Category Archives: GRAMMA RECIPES

Worst Job in the World

I hated scrubbing bathroom showers and tubs.  None of the purchased bathroom cleaners worked quickly.  Then I read about a very inexpensive cleanser combo, that turns this yucky job into a quick and easy task.

Shower cleaning ingredientsThe recipe calls for one part Blue Dawn dish soap and one part vinegar mixed together.

Using a funnel, pour the mixture into a spray bottle.  Spray it on the tub or shower, wait an hour and then wipe the soap scum off.

shower after cleaningI’ve found that heating the vinegar first and then adding the blue Dawn eliminates the waiting time.

I bought a nylon bath cloth to make the scrubbing even easier.

Another great idea was to pour the vinegar and soap mixture into a ketchup bottle, so you can squirt it on the tub and also around the toilet bowl.  It will drip down the sides for a heavy duty scum cleanup.

Cleaning the scum off with the shower doors closed, works best while taking a shower.  I won’t go into that, because then pictures might be expected.

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Spring Coleslaw Salad

This delicious recipe was copied from a Better Homes and Garden Salad Book that my mother-in-law gave me in the 1960’s.  Normally sugar and vinegar would be added, but this recipe gets a natural tartness from the pineapple and it’s sweetness from the apples.

Spring Coleslaw Salad                                                       Spring Calico Coleslaw
3 cups shredded crisp green cabbage                             ½ cup shredded red cabbage
1 9-ounce can (1 cup) Pineapple tidbits drained            1 cup diced un-pared apples
½ cup mayonnaise                                                              ½ cup chopped celery
1 cup tiny marshmallows (optional)

Combine by mixing mayonnaise until it coats all ingredients.  Apple wedges can be added for trim around the bowl, for this healthy salad.  Serves 4 to 6 people.  As a shortcut, I bought a package of pre-shredded coleslaw and then chopped and added red cabbage.

Rhubarb Spring Dessert

It’s spring time and one of the first things from my garden is rhubarb, just ready for the cutting.  My family’s favorite rhubarb dessert is a recipe given to me by my mom.

blog recipe copy

I have a bad habit of getting my recipes looking “spilled on” when I bake.  So I typed all my favorite recipes that were in her hand writing, printed and inserted them into page protecting sheets.  This way, I can add more pages to my binder of recipes and also print more for the recipe binders that I gave to each of our children.  Now my mom’s recipes will be handed down to the future generations.

rhubarb dessert

                                                  Rhubarb Torte

2 cups Flour                             1 cup Water
½ cup Oatmeal, quick             1 cup Sugar
1 cup Brown Sugar                  8 to 10 cups cut Rhubarb
¾ cup Butter, melted              1 cup Strawberries, sliced
3 Tbsp. Cornstarch                  ¾ cup Walnuts, chopped

Mix together flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, melted butter, & chopped walnuts (optional) for a crust.  Put into a 9 x 13 pan.  Save ¾ cup for topping.  Place cut (1/2 inch pieces) rhubarb & strawberries (small pieces) into pan.  In a large glass mixing bowl, stir cornstarch, water, & sugar together.  Place in microwave on high until thickened, but not lumpy.  Pour mixture over fruit.  Add remaining crumbs as a topping.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour until fruit is baked and crumbs are a light brown color.  Let cool and can be served with whipped cream.

Dinosaur Birthday Cake

My twin grandsons decided that, although they will always share their birthday date, they shouldn’t have to share the same cake.  The one thing they both agreed on was that both cakes should be chocolate,

Dinosaur cake 3 copy
His twin brother loves trains and requested the train cake.   My dinosaur loving twin grandson chose a Stegosaurus cake.

Dinosaur cake birthday 2

His chocolate cake was baked in two round cake pans.  The dinosaur body is a round cake cut in half, with frosting holding the body together.  The tail is a crescent shape cut from the second round cake.  Then four feet were cut to fit next to the body.  A square piece was used for the front of the body’s neck base.  The head was cut and wooden dowels were placed into the cake pieces for support.

All pieces were frozen, so the cut edges frosted easily with less crumbling.  I  tinted white frosting green and used a spoon to help give the frosted body some scales.  The eyes are yellow yogurt candy and more candy was placed on the toasted coconut that I scattered around the dinosaur.  I colored some fondant yellow and cut triangles for the spikes on his back.

The little guy was made from Rice Krispie treats. The bars mold easily and stick together perfectly.  I cut ½-bar for the body and ½-bar to make the two legs.  Another bar was cut up to shape a round head, two arms and feet.  I used colored fondant to cover him and Wilton FoodWriter pens to draw fine lines for the eyes and other details.

To keep your fingers from looking yellowish green for the next week, wear disposable gloves while mixing the colors into the fondant.  Also, a little oil keeps the fondant from sticking to your gloves as you wrap and shape the Rice Krispie bars.

My inspiration for this dinosaur cake came from the many great ideas shown on this website: http://www.coolest-birthday-cakes.com.   Please leave a comment, if you have any questions on the assembly of this cute cake.

Model Train Room Celebration Cake

My husband and I became volunteer managers of an HO Scale train room, at our area’s Senior Recreation Center last year.  This meant fixing the railroad track, so the model trains would run again.  Also, an ongoing project is to create scenes that bring back our childhood memories of an era when we paid 59 cents a gallon for gasoline.

train room copy

After many months of time and effort, our train room was ready to be shown off to visitors, including our city’s Mayor and Council Members.  The Salt Lake Tribune reporter labeled our accomplishments, “a gem in the heart of West Valley City.”

In celebration of our Model Train Room grand re-opening, I created a special cake for the occasion.

train cake copy

The bottom layer is two lemon cake mixes baked in 9 x 13 inch pans with green tinted whipped cream for grass color and white whipped cream with graham cracker crumbs for the ground coloring.

The train engine is a chocolate cake mix baked in two loaf pans and a mini-loaf pan.  I filled one loaf pan 3/4 full, so it would puff up higher and rounder to make the boiler.   The second loaf pan was filled 1/2 full to make the coal tender.  The mini-loaf pan cake was tipped on end for the engine.

Three mini-donuts were covered with chocolate frosting for the smoke stack.  A gold foil wrapped Rollo candy is the train bell and red licorice added trimming.  Oreo cookies (without the filling) were used for the train wheels with life savers in the center.  Crushed Oreo cookies were used for the tender’s coal.  Carmel Corn was threaded on a stiff wire that was bent to simulate the smoke and then inserted into the mini-donut smoke stack.  Licorice created the train track and a picture of Mickey Mouse was inserted for the train engineer.

My inspiration for this train cake came from the many great ideas shown on this website: http://www.coolest-birthday-cakes.com.   Please let me know if you have any questions on the assembly of this fun cake.

Cookie Flower Bouquet

Our grandchildren love having us attend to their school performances.  Normally a flower bouquet is presented to a performer.  My grandkids are too young to appreciate receiving a flower bouquet and besides, they’re starving after singing and dancing.

Blog cookie bouquetA cookie bouquet brings big smiles and unfortunately, other little performers have wanted to trade their flowers for the “grandma-baked” cookies.

To shape a bouquet, I use solid color gift wrapping paper and cellophane that’s been shaped into a cone and then stapled on the bottom.

blog cookies 001 copyTo make a Cookie Flower, melt chocolate chips and “glue” together two cookies with either a plastic straw or a wooden skewer inserted.

Also, the little performers won’t mind if you just insert some freshly baked cookies into the wrapping paper cone.  Be aware that grandchildren have fantastic memories and cookie bouquets will be expected for every performance!  I’ve added the recipe for the pictured cookies, as follows:
              Basketball Cookies
1 cup unsalted butter              2 eggs
1 cup oil                                      3 ½ cups flour
1 cup white sugar                     ½ tsp. salt
1 cup brown sugar                   1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla                              1 tsp. cream of tartar
Cream first 5 ingredients together.  Add eggs and beat.  Mix together dry ingredients and then stir into mixture.
Stir in:
1 cup quick cooking oatmeal   1 cup coconut
1 cup Rice Krispies                     2 cups chocolate chips
Drop by large tablespoonfuls  on ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly brown.  Makes 60 large cookies, enough for the entire team.  Good keepers, too.

Kitty Cat Birthday Cake

My grandson’s favorite animal is a grey cat that was his pet when he was a little tyke.  I loved adding this special touch to his birthday party with a cat shaped cake.

BIRTHDAY cakeI baked one chocolate cake mix in two round cake pans and another cake mix in a small round bowl and a loaf pan.  One round cake was cut in half and white frosting glued them together for the body.  The other round cake and loaf pan was cut into pieces for the legs, paws, and tail.  The bowl shaped cake formed the head.  All cut pieces were frozen to make them easier to frost.  Black coloring was added to the white frosting for a dark grey color.

The decorations include red licorice for the collar, eyebrows and paws.  A blue Jelly bean was used for his nose.  Two green jelly beans, with black food coloring, created the eyes.  Yellow frosting added his whiskers.  To make ears, I cut rice krispie treats into triangle shapes and frosted them with white and pink frosting.  Wilton Foodwriter pens were used to write his name and Happy Birthday on fruit rollups.

Adrian’s big hug and excited  “thanks grandma” comment, was worth staying up late the night before to create his special cake.