Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

No-Roll Sugar Cookies

We need some spring time fun after this horrible and VERY long winter!

Nothing says fun like pulling your dress up over your head.

I’m not sure what the deal is with me always pulling my dress/shirt up, but there are a lot of pictures of me like this!

This picture says I was 4 months old, so that puts it in April and I’m sure it was Easter time.

spring 61

I LOVE that I’m sitting on the old green couch of Grandma and Grandpa’s.

I took a lot of naps on that old couch!

It had a certain smell and feel to it and I LOVED it!!!

Is that weird?

The recipe today isn’t really a spring time recipe but we’re going to make it one!

No-Roll Sugar Cookies is a pretty basic sugar cookie recipe.

No Roll Sugar Cookies

No Roll Sugar Cookies 2

Note that there are no baking time or temperature again – you should know this!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

No-Roll Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

3 cups + 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 teaspoon baking soda

Cream butter and sugar together.

Add eggs.

Add flour, cream of tartar, and baking soda and mix well.

Chill for about 1 hour.

Shape into balls, press with a fork, and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.


I’ve shown you three different ways to do these sugar cookies here.

The flat one on the left is dough rolled into a ball, rolled in sugar, and then flattened with a glass.

The round one in the back is dough rolled into a ball, rolled in sugar, and left that way.

The one on the right is dough rolled into a ball, flattened with a fork, and sprinkled with sugar.

I wanted to show you the before and after pictures so you can decide for yourself how you want to do it – take your pick.

I chose to stick with the recipe instructions and do it the way it said on the card – with a fork.


I used spring colored sugars so we could get in the mood!


These cookies are very tasty!

Try this recipe – you’ll love it!











Crazy Cake

Today’s recipe is one of those retro oddities that sounds a little weird.

Again, this is probably one of those recipes from the Great Depression when they didn’t have a lot.

This Crazy Cake doesn’t have any eggs, butter, or milk in it.

I do remember that we used this recipe a lot in the 70’s.

We did a lot of weird things back then, like when we had what was called a “Hard Times” party (this also probably referenced the Great Depression).

You dressed up in costume like you were down on your luck, and when it came time for dinner you’d get a menu that had jokes that represented the food.

You had to guess what the items were in hopes of getting ACTUAL food.

You might get a fork, a glass of water, and piece of bread for one course.

For the next course you might get a hot dog, a plate, and a sugar cube.

You might get food and no silverware to eat it with.

I was usually in the kitchen helping put the meals together and figuring out who got what.

Weird but fun.

Crazy Cake

This cake is a little weird but really GOOD!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Crazy Cake

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

3 Tablespoons cocoa

1 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla

5 teaspoons oil (it says on the card 1/2 c. + 2 T., but that doesn’t make sense since that would be more than 1/2 cup and 5 teaspoons is less than 1/4 cup – I used 5 t. canola oil)

1 cup water

Sift first 5 ingredients into buttered 8″ x 8″ square pan.

(It didn’t say to do this, but I mixed those ingredients together in the pan first, then made 3 holes in those dry ingredients.)

Pour vinegar into one hole, vanilla into another hole, and the oil into the 3rd hole.

Pour water over all.

Mix well until smooth.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.


So weird to put things into the pan and THEN mix them together.

Here’s what it looked like after making the holes and putting the liquid in.


The cake comes out of the oven looking like any other cake.


It’s a very moist and tasty cake just right for after dinner dessert.

I didn’t put frosting on this one, just whipped cream and some ice cream toppings I had in the frig.


Surprisingly delicious for just something where you throw all the ingredients into a pan and mix it up.

So weird.

So tasty.

So GOOD!!!





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Potato Soup

This recipe comes from my other grandma.

She taught me to make this Potato Soup when I was REALLY little.

I remember her saying, “this is something you can always make, no matter how tough times are, because you almost always have a potato and an onion and some milk and butter”.

Again, this is someone who went through the Great Depression and had learned how to “make do” without a lot.

grandma d and dorothy

I love this picture of Grandma and her baby sister.

Love the hair bows!!

I don’t have a card for this recipe – it was one she told me and I was supposed to remember it.

I made this a lot growing up and when I was first married so remembering it wasn’t a problem.

It may be cheap and easy to make, but it’s also DELICIOUS!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Potato Soup

Into a saucepan put:

1 potato per person, sliced

1/2 onion, sliced

Enough water to cover.

Cook until potatoes and onion are tender.

Pour out half of the water and add enough milk to cover the potatoes and onions.

Add 1 Tablespoon butter per person.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Cook until heated through.

Through the years, I have added sausage and/or vegetables.

Let those heat through, also.

You can make it your own by adding whatever meat and veggies you like.


This batch was for 4 people.


I let it boil for about 10 – maybe a bit more – minutes.


I added cheddar sausage and peas to this batch.


This is comfort food for me.

Tastes like home.


Oatmeal Carmelites

I LOVE to read.

I have always loved to read.

reading letter from daddy

This picture says I was “reading a letter from Daddy” (he was still in the Army stationed in Turkey).

I think I was about 2 years old in this picture – maybe even a little younger.

I’m sure I wasn’t actually reading it but I do remember being in grandma’s kitchen and my dad having me read the sports page when I was 4.

I won a certificate in 3rd grade for reading the most books that year.

I still have it.

It wasn’t long before I was reading recipes! Ha!

The recipe for today is unbelievably good.

There are a couple like this in Grandma’s recipe file so we may be doing another recipe close to this at a later date.

Oatmeal Carmelites

Oatmeal Carmelites 2

Of course, there is no baking temperature again – we’re supposed to know this!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Oatmeal Carmelites

Mix for crust:

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour

1 1/4 cup quick cooking oats

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter, melted

Put half of mixture in bottom of 9″ x 9″ pan (Grandma had written that maybe using an 8″ x 11″ or so pan would be best and that’s what I used).

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Put on top of bottom crust:

1 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup pecans, chopped

and then the rest of the crust.

Add 3/4 cup (1 jar) of caramel ice cream topping (mixed with 3 Tablespoons all purpose flour) last – drizzle on top of crust (I only used 1/2 of a jar – a whole jar seemed like a lot of caramel).

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes more until golden brown.


I used a fork to press down the crust in the bottom of the pan.

I put the top crust on by sprinkling it on by hand.


This is only half of a jar of the caramel topping – a whole jar did seem like a lot.


After baked, the caramel melted into the top crust.


Another quick and very easy recipe that is SO good.


These bars seemed more like candy when they were done so I’m glad I used a bigger pan and that made them thinner.

They were . . .

Plenty sweet.


Ost Kaka – the Easy Kind

The recipe for today is another dish that we had at my mom’s birthday dinner.

Ost Kaka is a Swedish tradition and this recipe is the easy kind.

I also have Grandma’s recipe for the more difficult kind where you have to cheese the milk yourself using rennet instead of using cottage cheese.

I’ve never made the more difficult kind by myself – I want my mom to help me the first time so I know what I’m doing.

Maybe we’ll explore the recipe for that more difficult kind at a later date.

We have this dish at all family celebrations – holiday or otherwise.

Really, any excuse to make this is what we’re looking for.

Ost Kaka - the Easy Kind

The aroma of this dish baking in the oven is the epitome of comfort food for my family.

This one really brings back memories of holidays and celebrations at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.

Here is the recipe as I made it (I doubled this):

Ost Kaka – the Easy Kind

Mix together:

1 box of cottage cheese (24 ounce)

4 eggs

1 cup white sugar

3 Tablespoons all purpose flour

1 pint Half-n-Half

Put in 9″ x 13″ cake pan and bake at 300 degrees for 2 hours.


It really doesn’t look like much when you first mix it up.


Grandma never liked it to get too brown (even though we all like it a bit brown on top).


This dish is another one popular with the Scandinavian farmers in the area where my grandparents lived.

It’s made with dairy ingredients easily accessible to them.


Out of the oven it’s a thick, custardy pudding.


It was an integral part of my mom’s birthday dinner.

Comfort food at it’s finest.

Maybe if we close our eyes, we can pretend that we’re in the dining room at the farm and they’re still here with us celebrating.

We don’t need to pretend.

They’d never miss a celebration!


Swedish Meatballs

Today’s recipe is another one that comes from my aunt.

Our whole family loves Swedish Meatballs.

I made these meatballs for my mom’s birthday dinner last week.

We went the traditional route and had some Swedish favorites.

Grandma had written on the top of the card that she usually doubled the recipe.

I also doubled this recipe when I made it because we were 6 for dinner and I was sending some home with my mom.

The term “we were 6” or 12 or 20 was another one of Grandma’s ways of speaking.

Back in the day, they would actually have had this dinner put in the local paper.

It would have said something about having had a birthday dinner for my mom and “we were 6”.

They would tell exactly who was there and if they were from out of town, where they were from and possibly how long they were visiting.

Next would be about the meal itself: Swedish meatballs, Ost Kaka (which will be in my next post), green beans and birthday cake was served.

It was big news when celebrations of any kind were held out in the country where they lived or in the nearby small town of Svea (population about 100 now).

Even though it seems like a weird and gossipy thing to do, now we put it on Facebook – with pictures!

Swedish Meatballs from Sue

Swedish Meatballs from Sue 2

I do so love these meatballs.

Here is the recipe as I made it (but I doubled it):

Swedish Meatballs

Mix together:

1 pound ground beef

1/2 pound ground pork

1/2 cup onion, chopped

3/4 bread crumbs (I used two bread crusts chopped in the food processor)

1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

Roll into balls and brown in frying pan.

Remove meatballs from pan and then stir into fat in the pan:

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

Then stir into this mixture:

2 cups boiling water

3/4 cup sour cream

Return meatballs to gravy and cook 20 minutes.

We did make this gravy the last time we made these meatballs so this time I tried the gravy Grandma had written at the bottom of the card:

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can of water

3 Tablespoons all purpose flour

Whisk together, add meatballs, and cook for 20 minutes.


It’s a pretty fast recipe – it doesn’t take too long to pull together.


If there’s a way to keep meatballs round, I don’t know it.

You could make the meatballs smaller than I did.


The gravy is thick and bubbly.

This is the double batch of meatballs and gravy all in one pan.


No – that’s not mashed potatoes.

It’s Ost Kaka, which is another Swedish treat I will have in my next post.


My son’s exact words at dinner -“I could eat these til I puke!”

That means they’re REALLY good.

They really are delicious.

Thanks for another great recipe and tradition, Susan!


Mint Brownies

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!!


We need a recipe for today that can signify that spring is here.

We need to think green.

The recipe for today comes from my aunt by way of Grandma’s recipe file and wow – are they good!

Mint Brownies

So good.

These are one of my favorites.

Here is the recipe as I made them:

Mint Brownies

Make brownies and let cool.

I made the Brownies recipe that I made for Plenty Sweet Life in November.

You can find the recipe here.

For the green layer:

3/4 cup butter (I don’t use margarine)

3 cups powdered sugar

1 Tablespoon milk

1 1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract

Green food coloring

Cream together and spread on top of the brownies.


For the chocolate layer:

1 1/2 cup chocolate chips

1 cup butter

Melt together, blend, and spread on top of green layer.

Chill until firm.


I love that the green layer is creamy and easy to spread.


I love the glossy chocolate top layer.


I just love these brownies!


Thanks, Susan, for another easy, so good recipe!!

Think green, everyone!

Spring really is coming.


It is.

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Magic Choc-O-Nut Cake and Chocolate Frosting

Today is my mom’s birthday!

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Bday xcard

Isn’t she a cutie?!!!!!

She’s coming to our house for the weekend so of course, I had to make a birthday cake.

I found a cake recipe and a corresponding frosting recipe in Grandma’s file.

I have never seen either of these recipes before, but they are both chocolate.

Anyone who knows my mom knows that this is absolutely necessary for her – chocolate.

I have a funny story about this cake.

The recipe is kind of confusing.

Why does it have the word “magic” in the name and why does it say “choc-o-nut” if there are no nuts involved.

Since I had to figure out the instructions myself, I put the vanilla batter in the bottom of the two layer cake pans and added the melted chocolate to the rest and put that in on top of the vanilla batter.

I was still wondering about the magic and nuts.

So after putting the pans into the oven, I finally decided to “Google” it.

This is the ONLY reference to this cake recipe that I could find.

choc-o-nut cake

It was for sale on Amazon – a Gold Medal Flour ad from 1936.

1937 being the year that Grandma and Grandpa were married, maybe she’s had the recipe since then?

Well, my cake will not look a whole lot like the one on the ad.

I was supposed to make 3 layers, not 2!!!

It looks like the choc-o-nut part is the chocolate in the cake and then the coconut on the fluffy white frosting.

I still can’t figure out the magic part.

Magic Choc-o-nut Cake

Magic Choc-o-nut Cake 2

Frosting-Filling Recipe

This was an adventure – trying to figure it out!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Magic Choc-O-Nut Cake

3/4 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cup white sugar

3 eggs, separated

2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 squares (2 oz.) chocolate, melted

Cream butter and add sugar gradually, blend in well beaten egg yolks.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.

Add to creamed mixture alternately with milk.

Blend in vanilla.

Fold in beaten egg whites.

Pour 1/3 of mixture into a well greased and floured 8″ round cake pan.

Blend chocolate into remaining batter, folding lightly.

Pour remaining batter into two other 8″ round cake pans – three cake pans total.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Frosting or Filling Recipe

1 cup semi sweet chocolate morsels

1/2 cup milk

16 large marshmallows

1 cup heavy cream, whipped

Melt chocolate, milk, and marshmallows in a double boiler over simmering water.

Remove from heat and chill well.

Fold in whipped cream.


It is a nice, thick batter and putting two layers of batter in was easy.


This is wrong.

Make one vanilla layer of cake and two chocolate layers of cake – three cake pans.


Here is my makeshift double boiler for making the frosting – a glass bowl over simmering water in a saucepan.

I was concerned that it would be a sticky mess with the marshmallows but they melted nicely.


The frosting is pretty soft at first – almost like a mousse.


I put the whole cake in the frig and let it firm up before cutting.


You can see that it still kind of looks like three layers.

I have the vanilla layers facing each other.

You can find instructions on how to make the glass pedestal the cake is on here.


It’s a light, delicious cake.

I think it turned out great, even with my problem understanding the recipe.

No coconut but plenty of magic!!

Happy chocolate, I mean, Happy Birthday, Mom!

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Green Meringues

Today’s recipe comes from one of Grandma’s sisters.

Like most families who have a lot of children (they had 8), these 4 sisters were called by the collective name, the “Johnson Girls”.


They look like they’re having so much fun – even in the snowbank!

Gma Great, Laijla, Goldie (2)

They were lucky enough to live fairly close to each other while raising their families.

They shared recipes, swapped stories and were very close to each other and to their brothers (sisters-in-law included)!

They were true sisters, teasing, arguing and loving until the very end.

They were so dear to our family – we miss them all.

Green Meringues

Green Meringues 2

These cookies are so appropriate for springtime.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Green Meringues

2 egg whites

Pinch of salt

Pinch of cream of tartar

2/3 cup white sugar

Few drops of green food coloring

Bag of mint chocolate chips

Beat egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar until frothy.

Gradually add sugar, beating continuously.

Add food coloring.

Mix in chips.

Drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Place in 350 degree oven.

Turn off oven and let cookies sit in oven for 6 to 8 hours.

Resist the temptation to peek or they wont dry correctly!

Remove from cookie sheet immediately.


The egg whites deflate a bit when adding all of the sugar.


My store didn’t have mint chocolate chips so I used Andes chopped mint bits.

I did use the whole bag but I think half of the bag would have been enough.


Use a small spoon when making the cookies – they’ll dry better.

You also need to make sure all of your cookie sheets fit in the oven at the same time.


Remove the cookies immediately as they do stick a bit.


I made this pedestal plate in an earlier blog post.

You can find the instructions to make it here.


Springtime green cookies.

So easy.

So minty.

So good.


Chocolate Chip Crisps

The cookies made with today’s recipe are not the usual chocolate chip cookie.

They’re just a little bit different.

It makes a small batch – small enough for my family to finish off in one afternoon!!!

Choc-Chip Crisps

Not much butter in these.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Chocolate Chip Crisps

Cream together:

1/3 cup softened butter

1/3 cup white sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar


1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

Sift together and add to creamed mixture:

1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix in:

2 cups corn flakes

1 cup chocolate chips (it says 1/2 cup but also 1 cup so I added the 1 cup)

Bake at 375 degrees for about 8 minutes (my oven took about 10-12 minutes).


It’s kind of a dry dough – not a lot of wet ingredients.


I used my trusty ice cream scoop and I got 25 cookies from this recipe.

The first pan didn’t spread much so on the rest of the pans, I took a glass and pressed the dough down to make a flatter cookie.


These are a crisp cookie – hence the name.


You can see the bits of corn flakes in the cookies here.


Another different kind of chocolate chip cookie!

These are really good!

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