Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Frozen Corn #2 and #3

While thinking about this post on sweet corn, I realized that it’s late August, and the summer is almost over. Soon we’ll be thinking about harvest and fall. It’s mind boggeling how fast time flies, especially in the summer. I wanted to share this photo of my mom and her brother from this time of year when they were young. It looks like they may have been playing “dress-up”, but my favorite part is that the photo is taken in front of a load of hay bales!! It’s so cute!! They’re showing traditional roles here with my mom having a doll and a fancy dress and hat and her brother sporting the toy gun. I assume he’s on his way out to hunt up dinner for the family. Ha! So, so, so cute!


I froze corn last week, but after doing my photography for this post, I started to think that maybe I’ve done Frozen Corn before. I was right, I had done it in an earlier post. The only difference between the recipe I used this time and the recipe I used last time was that last time the recipe included 2 Tablespoons of butter and this new one didn’t. If you look at the older post, you can see that at the bottom of the recipe card, it says “-over-“. As long as I did freeze corn, I’m including the newest recipe here, but I’m also showing the other side of that older recipe card. It’s basically the same recipe, but makes a larger batch and after cooking, cutting off the corn kernels, and adding the salt, sugar, and butter, you bake the corn in the oven for 45 minutes. In any case, here are two similar yet different recipes for Frozen Corn #2 and #3 for you to try.

First, the newest recipe:

Frozen Corn

Next, the back of the card used in the older post:

Frozen Corn 2

Note the “V. Good” connotation on this, and you can see that Grandma liked this one – she started using it in the early 80’s!!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Frozen Corn

Corn cut off of the cob raw:

8 cups

Put in saucepan and add:

2 cups water

2 Tablespoons sugar

1 Tablespoon salt

Boil 5 minutes.

Spread on baking sheet.


Put in freezer bags.


This was bi-color corn that I bought when visiting my mom in west central Minnesota and it’s amazingly delicious!


There are many ways to cut the corn off the cob, but any way you can corral the kernels works. I just use a sharp knife and cut it in a cake pan. It seems to keep the squirting juice and jumping kernels to a minimum.


This recipe is a bit different in cooking the kernels instead of the cobs.


Putting the corn on a baking sheet helps it cool off faster.


I like to use a 1 cup measure and put 2 cups into each quart size freezer bag. That way I have an idea how much I’m using when I take a bag out of the freezer.


Fresh corn on the cob is delicious, but freezing it for use later this winter is a great way to know that it’s fresh – you know where it came from and what’s in it. I already have 8 quart size bags in the freezer, but I don’t know if that will be enough for everything I use it for. Take advantage of this perfect local vegetable and freeze a batch before it’s too late!!




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Chocolate Pixies


The recipe for today comes from one of Grandma’s sisters. I was not familiar with these cookies, but my son said, “aren’t those the ones that are minty?” Apparently he’s had these somewhere at Christmastime and they had a mint flavor. This particular recipe is not minty. I haven’t made these before and they were easy to do (even with several steps involved) though a bit soft when it came time to make the balls. Boy, these Chocolate Pixies are good!

Chocolate Pixies

Chocolate Pixies 2

These are absolutely delicious!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Chocolate Pixies

Sift together:

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons salt

Melt together:

1/4 cup butter

4 squares unsweetened chocolate

Cool slightly.

Mix all together with:

2 cups sugar

4 eggs, one at a time

Beat for 1 minute.


1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Mix well.

Chill 15 minutes.

Shape into balls using 1 teaspoon dough for each ball (this seemed so small to me -I used a tablespoon measure).

Roll in powdered sugar.

Put balls on greased baking sheets.

Bake at 300 degrees for 18-20 minutes (I added a couple of extra minutes since I made a bit of a bigger ball).


Even after chilling for 15 minutes, the dough was very soft, so I rolled them into balls with the powdered sugar on and then rolled them in it again for a final coating.


After they’re baked, they have a beautiful crackle look to them!


These cookies are so good, they could definitely be Christmas cookies – just add some peppermint extract (start with 1 teaspoon and see if that’s enough) to them.


Do you have any chocolate lovers in your life? Make them a batch of these chocolatey, fudgy, delicious cookies. They’re so worth it!



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Chocolate Chip Cookies – Made with Butterscotch Chips

There have been high temperatures all over the country this summer, and Minnesota is no exception. While there are things we can do to take matters into our own hands and try to keep cool, one of my favorites is swimming and the other is ice cream. We’re going to look at both today. Here is a photo of my me and my mom from one summer when I was about 3 years old. Obviously we were keeping cool in my favorite way! I think you can tell that from the look on my face!


Now we’re going to look at my other favorite way to keep cool – cookies and ice cream – ice cream sandwiches. We’ll get to the part where we make the sandwiches at the end of the recipe. Ok – let’s face it – it’s no surprise that I love both swimming and ice cream sandwiches and I would never be able to choose which I like better. So let’s do both!

This is an old recipe of my mom’s and you can see that it’s well used. While my mom would never dream of using anything other than chocolate chips in this cookie recipe, I only had butterscotch chips when I was ready to make these Chocolate Chip Cookies. I don’t know if you know this about me yet, but I don’t always plan ahead for these recipes as well as I probably should, but that’s life. Sometimes you need to make something and you have to improvise!

chocolate chip cooies

Did I mention that this one is well used?!!!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sift together:

1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons flour, sifted

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt


1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup butter, softened

Blend all ingredients.


1/2 cup nuts, chopped (I used pecans for this batch)

3/4 cup chocolate chips (I used butterscotch chips for this batch)

Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.


This makes a nice, small batch of cookies. I used my scoop and ended up with 22 cookies.


Using the scoop makes the cookies pretty uniform in size.


Ok – these are REALLY good!


But now we’re going to make them even better. The only way we can make them better is to put a scoop of vanilla ice cream in the middle and make ice cream sandwiches out of them. Yes. Do it. Do it in the name of keeping cool. We’ve earned it this summer! Now we just have to find a lake . . .


Tomato Feta Salad

I have to share this recipe for Tomato Feta Salad that I originally borrowed from Ina Garten years ago. Her recipes are so simple and so delicious – I just love her. Period. I love her tv show, I love her cookbooks, and I love her philosophy of keeping things simple so you can have fun at your parties, too. I have changed this recipe just a little bit, but it’s basically still Ina’s recipe. We usually have great luck (250-350 tomatoes – and yes, we do keep a tally!) with a cherry tomato plant in a pot in our backyard, but this year our plant was hit with frost, hail, and wind last spring. It’s not as prolific as usual, but our tiny yellow pear tomatoes are!! I thought I had planted 2 red heirloom tomato plants in our garden with a yellow heirloom in between. Well, it was yellow, but it doesn’t have big tomatoes – they’re the tiny kind – the size of a cherry tomato! That plant is going gangbusters (263 so far and showing no signs of slowing down), so I decided to make this salad using some of the red and some of the yellow little tomatoes. I don’t have a party to bring this to, but we did have it for dinner. This makes a large salad and it was just for us, I halved the recipe when I made it.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Tomato Feta Salad

Put into large bowl:

3 pints (6 cups) cherry tomatoes, cut in half

3/4 pound feta cheese, diced (I used crumbles)

1 small red onion, chopped


3 Tablespoons white wine vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 Tablespoons fresh basil leaves, minced

Toss carefully.

Serve chilled or at room temperature.


Just look at these beautiful little jewels from my garden. The yellow tomatoes are a bit milder and not quite as tomato-y as the red ones.


I just had to take a photo of each kind of tomato – they’re just so pretty!


This salad is so easy to make and is easy to take anywhere.


It’s such a beautiful salad.


You’re going to love this tasty salad, and so will your family or guests. It’s delicious, it’s healthy, and it’s gorgeous. Give this one a try. Trust Ina. And me.




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Lemon Love Notes


I first made these Lemon Love Notes when my oldest daughter played volleyball. The volleyball club would hold a spaghetti dinner fundraiser every year, and each family had to contribute a couple of pans of bars as part of the dinner. This was one of the bars I made, found in what cookbook? Grandma’s church cookbook. That’s where I looked, because that’s where there are the best tried and true recipes. Well, the rest is history. I have made these ever since and they’re the favorite of the two lemon lovers in the family, and pretty much everyone else, too.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Lemon Love Notes


Mix as for pie crust:

1 cup flour

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup butter

Pat into a 8″ x 8″ pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.


Mix rest of ingredients:

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice

2 1/2 teaspoon flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 lemon rind, grated

Pour over crust and bake again for 25 minutes.



3/4 cup powdered sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon milk

1 Tablespoon butter, softened

Spread topping over bars.

Cut into squares.


The crust seems weird and very dry, but it works.


There’s nothing like the smell of fresh lemon.


After baking the crust, pour on the filling and back into the oven.


The top looks a bit strange right out of the oven, but the frosting will cover that right up.


I love these bars as much as the lemon lovers in the family. The frosting on top is so good!


The crust seriously just melts in your mouth, the filling is lemony and tangy, and it’s all topped off with that sweet and creamy frosting. These bars are so easy to make and they are delicious. Period. Lemon lover or not, you’re gonna love these!







Peaches (Canned)

The month of August is the time of year when we start to put in supplies for the winter! I know that sounds like we’re pioneers trying to save food for the long, hard, cold winter, but that’s how I’ve always felt about it. My family used to do these things every year when I was growing up, and now everyone seems to be so into preserving local produce. It’s the way our grandparents preserved the fruit and vegetables from their own gardens and orchards back when they were young (and during the Great Depression), and they also make sure they had some fresh food in the middle of winter here in Minnesota. Now we’re doing it just because it’s the best way to get fresh and local food saved for later use. We know what’s in the food and we know where it came from. I love that. We’re starting to harvest vegetables from the garden and there are delicious fruits in the markets like berries, peaches, and pears to can or freeze, and there are apples to make into applesauce or desserts. There are so many fun ways to preserve foods, and it’s time to get busy, busy, busy!! Canning was a family chore. Both grandmas and my mom would all do it, and I would help them all with it. August was always a warm time of year to do this because none of the three homes had air conditioning. We’d fire up the electric fans and we’d be ready to work. It was always fun to do it together when everyone pitched in and made the chore go faster. Someone had to blanch the fruit and get it into the ice water bath to make the peeling easier, then someone had to do the peeling and cutting (I loved to snitch pieces of the fruit when doing this, but the more you snitched of the delicious fruit, the longer it would take, so snitching was out!), and someone had to be in charge of the canner and the timing. It was a bit of hard work, but a lot of fun and family time. Peaches (Canned) is a basic recipe that you can use to get your peaches ready to use later. They don’t last long when you buy them, as we all know, and once they’re ripe, it’s go time.

peaches canned

peaches canned 2

There are a couple of different sized batches here to choose from, depending on how many pints you want to get from your peaches. Lucky you! You get a bonus canned pear recipe here!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Peaches (Canned)

Mix together in a saucepan:

1 pint water

1 cup sugar

13 peaches (quartered, halved, or sliced)

Bring to a boil.

Put into clean, hot jars, top with a lid and a ring, and process according to the National Center for Food Preservation website.


It’s funny how something so simple can end up being so delicious!


You can use the boiling water/ice bath method for peeling, but if the peaches are ripe enough, you don’t really need to do that. Just peel them any way you want to.


So pretty. I love peaches.


Peeling and quartering takes a while, so I would do that first. The recipe calls for 13 peaches, but I thought my peaches looked a bit small so I used 15. I got 4 pints instead of 3 from those 15 peaches.


The National Center for Food Preservation shows two ways to make peaches: hot pack or cold pack, and I used hot pack here. That just means the fruit and syrup are hot when you put them into the jars.


Putting the fruit into the jars is definitely easier with a wide-mouthed canning funnel. I only had 4 jars of fruit, so I used my large stockpot instead of the canner. Put something like a silicone trivet or a folded up dishcloth between the bottom of the pot and the jars, if possible, to prevent cracking the jars.


Take the jars out of the canner or pot and let them cool on a rack. Listen for the pop of the lids to know that they’re sealed. If they don’t pop, they aren’t sealed and you’ll just have to eat them right away. Oh well, it’s not all bad when they don’t seal. Aren’t they pretty? All ready for the cupboard. Next winter when we need a bite of sunshine, I’ll take them out and we’ll have delicious peaches! Nothing better.




Acini de Pepe Salad

Here we go again – another “salad” that is so good and so decadent, it’s ridiculous that it’s called a “salad”. It really should be considered a dessert. Well, at the very least a dessert salad. This one is kind of unusual. It uses a pasta that consists of tiny little balls that give it a great texture. I didn’t know that this kind of pasta existed until Grandma started making this in the ’80’s, which was, incidentally when she was in her 70’s. This photo of her is when she was a girl, and it made me laugh out loud! Just look at that solemn face!! You wouldn’t know that this girl loved to laugh, or that she had a sweet tooth. That’s why she would grow up to collect all of these amazing and delicious recipes! I’m sure the ultimate reason was that not only did she love sweets and good food, but she also wanted to make and share these things with her family.


I love her haircut and her beautiful big bow!!!

It’s not a big surprise, but this Acini de Pepe Salad is one of my family’s favorite! Ha! All of these recipes are family favorites!!! If you want to try something a bit unusual, but amazingly tasty, this is the “salad” for you! Believe me, it’s worth the splurge!

Acini de Pepe Salad

Acini de Pepe Salad 2

I’m so totally serious about this one – it’s amazing!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Acini de Pepe Salad


1 large can pineapple (chunks or tidbits)

2 cans mandarin oranges

Reserve juice.

Cook according to instructions on box:

1 pound Acini de Pepe pasta

Drain, rinse, and cool.

Combine in a saucepan:

1 cup sugar (she says that she used 3/4 cup and it was ok)

2 Tablespoons flour

1 3/4 juice from drained fruit

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 beaten egg yolks

Cook until thick.


Add dressing to the pasta.

Place in a covered bowl and refrigerate overnight or at least 12 hours.


drained fruit (we have also occasionally added some cut grapes)

1 pint of sweetened whipped cream (it’s not necessary to sweeten)

Mix in mini marshmallows if it’s too juicy.


This pasta/dressing thing seems a bit odd, but it’s so good!


Add the fruit and whipped cream – pure heaven! You can see the little balls of pasta here.


This seems like a lot of steps, but overall, it’s pretty easy and can be made ahead of time. All you have to do the day of is add the fruit and whipped cream. It’s easy. It’s decadent. It’s delicious. Give this one a try. It will be one of your family’s favorites, too!



Peach Crisp

August is the time for peaches, and I just love them. It would be nice if they would stay just the way they are and I could just look at them forever – use them in home decorating or keep them in a bowl on the kitchen counter or maybe make candle holders out of them. Well, maybe not. But they’re sooooo beautiful! I always buy a “crate” of them when I see them in the produce department of my grocery store. My mom always bought one when my sister and I were growing up, and aside from making a pie or two, we ate ALL the peaches. I have posted a couple of recipes for Peach Pie with Never Fail Crust and Glazed Peach Pie, but I decided that there must be a way to make a Peach Crisp, and I decided to try an experiment and make it using the Apple Crisp recipe that I’ve also posted before. Let’s see what happens.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Peach Crisp

Slice into 9″ x 9″ baking pan:

enough peaches to cover the bottom (or as many as you want)

Mix together:

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Rub into dry mixture:

1/2 cup butter

Spread over peaches.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden.


Slice enough delicious peaches to cover the bottom of the pan. I used a 9″ x 9″ pan instead of the 9″ x 13″ pan I would use for an apple crisp, but kept the same amount of crumble. I think peaches are going to be juicier than apples and more crumble is always better!


I am making this up as I go, so I cut the sugar a bit (peaches are sweeter than apples) and cut the cinnamon a bit (I wanted a taste of cinnamon, but not as much as you would put in for apples).


I used my pastry blender to cut in the butter, but you could use two forks or even your hands to make the crumble.


Sprinkle the crumble on top of the peaches and into the oven it goes.


The crisp came out golden brown on top and bubbly!


This experiment was a success! The peaches are so sweet and the crumble is absolutely delicious! You just HAVE to serve this with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Or maybe some whipped cream. Or even plain. Get yourself some of these beauties and make something delicious!







Poppy Seed Scones

I love summer and it’s hard to believe that it’s moving along as fast as it is. This photo of Grandma and Grandpa was taken in the summertime, and might have been the summer of 1936 – the year before they were married. That was a hot one! Any time they show heat records during the summer, it seems like it was the year 1936. I remember reading somewhere that it was the hottest summer on record.  They must have been more used to heat than we are now! I’m sure there wasn’t any AC, so there had to be a lot of sweating going on, and a lot of fanning with hand-held fans. Of course, we happen to live in the land of 10,000 lakes, so we know that people would have been in a lake if they could.


Lots of us do head out to the lake in the summer, or head out to visit family or friends, or head out on vacation. If you’re looking for something easy and absolutely delicious to take along with you to share, this recipe for Poppy Seed Scones is perfect! I think this recipe originally came from an old Martha Stewart magazine years ago and it’s still on the website today! It’s always nice to make things that can be ready ahead of time, and these can be ready the night before you want to bake them. If you’re off on an adventure, you can have the two parts mixed up and ready to go, and then take them with you! Oh boy – these are delicious!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Poppy Seed Scones

Sift together in large bowl:

3 cups flour

2 Tablespoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon sugar

Stir in:

2 Tablespoons poppy seeds

zest of 1 lemon

Whisk together in a separate bowl:

1 large egg

2 Tablespoons butter, melted

1 1/4 cups buttermilk

Combine all ingredients with a few quick strokes.

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured board and knead once or twice.

Pat out to 3/4″ thick and cut into rounds using a 3″ cutter.

Reroll scraps and cut again until used up.

Place scones a few inches apart on a greased baking sheet.

Sprinkle with sugar (I brushed on a little milk and then the sugar to help it stick better).

Bake at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until golden.

Serve warm.

You can get these ready the night before by mixing the dry ingredients and the liquid ingredients separately. Refrigerate the liquids. When ready to bake, combine the two.


The only thing I’m not sure about doing the night before is the melted butter. I’d maybe wait to melt it the next morning.


Combine the ingredients – they don’t have to be too combined. The kneading brings it all together nicely.


The recipe says to roll out and cut them out with a cutter, which is great, but I like to do it this way because it’s easy – pat it into a circle about 1/2″ thick and cut them into wedges.


On to the baking sheet . . .


. . . then brush with a little milk or cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar. This step is not necessary, but the little crystals of sugar are so pretty!


Here they are – ready for breakfast, a snack, or your afternoon coffee or tea! They are so beautiful!


I brought this batch of scones on one of our adventures to my mom’s house. They were delicious warm with butter and a bit of homemade blueberry jam. The lemon and poppy seeds paired with the jam was amazingly delicious. Bring these with you on your next adventure – even if you bake them before you go, your hosts will invite you back again!!






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