Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Gift Cookies

Every year I make packages of cookies to gift to friends.
Most years, I make a variety of cookies and include 4 of each kind
in the gift baskets.

This year, I decided to do one kind
And gift a dozen of them.

Because so many make similar cookies
(Mexican wedding cakes, Spritz)
I decided to go a different route.

I do love cutout cookies
(not cutting them out but love the end result)
And so I found a Martha Stewart recipe for
Dark Chocolate Cutout Cookies

They came together easily
And I found an extra dark cocoa at the market
which made them even more chocolatey.  

The cookies on the cooling rack
All "nekid"!

And all decorated with Royal icing
And for the trees a shower of sanding sugar.

Of course, I had to keep a plate for us!
Husband Jim would never forgive me!

I put a dozen in a big cello bag tied with a red ribbon

All packaged and ready to be delivered
Which was my chore today!

It's always fun to see the smile a package of cookies brings to a face!


    • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
    • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
    • 3 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
    • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • Royal Icing
    • Fine sanding sugar


  1. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat together butter and sugar with a mixer until pale and fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla. Reduce speed to low, and gradually add flour mixture. Divide dough in half. Form each half into a disk, and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm but still pliable, about 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Working with 1 disk of dough at a time, roll out to 1/4-inch thickness on lightly floured parchment. Brush off excess flour, transfer dough on parchment to a baking sheet, and freeze until firm, about 15 minutes. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters, rerolling scraps as needed. Transfer cookies to parchment-lined baking sheets, and freeze until firm, about 15 minutes. Bake until crisp, 12 to 14 minutes, rotating once and firmly rapping baking sheet halfway through baking to flatten any bubbles in cookies. Let cookies cool completely on baking sheets set on wire racks.
  3. Place icing in a pastry bag fitted with a small plain round tip (Ateco #0, 1, or 2). Pipe outlines and details on cookies. Immediately sprinkle with sanding sugar, and tap off excess. Let set completely, uncovered, at room temperature, at least 4 hours or (ideally) overnight.

It's Friday and I'm joining Michael at Rattlebridge Farm for Foodie Friday.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Lunch Bunch Christmas Lunch

The Lunch Bunch
came Tuesday
for our December Christmas Lunch

Such a gala occasion deserves the dining room

Perfect for a celebratory lunch!

The Royal Doulton Tartan
And a menu at each place

The centerpiece
A compote (found at an antique mall in Springfield on Saturday)
filled with little cuties and some evergreen
flanked by two vases filled with evergreen, white daisies and some red berries

An old Santa and his pack of toys salt and pepper
remind us that we'd better be good
For Santa is watching!

Christmas Luncheon at Linderhof
December 16, 2014


Christmas Salad
Ina's Lemon Chicken
White and Wild Rice
Angel Meringue Torte
with Cranberries Jubilee

The salad
(An Ina recipe  -- she calls it Chopped Cape Cod Salad
I renamed it)

It's a perfect Christmastime salad

Ina's Lemon Chicken and white and wild rice

Angel meringue torte
with Cranberries jubilee
A perfect Christmastime dessert --
for it looks so festive
And tastes amazing!

It's Thursday and I'm joining Susan at Between Naps On the Porch and Cuisine Kathleen for Let's Dish.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Happy Birthday!

Last weekend was my birthday
As you get older, I feel you should go from
birth "days"
birth "weeks"

And I did!

Five wonderful celebrations
A dinner and lunches
All ending with dessert!

From a white layer cake with sprinkles and "Happy Birthday"
at a luncheon given by our birthday lunch group

To a free slice of lemon cake
at a birthday luncheon at Vivilore in Independence, Missouri

To a wonderful nut tart at my birthday dinner
at Celine Tio's restaurant, Julian's

To a free slice of Tres Leche Cake
at The Depot in Joplin, Missouri

To a favorite dessert, Creme Brûlée
at the birthday lunch I shared with my broth
at one of my favorite KC restaurants, EBT

Oh and I did have a great birthday
over and over and over again!

It's Monday and I'm sharing my birthday desserts with Judith at Lavender Cottage for Mosaic Monday.   

Friday, December 12, 2014

Santa Lucia

At the darkest time of the year,
The Swedes celebrate St. Lucia
A festival of light

Traditionally, the oldest girl dons a crown of candles
and makes her way through the house with coffee and buns
for the family


And we have a Lucy!
Although she's not Swedish
But she is Lutheran
(does that count?)

And to celebrate, I baked some cookies for her

My angel cutter
made into
St. Lucias

A book
And two of the St. Lucia cookies
were boxed up and sent off to Minnesota
for Grandgirl Lucy!

And tomorrow we shall have

(St. Lucy’s Buns)

To be eaten for breakfast
with coffee
Alas, not brought by a young girl
in a white gown, with a red sash
And a candle crown
But by me!
Crownless, gownless, sashless!

But we shall enjoy these buns nonetheless

And they shall be a tradition every December 13 at Linderhof!

And Grand girl Lucy
who seems to favor the cookie over the book!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Saint Nicholas Tea

Saturday was Saint Nicholas Day
A day we celebrate at Linderhof
Alas, not with stockings hung outside the door
But rather at tea

In the best parlor
(actually, Linderhof's only parlor!)
With a fire
(for there was a chill in the air)

The Williamsburg tea table is perfect
Set with a Battenburg Christmas cloth
And the Christmas dishes
And the silver -- always the silver for the Saint Nicholas Tea

Dundee Cake
The star of the show
Made early in November and frozen
until Saint Nicholas Day
When we take the first of the wee loaves out

It's often a tea treat during the rest of December
It's one of our favorite cakes

Royal Doulton Tartan cups and saucers
Lenox Holiday tea plates
A Battenburg lace tablecloth embroidered with poinsettias
And a silver cake basket filled with a Dundee cake

I can't think of a more perfect tea!

Most of Saturday, 
I was at friend Sally's at the Homes Tour
But when our company was gone,
we came to Linderhof
To sip tea, nibble on Dundee cake
And talk about the Homes Tour!

I'm sharing this with Bernideen for Friends Sharing Tea and with Susan at Between Naps On the Porch for Tablescape Thursday

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Last Two Days . . .A Christmas Homes Tour

The Holiday Homes Tour

is now but a memory
My dear friend Sally opened her home,
Rose Haven
for tour this weekend

A wonderful Victorian,
Sally has

I've spent the last two days there

In the kitchen
The first room on the tour

And shall we continue to see what our guests this weekend saw?

The Family Dining Room

A wee silver tree decked out in pink ornaments in the dining room

The dining room

The music room

The Christmas tree in the hall
bedecked with 1000 pink lights

Looking from the family dining room to the front door

In the dining room looking into the family dining room

It was a great weekend
More guests than we expected
And each got a pink frosted silver sprinkled Christmas tree cookie
to take home with them

Now on to our next adventure,
Sally and I!

I'm sharing friend Sally's beloved Rose Haven with Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Homes Tour Weekend

It's Homes Tour Weekend in our little town

Thirty-five years ago
a few ladies decided that a good project
to raise money for the
would be to have a Holiday Homes Tour

And it's lasted!

Linderhof has been on tour twice
And I enjoyed each and every guest that came to our home.
And each and every guest got a freshly baked cookie
for I spent the whole tour in the kitchen

But that's really a place I'm most comfortable in.

This year . . .

Friend Sally's house is on tour
It's a grand Victorian
and Sally's decorated it in grand style

"Christmas at Rose Haven", 924 S. National, Home of Sally Richardson. A Victorian style home started in 1882 and completed in 1884. This beautiful house features the best of Victorian style with leaded windows, large porch, multiple fireplaces, and ornate wood work. This home was featured in the movie, "The Learning Tree" which was produced by native son, Gordon Parks, in Fort Scott in 1968.

She asked me to help since Linderhof had been on the tour
And because it was Sally, I said yes

Since Sally said yes, we've been plotting and planning
And the last few weeks, we've been shopping and decorating

We decided to give each tour guest a cookie to take home
And Sally being Sally, it was no ordinary Christmas cookie

But a Christmas tree cutout cookie
Frosted in pink
And sprinkled with silver

We're anticipating 400 guests
And so on Monday I baked, frosted and sprinkled
400 cookies!

And then they need to be bagged and tied with ribbon

I had help with that!

400 individual bags of cookie are awaiting tour guests

And in the Family Dining Room at Rose Haven
the cookies decorate a tree!

If you love homes tours, this year ours is superb!
Sally's house alone is worth the price of the ticket
And if you live anywhere close to Southeast Kansas
we'd love to meet you, Sally and I
For the tour, the whole tour
I'll be in the kitchen!
(It's my room for the weekend!)

The tour is this weekend, December 6 and 7
(11 to 5 on Saturday, 12 to 4 on Sunday)
and the tickets are just $12.00

Homes for the Holidys tour tickets may be purchased at Sally's Home,
or to purchase in Advance, call The Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce
1-800-245-FORT (36780