Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Swedish Rusks

To start off the Christmas Season, I’m starting with a recipe that Grandma made pretty regularly in later years.

Swedish Rusks are a lot like biscotti.

I’m sure that the reason they’re named “Swedish” is because of the almonds and almond flavoring in them . . .

AND that they go so well with a cup of coffee – let’s say about 3:00 pm?

That was “coffee” time every afternoon!

It’s a very “Swedish” thing this having coffee with sweets at 3:00 pm.

We found that out on our trip to Sweden and Norway this fall.

Swedish Rusks

I love these – even more than I love biscotti.

Here is the recipe as I made them:

Swedish Rusks

Cream 1/2 cup butter with 1 cup white sugar.

Add 2 eggs.

Stir in 1/2 cup sour cream.

Then add:

3 cups all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

Blend in a small package of slivered almonds (1/2 cup) and 1 teaspoon of almond extract.

Shape into 3 loaves on a greased baking sheet – narrow, high, and oblong.

Bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes.

Cool and then slice 1/2″ thick and toast at 250 degrees for about an hour.


They are pretty easy to slice.


Toasting makes them crunchy.


Must be about 3:00 and time for “coffee”!


I remember Grandma making these at Christmas time.

But really, she made them all the time.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Thanksgiving 13

I’m grateful for each and every one of you readers!

Thanks so much for reading!

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Pumpkin Cream Cheese Pie

This recipe is one more easy pumpkin pie to add to your arsenal this holiday season.

It’s called Pumpkin Pie on the recipe card, but I’ve renamed it Pumpkin Cream Cheese Pie.

It uses a graham cracker crust, and instead of baking the whole pie, I just had to bake the crust.

Pumpkin Pie

I love pumpkin pie so having another type to choose from sounds great to me!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Pie

Mix together:

4 ounces of cream cheese, softened

1 Tablespoon of white sugar

1 Tablespoon milk or half-n-half

Stir in 1 1/2 cup non-dairy whipped topping, thawed.

Put this mixture into a baked graham cracker crust. Find a recipe for the crust here.

Then beat together:

2 packages of vanilla instant pudding

1 cup milk or half-n-half

Mix with:

1 16 ounce can of pumpkin

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Put this mixture on top of cream cheese mixture in graham cracker crust and chill for at least one hour.


This is the graham cracker crust.

You can also use a “storebought” one if you really need to.

There’s really no need to.


This is the cream cheese layer.


Next is the pumpkin/vanilla pudding layer.


The end product is very quick if you need something “last minute”.

AND it’s delicious!


Pumpkin Crunch Dessert

Today’s recipe is one that you can use for Thanksgiving week.

Or any week.

Pumpkin Crunch Dessert is a pumpkin pie/cake hybrid that’s an easy and quick addition to your holiday dessert repertoire.

Gotta hand it to Grandma – she picked some great, easy recipes for her collection.

Pumpkin Crunch Dessert

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Pumpkin Crunch Dessert

1 16 ounce can of pumpkin

1 12 ounce can of evaporated milk

3 eggs

1 1/2 cups white sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 box of cake mix (I used white)

1 cup melted butter

1 cup  chopped walnuts or pecans (I used pecans)

Combine pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar, salt, and spices.

Put in 9″ x 13″ cake pan.

Sprinkle dry cake mix over this.

Drizzle melted butter over the top of the cake mix.

Sprinkle nuts on top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes. It took mine about 10 extra minutes.


This really is an easy one!


Here is the batter before baking.


I didn’t know whether to use a spoon to get it out of the pan or a spatula.

The spatula worked just great.


This would be a good one to feed a crowd.

The crunchy topping is great with the pumpkin pie like filling.

So good.


Potato Cheddar Soup

I think we have a new comfort food, and this is comfort food of the highest quality.

Potato Cheddar Soup is great for a rainy night, or for a snowy night, or for a quick weekend supper.

Sometimes nothing will do but a big steaming bowl of soup.

I don’t remember Grandma making this one, but it’s a good one.

Potato Cheddar Soup

Potato Cheddar Soup 2

This soup is very cheesy and delicious.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Potato Cheddar Soup

4 slices of bacon, crisply fried and crumbled

3/4 cup of unseasoned croutons, crushed

1 cup of onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

3 Tablespoons of butter

4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 Tablespoon dried parsley (I didn’t have fresh)

1 quart chicken broth

2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

Salt and Pepper

Mix bacon and croutons. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, sauté onions and garlic in butter.

Add chicken broth, potatoes, parsley, salt and pepper.

Simmer 20-30 minutes until potatoes are tender.

Remove from heat and process in blender or food processor until smooth.

Add cheddar and warm gently so the cheese melts.

Serve with bacon and crouton mixture.


Is there anything better than bacon?


I think you could leave the soup chunky if that’s how you like it.


Good served with whole grain bread and a salad.


This soup is so thick and cheesy and good.

It will be your new comfort food, too!

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Cinnamon Sticks

Today’s recipe is another good cookie for this time of year or any time of year.

Cinnamon Sticks are just what the name says – sticks of cookie dough baked and then rolled in cinnamon and sugar.

Notice that this is another recipe that has the “Very Good” tag.

Cinnamon Sticks

Cinnamon Sticks 2

The recipe says that it makes 4 dozen but I’m sure Grandma made them much smaller than I did because I only got 3 dozen from this recipe.

Since they are supposed to be the size of a finger, fingers must have been smaller back then.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Cinnamon Sticks

1 cup butter (I added another 2 Tablespoons because it was dry and didn’t come together. I’m not sure if that’s because I used all butter and not any shortening.)

2 cups all purpose flour

5 Tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream butter.

Add sugar and flour to the creamed butter.

Roll in strips or balls – strips the size of a finger.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until slightly brown.

Cool very slightly and roll in mixture of 1/2 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon.

There were two different temperatures to bake these at. I tried the first pan at 350 degrees and then the second at 375 and I think that was best.


The dough finally came together when I added an extra 2 Tablespoons of softened butter.


They really do look like fingers!


Roll gently in the cinnamon sugar – they’re very tender when warm.


Mmmm! Cinnamon!!

These just melt in your mouth!

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Sauce for Ribs or Pork Chops

Today’s recipe says Dressing for Ribs or Pork Chops but it should say something more like Sauce for Ribs or Pork Chops.

Nobody uses the term “dressing” anymore unless it’s for salads or stuffing a turkey.

So I changed it.

When I read the recipe for the first time, I thought it sounded like a BBQ type sauce.

It’s not really a BBQ type sauce – more like a marinade.

Dressing for Pork Chops

It only took me 5 minutes to get this into the oven.

I made this with pork chops and they were delicious!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Sauce for Ribs or Pork Chops

1/2 cup ketchup

1 Tablespoon minced dried onion

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon hot sauce

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1 cup water

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

2 Tablespoons brown sugar

Cover with foil and bake at 325 degrees for 2 hours, uncovering for the last 1/2 hour.


The sauce is actually quite watery and I thought maybe this one wouldn’t be such a great recipe.


I was wrong again – never doubt Grandma’s recipes.


The pork chops were tender and moist and had a great flavor.

Another very quick and easy recipe made to get dinner on the table with very little fuss.

This would be great for holiday company.



Everybody likes Brownies!

I remember making a batch of brownies when I was pretty small.

I was so small that I couldn’t hold the bowl and the whole thing fell off the counter upside down on the floor and the bowl broke into pieces on top of the puddle of brownie batter.

I can still remember the mosaic that the glass from the pyrex bowl made on top of the brownie batter on the floor.

I was horrified – not that the bowl broke, but that the batter couldn’t be saved!

This may be the recipe I used because it looks like my mom’s writing on the baking instructions.

The original recipe on this card made a smaller batch because someone wrote the doubling numbers up the side of the original.

I’m assuming this would make a 9″ x 9″ square pan – I used a 9″ x 13″ cake pan and it was fine when doubled.


There’s something about brownies . . .

Here is the recipe as I made it:


Melt 1 cup butter and 4 squares of unsweetened chocolate.


Mix together:

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

4 eggs, beaten

2 cups sugar

Add dry mixture to cooled chocolate mixture.

Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 cup nuts if desired (I don’t put nuts in because we have someone in our family who doesn’t like them.).

Put batter in lightly greased 9″ x 13″ cake pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes.


I let the eggs get to room temperature.


Half of the batter was covered with peanut butter chips.


We have a peanut butter lover in the family so we experimented.


The plain half of the brownies was sprinkled with powdered sugar – no need for frosting!

These are good.


Overnight Crunch Coffee Cake

We need some recipes for overnight company this time of year.

Overnight Crunch Coffee Cake is great to have when you need something quick for your guests visiting over the holidays.

You get the cake ready in the evening and bake it in the morning.

The dry ingredients and topping could even be mixed up a couple of days ahead of time.

So great.

Overnight Crunch Coffee Cake

Overnight Crunch Coffee Cake 2

I love that you can do this ahead and wont have to do much in the morning.

Every little bit that you don’t have to do helps!

And again – the “V Good” connotation!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Overnight Crunch Coffee Cake

2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup butter

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a bowl.

Cream butter and sugars until light.

Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add dry ingredients alternating with buttermilk.

Beat well.

Spread batter in greased and floured 9″ x 13″ cake pan.

Mix for topping:

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup pecans or other nuts, chopped

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Mix well and sprinkle over top of batter.

Put in refrigerator 8 hours or overnight.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes.


Sprinkle topping on and put it in the refrigerator and forget it until morning.


Hot out of the oven the top is crusty and sugary!


Nice and easy for a busy time of year.




Butterscotch Pie

Pie is a big topic this time of year.

What kind of pie to make for Thanksgiving, how many pies to make for Thanksgiving, how many pies per person to make for Thanksgiving.

We’ll be needing a lot of pie.

This recipe for Butterscotch Pie would be great for Thanksgiving.

Butterscotch Pie

This is another recipe that looks like it came from Grandma’s sister.

As I was making the filling for this pie, I was thinking to myself, “I want to eat this for pudding!”

After tasting a spoonful, that would be a good idea.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Butterscotch Pie

2 cups milk

1 cup brown sugar

2 Tablespoons corn starch

2 Tablespoons all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 egg yolks, beaten

3 Tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat milk in a medium saucepan.

In a bowl mix brown sugar, cornstarch, and flour.

Next whisk a 1/2 cup or so of the hot milk into the egg yolks to temper, then whisk that egg yolk mixture into the hot milk.

Add the dry mixture to the saucepan and whisk until smooth.

Let it come to a boil and cook it until it thickens, stirring constantly.

Add butter and vanilla, stir until combined.

Put filling into baked pie shell.



I love the food processor pie crust method that you can find on my previous post for Apple Pie with Crumb Topping.


I blind baked the pie shell.

Dock the pie dough with a fork, cover the dough with foil, and fill in with beans (which you then can’t use for eating) or pie weights.

Bake at 450 degrees for 8 minutes with weights, then remove weights and bake 5-6 minutes more.

Cool before adding the filling.


This is where the filling looks like it would make a GREAT pudding.


Fill the pie crust with the filling.

Let it cool and then top with sweetened whipped cream.


One mistake I made – I forgot to dock the pie crust before blind baking so the bottom of the crust puffed up a bit.

You can kind of see it here.


This is so buttery and butterscotch-y.

Very nice for our Thanksgiving pie count.


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