Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Lemons, Lemons, and More Lemons

My daughter recently traveled to California to visit her college roommate in San Francisco and brought home a whole suitcase full of lemons. Just look at these gorgeous little beauties!!


They picked the lemons off of the lemon tree growing in her friend’s backyard. My daughter loves lemons and she gave them to me with the instructions that I should make some lemon specific recipes for the blog. Can do! Grandma and her sisters were great lemon lovers, and there is no shortage of lemon recipes. We’re experiencing a bit of the winter blahs here in Minnesota (which usually happens this time of the year), so for the next few weeks, I’m going to make some uplifting and refreshing lemon recipes to perk up the winter and bring in a little sunshine. But first, just for today, I’ll share some favorite lemon past post recipes. So since it’s citrus season, and my countertop is full of Lemons, Lemons, and More Lemons, let’s get going and let the sun shine in!


Lemon Love Notes


Lemon Meringue Pie


Lemon Chicken with Croutons




Lemon Nut Bread






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Happy New Year, 2017!

Happy New Year!


Thanks so much for reading Plenty Sweet Life!

I appreciate you more than you know!

I wish you all the best in the upcoming 2017!


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Happy Thanksgiving!

On this Thanksgiving Day, there are so many things to be grateful for.

I’m very grateful for all of you readers who stop by and check out Plenty Sweet Life.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I’m so grateful for you all!


Happy Thanksgiving!


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Reminder – 12 Days of Scandinavian Christmas Coming December 1-12


Hi all you Plenty Sweet Life readers!

This is just a reminder to be back here on December 1 for Day 1 of the 12 Days of Scandinavian Christmas!

I hope you’ll come on back and check it out!




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12 Days of Scandinavian Christmas – Coming December 1st!!

Hey, Plenty Sweet Life readers! I’m trying something new and exciting!


We’re going to celebrate the 12 Days of Scandinavian Christmas! There will be Scandinavian holiday posts with something to see every day from December 1-12. Check back here to see what’s happening for the holidays on Plenty Sweet Life! Some things will be from past posts, but there will also be some new things to draw inspiration from. I hope you’ll share this info with everyone you know and check back in to see what’s new!


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Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day to all you dad’s out there!

Here’s a photo of my dad the year he became my dad. He’s a Matt Damon/Glen Campbell look-alike!! Only he’s much more handsome than either of those guys!! I think this was when he first enlisted in the army. Nobody ever looked better in a crew cut!



He had to leave us at age 49 after battling a brain tumor. I miss him every day.

Love you, Dad!


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Summertime Essentials

With the official start of summer happening this coming weekend, I thought I’d share some recipes from past posts that are essential for summertime. There are only so many weekends in the summer, and those of us who live in Minnesota and other northern climates need to take full advantage. We had a mild winter here and had a few warm days in early spring, but then the rest of spring was pretty cool. Now we’ve had a glorious week of beautiful weather and we know that FINALLY summer is upon us!! These Summertime Essentials would be good for any picnic, going to the cabin, taking with you on vacation, or for bringing to any summertime holiday celebration.


Cabbage Slaw


BBQ Sauce


Baked Beans


Chicken Salad


Frozen Salad or Dessert


Homemade Ice Cream and Root Beer Floats

There are many more summertime recipes to search for on Plenty Sweet Life, so feel free to explore and find some new ones or, who knows, you might find an oldie but goodie that you remember from years ago! Bring on summer – here we go! Happy Summer, everyone!!




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Happy Mother’s Day 2016

Happy Mother’s Day to all you mother’s out there!


My main reason for doing this blog is to commemorate both of my grandma’s and my mom’s nurturing, comfort, and love. They have all been so special to me and meant so much to me in my life, and I hope I can continue to do the same for my children and (someday) grandchildren. They have all helped to mold me into the person I am today and I’m so grateful for that. Today I want to thank them all for their love and support! I love you guys!

Thanks for reading Plenty Sweet Life!




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Happy Birthday, Grandma!

Today would have been Grandma’s 102nd birthday! She loved birthdays and birthday parties. As my mom said earlier today, “she would have had such fun!”

Happy Birthday, Grandma 2015

She loved to have fun, as you can see by this summertime photo. This photograph is one taken with one of her sisters (left), a cousin, herself, and one of her brothers. I love, love, love the swim dresses (with pants)!!! They look like they’re having a blast!

Happy Birthday, Grandma!



The Apostle Islands Ice Caves

Today I’m going to share an adventure my husband and I went on last weekend in Bayfield, Wisconsin and the Apostle Islands Ice Caves. Last year the ice caves were open for the first time in 5 years, and we didn’t make it there to see them. When we heard they were open again this year, we made the spontaneous decision to go for it and take a quick trip to see this amazing natural wonder. Because we only had one night, we decided to go all out and spend the night in the most beautiful inn in Wisconsin. We stayed in the fabulous Old Rittenhouse Inn, our room being the Turret Suite in the La Chateau house.


Our room was absolutely beautiful with 4 rounded windows and an amazing view overlooking Lake Superior, the harbor, and the ice road going to Madeline Island (that’s our room was at the top of the tower with the pointy roof). This is the view out our windows and you can see a bit of the ice road heading out from the harbor (you can even see a car on the road). Residents of the island take a ferry back and forth to the town of Bayfield in the summer, but in the winter they have to either drive on the ice road across frozen Lake Superior or take a kind of air boat until the ferry starts running again in the spring.


We had time to do some exploring before dinner, so we drove across to the island on the ice road and around the island a bit before experiencing the sunset on our way back to the mainland, dinner at the Pickled Herring restaurant, the full moon coming up over the lake through our windows, and a nice fire in our room to cap off the evening.

We spent our 10th wedding anniversary at the Old Rittenhouse Inn (21 years ago), so it was fun to see how much (or how little) things had changed. The next morning, before heading out to the ice caves, we had a beautiful and hearty breakfast, even sitting at the same table where we had breakfast all those years ago!

We packed up, loaded up, and dressed up for our adventure onto frozen Lake Superior. The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is just west of Bayfield and their website has some very useful information and helpful hints about what equipment you’ll need to make your trip to the ice caves easier and more pleasant. We found a place to park and headed down the road, and then trail, down onto the lake for our hike to the Apostle Islands Ice Caves.


Little did we know how we’d regret where we’d parked. It seemed like it was a shorter hike to the ice caves than from where we were SUPPOSED to park, hmmmm, we seemed to be walking downhill the whole way. That last 1 1/2 mile hike back UP the hill would prove to be a physical challenge unlike anything I’d ever done before.

We finally found ourselves on the frozen shores of Lake Superior and on a trail across the ice with thousands of other visitors to the caves. We jokingly called it the “sidewalk” because that’s what it looked like. All these people were walking either to the caves or back to their car, basically single file. Our plan was to head to the farthest ice that we could see and work our way back instead of starting at the first ones and then maybe not getting as far as we might have liked.


The caves are sometimes hard to see, but they line the lakeshore and islands. You can explore them by kayak in the summer, too.


I’m glad we have some people in these photos to show a little bit of perspective and how huge these ice formations are.


This cave was huge and the formations really were gigantic.


We had gorgeous weather and a beautiful 2 days for our trip. We calculated that we hiked approximately 5-6  miles and that was in snow and over ice, with heavy snow boots on (YakTrax and trekking sticks highly recommended), winter gear (we were overdressed and got overheated), and hiking UPHILL for the last 1 1/2 miles back to our car. Thankfully, my husband had read the book “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed and counseled me to count my steps (like she did) as we went. Seriously, I don’t know if I’d had made it without that advice, it was so physically demanding. I actually cried when I saw our car, I was so happy to have made it and to be there. But I did it! I wasn’t the only one who got their butt kicked, my husband was tired, too, and we were both sore the next couple of days. If we had parked where we were supposed to (Meyers Beach), we would have walked a bit farther, but not UPHILL and for the LAST mile and a half.


This sunset was the perfect ending to a perfect trip. It was an amazing adventure. If you ever have a chance to go and visit the Apostle Islands Ice Caves, we highly recommend it, and maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea to spend the night AFTER you hike to the ice caves. I would recommend the Old Rittenhouse Inn, preferably one of their rooms with a Jacuzzi! You don’t get to see these natural ice formations every year, only when Mother Nature feels like showing it to you (they were only open 9 days this year). It was a real challenge, but it was so worth it.



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