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Welcome to Grandma's Recipe Box!

This is where you'll find some of the family favorites I've served up over the years, plus some recent additions quickly on their way to becoming favorites. 

Dig in and enjoy! And be sure to drop me an e-mail to let me know how my family favorites fare with you and yours!

(Clicking on the individual recipes/posts offers you a printer-friendly version!)


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    Grandma's Recipe Box

    Full index in sidebar. Click recipe titles for full-page versions.


    A Fudge Like No Other

    fudge recipe

    Many years ago, I wrote an article on holiday recipes from local bed-and-breakfast establishments. The owner of the Hearthstone Inn in Colorado Springs told me this fudge — which they called Velveeta Cheese Fudge because of the unexpected ingredient — was one of the all-time favorite recipes of their customers. He gave me the establishment's cookbook and dared me to not like it. I've made it nearly every Christmas since (with just a few minor adjustments to the original). It truly is a fudge like no other, a fudge more delicious than every other. Plus, it's a fantastic recipe to make with children, who love to squish and mix the ooey-gooey goodness with their hands.

    1 pound Velveeta Cheese

    1 pound unsalted butter

    1 tablespoon vanilla

    4 pounds (yes, 4 pounds) powdered sugar

    1 cup cocoa

    Lightly spray two 9 X 13 pans with cooking spray. Cut Velveeta and butter into chunks and place in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Add the vanilla, and microwave 30 seconds at a time until melted and smooth, stirring after each 30 seconds. While that microwaves, combine the powdered sugar and cocoa in a very, very large bowl.

    Once cheese mixture is melted and stirred until smooth, pour into the sugar and cocoa mixture and mix quickly and thoroughly — with your hands. (Yes, this is the part the kids will be thrilled to help with.) Mix and mix and mix until well combined and smooth, squishing through your fingers as necessary. Pour the mixture evenly into the two prepared pans, patting the tops with your hands to smooth out the fudge.

    Chill several hours then cut into small (1/2" by 1/2") squares. Best kept refrigerated until served.

    Makes... a lot!

    Notes: This freezes fantastically and makes a super gift. Plus, if desired, you can add 2-3 cups chopped nuts when combining the powdered sugar and cocoa.


    Apple Betty with Almond Cream

    apple betty

    Excerpted with permission from Taste of Home Recipes Across America: 735 of the Best Recipes from Across the Nation for Grandma's Briefs Holiday Guide 2013.

    By Taste of Home

    I love making this treat for friends during the peak of apple season. I plan a quick soup-and-bread meal, so we can get right to the dessert!
    -- Libby Walp, Chicago, Illinois

    Prep: 15 Min.
    Cook: 2 Hours
    Makes: 8 Servings

    3 pounds tart apples, peeled and sliced
    10 slices cinnamon-raisin bread, cubed
    ¾ cup packed brown sugar
    ½ cup butter, melted
    1 teaspoon almond extract
    ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
    ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
    ⅛ teaspoon salt


    1 cup heavy whipping cream
    2 tablespoons sugar
    1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
    ½ teaspoon almond extract

    1. Place apples in an ungreased 4- or 5-qt. slow cooker. In a large bowl, combine the bread, brown sugar, butter, extract, cinnamon, cardamom and salt; spoon over apples. Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours or until apples are tender.

    2. In a small bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add the sugar, lemon peel and extract; beat until soft peaks form. Serve with apple mixture.


    Apple Butter

    Homemade Apple Butter

    I have a couple of apple trees in my yard. I needed something to do with the apples I nabbed before the worms and squirrels had their way with them plus some my oldest daughter brought me, courtesy a coworker. Apple Butter was at the top of my "Must Do One Day" list, and it appeared one day had arrived. I gave it a shot, tweaking a bit a slow-cooker recipe I'd found online, and was quite impressed with the results. This recipe is for a small batch but can easily be doubled, depending on how many apples you have to work with.

    3 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and sliced about 1/2 inch thick

    3/4 cup brown sugar

    3/4 cup apple juice

    1 tablespoon lemon juice

    1/2 to 1 tablespoon cinnamon, depending on taste

    Place the apples, brown sugar, apple juice and lemon juice in slow cooker. Stir til apples are evenly coated. Cook on low 8-10 hours (or high 4-5 hours), until apples are relatively mushy. About three-quarters through cooking time, add cinnamon (can also add smidgens of nutmeg, ginger, cloves or allspice, if desired; I just like plain ol' cinnamon). Prop lid open slightly with a butter knife to allow steam to escape, and continue cooking, stirring occasionally.

    Once apples are good and mushy and mixture is a nice brown color, transfer mixture to a food processor, working in batches, depending on size of processor. Process the butter until desired consistency achieved. I like mine slightly thicker and not completely smooth, but you may want to process yours longer for a smoother result.

    Transfer to containers, such as sterilized canning jars or freezer bags.

    Three pounds of apples yielded about 20 ounces of apple butter, which filled three small gift-size canning jars, plus some.


    Apple Cobbler

    Apple Cobbler 

    I love, love, love apple cobbler hot from the oven and served with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream on top. I may be partial, but I think this recipe—one I cobbled together myself—is the best I've ever had.

    6 apples (tart, like Granny Smith, are best but I've used Gala when that's all I had on hand)

    2 tablespoons lemon juice

    1 1/4 cup sugar, divided

    1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, divided

    1 tablespoon corn starch

    1 cup flour

    1 teaspoon baking powder

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    3/4 stick unsalted butter, softened

    1/4 cup boiling water

    1/2 teaspoon vanilla

    pure cane sugar crystals (optional)

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Coat a 9-by-9 baking dish with cooking spray.

    Peel, core, and slice apples into fairly thick slices. In large bowl, toss apple slices with lemon juice. Add 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and cornstarch; toss well to coat. Let sit while preparing topping.

    In medium bowl, combine flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, and remaining 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Using pastry blender, cut in butter until well combined. Add vanilla to 1/4 cup boiling water; add to dry mixture and combine well for a sticky dough.

    Pour apples into prepared baking dish, distributing evenly. Using fingers, drop pieces of dough on top, covering evenly but working the dough as little as possible (you want it to be crumbly...or at least I do). If desired, lightly sprinkle top with cane sugar crystals.

    Bake 25 minutes at 425 degrees. Remove and serve the hot and bubbly goodness topped with oh-so cold vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

    Makes 6 to 8 servings.



    Banana Bread

    Banana Bread

    This bread is everything banana bread should be: golden and crunchy on the outside; moist, dense and flavorful on the inside. Jim doesn't like bananas or anything that tastes remotely close to bananas, so this treat is mine and mine alone. (Okay, I share with anyone else in the house who wants a piece, but luckily that's only Brianna most of the time.)

    3 1/2 cups flour

    1 2/3 cups sugar

    2 teaspoons baking soda

    3/4 teaspoon salt

    1 teaspoon baking powder

    5-6 very ripe bananas, peeled (of course)

    3/4 cup vegetable oil

    4 eggs

    1 teaspoon vanilla

    In large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and baking powder. In a second bowl, stir together remaining ingredients until well mixed. Add banana mixture to flour mixture; stir just until ingredients are well moistened. Pour batter into two greased 9X5 loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 60-65 minutes or until center is done and toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes then remove to cooling racks.

    Makes 2 loaves.