydrox Frozen Dessert

Hydrox Frozen Dessert 2

Note that this is another recipe marked “V Good”.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Oreo Frozen Dessert

1 pound (14.3 oz. now) package Hydrox or Oreo Cookies (I used Oreos)

1/2 cup butter, melted

Mix as pie crust and pat into two 9 x 13″ cake pans.

(The dessert got a bit thin top to bottom, so I would make this in just one cake pan to make it a bit more substantial.)



1 large can Carnation Evaporated Milk (12 oz.), 1/2 cup of butter, 1 cup of sugar, and two squares of melted chocolate (I looked online and found that 1/3 cup of chocolate chips is the same as 1 square of baking chocolate. So I used 2/3 cup of chocolate chips and it was fine).

Combine in a heavy saucepan and boil for 10 minutes, stirring often.


While the filling is cooling, soften one half gallon of vanilla ice cream (I used the square boxes of vanilla ice cream and it now only comes in 1.75 qt box) and spread over the crumbs in the two pans.


When frozen, spread the cooled chocolate filling over the two pans and put back in freezer.

When frozen, whip two cups whipping cream and spread on top. Sprinkle on your favorite nuts.

(I used a spritz of Reddi Wip instead of covering the whole thing with whipped cream and topped it with toasted chopped pecans.)


Spreading the ice cream over the top of the Oreo crumbs.


Here is the chocolate filling after the 10 minutes of boiling.

It was somewhat thin at first but thickened up and ended up being a nice fudgey sauce.

I might just use this as a fudgey ice cream topping.


My trusty taste tester had one word for this dessert . . .



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Corn Flake Cookies

I guess we got our summer back! It has been a HOT week in Minnesota! The heat is not great for baking, so we’re going to do another no-bake cookie. Corn Flake Cookies is the name I gave them since the title of the recipe on the card is Cookies.


“Enuf” said.

Corn Flake Cookies

Again, I looked at these ingredients and there seemed to be a lot of syrup and not a lot of cornflakes.

It worked well.

Why do I keep doubting Grandma’s recipes?

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Corn Flake Cookies

1 cup sugar

1 cup corn syrup

1/4 cup butter

1 cup peanut butter

Mix in saucepan and melt.

Pour over top of 6 cups of corn flakes.

Mix well.

Drop by spoonfuls on waxed paper lined baking sheets.

Let sit until firm. They do firm up faster in the refrigerator.

That’s it.


The mixture doesn’t hold together too well until it cools a bit.


I did let them sit a few minutes and then piled the mixture up a bit more in the cookie shape.


Another very addictive and somewhat different kind of cookie.

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Sweet Pickles

Today’s recipe is one of my sister’s favorites. She has a little problem with these Sweet Pickles. We would put the dish of pickles on the table for dinner and by the time we would sit down to finally eat dinner, we’d have to replenish the pickle dish.

Sweet Pickles

I have trouble making pickles from scratch so this is the perfect recipe. VERY easy and so good!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Sweet Pickles

Take 1 quart of dill pickles and pour off the juice, dry them and cut them in chunks.


Put the chunks back in the jar.

Boil 1 cup apple cider vinegar and 2 cups sugar.

Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the chunks in the jar, put the lid back on, and put in refrigerator.


You can re-boil the vinegar mixture the next day and pour the same liquid over the pickles again to make them more crisp. I haven’t ever done this because the pickles are crisp already and frankly, they don’t last that long! I let these pickles sit in the brine for about a week before eating.


These are on every family holiday table!


3 Bean Salad

I needed something quick for dinner yesterday.

I was canning homemade salsa and it took ALL DAY!

I had no time to think about dinner.

Check Grandma’s recipes and accomplish two things at once?

3 Bean Salad

Yes! 3 Bean Salad and grilled hot dogs? Summer staples from childhood. Done.

Great for dinner on the deck, weekends at the cabin, or summer nights on the lake.

This seems to be about the right time period for this meal – the 70s.


3 Bean Salad has another family story that I promised my mom I wouldn’t reveal! Ha!

Note that this recipe is another one with a simple name – Salad!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

3 Bean Salad

1 cup oil (I used canola)

1 cup vinegar

1 1/2 cups sugar

Mix and let sugar dissolve while you open the cans of beans.

1 can green beans (I used two cans of green beans – seemed like a lot of dressing)

1 can yellow wax beans

1 can kidney beans

You can use other beans of your choice.

Add 1/2 cup or so each of chopped celery, onion and green pepper.

Let stand a long time (I made it 4 hours ahead) or overnight.


It takes a lot of stirring to dissolve all the sugar. I would use a lot less sugar next time – maybe as little as 1/2 cup. It was a pretty syrupy dressing.

Plenty sweet! Ha!


It’s colorful!


Thanks, Grandma, for another great summer “recipe memory”!

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Rocky Road Squares

In light of the weather in Minnesota this week, today’s recipe is no-bake one. Rocky Road Squares are an easy treat – and you don’t need to heat up the oven!

Rocky Road Bars

This recipe makes a big batch – a 9 x 13″ cake pan. They still didn’t last long in our house!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Rocky Road Squares

1 12 ounce bag of chocolate chips

2 Tablespoons of butter

1 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk

Melt chips with milk and butter.

Remove from heat.


2 cups of dry roasted peanuts

10 1/2 ounce bag of mini marshmallows

Spread on waxed paper lined 9 x 13″ cake pan.


I put the pan into the refrigerator to firm up.


I then used the waxed paper to lift the whole thing out of the pan before cutting.


Warning: Use caution!

These are VERY addictive!!!!!!



Grandma and Grandpa belonged to a travelogue group when I was growing up. Every Saturday night in the winter, they would go to a travelogue, which was a travel movie about different exotic destinations. These movies were shown on a big screen in the old high school turned office building in our town.

I LOVED to go to travelogues and often they would ask if I wanted to go with them. It felt like being transported to these destinations without ever leaving the snowy and cold state of Minnesota.

We can safely say that Grandma inadvertently influenced my love of cooking AND travel!!


After the travelogue, the couples in the group would take turns having a lunch/snack/dessert and coffee at their home. Grandma made Bunsteads quite often along with a sweet dessert.

Bun SteadBun Stead 2

Bunsteads are another comfort food that has acquired legendary status in our family. The name isn’t on the recipe and I think we just made it up!

Here is the recipe as I made it:


1/4 pound  American Cheese, cubed (I used 1 cup Velveeta, cubed)

3 hard cooked eggs, chopped

1 7 ounce can tuna

2 Tablespoons green pepper, chopped

2 Tablespoons onion, chopped

2 Tablespoons stuffed olives, chopped (I don’t use olives – this isn’t on the recipe I have copied down – there would be a revolt in the family if I changed the recipe now!)

2 Tablespoons sweet pickle, chopped

1/2 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing

6 hot dog buns

Mix lightly and fill split buns.

Wrap in foil.

Bake at 250 degrees for 30 minutes.

I got 8 filled buns out of the recipe.


It’s a pretty mixture of ingredients.


Don’t overfill the buns.


Ready for the oven.


The buns get crusty . . .


and the filling is melty hot out of the oven.

One bite and I’m transported back to the travelogues.

Bon voyage!


Peach Cake

By the time I got this cake in the oven, I was thinking that Peach Cake might be the first dud of a recipe in the group so far. The pan I used was the right size, according to the recipe, but it overflowed while baking in the oven. There was so much smoke rolling out of the oven, following the kitchen ceiling and out the deck door, that I’m SHOCKED that no one in the neighborhood called the fire department!!!! I mean – it was SMOKING!!!! Halfway through the baking, I heard a siren and thought, oh my gosh – someone DID call the fire department!! Haha! Thinking about it afterward, I’m sure that the size of peaches has changed since this recipe was first used. I think I just used too many peaches.

Peach Cake

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Mix 6 or 8 peaches, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.

Then mix:

2 cups flour

6 Tablespoons sugar

4 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup butter

1 egg

2/3 cup milk

Grease 8 x 12″ pan. Spread dough. Pile sweetened peaches on top.

Cream 1/4 cup butter, 1/4 cup sugar, and 3 Tablespoons flour.

Spread on top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes. (She was right – it took longer than the recipe said.)


Too many peaches!


Looked a little weird going into the oven.


After the smoke cleared, this is what it looked like coming out of the oven.


My taste tester and his buddy declared it “really good” and “pretty dope”.

That’s all that matters, after all.


Happy Birthday, Julia Child!

Today is Julia Child’s birthday. Wow – we sure do like to celebrate birthdays on this blog! I remember watching her PBS show “The French Chef” when I was little and I couldn’t get enough! I loved cooking shows even then!


“Learn how to cook – try new recipes, learn from your mistakes,

BE FEARLESS, and above all, have fun.”

– Julia Child

Thanks, Julia, and Happy Birthday!


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Chocolate Revel Bars

Today I’m honoring my other Grandma on her birthday. She would have been 102 years old today.

This is a picture of her at age 17.

Grandma D pic

So pretty! Love those finger waves!!

She was also a very good and prolific cook, as you can tell from this picture of her favorite cookbook.

It was very well used!

Grandma D cookbook

Today’s recipe is called Emma’s Chocolate Revel Bars. I do remember this grandma making these bars in the 70’s. This was another recipe I thought was lost and when I asked my mom if she had it – she surprised me and said she did! Yay!

Emma bars _3

Emma bars _4

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Emma’s Chocolate Revel Bars

Cream together:

1 cup butter

2 cups brown sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

Then add:

2 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

3 cups oatmeal

Set aside.

Melt together:

12 oz. bag of chocolate chips

15 oz. sweetened condensed milk

3 Tablespoons butter

1/2 teaspoon salt (it says 1/2 T. on the recipe but that seemed like a lot)

Add to this mixture:

1 cup nuts (I used walnuts)

2 teaspoons vanilla

Spread 2/3 of the first mixture (dry) in a 15 x 10″ pan (I used a 9 x 13″ cake pan).

Cover with the second mixture (chocolate).

Top with the remaining first mixture (dry).

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.


This is how it looks with the bottom layer in the pan. I patted it out with my hands  – it’s thick and hard to “spread”.


This has the chocolate layer and top layer sprinkled on.


Right out of the oven.


They do firm up if left to cool completely.



Happy Birthday, Grandma!


Farmer’s Market Flowers

We hit the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market last Saturday morning. We did buy our fair share of vegetables but I cant go there without also buying myself a “treat”.


I love “treats” like this!

Grandma used to enter her gladiolas (tall spikey flowers like the light pink one in the middle of this bunch) in the county fair. She won a lot of ribbons for them.


I wish I could grow flowers like this in my garden, but I can’t. The trees in our yard have grown so big that there’s a lot of shade in our yard now. It’s great for the birds to have bigger trees, but not so great for the flower garden.


I’ll just have to keep buying these “treats” for myself!


A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!

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