Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Cranberry Orange Muffins

Cranberry Orange Muffins can be made for breakfast (or for your afternoon coffee) this morning after Thanksgiving IF – and it’s a big IF – IF you have any of Abby’s 3 Ingredient Cranberry Relish left. I know – the name doesn’t use the relish in it – Abby’s 3 Ingredient Cranberry Relish Muffins just didn’t sound too appetizing. Cranberry Orange Muffins sounds so much better. I used a muffin recipe from one of Grandma’s church cookbooks – the one that has recipes for several variations of muffins like Date-Nut Muffins or Cinnamon-Sugar Muffins. You use the basic muffin recipe, but add fruit, nuts, spices – whatever your heart desires. Well, my heart desired using some cranberry relish in these muffins. Actually, a lot of people not only have turkey for their Thanksgiving dinner, but in addition, might enjoy a turkey for their Christmas dinner (our family has ham) so you could also make these muffins the morning after Christmas, or make them now (with the leftover Thanksgiving dinner cranberry relish) and freeze them for using any time between now and New Years. If you have company for the weekend who are possibly heading out for a day of shopping on Black Friday. If you’re planning on making these, you might want to keep out a half cup (per batch of muffins) from your Thanksgiving dinner relish to use in these delicious muffins, perfect for guests (or just yourself) the morning after (or weekend after) Thanksgiving. They’re great for an afternoon snack, too!

Here is the recipe as I made them:

Cranberry Orange Muffins

Put into a mixing bowl:

2 cups flour

3 Tablespoons sugar

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix wet ingredients together:

1 cup milk

1 egg

3 Tablespoons vegetable oil (I used canola)

1/2 cup leftover Abby’s 3 Ingredient Cranberry Relish (I haven’t tried it, but I think you could use 1/2 cup chopped fresh cranberries, the zest of half of an orange, and an extra Tablespoon of sugar if you don’t have leftovers, or maybe 1/2 cup of whole berry relish from the can)

Stir together dry and wet ingredients until just moistened.

Fill 12 muffin cups 2/3 full (I just divided the batter into the 12) and bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

This is a pretty simple recipe. Mix together all the dry ingredients, then mix together all the wet ingredients.

I put the leftover cranberry relish right in with the wet ingredients for ease of mixing.

Mix just until moistened.

After filling the 12 muffin cups, I sprinkled on a little bit of coarse sugar – just for a little “sparkle”.

Well, you could hardly see the “sparkle” on the top of the muffins. On to “Plan B”.

“Plan B” includes making an orange glaze to drizzle on top of the muffins. I used about 1 cup of powdered sugar and enough orange juice to make a glaze. In a pinch you can use a zip top bag as your piping bag. Put in the glaze, zip it shut, and snip off one corner to squeeze the glaze out of.

The coarse sugar would have been just fine, you just couldn’t see it very well. This orange glaze is a much tastier option. Both options are delicious!

I sure hope you have some of Abby’s 3 Ingredient Cranberry Relish or at least some of whatever cranberry sauce you have left over from your Thanksgiving dinner so you can make a batch of these muffins. They are a tasty way to use those leftovers, and get your overnight guests out the door to shop on Black Friday! Make a batch of these delicious Cranberry Orange Muffins, and use up a few of those leftovers – if you have any of that amazingly tasty relish left over.




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Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, dear readers! I’m grateful for so many things, and one of them is you!

Much love,





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Abby’s 3 Ingredient Cranberry Relish and Cranberry Butter

My whole family loves Abby’s 3 Ingredient Cranberry Relish, and the Cranberry Butter is something new I just came up with! The relish is so fresh – it IS the taste of Thanksgiving! It’s a burst of sunshine in your mouth! We wouldn’t even think of having turkey without this delicious relish. One of my daughters got this from a friend at college who TOLD her it was delicious, and she was so, so, so, so right! We still do have those in our family who enjoy the jelly cranberry relish from the can, and it does have it’s place, but this – this stuff is AMAZING! Plus – it fits ALL the criteria for this blog – and Grandma would have LOVED this. It’s easy, it’s delicious, and it’s easy to bring to wherever you’re going for Thanksgiving dinner. The Cranberry Butter is something you can make with leftover Abby’s 3 Ingredient Cranberry Relish – if you even HAVE any leftover relish.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Abby’s 3 Ingredient Cranberry Relish

Mix in food processor:

1 bag fresh cranberries

1 cup sugar

1 whole orange, cut into 8 pieces

Process until it’s the consistency you like.


Love it.

This is all it takes for the most amazing flavor burst ever!

My daughter usually brings this relish for Thanksgiving dinner, so she was the one who alerted me to cutting the orange into pieces. If you don’t do this, the cranberries turn to mush by the time the orange gets ground up.

Just put all the ingredients into the food processor and off we go.

A few pulses and that’s it! Done!

So good. So tasty. Totally a burst of sunshine – actual sunshine – in your mouth!

We almost use this as a salad – it goes perfectly with turkey and the flavor is absolutely amazing!

Now for the Cranberry Butter! I use 1 stick of softened butter and mix in 1/2 cup of leftover cranberry relish. If you’re going to do this, I suggest getting your 1/2 cup of leftover relish out of there immediately, or you won’t have any leftover relish.

Mix the relish and butter together, and you have the best tasting treat for putting on your morning after Thanksgiving toast, scones, pancakes, or turkey sandwiches. Whatever you can find to put this on, you should put it on. Wow.

You could leave this softened butter in a pretty dish, but I put the Cranberry Butter onto a piece of waxed paper to wrap it.

Twist the ends of the waxed paper and put the roll into the frig or put it into a zip top freezer bag to put it in the freezer for later.

I know I say this all the time, but this one really IS one of our family’s favorites, thanks to Abby! It’s so fresh tasting and packs a punch with that tart cranberry-orange flavor. We really don’t ever have too much leftover relish, but I will be making this Cranberry Butter every year from now on. Try Abby’s 3 Ingredient Cranberry Relish and start this new tradition – you’re gonna love it!




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Golden Festal Pumpkin Pie

Grandma had this recipe for Golden Festal Pie Recipe (Pumpkin) in her file, and it’s the exact recipe on the back of the can of Festal Pumpkin (although the name is a little different on the recipe card)! All those years ago, and the recipe hasn’t changed.

That means it’s a good one – cuz grandma only kept the best recipes! Our family absolutely HAS to have pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving – it’s tradition. This year is no exception. My son makes a mean pumpkin pie, and usually makes it every year, but this year I’m taking this one on because this is the last pumpkin pie recipe that comes from Grandma’s file. It’s delicious. ‘Nuf said.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Golden Festal Pie Recipe (Pumpkin)

Prepare a one-crust pie shell (I used the crust recipe for Old-Fashioned Pie Crust– it makes 2 crusts, and I used this particular recipe because as you’ll see later, we’ll need a second crust to decorate the pie).


3 eggs, slightly beaten

1 cup sugar or brown sugar (I used brown sugar)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Blend in:

1 can Festal Golden Pie Pumpkin


1 1/2 cups top milk (does this mean the top milk from a can of fresh milk – not sure) or evaporated milk (I used evap milk – 1 can)

Beat well.

Pour mixture into prepared pie crust.

Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes, then turn oven down to 350 degrees and bake for 40-45 minutes.

Pie is done when knife, inserted in center, comes out clean.

I used a little more than half of the recipe of crust for the bottom crust. I wanted to make sure I had enough, and the second crust was just going to be used for decoration, not a whole top crust.

I trimmed away the excess from the edge of the pie pan. If you have a hole, just fill it in with some of the excess and trim it – it won’t show. Next it went into the frig to chill.

I used the remaining second crust and cookie cutters to make some decorations for the top of the baked pie and put them on a baking sheet covered with waxed paper, using the back of a knife to make the leaf veins. This was so fun!

While the crust and decorations were chilling in the frig, I made the filling. I used a whisk to mix it, but next time I’d use a hand mixer – especially if using brown sugar – so it would mix in better. I did use brown sugar and whisking left some lumps of brown sugar in the bottom of the bowl.

Originally I was going to decorate the WHOLE edge with the cut out leaves, but decided to bake them separately instead. I hadn’t left myself enough crust on the edge to make my usual fluting, so I used a fork to make the design – that’s how Grandma used to do it! The filling was too much for this crust, so I poured the extra into a single portion baking dish for someone to enjoy later that day.

When the pie was baking, I took the decorations out of the frig, brushed them with egg wash, and sprinkled them with coarse sugar. When the pie was done baking, I baked the decorations at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Here is the beauty – out of the oven!

This is a step that you do NOT have to do – decorating. You can totally just make the pie and leave it at that. Delicious. I just decided to try something a little bit different, and decorate.

The single portion that was leftovers – yum! We enjoyed this after dinner that night!

I couldn’t decide which to put on the pie – the leaf or the turkey. In the end, I decided to stick with the thanksgiving theme and go with the turkey. That’s why I put the leaf on the extra serving that was leftover filling. I used the cut out leaves and acorns to go around the edge. It’s so pretty!

It seems a shame to cut into this beautiful pie, but that’s what it’s all about. A delicious pie that’s pretty to look at, it’s festive as all get-out, it’s traditional, and it’s amazingly delicious. Yes – we’ve covered all those bases here. I put the pie in the freezer until Thanksgiving – which I’ve never done before – I just need to thaw it in the frig overnight before serving, and serve it with a big dollop of freshly whipped cream! My family will enjoy this same pie on Thanksgiving day, just like Grandma made all those years ago – but with just a little more decoration. We know it’s going to be delicious, because she kept this recipe for years. You can make this one and be pretty sure the Golden Festal Pie Recipe (Pumpkin) will be a new and delicious tradition for your family!


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String Bean Royal

String Bean Royal (with no “e”?) is similar to the classic casserole we all make this time of year using green beans and the obligatory cream of mushroom soup and French fried onions. I have made one kind of Green Bean Casserole (not the classic) but this one has the added flavor of onion and cheddar cheese. While I LOVE the crunch of the French fried onions that we all put on top of the classic, this one used regular sliced onion on it, with the deliciousness of shredded cheddar over the top of it all. I mean, how bad can that be? Not bad. It’s so good! And the best part of all with this recipe – it’s another ridiculously easy one! Yes! We like that! Easy, easy, easy! Did I mention that this one is easy? I think I did. It’s so great!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

String Bean Royal


1 or 2 cans of string beans (or green beans – I used 2 cans)

Pour into a greased baking dish.

Mix together and toss with the beans:

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1/2 cup rich milk (they probably mean whole milk here, but I used 2% milk)

Slice thinly and layer on top of beans:

onion (I used 1/2 of a small onion)

Top with:

grated cheddar cheese (I used about half of an 8 oz. package of shredded cheddar)

It didn’t say what temperature to bake at, so I baked it at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Once you have the green beans, milk, and cream of mushroom soup combined, on goes the layer of sliced onions.

Next is the layer of shredded cheddar cheese. I used about half of an 8 ounce package, but next time I’d just use the whole thing. Can you really ever have TOO MUCH cheese?

Out of the oven and it’s bubbly and hot and the cheese has melted – oh my! See – I think more cheese might cover ALL of the creamy goodness – so use the whole 8 ounce package of shredded cheddar.

This might be a new classic for your thanksgiving dinner!

It. Is. So. Good.

This is the easiest and most delicious side dish you’ll ever put in your mouth! Making a Thanksgiving dinner is a lot of work. Why not go easy on a few of those classic dishes that everyone loves and can’t do without? Your guests, friends, and family are going to LOVE this String Bean Royal – and you will, too!


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Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I hope you get to enjoy and celebrate this day with your friends and family!

I have SO MUCH to be thankful this year, but I’m especially thankful for all of you dear readers out there!

Thank you so much for your support!



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Pumpkin Pecan Pie

I first made this Pumpkin Pecan Pie when I was in high school. I can NOT remember where this recipe came from. Even though I thought it came from a specific cookbook of mine, the recipe isn’t in there, and I can’t find it anywhere other than written out here. The recipe was lost for years, but somehow I found it! Yay! That’s why, even though I posted on Friday about My 7 Favorite Thanksgiving Pies, I’m posting the recipe for this pie today.

Because it’s thanksgiving on Thursday, and thanksgiving is all about family, I wanted to share a little bit of family history. On my dad’s side of the family, we can trace ancestors back to a small town in Massachusetts, coming here from England in 1638. That’s less than 20 years after the Pilgrims! I love this photo of my great, great grandparents on my dad’s side, who were alive and living in Wisconsin during the last half of the 1800’s, or about halfway back to those original ancestors. Great, great grandpa has a bit of a twinkle in his eye, but great, great grandma looks a no-nonsense kind of gal.

I’m so grateful to have this photo and all the photos of family members going back so far. I wonder what thanksgiving dinner would be like with these relatives? I would have a million questions!

So anyway, about this pie. It’s absolutely delicious, and it has always been one of my favorites. I highly recommend trying this ridiculously easy recipe. Before I start the recipe, I want to say in advance – don’t use the temperature written on the recipe. See below for new baking instructions.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Pumpkin Pecan Pie

Have a pie crust ready to go. You can find recipes for pie crust here on the blog by using the recipe menu.

Mix all together:

1 cup pumpkin (I used frozen pumpkin instead of pumpkin from a can)

3 eggs

1 cup sweetened condensed milk (1-14 ounce can)

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup white sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Fill pie crust.

Sprinkle on top of filling:

1 cup chopped pecans (plus extra if you want to make a fancy design)

New baking instructions – Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes.*

(*I had a problem with the temperature for baking. In the recipe I had written down 300 degrees for 45 minutes, but after 45 minutes, the pie was still totally liquid. I raised the temp to 400 degrees and gave it another 20 minutes. That seemed to do the trick – that was enough to solidify it. I’m wondering if I didn’t write it down wrong and it was supposed to be 400 degrees. Start there and maybe just watch it after 30 minutes or so.)

This is it – just mix it all up together in a bowl.

I had my pie crust and chopped pecans ready to go before starting the filling.

I decided to do a fancy pants line of whole pecans around the outside edge of the filling. So pretty.

The pecans got a bit dark because of the temperature issue, but I don’t know, I kinda like the pecans nice and toasted.

Add a dollop of whipped cream and you’re in heaven. This pie is so amazingly delicious for such a simple recipe. I just love it. It’s sweet and pumpkin-y with the amazing flavor of all those spices. This is my favorite pumpkin pie recipe. Ever. Period. It’s an easy one to do last-minute because it’s just so easy to make. I think you’re going to want to make this recipe for Pumpkin Pecan Pie for your family this thanksgiving.


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My 7 Favorite Thanksgiving Pie Recipes

Since we’re only days away from Thanksgiving, I’m sharing My 7 Favorite Thanksgiving Pie Recipes. Can we ever really have enough pies? I think not. Thanksgiving is about gratitude and abundance – so “make more pie”! That’s my motto! Enjoy these pie recipes – maybe you’ll pick a new one to make for your celebration!

No-Bake Pumpkin Cream Pie


Cranberry Pineapple Pie


Pumpkin Cream Cheese Pie


Apple Pie with Crumb Topping


Pumpkin Pie – the Chiffon Kind


Apple Pie with Old-Fashioned Pie Crust


Butterscotch Pie




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Healthy Chocolate Hostess Gift Treats

Today I’m sharing a great idea for Healthy Chocolate Hostess Gift Treats. I’m always on the lookout for an easy, yet pretty hostess gift that I know the hostess will love to get. Sometimes it’s nice for the gift to be something fun or nice for the hostess to enjoy AFTER all of the company leaves. This one fits the bill. Perfectly. I wouldn’t mind getting a few of these myself.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Healthy Chocolate Hostess Gift Treats

Line a baking sheet with parchment.


1 bar of dark chocolate (or a package of chocolate chips)

Using a spoon, make puddles of chocolate on the parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

Top with:

Anything you want – I used some healthy, seasonal goodies:

Dried apricots, chopped


Sprinkles in fall colors

You could use other dried fruits like:




You could use nuts like:




sunflower seeds

You could use candies like:

crushed peppermint

mini M &M’s

chopped candy bars

The sky’s the limit – get creative!

Sprinkle on the goodies and let the chocolate harden. I would store these in the refrigerator until you’re ready to give them as a gift.

I have the goodies ready to sprinkle onto the chocolate before melting the chocolate. Next I melted the chocolate in the microwave according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

I used a spoon to make the chocolate puddles on the parchment paper.

Then I sprinkled on the goodies: the fruit, nuts, and sprinkles. These are similar to the “barks” that I made recently – Minnesota Viking Bark and Autumn Bark.

Let them harden at room temperature, or do what I did and slide the parchment paper onto a baking sheet and put them into the refrigerator to firm up.

These are so pretty and so special and so perfect for a hard-working hostess – she’ll appreciate these tremendously, especially since they’re for her and her alone! You could put them on a piece of parchment paper on a paper plate (so they can go right into the hostess’s refrigerator) and either slip into a zip-top bag or cover with plastic wrap or cellophane, or do what I like to do – put some into a cellophane bag and tie with a pretty ribbon. Add a nice tag if you want, and you have a wonderful, delicious, chocolate treat for the hostess (or anyone special). Just remember to keep them in the refrigerator so they stay perfect for giving. Make up a few batches of these Healthy Chocolate Hostess Gift Treats and be good to all the hostesses coming up for you in the next few months!


Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

I’m so thankful for you faithful readers!

Thank you for your support!

I appreciate it so very much!


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