Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Dessert #6

Today’s recipe for Dessert #6 (there seems to be a LOT of dessert recipes in Grandma’s file – at least 6 just simple named “dessert”!) comes from Grandma’s youngest sister who got it from her daughter-in-law’s mother. I love that. That’s how these great recipes just keep getting passed around – because they’re GREAT! Actually, I have three different copies of this recipe: this one that’s Grandma’s, one that’s from another sister (who was exactly 2 years older than her), and one that’s from the above mentioned youngest sister. I guess they all liked it! The sisters definitely shared those recipes that were “V Good”, and that’s what this one is – V Good!

Note the “V Good” connotation again on this one!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Dessert #6

Mix together:

80 Ritz Crackers, crushed

1/2 cup melted margarine or butter (I used butter)

Save 3/4 cup for topping.

Put rest in bottom of 9″ x 13″ pan.

Mix together:

2 packages Butter Pecan Instant Pudding (I couldn’t find this – maybe they don’t make it anymore –  and Grandma’s recipe was the only one with this ingredient – I just used Vanilla Instant Pudding (that’s what the other 2 recipes called for) and added 1/4 cup toasted pecans)

2 1/2 cups milk

Stir in:

1 quart vanilla ice cream, softened

Pour on top of crust.

At this point I put the pan into the refrigerator for about 20 minutes to let the pudding/ice cream mixture firm up a bit.

Top with:

1-8 ounce container of Cool Whip

Reserved 3/4 cup Ritz Cracker mixture

Nuts or cherries can be added (I don’t know if she means in the pudding/ice cream mixture or on top).

I like how this recipe says the exact number of crackers to crush. Sometimes it’s hard to know how much of things to use when they keep changing the size of products so often.

It’s a simple crust – crackers and melted butter. Don’t forget to keep out the 3/4 cup for the topping!

Soften the ice cream and it will be easier to stir it into the pudding. I used a whisk at first, but then changed to a spatula once the ice cream started to melt in. It might be interesting to play around with different pudding flavors in this!

I had a few lumps of ice cream that just wouldn’t stir smooth, but in the end it didn’t seem to make much difference. It was smooth once it was chilled.

It was easier to spread the Cool Whip over the top after making dollops with a spoon and then spreading it. Be gentle – the pudding layer isn’t totally firmed up yet. Sprinkle the crumbs on top!

The recipe says you can add nuts and cherries, so I added a strawberry. That makes it a healthy dessert, right? This dessert is delicious just the way it is, and if you like it of a more soft consistency, serve it right away. I made this during a very hot week, and I put it into the freezer – it was nice and firm and nice and cold! It’s a great dessert to keep in your freezer for unexpected guests! If Grandma and her sisters say it’s “V Good” – it’s “V Good” – and you’ll love this Dessert #6, too!

 

 

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5 Frosty Desserts for Hot Summer Days

We need 5 Frosty Desserts for Hot Summer Days because we’re in it now – those glorious summer days of sunshine and heat. What’s better than a nice, frosty dessert when you’ve been at the beach all day, you’re visiting someone’s cabin, or you have a family gathering to go to? Here are 5 desserts that will keep you cool this summer!

Frozen Lemon Pie

Homemade Ice Cream and Root Beer Floats

Frozen Salad or Dessert

Dessert #2

Heath Bar Crunch Ice Cream

 

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Popcorn Cake

This recipe for Popcorn Cake comes from a friend we met when we were first married and living in a different town. Their family came to visit us for a weekend when we moved to our house, and they brought the lovely housewarming gift of a recipe book where you could write in your own recipes. She had written in a few recipes that her family enjoyed, and this was one of them.

I have only made this once before, but I WILL be making it more often from now on.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Popcorn Cake

Melt together:

1 – 10 1/2 ounce bag of marshmallows

25 caramels

3/4 cup butter

1/4 cup vegetable oil

Pour this over:

9 cups popped popcorn

Add:

3/4 cup M&Ms (I used 1 cup)

3/4 cup dry roasted peanuts (I used 1 cup)

Stir until mixed.

Put in buttered 9″ x 13″ pan (I used a Bundt pan).

Cool 1 hour in refrigerator before serving.

You can make the popcorn any way you like: microwave, kettle, or like I did, with my good old college air popper! Still works great!

Not a lot of ingredients, but they’re delicious ingredients!

Pour the first mixture over the popcorn.

Mix it up and let it sit just a minute or two before adding the M&Ms so they don’t melt. When thinking about how the final product would look, I decided to put a few M&Ms into the bottom of the Bundt pan so they would be on top when it was turned out.

I put the final mixture into the Bundt pan and patted it down with a buttered piece of waxed paper.

I thought the cake would come right out of the pan easily, but it didn’t. No worries. Just hold it in some warm water for a couple of minutes and it slides right out of the pan. Maybe turning it out onto a plate right away instead of chilling it in the refrigerator would work. You can also just follow the recipe and put the mixture into a regular cake pan and make more of a bar type of thing. Either way is equally delicious and pretty. You can also find out how I made the incredibly fast, incredibly easy, and incredibly inexpensive cake stand here!

I added some sprinkles and decorative sugar to the top of the cake. Not necessary. It’s so cute and so festive without sprinkles. I can see why people make this for birthdays and holidays – it’s pretty decadent – loaded with all those goodies like marshmallows, caramels, peanuts, and M&Ms. It’s so good. And it’s so easy. This is a great last-minute treat to celebrate anything and everything. Try this Popcorn Cake and you’ll agree!

 

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Sugar Cookies #4 and Patriotic Ice Cream Sandwiches

Today’s recipe for Sugar Cookies #4 is going to serve two purposes (yes – this is the 4th recipe for plain sugar cookies I’ve done on this blog). One – they’re just downright delicious as a cookie. Two – we’re going to make ice cream sandwiches out of them! Yes! You heard me. Even better – since the holiday is coming up – we’re going to make them festive for the 4th of July!

The 4th of July was always a big deal for my family. Grandma and Grandpa’s church always had a “Homecoming” on the 4th of July, where people who had grown up in that small town (technically my mom’s hometown) would come home for a good old-fashioned small town 4th celebration. There would be a big lunch at the church and park in town, where the church would furnish the fried chicken or some other delicious main dish along with the rest of the meal, and the church ladies would all bring their Ost Kaka and pies for dessert. Then in the afternoon there would be a program of some kind: singing, bands, or readings. My mom, dad, sister and I lived on a lake when I was growing up and in the small town not far from our lake (technically where my dad grew up) there was a parade every 4th of July. We would either go to my mom’s small hometown or go to my dad’s small hometown near us for the first part of the day and then in the afternoon, we would have friends and family to our house to eat until we couldn’t eat anymore, swim until our ears were so full of water we couldn’t hear anymore, canoe until we would just swamp the canoe so we wouldn’t have to paddle anymore, boat until we ran out of gas and the motor wouldn’t go anymore, water ski until our legs were shaking and we couldn’t stand up on the skis anymore, and shoot off fireworks of some kind until we couldn’t stand the mosquitos anymore. It was so much fun and I have a lot of great memories from both kinds of celebrations from those years.

This is another recipe from the tiny book I found at my sister’s house.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Sugar Cookies #4

Mix in order given:

1 cup sugar

1 cup shortening, half butter (I used all butter)

4 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla (I put the vanilla in here with the more liquid ingredients, and I used 2 teaspoons to give it more vanilla flavor)

2 teaspoons baking powder

Flour to make a soft dough

Roll on floured board.

Bake in hot oven (I baked them at 375 degrees for 10-13 minutes).

The dough for this recipe rolls out nicely – and no need to chill it! I love that!

I decided to make them VERY festive. You can never be TOO festive. Right?

They’re a tender cookie after baking, and they’re delicious!

I used store-bought (gasp!) ice cream, but you can certainly make your own homemade ice cream if you want to.

I made all of these ice cream sandwiches, wrapped them, and put them right into the freezer to pull out on the 4th of July for a tasty treat.

These cookies are so easy to make, since there’s no dough chilling involved. You can just roll them right out and get it done. Make them as festive as you want to. Maybe try just sugar on top of them and fill them with strawberry ice cream, or chocolate ice cream, or mint ice cream. All of those would be right up my alley. I may have to make another batch of these Sugar Cookies #4 and try them all!

 

 

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Rhubarb Dessert

Today’s recipe for Rhubarb Dessert came from my mother-in-law. She got it out of one of HER old church cookbooks, and by the date on the recipe, she just tried this one a couple of years ago. That would just make her 91 years old and still trying new recipes (she’s 93 now)!

This photo is of my in-laws with the wonderful baby who would grow up to marry me!

My mother-in-law sure looks great so soon after having a baby – they were still in the hospital here.

She made a copy of the rhubarb recipe, gave it to my husband when he was down there visiting her one weekend, and told him to give it to me because it was so good! She had made this dessert and then brought some to a neighbor. Well, this is another one that I HAVE to try! Those little ladies who make the church cookbooks really know what they’re doing. It’s amazing how they keep on finding these recipes with a few simple ingredients that are absolutely delicious!

I have to say it – here’s another one of my new favorites!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Rhubarb Dessert

Spread in an 8″ x 12″ pan:

2 cup rhubarb, chopped (I would use 3-4 cups)

Mix together and spread over rhubarb:

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 heaping Tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix:

6 Tablespoons shortening or butter (I used butter)

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup flour

Sprinkle mixture over rhubarb.

Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.

Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

I added an extra cup or so of rhubarb and I would put even more in next time. But then, I love rhubarb, and I don’t think you can ever have enough.

Use a gentle hand when spreading the second layer and it will cover it all.

I used my hands to bring the third layer together and then sprinkled it on top of everything.

This smells so amazing while baking – enjoy that.

This is another easy, simple to make, and ridiculously delicious recipe. Take advantage of the rhubarb (if you still have some) and make this tasty dessert that’s even more delicious with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream. You and your family are going to love this Rhubarb Dessert.

 

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Rhubarb Jam with Blueberry

I have made Rhubarb Jam before, but today I’m trying Rhubarb Jam with Blueberry. When I made the first Rhubarb Jam on the blog, I used a recipe that I found in one of Grandma’s old church cookbooks. Then I was looking through Grandma’s recipe cards when I found what is essentially the same recipe written out by her. The only difference is that on the bottom of the card, she had written that using pie filling is good. Well, I mean really, we HAVE to try that! She says that apricot, blueberry, and strawberry pie filling are good. We know strawberry would be good because when making the jam, it calls for Strawberry Jello. I’ll have to try apricot sometime, too, just because I’m curious – how would that taste? Blueberry being my favorite – that’s the one I decided to try now. Would the blueberry overpower the deliciousness of the rhubarb? We shall see (as Grandma would say).

This sounds a bit odd, but here we go.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Rhubarb Jam with Blueberry

Let stand awhile (I let it stand overnight covered in the refrigerator) so it will give good juice:

5 cups rhubarb, chopped

3 cups sugar

Cook (20 minutes if we want to follow the other recipe for Rhubarb Jam).

Add:

1 small package Strawberry Jello

1 can blueberry pie filling

(I cooked the rhubarb and Strawberry Jello together for 15 minutes – no I didn’t read the other recipe first or I would have seen that you just cook the rhubarb alone first – then I cooked it all together with the pie filling for another 5 minutes. It turned out great anyway!)

Pour into jars and keep in refrigerator.

I let the rhubarb and sugar sit in the refrigerator overnight. It made a lot of nice juice, but didn’t really dissolve the sugar.

I added the Strawberry Jello and cooked it 15 minutes.

Add the blueberry pie filling and cook it another 5 minutes.

I only had pint jars available to me when I made this batch, but half pints would be great for hostess gifts.

I thought the blueberry might overpower the rhubarb, but it didn’t. You still get a definite rhubarb flavor in this jam. It is so good!

You can still see the pieces of rhubarb along with the blueberries in the jam. You need to try a batch of this jam now when rhubarb is plentiful and basically free. This recipe is very easy to do and pretty fast to make. The jam is great on toast, English muffins, angel food cake, pound cake, or ice cream. Any way you want to taste it, you’re going to LOVE this Rhubarb Jam with Blueberry!

 

 

 

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Sugar Cookies #3

Today’s recipe is for Sugar Cookies #3. Yes – I have already made two different kinds of sugar cookies on this blog, and this is the 3rd. I have also made several different kinds of sugar cookies. This recipe is from the recipe book our family made for my sister years ago, and it came from my other grandma. Originally it came from a family friend who was a great cook and baker. My other grandma was also a great baker, and she loved baking for her family. This photo is of her parents – my great-grandparents. I think they were living in town at the time this photo was taken, but it looks like my great-grandpa kept his bib overalls on – even if it wasn’t on the farm!

They’re so cute! I love my great-grandma’s apron!

This recipe made 2 cookies short of 5 dozen (I used my scoop for this batch).

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Sugar Cookies #3

Cream together:

1 cup margarine or butter (I used butter)

1 cup vegetable oil

1 cup sugar

1 cup powdered sugar

Add:

2 eggs

1 Tablespoon vanilla

Mix together and add to first mixture:

4 cups plus 4 Tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Chill (I chilled this dough about 1 hour).

Roll in balls (I used my scoop because the dough seemed a little dry and didn’t hold together as well as I thought it would).

Bake at 325 degrees until edges are lightly browned (in my oven this took about 20 minutes).

The ingredients for these cookies are pretty simple and straightforward. It’s one of those recipe where you probably have all the ingredients in our kitchen at any given time. My scoop is for days when I’m feeling particularly lazy and just want to get the cookies done faster. Feel free to roll the dough into balls by hand if you want to.

I love how they look when using the scoop – almost like little roses.

Time for coffee?

These cookies are so tender and melt in your mouth! They’re absolutely delicious. I think you should try them with a scoop of Homemade Ice Cream, a glass of ice-cold Lemonade, or Curried Fruit Compote. However you decide to enjoy them, you’re gonna love these Sugar Cookies #3!

 

 

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Rhubarb Torte #2

I found this recipe for Rhubarb Torte on the back of another of Grandma’s recipes! Lucky I found it or we might have missed it! Of course, I had to rename it Rhubarb Torte #2 because there has already been a recipe for Rhubarb Torte on this blog. They are similar, but not quite the same. Rhubarb Torte made a 9″ x 13″ pan, and this one makes an 8″ x 8″ pan, and the ingredients are a little bit different. I have to say – and I know I say this A LOT, but this time I really mean it (again) – this is one of my new favorites. This dessert almost makes me forget how good it was when we were kids, to pick a stalk of rhubarb with the big “pop” that would almost make you fall backwards, and then to dip the rhubarb stalks into a cup of sugar and bite that tart and tangy rhubarb even though it was all about getting to lick and/or eat the sugar. I think I love this dessert even more than that. Yep. I’m pretty sure I do. This. Is. So. Good. It’s. Crazy.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Rhubarb Torte #2

For crust:

Mix:

1 cup flour

2 Tablespoons sugar

a pinch of salt

1/2 cup butter, softened

Pat into 8″ x 8″ pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

For filling:

Beat:

3 egg yolks, whites reserved, until thick and lemon colored

Add:

1 1/4 cup sugar

2 Tablespoons flour

1/3 cup cream (I used Half-n-Half)

Mix in:

3 cups chopped rhubarb

Pour onto baked crust.

Bake at 350 degrees another 40-50 minutes.

For meringue:

Whip to stiff peaks:

3 egg whites

Add:

6 Tablespoons sugar

Reduce heat to 300 degrees and bake for another 20 minutes.

I started out using a fork to bring the crust together, but then I dropped it and just got in there with my hands. Then I pressed it into the pan also using my hands, patted it down, and into the oven.

These are again, like almost all of Grandma’s recipes, simple ingredients that make an incredibly delicious dessert.

The filling is also ridiculously easy to make and put on top of the baked crust.

Out it comes from the oven . . .

and on goes the meringue.

I just love this dessert so much.

One of my favorite parts is the pretty little drops of goodness on top of the meringue. The crust browns and almost caramelizes, the filling is sweet but tart from all that rhubarb, and the meringue is fluffy with its pretty little droplets on top. Heaven. I just know you’re going to love how easy and delicious this Rhubarb Torte #2 is.

 

 

 

 

 

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Rhubarb Pie #2

This recipe for Rhubarb Pie #2 is the one Grandma was famous for. It’s unbelievably delicious. I really should have made this rhubarb pie first so it could be #1, but I made another one in 2014, so that one is Rhubarb Pie. There are a couple of people in my family for whom this is one of their top 5 favorites, and that’s saying something. This pie is really one of those things that reminds me of Grandma. The smell of it, the look of it, and the memories of picking rhubarb in the shady garden down in the corner of the yard by the driveway at the farm.

I love this photo of Grandma with her two children: my mom and my uncle. It looks like a beautiful spring day and they’re all dressed up.

They’re so cute!

This pie has a custardy bottom layer that is divine with the tart rhubarb filled upper layer, and then there’s that heavenly layer of meringue over the top of it all. Oh my. Oh yes. Delicious. This card is one where we find the term “plenty sweet”. We just loved the terminology – that’s how “Plenty Sweet Life” came to be!

Of course, note the “V. Good” connotation on this one!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Rhubarb Pie #2

Have one pie crust prepared, in the pie pan, and ready to go. You can find several recipes in the “Pie Crust” category up the right side of this blog.

Mix together:

1 1/2 cups sugar (she used 1 1/4 cups and it was “plenty sweet”!)

3 Tablespoons flour

3 egg yolks (whites reserved)

pinch of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup of Half-n-Half (she said to use 1 1/4 cups used a pint for making two pies – I tried using just 1 cup for 1 pie and it was fine)

Add:

3 cups rhubarb, cut up fine (I just sliced them – I know the pieces were bigger than she would have used, but we like it that way)

Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes, then turn down to 325 and bake another 40 minutes or until set (I had to bake it another 30 minutes or so).

Whip the 3 reserved egg whites to stiff peaks, adding 2 Tablespoons of sugar per white. Put the whites on top of the hot pie and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until browned.

The pie is delicious warm, but when chilled in the refrigerator, it holds it’s shape a little better and is still just as delicious!

I really can’t believe how big my rhubarb is this year – it’s huge! A bumper crop!

Just use any pie crust recipe to have one ready.

Before and after baking – I put the pie on a baking sheet just in case the filling would overflow.

Once the pie is baked, it’s time to put on the meringue. I baked it about 10 minutes.

This is one of the best Rhubarb Pies I have ever made. Period. It’s beautiful.

Just look at this beautiful pie! It tastes even better than it looks – if you can believe that! You’re going to want to try this pie if you have a bumper crop of rhubarb this year like me. This Rhubarb Pie #2 will become a staple in your family, too!

 

 

 

 

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Rhubarb Cake with Orange Sauce

This recipe for Rhubarb Cake with Orange Sauce comes from one of Grandma’s sisters. Grandma and her sisters had a definite sweet tooth. This cake with the sauce is delicious, and “plenty sweet”. The orange sauce would be amazing on ice cream or angel food cake or even plain.

Rhubarb –  I’ve got a LOT of it this year. I can’t believe how big my rhubarb is!

It was big last year, and I might have made the same statement then, but seriously – the stalks are HUGE! It’s so fun! That means even more rhubarb recipes and maybe even another batch of Rhubarb Jam this year! I can’t believe it’s time for rhubarb, but here we go with the rhubarb recipes!

Wow – so good!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Rhubarb Cake with Orange Sauce

Rhubarb Cake

Cream together:

1/2 cup shortening (I used butter)

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

Add:

1 beaten egg

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk with 1 teaspoon orange juice or vinegar)

2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

Stir in:

2 cups chopped rhubarb

Spread batter into a 9″ x 13″ pan.

Sprinkle on top of batter:

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

Serve with Orange Sauce.

Orange Sauce

Heat together:

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup orange juice

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup brown sugar

4 Tablespoons butter

Cook until mixture thickens (I heated it until it started to boil – it thickens more as it cools).

Rhubarb is just so pretty.

The batter is quick to pull together and it doesn’t take a lot of rhubarb.

Oh yum. How can you go wrong with an Orange Sauce that’s a bit like a caramel, but with the flavor of orange?

Go ahead. Pour it on. It. Is. So. Good. I’m not even kidding. This is one very simple, very quick recipe that you just HAVE TO try. You’re going have to trust me on this one. You’re going to love it and your whole family is going to love it and all of your friends are going to love this Rhubarb Cake with Orange Sauce.

 

 

 

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