Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Frozen Dough Rolls

This recipe for Frozen Dough Rolls is another one that comes from one of Grandma’s sisters and originally came from her daughter, who is my godmother. My mom has been close to all of her cousins over the years, but this cousin has been very special because they were so close in age and raised almost more like sisters. That’s why she’s my godmother! This photo is of Grandma’s sister and my godmother. I LOVE the look on my great aunt’s face. Is she a proud mama or what?!


It looks like my godmother is about a year old here. I LOVE the dimples! What a cutie!

I tried this recipe to send with my husband on his “Guys Weekend” and it was quite the experiment. This is a bit of an odd recipe – one that sounds almost too weird to work – but it does! It’s so easy that it almost seems silly.

Frozen Dough Rolls

Frozen Dough Rolls 2

This is great to have on hand for weekend company.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Frozen Dough Rolls

Butter a 9″ x 13″ pan generously.

Place 2 dozen frozen rolls on it.

Sprinkle rolls with 1 package of regular butterscotch pudding (not instant).

Bring to boil:

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 stick butter

Pour over pudding on rolls.

Let stand until risen (about 3-4 hours or so).

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes (I would bake at least 10 minutes longer next time).

I will say that I would have baked mine a bit longer because the rolls in the middle of the pan didn’t get done. The butterscotch pudding and caramel makes the rolls a golden color to start with, and it’s kind of hard to tell if they’re baked enough.


This is the rolls with the pudding sprinkled on and then the caramel poured on top.


I put plastic wrap on top of the pan for the rising so they don’t get dry and crusty. They really do rise and fill the pan.


After baking, they’re almost popping out of the pan! They look done, but they weren’t done in the middle.


I turned them upside down on the cooling rack to cool. I put a piece of parchment paper on the cooling rack first to catch all of the gooey caramel. It was shocking how much caramel there was!


They come out golden and delicious. I wouldn’t have thought they’d look like this when I first read the recipe.


This really is an incredibly easy recipe that would be great to try this weekend, especially if you’re having weekend company. I highly recommend it!



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Hula Moon Pie

This recipe for Hula Moon Pie must be a good one. Not only is there a recipe card for this in Grandma’s file, but this is one in her entries in the cookbook published by her church. I know why she put this one in the church cookbook. It would be very important to her to have her contribution to the cookbook be something really special to her and a recipe that she really liked and used a lot. Her parents were some of the founding members of the church and it played a very important part in both her life and my grandpa’s life. They were active in their church because it was such an integral part of farm and small town life. That was their community and where they spent a lot of their social time. She was active in the women’s groups in her church and even bribed me to sing at one of her Ladies Aid meetings when I was little. I was paid a dollar to sing “Beautiful Savior”. It wouldn’t be too surprising if she had used this recipe at one of those events. I can totally see Grandma loving this pie because it has pineapple in it. I can also see her loving it because it’s so easy to make! I had to use both the recipe card and her recipe from the church cookbook to make this. The handwritten card was a bit incomplete and the church cookbook showed the amounts she used when they weren’t given on the card!

Hula Moon Pie

This is another of those old recipes written in fountain pen.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Hula Moon Pie


20 graham crackers, crushed (1 big cracker counts as 2)(reserve 1/2 cup crumbs for top of pie)

1/2 cup butter, melted

1/3 cup sugar


1/3 cup flour

3/4 cup sugar

Dash of salt

2 cups crushed pineapple with juice

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon butter

Mix crust and put in pie plate.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Cook the first 5 ingredients of filling until thick and clear.

Add butter.

Cool before putting in crust.

Top with 1/2 cup reserved crumbs.



You can kind of see how thick the filling gets here.


Topping the pie with the reserved crumbs looks so pretty.


This pie is full of yummy pineapple.


This recipe is so fast, so easy, and so good. You have to try this. It’s a good one. It wouldn’t be in Grandma’s church cookbook if it wasn’t.






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Date Rocks

The recipe for today has a very strange name. Date Rocks. Are these cookies hard to bite? Are they going to look like little rocks when they’re done? The name conjures up so many questions! They only way to find out was to make them and see what happened. Grandma isn’t here to ask, so we’ll just have to go for it. I shouldn’t have worried.

Date Rocks

This recipe has the “Good” connotation!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Date Rocks

Cream together:

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1 cup butter

Mix in:

2 eggs, well beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon baking soda in 3 Tablespoons hot water

3 cups flour

1 1/2 cups dates, chopped (1 package)

1 cup walnuts

Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes (there was, as usual, no time or temp given).


You can see how full of dates and nuts the batter is.


I used my trusty scoop to again, make them all the same size.


They came out beautifully!


These cookies are so tasty and so pretty!


They’re full of crunchy walnuts and chewy, sweet dates. I really shouldn’t have worried about these cookies. They don’t look like rocks. Maybe the name comes from they’re looking like rocks BEFORE they’re baked. I don’t know. I do know that they’re some of the most beautiful cookies I’ve ever made, and some of the most delicious.





Homemade Chicken Stock

I love winter and playing in the snow – I always have. I was about 5 years old in this photo and it looks like I’m enjoying myself. I distinctly remember that hat! It was navy blue with a big white pouf and a big red pouf on the side. It also looks like I was using someone else’s gloves – those don’t seem to fit me very well.

Chicken Stock

Playing in the snow can leave you so cold and wet, you need something warm when you come inside. One of the best parts of playing in the snow is coming back inside to the warm and toasty house and a hot bowl of soup.

I finally decided to try to make my own Homemade Chicken Stock since I seem to use a lot of it every winter, and frankly, the stuff you buy isn’t that flavorful. I found this recipe in Ina Garten’s cookbook, Barefoot Contessa Foolproof  (you can find the book here). Actually, I needed some stock for soup and I didn’t have any in the house. I did have most of the ingredients to make the stock, so I decided to try it. I’ll just type out the recipe here instead of copying it – I did make some changes.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Homemade Chicken Stock

Put into a large stockpot:

1 package of chicken legs (cheaper than whole chickens, and only chicken I had)

2 yellow onions, unpeeled and quartered

4 carrots, unpeeled and halved crosswise

1 head garlic, unpeeled and cut in half crosswise

6 sprigs of dried thyme (from my summer garden)

1 Tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon black peppercorns (not ground)


5 quarts of water

Bring to a boil.

Lower heat and simmer uncovered for 4 hours, skimming off any foam that comes to the top.


Strain through a colander (she says to throw away all the solids, but I have a hard time throwing all that chicken).

Pack the liquid in quart containers and refrigerate or freeze for up to 4 months.

(Ina used more fresh herbs and parsnips in her recipe, neither of which I had, so I didn’t use them. This is also a smaller batch than her recipe. I got 2 quarts of stock, plus what we used for soup the night I made it.)


I used the biggest pot I had and I didn’t have room to make as big a batch as the original recipe.


The whole house smells heavenly while this is cooking.


Look at how golden and beautiful the stock is when it’s done!


This stock is delicious! Add any vegetables or meat and whatever ingredients you want – and there you have it – soup!


Label the container so you can tell what it is and when it was made. Square containers stack well in the freezer, and don’t forget to make sure they’re BPA free!

Make this stock when you’re home for the day. It’s quick to pull together and the flavor is SO worth it!!


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Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Today’s recipe for Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies is another one that comes from one of grandma’s sisters. I would guess it’s really an old one by the use of the fountain pen to write it out. I just love the look of fountain pen writing. I love the use of ink. I love that you made writing an event – it took some time to sit down and write to someone using that kind of pen. I love the sound the nib makes on the paper when you’re writing. I love the blank piece of paper, sitting there, waiting to be filled with who knows what: letters, doodles, poetry, stories, artwork. I do NOT love that they’re not teaching penmanship in elementary schools anymore. I hope we can keep that alive so that our grandchildren can learn to enjoy the art of writing with utensils and not just use their thumbs to communicate. Just look at the penmanship on this recipe card! Beautiful.

Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies 2

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Cream together:

1 cup butter (I didn’t use lard in these – all butter)

2 cups sugar

Add one at a time:

2 eggs


3 squares unsweetened baking chocolate, melted, cooled slightly

2 teaspoons vanilla


In separate bowl, sift together:

1 1/2 cup flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

Add to creamed mixture.

Mix in:

2 cups rolled oats

1 cup nuts (I used walnuts), chopped

Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes (note that there is no time or temp on the card).


This makes a nice, thick dough, full of oats and nuts.


I used my trusty scoop to make even sized balls of dough.


They came out puffed and chewy, but ended up being a crispy cookie.


Just the right stack with a glass of milk! That’s what my husband said anyway, before he ate this one. Seriously.


Give these a try. They have oatmeal in them. That means they’re good for you. Well, I don’t know if they’re actually good for you, but I do know that they’re good. Really good.


Cherry Pie with Pie Pastry

Today I’m doing a Cherry Pie with Pie Pastry, Pie Pastry being Grandma’s recipe here. It’s part Valentine gift to my husband (cherry pie being his favorite) and part in honor of President’s Day. Thank goodness George Washington and his chopping down of the cherry tree (even though I think they’ve proven that story untrue) gives us a reason to have cherry pie. Cherry pie, when you use the filling from a can, is one of the easiest pies to start out with if you’re just learning how to make pie. I’m 2 years old in this photo and I’m sure I was upset because I wanted to make a pie and they wouldn’t let me. No lie.

Cherry Pie and Pie Pastry

I was in the kitchen, after all.

I started making cherry pie when I was about 10 years old and probably haven’t made it since I was about 12. Even though cherry pie is my husband’s favorite, I haven’t made it over the years –  I mean really, you just open a can. Ha. I moved on to bigger and better things – like Blueberry Pie.


This Pie Pastry was interesting when baked, as you’ll see later.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Cherry Pie with Pie Pastry

For pastry:

Sift together (I use a wire whisk to do this):

2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Use a pastry blender to blend in:

2/3 cups lard (yes – I did use lard for this one)

Add (by mixing with a fork):

4 Tablespoons cold water (I ended up using 6 – maybe because of how dry it is in our house this time of year)

Mix until dough comes together (I used my hands at the end to make sure all it all stayed together in a ball).

Makes enough for a double crust pie.

Roll out bottom crust and put into pie plate (I still roll it between two sheets of plastic wrap-no sticking).

Fill with your favorite pie filling.

Roll out top crust and put on top of pie (here I cut strips for a lattice top).

Bake at 375 degrees for about 25-30 minutes, or until crust is golden and filling is bubbly.


Yes – I’ve come around to using lard – it really does make it sooooo flaky. Make the pieces about pea sized once you cut it into the dry ingredients.


Split the dough in two and start with the bottom crust first. Use a sharp knife against the edge of the pie plate to cut off the excess.


Put in your can of cherry (or any other kind you want to use) pie filling.


I use my 30-year-old pizza cutter to cut the strips for the lattice top. Just weave them in and out or just lay them on top of each other in a woven-type pattern. Then I used an egg wash and some sanding sugar on the top to add a little sparkle.


Here’s the interesting thing about the pastry after it was baked. It puffed up! You can see how much thicker it looks after baking. It’s not really thicker – it’s puffed and flaky. That’s what happens when you use baking powder in the dough.


This pie pastry is a good contrast to the sweet filling. It’s light and flaky, and really holds up well to the pie filling.


Happy President’s Day, everyone! I cannot tell a lie – this pie is delicious!




Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

Yesterday I shared some antique valentines that belonged to my Grandma, and today I’m sharing a valentine that my dad gave to my mom. There’s no year on it, so we don’t know exactly when he gave it to her. It’s a beautiful card with cut outs, raised embossing, and a two sided opening.

Happy Valentines 2015

It’s so fancy.

Happy Valentines 2015 2

The sentiment is probably right on with how he felt.

The funny thing – he didn’t  sign it!!




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Antique Valentines

Today I’m sharing some of Grandma’s old antique valentines. Some of these even have moveable parts. Valentines these days aren’t really the kind that you would keep for a long time, to me they seem a bit cheap and flimsy. I remember Grandma saying that she got some of these in grade school. They’re all made on thick, high quality paper, and the lithography and graphics are just so great. They’re all still very bright and cheery and not at all faded.


These are so cute and always put me in the valentine spirit!


This postcard was sent to one of Grandma’s sisters in 1911.


The flower-pot on this one opens up and makes it a bit 3D, and there is a fold on the side of it which makes it stand up.


It might look a little weird here, but this one is 3D. You stand it up and it has a stone fence with a little garden gate! This one is my favorite!


The hat moves on this little cowboy and it makes it look like his eyes move back and forth. Too bad the puppy’s heart is ripped – he’s so cute!!!


This is another one of my favorites – it’s a big one! I love the expression on her face!

Don’t forget to send a valentine to your loved ones!

They’ll appreciate it!


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Can’t Fail Fudge or Frosting

Today I want to share a picture of my favorite sweethearts – my parents, who were high school sweethearts. They were in a class together when they were juniors, started dating, and the rest is history. My dad enlisted in the army and they were married in April of 1960.

Cant Fail Fudge or Frosting

They look ridiculously young – that’s because they were! They were only 20.

The recipe for today is in honor of my mom’s obsession with chocolate. Can’t Fail Fudge or Frosting sounded like the perfect chocolate valentine treat. Well, this one was kind of my first fail with these recipes. Yes – I failed with the recipe that says “can’t fail”. Sometimes I wonder if the amounts or sizes or consistency of ingredients has changed over the years. I decided to make this recipe as the “fudge” and not the frosting, and it didn’t work out so well.

Cant Fail Fudge or Frosting

Cant Fail Fudge or Frosting 2

This would be a GREAT frosting, but it didn’t make such a great fudge.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Can’t Fail Fudge or Frosting

Combine in saucepan:

2 cups of cut up large or miniature marshmallows

1/2 cup evaporated milk

2 Tablespoons butter

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

Stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a full boil.

Boil hard for exactly 3 minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat.


1 cup chocolate chips

Beat until chips melt.


1/2 cup nuts ( I didn’t add nuts)

1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat to blend.

Pour into greased 8″ x 8″ pan.



When I make this again, I’d add a few more marshmallows to maybe make it a bit more firm.


Everything seemed ok when mixing all the ingredients . . .


Looking good and firm coming out of the refrigerator . . .


Totally soft. I was able to get a few hearts cut out, and, I might add, it didn’t stop my family from finishing off this fudge. It did stick to the waxed paper (yeah – duh – use parchment  next time) but they found a way to be able to eat it. I think there was a spoon involved. The fudge was delicious and would make a VERY delicious frosting. I think I need to try again and use more marshmallows. That may help. Yes – I’ll try again – more fudge is NOT a bad thing.

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Rolled Butter Cookies That Never Stick

Today’s recipe comes from Grandma’s oldest sister, who had a sweetheart at one point, but something happened and they never married. She was unmarried for the rest of her life and never had children of her own. It’s kind of sad that she didn’t have a valentine, but she loved her family dearly and loved all of her nieces and nephews (and their children) as if they were her own. Valentines come in all shapes and sizes and after all, it’s all about love, no matter where you find the love. (She was also the one who was famous for pinching our cheeks!)

Rolling out cookies can be dicey, but I’m always up for a recipe that helps with common issues like the dough sticking. Let’s see how accurate this recipe for Rolled Butter Cookies That Never Stick really is. I usually think of cut out cookies as “sugar cookies” but these are termed “butter cookies”.

Rolled Butter Cookies that Never Stick

Rolled Butter Cookies that Never Stick 2

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Rolled Butter Cookies That Never Stick

Mix together:

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

Cut into dry ingredients:

1 cup butter

Set aside.

Beat 2 eggs.

Add to 1 cup sugar.

Add 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Combine dry and wet ingredients.

Refrigerate 15-20 minutes before rolling out the dough.

Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes.


I only made a half batch of this recipe. Use a pastry cutter to cut in the butter.


The butter should be like small pebbles – as if you were doing pie crust.


It works! No sticking!


I made an equal number of plain cookies and ones with cut out hearts so I could make them Linzer type.


There were cut out hearts left so I baked them as they were. Don’t forget to add the sugar or icing.


For the Linzer type cookies, I used my home-made Raspberry Jam with Chambord that I made last fall. I used a recipe for that from and you can find it here.


Aren’t they pretty?!!!! The raspberry jam made these amazingly delicious!


This recipe was easy and really did NOT stick. They’re definitely more of a butter cookie (not as sweet as a sugar cookie) and they’re delicious. Make a batch for your Valentine!




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