Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Sugar Cookies #2

I’ve made several kinds of sugar cookies for Plenty Sweet Life, and these Sugar Cookies #2 are just one more in the long line of them. You can find the recipes here for Sugar Cookies, Brown Sugar Cookies, White Cookies, Orange Sugar Cookies, Rolled Butter Cookies That Never Stick, No-Roll Sugar Cookies, and Aunt Julie’s Summer Cookies. This list includes both the cut-out kind of sugar cookies and the kind that start by being rolled in a ball. Let me just say that I think you should try them ALL! All of them are really good and melt in your mouth. This is another recipe from the tiny book I found at my sister’s house. I’m so glad we found that book – it has been full of really good recipes.

These cookies hold their shape well.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Sugar Cookies #2

Cream together:

1 cup shortening – part butter (I used all butter)

1 1/2 cup sugar

Add in order:

2 eggs

3 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup milk

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Roll out on floured surface and cut out shapes with cookie cutter.

Sprinkle with colored sugar or bake plain and frost with icing.

Bake at 425 degrees for 5-9 minutes.

It’s a little hard to see here, but the dough was very soft. It didn’t say in the recipe to put it in the refrigerator to chill, but I did wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in there. Actually, full disclosure, I was interrupted and had to leave the dough in there for a few days. It seemed just fine.

I usually have to roll out cookies on my kitchen table, which inevitably ends up with flour getting through the crack in the middle of the table and ending up on the floor. Oh well, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!

These cookies hold their shape very well when cut. On this batch, I used sanding sugar because they weren’t necessarily for a holiday – just for fun.

Grandma never liked her cookies to get too brown, but I happen to like the flavor of them just a little brown on the edges.

This is a really good recipe. The cookies are not really soft, they’re more like a sweet cracker – firm instead of soft. I may try this recipe at Christmastime when I make my cut-outs. These Sugar Cookies #2 are delicious – you’re going to love them!

 

 

 

 

2 Comments »

Buffalo Chicken Dip

My sister and her family stayed with us for Christmas last year, and she and her husband made this Buffalo Chicken Dip for us. Wow – it’s delicious! This is so easy to pull together, it’s perfect for your guests at the cabin, or to bring with you to share if you’re lucky enough to be invited to a cabin. Regardless, this is one recipe you’re going to want in your arsenal of snack weapons. It’s quick, it’s easy, it’s delicious – have I forgotten anything? I think not.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Mix together:

8 ounces cream cheese

8 ounces blue cheese dressing (I used ranch)

8 ounces of hot sauce (I used Frank’s)

1 cup shredded cheddar

Fold in:

3-4 cups shredded, cooked chicken

Put into 8″ x 8″baking dish.

Top with:

1 more cup shredded cheddar

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Serve with chips or carrots, celery, or cucumber slices.

The ingredients are easy to transport or have on hand.

Just mix everything together and add the chicken last.

Into the baking dish and on goes the shredded cheese.

30 minutes in the oven and here is the glorious result – all cheesy, spicy goodness!

This would be so great to have at the cabin or to take with you when you go to someone’s cabin. It’s an unusual snack that everyone will appreciate.

Maybe even serve it at your next book club? Or Super Bowl party? Or family get-together? The possibilities are endless.

It’s delicious. There’s just no way around it. You just HAVE to make it for someone – especially your friends and family who like their snacks a little spicy! They’ll be glad you decided to try this Buffalo Chicken Dip.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment »

Creamy Rice with Cinnamon and Sugar

Today I’m sharing another comfort food and because it doesn’t have an actual name, I’m calling it Creamy Rice with Cinnamon and Sugar. People, this is total comfort food for our entire family. I don’t know if it was a Swedish thing, or if it was a farm thing, or if it was just economical, but Grandma would make this a lot in the summer (AND other times of the year). I’m sure it was because it didn’t heat up the kitchen too much – they didn’t have AC on the farm – and it could get hot in that little house. She made this for my mom and uncle when they were growing up, and that makes me want to share this photo of them in the summertime when they were kids. I love this one – it looks like they’re sitting on a hay bale in the middle of a field!

This is so great – an unusually casual photo – I love it!

The smell of this cooking is enough to make me burst into tears. Both Grandma and my mom have made this my whole life, and it’s like getting a big, snuggly hug.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Creamy Rice with Cinnamon and Sugar

Bring to a boil:

2 cups milk, plus 2 more cups to add later (I used 2% milk)

1 cup white rice (I used long grain because that’s what I had on hand)

pinch of salt

Cover and simmer 10-15 minutes or until milk is absorbed.

Add:

1 more cup milk

Cover and simmer another 10 minutes or until milk is absorbed.

Add:

1 more cup milk

Cover and simmer another 10 minutes or until milk is absorbed and rice is tender and creamy.

Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.

I’m sure that Grandma used whole milk to make this, maybe even half-n-half. You can go ahead and be that decadent if you want to, but I went with 2% milk. This is so simple and so good. Put the rice, milk, and salt in a pan. Put on the lid and bring it to a boil.

Let it simmer, but don’t let it do this! It was going well and looked like it was simmering nicely. I swear – I left the room for 2 minutes! Don’t leave the room – that’s the only way to prevent this from happening. When it starts to boil up, lift the lid a bit so it won’t boil over. I have to admit that I have NEVER been able to make this without it boiling over and scorching. The difference may be that Grandma and Mom never had a gas stove. I have a gas stove. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

It stuck to the bottom of the pan, too. There is a bit of elbow grease involved to get this all cleaned up, but honestly, it’s worth it. I don’t care about the clean up, it’s just that good and comforting.

Finally – it’s ready to be adorned with the cinnamon and sugar.

Oh my goodness. It sure seems like this is a Swedish thing. There is just something about the aroma of warm milk and rice that just brings me back to the farm.

Yes – it’s comfort food all the way. Sprinkle on the cinnamon and sugar and there you go. I hope you try this big, snuggly hug from home – Creamy Rice with Cinnamon and Sugar.

 

 

 

Spray inside of crockpot with cooking spray.

Put all ingredients in crock pot:

3/4 cup white rice

3 cups milk

3/4 cups sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

pinch of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 Tablespoons butter

Cook on high for 2-3 hours.

I used a small crockpot and went 2 1/2 hours.

 

 

 

 

4 Comments »

3 Smoothie Bowls to Get Your Morning Started

I decided to try the newest craze all over the internet – smoothie bowls – so here are 3 Smoothie Bowls to Get Your Morning Started. You can find smoothie recipes galore online, and there is every kind imaginable. The possibilities are absolutely endless. Put in some fruit, a sweetener (if you want to), a liquid of some sort, maybe a protein, and top them with all kinds of tasty toppings: dried fruit, nuts, seeds. I tried 3 different kinds, put them into bowls, and topped them with all kinds of goodies to get your morning started right and get you ready for a brand new day. You don’t have to put them into a bowl, you can put the smoothie into a glass, but then you can’t have the pretty toppings on it. I suppose you could mix the toppings right into it if you wanted it in a glass – that’s up to you. The directions for each smoothie – blend all the ingredients together, put the smoothie into a bowl, and top with the toppings.

Here are the recipes as I made them:

3 Smoothie  Bowls to Get Your Morning Started

Chocolate/Banana/Peanut Butter –

Blend:

1 frozen banana

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 cup ice cubes, if needed

2 Tablespoons peanut butter

1 Tablespoon cocoa powder

1 Tablespoon maple syrup

Toppings: granola, mini chocolate chips, coconut, chopped peanuts

Strawberry/Banana/Peanut Butter –

Blend:

1 frozen banana

1 1/2 cups frozen strawberries

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 Tablespoon peanut butter

1 Tablespoon honey

ice cubes, if needed

Toppings: sliced banana, sliced strawberry, raspberries, granola, chia seeds

Mango/Pineapple/Banana –

Blend:

1 cup frozen mango

1 cup frozen pineapple

1/2 frozen banana

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 Tablespoon honey

ice cubes, if needed

Toppings: granola, raspberries, sliced banana, coconut, chia seeds

All 3 of these are so healthy, so pretty, and so delicious! What a great way to start your morning! Get creative. Try some of your own ideas – the sky’s the limit! In the meantime, try one of these 3 Smoothie Bowls to Get Your Morning Started.

 

 

 

2 Comments »

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day!

My husband and I, along with our oldest daughter, took the long way home from our nephew’s high school graduation in Virginia in May. We headed north to Massachusetts to visit the town where we think one of my ancestors settled a town with a group of 35 families from England in 1638. We were only there for 3 days before heading back to Minnesota, but wow – did we pack a lot into those 3 days! On our last full day, we visited the Concord, Massachusetts area, and this was one of the places we saw. This is the Old North Bridge where the “shot heard ’round the world” happened.

Here is the road that the British soldiers were marching on towards Concord. They had to cross the bridge, but the American Militia were waiting on the other side.

This is the view from the Old North Bridge where the first shots against the British in the beginning of the Revolutionary War took place.

This is the hill where the American Militia were waiting.

I’m grateful to the Minute Men who showed their bravery and gained our independence.

It was really quite moving to be able to see where it all started.

Thank you so much for stopping by – I appreciate each and every one of you!

Leave a comment »

Independence Day Bundt Cake

Today we’re doing another bundt cake – the Independence Day Bundt Cake! I’m still on my quest to work my way through an entire year making the Bundt Cake recipe, altering it for every holiday. It really is the most versatile recipe ever! I love that this is so easy and fast, you can do it totally last-minute.

The 4th of July was always a big occasion at our house. We lived on a lake, so there were always a lot of people who came for the celebration – two sets of grandparents, other family members, friends, and neighbors. This photo of me was taken a few years before we moved to the lake, but it shows how much of a water-baby I was (BTW – that was NOT a Barbie Doll – it was a Miss Clairol doll. Ha!). My sister was a water baby, too, and we loved the lake and looked forward to the weekend of the 4th all year.

We would start the day by heading to the small town just north of our lake to watch the annual 4th of July parade. After eating our fill of the candy that the people on the parade floats would throw at us, packing up the lawn chairs, and fighting the traffic to drive back to our house, people would start coming to our house for the day, and the fun – both in and out of the lake – would begin. The 4th of July was that one day of the year when my dad and his best friend would show off their water ski prowess. My dad would do his once a year ski, and his best friend would do his annual starting off the dock on one ski. He’d yell, “Hit it!” and my dad would throw the throttle forward and his friend would jump off the dock into the water (on one ski) behind the boat to show off for us kids and everyone present. One other crazy thing they did was ride the “saucer” (a 5 foot diameter piece of plywood with rounded edges that we would stand up on and ride behind the boat) and put a step-ladder on it, climbing up the ladder, and riding it around the lake like that. They did lose one ladder one year! I think after that they put a life jacket on the ladder so it would float if it fell into the water. Ha! After the water activities, we would reluctantly (because we never wanted to actually get OUT of the lake) head up to the house for the food – fried chicken, salads of every description (see the Salad category on the right of this page – this included a lot of those recipes), Baked Beans, chips, and desserts (there was usually a Bundt Cake and some Homemade Ice Cream in there somewhere). There were always sparklers and firecrackers bought on family trips to South Dakota or Wisconsin (my dad liked to stay well-stocked and I think they were illegal in MN at the time), and at the end of the night we would battle the hoards of mosquitos (and clouds of bug spray) to watch the fireworks show in that same small town just north of our lake. That day was a lot of work, but it was a blast and the whole family loved it!

This really is a great recipe – the possibilities are endless!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Bundt Cake

Mix together:

1 cake mix (I used chocolate fudge here)

1 package instant pudding (I used chocolate here)

4 eggs

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup oil (I used canola oil)

Beat 2 minutes.

Pour into bundt pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

Cool on rack for 25 minutes.

Turn out onto cooling rack to cool completely.

Vanilla Glaze:

2 cups powdered sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

3 Tablespoons milk, or enough to make glaze the consistency you want

Spoon or pipe glaze onto cake.

Decorate with sprinkles and/or colored sugar on top (quickly, before glaze dries).

Oh boy – it comes out of the oven looking pretty good!

I seriously love how easily it comes out of the pan. I have had a problem with things sticking in the bundt pan before – remember the Rum Cake?!! Cooling in the pan for 25 minutes is the key!

I made a Vanilla Glaze for this cake instead of the usual lemon-flavored Glaze.

Instead of using a disposable piping bag, this time I used a zip top bag. It’s just so easy! Put the Vanilla Glaze into the bag, zip it shut, snip off one corner, squeeze the glaze over the cake, and then just throw the bag away! Don’t forget the sprinkles!

Here she is – in all her glory!!!

So here is another example of how easy it is to change-up this Bundt Cake recipe to fit any occasion! The 4th of July is so much fun, and even if you don’t live on a lake, make the most of it. Let’s make a party out of it! Every party needs a cake, so I think you should all make a nice, easy, delicious, festive Independence Day Bundt Cake!

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment »

4th of July Soda Cracker Bars

I wanted to try to use a recipe I posted a couple of years ago to make some festive 4th of July Soda Cracker Bars. Grandma’s recipe for Soda Cracker Bars is so incredibly delicious and addictive – I thought, why not try to make them red, white, and blue? Well, this was a mistake. Not a total mistake as much as that I made a mistake. I just assumed I could make the same bars, but use white chocolate chips instead of regular chocolate chips. Nope. I’ll elaborate as we go along.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Soda Cracker Bars

Butter a jelly roll pan and layer on:

soda crackers (about 1 1/2 sleeves of crackers)

Cut or break crackers to fill pan.

Combine in saucepan:

3/4 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

Boil 2 minutes.

Spread hot caramel over soda crackers.

Bake in 325 degree oven for 5 minutes or until bubbly.

Put on top of hot caramel:

2 cup white chocolate chips, melted in microwave according to instructions on package

Carefully spread the white chocolate on top of the caramel.

Top with sprinkles.

Cut while warm.

Put in refrigerator to cool and firm up.

I used a sharp knife to cut through the soda crackers and make them fit the whole pan.

Here is the caramel on top of the crackers, and the white chocolate chips sprinkled on top of that.

So far, so good, right? No. DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT do it this way. I guess when there’s a specific way to melt the white chocolate chips on the package, you should take it seriously. You can see that the chips are shiny, which means they’re melting when you use regular chocolate chips. Not so with the white ones. They never did melt enough to spread.

In fact, I could actually scrape them off the caramel. Which I did after trying to put the pan back into the oven in case the pan had cooled off too much for some reason, and wasn’t hot enough to melt the white chocolate chips. That wasn’t it, either.

All that did was ruin the caramel, too. I scraped off the white chocolate chips, but we kept the caramel-coated soda crackers to snack on anyway. They’re still tasty, just not very festive.

Ok – let’s just start over. Here we are at the point where the caramel is on top of the soda crackers. After baking for 5 minutes, it does get bubbly.

Here’s the trick – melt the white chocolate chips in the microwave or double boiler and THEN pour it on top of the bubbly caramel on the soda crackers. I melted them in the microwave while the crackers were in the oven to get the caramel bubbly. Then I let them sit in the warm bowl for a few minutes after the pan came out of the oven. There are people on Pinterest making these bars and not having a problem with the chips melting. I had a problem, so I decided to melt the chips separately. I hope this all makes sense at this point. It really is a very easy recipe!

Spread the melted white chocolate chips over top and then sprinkle with jimmies, sprinkles, or colored sugar. You could also use red, white, and blue M&Ms or other candies – anything that would be yummy and festive.

I did cut some of them while they were still warm, and it was easier to break them apart in squares. I didn’t cut the other half – I just left them as is and broke them apart after cooling. Some of it still broke into squares and some of it broke like almond bark would break.

I think that in the end, after making these twice, they turned out to be VERY festive and colorful. They’re cute – and very addictive. It’s that sweet and salty thing. Just don’t forget that white chocolate chips don’t melt as easily as regular chocolate chips, and you’ll be fine. Make a batch (or two) of these 4th of July Soda Cracker Bars and you’ll have your guests totally addicted!

 

Leave a comment »

6 Great Ideas for the 4th of July

I wanted to share 6 Great Ideas for the 4th of July today.  It’s coming up – faster than we want it to! It always seems like summer’s half over once the 4th of July comes. My family has had a busy summer, so far, and I can’t believe that it’s time to be thinking about the 4th already! Enjoy these ideas – I hope you can find something new to try!

4th of July Take Home Favors

Fairy Cookies

Blueberry Pie

Patriotic Snack Mix

Happy 4th of July

Angel Food Cake

 

Leave a comment »

Dessert #5

This recipe for Dessert #5 is just another in a long line of incredibly easy and incredibly delicious recipes that I found in Grandma’s file. This is such a classic “Grandma recipe”, that I was remembering her while making this, and had to share an old photo. This is so typical of the kinds of photos Grandma and Grandpa used to take. The photos were always sort of formal, but this particular one is a bit on the casual side – maybe because they’re standing next to the Snowball Bush that was in the middle of the yard. I love that the shed is in the background. That’s where Grandpa kept all of his equipment – tractors, farm vehicles, and his workbench area where you could find anything you needed for fix-it jobs without having to go to town! On the back corner of the shed was where the black raspberry bush was. Wow – were those fresh-picked berries good on a bowl of vanilla ice cream in the summertime!

We always had ice cream in the evenings when we stayed at the farm in the summer. That’s why I felt in the mood to make this dessert. We had such hot weather here in Minnesota, I decided to try this so we could cool off with a tasty treat.

This is just ridiculously easy to make.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Dessert #5

For the crust:

Crush:

2 rolls (about 60 crackers) Ritz Crackers

Add:

1/2 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup sugar

Blend and pat into 9″ x 13″ cake pan.

Keep out 3/4 cup for topping.

For the filling:

Mix together:

16 ounce Cool Whip

1 can sweetened condensed milk

6 ounces frozen orange juice concentrate (I just used a larger can of o.j. concentrate, let it thaw, and measured out 6 ounces)

1 large can pineapple tidbits or crushed pineapple, drained

1 large can mandarin oranges, drained

Spread on top of crust.

Top with the remaining crust crumbs.

Refrigerate (she says on the recipe that this also freezes well).

I didn’t want to crush the crackers in the food processor because I thought it would turn them to mush, so I used the old “rolling-pin and a zip top bag” system to keep the crumbs a bit larger.

This is essentially a graham cracker crust, only you’re using Ritz Crackers instead.

Using sweetened condensed milk in this makes it “plenty sweet”. Next time I think I’ll try tomake without it and see if it makes that much of a difference.

Grandma used to keep the juice when she drained canned fruit. You could drink it (I don’t know if they had fruit in its own juice yet back then, or if it all had the syrup!) or use it in iced tea or find some other use for it (I was thinking of using it for a cocktail). Grandma and her family survived the Great Depression, and you weren’t allowed to waste it.

Yes – this makes a full cake pan. It’s a big batch – enough for a party!

I kept 3/4 of a cup of crumbs to put on top – I think that was about right.

It seems a bit soft when you put this into the refrigerator, but it does set up nice. Leaving it in overnight helps it firm up better. I did put a piece into the freezer to see if would be alright, and it was. It was better just in the refrigerator, in my opinion. This is a delicious dessert that’s nice on a hot summer day. It would be nice on any day – or maybe a party day. You’re family and friends are going to love this Dessert #5!

Leave a comment »

Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day to all you dads and grandpas out there!

I’ve shared these photos before, but I’m thinking of my dad and my grandpas today!

My dad and me in an inner tube on the lake!

Me and my Gramp!

Bugging Grandpa while he was trying to take his noon nap at the farm!

I love them all and miss them so much!

Thanks, guys!

 

Leave a comment »

Passion 4 baking

Jeg blogger om min passion for baking og matlaging og allt det spennende man kan finne på i kjøkkenet med kaker, cupcakes, cakepops og ulike frostinger

Cooking without Limits

Food Photography & Recipes

Pinch of Yum

A food blog with simple and tasty recipes.

Mrs. Twinkle

My Wonderful Little World

eASYbAKED

a collection of recipes