Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Hearty Carrot Cake

This recipe for Hearty Carrot Cake is one that I’ve been waiting for Easter to try. (I love carrot cake and so does my middle daughter – whose birthday just so happens to be in April.) It’s time to try this one since Easter is this weekend.

I noticed that I haven’t been sharing photos lately (mainly because I’ve been under the weather since September), so I’m sharing one today. This photo of me with my Easter basket looks like I was about 3 years old. It was always such a big deal to wear your prettiest Easter dress with the white shoes and anklets – the only thing missing here are the white gloves and Easter bonnet! LOVE those chubby legs!

We lived right next door to my other Grandma and Gramp at this point (in the upstairs apartment of the white house behind me – they lived in the house behind the photographer), and this photo was probably taken by Gramp when he got his first Polaroid camera. You would shoot the photo and the camera would spit out the photo and you had to peel the photo off of the backing and wait for it to develop. I would say the bad quality of this one was either bad film or user error. You can still kind of see me – if you squint!

This is another easy recipe from Grandma!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Hearty Carrot Cake

Put into mixing bowl:

1 3/4 cups flour

(The next thing on the recipe is a package of Pillsbury Coconut Almond or Coconut Pecan Frosting Mix. I don’t know of it’s a mistake or what. Is this supposed to be part of the cake or go on top of the cake? I left it out. Actually, I don’t even know if they still make these frosting mixes.)

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup wheat germ, if desired (I left this out)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

2 cups (4 medium) shredded carrots

8 ounce can (1 cup) crushed pineapple, drained (Grandma says here to save 1/4 up of the juice, but we never use it in this recipe. Was it to mix with the frosting mix? I just don’t know. I didn’t save it or use it.)

3/4 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup oil (I used canola)

3 teaspoons vanilla

3 eggs

Beat 3 minutes at medium speed.

Pour batter into greased and floured 9″ x 13″ pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. (Here Grandma says to cool 10 minutes, so I think she didn’t finished writing out this recipe. I think it was supposed to have the instructions for the frosting at the end. My family loves Cream Cheese Icing, so I used the recipe for that from another Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese Icing recipe I’ve done on here previously.)

Icing:

Mix well:

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

1 pound (3 1/2 cups) powdered sugar

Sprinkle on top of cake:

3/4 cup nuts, chopped (I didn’t put these on as some in my family don’t care for them.)

This cake didn’t rise much – you can see that it didn’t even come halfway up the pan.

This is a great recipe for Cream Cheese Icing. I mean really – who are we kidding – the cake is just a vehicle for the icing. Seriously.

This cake is not light and airy – it’s moist, dense, and absolutely delicious.

You can see how full of carrots and pineapple this is. It’s so good. The cake looks a lot like the Carrot Bars I made last year, but the cake tastier than the bars. Try this Hearty Carrot Cake, and if you use the wheat germ in it, let me know how it turns out!

 

 

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Sunday Morning Blueberry Muffins

Today’s recipe for Sunday Morning Blueberry Muffins is another one from Grandma’s church cookbook. The recipe name is just so appropriate for that book! I love that we have that cookbook where we can remember some of the times our family spent at the church through the recipes and the names of the people who donated the recipes. You all know how I feel about church cookbooks – they’re just the best! Grandma’s church was the center of her community, and she and her friends were all very active in the church and in all of the events put on by it. It was the hub of almost everything that went on in their small town, and everyone enjoyed being a part of it from the Sunday services to the ladies fellowship groups to the evening chimes to the activities for kids and more. Grandma’s family was instrumental in the founding of their church, so our family has a lot of memories there. That church still means a lot to all of the family today, and we go back every so often to look around and relive the many memories of past activities we’ve all been a part of. It’s like we can almost feel Grandma and Grandpa there when we go back to that pretty little church in their small town.

I must be feeling better – I seem to have taken an unusually large amount of photos of these muffins!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Sunday Morning Blueberry Muffins

Combine:

2 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

Mix together:

1 egg

3/4 cup milk

1/3 cup oil (I used canola)

Mix with a fork or whisk.

Pour liquid over dry ingredients.

Mixture will be lumpy.

Fold in:

1 cup blueberries (I used frozen)

Fill 12 greased or lined muffin cups.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

There aren’t a lot of ingredients in these muffins. That’s what makes them so easy to make.

Mix the dry ingredients and liquid ingredients separately.

Mix them together gently.

The batter will be lumpy, but when you fold in the blueberries, the batter is ready to go.

Into the muffin liners with the batter and they’re ready to bake.

Out of the oven and ready for breakfast!

You can see the plump blueberries in here, and if you squint, you can see the sanding sugar I put on the top of each muffin. You can never have too much festooning! These quick and easy Sunday Morning Blueberry Muffins are great for Sunday morning breakfast or a snack anytime!

 

 

 

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Soft Oatmeal Cookies

The recipe for Soft Oatmeal Cookies that I’m sharing today comes from the tiny book I found at my sister’s house a couple of years ago. It’s a bit different from my usual oatmeal cookie recipe in that it has strong coffee as one of the ingredients. That’s so weird, but I love that. I’m thinking that some of these farm wives that Grandma knew would have coffee leftover after they had their friends over for afternoon coffee, and they would NOT want to just throw it away. They’d find a way to use it up. This was the generation that came through the Great Depression and we all know that they would use EVERYTHING and NEVER throw anything away, even coffee.

These really are delicious cookies!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Soft Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup shortening (I used butter)

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup strong coffee

2 cups flour

2 cups oatmeal

1 1/2 cup chopped dates or raisins (or some of each)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon baking soda

I did use my trusty scoop to get the cookies all the same size. Full disclosure – I was already halfway through the recipe when I went to get the regular oatmeal and there was only 1/2 cup left in the container. Ugh! That always happens to me! Well – I this was my first baking since feeling better, so I didn’t quite feel like a run to the store. I substituted the rest of the oatmeal needed with quick oatmeal and added an extra 1/2 cup of flour. They didn’t spread like regular oatmeal cookies, but I don’t think they would have even if I had the right amount of regular oatmeal.

The batter is a bit soft, but the scoop worked just fine. They did stay in more of a ball shape and they were delicious.

These cookies are soft, moist, spicy, and delicious!

Try these tasty cookies with the weird ingredient. Even though they have coffee in the dough, they were perfect as an afternoon snack with a cup of Russian Tea. Make a batch of these Soft Oatmeal Cookies and enjoy an afternoon coffee with your friends!

 

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My Favorite St. Patrick’s Day Recipes

I’m back again after another hospitalization in Jan.-Feb. and two more day procedures, hoping that this is it now and I’m good to go! It’s been a long winter, and I’m really ready to be done with all of these health issues and be able to get outside and enjoy some warm sunshine. Well, a girl can hope, and that’s what I’m hoping for.

I’m still not up to making a lot, so today I’m sharing some of My Favorite St. Patrick’s Day Recipes (or just St. Patrick’s Day appropriate) from the past so you can try a few of them this weekend. Enjoy – and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Green Meringues

Irish Soda Bread

Mint Brownies

Leprechaun Bark

Easy Brownies

 

 

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