Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Chocolate Rice Krispie Cookies – Part One

Today we’re doing Part One of a two part post on these little treats.

Part Two will be a quick tutorial on how to make a cute glass pedestal to display the cookies on.

The recipe is a very quick and easy one called Chocolate Rice Krispie Cookies.

The recipe card didn’t have a name, so that’s what I’m naming them.

These taste suspiciously like the old Haystack cookies except instead of chow mein noodles, they have Rice Krispies in them.

This card has my mom’s name on it, so chances are she got this recipe from a co-worker.

Funny – this recipe has chocolate in it. Hmmm. Yes – it’s from my mom!

Chocolate Rice Krispie Cookies

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Chocolate Rice Krispie Cookies


1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup of butterscotch chips

2 Tablespoons peanut butter

Stir in:

4 cups Rice Krispies cereal


Its easy to melt the chips and peanut butter in the microwave.


I used my trusty little ice cream scoop to make these as uniform as possible. Without it I think they would have been more spread out. The scoop kept them a bit more mounded.


I let them sit about an hour to firm up and then I hid them so they would at least last overnight.

Fat chance.


These also make great Halloween treats for girlfriends!

Part Two coming on Friday – check back for a quick tutorial on how to make these cute pedestals!


Apple Coffee Cake

We’re doing another of Grandma’s recipes using apples today.

Apple Coffee Cake is one she must have gotten from a friend as this card is not in her handwriting.

Apple Coffee Cake

Apple Coffee Cake 2

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Apple Coffee Cake

Sift together:

2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup white sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

3 teaspoons baking powder

Cut in with pastry blender or fork:

6 Tablespoons butter


1 egg, well beaten

3/4 cup milk

Turn into greased 9″ x 9″ pan. Place thinly sliced apples on top of batter.

Mix together 4 Tablespoons white sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon and sprinkle over apple slices.

Melt 3 teaspoons melted butter and sprinkle over top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

It says on the card that peaches can also be used. I didn’t try it but it sounds good to me!

I’m not sure why at the end it says she used a tube pan. The recipe says a 9″ x 9″ pan and that’s what I used.


I used more of Sven’s apples for this recipe.

I’m sorry but I forgot to take a picture of the pan before putting it in the oven.


The apples were crusty and caramel-y after baking.


Great cake with coffee!


I always recommend a dollop of whipped cream!

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Apple Pie with Crumb Topping


Today’s recipe is another seasonal favorite – Apple Pie with Crumb Topping.

The best part of this recipe is that there’s only one pie crust to make.

I used more apples from of our friend Sven’s wonderful apple tree.

They’re pretty tart and are perfect for this recipe.

I use the Martha Stewart recipe for pate brisee (pie crust) which you can find here. I love that you can make this pie crust in the food processor. I roll it out between two sheets of plastic wrap – it’s easy to move the crust around and easier to clean up.

Crumb Topping for Apple Pie

(This is a one-sided recipe. It says “over” on the card because on the back side was the recipe for graham cracker pie crust. We’ll use that another time.)

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Apple Pie with Crumb Topping

Into an unbaked pie shell, put sliced apples (I used about 8-10 apples but these are small apples from a local tree, not store bought).

Mix together:

1/2 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Sprinkle over sliced apples.

For the top crust, mix together with a fork or pastry blender:

1/3 cup shortening (I used butter)

1/2 cup white sugar

3/4 cup all purpose flour

Top sliced apples with top crust mixture.

It will look like it won’t all fit on there, but go ahead and put it on.

I put it on by the handful.

Bake 40 minutes at 400 degrees or until top crust is golden.


Go ahead and pile on the sliced apples.


So much sugar and cinnamon goodness!


Put ALL of the top crust topping on.


The crust will be golden brown and crusty.


This is a very good pie recipe.

One of our kids doesn’t like pie crust.

She declared this the best apple pie she’s ever had.

We highly recommend this one!


Drop Donuts

Halloween 63

I love this picture of me trick or treating!

It says Halloween ’63 on the top so I was only 2.

This was the beginning of my love of fall and Halloween and treats! Ha!

Today’s recipe for Drop Donuts is a good one for this time of year.

I don’t remember Grandma ever making these but I wish she had!

Drop Donuts

Drop Donuts 2

These donuts were pretty easy to make. I didn’t have a lot of time so I halved the recipe.

Here is the (full) recipe as I made it:

Drop Donuts

Mix together:

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup white sugar

2 cups sour milk or buttermilk (I used buttermilk)

Sift together and stir into wet mixture:

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

4 cups flour

Add 1 Tablespoon melted butter and beat well.

Dip teaspoon into hot oil and then into dough.

(I didn’t do this – I used two spoons to drop the dough.)

Drop by teaspoon.

Fry in hot oil until golden brown and drain.


It makes a nice, thick batter.


I fried the donuts in peanut oil at 375 degrees.

Using the teaspoons to drop the donut dough is a good idea because I found that the smaller the spoonful of dough, the quicker it was to fry. I made some of them too big in the beginning and they weren’t done in the middle.


It works well to drain them on a paper towel.


This was half of a batch. While they were still warm, I tossed them in a mixture of 1/2 cup white sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.


Another great treat recipe from Grandma!


Swedish Tea Ring

Today’s recipe is a continuation of the Buns recipe I posted on October 7, 2013.

You can find the recipe for the dough here.

This is another type of treat made with the same bun dough on that post.

My mom would sometimes give this treat to lucky people at Christmastime.

It’s called a Swedish Tea Ring.

There is really no recipe for the actual tea ring, just the yummy stuff you add to it after you’ve made the dough.

We went to my mom’s place and she, being the master, made a small Swedish Tea Ring for us after we made buns.

You can make this tea ring with about one third to one half of the bun dough or whatever you have left when you’ve had enough of the bun making.

Here is the recipe as we made it:


First, roll out a portion of the dough into a rectangle, 12″ x 18″ or so (this was a smaller version).

Spread softened butter on top – she used about 1/4 cup here.

Then, sprinkle on brown sugar – about 1 cup depending on how gooey you want it.

Sprinkle cinnamon over top, making sure you cover the whole thing with cinnamon.

This makes more of a cinnamon roll type of situation but if you like more of a caramel roll type of situation, you can also drizzle on some white corn syrup.

At Christmas, she has been known to also put in chopped nuts, maraschino cherries, and raisins.


Roll up dough on long side and connect the ends overlapping dough and having seam on the under side.


Using a knife or scissors (we think a scissors works better), cut 3/4 of the way through the roll, turning slices to side to lay flat.


Let rise another 30-45 minutes.


Bake in 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes.


Move to serving platter and drizzle powdered sugar frosting on top (to give this as a gift, she would use a piece of cardboard covered in foil and the whole thing wrapped in plastic wrap).

You can find a recipe for the frosting here.

Sprinkle decorating sugar on top of that depending on what time of year it is (she used orange sugar on this one for fall).

For Christmas she would use nonpareils (the colorful little ball-y things) with maraschino cherries cut in half decorating the top.


It really is a beautiful presentation.


Another tasty treat great for breakfast or afternoon tea made by the master.

Thanks, Mom!


Refrigerator Pickles

I love harvest season! It’s always a great time of year and holds so many good memories for me. The whole family would always help with the preserving, canning, and freezing of vegetables from the garden – apples, peaches, corn on the cob, and anything else we could find to get us through the winter. It made me feel like we were pioneers and we just wouldn’t make it through if we didn’t do this. My garden never produces all that much to “can”- we usually eat most of the garden produce –  but I make these Refrigerator Pickles and use as many veggies as I can from our own garden and supplement with some from the Farmer’s Market if I need to.

Refrigerator Pickles

I changed this recipe just a bit.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Refrigerator Pickles

3 quarts sliced cucumbers

2 pounds sliced onions

1 green pepper cut in strips (I add the green pepper and pimento – Grandma did not)

1 small jar pimento or 1 red pepper cut into strips

1/2 cup salt

4 cups sugar

1 1/3 teaspoon ground turmeric (I didn’t use this)

1 1/3 teaspoon celery seed

1 1/3 teaspoon mustard seed (I didn’t use this)

4 cups white vinegar

Put vegetables into bottom of jars. Mix rest together, stir well, put on cucumbers cold, and refrigerate. I like to store them in canning jars with lids and screw rings. You can keep adding cucumbers to the dressing as you use them.


It’s such a colorful mixture!


The dressing is a bit cloudy until the sugar dissolves.


So pretty!


This was after being in the refrigerator for 2 months. They last all winter if they make it that long. Since this is my middle child’s favorite pickle, they don’t usually last all winter for us.


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Creamed Peas on Toast

It’s been rainy here this week so today’s recipe is another one on the family’s comfort food list.

Creamed Peas on Toast is one of those handed down for generations.


I once read that this was a popular depression era recipe so I’m sure that’s when Grandma started making it.

My mom made this for my sister and I when we were growing up (we were only allowed to have it when my dad wasn’t home, as he did NOT like it).

I made it for my kids and they still ask for it now when they’re in their 20’s.

We just love it because it tastes good, but it’s also great when your budget is gone and you still need to feed a family.

There is no recipe card for this – my kids HATE it when I say that – they need it all written down step by step.

I had my son help me make it so he’ll know how when he’s out on his own.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Creamed Peas on Toast

Heat a can of peas to boiling(I’ve seen it done with frozen peas but as far as I’m concerned, that looked WAAAAYYY too colorful).

Pour out about half of the pea “juice”.

Put two heaping teaspoons of flour into a container with a lid and add about 1/2 cup milk.


Add this mixture to boiling peas and cook until thick.

Add a splash more milk if it’s too thick, depending on your own preference.

(We found out that I like it a bit thinner than my son does – soaks into the toast better.)

Meanwhile, make toast and butter the toast – or not – again, your preference – and put it on a plate large enough to hold toast and peas.

Top the toast with the creamed peas.

Salt and pepper to taste.


It does thicken quickly once you add the flour/milk mixture.


I’m sure we used to use white bread, but not anymore.


I like it with plenty of “cream”.



You’ll feel SO comforted!


Moist Pumpkin Bread


These are the first pumpkins we grew ourselves!

Small but mighty!

Now we know we can do it – and we learned a lot!

This is the time of year for pumpkin recipes. We will NOT be using our own pumpkins for this recipe.

Today’s recipe for Moist Pumpkin Bread is one that I scribbled down while listening to Joyce Lamont on WCCO radio about 30 years ago. That’s when we were first married and lived in Alexandria, Minnesota.

I know it’s hard to imagine, but back then,we only had a black and white TV and NO cable. Since I was home alone with a new baby and not a fan of soap operas, I listened to WCCO radio. A lot.

I heard this recipe and wrote it down and it’s become another of our family favorites. One thing I love about this one is that it makes two loaves. That’s a good thing since this is my son’s favorite. It was a bit of home we brought him every fall while he was in college.

I don’t have the original recipe that was written on a piece of scratch paper, so I’ll just type it out here.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Moist Pumpkin Bread

Grease 2 9″ x 5″ bread pans.

With an electric mixer, beat 2/3 cup shortening(I use butter) and 2 cup sugar until light and fluffy.

Add 4 eggs, 1 at a time – mix well after each.

Add 2/3 cup water and 2 cup pumpkin and mix well. Set aside.

Mix dry ingredients together:

3 1/3 cup all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 cup walnuts (again, my son doesn’t like nuts in things so I left these out)

Stir into wet mixture.

Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Cool in pans 10 min.

Let cool completely on wire rack.

Makes 2 loaves.


These are also grandma’s old bread pans.


Cinnamon and cloves make a fall potpourri in your kitchen!


This is great for breakfast or afternoon tea.


I’m going to sneak a piece before my son gets home from work!


It’s really good spread with a little butter!

Shhh! Don’t tell anyone I did that!


Spanish Meatballs

This is when cooking first started for me.

Notice the little toy stove in the lower right corner!

Grandma seems to be helping me with something.

I’m sure I was asking her questions about the stove.

Does it have gas or electric burners?

Does the oven work?

What kind of pans are these?

Can I bake something right now?

Can I bake a pie?

me and grandma and little stove

Yep – here’s where it all started.

Here’s where I realized that I could make food.

Comfort food.

That’s what today’s recipe is all about.

Last Sunday night two of my children decided they wanted to learn how to make these.

(There are times when I like having someone else cook.

Sunday night is usually when this happens – what a coincidence!)

Spanish Meatballs

Spanish Meatballs 2

These meatballs are the epitome of comfort food.

They aren’t spicy – just use tomato soup – so I’m not sure why the name is Spanish Meatballs.

The recipe card is written in my mom’s handwriting so I think she was the one who found it originally.

Here is the recipe as I (they) made it:

Spanish Meatballs

Mix together for meatballs:

1 pound of ground beef

1/4 pound of cheese (I use cubed Velveeta)

6 crushed saltine crackers

1 egg, beaten

salt and pepper to taste

Roll in flour and brown in frying pan.

Make gravy of drippings (take off some grease if too much), chopped onion (1 small), and 1 can of tomato soup.

Put meatballs into casserole.

Pour gravy over top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.


The cheese melts while you’re browning the meatballs.

That’s what makes them so good!


This is the gravy – let it cook in there for a few minutes and get a darker color.


Pouring the gravy over the top of the meatballs.


Hot out of the oven.


I highly recommend that you try these meatballs.

On a Sunday night.

Total comfort food.


Apple Dessert


This is a beautiful apple I picked in Sweden.

I wish I had more of these apples for today’s recipe.

The recipe I chose to show you today is what our family always knew as Apple Crisp.

However, the recipe card says Apple Dessert.

This has always been our family’s Apple Crisp recipe for as long as I’ve been making Apple Crisp.

I’m not sure about the name thing, but oh well . . .

The beautiful thing about this recipe for Apple Dessert, is that it HAS to be THE EASIEST recipe for Apple Crisp (or Dessert) EVER!

Apple Dessert

It’s amazing how something so simple can be so good.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Apple Dessert

Fill a pan with sliced apples (I used a 9 x 13″ cake pan and apples from our friend Sven’s tree).

Pour over 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar.

Sprinkle cinnamon over top (I didn’t measure – just make sure you sprinkle some on all the apples or as much as you like).

Mix together:

1 cup flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup softened butter

Sprinkle this mixture over the top of the sliced apples. Try and sprinkle it evenly.

Bake at 400 degrees for 1/2 hour, then bake at 350 degrees for 1/2 hour.

That’s it!


This is my handy-dandy apple peeler that Grandma and Grandpa gave me when we were first married.

I know that they have them now with suction cups to stick to your countertop, but this was my first, and it’s special to me.

025 (2)

Before baking, try and sprinkle the topping evenly (right, Megan?).

034 (2)

Take it out of the oven when the topping is lightly browned.

035 (2)

The apples will be soft and tender and the crust will be firm and crusty.


Apple Dessert is best while warm with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.


So simple.

So perfect.


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