Category Archives: Grandma Harper’s Recipes

Grandma’s Zucchini Bread Mini Loaves


Zucchini season is here!!! We picked our first zucchini out of our garden Monday! Hurrah!! This recipe is a spin off my grandmother’s zucchini bread recipe.  I made these mini loaves the other day for my coworkers. Everyone loved them! The only bad thing is, I gave them all away….Good news we have oodles of zucchini coming in so more recipes to follow.


1 cups of AP flour

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1-1/2 cups sugar

3 eggs

2 tsp ground Vietnamese cinnamon

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup canila oil

2 TB ground flaxseed

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

3/4 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 baking powder

2 cups of finely shredded zucchini (not peeled)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat mini bread loaves pan with cooking spray. I used pampered chef stoneware mini bread pan for this recipe. By hand with whisk beat eggs, add oil, applesauce, sugar, vanilla, & mix well. Add zucchini with dry ingredients. Fold in nuts. Mix well. Pour into 4 greased loaf pans at 350 for 30 minutes or toothpick comes out clean.

Tip: Not everyone in my office likes nuts so I just took a handful of chopped nuts and added them into the batter after I portioned out the batter into the molds . I mixed the nuts in using a small rubber spatula.  

Grandma Harper’s Pizzelles Recipe


Pizzelles are a beloved and versatile cookie. You can make just about any flavor you can image. Traditional flavors  are anise, vanilla, almond and lemon. There is actually a cookie shop back home that makes all different kinds of flavors from margarita to key lime, so if you are turning your nose up to these cookies reconsider a nontraditional  flavor.

As a child, I can remember my Grandma Harper always having these delectable cookies around for the holiday. I recently was able to go through some of her recipes and lucky stumbled across this classic treasure. Her recipe as you can see below calls for anise and also anisette liquor.

IMG_5165 2


My husband and I were making these last night, honestly it is a two person task as fast as these have to bake in the press. The pizzelle iron we were graciously able to use had 4 pizzelles molds, which did cut some of the time in half. My grandfather let us borrow his 1986 iron which still was packaged nicely in the orginial box for preservation. A habit I have adopted but never knew, who I inherited that from, but now do and I am thankful for. I must say items not used every day last better kept in boxes and stack easier for storage.

By using my Grandma and Grandpa’s Sears and Roebuck Counter Craft Waffle Baker-International Dessert- Pizzelle Maker, it made me feel like she was with us pressing out the cookies. Even though I do have to mention, this was my first encounter making these cookies, which caused me slight stress trying to perfect them I still felt pleasure in creating them with her recipe & iron.


This recipe yields 56 standard size pizzelles


6 Eggs

1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar

4 tsp baking powder

2 TB vanilla extract or anise

1/2 cup annisette

3 1/2 cups AP flour

1 cup of unsalted butter (grandma used margarine for everything): melted and allow to cool





Beat eggs, add sugar gradually. Beat until smooth. Add cooled melted margarine (or butter)and anise. Sift flour and baking powder, add to eggs, mix anisette. Dough will be sticky enough to drop by teaspoon onto hot iron. Follow manufacturers directions. These gems in this device took only 30 to 35 seconds. Don’t use oil substitute per grandma. 

Helpful hint: Now, Grandma’s recipe directions were never elaborate. So I did beat the eggs in a standing mixer with whisk attachment. I sifted the flour with baking powder on parchment paper, which makes it very easy to pour into the mixing bowl without a mess and you don’t have to clean another bowl (hurrah) ! Also, our batter was slightly thick so it took about 1 heaping tablespoon which make our pizzelles thicker. So we will have to thin the batter more next time.






Grandma’s 60 minute rolls

I found this recipe by going through my grandma’s recipes. I couldn’t wait to try it! It makes me feel like she had dinner with us tonight. We had some hot peppers tonight that accompanied it well.
This recipe yields 22 rolls


This looked like a keeper. So I thought I’d give it a try.  


4 1/2 AP flours

1 tsp kosher salt

3 tb honey

1 1/2 Tb active yeast

1 cup skim milk

1/2 cup water 

1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 stick)


1. In a stand mixer bowl mix flour, salt, side aside. 

2. In a sauce pan combine milk,  butter, water, milk, & honey. Allow the liquid to reach 120 -130 degrees and remove from the heat and wait to add the yeast until the milk mixture reads 70-80 degrees. Add yeast and allow the yeast to proof this should take 5 minutes. 

3. After yeast blooms slowly add to the flour blend and beat with dough hook for two minutes on low speed. Increase the speed to medium low and continue to beat with dough hook for 5 more minutes or until dough ball forms.

4. Divide the dough into 22 round balls place in deep dish round baking stone. Cover the dough with plastic wrap.  Allow the dough to rise for 60 minutes. 

5. Once the dough has rested for 60 minutes in a warm area. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 23 minutes or until the rolls turn slightly golden brown. 

6. Enjoy with some homemade apple butter or hot peppers. 

Grandma Harper’ s Ranch Osyter Crackers

Growing up we’d always go to my Grandma and Grandpa Harper’s on Christmas Day for lunch after we had our 4:30 am family Christmas extravaganza which alway lasted several hours. The funny thing is now we may get to sleep in until 6:30 am but with my nephew Christmas morning still can last several hours. 

We always looked forward to my grandparents having their homemade wedding soup on the stovetop with meat, fruit, and veggie trays on their peninsula island. My aunts and uncles would pop in and out all throughout the day. We have a fairly large family which made it difficult for us to all get together at the same time. But at the Harpers’s’ the door is always open. The tradition still lives on even though all the cousins have grown and started families of their own. 

One of my favorite snacks grandma always had waiting for the kids and adults was her famous ranch oyster crackers. It was not a family Christmas function without these savory ranch crackers. I always looked forward to eating these during the holiday season.

Luckily during my second review of her recipes I stumbled across this gem! 


Two packages of oyster crackers (try to find the smaller sized crackers they absorb the oil better)

3/4 cup canola oil (grandma used 1 cup)

1 tsp dried dill 

1 tsp garlic powder

3 TB ranch powdered salad dressing mix (which is one packet of hidden valley) but I used penzey’s


Place all ingredients in a large microwaveable safe bowl. Mix with spatula. Microwave for three minutes. Mix again with spatula thoroughly microwave for another three minutes. Allowed to cool and then store in either Ziploc bag or plastic Tupperware container. 

Be aware these are addicting. 

Grandma Harper’s No Bakes Cookies


I am working on making a cookbook of my grandmother’s recipes. This recipe will definitely be added to one of the cookbook’s pages. 

Yesterday one of my cousins asked me if I had gramdma’s no bake cookie recipe. I looked at the several recipes I had scanned a few months ago and sure enough I had it. This was one of his favorite treats my grandma used to make for us growing up. I almost forgot about this classic cookie thay used to fill  her cookie jar and our hearts and stomachs years ago. 

She always had homemade treats in her cookie jar for the grandkids and for grandpa too! I can honestly say I don’t ever recollect the jar being empty. 

This recipe yields 51 cookies using a 60 scoop
Ingredients :

1/2 cup unsalted butter (grandma used margarine)

1/2 cup peanut butter

2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup skim milk

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

3 cups old fashioned mother’s oats

6 tb Dutch Processed Cocoa (grandma used Hershey’s cocoa

1/2 c marshmallow fluff


1. Mix together cocoa, butter, sugar, and milk in a 5 or 6 quart sauce pan. Place mixture on high heat and bring to a boil.

2. One sauce is boiling remove from heat and stir in vanilla, peanut butter, and marshmallow fluff. Once sauce incorporates fold in the oats. 

3. Scoop the cookies using a size 60 scoop on wax paper. You can place them fairly close together. If you can resist allow the cookies to fully set. The resting period can take up to an hour but this will depend on the temperature in your house.

4. Enjoy!


Chocolate Zucchini Cake (Brownie)

This original recipe (see below picture) is called a Chocolate Zucchini Brownie but once you bake it you will realize why I changed the name and frosted it for good measure.

As I mentioned in my last post this morning, I had a bit of a water spill on my scanned copies of my grandma’s zucchini recipes. This one I should know by heart as many times as I have baked it. This one is probably the most requested zucchini recipe I have. Even my previous boss used to request this for his birthday cake at work several years ago.

I hope you enjoy it as much as my family and friends do.

One of the things I like most about this recipe is that it is typed by a typewriter! Also that it doesn’t have directions just ingredients.

Grandma’s Ingredients: 

1 cup Brown Sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup oleo

1/2 cup oil (grandma used vegetable; I use canola)

2 1/2 cups of ap flour

3 eggs

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 Tsp ground allspice

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

4 TB cocoa

3 cups of finely shredded zucchini

1/2 cup buttermilk

3/4 cup chocolate chips

Grandma’s Directions:

Save chips til last, when batter is in the pan, put chips lightly on top. 9 by 13 pan, 350 deg, 45 minutes.
My Ingredients with a few modifications:

1 1/2 cup of whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup of ap flour

1/2 cup canola oil

1/4 cup applesauce unsweetened

2 TB flaxseed ground

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

3 cups finely shredded zucchini

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup buttermilk

3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

4 TB Dutch Processes Cocoa

1/2 tsp kosher salt

2 tsp baking soda

3 eggs

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 ground allspice



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place parchment paper on the bottom of a 9 by 13 inch baking pan. Set aside. 

1. Whisk eggs, milk, vanilla, oil, applesauce, and both sugars in large mixing bowl. Set aside.
2. In a seperate bowl sift together cocoa, both  flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Make sure all ingredients are well incorporated.

3. Add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until combined. Make sure not to over mix. Fold in the zucchini with spatula and lastly fold in the chocolate chips. Bake for 38 to 40 minutes (or until toothpick comes out clean). I used a dark pan which can effect the bake time.

Fudgy Frosting optional: 
(yields 2 cups of frosting)
1 stick of butter (unsalted) (1/2 cup), room temperature
2/3 cup Dutch processes cocoa
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 cups of powdered sugar
1/3 cup skim milk

Beat the butter with paddle attachment on high and decrease speed to low and add cocoa and mix to incorporate. Gradually add powered sugar, vanilla, and milk. Beat until fudge smooth consistency appears.

Frost the cake and cut a piece already.

Grandma Harper’s Zucchini Bread

As a child I can remember grandma always had a homemade treat at the house. My sister and I would always look forward to one of her homemade baked goods. We would often spend many of our summer breaks playing at grandma and grandpa’s whether it was mowing the lawn (playing school bus), playing with our cousins on the trampoline, swimming, or picking berries in the garden.

One of my absolute favorite treats was her zucchini bread (or cookies). Her bread was always so moist and tasted so flavorful. Each bite was always rich with cinnamon goodness and had the right crunchiness with the chopped walnuts. My sister and I would slather “I cannot believe it’s not butter” on top and dive in. We would have 2 or 3 slices just for breakfast.

Years ago I was on a zucchini kick (when we had an abundance in the garden) and grandma scanned her zucchini recipes for me. Accidentally one day a water spill got to the majority of them. I am able to make out the recipes with only a few guesses to the quantities. I can honestly say every time I make one of her recipes I get several requests for the recipe.

This is not the first recipe of her’s I have posted and after today I will start a file just for her. If you knew my grandma you would know she loved to bake and try new recipes. She always shared her recipes as well as new recipes as she came across them. She’d email me a recipe weekly if she thought I’d like it.

We said goodbye to her yesterday and I couldn’t think of a better way to honor her memory then to make breakfast with one of her recipes  today. I know every time I make a zucchini dish, see a cardinal or water my flowers I will think of her. All those things she’d shared a fondness for.  I will deeply miss her and her passion of sharing love through recipes.

Today I made some modifications but I will list her recipe as it reads in case you cannot make out the water marks (above).

This recipe yields two standard (8.5″) bread loaves or one bread loaf and 10-12 muffins.

Grandma’s original :

2 cups of AP flour

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup nuts, chopped

2 cup grated zucchini (the best is from the garden)

1/4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt


Beat eggs, add oil, sugar and vanilla, mix well. Add zucchini with dry ingredients. Mix well. Pour into 2 greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

Grandma recipes were always simple and delicious.


Now for the changes, I have to admit I couldn’t allow for 1 cup of oil! 


1 cups of AP flour

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1-1/2 cups sugar

3 eggs

2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup canila oil

2 TB ground flaxseed

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

3/4 cup walnuts, chopped

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 baking powder

2 cups of finely shredded zucchini (not peeled)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat bread loaf with cooking spray. Also line muffin tins with paperliners and spray with cooking spray.

Beat eggs, add oil, applesauce, sugar, vanilla mix well. Add zucchini with dry ingredients. Fold in nuts. Mix well. Pour into 2 greased loaf pans at 350 for 38 minutes. Or bake one loaf at 350 for 38 minutes for the bread and 23 to 25 for the muffins. ***Use scoop size 16 for perfectly sized muffins. Place 3 cups of batter in one bread loaf pan. **

Grandma Harper’s Wedding Soup

My Grandma makes wedding soup every year on Christmas. Honestly, it is not Christmas without this dish being served. She keeps it warm on the stovetop all day long for when family enters at all hours of the day.  When you walk in the door the aroma hits you and warms your heart. I have a photo copy of this recipe in my grandma’s penmanship, granted we did make some modifications. My grandma uses canned chicken and canned stock and garlic powder, etc. She also uses frozen spinach which works well instead of escarole. However my husband’s parents, when they make their wedding soup, they use escarole, so I guess we took a little bit of both worlds to make our own.




Stock Ingredients:

1 (4.5 #) Whole Chicken (My grandma uses canned chicken)

4 TB of Chicken Base

16 Cups of Water (1 Gallon)

2 Medium Carrots (will discard)

2 Celery Sticks (cut into 3 pieces) (will discard)

1/4 onion medium (quartered) (will discard)


Soup Ingredients:

Meat leftover from the chicken (shredded and bones removed)

Liquid from stock (all vegetables removed and discarded)

1 # Extra Small Meatballs (now you can make these by hand and Grandma does but we bought them at an Italian speciality store: however I will place grandma’s recipe below)

2 Tsp Pasta Sprinkle (Italian Seasoning)

3 -5 Garlic Cloves (We used 3 of our very strong homegrown)  (diced)

3 Medium Carrots (diced)

1 Head of Escarole (chopped) (or 4 packs of frozen spinch)

1/2 Medium Onion (diced)

Crutons to taste

Parmesan reggiano freshly grated to Taste

10 ounce Acini Di Pep Pasta

Salt and Fresh cracked Pepper to taste

Yields: 12 servings


1. Place all stock ingredients into a 12 quart stock pan (discard the giblets) with lid place on medium heat. Let go on medium heat for 90 minutes.


2. Turn heat to simmer. Discard vegetables. Debone, shred and cut meat to bite size pieces. Place meat and new vegetables, escarole, meatballs, Italian seasoning, garlic, into chicken stock. Allow to cook on simmer for 1 hour to 1 hour and a half.


3. Cook acini di pepe separately according to package and allow your guests to add to their soup as they wish.

4. Add croutons & parmesan reggiano on side as well to add separately.




Grandma’s Meatball recipe:

1 # ground beef (93/7)

1/4 cup breadcrumbs

4-6 TB Parmesan Cheese freshly grated

2 Egg

2 Tsp garlic powder

2 Tsp Pasta Sprinkle (or Italian seasoning)


Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix to incorporate but do not over mix. Form into thumbtack size.

The Harper’s Hot Peppers!

Hot Peppers


Well, finally, it is here….by popular demand…. tried and true the best hot pepper recipe out there! They go perfectly with homemade bread or any type of cracker. They also go very nicely on a white pizza or in a pizza roll. Whatever way you like them ! Watch out because they are addicting. I think my husband and I made 3 to 4 batches this year because we had oodles of hot peppers.



1/2 Bushel of hot pepper  (we like a variety of banana and jalapeño)

4 CUPS Plus of Distilled White Vinegar

48 ounces Plus of Canola Oil (One whole bottle)

16 Whole Garlic Cloves

1 CUP  Canning Salt (NON IODIZED)

Fresh Oregano, about 8 sprigs

Caution: Wear gloves!!!!!! Especially if you wear contacts (we learned the hard way….ouch!).


1. Cut and core peppers to remove the seeds. You can use handy dandy Chile Twister (pepper seeder) for this which will save you a great deal of time.


You can then place your peppers in a food processor to chop into rings.


Hot Peppers

Place pepper rings in colander over night sprinkled heavily with canning salt (salt them every time you empty the food processor full of pepper rings into the colander).  Let the peppers set in a colander overnight (16 to 24 hours is optimal). The peppers will reduce in size significantly. Not to mention the hot pepper smell will permeate throughout you entire home (you know, clean out your sinuses!).


2. After you have let the peppers set over night rinse with water to remove the salt and let them drain thoroughly.


3.  In a quart size jar, place 2 cloves of garlic in the jar along with one sprig of oregano, you can put the whole sprig in, or you can tear the leaves off and put them in the jar.  Pack the jars full of peppers from the colander, make sure you pack it tight!  Put 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar into the jars and fill to the brim with canola oil.  Pour it slow, the jars will be so packed with peppers that it will take a few seconds to make it to the bottom of the jar.  Be sure to leave about a 1/2″ gap between the liquid and the top of the jar.

4.  Freeze the jars immediately for fresh, crisp pepper rings right out of your freezer.  You can also “can” them, however, the texture and quality of the pepper tends to be compromised.  Think if it this way, it is like eating fresh versus canned green beans!




Grandma’s Zucchini Cookies


Grandma’s Zucchini Cookies


My grandma always had fresh zucchini from her garden in the summer. She would make me these cookies all the time !! They are very versatile you can add whatever nut you like or swap out the raisins and go for chocolate chips if you rather. This recipe always bring me back to childhood! I make them every year for my family. Not to mention these cookies are egg free
and dairy free !

34 Serving. Prep Time: 15 min. Cook: 12 min.
  • 1 cup of grated zucchini (peeled or not either way but not peeled will give you more fiber!!)
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 0.5 cup canola oil
  • 1.5 cups of AP flour
  • 0.5 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 1.5 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 0.5 teaspoon of cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 0.5 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of raisins
  • 0.5 cup of chopped walnuts


Mix the sugar and oil together until combined. Mix this recipe by
hand not a mixer. In a separate bowl mix remainder of dry
ingredients together then mix into sugar and oil mixture w/ spatula.
Fold in zucchini, raisins, and walnuts at the end.

Drop on cookie sheet w/ parchment and spray w/ cooking spray.
Bake on 375 for 12-15 minutes or on convection at 325 for 8-10
minutes, until cookies are browned.
Yields: serves 34