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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Remembering Grandparents on Sunday, September 12

By Sherrie Norris

Yes, there is a special day set aside to honor grandparents, thanks to 

President Jimmy Carter who, in 1978, designated the first Sunday after Labor Day as Grandparents Day. It was a West Virginia woman by the name of  Marian McQuade, who got the ball rolling initially out of concern for lonely residents in nursing homes who seemingly had been forgotten. 

McQuade also hoped to persuade grandchildren to tap into the valuable wisdom and heritage their grandparents have to share, something many of us regret not doing when we had the chance.

For some reason, the day has never really gotten the attention it deserves, but  hopefully on Sunday, Sept. 12, if you haven’t already, you can start a new family tradition by honoring the grandparents in your family circle and help make it a day to remember for everyone. 

Get creative. After lunch, play a game. Ask them questions about their lives. Encourage them to share life stories from childhood. Don’t take for granted that they will always be available — because they won’t. Let your children get a glimpse into the past. 

Granted, what some of us “younger grandparents” currently consider ‘the good old days’ really weren’t that long ago for — and are probably not as interesting or colorful as those who lived much earlier.

Perhaps, the  stories of the older grandparents and great-grandparents  will be more entertaining, but nevertheless, every grandparent deserves his or her moment to be honored in some way. Now’s your chance. If not by spending quality time together talking face-to-face or playing games, prepare a goody basket, drop by with a special treat or have something delivered to their doorstep. If nothing else, make sure you at least call and let them know of your family’s love and respect.

Here are a few things you might want to add to your gift box.

Easy Banana Bread

4 eggs

1 box yellow cake mix

1 (4-oz.) box instant banana pudding

1 cup water

¼ cup vegetable oil

3 mashed bananas

½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts, optional

Beat eggs and stir in cake mix, pudding, water and oil. Add bananas and nuts. Pour into 2 greased loaf pans; bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Bacon and Cheddar Muffins

2 cups Bisquick baking mix

2/3 cup milk

¼ cup vegetable oil

1 egg

1 cup (4 oz.) Cheddar cheese, shredded

½ lb. bacon, crisp and crumbled (about 2/3 cup)

Heat oven to 400. Line 12 medium muffin cups with paper baking cups. Mix all ingredients, except cheese and bacon, just until moistened (batter will be lumpy). Fold in cheese and bacon. Divide batter among muffin cups. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes; cool 10 minutes

Easy and Moist Pound Cake

2 sticks margarine

2 sticks butter

3 cups sugar

8 eggs

3 ½ cups plain flour (after sifting)

1 can Eagle Brand milk

1 tsp. vanilla

Blend butter, margarine and sugar real well; add 2 eggs at a time. Add Eagle Brand milk and flour, alternating, add vanilla. Bake in 10-inch tube pan at 300 degrees for 2 hours.

Easy Cheesy Crisps

Non-stick cooking spray

1 (8 oz.)pkg. finely shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese 

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly coat rimmed baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Place 2 tsps. Colby-Monterey Jack cheese mounds, 2 inches apart on baking sheet. Press mounds gently with fingers to flatten. Bake until mounds are thin, bubbly and golden, no more than 6 to 8 minutes.  Immediately transfer crisps to paper towels with a metal spatula. Serve when crisps have cooled completely.

Note: Baking too long will make crisps too hard and not easily removed from the baking sheet.

May be baked a day ahead and “crisped” before serving in oven at warm setting, for 4 to 5 minutes.

Honey Glazed Snack Mix

4 cups Corn Chex or Crispix

1 ½ cups mini pretzels

1 cup walnuts or pecan halves

1/3 cup butter

¼ cup honey

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, combine cereal, pretzels and nuts. In saucepan over low heat, melt butter; stir in honey. Pour over cereal mixture; toss to coat. Spread on large jelly roll pan. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes or until glazed, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly, spread on waxed paper. Cool completely. Freezes well.

Quick And Easy Chewy Bars

1 pkg. butter recipe golden cake mix

¾ cup chopped pecans or walnuts

¾ cup butter, melted


2 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened

1 cup firmly packaged brown sugar

¾ cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 x 13-inch pan. For base, combine cake mix, ¾ cup pecans and melted butter in large bowl, stir until well blended. Press mixture in bottom of pan.

For topping, combine cream cheese and brown sugar. Mix well. Spread evenly over base, sprinkle with remaining ¾ cup pecans. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned and cheese topping is set. Cool completely. Refrigerate leftovers.