Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Blue Ribbon Muffins

Blue Ribbon Muffins are good – and good for you! With all the rich and heavy food we’ve been indulging in the last couple of months, these bran muffins are a tasty way to keep things running smoothly, so to speak. This recipe came from one of Grandma’s sisters, and it’s one of those retro recipes that is just so, so good. These muffins are the kind that can be mixed up and put into the refrigerator so that you can bake them whenever you want them and bake as many as you want at a time, similar to All-Bran Muffins I’ve posted in the past. The card says the batter will last 7 weeks in the refrigerator – awesome! I remember these muffins so much from when I was growing up. Grandma always seemed to have a batch of these muffins in the refrigerator at the farm. I thought – even then – that this was complete genius! How great to be able to bake just a couple at a time, and have them warm right when you want them. I have to say, I did make a few pans of these at a time, too, and they’re delicious made ahead of time, too!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Blue Ribbon Muffins

Mix together:

2 cups All-Bran

2 cups boiling water

Let stand until cool.

Mix together:

3 cups sugar

1 cup shortening (the card says Wesson oil – I used canola)

4 eggs, beaten

1 quart buttermilk

Add to that mixture:

5 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

5 teaspoons baking soda

4 cups All-Bran

Mix well and store in refrigerator until you use it.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

She also says you could add dates, nuts, raisins, or chopped apricots – all of which would be delicious.

Makes 5-6 dozen.

These muffins are pretty quick and easy to pull together. While the boiling water/All-Bran are cooling, get the wet ingredients ready. By the time you’re ready to mix it all up, it should be pretty cool.

I didn’t know how big the bath was going to be, so I used by biggest contianer to mix it all up. First the wet ingredients, and then the dry ingredients on top of that.

All mixed together and we’re ready to bake!

I made a whole pan of muffins after mixing it up, but you can just put the mix right into the refrigerator and not make any until you’re ready! How cool is that?!!

You can see the All-Bran goodness in there!

I transferred what was left to a container to put in the refrigerator until ready. Don’t forget to put the baking instructions on there so the whole family will know how to bake these. That’s another great perk – everyone can help themselves and bake their own when they want some!

Oh my goodness. So good. Not bad with a slather of melting butter. And honey. Or jam.

I’m so glad I made a whole pan. They went fast.

These muffins are brilliant. I just love that ability to make 2 muffins, if you want, or a whole pan. That’s so great. I love having them ready to go, whether you need them for breakfast or an afternoon snack. Make a big batch of these Blue Ribbon Muffins and you’ll be good to go, whenever you need them for whoever needs them!



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Cranberry Orange Muffins

Cranberry Orange Muffins can be made for breakfast (or for your afternoon coffee) this morning after Thanksgiving IF – and it’s a big IF – IF you have any of Abby’s 3 Ingredient Cranberry Relish left. I know – the name doesn’t use the relish in it – Abby’s 3 Ingredient Cranberry Relish Muffins just didn’t sound too appetizing. Cranberry Orange Muffins sounds so much better. I used a muffin recipe from one of Grandma’s church cookbooks – the one that has recipes for several variations of muffins like Date-Nut Muffins or Cinnamon-Sugar Muffins. You use the basic muffin recipe, but add fruit, nuts, spices – whatever your heart desires. Well, my heart desired using some cranberry relish in these muffins. Actually, a lot of people not only have turkey for their Thanksgiving dinner, but in addition, might enjoy a turkey for their Christmas dinner (our family has ham) so you could also make these muffins the morning after Christmas, or make them now (with the leftover Thanksgiving dinner cranberry relish) and freeze them for using any time between now and New Years. If you have company for the weekend who are possibly heading out for a day of shopping on Black Friday. If you’re planning on making these, you might want to keep out a half cup (per batch of muffins) from your Thanksgiving dinner relish to use in these delicious muffins, perfect for guests (or just yourself) the morning after (or weekend after) Thanksgiving. They’re great for an afternoon snack, too!

Here is the recipe as I made them:

Cranberry Orange Muffins

Put into a mixing bowl:

2 cups flour

3 Tablespoons sugar

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix wet ingredients together:

1 cup milk

1 egg

3 Tablespoons vegetable oil (I used canola)

1/2 cup leftover Abby’s 3 Ingredient Cranberry Relish (I haven’t tried it, but I think you could use 1/2 cup chopped fresh cranberries, the zest of half of an orange, and an extra Tablespoon of sugar if you don’t have leftovers, or maybe 1/2 cup of whole berry relish from the can)

Stir together dry and wet ingredients until just moistened.

Fill 12 muffin cups 2/3 full (I just divided the batter into the 12) and bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

This is a pretty simple recipe. Mix together all the dry ingredients, then mix together all the wet ingredients.

I put the leftover cranberry relish right in with the wet ingredients for ease of mixing.

Mix just until moistened.

After filling the 12 muffin cups, I sprinkled on a little bit of coarse sugar – just for a little “sparkle”.

Well, you could hardly see the “sparkle” on the top of the muffins. On to “Plan B”.

“Plan B” includes making an orange glaze to drizzle on top of the muffins. I used about 1 cup of powdered sugar and enough orange juice to make a glaze. In a pinch you can use a zip top bag as your piping bag. Put in the glaze, zip it shut, and snip off one corner to squeeze the glaze out of.

The coarse sugar would have been just fine, you just couldn’t see it very well. This orange glaze is a much tastier option. Both options are delicious!

I sure hope you have some of Abby’s 3 Ingredient Cranberry Relish or at least some of whatever cranberry sauce you have left over from your Thanksgiving dinner so you can make a batch of these muffins. They are a tasty way to use those leftovers, and get your overnight guests out the door to shop on Black Friday! Make a batch of these delicious Cranberry Orange Muffins, and use up a few of those leftovers – if you have any of that amazingly tasty relish left over.




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Pumpkin Muffins and Make Your Own Pumpkin Pie Spice

When making Pumpkin Muffins, you also need Pumpkin Pie Spice. Why not have your cake and eat it too? Mainly, this is necessary here because I was totally out of pumpkin pie spice after last year’s fall baking season, and I wasn’t going to buy it last year for making delicious pumpkin pie spice tasting things this year. However, I didn’t realize I was out (or I should say I didn’t remember I was out) until halfway through making these delicious Pumpkin Muffins. Well, if you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, I’m famous for being out of ingredients needed to make some of these recipes and because I don’t want to take the time to run out and get said ingredient when in the middle of a recipe, I’ll just try and use something else or make my own. Hence, the recipe for making your own Pumpkin Pie Spice. It’s fall, and with the popularity of pumpkin pie spice EVERYTHING, I go through a LOT of it. Instead of running out, I’d like to be able to make my own and always be able to have it on hand. I mean, who wouldn’t? We can’t have people running out of pumpkin pie spice – what would we do? The world just might collapse. Seriously. Once I started to make these muffins, I realized that it was a HEALTHY muffin recipe. Now, I found this recipe in my mom’s recipe box, and I have absolutely no idea why she would have had a HEALTHY muffin recipe. She’s not known for making healthy recipes – she has the family sweet tooth! I have made a couple of other healthy pumpkin recipes on the blog, 2 Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Muffins and Healthy Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Muffins, but I’m always willing to try one more.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Pumpkin Pie Spice

Mix together:

1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

You can always tweak these amounts depending on what you like – if you like it more cinnamon-y, add more cinnamon, etc.

You can change the ratio – if you need more spice, you just make a bigger batch. You might want to make a HUGE batch to last you all the way through pumpkin pie spice season.

Use what you need and store the rest in an airtight container.

Pumpkin Muffins

Mix and set aside:

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 1/2 cup white flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Whisk together:

3/4 cup vegetable oil (I used canola)

2 cups pumpkin puree

1 cup plain low-fat yogurt (I used non-fat yogurt)

3 large eggs

1 cup turbinado sugar

Mix until just moistened.

Put batter into muffin tins (recipe says 12 jumbo muffins, but I made regular sized muffins).

Sprinkle tops with:

1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts

2 Tablespoons turbinado sugar.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

Cool in pans 5 minutes.

Mix all the dry ingredients together first.

Next, mix the wet ingredients.

Now mix them together.

I made regular sized muffins instead of jumbo ones.

The aroma of these babies baking – OMG!

These muffins are so good AND good for you – you’re gonna love ’em! Your family will love ’em, too! You’re friends will also love ’em! Make a batch to keep in your freezer – bring them out when you need a quick breakfast or an afternoon snack – whatever you need them for, they’ll be ready to go. This is the first pumpkin pie spice recipe of the season – try these delicious and healthy Pumpkin Muffins!



Date-Nut Muffins

This recipe for Date-Nut Muffins is a variation of the all-purpose recipe for Muffins in Grandma’s old church cookbook. I have said before – and you all know how I feel about those old church cookbooks – those recipes are just the best. This all-purpose recipe for Muffins in Grandma’s old church cookbook has 13 different variations along with it! 13! It just shows you how recipes can be modified to suit YOUR favorite flavors and tastes. I just love that. I intend to try ALL the variations, because I’m sure they’re absolutely delicious, like these Date-Nut Muffins and the Cinnamon-Sugar Muffins I’ve already made. You really could and SHOULD play around with this recipe – add YOUR favorite flavors and let me know how it goes! So let’s get on with THIS variation.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Date-Nut Muffins

Put in a mixing bowl:

2 cups flour

3 Tablespoons sugar

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Here’s where the variation comes in: Add to the dry ingredients 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, 1/2 cup chopped dates, and 1 Tablespoon grated lemon rind.

Mix well with a fork.


1 egg

1 cup milk

3 Tablespoons vegetable oil

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

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

These muffins are made from very basic ingredients – it what you add to them that makes them special!

Get the dry and wet ingredients ready before mixing – only until moistened.

You can put the muffin batter into greased muffin tins, but I like to use papers.

All ready for the oven!

Baked to perfection. Too much browning and I think they get a bit dry.

You just have to eat them warm – with lots of butter melting everywhere – and running down your arm. Just sayin’.

This muffin recipe is one to keep in your arsenal, just because it can be modified so easily – for a specific flavor, for a specific holiday, for a specific taste. The flavor of date, walnuts, and that little bit of lemon rind in these – amazing. I love these muffins and so will you. Make up a batch of these Date-Nut Muffins – right now – and see how easy it is to make them just the way you like them!




Cheese Muffins

Today’s recipe for Cheese Muffins comes from my mother-in-law. I’m not sure where she got the recipe – maybe from one of HER old church cookbooks, but she raised a family of 6 kids, had a career as a nurse, and is now 93 years old and still making these. She made these muffins for us once when we visited her years ago, and we’ve been having them ever since. They’re good for this time of year when we’re all eating a lot of soups and chilis. They’d go perfectly with Chicken-Noodle Soup with Vegetables, Potato Soup, Cream of Broccoli Soup, 10 Minute Tomato Soup, or Creamy Vegetable Soup. The weather has been beautiful, but it’s getting cold here in Minnesota, and soup is perfect for coming into the warm house after you’ve been outdoors raking leaves, or stacking firewood, or even just going for a walk on a cool afternoon. We have to get outside while we can – winter IS coming, whether we like it or not. Soup is “good for ails ya”, as the old timers say, and what goes great with soup? Muffins. Cheese Muffins, to be exact. Better yet, make up a batch and get them into the freezer for use later on when you just want to make up some soup and the muffins with it all ready to go without a lot of fuss. Perfect.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Cheese Muffins


2 cups flour

3 Tablespoons sugar

1 Tablespoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon garlic salt

a dash of cayenne pepper

Measure out:

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, reserve 2 Tablespoons for topping

Combine rest of cheese with 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel and flour mixture.


1 egg, beaten

1 cup milk

1/2 cup melted butter

Pour all at once into dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened.

Divide equally into 9 greased 3″ muffin tins (I got 10 muffins).

Sprinkle tops with reserved cheese.

Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.

Here are the dry ingredients, all ready to go.

Next are the wet ingredients, all ready to go.

The ingredients are mixed up and ready to combine.

It makes a stiff batter.

Into the muffin tins goes the batter and the reserved shredded cheddar is sprinkled on top.

Out of the oven the muffins are fragrant with the cayenne and lemon, and the cheese is melted and sooooo good!

Yes. I’d say these muffins are practically mandatory with a nice bowl of soup, like this Sweet Potato Corn Chowder. Just add some fruit or a nice green salad, and you’ve got a wonderful, tasty, comforting weekend lunch or light dinner. Get a batch of these Cheese Muffins into your freezer and you’re good to go for all the cold weather to come!


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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!



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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All Bran Muffins

These All Bran Muffins have it all – ALL the bran! They are loaded with fiber and goodness! How can they not be with ingredients like All Bran cereal, Shredded Wheat cereal, and Grape Nuts cereal?! There are MANY recipes for bran muffins of all kinds from Grandma and her sisters. They must have needed to keep things moving! Ha! Well, these muffins work well in that regard! I don’t know if I’d have more than one at a time, if you know what I’m sayin’.

These muffins are definitely full of fiber, but they’re also very tasty!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

All Bran Muffins

Pour 2 cups boiling water over:

2 cups Shredded Wheat cereal (I broke it up a bit before doing this)

Let it sit while mixing the rest of the ingredients.


3 cups sugar, less 2 Tablespoons

1 cup butter, plus 2 Tablespoons


4 eggs, beaten

1 quart buttermilk


3 cups All Bran cereal

2 cup Grape Nuts cereal

Sift together:

5 cups flour

5 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

Add to creamed mixture and fold in soaked Shredded Wheat cereal.

Bake in greased tins at 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes.

The recipe says they freeze well, and they do!!

This calls for 2 cups of Shredded Wheat, and that is the amount of the large ones that come in a brown paper package inside the box.

This took the biggest mixing bowl I had! It makes a big batch – I got 4 dozen plus 4 muffins from this.

Because it is such a large amount of batter, it also takes a bit of muscle to mix it all.

The muffins turn out beautifully!

I love these muffins. They’re full of goodness with all of the cereal in them, and they’re delicious! They freeze well, so make up a batch and have them ready for a summer of fun. Breakfast is taken care of with these All Bran Muffins!



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2 Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Muffins

In keeping with my pumpkin theme (into November), today I’m sharing a recipe for 2 Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Muffins. Recipes like this are all over Pinterest these days (as I well know from my 2 week-on-the-couch-pinning-frenzy). This is THE EASIEST recipe ever – not even kidding!!! 2 ingredients, that’s it! I love recipes like this, and I know Grandma would have, too – they’re so interesting. Who figures these things out? Someone with unlimited funds and an awful lot of time on their hands? Maybe it’s not really that hard to do. Who cares?! The point is – they’re delicious! This particular recipe came from a member on Weight Watchers Connect (their Facebook type thing on the app), so it’s a bit healthier than most. There is some sugar from the mix, but no fat because you use the pumpkin puree instead. Simple dimple.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

2 Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Mix together:

1 box of cake mix (I used Spice Cake Mix)

1 15 ounce can of pumpkin puree

Bake at 350 degrees for  20 minutes.


I mean seriously, you just mix the cake mix and the pumpkin puree – done. I’m sure you could add raisins or chopped apples or nuts to these, too.


This makes a nice, thick batter. Into the liners and that’s it.


I tried to get 24 muffins out of this, but I only got 22. Even though I want to be good and only have 1 at a time, when you make them this small, that’s really hard!


A little secret about these muffins – try to wait and eat them the next day. They come out of the liners better and the flavor is better.


These little hummers are delicious. They’re spicy and pumpkin-y and so, so good!


I just can’t believe how ridiculous these are: ridiculously easy, ridiculously good, ridiculously perfect for this time of year! They’re perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack. Make up a batch today – no, wait – make a double batch because they’re going to go fast and you’re just going to have to make more anyway.





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