Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Green Bean Casserole

Today’s recipe for Green Bean Casserole is a bit different from the green bean casserole that we all know and love. Grandma wrote this one down in a book of handwritten recipes that the family gave to my sister years ago. There was also a written down recipe for the usual green bean casserole, and this one was written underneath. Technically, this recipe would be named Green Bean Casserole #2, but since I haven’t shared the usual kind of green bean casserole yet, I’m going to go ahead and name this one Green Bean Casserole. The recipe is short, sweet, and to the point. It’s also delicious and just a little bit different from the usual recipe.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Green Bean Casserole

Cook as directed on the package:

2-3 packages of French Cut Green Beans (I used 2 packages of frozen beans for this)

Add:

2 cans of Cream of Chicken Soup

1 (8 ounce) can of sliced water chestnuts (I had whole water chestnuts and I didn’t feel like I got them sliced thin enough)

Top with:

1 small container of French Fried Onions

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

There aren’t a lot of ingredients in this one. That’s what makes it so great. It fits the criteria – quick, simple, and delicious.

Make sure to cook the beans until they’re tender. I wasn’t thinking about how they wouldn’t really be cooking in the oven. They are only in the oven to warm through and crisp the French fried onions on top.

Ready for the oven.

This is a great side dish that will be delicious with anything.

How can you go wrong with something that has French fried onions on top? I would make more things with these onions on, but I can’t stop snitching them from the top of the dish! Love those things. This Green Bean Casserole is a little bit different, but quite a bit delicious!

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Easy No Crust Quiche

The recipe for today is Easy No Crust Quiche. This one comes from my mom, and as you can see from her note on the card, she thought this one was “Very Good” in 2008. Grandma started writing the dates she made these recipes, and then whether or not she liked them, and then how much she liked the recipe, (occasionally she even wrote little notes on the recipe cards she sent us that told how she might have changed something in the recipe). I love it so much that she did that for us! That makes it so much easier for the family to know which ones are the best ones. Believe it or not, I have seen some recipes in a cookbook where she wrote “terrible” on them! Now the rest of us keep track of recipes in this same way – my mom, me, my sister (I think my sister does it, too), and even my kids now write in their cookbooks the date they first made a particular recipe and how they liked it. It’s fun to look back and be able to see how long ago you first tried something. I’m sure that in this photo of me from when I was a 1-year-old, I was reading in a cookbook and planning what I would make next. I think I’m even drooling!

I was an early and voracious reader, and I’m SURE that I was reading a cookbook here. Anyway, we’ll be looking back at the family cookbooks for years to come and seeing those little notes, knowing that someone cared and loved us enough to make sure we would only take the time and effort to make just the “Very Good” ones – they’re the most delicious ones, too!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Easy No Crust Quiche

In a buttered 9″ pie pan put:

1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Cover with:

6 slices of crisp bacon, cut in pieces or about 1 cup diced ham (I used 1 cup of diced, frozen, leftover Christmas ham)

Beat:

4 eggs

Add:

1 1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup flour mixed into 2 Tablespoons softened butter (I melted the butter and mixed them all together – it made the mixture a bit lumpy)

Carefully pour over cheese and meat.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Turn oven down to 250 degrees and bake 20 minutes more (I had to go about 15 minutes more until it stopped jiggling in the middle).

She does have a half recipe written down on the card, but why? Just make the whole one.

I’m so glad I cut some of our leftover Christmas ham into cubes – they’re ready to go at a moments notice – like into this Quiche!

When adding the flour and butter to the mix, I’d try mixing them together next time first. Maybe then there wouldn’t be lumps. It didn’t matter in the end anyway.

I gave this an extra 15 minutes or so because it was jiggly in the middle. Once it cooled a bit, it firmed up pretty well, but it is a bit delicate.

You can see the layers – the cheese makes the “crust”. It totally looks like one of Grandma’s typical Scandinavian-style dishes – very pale. I’d add veggies into this – that’s just me.

My husband has a “thing” for cilantro, so he added some before devouring this Quiche for lunch. I think it not only added to the flavor, but it looks pretty. You could totally service this for breakfast, for brunch, or for lunch or a light dinner. I love a good quiche, and I have made Quiche Lorraine, but this Quiche is ridiculously easy to make and is ridiculously delicious. Your friends and family are gonna LOVE this one! Try this Easy No Crust Quiche now – right now!

 

 

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Date Drops

This recipe for Date Drops comes from the tiny book at my sister’s house. That little tiny recipe book has just been jam packed with really good recipes. Whenever I bake with dates, it brings back memories of Grandma’s kitchen. She LOVED dates and LOVED to bake with them. There are so many recipes in her file that use dates: muffins, cakes, cookies, bars. There are dates in almost every category of recipe. Grandma’s sisters had a lot of recipes that used dates, also. Maybe they were kind of exotic at one time for this family who survived the Great Depression of the 1930’s and maybe dates were a reasonably priced ingredient to use in their baked treats. Dates can make things so sweet, chewy, and delicious, and these cookies are no exception. They’re very similar to another date cookie recipe Grandma had in her file called Date Rocks. They’re so good, and they make the kitchen smell like Grandma’s kitchen when they’re baking!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Date Drops

Cream together:

2/3 cup butter

1 1/4 cup brown sugar

Add:

2 eggs

2 Tablespoons hot water

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 package dates

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (I used pecans)

Drop by spoonfuls onto baking sheet (I used my trusty scoop).

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown and firm to the touch.

This is another recipe where I used my trusty scoop to get uniform sized cookies.

They won’t look done, when baking, until they turn golden brown.

These cookies are so tasty with the chewy dates and crunchy nuts in them.

If you like dates, you’re going to LOVE these sweet, chewy cookies. They are a classic cookie that’s perfect with afternoon coffee or tea. I know Grandma and her sisters would have loved having these cookies when having coffee together. Your family will also love these Date Drops – get together and enjoy each other and these delicious cookies!

 

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Orange Rolls (No Knead)

The recipe for today is for Orange Rolls (No Knead), and it comes from one of Grandma’s old church cookbooks. They sounded pretty easy to do, so why not? It is citrus season, after all – the perfect time of year for anything made with oranges. Who knew back then that someday “no knead” bread and rolls would be such a big “thing”?!

Because it’s winter time, I had to share this photo of my mom and her brother with their grandparents (Grandma’s parents), and it looks like they might have a cousin (the little guy) with them. We don’t have a lot of casual photos like this, especially in the winter and OUTSIDE! I wonder if this was a special occasion, or maybe it was a photo of a new car or something. Maybe it was just a shot of them before church, who knows. I love it, though – they all have interesting headgear on their heads!

It must have been a cold day. So cute!

Ok – back to the rolls. I used the grated rind from the whole orange (as long as I was grating it – you shouldn’t waste it, right?) and also the juice from the orange (added to the warm water to make 1 cup). Pay attention to some changes as we go along – this recipe was a bit weird once I got into it.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Orange Rolls (No Knead)

Mix:

2 cakes (packages) yeast

1/3 cup sugar

1 cup warm water

Beat:

3 eggs

Add to the water mixture.

Then add:

1/4 cup butter, melted

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon orange rind (I used the rind from the whole orange, and put the juice from the orange into the measuring cup for the warm water, then added enough warm water to make the 1 cup)

4 cups flour

Spray muffin tins with non-stick spray or grease with butter (I forgot to do this – yikes!).

Put 1/2 teaspoon butter and 1 cup brown sugar in muffin tins (this sounded weird to me, and I wonder if it’s a typo – I put 1/2 teaspoon butter in each of 12 muffin tins and then added 1 Tablespoon brown sugar in each muffin tin).

Drop by Tablespoon (this also sounded weird to me, so I just made the 12 rolls – 18 rolls would have been a better size, or maybe they would have been ok in a mini muffin tin).

Let rise 2 hours.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

I didn’t think 1 cup of brown sugar for all the rolls sounded like enough, so I used 1 Tablespoon per muffin cup and 1/2 teaspoon of butter per cup. Oh yeah – and don’t forget to spray the tins – I did!!!

1 Tablespoon of dough didn’t seem like it would make a very big roll, either, so I made them bigger. Big mistake.

You can see that the muffin cups were way too full. They almost overflowed.

A smaller amount of dough would make a nice, small roll. Oops. I struggled a bit with this recipe.

The caramel in the bottom of the muffin cup wasn’t sticky like I thought it would be. It was more of a chewy caramel. Even though I forgot to spray the muffin tins, they came out of the pan pretty easily when I used a large serving spoon to scoop them out.

These rolls turned out to be kind of a cross between muffins and Buns, with the flavor of my famous Hopping Bunny Rolls. They are delicious, and are perfect with a morning (or afternoon) cup of coffee. Go ahead and give these a try. Just follow the recipe and don’t try to “fix” it like I tried to do. I should know better by now – just do what the recipe says. The farm wives who made these recipes and put them into the old church cookbooks knew what they were doing (as long as it’s not a typo). These Orange Rolls (No Knead) are delicious – you and your family will love them!

 

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Roasted Chickpeas

I NEED this recipe for Roasted Chickpeas. I love salty snacks – I mean, who doesn’t – but since my problem with Ebenezer last winter (my pancreas – you can read more about that here), I’ve tried to stay away from things with too much fat. I’ve tried to be good, really I have, but it’s not easy. I have a “thing” for salty snacks – popcorn, chips, pretzels, you name it. There just isn’t much variety of salty low-fat snacks out there. Sometimes you have to just take matters into your own hands. You can find recipes for these chickpea snacks all over the internet, so I thought it was time I gave them a try. I found this particular recipe one night on Instagram – you can check out Hip Foodie Mom’s blog here.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Roasted Chickpeas

Drain, rinse, and pat dry:

1 can chickpeas (or garbanzo beans)

Put beans into small bowl.

Toss beans with:

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Mix together:

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon lemon pepper

1 teaspoon salt

Toss with beans and pay out on parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake at 450 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until crisp.

You can put any flavor you want on these – taco seasoning, Mrs. Dash, Lowry’s Seasoned Salt, or make up your own – whatever YOU like.

Eat immediately, while they’re still crunchy (I found out the hard way that these don’t last too long, even in an airtight container – let me just say that they turned a nasty, fuzzy green – yes, moldy – after a couple of days).

I rinsed and drained the chickpeas.

Then I rolled the chickpeas on some paper towels to dry them off.

Next I tossed the chickpeas with olive oil so the spices would stick to them.

Then I mixed the oily chickpeas with the spices.

I recommend putting the chickpeas onto a parchment lined baking sheet so they don’t stick to the baking sheet.

After baking, the chickpeas are crispy and delicious. The longer they sat, the less crisp they were so eat them right away!

I like this recipe. The chickpeas are crispy and tasty and low-fat. Just remember to eat them right away, or within a day or two – you don’t want them getting moldy like mine did. That was just a waste. I may have to try making these with a lot of different spices and flavorings. They’ll keep Ebenezer happy and that keeps ME happy! I needed this low-fat snack, and so do you. Give this healthy and delicious snack of Roasted Chickpeas a try!

 

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Spice Cookies

Today’s recipe for Spice Cookies comes from my mom, and is a lot like Gingersnaps, only it uses less molasses. There are a TON of spices in there! It looks like someone just said – let’s just throw them all in and see what happens. Well, what happens is that it makes an amazingly delicious and spicy cookie!

I had just turned 3 in this photo from 1963, and I think this is about the time when I started to really enjoy a good Spice Cookie with a nice cup of hot cocoa when coming in from playing in the snow. The car was a light yellow Ford Galaxie 500 with black vinyl seats. I may still have burn scars on the back of my legs from those seats – not great in the hot summertime with no AC!!

While it looks like a lot of snow here, it was probably just another winter day in Minnesota! Ahhh. Those were the days. We don’t seem to get snow like that anymore, and personally, I’m not happy about it. My dad was also still rocking his Matt Damon look – plus a popped collar. Ha!

Ok – back to these delicious, spicy, tender cookies. They’re SO GOOD! Let’s throw open the doors of the spice cabinet and get going on this recipe!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Spice Cookies

Cream together:

1 cup butter

1 cup sugar

Add:

1 egg

2 Tablespoons molasses

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Roll in balls.

Roll balls in sugar.

Place on baking sheet 2″ apart.

Bake at 350 degrees 16-18 minutes.

After mixing the dough, I used my trusty scoop to make the balls a uniform size. I plopped them right into the sugar and then rolled them into balls.

Sometimes after rolling the balls, you need to roll them in sugar again. They look like the sugar is pushed right into the dough. I mean, as I’ve asked many times before – can you really ever have too much sugar on the outside of a cookie? I think not. Go ahead and roll them one more time if you need to.

Oh boy – these smell so good when baking!

These cookies are great with an afternoon cup of Spiced Mocha Mix, Grandma’s Cocoa, or Hot Chocolate.

These cookies are SO GOOD. Did I mention that already? Let me reiterate – they’re SO GOOD! They’re a nice soft cookie, not crisp like Gingersnaps can be. Even though they only have a small amount of molasses, they are a tasty, spicy cookie. Next time you’re out playing in the snow, before you go outside, make up a batch of these Spice Cookies to have when you come in from the cold with your afternoon coffee, cocoa, or hot chocolate – your friends and family will be begging for more!

 

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Nutty “Raw” Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

Here is a healthy recipe for Nutty “Raw” Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls that I saw when watching “The Kitchen” on Food Network a while back. Katie Lee was making these and I knew it was something I could use for a snack without too much fat and added sugar. This is another low-fat snack that will make Ebenezer (my pancreas – you can read more about that here) happy, and we definitely want to keep him happy. We don’t need any more issues with him moving forward. I think he’s finally seen the light and is behaving himself – he’s been nice and friendly and good to everyone (even after the holidays)! Because it’s a health issue, I may be trying some low fat recipes here from time to time. Don’t we all have the same New Year’s resolution – to be healthier in the new year? Well, let’s do it. I just don’t believe we need to eat crappy food to be healthy. If I find a delicious, yet healthy recipe (or at least healthier recipe), I’ll pass along the good word and we’ll all try these new recipes together. Sound fair? Good!

 

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Nutty “Raw” Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

Soak in 1/4 cup hot water:

3 dates, pitted

Soak for 5 minutes and reserve the water.

Combine in food processor:

3/4 cup unsalted, raw almonds

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Pulse until it forms a fine meal.

Add:

1 Tablespoon creamy peanut butter

3 soaked dates

3 Tablespoons of the reserved water the dates were soaked in

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Process until of a cookie dough consistency.

Transfer to a bowl and fold in:

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Using a scoop, portion dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet.

Refrigerate until dough is chilled and set, about 20 minutes.

Store in refrigerator with parchment between layers.

Mmmm. Soaked dates.

These are full of healthy, good for you ingredients.

This looks like meal to me.

All mixed up and the chocolate chips are folded in and ready to go. I found that if I held the dough in my hands for a few seconds, it was easier to roll them into balls. I’m wondering if you could spread these into a 9″ x 9″ square pan, chill them, and cut them into small squares.

Ahh. There we go. Delicious. These babies are a lifesaver. I’m technically not supposed to eat much chocolate (too much fat), but I can handle these. They really do taste just like cookie dough, and I’m just going to keep a batch of these in my frig at all times – from now on! They’re so good! I love these and you will, too. Try these Nutty “Raw” Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls and give yourself a delicious, healthy treat!

 

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Scandinavian Egg Sandwich

Ok guys – we’re making a Scandinavian Egg Sandwich today! Yes – you heard me! This sandwich can be made almost entirely from leftovers (for our family, anyway). It’s the perfect holiday breakfast, lunch, or snack, and it’s amazingly delicious! Our family made up this sandwich over the years, but it really came to be finalized in 2016 when my sister, her family, and my mom came to be with us for the whole Christmas holiday. Everybody loved it because it uses a lot of our favorite holiday foods. We usually have the ingredients (that are leftovers) at some point during the holiday season, so it really was a no-brainer. My family loves egg sandwiches. In fact, all of our kids HAVE to have their dad’s egg sandwiches at some point almost every time they come to stay with us for any length of time. They grew up on them with his making them before and/or after every sports event, drama event, or music event – and there were A LOT of those. There isn’t really a recipe, just a tutorial, and we’ll explore that for dad’s egg sandwiches at some point later. For now, I’ll just tell you how we made these particular egg sandwiches.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Scandinavian Egg Sandwich

I’m showing how to make this sandwich Scandinavian here, but it’s very easy to change this and make it just how YOU like it!

Step 1-

Slice and/or toast 2 slices from a Julekaga, loaf of bread (or panettone or regular sliced bread), and put one slice on a plate. This is your platform for the rest of the sandwich. I don’t like mine toasted and that’s why I didn’t toast the bread here. My daughter was in Chicago this fall and brought home a panettone from her visit to Eatily, so I didn’t make Julekaga this year. Normally I would use Julekaga, but this year I used the panettone for the sandwiches instead.

Step 2 –

Dollop on a spoonful of your favorite jam. We used lingonberry jam to fulfill our Scandinavian theme, but any jam like strawberry or raspberry would also be delicious.

Step 3 –

Layer on slices of brown fudge cheese (Gjetost) or your favorite cheese. We always have brown cheese for the holidays. If you haven’t tried it – I HIGHLY recommend it (it seriously does taste like fudge)! If you don’t want to try the most delicious cheese in the world, then use whatever cheese you like.

Step 4 –

Next comes a slice of Christmas ham. We have fried the ham at times in the past, but this ham was very flavorful and I didn’t feel like it needed to be fried. If you like it hot, go ahead and fry it first. You could also use turkey, so this would be good for a thanksgiving treat, too. Just use cranberry sauce and turkey instead of jam and ham.

Step 5 –

Last, but not least, a fried egg goes on top. I like a fried egg on mine, and I like it a bit drippy, but you can put on whatever kind of egg you like. My husband likes to break the yolks of his eggs when making an egg sandwich, because he likes to “mess” with stuff while he’s “cooking”. He just folds it up into a square of cooked eggs and puts that on top.

Step 6 –

Top it with the second slice of bread and cut it in half. Eat it like a sandwich, or use a knife and fork – whatever works. It’s so delicious – you’re just not going to believe it! You can tell it’s good by the way the egg yolk and jam somehow drip their way down your fingers and hands. Go ahead and lick your fingers – you won’t want to waste a bit of it!

This sandwich has everything you’d want in an egg sandwich: tender, fruity bread, sweet jam, salty ham, the delicious, drippy egg. What more could you want?!! It’s the perfect after holiday breakfast or snack, as far as I’m concerned. You’re using up some leftovers and it’s ridiculously delicious to boot! I know you’re going to love it. Bring out your inner Viking and try this Scandinavian Egg Sandwich!

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone!

I hope you have a chance to put your feet up today, and relax after the mad rush of the holidays!

Make yourself a delicious beverage. No, not an adult beverage – we don’t want you to pass out from exhaustion – just relax. Maybe try one of the following warm, comforting, and cozy ideas: Hot Chocolate, Russian Tea, Grandma’s Cocoa, Hot Cranberry Drink, Wassail, or Hot Cider.

Next – wrap up in your coziest blanket and a nice pair of warm and toasty socks.

Ahhh! That’s nice.

If you are lucky enough to be able to do this in front of a nice, crackling fire, all the better!

Now just breathe and relax.

I wish you all the best in 2019!

Thanks for reading Plenty Sweet Life!

 

 

 

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