Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Oatmeal Muffins

I love that on the recipe card for today, Grandma wrote her name on it.

That’s how I know she wrote this card out just for me.

I think she gave me this recipe quite soon after we were first married.

Grandma and Grandpa were married during the Great Depression in 1937.

Gma and Gpa first married

I’m not sure where they are in this picture but I LOVE IT (it says September 1936 on the back).

Their house was a cornucopia of stuff that they saved to re-use.

They weren’t hoarders – people who lived through the depression were the first recyclers.

In the basement they kept boxes, glass jars, and any type of containers that could be used for something later.

(For me it was a wonderland of objects to be used creatively!)

There was a drawer in the kitchen where they kept paper bags and plastic bags, and there was that bin for the 20+ pound bag of flour for making their own bread.

The “shed” was the big metal building that held the tractors and farm equipment and in there Grandpa had drawers, shelves, and boxes full of tools, parts, and every kind of nut and bolt needed for fixing and working on anything that needed it around the farm.

That saved money on repairs, saved time to run to town and buy something you needed, and saved money by not having to have someone else fix it (of course he could fix anything, too).

I was always amazed at their having all this cool stuff around – which I was allowed to use if I needed or wanted to when staying at their house.

(Do I need to say that all of this stuff was impeccably neat, organized, and pristine?)

Plus they always bought the best quality of everything that they could find and that saved them from ever having to buy something twice!

They were just really good at saving time and money.

So back to the recipe . . .

Today’s recipe for Oatmeal Muffins is so good.

I like to make these and have them in the freezer ready to go for breakfast, afternoon coffee, snacks, whatever – that is, if I can get them in there before anyone knows they’re there.

They don’t last long around our house.

Oatmeal Muffins

Oatmeal Muffins 2

These are my favorite muffins.

Here is the recipe as I made them:

Oatmeal Muffins

2 cups regular oatmeal

2 cups sour cream

2/3 cup butter, melted

4 eggs

2 cups light brown sugar, packed

2 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine oats and sour cream.

Stir in melted butter, eggs, and brown sugar until well mixed.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Stir into oat mixture just until blended.

She always added raisins and so do I (I didn’t have any, so I added 1/2 cup each of dried cherries and chocolate chips).

Bake at 375 degrees 20 to 25 minutes.


This recipe makes 2 dozen muffins.


Any nuts, chips, or dried fruit would be good in these.


The brown sugar gives these muffins a distinctive sweet, caramel-ly flavor.


These would be good for breakfast or afternoon coffee or tea.

You gotta try these!


Cherry Cake Dessert

I love cherry – all kinds of cherry.

I’m sure that even at this age I was thinking, I sure wish there was something cherry on this graham cracker.

Cherry Cake Dessert

Today’s recipe is so good – it’s full of cherries.

When I made this Cherry Cake Dessert, we had technical problems, so I doubled the recipe and made a whole 9″ x 13″ cake pan of this instead of the 9″ x 9″ pan called for.

Cherry Cake Dessert

Nobody seemed to mind the bigger pan of this dessert.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Cherry Cake Dessert

Put in 9″ x 9″ pan:

1 can of cherry pie filling

Put on top of that:

1 box of Jiffy White Cake Mix

Then on top of that:

1/3 cup of melted butter

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.


When doubling this recipe, I doubled everything and used a regular box of white cake mix instead of the Jiffy brand which is a small box.


This is so incredibly easy.

It smells so amazing while baking – the whole house smelled great!


This is a good one to be able to pull out for last minute guests.


I think this is best eaten warm with a dollop of whipped cream.

So good.

So easy.

So full of cherry.

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Hotdish #2

Today’s recipe is another in what I’m sure will be a long list of hot dishes.

Hotdish #2 is another of those comfort food type of dishes that you just can’t beat.

(And we need more comfort food in this winter that never ends!!!!!)

This one doesn’t even have an official name or title – just who Grandma got the recipe from – her sister in law.

Hotdish #2

Hotdish #2b

I love the card for this one – so cute!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Hotdish #2

1 1/2 pounds ground meat (I used beef), browned

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 small onion, chopped

1 cup green pepper, chopped

2 cups celery, chopped

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can cream of chicken soup

Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, then uncover, add chow mein noodles on top, and bake 15 minutes more.


This really only took 10 minutes to pull together.


All the ingredients are mixed and baked and then topped with the chow mein noodles.


So easy and so good.


Add a few more dashes of soy sauce – delicious.

Another great comfort food hotdish.



Today’s recipe is not one from either of my grandmas.

It’s from my grandpa.

Grandpa 1956

This picture of him is from about 1956.

He was famous for making these Waffles and this was his recipe.

I don’t care how or where he got it.

I’m just glad that I have it.

On the day we moved to our first home, he made them for us for breakfast.

He was probably about 80 at the time.

When I asked him for the recipe, he gave it to me!

I’m thrilled that I have his recipe in his own handwriting!

He was pretty special to me and to all of us.


It’s a pretty simple recipe.

Here is the recipe as I made it:


2 cups Bisquick baking mix

1 1/2 cup club soda

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 egg

Mix all together and bake in waffle iron until brown and crispy.


This is how it looks when you add the club soda and then when the batter is all mixed.


I still have the old waffle iron that my mom and dad had when I was growing up.

They just don’t make them like this anymore.

It’s hard to find one that makes the waffles crispy enough.


This is how the batter looks going into the waffle iron and then when it’s ready.

Yes – sometimes the waffle sticks to the up side of the iron.


Waffles are another very important tradition in our family.

They mark most special non-holiday occasions.


These waffles are light and crispy and oh so good!

Thanks, Grandpa!

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Liza’s Swedish Cookies

The recipe today is one that I never remember Grandma making.

I can’t ask her questions and my mom didn’t remember having these very often, so I was on my own about how to make these and what they should look like.

Liza’s Swedish Cookies is one I hadn’t heard of before seeing the recipe in her file.

I have been known to look up some of these recipes online in case I don’t know what they should look like or can’t figure out how to do them, but I couldn’t find anything close to these anywhere.

Liza's Swedish Cookies

Liza's Swedish Cookies 2

I read this through about 20 times before starting to make the cookies.

It just wasn’t making sense to me – but I think I figured it out.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Liza’s Swedish Cookies

3/4 cup white sugar

3/4 cup butter

1 egg yolk

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups plus 1 Tablespoon sifted all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

Form into long ropes in thickness and length you desire – 2 to 4 lengths according to the length of cookie sheet.

Brush with egg white (I whipped it up a bit with a fork) down the center and top with chopped nuts.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Remove from cookie sheet and cut diagonally into cookies.


When I was done mixing the ingredients, it looked somewhat like graham cracker crumbs.

How were these supposed to stick together?


I used my hands to mix the crumb like dough together and the warmth of my hands helped it stick together.

It still didn’t hold together until I just put the first log onto the cookie sheet and LIGHTLY rolled it into a log.

If you do this too hard, it will just keep falling apart.

Keep trying – it will work!


I used sliced almonds but you could use any chopped nuts.


I cut them diagonally and they look great.

They’re a very different kind of cookie.


They were a bit of work, but so worth it.

I would say they’re a cross between a biscotti and a shortbread.

Another great cookie to have with that afternoon coffee or tea.

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Salad – with Tuna

Today’s recipe is one of those that I’m going to put under the category of Retro Oddities (my daughter came up with that title).

This one has got to come from the 70’s.

The card says Salad but I’ve renamed it Salad – with Tuna, because I’m sure that there will be more recipes simply named Salad.

I remember having this at family gatherings, and I remember that it was not my favorite.

That’s because I’m not a fish girl and tuna is fish.

Sometimes I can do it and sometimes I can’t.

I made this salad when my family was all here so the fish eaters could help eat it.

The 5 ingredients sound a bit odd.

We should know better – never question Grandma’s recipes.

Everyone liked it!


You’ll note that it does have the “V Good” connotation!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Salad – with Tuna

Mix together:

1 can of tuna, drained

1 cup carrots, shredded

1 cup celery, chopped

1 cup mayonnaise

This mixture can stand overnight  – nice to be able to make it ahead.

Then add 1 small can of shoestring potatoes, or half of a big can.

That’s it!

Incredibly easy!


The first four ingredients are pretty easy to pull together.


This salad maybe took 10 minutes to make, start to finish.


Shoestring potatoes seems like an odd thing to add to a salad, but they add a nice crunch.


This is perfect for a nice, light lunch.

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Valentine (Sugar ) Cookies

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

dutch girl

This is a valentine that Grandma got when she was a girl.

She’s so cute!

The recipe today is more of a tip than a Grandma recipe.

My tip is this:

We’re all trying to cut down on the sweets around here so at Christmastime we decided to make less cookies.

I made a half batch of cut out sugar cookies and there still seemed like a LOT of dough.

So I made half of the cookies into hearts and put them in the freezer.

I think this is a great time saving tip.

I didn’t have to do anything this week but frost them.

I use a recipe from my original Betty Crocker cookbook that I got from my mom and dad for Christmas 1982.


This is the seventh printing – copyright 1982 – of this wonderful and very well used book.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Valentine (Sugar) Cookies

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 cup butter

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Mix powdered sugar, butter, egg, vanilla, and almond extract.

Mix in flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar.

Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Divide dough into halves.

Roll each half 3/16 thick on lightly floured cloth-covered board.

Cut into shapes.

Sprinkle with white sugar, colored sugar, or leave plain to frost later; place on lightly greased cookie sheet.

Bake until edges are light brown, 7 to 8 minutes.

The recipe I use for frosting is so old I don’t even know who to thank for it.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Royal Icing

3 Tablespoons meringue powder

1 pound powdered sugar

1/2 cup minus 1 Tablespoon lukewarm water

3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Combine all, mix together at slow speed.

Beat at medium speed until very stiff peaks form.

Add a bit of glycerin if you want it to stay soft.


I didn’t even spend a lot of time on frosting these.

No piping bag – just spread the icing on.


Follow this time saving tip and have an easy, ready to go treat for valentine’s day.


Make these cookies for your valentine!

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Valentine Cup Cozy and Valentine Treats

I feel like I’ve neglected Valentine’s Day here on the blog.

That wasn’t something that Grandma and Grandpa spent a lot of time on.

Every day was Valentine’s Day to those two – they were married 64 years.

Grandma and Grandpa J wedding

This is their wedding picture – love the baskets of flowers!

So let’s get started on some Valentine stuff.

Today I have a sort of a tutorial on how to make a cup cozy.

I can’t just sit and watch the Olympics without doing something, so I was looking online for a quick and easy knitting project and I found one!

Cup cozies are so hot right now.

Why make one for your valentine?

I found a really great tutorial for how to make them on the Setting for Four blog here.

She really does a great job of explaining in detail how it’s done.

Here are the cup cozies as I made them:

Valentine Cup Cozy


You use double pointed needles to make these.


You can make a bunch – they only take about an hour to do.


On the tutorial she shows them with a brooch pinned on – love that!

I sewed on some antique buttons and used a button that I borrowed from my son.

Make sure that if you’re putting something on these that it’s either washable or removable.

I also used acrylic yarn so I can just throw them in the wash.


Why not include some Hot Chocolate Mix – a recipe that I had on the blog in December.

Here are some chocolate recipes from Plenty Sweet Life that you could use for treats for your valentine!


Hot Chocolate Mix


Chocolate Rice Krispies Cookies


Rocky Road Squares


Three Layer Bars


Butter Pecan Cookies

Today’s recipe is something a little different.

It seems like a lot of the goodies in Grandma’s file have chocolate chips in them.

These cookies are full of pecans.

Butter Pecan Cookies are a shortbread type of cookie.

They’re tender and crumbly and they melt in your mouth.

Butter Pecan Cookies

Butter Pecan Cookies 2

You’ll notice that there are no baking instructions on the card.

Again – we should know this stuff. Ha.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Butter Pecan Cookies

1 cup butter

1 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Cream butter and sugar.

Add egg and vanilla.

Sift flour with cream of tartar and baking soda and add to creamed mixture.

Shape into balls and place a pecan half on top of each ball.

Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.


I used my trusty ice cream scoop again to try and get the balls all the same size.


I let them get just a little bit brown around the edges.


These really do melt in your mouth.


So tender.

So crumbly.

So good with that afternoon coffee or tea.


Easy Bars

Today’s recipe is simply Bars.

I’ve renamed them Easy Bars for practical purposes.

I made these when I was just starting the blog so please forgive the bad pictures – I hope I’ve gotten better at photography since then!


This recipe is fast and easy and uses the ready made ingredients that busy farm wife Grandma and her friends were probably looking for.

It’s so fast and easy that when you look at this recipe, it doesn’t even look like it will work.

Trust me – it will work.


There’s nothing to it – there’s not a lot to say about these.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Easy Bars

Melt 1/2 cup butter in bottom of a 9 x 13″ cake pan.

Sprinkle 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs over top of butter.

Drizzle 1 15 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk over the top of all.

Sprinkle 1 cup milk chocolate chips and 1 cup peanut butter chips over top of everything.

Press firmly.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.


They do get a bit flat – not a lot of rise to these bars.


So much chewy-ness.


So simple.

So fast.

So good.


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