Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Lemon Dessert #2

The recipe for today is one of the most delicious recipes I’ve done to date. I’m so grateful to my daughter for hauling home the lemons and for her college roommate for letting her pick the lemons off of the tree in her backyard. Those lemons have definitely brightened up our winter.

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Today’s recipe for Lemon Dessert #2 is very similar to another Lemon Dessert I posted about a couple of years ago. But this one is better! I just have to say up front – that this dessert is the most delicious thing I’ve eaten in years! I’m not even kidding. I wouldn’t kid you about a thing like this. It is – and I don’t use this word often – AMAZING.  My family decided it was like eating baby angels. So ridiculously “melt in your mouth” good. This dessert is a lot like a Pavlova, only it’s in a cake pan instead of on a baking sheet.

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Here is the recipe as I made it:

Lemon Dessert #2

Beat for 15 minutes:

8 egg whites

2 cups sugar

1/2 Tablespoon vinegar (I used white vinegar)

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Put into a 9″ x 13″ pan and bake at 275 degrees for 1 hour.

Turn oven off and let stand in oven for 20 minutes.

For filling:

Cook in a double boiler until thick:

8 egg yolks, beaten a little

1 cup sugar

Grated rind of 2 lemons (Grandma noted that she didn’t use this, but I did)

6 Tablespoons lemon juice

Cool both crust and filling.

Whip:

1 pint whipping cream (it doesn’t say to add any sugar to the whipped cream, but I added about 2 Tablespoons – it seemed weird to me to not have it sweetened just a bit)

Put about half of the whipped cream on top of the crust, then the lemon filling, then the rest of the whipped cream.

Sprinkle coconut on top of everything and refrigerate overnight.

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This is my double boiler – a glass bowl sitting on top of a pan of simmering water. Does anyone use double boilers anymore? This works just fine.

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Here are more of those beautiful lemons!

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There was so much meringue for the crust that it almost overflowed in the oven! I pushed it down a bit around the edges so I could get the other goodies on top.

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The filling doesn’t seem to get thick when you’re mixing it in the double boiler. I cooked this for about 20 minutes and finally just decided to take it off the heat. It did firm up and got thick as it cooled a bit.

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So beautiful – layer by layer.

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Not everyone in my family loves coconut. I do. Love it.

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Here it is – like eating baby angels. I’m not even kidding.

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You’re going to want to try this dessert. It takes some time to make, but it’s very easy to do. You’re going to have to trust me on this one and just do it. You’ll be glad you did and you’ll love having this recipe in your arsenal. It’s a very elegant and very delicious dessert – just ask the baby angels.

 

 

 

 

 

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Jiffy Dessert

This recipe comes from one of Grandma’s sisters but originally came from her daughter, who is my godmother. I just love these easy desserts where you just need a couple of ingredients and you can pull it together quickly at the last-minute. I mean, if you have surprise guests show up, this one can be made in a jiffy! Ha! Hence the name. You can have the ingredients for this Jiffy Dessert in the cupboard and on hand at any time. Perfect. Nobody has to know that you didn’t work all day on this dessert.

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This really is incredibly easy.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Jiffy Dessert

Mix together until crumbly:

1 package Jiffy Cake Mix (I could only find a yellow one, but they used to have white and chocolate, too – you could use whatever you can find or, since these cake mixes are a single layer size, double the recipe, use a regular cake mix and put it in a 9″x 13″ pan)

1/3 margarine (I used butter)

Pour half in the bottom of an 8″ x 8″ pan.

Add:

1 can pie filling (you can use any kind, but for this I used blueberry)

Pour on top of crust in bottom of pan.

Sprinkle rest of crumbs on top of pie filling.

Sprinkle on top:

1/2 cup nuts, chopped (I used pecans)

Bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour.

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I finally found the Jiffy Cake Mix at our local Fleet Farm (farm supply store) store. It’s kind of hard to find it these days.

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Before and after baking, this comes together really fast.

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On the card she said it would be good with ice cream or Cool Whip, and she was right. I used whipped cream – the kind that comes out of a can.

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This easy dessert is great when you need something really fast. It’s delicious (it was best warm) and your guests won’t have to know how quick and easy it is. They’ll think you were baking all day anticipating their arrival. I won’t tell if you don’t!

 

 

 

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Peach Crisp

August is the time for peaches, and I just love them. It would be nice if they would stay just the way they are and I could just look at them forever – use them in home decorating or keep them in a bowl on the kitchen counter or maybe make candle holders out of them. Well, maybe not. But they’re sooooo beautiful! I always buy a “crate” of them when I see them in the produce department of my grocery store. My mom always bought one when my sister and I were growing up, and aside from making a pie or two, we ate ALL the peaches. I have posted a couple of recipes for Peach Pie with Never Fail Crust and Glazed Peach Pie, but I decided that there must be a way to make a Peach Crisp, and I decided to try an experiment and make it using the Apple Crisp recipe that I’ve also posted before. Let’s see what happens.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Peach Crisp

Slice into 9″ x 9″ baking pan:

enough peaches to cover the bottom (or as many as you want)

Mix together:

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Rub into dry mixture:

1/2 cup butter

Spread over peaches.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden.

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Slice enough delicious peaches to cover the bottom of the pan. I used a 9″ x 9″ pan instead of the 9″ x 13″ pan I would use for an apple crisp, but kept the same amount of crumble. I think peaches are going to be juicier than apples and more crumble is always better!

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I am making this up as I go, so I cut the sugar a bit (peaches are sweeter than apples) and cut the cinnamon a bit (I wanted a taste of cinnamon, but not as much as you would put in for apples).

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I used my pastry blender to cut in the butter, but you could use two forks or even your hands to make the crumble.

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Sprinkle the crumble on top of the peaches and into the oven it goes.

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The crisp came out golden brown on top and bubbly!

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This experiment was a success! The peaches are so sweet and the crumble is absolutely delicious! You just HAVE to serve this with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Or maybe some whipped cream. Or even plain. Get yourself some of these beauties and make something delicious!

 

 

 

 

 

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Junket Danish Dessert

Today’s recipe is summer on the farm to me. It’s funny how food can bring back so many specific memories, and this dessert can really do it. Me and my sister would spend time during summer vacation at grandma and grandpa’s farm, and when it came time for lunch, that was when we had the big meal. Grandpa, being a farmer, needed that energy for the hard work he would do all afternoon and sometimes into the evening. It was always fun to have dessert at lunchtime instead of dinnertime. It was so strange to me, but I loved it. We called this Danish Pudding, but the official name on the box is Junket Danish Dessert. I never asked Grandma about this, but I wonder if the reason they first tried this dessert is because my grandpa was half Danish. Hmm. Could be. Heritage was always very important to those two! Whatever the reason, I’m glad they made it a part of the tradition of visiting at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. I do remember that when I finally got to help Grandma make this, I was amazed at how simple it was. It’s just a box of the dessert and water. It’s so easy to make and so unbelievably good! We usually had the strawberry kind, which is my personal favorite, but for this post I used the raspberry flavor. This dessert was also used, occasionally, for making the glaze for strawberry pie, so maybe we were just using up an extra box that wasn’t used for pie. In any case, the addition of the vanilla ice cream was genius. There’s just nothing better – it’s so fruity and so creamy.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Junket Danish Dessert

You buy a box and follow the directions for pudding.

That’s it.

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When you first mix the water and pudding mix, it looks a bit cloudy. When it starts to boil, the color turns a dark red.

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We usually had this warm for dessert after lunch.

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It’s mandatory that you serve this with vanilla ice cream. The pudding is warm and the ice cream is cold and when the ice cream starts to melt, you MUST stir and make white swirls in the red pudding! That’s just how it works.

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I happened to have some fresh raspberries when I made this, so I gilded the lily just a little bit.

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When you stir it up and get the melted ice cream in a bite with the warm fruity pudding . . . heaven. Summertime on the farm and those great memories of having lunch together and Grandpa coming in from the fields or working somewhere in the yard or the shed. Try this unusual pudding for your next lunch. You’ll love this fruity, creamy, delicious dessert!

 

 

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Salad #5

The recipe for today is another one that’s simply called Salad, so henceforth, this recipe will be called Salad #5. As I’ve said before, there are so many recipes simply called Salad, that we have to number them or there would be no way to differentiate. This really should be a dessert instead of a salad. The ingredients in this “salad” are not incredibly healthy, or what you’d think of as a “salad”. You’ll see what I mean as we go along. Grandma and her sisters definitely had quite a sweet tooth. This salad is another really easy, really good one for all of your summer gatherings – graduations, bridal showers, picnics, or potlucks.

Salad #5

Yeah – I’d say this is more of a dessert.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Salad #5

Mix well:

1 package instant vanilla pudding

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup buttermilk

Mix in:

9 ounce Cool Whip

Add:

Drained, canned fruit of several different kinds (I used 4 different kinds: fruit cocktail, pear chunks, mandarin oranges, sliced peaches)

Add just before serving:

1/2 package fudge striped cookies, crushed (yes – you read that right!)

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I have to say again – so easy! (Please excuse the bad lighting here – I made this in my mom’s kitchen.)

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The hardest part of making this salad might be draining the four cans of fruit. Well, maybe it was harder to crush the cookies. Hmmm – I can’t decide.

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I guess I could have worked a little harder on crushing the cookies. Some pieces were a bit large, but nobody seemed to mind that.

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All mixed up and ready for the big show.

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This just seems like something you’d want at a special occasion, but it’s so easy to make, it seems like it might not be special enough for a special occasion. Wrong. This is a very special salad and it’s PERFECT for a special occasion.

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You can see here on the top of this serving of salad that there were some pieces of cookie that were large and didn’t get crushed enough – oh well. I think Grandma and her sisters had the right idea. I like this kind of “salad” instead of the healthy kind. Well, maybe the healthy kind of salad has its place. This “salad” SHOULD be saved for special occasions, I guess. Very special.

 

 

 

 

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Rhubarb Cream Delight

This card had a bonus. The recipe for Rhubarb Cream Delight was on the top and on the bottom was a recipe that I shared last year called Rhubarb Crunch. The recipe for today calls for 4 cups of rhubarb (which is a lot when your plants aren’t so big) and since my rhubarb is a bumper crop this year, now is the time to do this one. I’m not sure why I have so much this year or why it’s so much bigger than it has been before, but I’m not complaining. I’m thrilled! This is a photo of one of my rhubarb bunches (I have 2!).

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I love anything made with rhubarb and I never seem to have enough of it. I did split the plant a couple of years ago and gave some to a friend of mine who also loves rhubarb. Maybe that helped with the growth spurt, or maybe it was our mild winter. I might have to try to split them again – maybe next year. But for this year, I’m going to enjoy the abundance and use it up!

Rhubarb Cream Delight

This dessert is ridiculously good!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Rhubarb Cream Delight

For the crust:

Mix together:

1 1/2 cup flour

3 Tablespoons sugar

3/4 cup margarine, softened (I used butter)

Pat into 9″ x 13″ pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

For the filling:

2 cups sugar

4 egg yolks, beaten, whites reserved

2/3 cup cream or evaporated milk

3 Tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

4 cups rhubarb, chopped

Cook and stir until thick (she has that you can use the microwave, too, but I wouldn’t – that’s just me).

Pour onto crust while hot.

Meringue:

the 4 reserved egg whites (I would maybe add 1-2 more egg whites because the meringue was a bit thin)

1/4 cups sugar

Beat until stiff peaks form.

Spread on top of filling.

Bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until browned on top.

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This crust is a bit tricky to get into the pan – I used my hands to carefully pat it in.

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The filling ingredients are so easy to just dump and mix.

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Here we go – all ready for the meringue.

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It seems strange to put the meringue onto a filling that isn’t baked, and there isn’t a lot of meringue, so spreading it was a little tricky. I tried to make peaks like you would if making a pie, but there just isn’t enough of it. Next time I’d just spread it out. That’s why I would add an extra egg white or two to give yourself a bit more. That may affect the baking time just a bit so I’d give it an extra 5-10 minutes if you do add extra whites.

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This crust seriously melts in your mouth and the filling is so luscious!

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Put this one in your recipe arsenal – it’s so delicious! I may not have a ton of rhubarb every year, next time I’ll beg, borrow, or yes, steal more from neighbors, friends, and family just so I can make this again. You’ll want to make this every year, too! Your guests will be glad you did!!!

 

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Rhubarb Crunch #2

It’s rhubarb season and here is the first rhubarb recipe for this year. This recipe is for Rhubarb Crunch, but since I have already made a one called Rhubarb Crunch, this one will be called Rhubarb Crunch #2. I’m amazed when I think about how many rhubarb recipes Grandma has in her file, because I do remember her rhubarb plant and it wasn’t that big. There is the possibility that she had more plants at one time, but I can’t imagine how she made so many recipes from that one plant. It was down by the driveway in the garden that you passed as you came into the farm and it was a kind of shady spot. The stalks on that rhubarb plant were big, and the leaves on the stalks were gigantic. Maybe it WAS big enough to make all of those recipes.

My plant is much bigger this year than it has ever been. I started it about 12 years ago and it was pretty small for a long time. I complained about it to Grandpa once, and he told me to pull some of the stalks out toward the end of the season. I tried it and it worked! Of course it did – you want something to grow better? Ask the farmer what to do!! I think that poor little plant just needed to breathe and get more air and sunshine! Hmm – that sounds like good advice for all of us!

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This makes a nice, small dessert just right for using those first of the season stalks. You know – the ones that you just can’t wait to use!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Rhubarb Crunch #2

Combine:

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup flour

1/4 cup powdered sugar

Mix until fully combined and pat into 8″ x 8″ pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes and remove from oven.

Beat together:

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

3 Tablespoons flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Stir in:

2 1/2 cups rhubarb, chopped

Pour over baked crust.

Put back in oven and bake for 35-40 minutes.

Cut into 9 squares and serve hot with vanilla ice cream.

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I used a fork to even out the crust after patting it into the pan.

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Into the batter goes the beautiful rhubarb and onto the baked crust.

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It doesn’t look like much when you first pour it on.

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Then it’s baked and it turns into a 3 layered wonder: crust, custard, and fruit.

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I think you could also serve this with a dab of whipped cream, but the recipe says to serve it hot with vanilla ice cream. Who am I to argue?

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Ok – the ice cream is perfect. Absolutely perfect. This dessert is so simple and SOOOOO delicious. Amazing. Truly amazing. Make it this weekend and use your first stalks of the season!

 

 

 

 

 

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Curried Fruit Compote

Today I just have to share a really funny story that my husband tells about Grandma and her sisters. We were at Grandma and Grandpa’s house in town for a family gathering when my husband happened to find himself, for some strange reason, alone in the kitchen with Grandma and her sisters. They were cleaning up after dinner and doing the dishes, and they started talking about an incident where the youngest sister threw a tantrum somewhere in public, possibly at church when she was about 4 years old. These sisters were all 70 years old and up at the time they were in the kitchen talking about this incident, and they still made the youngest sister cry. Grandma said, “I was never so embarrassed!” They were all giving the youngest a hard time about it, and this incident happened 60-some years earlier! My husband says he would swear that if he didn’t know better, he could have looked up and there would have been 4 little girls standing there bickering as if it had happened last week. Some things never change. I might have shared this one before, but in this photo, that little doll sitting on the table is that youngest sister! What a sweetie pie! Grandma is the one on the left with a big bow.

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I’m sure she’s making sure little sister’s doing just exactly what she’s supposed to be doing, like sitting still! I love this photo of these four siblings so much – it’s just beautiful!

This recipe comes from that youngest sister. I absolutely love the complexity and simplicity of this Curried Fruit Compote. My first thought – this will be great for entertaining. It’s so simple and so quick to put together and yet so elegant. You really can have the ingredients on hand for last-minute guests.

Curried Fruit Compote

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There are bonus recipes on the back!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Curried Fruit Compote

Arrange in 1 to 1 1/2 quart microwave safe dish:

16 ounce can sliced peaches, drained

13 ounce can pineapple chunks, drained

16 ounce can sliced pears, drained

11 ounce mandarin oranges, drained

Melt in microwave safe measuring cup:

1/4 cup margarine (I used butter)

Stir in:

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon curry powder

Spoon over fruit.

Cover and chill overnight (I let it sit for about 3 hours and it was great).

Dot with maraschino cherries.

Microwave on high 6-8 minutes.

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The cans are different sizes now, but you can get close. I also like to use the fruit in its own juice, not with the sugar syrup. Grandma also never would have thrown away the juice. She’d save it and use it for something. I’d use it for cocktails, but that’s just me.

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It’s a pretty combination.

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It works well to melt the butter in a measuring cup – it’s easy to spoon and pour over the fruit.

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The cherries add the perfect touch!

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I decided to spoon this over ice cream, but it would be good over pudding or pound cake or even plain. It should be eaten warm – the butter tends to solidify again when it cools down.

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See how pretty and elegant?!! It’s so fast and so good, and the curry powder along with the fruit is such an interesting and warming flavor. Make this for your siblings and talk about old times. Maybe they’ll bring up that time when you embarrassed them to no end. Some things never change!

 

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Layered Pudding Delight

The recipe for today is from my other grandma. My grandpa was a bowler, and he was on a bowling team for years that would get together every Thursday night. I really wish I had a photo of the bowling team in their shirts, but I don’t. So in honor of the start of baseball season, this photo of Gramp when he played baseball for his town team will have to do. He played on the team for the town of Verndale. How cool is this? I absolutely love it! It looks so official, and I’m thinking this was sometime around the 1920’s or 1930’s.

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This pic is just so great. It really doesn’t look much different than the uniforms of today. Well, maybe a little different. They do wear throw back uniforms occasionally for MLB games now. Ok – so we know he liked to play sports. Back to the bowling story . . .

The men on the bowling team would bowl (this included the obligatory bowling shirts with their names on them) and the women would take turns gathering at one of their houses for chatting and crafts like knitting and crocheting. After the men were done bowling, they would all end up back at the house of whoever was hosting that week, and they would all have a dessert and coffee before heading home. It was a great social event, and because they took turns at each couple’s house, the women would have to come up with new and interesting recipes when their turn to host came around. Because of this, there was a lot of recipe swapping going on.

My grandpa would also occasionally take all of his grandkids bowling, and this was a source of never-ending frustration for me. I was not the best bowler. He’d try to tell me what I was doing wrong, and while I understood what he was saying, I never seemed able to fix it and do it the right way. He was incredibly frustrated by that because he was an amazing bowler and it seemed so simple to him. I was never in it for the high scores – I was having too much fun, right or wrong.

Gramp was a great bowler and I know he LOVED to bowl and get together with his friends, and Grandma loved getting together with those girlfriends for an evening of chatting and crafting, too. This Layered Pudding Delight has to be from those bowling team nights and that recipe swapping.

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This one is so good!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Layered Pudding Delight

Graham Crackers

Jello Vanilla Instant Pudding

2 cups milk

1 cup Cool Whip

Cherry Pie Filling

Line a 9″ square pan with whole graham crackers, breaking crackers if necessary.

Prepare vanilla pudding with milk as directed on package.

Let stand 5 minutes and then blend in Cool Whip.

Spread 1/2 of pudding mixture over crackers.

(Here’s where the recipe was missing a bit – it seemed like there should be another layer – and I had to look online to find another recipe. Luckily I looked before starting to make this, so I also knew to only put in 1 cup of Cool Whip or I would have added the whole container.)

Add another cracker layer and top it with the remaining pudding mixture.

Spoon and spread the cherry pie filling over the top of the pudding mixture.

Chill at least 3 hours (overnight would be better).

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The graham crackers line up pretty well. I’m sure glad I checked for another recipe and found that there should only be 1 cup of Cool Whip added!

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Here is pudding layer #2 – on to the cherry pie filling over the top.

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It was a little soft, so I’d recommend letting it chill overnight.

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This would be a great dessert for summertime – it’s no bake! It’s SO easy, and SO creamy, and SO delicious, and SO pretty! Try this easy one when you’re running off to your next sporting event – you won’t believe how fast and easy and good this is!

 

 

 

 

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Bread Pudding

Today I’m sharing a photo of my dad, and it’s a great one! It looks like he’s about 10 or 12 years old here, and does he look like he’s full of the dickens or what?!!!

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He looks great because he’s so cleaned up and dressed up, but there’s something about that look in his eye. I don’t know . . . I wouldn’t trust that kid! He looks like trouble with a capital “T”! Ha! Love it! So cute!

The recipe for today was one of my dad’s favorites, and I would make it for him a lot. I think he actually taught me how to make it, but I’m sure it originally came from my other grandma because I do remember her making it also. It probably comes from living through the Great Depression when they didn’t have a lot of money and you just DIDN’T throw anything away. This has to go under Money Saving Meals even though it’s a dessert. Bread Pudding is made from saving the crusts of your loaves of bread. Every time you open a new loaf, just take the end right out, put it into a zip top freezer bag, and pop it back into the freezer until you need it. Keep adding it to it every time you start or end a loaf of bread, or have stale French bread, or whatever. In this batch, I also had some crusts that I cut off of some slices of bread from an appetizer we had at Christmas time. You can also use nice bread and let it sit out to get dry or stale if you want to, but when I make it, I like to use the crusts. It’s more economical that way. Of course, there is no recipe for this, so I’ll just type it out again here.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Bread Pudding

Put into large bowl:

Crusts or slices of dry bread to equal about 4-6 cups, broken up into chunks

1/2 cup raisins

Mix together for custard:

4 eggs

2 cups milk

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix all together and put into ungreased casserole.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min or until custard is set.

Top with cream, whipped cream, ice cream, toasted nuts, or chocolate chips.

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The ingredients are so simple and inexpensive.

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Mix the custard together first and then mix them all up.

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The custard makes the bread shrink, so make sure you have enough bread.

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It comes out of the oven hot and steamy and crusty on top.

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I think you really have to eat this warm. It really is best that way!

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This is a very tasty way to use up your bread crusts. I usually keep mine to make dressing to go with our Thanksgiving turkey, but after trying this, my husband says, “not anymore”! Add the things you like to the top of this delicious dessert, and it will be your favorite, too!

 

 

 

 

 

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