Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Sharon’s Veggie Dip

Oh how I love Sharon’s Veggie Dip! This recipe comes from Sharon, who is one of my dear friends – the Coffee Babes – 4 friends who have had coffee together every Friday (most weeks) for over 20 years, until we lost one of our babes to colon cancer two years ago. The 3 remaining Coffee Babes still meet on Fridays whenever we can! All those years ago, Sharon and I started a newsletter for our daughters’ volleyball club, met for coffee to discuss it, and have been meeting for coffee ever since! She does a lot of entertaining, and when at her house for a gathering years ago, she had this dip and I had to have the recipe for it. I’m addicted to it – it’s so good – and I make it all the time. I have altered it a bit to keep it more low-fat for me, but that doesn’t change how delicious and addicting it is. This dip is easy, tasty, and made with things you probably have in your frig and cupboard. Perfect for upcoming football parties!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Sharon’s Veggie Dip

Mix all together:

1 cup Hellman’s Mayonnaise (I used Hellman’s Light Mayonnaise)

1 cup sour cream (I used light sour cream)

1 Tablespoon Lawry’s Seasoned Salt

1 Tablespoon parsley flakes

1 1/2 teaspoon dill weed

1 teaspoon grated onion (I have used dried minced onion flakes in a pinch – like here)

4-5 dashes Worcestershire Sauce

Let flavors mingle for a few hours or overnight.

This is another great recipe to be able to make from things you probably have in your cupboard and frig. It’s totally alright to make this according to the recipe – it’s delicious – but I use the low-fat options for me. You can also totally use fat-free options, if that’s how low you want to go.

I have to say, this dip is so fresh – because of the dill weed – and tasty – because of the other ridiculously tasty flavors that go in.

It’s great with fresh veggies – carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, pepper strips, jicama, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower – I’ve tried them all! It’s also great with crackers – regular, if you like, or low-fat, as I have here – reduced fat Wheat Thins, Less Fat Cape Cod Potato Chips, Corn Thins! So good!

I have this dip in my frig most of the time – all year round – because it’s just so stinkin’ good! Did I mention that I’m addicted to this? I know you’re gonna love this one – bring it to any upcoming football party and you have your own little less fat, healthier snack amidst all the crazy, high fat, yet delicious options that usually show up at that kind of event. I’m addicted (have I mentioned that?) to Sharon’s Veggie Dip, and I know you will be, too – it’s a good thing to be addicted to!


Leave a comment »

Baked Apples

Oooh, how I love Baked Apples! It’s that time of year, and it’s so important to enjoy our beautiful fresh apples while you can! This recipe is a great way to enjoy them – it’s so easy to do and it’s fairly healthy, too. I totally made this recipe up, and used to make these apples for my kids when they were little and going to school. We’ve had them for breakfast, for an afternoon snack, and for dessert. Seriously – who wouldn’t like apples that taste like a piece of warm apple pie – without the work! This is such a cozy, warm, snack full of love, and I know you’re gonna wanna make these every weekend from now until the end of the never-ending winter to come. The smell of apple and cinnamon cooking – oh baby! It’s the best! Since there’s no recipe card to show you, I’ll just type out the recipe.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Baked Apples

I used one of our amazing and delicious Minnesota Honeycrisp apples for this. I usually make one apple at a time, because I’m usually making these for only one person at a time, but you can fill a square or round pan with apples and use this to serve several people at once.

Wash and dry the apple, then core it so you can fill it with yumminess.

For the filing:

1 heaping Tablespoon quick oats

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon brown sugar

You can add some chopped nuts, too, if you like that sort of thing, but my family doesn’t care for them. I leave them out.

Mix the filling, then spoon it into the open core. This would be enough for two smaller apples – this one was large, and didn’t take all of the filling mixture.

Before putting the apple in the microwave, I put about 1/2 teaspoon of butter on the top of the filling mixture – so it can melt into the filling and get even more yummy.

Cook in the microwave on high for about 2 1/2 minutes, or until the apple is soft. Depending on how you like it, you can go a little less or a little more. I like the apple to stay a bit firm, but get just soft enough. The apple juices start to flow and cook the filling, and the butter melts into the filling and adds some buttery goodness.

If you want to gild the lily, so to speak, you can serve this with a squirt of your favorite canned whipped topping, too! Well, maybe if you’re serving this for a snack or a dessert. I’m not too sure I’d serve it that way for breakfast. Oh who cares – go for it! These apples are sooooo delicious! Your family is gonna love these so much – they may become a habit! Try these Baked Apples and get them hooked!


Leave a comment »

Pumpkin Muffins and Make Your Own Pumpkin Pie Spice

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

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Pumpkin Pie Spice

Mix together:

1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

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

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

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

Pumpkin Muffins

Mix and set aside:

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 1/2 cup white flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Whisk together:

3/4 cup vegetable oil (I used canola)

2 cups pumpkin puree

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

3 large eggs

1 cup turbinado sugar

Mix until just moistened.

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

Sprinkle tops with:

1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts

2 Tablespoons turbinado sugar.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

Cool in pans 5 minutes.

Mix all the dry ingredients together first.

Next, mix the wet ingredients.

Now mix them together.

I made regular sized muffins instead of jumbo ones.

The aroma of these babies baking – OMG!

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



Peach Pie Popsicles

Peach Pie Popsicles – say that 5 times fast! That’s what we’re making today – and they’re a treat you’re gonna want to make over and over again. I’ve tried a lot of different popsicles over the past couple of years (since buying an actual popsicle mold), and when my husband tasted these, he made the statement, “best yet”! Ok! Let’s share the recipe with all of you lucky people! It’s peach season, so make a big batch of these to last until the heat of summer subsides.

I’ve shared this photo before, but popsicles always make me think of this photo of my mom and her cousins eating popsicles. How classic is this?

They were all sure working those popsicles like there was no tomorrow! What a great way to keep cool in the summer! So cute!

When me and my sister were growing up, we would devour an entire crate of peaches every August. We would make peach crisp, peach jam, and peach pie. What better way to use even more peaches than by making peach popsicles?! Peach Pie Popsicles, even! I don’t know why we didn’t think of making nice, icy cold popsicles back then instead of turning on the oven and roasting in our non air-conditioned house while all those other desserts baked in the oven! I’ll be making these popsicles every August when the peaches are ripe from now on!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Peach Pie Popsicles

Put all in blender:

2 fresh peaches or 2 cups frozen peaches (I have used both kinds and they were equally delicious)

1 1/2-2 cups almond milk or skim milk

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 T raw honey, or to taste

Put into each popsicle section in mold:

1/4 crumbled graham cracker

Taste to make sure it tastes like peach pie – or at least tastes good to you.


I don’t have too many photos of this process since it’s only putting everything in a blender and blending it. Then I just crumbled 1/4 of a graham cracker into each hole of the popsicle mold and poured the mixture in. I never use the lid with the slits for the sticks in it – I can never get the sticks out without a wrestling match. I just set my timer to 30 minutes and the popsicles are usually frozen enough for the sticks to stand up. If not, I go in 15 minute increments until it’s thick enough. If you don’t have a mold, just use some small paper cups or any kind of small cup.

The graham crackers don’t stay crisp, but they add the perfect flavor to add to that peach pie thing. These popsicles are so good and give you that wonderful peach flavor we all crave this time of the summer. You AND your kids are gonna love these Peach Pie Popsicles!



Leave a comment »

Fruit Kabobs and Fruit Dip

When did I start making these Fruit Kabobs and Fruit Dip? I don’t even know. It’s been so long that I can’t even remember. Actually, the kabobs were a staple at a lot of graduations, confirmations, and our wedding, but the dip came a few years later. Kabobs are an easy, easy thing to do (in keeping with my “Nothing But Easy Summer”), but they’re so ridiculously impressive. Kids love to help make these, and they also love to eat them. Oh come on, who are we kidding – everyone loves to make them, and everyone loves to eat them. They’re easy to do, and they’re a lot of fun to make, PLUS they’re delicious! I use the regular wooden skewers that you can buy at any grocery store, but if you’re going to serve them to kids, cut off the sharp end after you get the fruit on there so. We don’t want anyone getting poked by that sharp end.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Fruit Kabobs

I used strawberries, green grapes, pineapple, and blackberries for these kabobs, but you can use any combination you want, as long as the fruit is firm enough to stay on the skewer. Just wash the fruit, cut it into cubes (if necessary, as with melon), and push them onto the skewers. You can lay them on a platter, like I did here when I served them for book club, or you could try a fun way to serve them that I’ve done in the past. I cut a whole pineapple or watermelon in half, lay it flat side down on a platter, and poke the skewers into it. Then each person can pull out and take the skewer they want. It looks like so pretty it’s very festive, and it’s a lot of fun!

Fruit Dip

1 large Cool Whip

12 ounces cream cheese

1 medium jar strawberry jam

Mix all together.

This is best if it sits overnight.

The recipe for this dip makes a BIG batch. It will last you awhile.

The possibilities are endless for the different fruit combinations you can make on the kabobs.

Fruit is always good. Kabobs are a pretty and more fun way to eat fruit. I love this idea! The dip adds a sweet treat component, which you can either use with the kabobs or just leave off. You can also dip the fruit without putting it on a skewer – it’s up to you how you like to do it. Trust me – these Fruit Kabobs and Fruit Dip are easy and impressive to bring to any gathering!



Leave a comment »

Blueberry Banana Popsicles

These Blueberry Banana Popsicles are a delicious frozen treat that I made one of our first hot days here in Minnesota. I still had a lot of frozen fruit in my freezer and I needed to use it up. Popsicles! It’s the first thing I thought of! I’m trying to make healthier treats and snacks for me and my husband, and these popsicles are a great alternative to ice cream. I mean, we LOVE ice cream – who doesn’t? I have made 2 Ingredient Strawberry-Banana Ice Cream with frozen bananas and strawberries, and the possibilities are endless for making that kind of treat. I used bananas with the blueberries for this particular recipe, but I’ve also just pureed real fruit like mango and pineapple, and frozen those in the popsicle molds. I’ve used fat-free Greek yogurt mixed with fruit, also, but I love how these turned out using the bananas. There was also a nice surprise with these popsicles, which I’ll talk about later in this post.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Blueberry Banana Popsicles

Put into food processor:

2 frozen bananas, cut into chunks

1 cup frozen blueberries (or other frozen berries, or 2 Tablespoons coco powder)

2 Tablespoons raw honey or maple syrup, if desired (you don’t have to add any if you don’t want to)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Process until smooth.


1/4-1/2 cup of skim milk or almond milk, if needed to make the mixture smooth

I got 6 popsicles from this, but how many you get from the mixture will depend on how much (if any) milk you add to make the mixture smooth.

I used frozen fruit for this because I already had it in my freezer. I use a lot of frozen bananas for smoothies, ice cream, etc., and sometimes I’ll just buy a lot of bananas if they’re on sale just to put them into the freezer. I peel them, cut them in half, and put them into zip top freezer bags in the freezer. Make sure you label the bags so you know what they are if they get buried in the back of your freezer! If you use frozen fruit, you can decide whether you want to just eat it immediately like ice cream, or spoon it into popsicle molds (or use the old paper cup method).

At first the fruit looks like this after a few pulses in the food processor.

Because blueberries aren’t the juiciest fruit, I added the almond milk (to keep it fat free – or you could use skim milk), and that helped the mixture smooth out.

At this point, you could just eat it as ice cream. I wanted to put it into my popsicle mold, so I spooned it in and added the popsicle sticks (found as craft sticks at any craft store). The sticks stood up on their own because the mixture is so thick. I never put the lid on top (that comes with the mold) because I’ve found it nearly impossible to get the sticks out of it first so you can then pull the popsicles out of the mold. Next, into the freezer it went. You can also use paper cups for making the popsicles if you don’t have molds or don’t want to invest in them.

OMG. These are so good and good for you! I mean they were seriously tasty! It works well to take them out of the molds and wrap them individually for future snacking – then they’re ready to go when you need one. The one nice surprise I mentioned at the top of the post – they stayed soft and didn’t get icy – even after several days! Sometimes that can happen when making homemade popsicles or ice cream, but these didn’t. I don’t know if it was because the fruit was frozen first or because I added the honey or what, but I’m gonna try that again. These Blueberry Banana Popsicles are a healthy, delicious, good for you treat you’re gonna want to make over and over again!





Leave a comment »

Fruit Fries

We’re sticking with my theme of “Nothing But Easy Summer” today, and making a health, tasty treat of Fruit Fries. I saw these on Instagram a few months ago, and I’m very sorry, but I don’t remember WHERE I saw it. This is so easy to do, and so delicious, that I know I’m going to be making these all summer long. Heck, I’ll make them all year long! The only thing this snack has to do with French fries, is the shape of them. They’re shaped like French fries – that’s the only similarity. Well, that and that they’re delicious, just in a different way. Since I was sick last year with pancreatitis, I’m always on the look-out for low-fat, healthy, and delicious snacks. This snack fits all 3 categories. There really isn’t a recipe for these, just a how-to, so here goes . . .

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Fruit Fries

Cut into French fry shape of approximately the same size:

watermelon, or any type of melon



Sprinkle on, to taste:

chili powder (I used chipotle chili powder and that was amazingly delicious)

flaky sea salt

lime zest

lime juice

That’s it! Done!

Cut the rind off of the watermelon and cut it into sticks. Any kind of melon would be delicious.

Cut the mango and then instead of cutting it into chunks, which I usually do. I found that it was easier to cut them into strips and then take off the skin.

Jicama is that ugly, potato-looking thing you always see in the produce section and wonder what the heck THAT is. I sliced it into 1/4″ slices and then took off the skin. They’re putting a waxy coating on them now (I assume to preserve them better), and I wondered if that would make a difference in cutting it, but the skin came off just fine. Jicama actually is crunchy like fries – so good.

Arrange the lovely fries on a platter – now the fun begins.

I first sprinkled on the chili powder, and since I used chipotle chili powder, I used it sparingly. We don’t need it so hot that you blow your head off. Remember – you can always put more on, but you can’t take it off. Next I sprinkled on the lime zest and lime juice. Last came the flaky sea salt – I like big flakes so you get a bit of a crunch.

This is seriously the most refreshing and delicious snack I’ve had in a long time! I love these things. In fact, I have a bit of a problem with these. They’re just so good! You’ll wonder, as I did, why you didn’t think of making something like this YEARS ago! Bring on summer! That means melons are plentiful and I’m going to be making a million different variations of these delicious, nothing but easy, Fruit Fries!


Leave a comment »

Banana Chips

I saw the idea for Banana Chips on Valerie Bertinelli’s Food Network show “Valerie’s Home Cooking”, so I went online and did some research on how to make them. I thought it would be a perfect snack in my quest for caring for and nurturing Ebenezer (my pancreas). He’s had mostly good days, but also some bad days, and I want to make sure he stays happy and healthy. I have loved Banana Chips since buying them as snacks for my kids years ago. Why not try to make them myself? I don’t know why I never thought of that over the years, except that these do take some time to make, and that is something you’re kind of short on when raising three incredibly busy and active kids. Oh well, better late than never. Wanna see how these turned out? Here we go. . .

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Banana Chips

I used bananas that were ripe, but still fairly firm. Slice them between 1/8 and 1/16 of an inch thick. Making them the same thickness will help with them being baked evenly. The thinner the slices are, the faster they crisp up. Lay them out in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Brush them with lemon or lime juice (I happened to have a lime in my frig) so they don’t turn brown.

Into the oven at 225 degrees for about 90 minutes (this seems to be the consensus online) and check to see if they’re firm enough. I gave them another bake in increments of 15 minutes (mine needed about an extra 45 minutes) until they felt fairly firm, let them cool 5 minutes, and checked again. I did this once and they went back into the oven for another 15 minutes, so it totaled about 2 1/2 hours all together.

I flipped them after the first 45 minutes, just to help with the drying out process. When you feel they’re dried enough and firm, let them cool on the parchment paper. At this point, I had already decided that if I’m going to go through this much work – and I will – I’ll make two pans next time!

After the banana slices are cool, carefully peel them off the parchment paper and store them in an airtight container. These don’t have any preservatives, so don’t wait too long before enjoying these, or you might have the same problem I had with the Roasted Chickpeas.

Actually, you won’t have the problem of trying to save these for any length of time. This batch didn’t last more than one afternoon. They’re sweet and crunchy and absolutely delicious. There isn’t any weird overly sweet flavor or extra banana flavor or preservative taste that you get with some store-bought kinds. These Banana Chips are totally worth the work – you’re gonna love them!

Leave a comment »

Roasted Chickpeas

I NEED this recipe for Roasted Chickpeas. I love salty snacks – I mean, who doesn’t – but since my problem with Ebenezer last winter (my pancreas – you can read more about that here), I’ve tried to stay away from things with too much fat. I’ve tried to be good, really I have, but it’s not easy. I have a “thing” for salty snacks – popcorn, chips, pretzels, you name it. There just isn’t much variety of salty low-fat snacks out there. Sometimes you have to just take matters into your own hands. You can find recipes for these chickpea snacks all over the internet, so I thought it was time I gave them a try. I found this particular recipe one night on Instagram – you can check out Hip Foodie Mom’s blog here.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Roasted Chickpeas

Drain, rinse, and pat dry:

1 can chickpeas (or garbanzo beans)

Put beans into small bowl.

Toss beans with:

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Mix together:

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon lemon pepper

1 teaspoon salt

Toss with beans and pay out on parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake at 450 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until crisp.

You can put any flavor you want on these – taco seasoning, Mrs. Dash, Lowry’s Seasoned Salt, or make up your own – whatever YOU like.

Eat immediately, while they’re still crunchy (I found out the hard way that these don’t last too long, even in an airtight container – let me just say that they turned a nasty, fuzzy green – yes, moldy – after a couple of days).

I rinsed and drained the chickpeas.

Then I rolled the chickpeas on some paper towels to dry them off.

Next I tossed the chickpeas with olive oil so the spices would stick to them.

Then I mixed the oily chickpeas with the spices.

I recommend putting the chickpeas onto a parchment lined baking sheet so they don’t stick to the baking sheet.

After baking, the chickpeas are crispy and delicious. The longer they sat, the less crisp they were so eat them right away!

I like this recipe. The chickpeas are crispy and tasty and low-fat. Just remember to eat them right away, or within a day or two – you don’t want them getting moldy like mine did. That was just a waste. I may have to try making these with a lot of different spices and flavorings. They’ll keep Ebenezer happy and that keeps ME happy! I needed this low-fat snack, and so do you. Give this healthy and delicious snack of Roasted Chickpeas a try!


1 Comment »

Nutty “Raw” Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

Here is a healthy recipe for Nutty “Raw” Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls that I saw when watching “The Kitchen” on Food Network a while back. Katie Lee was making these and I knew it was something I could use for a snack without too much fat and added sugar. This is another low-fat snack that will make Ebenezer (my pancreas – you can read more about that here) happy, and we definitely want to keep him happy. We don’t need any more issues with him moving forward. I think he’s finally seen the light and is behaving himself – he’s been nice and friendly and good to everyone (even after the holidays)! Because it’s a health issue, I may be trying some low fat recipes here from time to time. Don’t we all have the same New Year’s resolution – to be healthier in the new year? Well, let’s do it. I just don’t believe we need to eat crappy food to be healthy. If I find a delicious, yet healthy recipe (or at least healthier recipe), I’ll pass along the good word and we’ll all try these new recipes together. Sound fair? Good!


Here is the recipe as I made it:

Nutty “Raw” Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

Soak in 1/4 cup hot water:

3 dates, pitted

Soak for 5 minutes and reserve the water.

Combine in food processor:

3/4 cup unsalted, raw almonds

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Pulse until it forms a fine meal.


1 Tablespoon creamy peanut butter

3 soaked dates

3 Tablespoons of the reserved water the dates were soaked in

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Process until of a cookie dough consistency.

Transfer to a bowl and fold in:

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Using a scoop, portion dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet.

Refrigerate until dough is chilled and set, about 20 minutes.

Store in refrigerator with parchment between layers.

Mmmm. Soaked dates.

These are full of healthy, good for you ingredients.

This looks like meal to me.

All mixed up and the chocolate chips are folded in and ready to go. I found that if I held the dough in my hands for a few seconds, it was easier to roll them into balls. I’m wondering if you could spread these into a 9″ x 9″ square pan, chill them, and cut them into small squares.

Ahh. There we go. Delicious. These babies are a lifesaver. I’m technically not supposed to eat much chocolate (too much fat), but I can handle these. They really do taste just like cookie dough, and I’m just going to keep a batch of these in my frig at all times – from now on! They’re so good! I love these and you will, too. Try these Nutty “Raw” Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls and give yourself a delicious, healthy treat!


Leave a comment »

The New Vintage Kitchen

A Vermont innkeeper's collection of 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