Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Streusel Cake

Today’s recipe for Streusel Cake came from one of my mom’s co-workers from years ago. She worked at one of the banks in town, and when someone would bring in a delicious treat to share with everyone, they would have to make obligatory copies of the recipe to give all of the co-workers. It wasn’t long after this photo of me and my mom was taken that she started working a the bank and met a lot of life-long friends who started out as co-workers. I think this must have been on our first Mother’s Day, because the writing on the bottom of the photo says 5 months. Since 5 months from my birth month is May, I’d guess that’s what’s happening here. I crack up every time I look at this picture and my face in it! I wonder what was going on behind the camera that made me look like that?! It must have been intense!

The dress mom’s wearing had large, orange-red flowers on it (the earrings matched). I loved it so much that when it wore out and she wouldn’t wear it anymore, I used the fabric and made a pillow out of it! It was so pretty and reminded me of mom. This is such an appropriate photo to share just before Mother’s Day!

This is definitely a special occasion cake, whether you want to have this for brunch or breakfast, or save it to have with your afternoon coffee.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Streusel Cake

For streusel, mix together and reserve:

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

3/4 cup chopped nuts

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon

3/4 cup butter, melted

For cake, mix together:

1 yellow cake mix

1 cup water

1/4 cup oil

3 eggs

(I just made the cake batter according to the instructions on the box I had because my cake mix called for softened butter instead of oil. I think you could do the same with any cake mix.)

Blend cake mix, water, oil, and eggs on low speed until moist.

Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes.

Pour half of cake mixture into greased and floured 9″ x 13″ pan.

Sprinkle on half of the streusel mixture.

Add the rest of the cake mixture and then sprinkle the rest of the streusel mixture on top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

Yes – this is a LOT of streusel. It’s a pretty decadent recipe. I did say “special occasion”.

I used an offset spatula to spread the batter. Spreading the second layer is a little tricky. You may get some streusel mixed in to the batter, but it really doesn’t matter since the streusel will be sinking into the batter as it bakes.

Before and after baking – the streusel is basically like candy so it sinks in. How bad can that be? The first piece is tricky to get out because of this streusel, so don’t be surprised if it comes out in a couple of pieces. Oh well, you can’t let that go to waste. Someone has to taste it and make sure it’s good enough for mom. I’m just sayin’.

I wouldn’t hate a dollop of whipped cream on top of this cake. I did say “special occasion”, right? I think I said “special occasion”.

Mom will love this “special occasion” cake – with or without the dollop of whipped cream. It’s got the wonderful, sticky, candy-like streusel imbedded in that delicious cake. Wow. Mom will know how much you REALLY love her when you bake up this Streusel Cake!



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My dad was the Omelet maker in our family. He always made them, but I was always watching so I’d know how to do it someday. I think you should give omelet making a try, too. How about trying to make some on Sunday? A regular Sunday would be great for making omelets, but THIS Sunday is Mother’s Day, and would be the PERFECT day to try making omelets. Mom would LOVE IT if you tried to make her an omelet on Mother’s Day. We all know that the most wanted thing by moms on Mother’s Day is to be waited on. She doesn’t want to do mundane things like cleaning or cooking or looking around for your dirty socks so she can get the laundry done before staring another busy week. So give her a break, will ya? Make her one of these omelets and make her day.

Here is the recipe as I made it:


Heat a nonstick skillet on medium-low heat.


butter enough to coat the bottom of the pan


2 eggs (use 3 if mom is REALLY hungry)

Pour eggs into the pan and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan.

Sprinkle with:

shredded cheddar to your liking – about 1/4 cup per omelet

chopped ham, chicken, turkey, sausage

salt and pepper

I like to also add sautéed vegetables: onion, green pepper, red pepper, tomatoes, mushrooms.

When adding vegetables, I like to saute them first (in a little bit of butter) and have them ready to go.

First put the eggs into the butter coated pan. I like mine to be a bit browned on the outside so I have the heat turned up a bit. If you don’t like your omelet that way, keep the heat lower. In next are the shredded cheese and ham or whatever meat you’d like in it.

I put the vegetables on one side so when I fold it over, they’re going to stay right where I put them.

Flip one side over and slide the omelet onto a plate. I know there are some people who make 2 folds, but this is the way my dad made them.

It’s part of a healthy breakfast. Sprinkle a little chopped parsley or chives on top, some juice would be nice, and a piece of toast with jam. Maybe homemade jam!

Yes. Yes. Yes. Now THIS is what mom wants on her special day. She would like to NOT have to make breakfast – she wants YOU to make it. Try and make her an Omelet – you won’t be sorry you tried.




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French Toast

I have been making French Toast since I was in junior high school. When attending a sleepover with a friend, I watched her mom make this for us for breakfast the next morning, and the rest is history. I know people (my kids in particular) will ask for a specific recipe, but I don’t have one. I’m going to share how I make it because that’s how I learned it. That is all.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

French Toast

In a medium size bowl whisk together:

1 egg

a splash of milk (I’d guess it’s about 1/2 cup or so)

a couple of shakes of cinnamon (Maybe 1/2 teaspoon?)

Cut into slices:

1 loaf of French bread, sliced, or good old sliced white bread (like we used back in the day)

Dip the slices of bread into the egg/milk mixture and fry (both sides) on a buttered griddle or fry pan.

If I have a lot of French toast to make, sometimes I just make another batch of the egg/milk mixture to dip more slices of bread in.

You can fry all of the slices and put them into a 350 degree oven on a baking sheet for 20 minutes or until all of your guests are ready so everyone can eat all at once. I tend to make them as needed and then run back and forth from the stove to the table and never get a nice, hot slice of French toast myself. Well, I guess that’s my fault. Come to think of it, that’s really dumb. I’m doing that oven thing next time!

I used a French loaf for this batch, but good old white bread slices are also great. After whisking the egg, in goes the splash of milk.

A couple of shakes of cinnamon and then another whisking and off we go.

Dip into the egg mixture and onto the griddle.

Peek under the slice to make sure it’s brown enough and then give it a flip.

Bonus recipe – baked bacon! I put the bacon slices onto a rack on a sided baking sheet. Bake it at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until it’s as crisp as you like it. You can also cover the baking sheet with foil to make clean up easier, but I usually just like to clean up the pan and leave more foil out of the landfill.

Oh boy. Now that’s a breakfast.

I hadn’t made this for several years and I’d forgotten how amazingly delicious it is. Your family will love to help you make this French Toast – you’re going to end up making this EVERY weekend!



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Coffee Cake #2

This recipe for Coffee Cake #2 (Coffee Cake#2 because there is already a recipe on Plenty Sweet Life named Coffee Cake) comes from one of Grandma’s sisters, and when I read through it, it seemed a bit familiar. This card is written in Grandma’s sister’s handwriting, and looking back at the coffee cakes I’ve made for Plenty Sweet Life, I found that I’ve already made this and the recipe was in GRANDMA’S handwriting, although named something different. The funny thing is, they didn’t get it from each other – the two sisters had the same recipe and they got it from two different people! Well, I don’t care who had it first, I’m glad that they both had it and that I’ve found out how good it is. It was called Overnight Crunch Coffee Cake when I made it the first time from Grandma’s recipe card, and I’m going to leave this post on here and let you enjoy it again. The first time I made it, I did let it sit in the refrigerator overnight. It looks a little different, but I’m sure they are equally delicious. The recipe seemed familiar, but it looks like I first made it 4 years ago and since I try not to do these recipes twice (there are a LOT of recipes to get thru), I haven’t made it since then. I’ve made several kinds of coffee cakes on Plenty Sweet Life, but I have to say, seriously, this one might be one of my favorites. One of my MANY favorites.

This coffee cake is just so good!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Coffee Cake

Mix all together:

2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2/3 cup shortening (I used butter)

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk


1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

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

Pour batter into a greased 9″ x 13″ pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

The recipe says it can be refrigerated overnight – I didn’t do it that way this time – but if you want to see what it looked like when I put it into the refrigerator overnight, check it out here.

It makes a bit of a thick batter, so it takes some spreading with a spatula.

The topping really makes it!

It came out so pretty and the house smelled amazing while it was baking.

Yep – one of my new favorites.

Here is ANOTHER very easy, very fast, and very delicious recipe that you can even make the night before. No doubt about it – this coffee cake goes VERY well with coffee. Call up some friends (or your sisters), have them over this afternoon (or this weekend), and enjoy this tasty Coffee Cake #2!





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Egg Muffins

The recipe for today is for Egg Muffins. They’re kind of like a cross between an omelette, a frittata, and a muffin, and ooooh, they’re so tasty. I make these for my mom to keep in her freezer, because they are easy to reheat and they’re great for breakfast, lunch OR dinner. It’s easy to make these versatile – you can add any leftovers (like the Garbage Can Frittata) to make these very delicious eggs. You can find recipes for these all over, and everyone seems to have their own way of making these with all of their favorite things. I like to add vegetables, cheese, and some kind of meat . These are so easy to do, and so very good.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Egg Muffins

Mix together:

8-10 eggs

1/4 cup milk

Put in bottom of greased muffin tin cups:

6 slices of cooked bacon, chopped (you can use any kind of chopped meat you like, or leave it out)

1/2 of a red pepper, chopped

1/2 of a green pepper, chopped

3 green onions, chopped

1-1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (I used cheddar)

salt and pepper to taste

Pour egg mixture evenly over top of meat, vegetables, and cheese until the muffin cups are 3/4 full.

Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes.

Wrap and freeze, or enjoy right away.

First I put bacon in the bottom of the muffin tin cups, but you can use ham, chicken, sausage, anything that you like. Next – in go the vegetables – I used peppers and onions, and I put them in raw. A frozen mixed vegetable also works well, but thaw or cook them first. I have also seen these made with hash browns or tater tots added.

You can use any kind of cheese, but for this batch, I used shredded cheddar.

I had some extra egg yolks left from making Baked Alaska a couple of weeks ago, so I added them to the eggs I used here.

They bake up beautifully and they’re ready for the freezer. Wrap them well and they should last a few weeks – if you hide them in the freezer.

I love having these ready for breakfast, but they’re also good for lunch or dinner – just add a nice, green salad and maybe some crusty bread. They’re easy to make, they’re delicious, and they’re one of my favorites! Give these Egg Muffins a try to have your breakfast made and ready to go!




3 Smoothie Bowls to Get Your Morning Started

I decided to try the newest craze all over the internet – smoothie bowls – so here are 3 Smoothie Bowls to Get Your Morning Started. You can find smoothie recipes galore online, and there is every kind imaginable. The possibilities are absolutely endless. Put in some fruit, a sweetener (if you want to), a liquid of some sort, maybe a protein, and top them with all kinds of tasty toppings: dried fruit, nuts, seeds. I tried 3 different kinds, put them into bowls, and topped them with all kinds of goodies to get your morning started right and get you ready for a brand new day. You don’t have to put them into a bowl, you can put the smoothie into a glass, but then you can’t have the pretty toppings on it. I suppose you could mix the toppings right into it if you wanted it in a glass – that’s up to you. The directions for each smoothie – blend all the ingredients together, put the smoothie into a bowl, and top with the toppings.

Here are the recipes as I made them:

3 Smoothie  Bowls to Get Your Morning Started

Chocolate/Banana/Peanut Butter –


1 frozen banana

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 cup ice cubes, if needed

2 Tablespoons peanut butter

1 Tablespoon cocoa powder

1 Tablespoon maple syrup

Toppings: granola, mini chocolate chips, coconut, chopped peanuts

Strawberry/Banana/Peanut Butter –


1 frozen banana

1 1/2 cups frozen strawberries

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 Tablespoon peanut butter

1 Tablespoon honey

ice cubes, if needed

Toppings: sliced banana, sliced strawberry, raspberries, granola, chia seeds

Mango/Pineapple/Banana –


1 cup frozen mango

1 cup frozen pineapple

1/2 frozen banana

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 Tablespoon honey

ice cubes, if needed

Toppings: granola, raspberries, sliced banana, coconut, chia seeds

All 3 of these are so healthy, so pretty, and so delicious! What a great way to start your morning! Get creative. Try some of your own ideas – the sky’s the limit! In the meantime, try one of these 3 Smoothie Bowls to Get Your Morning Started.





Rhubarb Crumble

Rhubarb Crumble is one of Grandma’s recipes that doesn’t seem to make sense. I think it’s more of a cake than a “crumble”. When I think of a “crumble”, I think of more of a “crisp”, but this recipe makes more of a cake. In fact, I’d say it reminds me of more of a coffee cake. It’s perfect for a Mother’s Day brunch or afternoon coffee. The recipe is a bit mixed up, so I had to figure out what to do with this one. Let’s get started and you’ll see what I mean.

This delicious crumble/cake is loaded with rhubarb.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Rhubarb Crumble


Mix together and set aside:

3 Tablespoons, melted butter

2/3 cup flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts (I used pecans)

Mix together in order given:

1/3 cup margarine (I used butter)

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup orange juice

2 Tablespoons grated orange rind

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 1/3 cup self-rising cake flour (I never have cake flour OR self-rising flour in the house, so I had to go to Google and find out how to make a substitute: 2 1/3 cups flour, 1/2 heaping t. salt, 2 1/2 heaping t. baking powder – whisk together and sift 5 times to make it light.)

Fold in:

1 pound rhubarb, cut into 1 inch pieces

Spoon into greased 9 inch springform pan.

Add topping.

Bake at 350 degrees for 60 to 65 minutes.

I didn’t see the part about the rhubarb needing to be in 1 inch pieces until I had already cut it into 1/4 inch pieces. It was just fine.

You can see how full of rhubarb the batter is, and that bit of orange in there is really tasty.

The crumble topping goes on top and then after baking, it makes a delicious crumb top.

Not only is this a delicious cake – it’s beautiful! I put it on the glass plate pedestal I made a few years ago, and you can find the instructions for how to make that here.

The springform pan makes it easy to cut the pretty pieces, but I think you could also bake this in a 9 inch x 9 inch pan.

This beautiful and delicious crumble/cake would make the perfect brunch dessert for Mother’s Day. It would also be perfect for your afternoon coffee. Serve this Rhubarb Crumble with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream and mom will be so glad – and proud – that you baked!





Eggs Pizzaiola

Recently, while making this recipe for Eggs Pizzaiola, for some reason I started remembering overnights at Grandma and Grandpa’s farm. One of my favorite things we did was reading with them at bedtime. After getting into our jammies, it was time to snuggle in Grandma and Grandpa’s big bed and read while they shut everything down for the night and got ready for bed themselves. While being able to be in their bed made up with the sheets that had been deliciously dried outside on the clothesline was a luxury in itself, I have to admit that reading was absolutely my favorite thing to do when I was little, so that part was fantastic to me. They had one special book that was a favorite of mine, “The Adventures of Mr. Toad”, which was the Disney version of “The Wind in the Willows”. It had amazing illustrations and I loved it. Next it was time to read from the little devotional book that came monthly from their church. There was a short story, a bible verse, and a little prayer at the end. When the reading was done, it was upstairs to our beds (also made up with sheets deliciously dried outside on the clothesline) to be tucked in and then “Now I lay me down to sleep . . .”.

The next morning it was down the stairs to choose from the 4 or more boxes of breakfast cereal in one of the kitchen cupboards. I’m not sure why they always had such a selection of breakfast “food” (as Grandma called it), but it was another of my favorite things about staying at the farm. We NEVER had that many breakfast options at home. It was such a treat to be able to make a selection from all of those magical boxes of cereal. I’m not sure why that was such a big deal to me, but it was.

Then it was on with the day, and more of my favorite things to do: listening to the blue jays squawking in the trees in the grove, catching butterflies and putting them into one of the many jars Grandma saved on the wooden shelves in the basement, watching the sun shining through the kitchen window in the morning as Grandma did her baking for the day, the moss roses waving in the sunlight as they cheerily bloomed along the sidewalk to the house, checking out the thorns on the towering yellow rose-bush blooming on the northwest corner of the garage, afternoon coffee and a snack or treat at 3:00 in the kitchen, at the picnic table, or out in the field with Grandpa, listening to the musical church chimes drifting over the cornfields from their little town west of the farm at 7:00 pm, and either a competitive evening of lawn games and/or board games before it was time for bed again after the local news at 10:30.

But most of all, I remember love.

Grandma didn’t make a big breakfast very often – hence the large choice of cereals – but I think she would have approved of this very easy and very tasty breakfast. This Eggs Pizzaiola could even be a light lunch or dinner. Everywhere you turn these days you see an egg on top of everything, so we’re right on trend here. This is tomato sauce with eggs on top. I found a recipe for this on Skinnytaste, (and of course I made a few of changes) and it’s delicious, healthy, and good for you.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Eggs Pizzaiola

In a large non-skillet, heat over medium heat:

1 1/2 teaspoon olive oil

Saute until golden:

4 cloves garlic, minced


1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (I didn’t have any for this batch)



1/4 cup chicken broth

2 cups crushed tomatoes (I used petite diced tomatoes)

Bring to a boil.


4 basil leaves, torn (I used dried basil)

Reduce heat to simmer 5 minutes.

Gently drop in:

6 eggs with yolks intact

Top with:

2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese

1 Tablespoon Pecorino cheese (I didn’t use this – I only had Parmesan)

Cover and simmer on med-low for 10-15 minutes until whites are cooked through and no longer runny.

Finish with:

2 more Tablespoons Parmesan

1 more Tablespoon Pecorino (I used 3 more Tablespoons Parmesan since I didn’t have any Pecorino)

I’m always one for “making do” with what you have (I’m sure that comes from my two grandmas who lived through the Great Depression) and not stopping to run to the store if I don’t have something (if I don’t absolutely have to). I didn’t have a couple of things when making this for lunch one day. I didn’t have either fresh OR dried parsley – so I didn’t use any, and I didn’t have stewed tomatoes, so I used petite cut tomatoes. It was still delicious and worked great!

This is after putting the eggs into the sauce, and topping them with the parmesan – and then after they simmered for 10 minutes or so. I would have cooked them a bit less – we like our yolks a bit more runny.

I love a quick and easy breakfast dish, and this one certainly fits the bill.

Eggs in a tasty tomato sauce and sprinkled with cheese – fast AND delicious! This makes the best breakfast, or lunch, or dinner for that matter – it’s my new favorite! Serve it with a nice slice of toast or a chunk of bread. You can’t beat that, and you can’t beat this Eggs Pizzaiola!


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Egg Casserole

Christmastime is the time for family get-togethers. My mom tells about all her cousins and aunts and uncles staying overnight at her grandparents farm at Christmastime, and that was a LOT of people – there were 8 siblings in Grandma’s family and then there would have been spouses and kids. This photo was of 3 generations (an aunt, an uncle, a grandparent, Grandma and Grandpa, and my mom and her brother) in front of the Christmas tree in 1950, when my mom was 10 years old – she’s the one in the checked dress.


They look like they’re all ready for church. I love their hats!

A breakfast dish like the one I’m sharing today would have been great for them with a lot of people staying overnight for the holiday. Because this is the time of year for family, family, family, and sometimes family stays overnight, that means you need a very quick and very easy dish for breakfast or brunch in the morning. A delicious Egg Casserole is the perfect dish for your overnight company. This is so easy and so good, and that’s what you want when there’s so much to do! How many times have I said that when making these recipes? Grandma sure knew what she was doing – make it easy and make it good!


This is another great recipe that you can make the night before!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Egg Casserole

Butter a 9″ x 13″ pan.

Put in bottom of pan:

3 cups seasoned bread croutons

2 cups cheese, shredded (I used cheddar)

6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

1/2 cup onion, diced

Beat together:

10 eggs

1 can cream of mushroom soup

2 cups milk

1 stick margarine (I used butter), melted

salt and pepper

Pour over bread and cheese.

Refrigerate overnight.

Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 1 hour (I forgot to make this the night before I needed it, so I made it 3 hours before baking it was great).


This has all the ingredients that make an egg bake so darn good.


Bread, cheese, bacon, eggs – how bad can that be?


The melted butter does solidify once you put it into the eggs, so it looks a little weird before it goes into the oven.


Add a piece of fruit and you have the perfect breakfast/brunch dish.


Oh man, this is so good! This egg dish is just what you need for the hoards of overnight holiday company that inevitably show up this time of year. It’s so easy,  you could even make more than one! It’s so delicious – your guests may never leave!




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Pumpkin Pancakes

I just can’t seem to get enough pumpkin! The recipe for today is a Martha Stewart recipe that you can find here. I have to say, we did make Pumpkin Pancakes a few years ago and we made them so much that we had to take a break. Our daughters come for dinner every Sunday and when I made these, everyone agreed that they’re absolutely delicious. Where have these been and why haven’t we had these for so long? They were the ones who told me that we needed to take a break! Well, our break-up with the pumpkin pancakes is over. We’re back together. For good!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Pumpkin Pancakes

Whisk together:

1 1/4 cups flour

2 Tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

pinch of ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix in another bowl:

1 egg

6 Tablespoons pumpkin puree

2 Tablespoons butter, melted

1 cup milk

Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

Heat a buttered skillet over medium heat.

Pour in about 1/4 cup of batter per pancake.

Cook 3 minutes per side.

Serve with butter and maple syrup.


Mix the wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls.


Fold them together and you’re ready to fry the pancakes.


I used the griddle that has been in our family for years. A little butter on the griddle (no – it’s NOT smoking, just steaming) and then put on the pancake batter.


The best thing to serve with pumpkin pancakes – bacon. It’s necessary, really.


A pat of butter on top and then for the real maple syrup. These pancakes are so good, you just have to make them part of your next breakfast or brunch. They’re easy to make and are amazingly tasty. Taking a break was hard. I’m so glad we’re getting back together with this old favorite.


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