Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Salad #7

This is another in a long line of salad recipes that are in Grandma’s file, and we are on Salad #7 today. Grandma would use these salads for all of the family gatherings, church events, and entertaining she and Grandpa would do. There were a LOT of events of every kind, so she needed a lot of different recipes. She wouldn’t have brought the same recipe more than once. You needed to show your salad prowess at these things, and the easier the recipe, the better. If you were a busy farm wife and if you could do something to save time, I’m sure you’d be more than happy to do that, as she was. These easy recipes are great for all of us trying to save time, yet wanting to put delicious treats and food out there for everyone to enjoy.

This is another salad that really should be called dessert!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Salad #7

Combine:

1 package of Lemon Jello

1 package of Lemon Pudding (not instant)

2 1/2 cups water

Cook until it comes to a boil.

Cool.

Add:

2 cups Cool Whip (which is pretty close to a whole small container)

1 large can crushed pineapple (grandma had written “dried” pineapple, but I think she meant a drained can of crushed pineapple)

This recipe is so simple, and you can have the ingredients handy for making this last-minute.

It takes a bit of folding to incorporate all the ingredients, but it’s worth the time it takes!

You can leave the salad in a pretty bowl and let it firm up, or you can put it into pretty glasses (like I did here) and serve them individually. We enjoyed these with a Sunday dinner and had them while they were still a bit soft. They were delicious!

This is another ridiculously easy, ridiculously tasty recipe that you’re going to want to keep handy for any occasion. How can you not just love these recipes that are so easy, so good, so handy, and so “grandma”. I know that you and your guests will adore this lemon-y and pineapple-y Salad #7.

 

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Ramen Coleslaw Salad

This recipe for Ramen Coleslaw Salad comes from my sister-in-law, and it is so amazingly delicious. Everyone loves this salad, and I have made it many, many times over the years since she first shared this recipe with me. I can remember one time in particular that I served this at dinner when my mom and Grandma and Grandpa came for a visit. We had eaten dinner and the table was being cleared. My husband went into the kitchen to get something and was confronted with the sight of Grandma, standing by the sink, the salad bowl in hand, slurping the last of the dressing from this salad with the serving spoon. She grew up in the Great Depression – she was NOT going to waste one drop of that delicious dressing!!! Haha! I think he just let it go and didn’t give her a hard time about it. She sure gave him a hard time enough about his eating handfuls of home-baked cookies  – when you have to bake for a large family of siblings like she had done in her youth, you don’t eat more than your fair share! She sure liked to tease him about that, but he didn’t want to make her feel bad for not wasting that dressing! He just let her enjoy it. That is a GREAT memory.

This salad is positively addicting!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Ramen Coleslaw Salad

Mix together for the salad:

1 – 1 pound package of coleslaw mix

1/2 of a red pepper

1/2 of a green pepper

4-5 green onions, diced

2 packages of Ramen Noodles, broken up (I used chicken) – save the flavor packets for the dressing

1/2 cup toasted almonds (I used slice almonds)

For dressing mix together:

1/4 cup sesame oil

3/4 cup oil (I used canola)

1/3 cup vinegar

1/2 cup sugar

2 flavor packets from the Ramen Noodles

Dash of soy sauce

Store in refrigerator if you want.

Pour over salad 10 minutes before serving.

I mixed up the dressing first. Put all the ingredients into a jar, put on the lid, and shake it up. If it sits for any length of time (maybe overnight) it takes a bit of shaking to mix it all up and get the sugar off of the bottom of the jar. It can be done. It’s worth the effort.

The salad is pretty and colorful, with pretty simple ingredients.

I brought this to my mom’s house a few weekends ago, so I packaged everything “to go”. First – mix the vegetables together for the salad.

Next I put the almonds into a separate zip top bag, put the broken up ramen noodles into a bag, and then the veggies go into their own bag. The dressing is in the jar and it’s all ready to go and pack up.

When you’re ready to eat the salad, mix it all together and pour over the dressing. It’s an easy salad to take along or to share.

This is seriously one of my favorites.

I love a salad that’s this easy to make and this tasty. Everyone you know will LOVE this salad. They may even love it enough to drink the dressing when dinner is over. Who knows?! You’re going to want to try this Ramen Coleslaw Salad – soon!!

 

 

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Garden Cabbage Salad

Today’s recipe for Garden Cabbage Salad has been around a long time. I’m not sure where this one came from, but my mom started making this in the late 1970’s or early 1980’s. This salad is great for using garden vegetables. We had a big garden across the road from our house at the lake, and there were a few years when we grew cabbage. That might have been when my mom found this recipe that uses cabbage. I have a garden now, but not big enough to grow all of these veggies. That’s when I head to our favorite farmer’s market to pick up local, fresh ingredients to make recipes like this one. If you have an over abundance of garden vegetables, and you’re looking for a different kind of salad to make with said vegetables, this is the salad for you!

This salad has such simple ingredients and is so fresh tasting!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Garden Cabbage Salad

Put into a large bowl:

3 cups chopped cabbage, not shredded

1 cup chopped tomatoes

1 1/2 cups chopped cucumber, with seeds removed

1 Tablespoon chopped onion

Add:

1 cup mayonnaise

salt and pepper to taste

Combine.

Chill one hour or more.

These tomatoes were grown in our garden, but I got all of the other veggies at the farmer’s market.

Get your chopping skills ready! Usually I shred cabbage when using it in salads, so it was strange to chop it.

Just a few ingredients, but it’s so fresh and good!

It’s also a very pretty salad, but it’s also the kind of salad that doesn’t last too long in your frig. I would say that it will only last a day or two before the cucumbers make it a bit watery. Just go ahead and eat it all in one sitting. It’s vegetables – it’s good for you!

If you have a garden, you’re going to want to try this salad. It uses your garden produce in a little bit different way. There’s just not anything more to say. It’s easy and very quick to pull together, its uses simple ingredients, it’s a great side dish for anything grilled in the summertime, it uses veggies from your garden or local farmer’s market – what’s not to love in this Garden Cabbage Salad?

 

 

 

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Dressing for Garden Veggies

This recipe for Dressing for Garden Veggies goes back to the 1970’s from a family friend. This friend is the wife of my dad’s best friend. These guys had been friends from the time they were little boys, through high school (oh boy – are there stories about this time in their lives!!), and until we lost my dad at the age of 49. These guys would give each other a hard time about everything, give each other nicknames, and spend as much time together as possible. They hunted, fished, camped, and did anything they could outdoors. I love this photo of their confirmation class. My dad is the one on the left and his best friend is the one in the middle in the front. Don’t they look thrilled to be there? Ha!

The one thing they hated more than having to spend time indoors, was to have to get dressed up in their Sunday best! Except for their wedding photos (or their children’s wedding photos), this was probably one of the most formal photos they ever took. EVER!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Dressing for Garden Veggies

Mix together in a mason jar:

1/2 cup salad oil

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup vinegar (I used cider vinegar)

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon salt

Pour dressing over cut veggies.

I used:

carrots

celery

peppers

peas

cucumbers

mushrooms

radishes

sliced black olives

Full disclosure – I used olive oil for this. If you think the salad may last more than one meal, use salad oil. Olive oil solidifies in the refrigerator if you need to store it. It doesn’t look so pretty. I would use salad oil next time.

The dressing separates, but a quick shake before pouring it over the veggies and it’s fine. It takes a bit of shaking to get all of the sugar to incorporate.

This is a pretty salad with all of the colorful veggies . . .

. . . and it’s delicious!

You can just keep adding more veggies because the dressing lasts for a week or so. This has such a tasty dressing. Call up all of your best friends and have them over for dinner. You can talk about the good old days and serve them this amazingly delicious salad with Dressing for Garden Veggies.

 

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Salad #6

I love these family photos from years ago, and this one is of Grandma and Grandpa (on the right) and one of Grandma’s sisters with her husband, and maybe a cousin of theirs. Family was very important to Grandma and her brothers and sisters. They would get together a lot on Sundays, and I can imagine the chatting, the teasing, and the eating that went on at those get-togethers. I don’t have to imagine too hard – I was there at some of them when I was growing up!

Here is another in a long line of salads just called “Salad”. This one is Salad #6. There is a ridiculous number of salads in Grandma’s recipe file, and I’m sure that’s because of all of the family dinners and gatherings she was a part of over the years. She needed to have a huge arsenal of  recipes that she could mix and match depending on what and who the gathering was for. This one is especially easy to do and is especially good. It will be great on your springtime table.

This salad is really good!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Salad #6

Boil:

2 1/2 cups water

Add:

1 (3 oz.) package of Strawberry Jello

2 boxes Tapioca Pudding

Cool.

Fold in:

1 (12 oz.) Cool Whip

1 package frozen strawberries (partially thawed)

Let the first mixture cool completely so it doesn’t melt the Cool Whip.

It takes awhile to fold in all of the Cool Whip, but you’ll get there eventually.

I used the frozen strawberries that I had in the freezer from a local farm.

This recipe makes a nice big salad – it more than filled this bowl.

There was enough extra salad left (that didn’t fit in the bowl) for dessert that night after dinner, and the main salad was taken to my mom’s for her birthday dinner. This was one of those family dinners, just like Grandma and her family used to have. The consensus from the family on this salad – 6 thumbs up.  It’s so delicious, and really convenient. You can have all of the ingredients in your cupboard and freezer ready for anytime. I hope you’ll try this really quick, really easy, and really delicious Salad #6.

 

 

 

 

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Orange Tapioca Jello

Growing up on the lake, I remember springtime as being cold. It was sunny and it was green, but it was cold. I’m pretty sure this had something to do with the spring breeze blowing over the ice still left on the lake. Some years there would be a rim of open water at the edge of the ice, and we’d jump across to the ice and walk around on it. There were times, however, that there would be ice floes, which were big flat chunks of ice floating at the edge of the lake. The trick to jumping on and riding the floes was to never go farther or deeper than what you wanted to get wet if you fell off, and falling off was cold – very cold! Not that I know ANYTHING about that. Really. It was just so nice to be outside in that cold, clean, fresh air and see things growing and hear all the things melting. I also loved the wild flowers in the spring, and I had a secret place – ala The Secret Garden – where I could find all kinds of flowers to put into little glasses or vases around the house. This helped with the spring cleaning, when it was time to clear the dust and cobwebs of the winter away, open up the windows, and let in the fresh, clean air rush in and freshen everything up.

Today I’m sharing a jello salad that we always have for Easter dinner. I think the recipe originally came from Grandma years ago, and I still make it every year. The orange flavor makes it a perfect springtime treat. I don’t have the card for this anymore, so I’ll just type it out.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Orange Tapioca Jello

(This is the original recipe, but I usually double it, like I did here.)

1 package sugar-free orange jello

1 package sugar-free vanilla pudding

1 package tapioca pudding

11 ounce can mandarin oranges, drained with liquid reserved

Boil jello and puddings with 3 cups water (using reserved mandarin orange juice as part of this).

When cool, top with Cool Whip (you can also use whipped cream) and mandarin oranges.

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This is a fairly easy recipe, which is always nice to have when you’ve got a big holiday meal to prepare. I’m all for anything being easy, as long as it’s this delicious.

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The mixture is boiling hot, so if you’re worried about putting this into a good crystal bowl, let it cool down a bit before putting it into your pretty bowl or container. I’ve done this for years with this particular bowl, so I’m comfortable just putting it in there hot.

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I usually top this with the Cool Whip/whipped cream and garnish with the mandarin orange segments, but to do this the way Grandma would have done it, we pass a separate bowl of whipped cream so everyone can put on (or not) what they want.

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This is such a delicious recipe, and it always brings back happy memories for our family. We’ve been having this delicious salad for our Easter dinner for as long as I can remember, and it always signals springtime. Try this delicious and creamy salad – just right for springtime!

 

 

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Cabbage Salad

I was incredibly lucky to have 2 sets of amazing and very loving grandparents. My Gramp was the first to leave us, but not until I was in college, so I was able to enjoy all of my grandparents most of my growing up years. This photo is of my other grandparents and me when I was about 3 months old. We lived next door to them until we moved to the lake when I was 8, and I was at their house almost every day.

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The recipe for today is from this grandma. She made Cabbage Salad every time the whole family was all at their house for dinner. There were 12-16 of us when all of my aunts and uncles and cousins were there, and I’m sure this was just an economical thing. Also, this salad goes with absolutely everything. There isn’t really a card for this – I watched and helped her make this my whole life, so I just always knew how to do it. I’m going to try and write down what I do, but I have to admit that this changes a little bit from time to time, depending on what I have on hand and how I’m feeling on the day I make it.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Cabbage Salad

Shred :

1 head of cabbage.

Dressing:

(All of these measurements are approximate depending on how big the head of cabbage is. Feel free to taste and adjust the sugar and vinegar to your liking.)

1 cup mayonnaise

3 Tablespoons sugar

3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Blend.

Add to the shredded cabbage and combine.

Add:

2 sliced bananas

or

pineapple chunks.

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You can use a food processor to shred the cabbage, or hone your shredding skills with a knife.

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I used bananas for this salad, but grandma did occasionally use pineapple. Pineapple was probably for really special occasions.

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This is definitely an unusual flavor combination. Not everyone in my family liked this made with bananas.

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This salad is economical, it’s tasty, and it goes with any main dish. It brings back a lot of memories for me of dinners at Gramp and Grandma’s with the family around the dining room table laughing, telling stories, and being together. It was so much fun. Those are memories I’ll always cherish.

 

 

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Cranberry Salad #2

Today I’m sharing another one of those strange salads made with Jello and cottage cheese. I have to say, this one is not one of my favorites. Naturally it goes under the “retro oddity” heading, because I’m sure it’s from the 60s or 70s. I really don’t know what the deal was with the cottage cheese and jello. I had some issues with this recipe, and I’ll discuss them as we go along. This Cranberry Salad #2 is a recipe that could be either a Thanksgiving salad or a Christmas salad. When I had all of the ingredients out and was getting ready to make the salad, it smelled so much like the holidays with the raspberry, cranberry, and orange – it got me in the holiday spirit. But just for a minute – we’ve had temperatures up to 20 degrees above normal here in Minnesota this month, and it’s been hard to get in the mood for Thanksgiving when it’s warm enough to sit outside on the deck. 2 years ago we had snow and sun dogs showing up by this time in the month. Oh well, we’ll take the warm weather as long as we can get it!

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This is a very pretty salad!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Cranberry Salad #2

Dissolve according to package instructions:

1 package of raspberry jello

1 1/2 cups boiling water (Here’s where I think there is a problem. I did use 1 1/2 cups of boiling water for this, but finishing it according to the package takes another 1 cup of cold water. The salad ended up a bit soft and I think I’d cut back to 1 cup boiling water and 1 cup of cold water – the usual way – to make the jello.)

Chill until mixture begins to gel (this took about 45 minutes for me).

Fold into jello:

1 lb can of jellied cranberry sauce (crushed) or whole cranberry sauce (drained) (I used the whole cranberry sauce which now comes in a 14 oz can – I did drain  it a bit, but there wasn’t a lot of juice from it.)

1 orange, quartered and put through a food chopper – rind and pulp (I don’t have a food chopper so I used the food processor, which seemed to add even more liquid from the juice)

Pour into square or oblong pan (I used a 9″ x 13″ pan)

Chill until firm.

Cut salad into 3″ squares.

Place squares into lettuce cups.

Spread with:

1/2 pint cottage cheese

Top with another layer of salad to make a “salad sandwich”.

Serve with desired dressing (I didn’t add this).

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This salad really doesn’t have many ingredients, and overall it’s really a very quick and easy recipe.

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While the jello was setting, I broke up the whole cranberry sauce and put the orange into the food processor.

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It is colorful once the lettuce cups are added.

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I made the executive decision to just top the salad with a spoonful of cottage cheese instead of topping with another square of salad. Especially after what happened next.

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This is what happened when adding the second layer of salad. The salad was so soft, it sort of fell apart. I think that’s why I would just make the jello the regular way instead of adding an extra cup of boiling water. Maybe using a food chopper for doing the orange would have also made the orange less juicy than using the food processor. The salad was delicious and very pretty with the red salad and the green lettuce, but my family decided that it would have been better without the cottage cheese. I think it would have been just as good to make the salad in a pretty bowl and serve it with a spoon. The salad was good, we just didn’t appreciate the “retro oddity” component of adding the cottage cheese. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

 

 

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Vegetable Salad #2

The recipe for today comes from a family friend and I’ve been making it since the 1970’s. This friend’s husband was my dad’s best friend, and we were together with them quite often. Here is my dad’s graduation photo.  I know those boys were best friends since this time, or even earlier than this. I know they were in the same confirmation class at their church, so they may have been best friends since they were 8th grade or so. There are stories galore about how much trouble these guys were. I’m not allowed to elaborate on that, but trust me – there are stories. So many stories.

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How handsome is this guy? I’ll refrain from any comments about how much he looks like James Dean.

We would go to these friends’ house for dinner on weekends or they would come to our house. The “girls” (they were girls at that time – probably in their 20’s, even though they were moms) would sit at the kitchen table and talk and the “boys” would be down in the basement or in the garage talking and preparing for the next hunting season. In the early years, I was the only kid around and I would bring books or coloring books to work on while we were at their house, or I’d hang around and listen to the ladies talk or hang around the men and help refill shotgun shells or something. Eventually my little sister came along, these friends became her godparents, and then they had 4 kids of their own. The first time I remember having this Vegetable Salad #2 was at one of our famous 4th of July celebrations (when you live on a lake, your house is where everyone goes for the 4th of July), but we had this salad quite often over the years. I love this salad so much. It’s tasty and can be conveniently done ahead of time.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Vegetable Salad #2

Mix together in a large bowl:

1 head of cauliflower, broken up into florets

1/2 of a small head of red cabbage, shredded or chopped

1/2 of a red onion, chopped

1/2 pound bacon, fried and crumbled

Dressing:

2 cups salad dressing (I used mayonnaise)

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Mix dressing into vegetables.

Let stand 4 hours or overnight.

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It’s time to sharpen those shredding and knife skills. I shredded the cabbage for this salad, but I do remember having it with chopped cabbage.

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There is a lot of chopping, shredding, and floret separating to do, but it really does go fast.

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Mix up the vegetables and mix up the dressing.

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Put it all together and that’s it!

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This is one of my all time favorite salads. I just love the flavors in this one – onion and bacon – how can you go wrong with that? Delish.

 

 

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Great Grape Salad

The recipe for today is very fancy – fancy enough for a very special occasion. Fancy enough for the fancy occasion depicted in this photo. The lovely woman second from the left is my great-great grandmother. I’m not sure what occasion they’re celebrating here, but it sure looks fancy to me!

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Ya gotta love those hats! Yes – those are indeed very fancy.

This fancy recipe comes from my sister. She makes this Great Grape Salad a lot and people just love it. In my opinion, this is another one that should really be categorized as a “dessert salad”. It’s very decadent, and perfect for a special occasion. This salad would be right up Grandma’s alley since she has had a lot of salads in her recipes that I would consider a “dessert salad”.

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This makes a very large and very fancy salad.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Great Grape Salad

Wash and pat dry:

2 pounds red seedless grapes

2 pounds white (or green) seedless grapes

Combine:

8 ounces cream cheese

8 ounces sour cream

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix until light and creamy.

Add grapes and mix well.

In a small bowl, combine:

1 cup pecans, chopped

1/2 cup light brown sugar

Top the grape mixture with the brown sugar and pecans.

Cover and chill at least 6 hours before serving.

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You start out with 4 pounds of beautiful grapes. If I had known how much salad this made, I would have made a half batch.

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It looks a bit strange when all mixed up.

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I didn’t think all of the brown sugar and pecans would actually fit on top, but somehow I made it fit.

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Since we were being fancy, I used my prettiest bowl for this, forgetting that the bowl is heavy and then I put 4 pounds of grapes in it! I could hardly lift it!!!

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This is a delicious, decadent, unusual salad that’s fit for the most special occasion. Get yourself some fancy duds and call some people over and have them wear THEIR fancy duds. Have a party – a fancy party – and serve this very fancy “dessert salad”.

 

 

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