Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Teriyaki Wings

I have no idea when or where I got this recipe for Teriyaki Wings. It was written on a Peter Rabbit notepad years ago, and I haven’t seen this one for a long, long time, until I found it in some of my mom’s recipes. The Super Bowl is coming up, and that means we need new and unique snack recipes. Yes, I said snacks – football snacks. They have to be easy to make and they have to be delicious and you have to be able to eat them with one hand. Well, as much as that’s possible.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Teriyaki Wings

Mix up and set aside:

2 Tablespoons each:


Soy Sauce

Rice Wine Vinegar

Reserve 2 Tablespoons of sauce for dipping.

Salt and pepper a package of wings and broil them for 20 minutes (the wings I found were the whole wing, not cut into smaller pieces, and I decided to just try them that way).

Brush wings with sauce and broil 10 minutes more.

I mean seriously, could this sauce be ANY easier?

These are the big whole wings I found – they were delicious – but you could certainly buy the smaller, regular drumette or wingette, or just cut them yourself.

I was getting concerned after the first 20 minutes of broiling. They looked a bit dark, but I decided to just go with it. That was what the recipe said.

Here they are at the end. When putting the wings in for the last 10 minute broil, I did move my top rack down in the oven for the rest of the broiling.

Funny thing – they did NOT taste burnt – they were absolutely delicious! The only thing I would do differently next time is that I’d make an extra batch of the sauce so there is plenty for dipping – 2 Tablespoons was barely enough.

I have to say, this is another recipe that I’m so glad I found again. These wings are so good and have such a nice, light flavor and sauce – it’s not the thick, heavy sauce that you usually find on wings. Your guests will love these, but you’d better make two batches. These Teriyaki Wings are totally different from the usual kind of wings served at football parties – and they’re great!




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Country Pie

I found this recipe for Country Pie in one of Grandma’s old cookbooks – it was submitted by one of Grandma’s sisters, who originally got it from her daughter – who just happens to be my mom’s cousin and my godmother. This cousin is the one who grew up so close – close in age, close in proximity, and close in relationship. They always say they were more like sisters than cousins, even though my mom is a year older. This is a photo of the two of them dressed alike. I love how their parents always used a nice backdrop for their photos! Ha! They have the same dresses, and hair bows, and even their hair is styled the same!

They were great friends – still are! They were just so stinkin’ cute – still are!

As for the recipe – it was submitted to the church cookbook, but I also found the handwritten copy of the same recipe from Grandma’s sister. I love those old recipes, so I put the recipe card in here instead of the recipe from the cookbook. This was a great dish I made when our daughter was over for lunch on a Sunday before a Minnesota Vikings game, but it would be an nice week-night meal, too – easy to do and delicious!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Country Pie

For the crust:

1 pound lean ground beef – not cooked or browned – yes, raw

1/2 cup tomato sauce

1/2 cup bread crumbs (I used panko crumbs)

1/4 cup onion, chopped

1/8 teaspoon dried oregano (I went crazy and added 1/4 teaspoon – I could have used more than that)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 of a small green pepper, chopped

For the filling:

1 1/2 cup Minute Rice

1 cup water

1 1/2 cup tomato sauce (I used a 15 oz can of tomato sauce total – close enough)

1 cup grated cheese (I used cheddar)

1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix all together (except 1/4 cup cheese for top).

Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Uncover, top with remaining cheese, and bake another 15 minutes (after uncovering, I baked it an additional 20 minutes – to make sure beef was fully cooked – before putting cheese on top).

I know it sounds a little strange to use uncooked ground beef, and I thought so, too, but it works! This is the crust, so I just patted it into the pie pan as if it was a pie crust. It’s more like a meatloaf crust layer.

Next, I poured in the filling – and yes! It all goes in!

I forgot to show that I covered the pie with foil. Luckily – and I DO mean luckily – I had just cleaned my oven!

After the baking it covered, I didn’t feel comfortable with how the beef still looked a bit pink, so I left it in for another 20 minutes or so.

Then, on went the shredded cheese and back into the oven it goes! I may have used more than 1/4 cup of cheese on the top – I like it cheesy.

It came out all bubbly and cheesy and delicious! My daughter and I were brainstorming about this recipe – you’ll probably see more variations of this one down the road!

That meatloaf type crust and the rice filled filling – yum! I would let this sit for 10-15 minutes before serving next time. There was a bit of liquid that wasn’t absorbed into the pie when I cut it for the first slice, but when we went back for seconds, it had.

This was an amazingly delicious lunch, but I just can’t help think it would be a great weeknight dinner – it’s pretty fast to pull together! I served it with a bit of sour cream and some chives from my garden, but ketsup and green onions would be good, too. I think this may just become a staple in this household – I hope you’ll try this Country Pie and make it a staple in your household, too!




BBQ Ribs

This recipe for BBQ Ribs comes from my brother-in-law, and these ribs just happen to be one of my family’s favorite foods. Period. He made these for us once when we were visiting he and my sister and their son out in Virginia, and there’s been no looking back. My son and my husband happen to love these ribs, so I decided I’d share this recipe just in time for Father’s Day. If you want something that will be perfect for dad’s day, this is it! Just make sure you have plenty of ribs (I can get 4-6 racks on my baking sheets and in the oven at one time). These ribs will go fast! It’s supposed to be my “Nothing But Easy Summer”, but these ribs ARE easy to do. There are a few steps, but they’re easy steps, and it’s so worth it.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

BBQ Ribs

Put whatever dry rub you want on your ribs (I used the recipe below), then cook uncovered in the oven for about 3 hours or until meat can be flaked with a fork (I use ribs – I guess they’d be called baby back ribs – from my grocery store, and they’re smaller than the ribs my brother-in-law gets, so I cooked these for only about 2 hours). You want to cook them until almost done, as they will be finished on the grill.

Let ribs cool, then place in zip top bag (I use a clean, unscented garbage bag so it’s big enough for the ribs, and leave the ribs right on the baking sheets I baked them on) with whatever sauce you want – you could buy your favorite BBQ sauce, try my brother-in-law’s sauce (a store-bought hickory brown sugar BBQ sauce, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 1/4 cup hot sauce), or try my recipe for BBQ Sauce. I used my recipe for this batch. Shake the bag so the ribs are covered with sauce (I just brushed the sauce on), then place in refrigerator overnight.

Finish ribs on the grill over low or indirect heat.

Ribs are done when they can be cut easily or broken apart with hands.

Caribbean Jerk Rub

(I think I found this rub recipe online, but I don’t know where – sorry)

2 Tablespoons dried, minced onion

1 Tablespoon garlic powder

4 teaspoons crushed dry thyme leaves

2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 Tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons black pepper

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

You can use whatever jerk seasoning you want, but I made my own. It’s so easy and tastes so much better.

Before you put on the rub, you should do this one important step first. This is an important step!!! There is a thin “silver” layer or membrane on the back side of the ribs that needs to come off. Take the point of a knife to get it started and then pull it off. Sometimes I use a paper towel to get a better grip on this silver skin. It’s tough, and sometimes takes a bit of work, but it’s worth it. The ribs will be tougher if you don’t get this off, and the flavor of the rub won’t permeate like it should.

Next, on goes the seasoning and then into the oven to bake.

Oh my gosh. Try not to lose your mind while these are baking. Wow.

Let them cool and then brush on the BBQ Sauce, making sure to cover every bit of the ribs.

Once the sauce is on, I put the whole pan, along with the ribs, into a clean unscented garbage bag. My brother-in-law uses the huge size zip-top bags, but I’m too cheap to use those. Put the whole thing into the refrigerator until you’re ready to grill them.

They just need to be warmed through when grilling, since they’ve already been baked.

The grilling makes the sauce caramelize and get sticky and smoky and amazingly delicious! Make sure you make plenty of these ribs, because they’ll go fast! I just throw a roll of paper towels in the middle of the table and let everyone go at it! I serve them with Potato Salad and Calico Beans and you’re in heaven! BBQ Ribs are everyone’s favorite, and you are gonna LOVE them, too!



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Spaghetti in the Crock Pot

Today’s recipe for Spaghetti in the Crock Pot is exactly what we need for our “Nothing But Easy Summer”! The weather’s been pretty cool so far this spring, and we’re just not that into the grilling thing yet. I am still wanting things to be easy, so one weekend when we had a lot of yardwork to do, I decided to give this a try. It was worth a shot, why not? I think it turned out pretty well, and it’s great when you don’t want to think about dinner later in the day. This is another recipe that’s really not a recipe, unless you want to make everything from scratch. You can sure go ahead and do that, but that defeats the purpose. This is supposed to be easy. I’d rather be outside reading a book on the deck, or out on the lake in the boat, or using an entire day to clean out the garage, or swimming at the beach all afternoon. See where we’re going here? Ok – let’s give this a try.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Spaghetti in the Crock Pot

Put into crock pot:

2 jars of your favorite jarred spaghetti sauce (I used two bags of frozen Marinara Sauce that was still in my freezer)

1  pound of lean ground beef, browned (or maybe just put it in without browning it – we want this to be easy!), or some frozen meatballs – even easier!

1 can diced tomatoes

1 can water (using the can from the tomatoes – this helps the pasta cook)

Heat until an hour before you’re ready to serve.

An hour before serving put in:

1 pound of spaghetti, broking into thirds (for ease of serving)

Serve hot with parmesan cheese, a green salad, and a nice loaf of bread.

I’m so glad I had Marinara Sauce in the freezer – how easy is that?

An hour before serving add the pasta. This is where I added an extra can of diced tomatoes and water to make sure the pasta would cook ok. I stirred it about every 10 minutes so I could keep an eye on the pasta. An hour is about right.

I have to admit that the pasta texture wasn’t the same as when you cook it in a pot of boiling water, but in a pinch and if you’re in a hurry, this is a great way to have dinner ready without too much trouble. My crock pot is kind of hot, so I could even turn it on at noon and it would be ready by dinner. I’m glad I now I have this Spaghetti in the Crock Pot to add to the “Nothing But Easy Summer” arsenal!



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Chicken Sandwich Hawaiian

Today’s recipe for Chicken Sandwich Hawaiian comes from one of grandma’s old church cookbooks. When I read this recipe, I immediately thought of using it for nice little tea sandwiches that would be perfect for a nice afternoon tea on Mother’s Day. You all know how I feel about these old church cookbooks – they’re the best! Everyone puts in their favorite and/or best recipe from their years of making delicious food for their friends and family, and we all get to benefit from it! I could totally see the person who submitted this recipe had used it for just this purpose – afternoon tea. Not that you couldn’t also use a nice croissant and a bit of crunchy green lettuce to also use this as a nice lunch or for a picnic – that fits right in with my “Nothing But Easy Summer” because this recipe is absolutely nothing  but easy. A bigger sandwich and a picnic would also be nice for Mother’s Day, but I think mom would appreciate your brewing up a nice pot of her favorite tea, bringing out a tray of beautiful little tea treats (like Orange Sugar Cookies or Lemon Love Notes), and a nice plate of these delicious tea sandwiches.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Chicken Sandwich Hawaiian


1 12-ounce can boned chicken (I used the biggest can of chicken, which was a 10-ounce can of white meat chicken)

1 cup celery, sliced

1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

1 9-ounce (or about 1 cup) crushed pineapple, well drained

1/2 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing

1/2 teaspoon salt

Chill thoroughly.

This recipe uses simple ingredients that you probably have in your cupboard and frig.

Easy to do – easy to mix up – easy to eat!

For tea sandwiches, spread the mixture between two slices of bread, cut off the crusts, and cut diagonally in half or quarters.

This recipe would also be great in a regular sandwich for lunch or a picnic – perfect!

Afternoon tea is such a special way to treat mom on her special day. You know she’ll love this. It’s not that hard to pull together and she’ll appreciate that you took the time to make is special for her. This sandwich spread is so delicious and is nothing but easy to do. Go ahead. Do it. Make the mom in your life some of this Chicken Sandwich Hawaiian!




Farmhouse BBQ Muffins

This recipe for Farmhouse BBQ Muffins came from my mom. I don’t know where she got it, and I don’t think she ever made them for us, but I’m glad I found the recipe. These muffins are totally something I would have made for my kids, if I had the recipe when they were little. My kids would have (and probably still will) eat these up! I know that the kids in this photo would also have eaten these up, and I know that their mothers (Grandma and one of her sisters) would also have eaten them up – for how easy they are to make. This is one of Grandma’s sisters with her daughter (my godmother) and my mom (in the middle) and her brother (my godfather). You can see a picnic table in the background, and while they look like the photographer took them a bit by surprise here, by the size of the fish they’re holding, I think they were having a great time!

They must have been enjoying a lovely day at a park. I just love this pic – it looks like a typical summer day. So cute.

Ok – back to today’s recipe. Your kids and grandkids will eat these up. I promise. They’re great for a quick weeknight dinner, to put into your husband’s work lunch, or for a beautiful summer day when you’re in a hurry to get back outside and catch more fish. The added bonus is – they’re absolutely delicious.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Farmhouse BBQ Muffins


1 tube (10 ounce) refrigerator buttermilk biscuits

Flatten into 5 inch circles.

Press each biscuit into bottom and up sides of greased muffin cups (I got 12 muffins from one tube of Grands biscuits); set aside.


1 pound lean ground beef


Mix together:

1/2 cup ketchup

3 Tablespoons brown sugar

1 Tablespoon vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)

1/2 teaspoon chili powder (my family likes things a bit spicier, so I added 1 teaspoon plus 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes)

Add to meat and mix well.

Divide the meat mixture among the biscuit lined muffin cups, using about 1/4 cup for each.

Sprinkle with:

1 cup (4 ounce) shredded cheddar cheese

Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes.

Cool 5 minutes before removing from muffin cups and serving.

You can make the sauce the way the recipe says, or you can spice it up a bit like I did – whatever you like.

I just used my rolling-pin to roll the circles out to 5 inches wide. Spray the muffin tin well before tucking in the biscuits.

I just used all 12 of the biscuits in the tube and then filled them all using up all the meat mixture.

Top them with the shredded cheddar and into the oven!

They’re so cute! They’re puffed and golden and smell delicious!

These are really good. Really good. I know I put a fork in the photo here – just for effect. They seem like you’re meant to pick them up with your hand and eat them like a muffin. My original intention was to make these to put in the freezer for my husband to take to work for lunch, but I may have tried to taste a couple for lunch. I mean as long as they were sitting right there. Most of them did get put into freezer zip-top bags. Most of them. But seriously, folks, these Farmhouse BB Muffins are delicious and your kids and grandkids (and husbands) are gonna love them!

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Sweet and Sour Meatballs

I love these Sweet and Sour Meatballs so much! The recipe comes from my big, old, red Betty Crocker Cookbook, and it’s total comfort food for the whole family. We get cravings for these meatballs, because this was another one of those recipes that I made a couple of times a month when our kids were growing up. On one of our recent Sunday family dinners, I asked if anyone had a request and our oldest daughter suggested having these meatballs. Great idea! I haven’t made them for a while – I don’t know why – and we were all glad for that suggestion. These are so tasty and so good!

Lucky you! You get a bonus recipe for Swedish Meatballs (although not MY family’s recipe for Swedish Meatballs ) on this one, too!

Here is the recipe as I made it

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

For the meatballs:

Mix together:

1 pound lean ground beef

1/2 cup dry bread crumbs

1/2 cup milk

2 Tablespoons onion, finely chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce

1 egg

Shape into 1 1/2-inch balls.

Cook over medium heat, turning occasionally, until brown, about 20 minutes.

Or cook in ungreased 13″ x 9″pan in 400 degree oven until light brown, 20-25 minutes.

For the sauce:

Cook meatballs in skillet, remove.

Drain fat from skillet.

Mix in the skillet:

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 Tablespoons corn starch

Stir in:

13 3/4 ounce can pineapple chunks, with syrup

1/3 cup vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)

1 Tablespoon soy sauce

Heat to boiling, stirring constantly, reduce heat.

Add meatballs.

Cover, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.

Stir in:

1 green pepper, coarsely chopped.

Cover and simmer until crisp-tender, 5 minutes.

I don’t need to show you how to make meatballs. Just mix them up, roll them, and cook them on all sides as evenly as you can. I’m going to admit right now, I’m sooooooooo bad at making meatballs. I just don’t have the patience to keep turning them to brown on all sides. They usually end up as some kind of pyramid shape.

This is just a shot of the pineapple – ok, ok, I was playing around with the close-up feature on my camera. I just thought it looked cool.

I used my biggest pan and it filled it up pretty well. This is the meatballs with the pineapple added to make the delicious sauce.

Next add the green pepper and let it bubble for about 5 minutes.

I usually serve this dish with rice. To make it easier, I cook rice and put it into the freezer in zip top bags frozen flat to take up less space. Then it’s even easier to get dinner on the table – just warm up the rice and serve. It’s simple. It’s tasty. It’s a family favorite. It makes great leftovers, if there is any left. I think you’re going to want to try this easy and delicious dinner dish – Sweet and Sour Meatballs!



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Tiny Meatballs

This recipe for Tiny Meatballs comes from the early 1980’s. I got this from one of my sisters-in-law when I first started dating my now husband. It uses the funny “classic ingredients” of grape jelly and chili sauce. This was another recipe that I had lost, but when looking through my mom’s recipes, she still had it. This is an oldie but a goodie (totally going under the “Retro Oddities” category), and is perfect for your New Year’s Eve party. How much easier can we make it? You just put the meatballs into the sauce in a slow cooker! Yes! At this time of year, we’re tired of making holiday treats and just want something EASY to do. It can’t hurt if it’s ridiculously delicious at the same time!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Tiny Meatballs


2 pounds extra lean ground beef

1 egg, slightly beaten

1 large onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)

1 teaspoon salt

Shape in tiny balls, about the size of a walnut (or even smaller).

Combine in a skillet:

1-18 ounce jar grape jelly

1-12 ounce jar chili sauce

2-3 Tablespoons lemon juice

Heat until smooth.

Add meatballs and simmer 1 hour.

The sauce is just 3 simple ingredients: grape jelly, chili sauce, and lemon juice. I put the ingredients right into my cast iron pan. I didn’t try these in the slow cooker, but if you’re going to do that, maybe do it in the morning for an evening party. It’s so easy to do, it might be just as easy to make them in a skillet and then just keep them warm in a slow cooker.

Meatballs are simple, too, just beef, egg, salt, and onion.

When making small meatballs, you need the onion to be chopped small. I could have chopped the onion smaller. Of course, as usual, I also made the balls bigger than they should have been. I got 34 balls and the card says that it makes between 50-60. I guess make them half this size?

The smell of these meatballs cooking? Oh. Em. Gee. Whoa. Amazing.

Delish. These meatballs are a great addition to your hors d’oeuvre or appetizer repertoire. See how I used the fancy pants French words there? I had to ask my daughter (who has some high school French) how to spell those. These were made ahead of time and then I put them into the freezer to have later – that’s when I put them in a slow-cooker to warm up. It worked perfectly. This recipe is so retro and so easy and so good. You really should try a batch of these Tiny Meatballs for your New Year’s Party or maybe even your Super Bowl party – and don’t forget the toothpicks!



Baked Chicken #2

Today’s recipe for Baked Chicken #2 comes from the back of one of Grandma’s recipes. Actually, it was on the back of her recipe for Baked Chicken that I made several years ago. I was looking back at some of those past recipes, and realized that I never made the second recipe on the back of that card. I’m putting this one under the hotdish category, because it uses the same principle – meat, rice, and cream of something soup. We’re getting closer to comfort food weather, and these are necessary comfort food recipes: Baked Chicken, Easy Chicken and Rice, and this one. This one would be a perfect Sunday dinner. It’s easy, it’s no-fuss, and it’s delicious!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Baked Chicken #2

Mix in large bowl:

1 cup uncooked rice

1 can cream of Chicken Soup

1 can Cream of Celery Soup

1 Tablespoon parsley leaves (I used dried)

1 soup cans water

Put into greased 9″ x 13″ pan.

Top with:

1 cut-up fryer chicken (or whole cut-up chicken), seasoned with salt and pepper or seasoned salt

Cover with foil.

Bake at 325 degrees for 2 hours (DO NOT PEEK). Next time I’d bake about 1 1/2 hours and then take the foil off and let it go the last half hour to brown the chicken a little bit.

Mix up the rice and soups – and yes, you need to use regular uncooked rice.

The soup/rice mixture goes into the pan, and then on goes the chicken (this chicken had gigantic pieces, so we cut the breasts in two). I also seasoned it with a bit of seasoned salt, because I had a feeling that this would be a little pale after being baked and covered with foil.

After baking, I took off the foil and let it bake another 20 minutes or so, just to brown it up a bit (I was right – it did come out looking a little pale), but that made it somewhat overdone. The chicken was nice and tender, but the rice was overdone and a little mushy. I’d take the foil off earlier next time so the total baking time would stay the same.

Oh yes – total comfort food!

This WAS the perfect Sunday dinner. I just added a bit of green (peas), and it made for an excellent comfort food meal. Incredibly easy and incredibly delicious – this Baked Chicken #2 is incredibly comforting!


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Chicken Pot Pie

This recipe for Chicken Pot Pie comes from friends who stayed with us years ago, and it’s become one of my family’s favorites. As a hostess gift, they brought us a cookbook to write your own recipes in, and this one was already in there. I’m so glad it was! Refrigerated pie crust (gasp) makes this fast and easy to make for a “really quick” dinner, as it says on the recipe. I know, I know –  the recipe doesn’t say refrigerated pie crust, but if we’re really trying to make this a quick one, that’s the way to go. You can certainly make your own pie crust, or even make it ahead of time and keep it ready to go in the freezer, but refrigerated crust has come a long way, and I’m ok with it – in this case.

This recipe is so fast and so good!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Chicken Pot Pie

Put a refrigerated crust into a pie plate (you can also make your own crust).

Mix for filling:

2 cans Cream of Potato Soup

1 can VegAll (or frozen mixed vegetables – I used fresh vegetables and some vegetables from my garden)

2 cups diced chicken or turkey (I used chicken leftover from one we made in the smoker – rotisserie chicken works great, too)

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup milk

Put a refrigerated pie crust into pie pan (or make your own).

Put filling in and put on top crust.

Brush top crust with beaten egg.

Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.

I used some fresh vegetables and some vegetables from my garden for this pie, but canned works just fine, too.

The filling is absolutely delicious.

Before baking it looks ok, but after baking you can see how pretty it is when you brush on the egg. I also made a few vent holes with a knife and added a sprinkling of course salt and freshly ground pepper on top of that.

This is another great recipe where you can basically have the ingredients on hand to make this whenever you have leftover chicken or turkey.

I’m so glad I have this recipe and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s easy to pull together, it’s easy to do, and it is sooooo good! My family absolutely loves this pot pie – it’s total comfort food. Really. I’m not even kidding – I KNOW you’re family is going to LOVE this Chicken Pot Pie.


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