Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Pepperoni Bread

I first made Pepperoni Bread about 30 years ago, when we lived in our first apartment. We had a black and white tv and no cable. The only channels we got on that tv were local, one being the local PBS channel. Luckily for me, there were shows on during the day (I was a stay-at-home mom with our first baby) that I was interested in – cooking shows. I don’t remember the name of the chef, but I liked a lot of the recipes he made, so I wrote down the address of where to order the recipes from, ordered the recipe card collection, sent in my check (yes – that’s how we did it back then – I used an actual envelope to send in my check!), and several weeks later, I received my recipe cards of dishes he had made on the show. I wish it would have been as easy as printing it off like we do now, or even as easy as keeping it on my phone or in my “favorites”! It’s probably a good thing we didn’t have it that easy back when we were first married and I was trying to get a repertoire of recipes together for our new and growing family – I kind of have a problem with cooking shows and cookbooks and recipes.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Pepperoni Bread

2 loaves frozen bread dough (I made 2 loaves because that’s how many loaves I had in my freezer)

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, 2 Tablespoons reserved for topping

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4-1/2 pound pepperoni

1/4 onion, thinly sliced

1/4 green pepper, thinly sliced

1/4 red pepper, thinly sliced

1/2 pound mozzarella, shredded

Roll dough out into a rectangle.

Brush with beaten egg, sprinkle with oregano (dried from my herb pot), sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Roll up, pinch seam shut, put on baking sheet seam side down.

Brush top with beaten egg, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and oregano.

Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.

Take the frozen bread dough out of the freezer the night before you need to use it. Spray non-stick spray on a baking sheet, put the loaves of frozen dough on it, spray some non-stick spray on one side of plastic wrap so it doesn’t stick to the thawed bread dough. In the morning, the dough will be thawed and risen.

Get the ingredients ready before you start. I used pepperoni, shredded mozzarella, parmesan cheese, dried oregano (from my herb pot last summer), and thinly sliced onions and red and green peppers.

Roll the dough into a rectangle, then brush the dough with a bit of the beaten egg. Sprinkle on the parmesan cheese and dried oregano.

Next, on goes the pepperoni and then sprinkle with the shredded mozzarella cheese.

Lastly, on goes the thinly sliced onion, red pepper, and green pepper.

Now roll it all up as tightly as you can.

Pinch the seam together and put the roll, seam side down, onto a greased baking sheet. Then brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with the reserved parmesan cheese. Poke some holes along the roll to let steam escape – you don’t want the roll to explode!

Out of the oven and ready for slicing!

It looks like I could have rolled this one a bit more tightly, but that has no bearing on how delicious this is! It. Is. So. Good.

I think you’re going to love this Super Bowl party snack. Slice up the roll, put it on a platter, and you’re done! Yum! Your guests will all be raving about how good this Pepperoni Bread is, and no one needs to know just how easy it was to make!




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!


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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Ham Salad or Ladies Aid Spread

Ham Salad or Ladies Aid Spread was a staple at the ladies church group Grandma belonged to called Ladies Aid. The ladies would gather monthly at church for fellowship, a program – usually a musical piece or reading of some kind, and lunch which consisted of sandwiches – usually this ham salad or tuna salad, dessert or pie or cake or bars, and good old Swedish coffee. Once when Grandma was one of the people in charge of the program for the day, I was recruited to sing “Beautiful Savior”. I was about 8 years old or so, and I was paid one dollar! I was NOT a fan of singing in front of people, so I’m sure I needed to be bribed to do it. Ha! Singing that day is not one of my favorite memories! For some reason, even now when I have occasion to go into Grandma and Grandpa’s church basement, I still smell the sandwiches and coffee – even though that was years ago. This Ladies Aid Spread has become a staple for our family. I made it a lot when our kids had softball or baseball games or tournaments because it travels well. One time (when we had three children playing in games on the same nights), I just didn’t have the time to make it, so I sent my husband to the store to buy it ready made from the deli section of our grocery store. He seriously asked the girl behind the counter, “do you have Ladies Aid Spread?” Together they finally figured out that he meant Ham Salad. I don’t have anyone going to ball games or tournaments anymore, but I still make this a couple of times a month – just for me!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Ham Salad or Ladies Aid Spread

Mix together:

2 cans chopped ham

1/4 cup mayonnaise

3 Tablespoons pickle relish or sweet pickle relish

It’s easy to tweak this recipe to your own liking. Add more or less mayonnaise, or more or less relish, depending on how you like it.

I use a fork to break up the canned ham. Mix in the mayonnaise and pickle relish – that’s it!

This is a very simple, but tasty recipe. I try to keep it as healthy as possible, but if you don’t mind a bit of extra sugar – and it doesn’t add very much – use sweet pickle relish in this. My sister and her family have found that the best thing to put in it is Grandma’s Sweet Pickles that have been chopped. Oh yes – using those makes a pretty outstanding batch.

I like to put this on buns, but bread works just as well. Buns hold up best if you’re taking these on a road trip or taking these sandwiches for an outing like ball tournaments or picnics.

Most of my family likes the sandwiches just like this, but I’ve been trying to get more veggies into everything, so now I use lettuce as part of the sandwich.

This sandwich spread is great for having on hand, or for packing for a road trip. I will be making this for our summer road trip this year! We should really call it Ham Salad, but in our family we like to refer to this delicious sandwich spread as Ladies Aid Spread!




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Poppy Seed Buns

One thing I don’t have photos of, from the days of staying at Grandma and Grandpa’s farm, is the game playing. I really regret that because my sister and I played a LOT of games with them: Rook, Rack-O, Chinese Checkers, Old Maid, Rummikub, Checkers, Sorry, and card games. Sometimes we would play all night. Of course, we never wanted to stop when it was time for bed. It was a lot of fun, and Grandma especially, was very competitive. They never let us win – we had to win fair and square. There was none of this “everybody wins” type of Candyland. They also loved to play games with their great-grandchildren – board games and card games. One card game they always played with our kids when they were little, was Old Maid. We still have the cards, and they’re very well used, as you can see!


There was one particular game of Old Maid that was played with my oldest daughter when she was about 4 years old. She and Grandma were the only two left holding cards. It was the end of the game and it was my daughter’s turn to draw a card from Grandma. She had only one card in her hand, and Grandma had two cards left in her hand: one was the Old Maid and one was the card to match my daughter’s card. Grandma put the Old Maid card up higher in her hand than the other card, thinking my daughter would pick that one and get the Old Maid. Well, my equally (and probably even more so) competitive daughter picked the lower card, got a pair because of it and won the game, leaving Grandma holding the Old Maid!!! Oh my gosh – first there was the look on Grandma’s face, then there was the screeching and howling of laughter from everyone when we realized what had happened, then there was the immense pride from Grandma about what her 4-year-old great-granddaughter had just pulled off. She told everyone she knew about that game for years. What a great memory – we’ll never forget it!!!

While we did have snacks when playing games, and the recipe for today would be a good snack for game night, I think it will also be a good addition to your Super Bowl party. You see different versions of this recipe all over the internet these days, and who am I to let a trend go untried? This recipe for Poppy Seed Buns comes from my mom, and I think she got it from someone she worked with, so they were ahead of the trend because she retired almost 25 years ago! I have never had these before, and I was pleasantly surprised at how good they were. You’ll want to try these!


These buns are incredibly tasty and very easy to make.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Poppy Seed Buns

Slice and put in bottom of a cake pan:

24 dinner roll bottoms (I used King’s Hawaiian rolls, but they seemed a little softer than regular dinner rolls would be – I’d stick with regular dinner rolls next time – or maybe try a batch of Buns or 6 Hour Buns and just make the buns smaller)


thinly sliced ham

slices of Swiss cheese

Put tops of dinner rolls on.

Microwave until melted:

1 cup butter

4 Tablespoons brown sugar

2 Tablespoons yellow mustard

2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 Tablespoons poppy seeds (I only used 1 Tablespoon for this batch and that seemed like enough)

Stir sauce and drizzle over rolls.

Put into refrigerator until time to serve.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

There is a note on the card that says these can be made the night before – love that!


Slice the rolls, put the bottoms in the bottom of the pan, and put on the ham and Swiss.


I used deli ham and cut each piece in half.


On go the tops and on to the sauce . . .


. . . which is so darn tasty!


Drizzle on the sauce and into the frig.


I love it – another make ahead beauty!


Get trendy with me – these will be great at your next game night or Super Bowl gathering!


I used a sweet dinner roll for these and I think a regular dinner roll would have worked better, although both my husband and my son thought I was crazy. They liked the sweet rolls and told me to just leave it at that. I just want everyone to know – there ARE options. That being said, these are ridiculously delicious. That sweet and tangy sauce on top of a ham and cheese sandwich – so good! You can eat them with a fork, but your fingers work just as well. BTW – you WILL be licking every bit of that sauce off of your fingers!








BLT Sandwiches

This is a classic for this time of year when tomatoes in our gardens are at their peak and you can just go right out there and pick a red beauty for a sandwich. BLT Sandwiches are one of my favorites and I wait all summer for the tomatoes to be ready to make them! The tomatoes I used for these particular sandwiches actually ARE from our garden (we took out 4 trees in our back yard and now there’s more sun in our garden to grow more tomatoes)!! I think most people know how to make these, and probably do every summer, but it can’t hurt to be reminded about this delicious sandwich. You can use fancy bread and fancy bacon for these, but my family just likes the good ol’ regular bread, bacon, tomatoes, lettuce, and mayonnaise. I love making these for a Sunday night supper, or any night supper, for that matter. This time of the summer, I think we could have these several times a week and never get tired of them! As my daughter said, “whoever came up with this combination was a GENIUS!!” I have to agree.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

BLT Sandwiches


2 slices of your favorite bread

Spread with mayonnaise or salad dressing.


Tomatoes, sliced and topped with freshly ground pepper and a bit of salt to taste

Lettuce, broken into leaves

2 slices fried bacon

Cut in triangles (according to my family).


The simple ingredients for these sandwiches are absolutely beautiful!


I like to put a little freshly ground pepper on the tomatoes – what can it hurt? I do occasionally use a bit of salt, but usually the bacon is salty enough to flavor the tomato.


It looks like there’s not a lot of lettuce on this sandwich, but I have found that the more lettuce you put on, the more slippery it all becomes. Put a toothpick in it if it helps to hold it all together. These can get a bit messy, but it’s soooooo worth it!


Oh boy, I love these sandwiches. They’re a great way to end the summer using your own tomatoes (and lettuce, if you have it!). Don’t forget to make these for supper and use up your tomatoes before it’s too late!


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Grandma and Grandpa belonged to a travelogue group when I was growing up. Every Saturday night in the winter, they would go to a travelogue, which was a travel movie about different exotic destinations. These movies were shown on a big screen in the old high school turned office building in our town.

I LOVED to go to travelogues and often they would ask if I wanted to go with them. It felt like being transported to these destinations without ever leaving the snowy and cold state of Minnesota.

We can safely say that Grandma inadvertently influenced my love of cooking AND travel!!


After the travelogue, the couples in the group would take turns having a lunch/snack/dessert and coffee at their home. Grandma made Bunsteads quite often along with a sweet dessert.

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Bunsteads are another comfort food that has acquired legendary status in our family. The name isn’t on the recipe and I think we just made it up!

Here is the recipe as I made it:


1/4 pound  American Cheese, cubed (I used 1 cup Velveeta, cubed)

3 hard cooked eggs, chopped

1 7 ounce can tuna

2 Tablespoons green pepper, chopped

2 Tablespoons onion, chopped

2 Tablespoons stuffed olives, chopped (I don’t use olives – this isn’t on the recipe I have copied down – there would be a revolt in the family if I changed the recipe now!)

2 Tablespoons sweet pickle, chopped

1/2 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing

6 hot dog buns

Mix lightly and fill split buns.

Wrap in foil.

Bake at 250 degrees for 30 minutes.

I got 8 filled buns out of the recipe.


It’s a pretty mixture of ingredients.


Don’t overfill the buns.


Ready for the oven.


The buns get crusty . . .


and the filling is melty hot out of the oven.

One bite and I’m transported back to the travelogues.

Bon voyage!


Pressed Sandwich


Our daughters are moving into an apartment together. We all helped our oldest daughter move in over the weekend. The other daughter doesn’t have to be out of her current apartment until August 31st so will move things over the next few weeks. When my husband and I moved into our first and current house, it was our 10th move in 7 years, so we can’t complain too much about having to help our kids move  – we had a lot of help with our moves too. I kept trying to talk our son into the fact that it was a great workout but I’m not sure that worked too well after 10 truckloads of “workout”. So part of the bribe to keep everyone going was a family favorite in our house – a Pressed Sandwich for lunch. Originally, I think I saw a recipe for this in a Martha Stewart Living magazine years ago.My sandwich is a lot simpler and uses things I have around at the moment.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Pressed Sandwich

Cut open horizontally one whole unsliced round bread loaf (I used sourdough as it was the only kind I could find, and it wasn’t round – more like square.)

Pull out some bread on top and bottom to make more of a “pocket” to hold the fillings

Spread bottom with pesto (I used some I had made and had in the freezer – recipe for that to come in a later post.)



Smoked provolone cheese slices

Roasted red peppers, drained

Smoked deli turkey

Cheddar cheese slices

Basil leaves (I happen to have pots of herbs growing outside our deck door so it was handy.)

Put the top of bread on and wrap in plastic wrap. Put in refrigerator and weigh down with something heavy I used a cast iron fry pan with some cans in it. You can use anything heavy – even a brick would work. Let it sit overnight and the next day it’s ready to serve. We cut it in wedges but you could do thick slices, too. This is one of those things where you can experiment and use any deli meat or cheese slices, roasted vegetables, other dressings such as mayonnaise or vinaigrette. Anything goes!

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My pesto out of the freezer. I put it in ice cube trays and then transfer them to a plastic bag for storage.

I drained the bottled the roasted red peppers on a paper towel. You can also roast your own if you have time.


Sometimes its not so easy to find a round unsliced loaf. This one was more square.

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This is after the layering of pesto, salami, smoked provolone cheese, and roasted red peppers.

Then I added the deli turkey, cheddar cheese slices, and basil leaves.


Wrapping is a two man operation. Try and get some help – one person to press the sandwich down and one to wrap in plastic wrap.

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So pretty when you cut it open!

A “mover’s lunch”! I hope these sisters love living together and stay in this apartment for a VERY long time. These “workouts” get tougher every time!

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