Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Merry Christmas!

Take Time

Take time to feel the magic.

Watch for it.

It’s there.

It’s there in the sweet scent of the evergreen brought in from the cold.

It’s there in the beauty of special food made with love.

It’s there in the warm embrace of friends and family.

It’s there in the candles bringing light to the darkness.

It’s there in the holiness of the stars in the blue velvet sky.

It’s there in the love we have for each other.

It’s there.

Take time.

Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you have a magical holiday!

 

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Easy Party Punch

Guess what’s making a comeback – punch – Easy Party Punch, to be exact! Grandma had a few recipes for punch, because back in the day, punch used to be a big thing at parties and celebrations of every kind. She loved to tie on her apron and get to work putting a great party or gathering, but she also loved to have a few easy to make and pull together recipes that didn’t take a lot of effort. A few years ago I shared a Punch recipe that was more of a lemon-y one. This one is very red and festive – perfect for this time of year! Nice for Christmas or New Year’s or maybe even Valentine’s Day, this Easy Party Punch will get everyone in the mood to party. You can make this recipe as is, and kids can enjoy it, too, or add an adult beverage like vodka and really make it a PARTY!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Easy Party Punch

This recipe makes a BIG batch – the card says 1 1/2 gallons – so I once again decided to make half of this recipe for us.

Dissolve:

1 package Cherry Kool-Aid

1 package Strawberry Kool-Aid

2 cups sugar

3 quart water

Add:

1 6-ounce can frozen orange juice

1 6-ounce can frozen lemonade (my store didn’t carry 6 ounce cans, so I used a 12 ounce can of lemonade and no orange juice for this half batch)

Stir in just before serving:

1 or 2 quarts ginger ale (we decided to also try using club soda, or half ginger ale and half club soda, because this punch is “plenty sweet” – that was still delicious)

Makes approximately 1 1/2 gallons. (Because this makes such a big batch, I made a half batch and used the whole 12-ounce can of frozen lemonade instead of both lemonade and orange juice, even though a half batch would normally only call for 6-ounces of frozen juice total.)

I wanted to make an ice ring to put in the punch bowl, and normally I would have used the lemonade to make it so the ring wouldn’t dilute the punch. This time I thought I’d try something a little different and make it with ginger ale. I put maraschino cherries, lemon slices, and mint leaves in it before pouring in the ginger ale.

Using a Bundt pan makes it so pretty! After freezing, the ring was kind of weird – like the bubbles in the ginger ale froze funny – so I’d use the lemonade next time. Just make sure to use the right amount of water total for the punch and the lemonade.

I mixed this up right in the punch bowl. Easy peasy.

Making a half batch didn’t make much right away, until I put in the ice ring. The ice ring would be part of the total liquid – so no dilution.

See how weird the ice ring got? Next time I’ll use the lemonade. I tried to make a pattern with the fruit, too, but when putting the pan into the freezer, the fruit all moved around. Next time – I’d just throw it all in there. It’s still pretty.

So pretty! So delicious! So festive!

Here’s an impressive party tip – fan out the napkins so your guests can take one easily. I started doing this for parties in high school, and everyone still gives me a hard time about it. It only takes a few minutes and obviously everyone is impressed by it (or they wouldn’t give me such a hard time).

Another way to make the punch pretty – I skewered a half of a lemon slice and a cherry on a toothpick. Just put it into the cup of punch for every MORE festivity!!! Can you ever be TOO festive? I think not. Make up a batch of this Easy Party Punch for your next party, and let the partying begin!

 

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Christmas Tree Rolls

There’s nothing better for Christmas morning than having a beautiful batch of Christmas Tree Rolls in the freezer, ready to go for a festive and ridiculously delicious Christmas breakfast. In the fall, I made a half batch of the recipe for Buns that my mom has made since the 1960’s, and I used 1/3 of that half batch to make the small pan of Lingonberry Rolls that we enjoyed for our Thanksgiving morning breakfast. With the other 2/3 of that half-batch, I made these rolls for us to enjoy for our Christmas morning breakfast. My mom made these rolls for the family for Christmas morning sometimes during my childhood. She would make the Buns, then once she was tired of making the buns, she would use the last of the dough to make caramel rolls. Earlier on she would make Swedish Tea Ring to give away as gifts, or for us to have on Christmas morning. In later years, she would sometimes change it up and make Christmas Tree Rolls (occasionally also giving those away as gifts) and pop them into the freezer for Christmas morning. Now, I have to say, these Buns and caramel rolls have been a totally necessary item for everyone in the family for all holidays and anytime in-between. There’s nothing better slathered in melty butter, warm out of the oven. If you make the full batch of these Buns, it’s a big chore. My sister and I would help mom out (when we HAD to), but it’s a lot of work to do the whole batch. You mix up the big bowl of dough, knead it, let it rise, form the buns one by one, let them rise, and then bake them. I’m not complaining – besides learning how to make them, those warm buns were totally worth the work, and they freeze perfectly so there was usually a container of buns in the freezer (if my sister didn’t get to them – she had a thing for frozen baked goods – ha). Slowly, over time, mom hasn’t been able to continue her bun making. That means it’s time for the rest of us in the family to pick up the slack and start making them again – even if it’s for special occasions like a holiday, because they’re perfect for leftover turkey or ham sandwiches! But it’s still a lot of work to make those Buns, and when we get tired, we’ll just make caramel rolls like mom did. For now, I’m glad I only tackled a half-batch and made these melt-in-your-mouth delicious Christmas Tree Rolls for Christmas morning!

Yes – this a very well-used and well-loved recipe and recipe card!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Christmas Tree Rolls

Follow the recipe for Buns or Lingonberry Rolls.

I used about 2/3 of a half batch for these rolls.

If you want to make buns, too, use half of the batch of the original recipe to make these rolls and the rest of the dough can be made into buns.

For the frosting:

2 cups powdered sugar

1 Tablespoon butter, softened

2 teaspoons vanilla

2-4 Tablespoons milk, or enough to make it spreadable

food coloring, if desired (I used green)

For ornaments:

maraschino cherries (I let them sit on a paper towel for awhile to dry off a bit)

sprinkles

Roll out dough into a long rectangle – or close to the shape of a rectangle.

Spread with about 1/2 cup softened butter, and sprinkle generously with about 2-3 Tablespoons cinnamon and about 1/4-1/2 cup sugar. You could mix the cinnamon and sugar together, if you want to, but I didn’t here. I didn’t do it here, but if you really want to make these special, you could also add chopped raisins, nuts, and cherries at this point.

Roll it up as tightly as you can, and cut it into slices to make the rolls.

I cut the tube of dough, with a serrated knife, into 12 rolls to make this tree – arranging them right on the baking sheet. They don’t look exactly the same size, but after rising and baking, they’ll be fine. You can see the cinnamon and sugar peeking through! Can’t wait!

After baking – oh yum. See – the rolls all ended up about the same size. Ha! They almost ended up right off the sides of the pan! To keep these for Christmas morning I wrapped a piece of foam core with foil (making a “platter” to set them on), taped it on the backside, and put the rolls on that so I can wrap them well with plastic wrap and a piece of foil and put them in the freezer. Just make sure that the “platter” you make will fit in your freezer before you go to all the work and have to do it all over again!

After putting the rolls onto the serving “platter”, I frosted them with the above recipe of frosting, put cherries in the middle of each roll as an ornament, and used holiday sprinkles (plus a little brown sugar for the “pot” on the bottom) all over it for added festiveness! I mean, really! Just look how festive! Perfect for Christmas morning. Or gift giving. Or a hostess gift. Or a teacher gift. It’s just perfect. Make some Christmas Tree Rolls for your Christmas morning breakfast, make a big pot of coffee to go with them (since you had a late night putting together toys, wrapping, etc.), and let the festivities begin!

 

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Tomato Soup Bread

Oh boy, this Tomato Soup Bread is a total retro oldie! I remember people making this kind of bread in a can during holiday time back in the 1960’s and ’70’s when I was growing up, and I was always fascinated by it! This is a recipe that was in one of Grandma’s REALLY old church cookbooks. I did make Tomato Soup Cake a while back, and I always knew that I’d have to try to make the bread some day. That day is today! The recipe says that this makes a nice Christmas bread, and I’d have to agree. This bread, if left in the cans, would make a great hostess gift, a teacher gift, or a gift for any occasion, really. It’s spicy, it’s delicious, and it’s really pretty easy to make! Right up my alley!

Don’t tell anyone the secret ingredient – they’ll never guess!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Tomato Soup Bread

Cream together:

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup shortening (I used butter)

Add:

1 egg

Mix together:

2 1/2 cup flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

Alternate the dry ingredients with:

1 can tomato soup

Add last:

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Dates and nuts (since the recipe didn’t specify an amount for these, I added 1 cup of each – dates and walnuts)

The recipe says to put the batter in 3 1-pound coffee cans, but I used just regular vegetable cans filling them about 2/3 of the way to the top, and I buttered them first. I used 4 cans and that took all of the batter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. (I checked to see if the bread was done after 40 minutes by using a skewer down the middle. It was pretty gooey, so I gave it another 10 minutes – 5 extra minutes might have been enough.)

The recipe doesn’t say how to get the bread out of the can, so I tried just shaking it out and that worked – except for the inch or so that was left in the bottom of the can! I don’t care if we have to dig it out with a spoon – it’s delicious!

I love ALL the ingredients in this bread. Seriously – if you don’t tell anyone that there is tomato soup in there – no one will ever know! The spices and the dates and walnuts also help make this bread amazingly delicious.

I used cans from canned vegetables for this – just wash them out and take off the paper labels – mine did have some glue on the side that wouldn’t come off. My can opener rolls the top of the cans over, but be careful if your can opener doesn’t do that – the top edge can be sharp. I buttered the cans, divided the batter into 4 cans, cleaned the wayward batter from around the edge of the can, and then smoothed the top of the bread a bit.

To check for doneness, I used a skewer so I could test down into the can to see if the bread was done.

They are just so cute! I really can’t believe it worked this well!

I couldn’t wait (and frankly, I didn’t know when to do it) until the bread was cool to unmold it. I would wait until it was cool next time – for obvious reasons – and maybe just a few taps on all sides would help release the bread. It was just the end bit in the bottom of the can that did NOT come out. I don’t care – if you’re giving these as gifts and it’s hard to get the bread out – tell them to eat it with a spoon. Who cares how you get it out! Just get it out – so you can eat it!

Slicing it across the can shape makes perfect little rounds of deliciousness. A bit of softened butter slathered on top and you’re good to go. They’re perfect for a cookie tray or breakfast or afternoon coffee or snacking or . . . you know I could go on and on!!!

I left the bread in the can for gift giving, used cellophane to wrap the can, and tied it with a festive ribbon. This is ok for giving it right away, but if it’ll be a few days before you can give it, I’d wrap it well with plastic wrap, freeze it, and take it out to wrap and decorate just before you give it. Or you could leave it well wrapped with plastic wrap and then wrap it with craft or wrapping paper.

I think anyone would love to get this retro and delicious treat! You can see how delicious it is – with the dates, nuts, spices, and yes – tomato soup! So good and so sneaky! Make several batches of this Tomato Soup Bread, and your gift or hostess giving is complete and memorable – remember, shhhh – don’t tell them the secret ingredient!

 

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Swedish Pepparkakar

I have never made Swedish Pepparkakar before, but my understanding is that they are thin, spicy, gingerbread type cookies. Um – ok! Grandma used to buy this kind of cookie in a tin for us every Christmas, and, well, let’s just say they evaporated pretty fast in our house, so I think the family is going to appreciate this one. This recipe came from one of Grandma’s old church cookbooks, and you know what that means! It’s a good one! This recipe calls them Swedish, but I have also seen them labeled Norwegian. I think we’ll just go with Swedish for this one. I don’t know how authentic they are, but let’s just pretend they are. Grandma loved spicy cookies like this – she was Swedish, after all. She would have loved these cookies, and she would have loved them with a nice cup of coffee. She and her friends and family were big on coffee and sweets and telling stories while they were enjoying those coffee and sweets. I miss the smell of coffee and sweets and I miss listening to those stories.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Swedish Pepparkakar

This is the full recipe, but I made a half batch.

Mix together:

1 cup butter

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup molasses

1/2 cup white syrup

Sift together with 4 cups flour (or more, if necessary):

1 large teaspoon ginger (I just made it heaping)

1 teaspoon ground cloves

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Mix wet and dry ingredients.

Roll out real thin.

(The recipe says to bake in a moderate oven, which I think is 350 degrees, so that’s what I went by.)

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes (there is no time here, but that’s how long it took in my oven).

All the usual spices here – cinnamon, ginger, and cloves!

You do think of molasses in this type of cookie, but syrup?

This makes a pretty big batch, but these cookies will keep for a long time. One source I saw said that they keep for months! I don’t think we’ll get to find out about that – if you know what I mean!

The dough was a bit tender, probably because it doesn’t call for being chilled, so I used more flour than I normally would when making cut-out cookies. Before baking, I took a pastry brush and brushed the excess flour off of the top of the cookies. This was a half batch, and I still got 4 pans of cookies.

I don’t use the waste-dough until I’m ready to roll it all the second time.

Oh how I love the smell of these spicy cookies baking! I made most of the cookies in the shape of hearts, but as the dough got re-rolled a few times, I started making some of them in Christmas shapes.

There was something so special about rolling out these cookies on my great-grandparent’s table. They were both Swedish, with my great-grandfather immigrating here in the 1880’s. I also served the coffee and Swedish Pepparkakar on their china. Grandma used to tell stories about how her whole family would gather around that table!

Family tradition is so important, and making these cookies at this time of year has brought that to the forefront for me once again. It’s times like this that I miss my grandparents – both sets – and I miss listening to their stories of hearth and home, friends and family, and love and loss.

If you like gingerbread, and you like thin and crispy cookies, these are the ones for you! They are so perfect with a cup of coffee, or any hot beverage. Sit down with your family and swap stories of family – now and long ago – share some love – and some Swedish Pepparkakar!

 

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Cranberry Grape Salad

This recipe for Cranberry Grape Salad has been in our family for 3 generations. It looks like it might have been Grandma’s youngest sister who originally found it, because Grandma wrote her sister’s initials on the recipe card. This is one of my favorite parts of our holiday meals – a favorite of my whole family, really. Family is what the holidays are all about, so I’m sharing this photo of Grandma and Grandpa with my uncle and my mom at the farm at Christmastime from sometime around (or just before) 1950. It looks like this may have been their Christmas card that year, showing the kids reading from what I assume would be the Christmas story.

Everyone sure is dressed in their finest here – and I love the little tree covered in tinsel. Seeing this picture reminds me of how much I loved going to Grandma and Grandpa’s farm at Christmastime. When I was a kid, they had a silver tree (like built-in tinsel) with blue ornaments on it. The blue ornaments didn’t stop them from using the color wheel that would go around and around and constantly change the colors of those shiny branches. Of course, the colors were just the reflected colors on the wheel, but it was magical! I’d lay there for hours in the dark watching that tree sparkle and change. Then I’d move to rearranging the animals in the stable of the manger scene with the Christmas bulb star and from that to staring at the little church that was lit by a Christmas bulb glowing red inside, both always residing in the dining room to be front and center during all of the Christmas celebrations. Those are all things ingrained in my psyche – those memories that will be with me always, just like the ornaments and the light up church that are still part of my Christmas decorating, and the manger scene that is now a part of their oldest great-grandchild’s Christmas decorating. I will always remember those special decorations, and I will always remember just how special those two were to me, and how much I miss them.

Ok – wipe away the tears – back to the recipe. Grandma had written Salad on this one – which would make this Salad #11, but we’ve always CALLED it Cranberry Grape Salad. So that’s what the name is, henceforth. đŸ™‚

Note the “Very Good” connotation here, and where she had written (Marshmallows) – more on that later!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Cranberry Grape Salad

Put in bowl of food processor (or grind together):

2 cups cranberries

2 cups sugar

Cover and let stand in refrigerator overnight.

Drain.

Add:

2 cups (or more) red grapes, cut in half

Fold in:

2 cups whipping cream, whipped

(She just says “whipping cream” here, with no amount, but I know from years of making this salad that a pint is about right.)

Nuts (chopped) may be added (I’d say 1/2-1 cup).

Here’s another hint – about the marshmallows – Grandma has written (Marshmallows) on the card, because she always said that if the salad got too juicy, you can just add some miniature marshmallows to take care of that. There. That’s an extra special hint – for if that situation ever arises.

Sometimes the ground cranberries and sugar gets pretty juicy after standing in the frig overnight – sometimes it doesn’t.

Whip the cream and add in the cranberries, sugar, and grapes.

If the cranberries are juicy, the salad will be more pink than this – it just depends!

I never add nuts – my family doesn’t care for them in a salad – and I’ve rarely needed to use the marshmallows, but if your salad gets too wet or juicy – you know what to do!

This is another one of those salads that really is more like a dessert, but this is the time of year for indulgence, and because this one is so traditional for our family, we’d never be without it at some point during the holidays. It’s pretty easy to do, it’s amazingly delicious, and it’s a tradition that brings back so many memories of Christmas past with the family. Make this Cranberry Grape Salad for your holiday dinner this year and your family will want it EVERY year!

 

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Gingerbread Biscotti

Today’s recipe for Gingerbread Biscotti is a take on a previous post where I shared delicious, crisp Biscotti. There are so many things you can add to the biscotti to make it your particular favorite – this spicy mix is so nice for this time of year! I’m using the same recipe as I did for the first Biscotti – just adding a delicious Gingerbread Spice Mix that you can use for other things, as well. How cool is that?! I think these biscotti are a delicious and festive addition to any holiday cookie tray. If you put some in a cellophane bag and tie it with a pretty holiday ribbon – voila – instant hostess or teacher gift!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Gingerbread Biscotti

Mix together:

2 cups flour

1 cup sugar (you could use brown sugar to make it even more caramel-y)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

the Gingerbread Spice Mix listed below

Mix together and add:

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 Tablespoons molasses

Splash in and mix all together:

a splash of milk, maybe about 1/2 cup or so, depending on how dry the mixture is

Make two “logs” – I do this right on the baking sheet – about 3″ wide by 10″ long.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes and let them cool 15 minutes (I usually don’t wait this long).

Take the “logs” off of the baking sheet so you can slice them – they will stick a bit, so you’ll need to use a spatula to get them off of the pan.

Lower oven to 325 degrees, cut the biscotti into 1 inch slices with a serrated knife, using a light hand.

Put slices onto baking sheet and bake again about 15 minutes, flipping once halfway through (you’ll need a spatula for this also as the slices also stick a bit) – my oven usually takes about an extra 3 minutes on each side (8-11 min total on each side) – you can make them as crisp as you’d like.

Gingerbread Spice Mix:

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons ginger

3/4 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cardamom (I have one daughter who is a cardamom freak, so I tried it with the cardamom – I do think it takes away a bit from the gingerbread flavor, so leave it out if you’re not into the cardamom)

Make double, triple, or more of the mix and use it in coffee, tea, hot chocolate, over ice cream, on pudding – you get the idea.

Mix up the gingerbread spice before you start so you’re ready to go. Make up some extra to use throughout the season!

The spices, plus the molasses (which I added to the eggs before adding them to the dry ingredients), make this so good and – well – spicy!

Here is the approximate shape I make the “logs” into when putting the dough onto the baking sheet.

After baking, they flatten a bit. They also stick to the pan somewhat, so I use a long spatula to loosen them while they’re cooling. If you don’t have a long spatula, just go around each edge with a short one.

Then slice the “logs” about 1/2″-1″ thick. The thicker you cut them, the longer they’ll take to bake.

Lay the slices out onto the baking sheet for the second bake – don’t forget to turn them halfway through or one side will be crisp and the other side won’t.

Once they’re out of the oven and they’ll be fairly firm. They’ll firm up even a bit more once they cool.

There you go – ready for a nice cuppa!

But it’s that time of year, and if you want to make these festive and pretty for gift giving, why not add some powdered sugar frosting drizzle and some sprinkles? You can never have too many sprinkles, especially this time of year. For the drizzle – 1 cup powdered sugar and enough milk to be able to drizzle the frosting.

Oh my – so pretty!

These biscotti are so delicious – perfectly spicy for this time of year! I make these all through the fall and into winter, because they’re just so good! You’ll have many, many opportunities to enjoy these with a cup of coffee, and they make wonderful gifts, too. You could use these for a hostess gift, a teacher gift, I mean, the list goes on and on. I think they’re a pretty and festive addition to any cookie tray – and they’re amazingly tasty, too. Make a double batch of these Gingerbread Biscotti and you’ll have enough to share – maybe – but I wouldn’t count on it cuz you’re gonna want to keep them all for yourself!

 

 

 

 

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Swedish Rice Dessert

Today’s recipe for Swedish Rice Dessert is one of our family’s favorites, and we couldn’t imagine Christmas without it! It’s one of the most traditional dishes we have at Christmastime. The name calls it a “dessert”, but we usually have it as part of our Christmas dinner. Because it’s made with whipped cream and rice – and that’s about it – it’s ridiculously good. Then when you top it with the sauce made with Junket Danish Dessert with some added raspberries or strawberries, or lingonberry jam, it’s just absolutely, crazy how good this is! It can be made ahead and it’s pretty easy to make, so we’re hitting all the boxes here!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Swedish Rice Dessert

Put in small saucepan:

1/2 cup uncooked white rice

1 pint (2 cups) milk

Cook rice in milk until thick and creamy, about 15-20 minutes (watch it as it tends to boil over and make a total mess of your stovetop – this has happened to me very single time I’ve made this).

Add:

1/2 teaspoon salt

Dissolve 1 envelope of Knox gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water and add to hot rice (this usually gets lumpy and it takes a bit of stirring to get the gelatin mixed into the rice mixture).

Let rice mixture cool until it begins to set (about 20-30 minutes).

Whip to soft peaks:

1 pint whipping cream

Add:

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon almond flavoring

Fold whipped cream into the rice mixture.

We sometimes I’ll put a whole almond into the mixture, and then whoever gets it in their serving of rice will have good luck for the upcoming year!

Set in a 2 quart mold (lightly sprayed with non-stick spray) or a pretty serving bowl.

Serve with Junket Danish Dessert with fresh or frozen strawberries or raspberries added.

Because the name of this dessert is SWEDISH Rice Dessert, we sometimes use lingonberry jam to put on top of the rice instead of the Junket Danish Dessert.

The gelatin looks a little weird, but it works.

After following the recipe and mixing it all together, it goes into a mold that is sprayed with a bit of non-stick spray. You can also put it in a pretty glass bowl – that would also be just fine.

I unmold it by dipping the bottom in warm water in the sink until it melts just enough to let it come out of the mold. Flip it onto a plate, and listen for that oh so satisfying “plop” that tells you it’s come out of the mold and is now sitting deliciously on the serving plate! Ha! I just happen to have a small bowl for the lingonberry jam that fits right in the middle of the ring. If serving this with the Junket Danish Dessert and berries, you can serve that in a separate bowl.

Oh, how I love this rice dish. It brings back Christmas from childhood!

It’s supposed to be dessert, but we serve it with dinner. You can do it either way – whatever works for you!

This is a pretty special and traditional Christmas dish for our family. You and your family and friends are going to LOVE this creamy rice dish with the added sauce – whether you use lingonberry jam or the Junket Danish Dessert with added berries. Put in the whole almond and let everyone try to find it for good luck in the coming year – it’s just a bit of added fun! Make this Swedish Rice Dessert this Christmas and start a new tradition!

 

 

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Scandinavian Egg Sandwich

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

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Scandinavian Egg Sandwich

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

Step 1-

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

Step 2 –

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

Step 3 –

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

Step 4 –

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

Step 5 –

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

Step 6 –

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

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

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Monster Mix

My mom got this recipe for Monster Mix from a friend of hers years ago, I got it from my mom, and I’ve been making it ever since. She happened to see this friend of hers at the grocery store, her friend told her why she was there (to make this snack mix), and my mom asked her for the recipe and quickly wrote it down. I’m not sure if Monster Mix is its official name, or if my mom’s friend called it that because of the size of the batch it makes. It makes a HUGE batch. It’s great for a crowd, which makes it perfect for holidays like thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, or any other party. It’s also quite addictive, which makes it rough when you have to share, and you really should share. It makes a huge batch for a reason – people just can’t stop eating this stuff. Every time I suggest making it, everybody just groans. Not because they don’t want me to make it, but because they can’t stop eating it when I do make it. It’s very good and it’s very delicious and it’s very addictive. Watch out! You’ve been warned!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Monster Mix

Pour into a large garbage bag (do I really have to mention that this should be an UNSCENTED garbage bag?):

1 large box Crispix

4 cups Quaker Oats Squares (I used the whole box since I only used 1 can of nuts and 1 bag of cheese curls)

2 large bags cheese curls (I just used one bag)

1 package pretzel sticks

1/2 box Honey Nut Cheerios (since I only used 1 bag of cheese curls and 1 can of nuts, I used the whole box)

1 package oyster crackers

2 cans mixed nuts or peanuts (I just used one can of peanuts)

1 package Bugles

Mix:

1 cup Orville Redenbacher popcorn oil (the bright orange kind)

1 Tablespoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic salt

Pour oil mixture over dry ingredients in garbage bag.

Roll bag around (gently)to coat all the dry ingredients.

Store in tight containers (makes 3 ice cream pails full).

While there are a lot of ingredients for this snack mix, the oil and flavorings are simple yet delicious.

Give the oil and flavorings a mix just before adding it to the dry ingredients

It seems weird, but just go ahead and put everything into that UNSCENTED garbage bag.

Be careful when rolling the bag around to coat the dry ingredients, or you’ll have the same problem I had. Luckily I was almost done rolling the bag around when the hole happened.

I just cut the top of the bag off with a scissors and dumped the mix into the largest container I had. Since the container in the photo was overflowing (you can clearly see that the container wasn’t quite big enough) so I had to put some of it on a baking sheet momentarily.

I sent some of this snack mix to my nephew at college (finals were happening) so the mix did all eventually fit into my big container. You might have to use several containers to hold it all. The recipe did say to use 3 ice cream pails to store it.

I think I did warn you that this snack mix is addictive. So good. So addictive. It’s a good thing that this recipe makes a HUGE batch. So good. Did I mention it’s addictive? I think I did. If I didn’t – it’s addictive. I just want to make sure you understand this stuff. You’ll want this at your next party of get together – if you want to share it. You might not want to. You really should. Trust me, it’s seriously hard to stop once you’ve had a taste of the sweet and salty-ness of this amazingly delicious Monster Mix.

 

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