Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Zucchini Bread

This recipe for Zucchini Bread is very close to a recipe for Zucchini Bread that was in Grandma’s old church cookbook, so you know it’s good. A friend of my mom’s gave her this recipe years ago, and I’m so glad she did. We made Zucchini Bread when I was growing up, and that original recipe has been lost, so I’m glad mom was able to get this one. Remember last week when I shared how to freeze zucchini? Well, this is another thing to do with it this winter when you have bags of zucchini in the freezer, waiting to be used in baked treats for your friends and family.

We have a history of farming and gardening in our family. I had to share this photo of my mom when she was little – and she was in someone’s garden. I’m not sure what’s in that bushel basket, but it looks like they might have picked carrots. She’s quite the little farmer with her straw hat hanging down her back and the overalls she’s wearing. I’m not sure who’s farm it is, but it does look like she was on a farm, somewhere.

I hope she (and that young farmer accompanying her) filled that bushel basket! So cute!

Gardening was a necessity for Grandma and her family, and all families who survived The Great Depression in the 1930’s, but it’s not only fun, it’s economical! Grow your own veggies AND save money! Yep – gotta love that! It’s important to save every last speck of fruit and vegetable you grow, and preserve it for a later date, oh, say winter here in Minnesota, when nothing grows and you want/need some fresh or locally grown produce preferably from your own garden. So when you end up with a huge zeppelin of a zucchini hiding underneath the leaves of the zucchini plant in your garden, you don’t want to waste it. Squeal with glee (not that I know anything about that or anything), pick said zeppelin, heft it into the kitchen (cuz that sucker’s heavy), shred it, freeze it, and next winter turn it into delicious baked treats for your friends and family.

Another plus – this recipe makes 3 loaves!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Zucchini Bread

Cream together:

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

1 cup oil


2-3 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups zucchini squash, shredded

Mix in:

3 cups flour

3-4 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

Stir in:

1 cup nuts (I used walnuts)

1 cup chocolate chips (the recipe in the old church cookbook says to add 1 cup raisins – I added golden raisins instead of chocolate chips here)

Pour batter into 3 greased and floured loaf pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes.

Note: Pumpkin can be substituted for zucchini.

I made two regular sized loaves and 3 small loaves perfect for gift-giving.

Oh boy – did this smell good while baking! The recipe says that pumpkin can be used instead of zucchini – I’ll have to try that, too!

Just. Can’t. Wait.

This bread is so delicious! Seriously. It’s perfect for breakfast, for an after-school snack, or for your afternoon coffee or tea. It’s full of fruit (or chocolate), nuts, and zucchini – and I mean it’s LOADED! Make a batch of this seriously delicious Zucchini Bread – eat a loaf, put a loaf in the freezer for later, and, well, maybe just eat two loaves.



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Chocolate Chip Scones

This recipe for Chocolate Chip Scones has been around since I ripped the section for scones out of an old magazine I had years ago. I can’t find a name on the pages I ripped out, and I can’t find a year, but I think it could have been an old issue of Country Living Magazine. There are several recipes in these pages, all perfect for breakfast, brunch, or afternoon tea. This photo of my great-grandmother reminds me of afternoon tea (or coffee). Look at that dress! She came to this country all alone from Norway when she was 18 years old. A doctor from a small town up north sponsored her and she worked for him for several years to pay that off before traveling to Minneapolis to work as a housekeeper. There she met her husband, they married, and moved to a farm in the area where I grew up. They had 6 children before her husband died when my grandpa (the youngest) was 2 years old.

She met the challenge of running a farm and raising their 6 wonderful children all by herself. I’m sure she didn’t have much time for afternoon tea, but I hope she took the time to do that once in a while. Just a few years ago my oldest daughter did a college art video project about her life, so we learned a lot and now know that their farm is still there. I love that she was smart and is reading in the photo because my Grandpa was also very smart but had to leave school after 8th grade to help run the farm. So many great stories – so little time to tell them all!

Back to the scones. I originally made these for my chocolate loving mom, but found out that they are ridiculously delicious and my whole family loves them, too. Oh oh.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Chocolate Chip Scones

In a large bowl, combine:

2 cups self-rising flour (if using regular flour, add 2 t. baking powder and 1/2 t. salt)

3 Tablespoons sugar

With pastry blender or knives, cut in:

1/2 cup vegetable shortening (I used butter)

Cut in until shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

In a small bowl, combine:

1/2 cup milk

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

Add to dry ingredients.


1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Mix with fork until mixture clings together and forms a soft dough.

Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead gently a few times, if needed.

Use a rolling pin (or use hands) to roll dough into a 7 inch round.

Cut into 4 wedges (I cut it into 6).

Place scones onto greased baking sheet and pierce tops with times of a fork (at this point I also used a little cream brushed on top and then sprinkled tops with coarse sanding sugar).

Bake at 425 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve warm.

I used my trusty blender to get started.

Mixing everything with a fork help bring it all together.

I used my hands to pat out the dough and then cut it into 6 wedges.

I used coarse sanding sugar to make the scones sparkle, but regular sugar works, too. I love the sugary crust it makes on the top of the scones.

Oh yum.

Out of the oven and best warm with butter. Maybe also some homemade jam?

If you’re looking for an easy and delicious treat for your breakfast, brunch, or afternoon tea (or coffee), this is definitely it. These Chocolate Chip Scones are ridiculously good, and you and your guests are going to love them!


Shrimp Rolls

I made up this recipe for Shrimp Rolls because my son loves shrimp. Fried shrimp, shrimp cocktail, fresh shrimp, shrimp salad, shrimp dip . . . on and on and on. He is also a HUGE fan of Old Bay Seasoning. We try to use it whenever we can. One hot summer day, I was wishing we lived closer to the ocean so we could enjoy a lobster roll without having to search all over the Twin Cities for lobster. I though about having a delicious lobster roll until it hit me – everyone loves lobster rolls, so why not try to make a shrimp roll? Frozen cooked shrimp are easier to find in these parts than frozen cooked lobster. These have now become a summer staple for our family and I end up making them several times throughout the season. We’ve already had them once this year, and it won’t be the last time.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Shrimp Rolls

Thaw a one pound package of frozen shrimp in the refrigerator overnight. How big the shrimp should be depends on how you want to fix it. I have used bigger shrimp and then cut them into pieces, but for this batch, I used smaller shrimp and there was no need to cut them.

Mix together:

1/2-1 cup mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon dill weed

1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning, or more to taste

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

salt and pepper to taste


1/2 cup celery, chopped

3 green onions, chopped

Toss in:

the thawed shrimp

Serve in hot dog buns on a bed of chopped lettuce.

This is a fast and easy lunch or dinner recipe. It’s great on a hot summer night when you don’t want to heat up your kitchen.

It’s easier to mix the mayonnaise mixture first and then add the vegetables and shrimp.

Oh yes – one more squeeze of lemon and you’re having a delicious dinner on the deck.

Try this light and refreshing summer lunch or dinner. You may need an extra napkin depending on how full you fill the bun. This recipe is quick, easy, and absolutely delicious. It would be good at a picnic or at the beach – hey, it’s good anywhere! You might as well do it – make some of these Shrimp Rolls tonight!


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Orange Raisin Bread

I’ve been looking through Grandma’s old church cookbooks lately, and I found another interesting recipe called Orange Raisin Bread. I had to try it. Well, it’s good. Very good. I like it better than banana bread. It’s that good. The fresh scent of orange and the fruitiness of the raisins makes a tremendous combination, especially in the springtime. I might say – and I know I say this a lot – that it’s one of my new favorites. You all might want to try this one. I mean, it’s really good.

Have I mentioned that this bread is really good?

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Orange Raisin Bread


the rind of 1 orange (I just used my rasp for the orange rind)

1 cup raisins (instead of grinding them, I just chopped them)

Into a 1 cup measure put:

the juice of 1 orange, squeezed

fill to 1 cup with boiling water


2 Tablespoons shortening (I used butter)

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat in:

1 egg

Sift together:

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Add dry ingredients and liquid alternately.

Blend in raisins and rind.

Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes.

Makes 1 loaf.

I love the scent of orange. It’s a day brightener.

I could have used my food processor, but this way was just as easy.

Before and after baking – isn’t it pretty?!!

This makes a beautiful loaf.

It’s beautiful, but as you can see, I didn’t exactly get the raisins thoroughly mixed in. I’m no professional. I just like to bake. Next time I will try and mix them in a bit more. You should try to bake a loaf of this bread. It’s absolutely delicious and your family will love it. Make this Orange Raisin Bread today!





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Dilly Bread

While perusing another of Grandma’s old church cookbooks one day, I happened upon this delicious sounding recipe for Dilly Bread. It’s fairly simple to do with only one rising – easy to do and pretty quick to make and serve with a soup or pasta. The fragrance of the dill and onion wafted through the house while it was baking, making me want to whip up a batch of Potato Soup or Chicken Noodle Soup With Vegetables pronto. But no. I waited. I cut a couple of slices for the photos, snitched the little end piece I cut off, and got this bread into the freezer as fast as I could. I’ll bring it out sometime when I don’t have the time and want a quick dinner – soup with this delicious bread.

My gosh but this bread is tasty!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Dilly Bread


1 package yeast in 1/4 cup warm water

Combine in bowl:

2 Tablespoons sugar

3 Tablespoons dried minced onion

1 Tablespoon butter, melted

2 teaspoons dill seed (I used dill weed)

1 cup cottage cheese, warmed (I used the microwave for this)

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 unbeaten egg

Add enough to form a stiff dough:

2 1/4 cups flour (I used 2 cups and kept the 1/4 cup for kneading)

Cover and let rise until double.

Knead down and put in 8 inch well-greased casserole.

Let rise, or shape into small buns (I totally missed this second rising and the loaf turned out beautifully anyway!)

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes.

While warm, brush loaf with butter and sprinkle with salt (I used kosher salt for this).

You can see that the dough really does almost double in size during the first rising. I put plastic wrap over it so it doesn’t dry out.

Just a little knead to bring it all together and make it pretty – that’s all it needs. Ha.

I put the dough into this square casserole (here’s where I didn’t see that there was supposed to be a second rising) and it baked up into a nice, round loaf.

Here is the beautiful, round loaf with its yummy butter and salt topping.

You can tell that I’m not totally back to my usual self yet – notice the other camera in the (left)background.

This bread is so tasty and absolutely delicious, you’ll want to make this every week! The recipe made a beautiful loaf (with the somewhat unusual ingredient of cottage cheese) that smells amazing and I can’t wait to eat it! Trust me – your family if going to love this Dilly Bread.

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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


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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Cinnamon-Sugar Muffins

I was recently thinking about the Cinnamon-Sugar Muffins I made in my 7th grade Home Ec class (and no, I’m not going to share any photos of that time in my life – Junior High School – ugh!) It was a plain muffin recipe, but after baking, you would dip the muffin top in melted butter and then into a cinnamon-sugar mixture. Talk about a warm and comforting, yet decadent breakfast treat or snack . . . I don’t have that original recipe anymore, but I checked in Grandma’s church cookbook and look what I found! I found a plain muffin recipe with at least 10 different variations – one of them being dipped in melted butter and a cinnamon-sugar mixture! Yay! So here they are!

This recipe came with a lot of variations – we might explore more of those at another time!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Cinnamon-Sugar Muffins

For the plain muffins:

Put in mixing bowl and mix well with a fork:

2 cups flour

3 Tablespoons sugar

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

(For the Cinnamon-Sugar Muffins, add 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg)


1 egg, beaten

1 cup milk

3 Tablespoons vegetable oil (I used canola)

Add all at once to flour mixture, stirring only until moistened.

Fill 12 greased (I used liners) muffin cups 2/3 full and bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

For topping:

Immediately after baking, remove muffins from pan and dip tops in melted butter (about 3 Tablespoons), then in 1/4 cup sugar mixed with 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon.

The plain muffin recipe is really simple.

As my 7th grade Home Ec teacher used to say, “Don’t over mix! The muffins will have holes in them!” Only mix until JUST moistened.

I used liners for this batch, but grease the pans if you like them better that way.

After baking you can see how golden brown and gorgeous they are!

I tried dipping the muffins into the butter and then into the cinnamon-sugar mixture, but I kept getting a lot of them onto the muffins papers. I used a pastry brush to brush on the butter and then dipped the top in the cinnamon-sugar mixture.

These muffins are absolutely perfect with a cup of coffee. They’re easy to make and have for a nice, warm treat or breakfast. I mean, how bad can that be – a muffin, melted butter, cinnamon, and sugar? I think these are best warm right out of the oven, but this batch is all packaged up and ready for my mom’s freezer. Some of these muffins would be nice to make the next time you invite your grandma or mom over for a nice cup of coffee. Give these Cinnamon-Sugar Muffins a try – they’re absolutely delicious!


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Swedish Almond Buns

This recipe for Swedish Almond Buns comes from Grandma’s church cookbook. I first tried this recipe just a few years ago, in 2009. We were having a Scandinavian baking day before Christmas with my mom and daughters, and when looking through the church cookbook (you all know how I feel about those old church cookbooks!!) for our usual recipes, I happened to find this one. Well – we HAD to try it – that very day! My mom’s a tea drinker, and these buns were perfect with her afternoon cup of tea. They’re delicious. This is one that would be great for a special breakfast, a snack, or for with your afternoon coffee – or tea.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Swedish Almond Buns

In mixing bowl, dissolve:

1 package yeast in 3/4 cup very warm water


1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cup flour

Beat 2 minutes.


1 egg

1/4 cup shortening (I used butter, softened)

Gradually beat in until smooth:

1 cup flour


1/3 cup chopped, blanched almonds (I used sliced for this batch)

Spoon into greased muffin cups; fill 1/2 full.

Sprinkle with:

1/3 cup almonds

3 Tablespoons sugar

Cover and let rise in a warm place for 50-60 minutes.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

Before and after rising – they really do double in size!

After baking – they come out golden brown and toasty!

These buns are best warm right out of the oven with a bit of butter and maybe some strawberry jam. If you can’t enjoy them right away, immediately pop them into the freezer to enjoy at a later time – they ARE homemade, after all, and they won’t stay fresh for more than a day. You will love these buns for a special breakfast treat or a delicious afternoon snack. Call your friends to come over for an afternoon cup of coffee and try these Swedish Almond Buns!





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Applesauce Nut Loaf

This recipe for Applesauce Nut Loaf comes from one of Grandma’s old church cookbooks. I thought this would be a seasonally appropriate one to try this fall – it IS apple season, after all! These church cookbooks are always filled with all the best recipes for anything you would need to bake. We know how everyone sent in their favorite and best recipe when compiling these cookbooks. I have done a LOT of other quick breads like Moist Pumpkin Bread, Banana Bread, Rhubarb Bread, Date Bread, Poppy Seed Bread, Cherry Bread, Lemon Bread, Apricot Bread, Pumpkin Raisin Bread, Cranberry Bread, Lemon Nut Bread and Grandma Scully’s Banana Bread, and this recipe fits right in. I love that my mom first tried this recipe in 1972!! It’s great to have her writing on here!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Applesauce Nut Loaf

Cream together:

1/2 cup shortening (I used butter)

2/3 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 cup thick applesauce

Beat until light.

Sift dry ingredients together:

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Add to first mixture.

Stir in:

1/2 cup nuts, chopped

Pour into well-greased loaf pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.

The recipe says to use either one large or two small loaf pans, I used what I consider to be one large loaf pan for this batch.

I tried to get artsy by putting the sliced apples on top of the loaf.

Well, being artsy didn’t work out so well – the apple slices ended up kind of wonky, but they sure tasted great anyway!

I think this loaf could have used a teaspoon of cinnamon, because there really isn’t any flavoring in it other than the applesauce. Other than that, it WAS delicious, and as we all know, it’s the apple time, so this was the perfect church cookbook recipe to try right now. If you need a delicious fall treat for an after school snack, or an afternoon coffee, or something to bring for a hostess gift, this Applesauce Nut Bread is a tasty recipe to try.


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Shredded Wheat Bread

Today’s recipe for Shredded Wheat Bread comes from my godmother. She and I were talking about baking bread last summer, and when she talked about this bread, her eyes lit up and she said, “oh, that Shredded Wheat Bread was SO GOOD!” She sent me the recipe and I had to make it! I’m just sorry I took so long to do it! This is a photo of she and my mom when they were 9 and 10 years old. They grew up more like sisters than cousins, and since they were only a year apart in age, their mothers (Grandma and one of her sisters) enjoyed having them dress alike! I think the girls thought it was fun, too!

I love the dresses in this one! They also have matching haircuts!! So cute!

Ok – on to the bread. I’m putting it in the category of Retro Oddities, but this bread is anything but odd. It’s absolutely delicious! It’s a lot like, and just as delicious as, a few other bread recipes I’ve made, like Overnight Rye Bread or Dark Bread.

OMG. This. Bread. Is. So. Good.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Shredded Wheat Bread

Pour over 3 large regular shredded wheats (or 1 paper package of the big biscuits):

2 3/4 cups boiling water


1 1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons shortening (I used butter)

1/2 cup molasses

Cool to lukewarm.

Dissolve together:

1/4 cup warm water

1 package yeast

Mix in:

8 1/4 cups flour

Knead 5 minutes (I used my big mixer with a dough hook for this).

Let rise in a greased bowl, covered with plastic wrap, for 1 hour.

Punch down.

Form into loaves and let rise in pans another hour, covered with plastic wrap.

Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

Make sure that the big Shredded Wheat biscuits are what you use for this bread. They come in a paper pouch – don’t use the little ones or the ones that are frosted!

I broke the biscuits up a bit, but the adding the boiling water works like a charm to soften them. I don’t really think you would need to break them up.

You add the boiling water and the Shredded Wheat basically dissolves.

Add the other ingredients and dissolve the yeast in the warm water so it’s ready to add.

I mixed in about half of the flour with a wooden spoon, then I switched to the big mixer.

First I mixed in the rest of the flour, then switched to the dough hook and ran the mixer for about 10 minutes to knead it.

I kneaded it by hand a couple of times to make it into a nice, smooth ball. Then I put the ball of dough into a greased bowl (flipping it over so it’s greased on top), cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for an hour. It should double in size.

Punch it down.

I cut the dough in half, formed it into loaves, put it in the pans and let it rise another hour. I think I could have made it into 3 loaves. The only complaint from the boys was that it wouldn’t fit into the toaster! 3 smaller loaves would make that easier.

Oh so pretty! Here they are, straight out of the oven and brushed with soft butter.

This bread slices so nicely, it would be nice to be able to put this in the toaster.

There’s nothing better than a sandwich on freshly baked bread. Well, the only thing better than that is having a fresh slice, still a little warm, slathered in soft butter. Oh wow. My godmother was right – this Shredded Wheat Bread is SO GOOD!!!!!!!!






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