Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

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

Combine:

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!

 

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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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Oyster Cracker Snacks

Today’s recipe for Oyster Cracker Snacks comes from my brother-in-law’s wife. She has made some great snacks for family gatherings, and was the one who also gave me the recipe for Spicy Ritz Crackers. This one in particular we’ve been making for at least 20 years, and the whole family loves it. It’s another great snack that will be perfect for your new years party. These crackers are crunchy and tasty and FULL of ranch flavor – if you love ranch, you’ll LOVE this snack!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Oyster Cracker Snacks

Put all ingredients into an ice cream pail or large container with a lid:

2 packages oyster crackers

1 package Hidden Valley Herb Dressing

1 package Hidden Valley Creamy Dressing (I’m not sure if they make these two dressings anymore because we couldn’t find them – I just used 2 packages of their regular ranch dressing)

1 teaspoon dill seed (I didn’t have any dill seed when I made this so I used dill weed)

A couple shakes of garlic powder or garlic salt

1 cup quite warm oil (I used canola)

Shake until crackers are coated.

Just put all the ingredients into a big enough container with a lid to shake and coat the crackers.

I didn’t use an ice cream pail, but I have a nice large container I used to shake and coat.

Give it a shake until the crackers are totally coated.

They come out loaded with that ranch flavor. Let them sit for about an hour and the oil and flavor will absorb and make them absolutely delicious! Another plus – you can keep these ingredients in your cupboard for last-minute guests, or just for when you need a little snack.

Just a warning – these crackers are amazingly addictive. Seriously.

This is another very easy snack that can be ready pretty quickly. You’re going to love these and when you make them, you’re going to be addicted to them. Not that I know ANYTHING about that. Oh go ahead. Try these Oyster Cracker Snacks and get hooked!

 

 

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Chicken Salad for Crackers

The recipe for today is for a Chicken Salad for Crackers that I made up years ago. My kids have been asking me to put it on here because it’s never been written down, I just throw the stuff in and make it. This has forced me to write it down and measure things out. It’s perfect for on crackers, but it’s also great on a sandwich or in a salad. New Year’s is next weekend, and the time is right to share it.

I also just felt like sharing another photo today. This one was taken in the winter and is of my mom, who I think is with one of her uncles. The house is Grandma’s parent’s house, and by the way, that’s a nice looking pair of horses pulling that hay rack.

I love my mom’s little white boots and her pretty coat and hat!

Ok – back to the recipe for today. I think you’re going to love this one. It’s easy to pull together, and you’ll have most of the ingredients in the cupboard.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Chicken Salad for Crackers

Put in a small mixing bowl:

1 (10 oz.) can chicken, broken up with a fork (you can also use about 1 cup of any chopped, cooked chicken)

1/4-1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 Tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted

2 Tablespoons celery, finely chopped

2 Tablespoons onion, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon celery seed

2-4 shakes of cayenne pepper

pinch of salt

3-4 grinds of fresh pepper

Mix well.

Let sit 2 hours to allow flavors to blend.

This is a very easy recipe – just mix all the ingredients together!

We love this Chicken Salad on Crackers, but it’s good on a sandwich or a green salad.

The recipe is also very easy to double for a crowd.

My family loves this and yours will, too! It’s tasty and very easy to do. Try this Chicken Salad for Crackers for your New Year’s party and your guests will keep coming back for more!

 

 

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5 Quick and Easy New Year’s Eve Snacks

Here are 5 Quick and Easy New Year’s Eve Snacks that you can use for your New Year’s party or gathering!

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Cajun Chex Mix

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Cheese Ball

Marinated Chicken Wings

Marinated Chicken Wings

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Dry Beef Dip

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Spiced Sugar and Popcorn

 

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Happy New Year 2016!

Happy New Year, everyone!

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I wish you health and happiness for the new year! I appreciate each and every one of you – thank you so much for visiting Plenty Sweet Life!

 

 

 

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New Years Eve Snacks

Here are some snacks from past posts to make and enjoy at your New Year’s Eve party. Have fun and stay safe!!

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Marinated Chicken Wings

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Caramel Corn

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Cheese Ball

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White Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn

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Dry Beef Dip

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Hot Cranberry Drink

 

 

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Spiced Sugar and Popcorn

Here is a great snack for New Year’s Eve. Actually, this snack would be great any night this winter in front of a roaring fire, in front of your favorite movie, or binge watching your favorite TV series. This recipe comes from Jamie Oliver and his wonderful Christmas special from a few years ago. You can find the original recipe here. I made this Spiced Sugar as soon as I saw it, gave jars away to family and friends, and have kept the recipe to make again when my supply of this delicious condiment is gone. That day has come. I’m all out of the wonderfully fragrant Spiced Sugar and I desperately need to make more. I’m hooked on this stuff – it’s amazing! The sugar is great on popcorn and it’s such a great snack. The original recipe I used was printed from the Jamie Oliver website, so I’ll just type the recipe out here.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Spiced Sugar

(This is the full recipe – I made half of this.)

Whiz in food processor until well blended:

3 fresh bay leaves (I used dry)

zest of 2 oranges, finely grated

zest of 2 lemons, finely grated

6 whole cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

10 gratings of whole nutmeg

1 vanilla pod, halved lengthwise

Add:

2 pounds sugar

Whiz again until mixed together.

Since it’s pretty moist, put mixture onto a baking tray and spread out evenly to dry for a few hours.

Once it’s nice and dry, sieve it to remove all larger pieces of spices.

Discard what’s left in the sieve, then put spiced sugar into an airtight container.

To make the popcorn:

2 Tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil

2 Tablespoons butter

heaping 1/2 cup popcorn kernels

Melt oil and butter in a large pot or dutch oven with a lid.

Add popcorn kernels.

Cover with lid (if you don’t, you’ll be sorry!).

When popping stops, put popcorn into large bowl and immediately sprinkle on the spiced sugar.

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The ingredients are so unbelievably fragrant. I just took my time making it and enjoyed every heavenly moment of it, breathing deeply and inhaling all of the spicy goodness.

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The food processor really does a good job pulverizing and mixing all of the spices and sugar.

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I let the sugar sit for at least 2 hours and it definitely got drier and crusty. After using the sieve, the leftovers would be good in a simmering potpourri or just sitting in a pretty bowl. It just smells so good!

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Here is the final, beautiful product. Isn’t it pretty?!! Put in jars it makes a wonderful Christmas gift.

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I don’t think you could use air popped popcorn for this because it’s too dry. You’d have to add something to keep the sugar from totally falling off of the popcorn. Making popcorn in a pan is the best anyway. If you wanted it to really be special, a drizzle of melted butter before sugaring wouldn’t be out of the question.

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Here is the beautiful spiced sugar popcorn. Wow.

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You’re going to want to just keep on making popcorn. Go ahead and make several batches.

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This sugar is good on anything: oatmeal, cereal, on top of cookie frosting, on top of cakes or muffins, and especially on hot buttered toast. The list could go on and on. You have to make some of this delicious, multi-use, very addictive spiced sugar. You’ll find a million uses for it – if you have any left after the many batches of popcorn you’re going to want to make. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

 

 

 

 

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New Year’s Snacks

I thought I’d remind you of some great recipes I have on Plenty Sweet Life that can be used for New Year’s snacks. These were posted last year and they’re all really easy and really good! I know, I know! Can you believe it?!!! Check these out:

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Cheese Ball

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Caramel Corn

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Marinated Chicken Wings

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Party Mix

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Gougeres

There are also a lot of sweets and treats here, so please, go ahead and look through the archives. There’s something here for everyone!

 

 

 

 

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Dry Beef Dip

New Year’s Eve was fun at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. When I was really little, we would go to the celebration held at their church, which was about a mile straight west of their farm. We would play games and have snacks and then at about 10:00, we’d go back to the farm where we would stay up until midnight and ring in the new year. At some point, we started just going to their house for the celebration and we’d play games like Rack-O, Rook, Chinese Checkers, and Rummy all night. I remember making decorations like “Happy New Year” banners and blowing up balloons to decorate the house. I’m sure mom and dad were out at New Year’s parties and we could conveniently stay overnight until they felt like picking us up. Here is a recipe that you can use for your New Year’s Eve celebrations. This recipe for Dry Beef Dip comes from one of Grandma’s sisters and it’s really good.

Dry Beef Dip

It makes a small batch, but it’s so good and so rich that you don’t need a lot of it.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Dry Beef Dip

Mix together:

8 ounce cream cheese

1/2 cup sour cream

1/3 cup green pepper, chopped

1 small onion, cut up fine

1 jar dried beef (2 1/2 oz), chopped

2 tablespoons butter, softened

1 teaspoon garlic salt

Put in oven proof bowl and top with:

1/2 cup pecans, chopped

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes (longer doesn’t hurt any).

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If you remember to soften the cream cheese, this dip is really quick and easy to make.

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I used a flat serving bowl to bake the dip.

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It looks festive!

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This dip is great with any kind of cracker, maybe even veggies.

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Try this dip for your next party or celebration. It’s so easy and it’s really good and it’s just a little bit different!

 

 

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