Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, everybody! Don’t be scared – this is so spooooooky!



Leave a comment »

10 Spooky Halloween Treats!

Here are 10 Spooky Halloween Treats for you! These treats are all so festive and so much fun to make! Enjoy!

Halloween Bark


Lasagna and Spider Bread


Chocolate Rice Krispies Cookies


Maple Chai Spiced Pepitas


Rollo Pretzel Treats for Halloween


Halloween Popcorn Balls


Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Seeds


Jack O Lantern Pumpkin Cake


Graham Crackers – Frosted


Halloween Bundt Cake


Autumn Bark


1 Comment »

Brownies by Odetta

I have no idea where this recipe for Brownies by Odetta came from, and I have no idea who Odetta is, but it was in my mom’s recipe file, and that means I need to try it. I laughed out loud when I started mixing these, because as we all well know by now, my mom is a HUGE chocoholic, and this recipe uses cocoa as the chocolate, so it smells unbelievably cocoa-y and chocolate-y. I’m not surprised that she asked someone for this recipe – way back in 2008! You can make brownies any time of the year – obvi – but no matter what season it is, you can and should decorate them appropriately. Sprinkles are obligatory and as we well know, make everything WAAAAAY more festive. There are so many beautiful sprinkles out there now, you can really go crazy. Let’s just say I restrained myself. Somewhat.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Brownies by Odetta

Mix together:

2 cups flour

2 cups sugar

Bring to a boil:

1 cup water

1 cup margarine (I used butter)

4 Tablespoons cocoa

1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used canola)

Pour over flour and sugar.


1/2 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

Pour into jelly roll pan (11″ x 15″).

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.


Beat together with a mixer until smooth:

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

4 Tablespoons margarine, softened (I used butter)

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups powdered sugar

enough milk to make the frosting spreadable (I used 3 Tablespoons)

Add more milk if too stiff.

Spread on bars.

The ingredients for this recipe are so perfect for our criteria – right from the cupboard and easy to make!

Next, the melted mixture goes right into the dry ingredients. Add the rest and you’re ready for the pan.

It makes a cakey brownie – this is not the fudgy kind.

The cream cheese frosting is easy to make, too.

Here we go  – a blank canvas, ready to decorate. Or not. It’s totally up to you.

You don’t have to use sprinkles, but why wouldn’t you? Seriously – festive as heck! I just HAD to add a pumpkin patch to it, too. Especially if using these for a Halloween party, you can use holiday chocolate candies, candy corn, chopped up cookies, chopped up candy bars – go crazy!! Why not?

Brownies and chocolate and Halloween – they just all go together!

The brownies are cakey, and not very thick, but really – aren’t they just a vehicle for the cream cheese frosting (and sprinkles)? These are really easy to make, they’re very chocolatey and delicious, and the cream cheese frosting is, well, cream cheese frosting. Need I say more? I think you need to make a pan of these Brownies by Odetta – all the ghouls and goblins in your life will thank you!





Halloween Bundt Cake

Today’s post is for a Halloween Bundt Cake as I continue my quest to make a year of Bundt Cake using the same recipe and changing it up for each holiday. If you follow this blog with any regularity, you might have noticed that I’ve been MIA for the last 6 weeks. Well, I ended up in the ER one night at 2:00 am and after spending a week in the hospital with a bit of complication from pancreatitis and gall stones, had gall bladder removal surgery. Recovery has been long and tough (in my opinion), but I’m on the mend and hope to be back to posting with some regularity again soon. About a week ago I realized that Halloween was coming up and that I had to get a Bundt Cake done to continue the year. It was a challenge, to say the least. She wasn’t exactly what I had in mind, but I did the best I could under the circumstances. This post will be a bit brief (because this is still exhausting to me right now), but I still think it’s a good idea.


I just love this recipe.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Halloween Bundt Cake

Mix all together:

4 eggs

1 cake mix (I used Devil’s Food for this one – it IS Halloween, after all!)

1 small box instant pudding (I used chocolate for this one)

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup oil (I used canola)

Put batter into well buttered bundt pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

Cool in pan 25 minutes.

Turn cake out onto rack to cool completely.

Vanilla Glaze:

2 cups powdered sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

3 Tablespoons milk, or more to get the consistency you want

Spoon or pipe over top of cake.

Top with sprinkles or colored sugar before glaze dries.

I drizzled this cake with a Vanilla Glaze, and I colored half of it with green, the other half I left white. Full disclosure – I had to make the glaze thinner than I usually do because I was too weak to mix it when it was thicker. Ugh. This surgery has really put a damper on things for the holiday season. I sure hope I can get some stamina and strength back before long. Next, I put sprinkles on top, and that in itself was a beautiful cake. It would have been festive if I left it just like that.

What I had in mind was more like the malts or shakes that you see all over the internet now, where it’s totally loaded with all kinds of goodies. So I put treats on top. Lots of treats. I stuck toothpicks into the bottom of the candies and poked them right into the top of the cake. There were a few suckers that I stuck right in there.

There is a fine line between putting the treats on and putting TOO MANY treats on. Too many and they start to tip over – the cake is only so dense. It looks very festive and would be fun to do for a Halloween party, or to send to a college student, or just to celebrate the holiday. Have a Happy Halloween, everybody, and try this recipe for Halloween Bundt Cake – see how much fun you can have decorating it for Halloween and each and every special occasion!


Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, everybody!! Stay safe out there!

Thanks for stopping by!



Leave a comment »

Warm Pumpkin Spice Drink

I love Halloween. I always have. I love the old-fashioned black and orange decorations of flying witches, scary pumpkins, and jointed limbed skeletons. I love the costumes, as Lucy says in It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, “in direct contrast to her own personality” to dress up in and hide behind. I love the crispy sound of dry, colored leaves blowing and tumbling along the street. I love the eventual stark and empty tree branches silhouetted against a cloudy and misty sky. I love the fields full of haphazard pumpkins and gourds on their drying, twisting vines. I love the smell of a burning pile of leaves raked up and out of the yard by the family on the golden afternoons in October. I love the kids as they ring the doorbell, so proud to show off their costumes and shout the customary “trick-or-treat!”, running through the neighborhood and ruling the world.

You can see the beginnings of my love for Halloween in this photo from 1963. I started young. I wasn’t quite 2 years old, but totally ready for Halloween and trick or treating at my Grandma and Gramp’s house! By the reach of that hand trying to get the door open, you’d almost think I knew that there was candy inside there! Ha!


I wish I still had the 101 Dalmatians costume!! That trick-or-treat bag is almost as big as me!

My love of Halloween is equal to my love of pumpkin. The recipe for today is one of those pumpkin recipes that I found when I was sick and on the couch and spending way too much time on Pinterest. There are so many interesting things to make with pumpkin out there now, and as you can tell by my latest posts, I am determined to try as many as possible this fall. I am always on the lookout for a warm beverage to cozy up with and enjoy in the evening, so I don’t like it to be caffeinated and I don’t like it to have too much sugar in it. This one does the trick. I found this delicious Warm Pumpkin Spice Drink on the blog Apple of My Eye, and this was one I had to try.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Warm Pumpkin Spice Drink

2 1/2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk or milk of your choice

2 Tablespoons pumpkin puree (I used my frozen pumpkin stash)

2 Tablespoons maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

whipped cream for topping


This drink really doesn’t have very many ingredients, but man is this good!


I warmed it (I wouldn’t bring it to a boil) on the stove instead of the microwave.


You can leave it plain, but I’m always one to gild the lily when I can, so I topped mine with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon. I suppose if you really wanted to, you could add a splash of your favorite adult beverage to this.


Kids would love this drink, especially this weekend before Halloween. Maybe this would be nice after a tough evening of trick-or-treating. I think adults would like this delicious drink curled up in front a roaring fire, in your jammies, wrapped in your favorite quilt. Just enjoy the warm deliciousness and drift off to sleepy land. Nothing more cozy than that! How are you going to enjoy this warm cup of coziness?





Leave a comment »

Mulling Spices

I love cider. You can have cider all through the fall and into the winter. This recipe for Mulling Spices is great for cider, wine, or even tea. It makes a great hostess gift, or even a potpourri. I could see having this sitting out in the living room throughout the holiday season. The scent of it is amazing, and incredibly fragrant. You can really use any combination of spices and citrus rind to spice up your warm beverages.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Mulling Spices

Dry in the oven at 250 degrees for 20-30 minutes:

Orange peel (white pith scraped off, if possible)

Lemon peel

Thinly sliced ginger

Mix together and pound a bit (I put all of the whole spices into a zip top bag and pounded it with my rolling pin):

Cinnamon sticks

Star anise

Whole nutmeg

Cardamom pods

Whole allspice

Whole cloves

Vanilla Bean

Mix these all together in a bowl, put into cheesecloth or  drawstring bag, and give as a gift or use in your beverage.

To mull cider: Heat 1 quart cider with one packet of spices and sliced oranges or apples.


I love all of these spicy ingredients.


They’re pretty enough to have sitting out in a pretty glass bowl. They smell great, too!


I cut a square of cheesecloth and put about 2 tablespoons of spices into it. I cut pieces of a vanilla bean and put a piece into each cheesecloth bundle.


You can find drawstring tea bags online, but I just used cheesecloth and tied it up with kitchen string. The batch I made was enough for about 4 bags.


Put them in a jar, put a pretty ribbon around it, and you have a very nice hostess gift for all of your holiday gatherings.


I warmed a quart of cider with a sliced orange and one of the bags of spice mix for about 20 minutes.


This mulled cider makes the whole house smell like a holiday!


You can garnish your cider with a cinnamon stick, a slice of orange, and/or a slice of apple. Make sure to slice the apple across the middle so you can see the star! I hope you make this wonderful mulling spice mix. It makes a nice gift  – and make some for yourself, too!




1 Comment »

Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkin Cake

This isn’t a cake made with pumpkin, it’s a cake SHAPED like a pumpkin! I made this cake for years to celebrate my oldest daughter’s birthday. Her birthday is actually the first week of November, but her parties seemed to end up being birthday/Halloween parties during the elementary and middle school years.  She’s all grown up now, but since we can’t get together to celebrate during the first week of November, we celebrated on Halloween and she requested a nostalgic traditional Halloween dinner birthday celebration with our traditional Halloween Lasagna and Spider Bread. This Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkin Cake was her birthday cake. I don’t have an actual recipe for making this pumpkin (because I saw it somewhere years ago and just tried to make one from a photo), so I’ll just type it out here.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkin Cake

Use 2 boxes of cake mix to bake 2 cakes, baked in a bundt pan according to the box directions. Use enough of the cake mix batter to make 1 cupcake to use as the stem. I use chocolate (this daughter is a chocolate girl) but you could use any flavor of cake mix.

Use 2 containers of Vanilla Frosting (I know, I know – I usually don’t use store-bought, but when I started making this cake years ago, I had 3 children under the age of 10) to make the green or chocolate frosting for the ribs, tendrils and/or leaves, and stem, and the orange pumpkin frosting. For the chocolate or green stem frosting, I add a couple of tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder or a bit of green food coloring. For the pumpkin frosting, I used orange food coloring.

Use 2-3 Hershey Chocolate Bars, cut into triangles, for the jack-o-lantern face. I usually get at least 2 because sometimes it won’t cut exactly the way you want it to. If you have 2-3 bars, then you have back-up (and I’m sure you can think of something to do with the extra).

This is also a great cake for Thanksgiving instead of, or in addition to your pies. It serves a lot of people since it’s two cakes in one – just leave off the face!


I greased and floured the bundt pan – we want no sticking! In this case, it doesn’t matter if the flour shows since the whole cake will be frosted. Don’t forget to make one cupcake for the stem.


Before frosting the cake, I use strips of waxed paper around underneath so you can pull them out later and keep your cake plate clean. You can see how to make this cake plate here. Put the first cake upside down on your cake plate and put some frosting on top of that to stick the top cake on.


Put the top cake on and line up the lines of the cake. Then get started with the frosting. You can see the lines of the cake here. I follow them with the green frosting to make the ribs. I also had to put some frosting around the top hole so the cupcake stem wouldn’t fall into the middle. You could also use a couple of toothpicks to hold the stem on as long as you remember to take them out before serving. Then I used a piping bag and put the frosting on the stem, ribs, and vines.


You could also use candy corn for the face and to make some decoration around the bottom. I used the last of the green frosting to make some vines around the bottom edge of the cake. Use a very sharp knife when cutting the face pieces. For some reason, I had a hard time with the candy bar I used. It kept cracking.


This is also a great cake for Thanksgiving instead of, or in addition to your pies. It serves a lot of people since it’s two cakes in one. Just leave off the face! Decorate it with candy corn or pumpkins.


This particular cake used two bundt cakes, but I think you could do the same with just one bundt cake.

005 (2)

We’ve had fun with this Halloween/birthday cake over the years. Try this pumpkin cake for your next fall or thanksgiving gathering. It’s fun and festive!





Old Black Witch and Her Bewitching Blueberry Pancakes

Happy Halloween, everybody! I’m sharing a favorite children’s book today, in honor of Halloween. It’s not necessarily a Halloween book, but I love it! It’s called “Old Black Witch” by Wende and Harry Devlin. You can order it and read the reviews of the book here. It’s the story of a mom and her son who move to New England and open up a tea room. Once they move in, Old Black Witch turns out to be quite the troublemaker. It’s a great story and the illustrations are adorable. The book even has Old Black Witch’s recipe for Bewitching Blueberry Pancakes on the back cover.

Happy Halloween 2015


It’s a little hard to read the recipe, so I’ll type it out here.

Bewitching Blueberry Pancakes

1 1/4 cups flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3 Tablespoons sugar

3/4 teaspoons salt

1 egg, beaten

3/4 cup milk

3 Tablespoons melted fat or oil

1/2 cup washed blueberries

As you stir in the blueberries (this is the magic part) say three times:


Gobble dee gook

With a wooden spoon

The laugh of a toad

At the height of the moon!


Pour on a hot griddle and watch.

You can make things disappear just like Old Black Witch.

Put three pancakes in front of any boy or girl and watch them go!


Both kids and adults will love this book! I haven’t tried making these pancakes yet, but I will! I hope you will, too!

Enjoy the weekend and stay safe!



Leave a comment »

Halloween Treats

All week I have shared treats appropriate for the season and today I’m sharing a selection of Halloween Treats from past posts! They’re quick and easy to make (and delicious!) and I know you’re going to love them!


Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Seeds


Halloween Popcorn Balls


Rollo Pretzel Treats for Halloween


Chocolate Rice Krispie Cookies


Leave a comment »

The New Vintage Kitchen

A Vermont innkeeper's collection of seasonal vintage recipes, reimagined for today's cooks.

Bernadine’s Corner

Recipes * Lifestyle

Convivial Supper

Recipes from the Past

Cooking Without Limits

Food Photography & Recipes

Pinch of Yum

A food blog with simple and tasty recipes.

Mrs. Twinkle

My Wonderful Little World


a collection of recipes