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My Grandmother's Recipes

My grandmother passed away in November at the age of 102. I could sit with her for hours and listen to her stories. So many viewers grew to love her as well. I walked through her house one last time before the estate sale. Everything looked so different out on display. I came across her recipe books. I'm sure she had more that we missed. Her recipes filled random notebooks. Some were noted as friends' recipes. Others were old newspaper clippings from the 40s. As I looked at all these recipes, I got to thinkin' about the book Julie & Julia. Have you read it? You may have seen the movie starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. I loved it! You'll be salivating for the entire film! Julie Powell decides to take on all of Julia Child's 524 recipes from her 1961 classic book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. So I thought... What if I take on all my grandmother's recipes?! Now, I am not the cook of the family! My husband is. I may have to request his assistance for some of these recipes, but I think this just might be a fun challenge to take on. What do you think? Will you join me on this journey?

I have shared some of Weenie's recipes in the past. She made her TV debut in Boston for one of my holiday cooking segments. We made her jambalaya recipe. Weenie lived in New Orleans while my grandfather was in medical school. She once told me, "Our years in medical school were wonderful. A lot of veterans and their wives were there."

Here's the recipe if you want it! It's delicious!

Grandma Weenie's Jambalaya:


6 tablespoons olive oil or butter

4 cups diced onions

6 cloves garlic, pressed

2 cups chopped green peppers

1 large can solid pack tomatoes, diced

6 cups chicken stock

2 or 3 bay leaves, crumbled

2 tablespoons chili powder

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1/2 teaspoon cloves

2 teaspoons salt

dash cayenne

2 ¼ cups raw rice

2 cups shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 cups diced ham

Polish sausage, cut in chunks


Heat oil in a large heavy pot. Sauté onions, garlic and green peppers until onions are soft and golden. Add tomatoes, stock and seasonings. Add rice. Cover tightly; simmer for 20 minutes. Add shrimp, ham and sausage. Cook for another 10 minutes or until rice is tender and broth is absorbed. If necessary, add a little more chicken stock.

Serves 8

After this segment, viewers couldn't get enough of Weenie! We did a Weenie's Love Advice segment for Valentine's Day. I asked her what's the key to a lasting marriage. She responded, "To marry a good wife like I've been!" We couldn't stop laughing after that. She would always say laughter is so important. I have one of her magnets on my fridge now that reads: A day without laughter is a day wasted.

A few years ago, I decided to take all the interviews I have with Weenie (as well as an interview I did with my grandfather in 9th grade) and share their love story.

When Weenie was 100, she was featured on CBS Sunday Morning after the local TV station highlighted her workout group! The Ho Hum exercise group was designed for seniors with a goal of "accepting aging while avoiding olding."

“It does us a lot of good. That's why we all look so good,” laughed Weenie.

As I begin this journey, I will say I have tackled a few of Weenie's recipes besides the jambalaya. I've posted the videos below of her amazing frozen fruit salad and squash casserole recipes. Both are great for summertime! But I'm excited to dig into all her notebooks full of recipes! It seems like there's an endless amount. Please follow along and share how the recipes turn out for you as well.

Weenie's Frozen Fruit Salad Recipe:

One of my favorite summer treats!

Weenie's Frozen Fruit Salad Recipe:


1 can of whole cranberry

3 middle size bananas

1 large can of crushed pineapple

8 oz or 12 oz of cool whip

1 cup of toasted chopped pecans


Mashed bananas. They can have lumps in it. Mix everything in it with a spoon. Put in muffin paper cups in muffin tins. Then put in the freezer! And that’s it! Enjoy!

Weenie's Squash Casserole Recipe:

Weenie's Squash Casserole Recipe:


3 yellow squash

1 large onion

2 cans cream of mushroom

bag of shredded cheddar cheese


Slice squash and onions. Place in casserole dish. Spoon in cream of mushroom. Top with shredded cheese. Add another layer of squash and onions, cream of mushroom, and top with shredded cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 min.


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