Old family recipes

Granny's and Gladys' Recipe BookMy food website now has a new section: Granny’s and Gladys’ Recipe Book. This new section will consist of the typed-up recipes from the notebook that my paternal grandmother and aunt left me when they passed away. I tasted some of these recipes as a child, and some never at all, but I will try to make them all at some point. There aren’t that many. To start, I’ve typed up this recipe for Apple Sauce Cake a la Lacabe that my sister has been asking me for. I guess I’ll have to make it as well 🙂


Granny’s Sponge cake with lemon frosting – Recipe

Last night, to celebrate Mika’s 7th birthday (which we are celebrating again today, and celebrated before on Wednesday), I made my grandmother’s sponge cake. It has been over 25 years since I’ve had it, but I think what I made was pretty close to the original. The cake, perhaps, wasn’t as light – and the lemon curd was too creamy-looking (I remember my grandmother’s as being more translucent). But it tasted quite close to what my grandmother made, and it was very yummy.

At first I thought the recipe she used came from the Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook that she used, but then I found a recipe typed up into my aunt Gladys’ recipe notebook, so that’s the one I made. Here is the recipe.

August 2011 update

Mika wanted sponge cake for a tea we were hosting yesterday so I revisited this recipe with her.  It was fun making it together, though a bit messy giving all the sifting and we used up lots of bowls.  This time I didn’t make the lemon curd (even as a child I preferred with with whipped cream as a frosting), but rather served it along side fresh strawberries and blueberries and whipped cream.  It was a big success with kids and adults alike.  Thanks Granny!

Granny’s Sponge Cake

  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 tsp. lemon rind, grated
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350F

Mix sifted flour with the baking powder and the salt. Sift three additional times. Set aside.
Beat together 4 yolks with the cold water and lemon rind until light and frothy. Gradually add 1 1/2 cups sugar and then the flour. Set aside.

In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the sugar and lemon juice and beat until it has stiff peaks.

Fold the egg whites into the flour mixture. Pour into ungreased 8″ baking pans. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool, unmold and frost.

Granny’s Lemon Frosting

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp flour
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 1/3 cup water
  • 4 tsp. butter
  • 2 tsp. lemon rind
  • 2 cups whipped cream

Combine the sugar, flour, eggs, lemon juice, water and butter in a medium pot. Put pot on top of a double boiler, or directly under a very low heat, and cook stirring constantly until it thickens, about 10 minutes. Remove and cool completely.

Fold in the lemon rind and 1/2 cup of whipped cream. Spread between cake layers. Fold in the remaining 1 1/2 cups whipped cream, and frost top and sides of cake.

Granny’s and Gladys’ Recipe Book

Marga’s Best Recipes


Chicken with dumplings

I wrote this post in 2004. Since then, I’ve made this recipe many, many, many times. It’s one of my kids’ favorite, as well as my own. It’s very simple, it only requires buying 3 ingredients (chicken, onions & celery), and it’s absolutely delicious. I’m re-editing this post by doubling the recipe for the dumplings, they’re the best part 🙂


Last night I made chicken and dumplings. This was a favorite recipe of mine when I was a kid, probably because it was a specialty of my grandmother and my father, whom I loved very much. It also tasted completely different from everything else we ate in Argentina. I based the recipe below on my father’s recipe, which didn’t have precise measures. I also looked at this recipe at Allrecipes.com to give me some guidance. The dish came out great, I loved it and I will certainly make it again.

Note that with these measures, the dumplings are not very sturdy, they broke up very easily. I liked this, as they helped make the sauce much denser, though if you prefer firmer dumplings you may want to use another dumpling recipe (like this one). You can vary the spices in the broth and add whatever you like, you can also use fresh parsley, I used dried ’cause that’s what I had at hand.

Chicken and Dumplings

For the chicken

  • 1 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 lbs chicken parts
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 4 cups water (about)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. coarse salt
  • 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper

For the dumplings

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 6 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 1/2 cups milk

In a large pot, heat the oil. Add the chopped onion and fry over medium-low heat until golden, about 8 minutes. Add the chicken parts and brown on all sides. Add the celery. Add enough water to cover the chicken. Add the herbs and spices, mix, turn down the heat and simmer over low heat uncovered until the chicken starts falling apart from the bones, about an hour. Add more water if necessary.

Meanwhile prepare the dumplings. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder together. Add the butter and blend together using a fork or your hands. Put the mixture into the fridge until the chicken is almost ready. Remove and slowly add the milk, blending with a fork.

Add the dumplings to the simmering liquid by the spoonfull. Let them cook for about 5-8 minutes and then flip. Cook for 5 more minutes or until cooked through. When you put them in the water and/or flip them parts of the dumplings will fall off and mix in with the broth making a gravy. Stir to make sure this happens. If it doesn’t, add some extra flour and stir until the gravy is the consistency you like.

Marga’s Best Recipes

Granny’s & Gladys’ Recipe Book