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.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Thanksgiving Weekend Activities

This is an odd year --

there's a whole week of November left after Thanksgiving

before December

Husband Jim has decided that

"The Magical City of Scott"

will go up this weekend

And until it comes down,
the breakfast room
holds this magical village
and all of our meals 
are taken in the dining room!
(But until we added the breakfast room,
we ate all of our meals in the dining room for our
first 20 years here!)

A look at how
"The Magical City of Scott"
comes to be:

Chairs are moved out and tables moved in

It's not "smoke and mirrors"
but rather
"toilet paper and mirrors"

We found that toilet paper makes a sturdy base for the tiers
And those door mirrors that are cheap at WalMart make perfect tiers!

I'm a "take it out of the box and put it somewhere" person
Jim is a "gotta see it all before I decide where to put it" person

And so the houses are placed on the dining table so he can pick and choose
(The good news is that the boxes get carried back down to the basement

Photos from last year help with placement
(although he changes things a bit every year)

And once it is all put out
And accessorized

It truly is a Magical City!

Although the city will be built this weekend,
other Christmas rites will wait until December . . . 
like getting out the Christmas china
(the first Sunday in Advent)
Decorating the tree
(after December 5)

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving

We at Linderhof

wish you and yours


Happy Thanksgiving

Saturday, November 17, 2018

A November Lunch

I had company for lunch last week
The Lunch Bunch came for November lunch

It's November
Thanksgiving month
My "Thanksgiving" dishes are my Spode blue and white
(they are my "good" transferware" but I also use them for Thanksgiving"

Garden mums
picked before we had the killing frost
in a turkey vase that I bought 49 years ago
when Jim and I shared our first November
at a dime store in downtown Kansas City.
Some things are not forever but that turkey has always held my heart.
The matching salt and pepper were bought a few years ago
Found on eBay because I decided that centerpiece turkey needed matching salt and peppers!

The menu:

A simple "old fashioned" (iceberg lettuce)
salad with a local restaurant's blue cheese dressing

A shrimp and grits casserole
Not authentic but definitely tasty!
And quite unexpected for my guests

No yeast dinner rolls
They're everywhere on facebook
And I decided to try them
They are simple, but don't make a lot
(what you see is one recipe)
Mine didn't brown as nicely as the ones on the internet
They're tasty but more of a biscuit than a dinner roll
But they are quick and I will make them again!

Dessert service on the sideboard

A cranberry sauce cake
That was perfect  for a November dessert!

The recipes:

1 T. olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, minced fine
1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped (I used a red one because I had it)
1 3/4 c. milk
1 c. chicken broth
1 c. uncooked quick cooking grits
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. freshly ground pepper
1 container Boursin cheese with garlic and herbs
1 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and halved
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 T. fresh or 1 t. dried parsley
2 T. fresh or 2 t. dried thyme leaves
Heat oven to 375. Spray 11 x 7 inch baking dish with Pam. In a skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Cook vegetables, stirring occasionally until tender.
In a heavy saucepan, heat milk and broth to boiling. Gradually add grits and salt, stirring constantly with whisk. Cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened. Remove from heat.
Stir in pepper and cheese. Stir in vegetable mixture, shrimp, eggs, parsley and thyme. Spoon mixture into baking dish.
Bake uncovered 25 minutes or until set.


1 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1/2 c. milk
2 T. mayonnaise

Mix dry ingredients.    Add milk and mayo.    Stir into greased muffin tins.     Bake at 350 for approximately 15 minutes until golden brown.

3 c. flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. mayo (not Miracle Whip)
1 (16 oz) can whole berry cranberry sauce
1/3 c. orange juice
1 T. grated orange peel
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1 t. orange extract
1 c. chopped Nuts (recipe called for walnuts but here in Kansas we're partial to pecans)
1 c. powdered sugar
1 - 2 T. orange juice (I needed a bit more)
In a mixing bowl, combine cake ingredients except for nuts. Mix well. Fold in nuts. Spray bundt pan with Pam. Pour batter into pan. Bake at 350 for 60 to 70 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in pan before removing to a wire rack. Combine icing ingredients and drizzle over the warm cake.
I sugared fresh cranberries and slivers of orange peel for decoration.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

100 Years Ago Today

The Armistice was signed
The Great War

Which meant that this soldier could go home!

My Dad -- he was in The Argonne Forest when the Armistice was signed!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Last Cookbook Book Club of 2018 -- It's Ina!

After September's Pioneer Woman, 
we decided to do Ina for October

Partly because . . . 

Her newest book came out on Tuesday before our Club Meeting on Thursday
(and several of us pre-ordered and so it arrived on Tuesday!)

The hostess was Barbara --
dear Barbara who lives in Sheldon
and every month travels to Fort Scott with her dish

So we got to travel to Sheldon with our dishes
What fun!

We started with appetizers

(who is our overachiever)
brought a combination of two of Ina's recipes --
Easy Cheese Board and Cheese and Bread Platter

We all agreed that it was picture perfect
And oh, so delicious!

She also brought Thyme Roasted Almonds and Rosemary Roasted Cashews
(I think many of us could have taken those dishes and just went to a corner and ate!)

Main Dish

Cider Roasted Pork Tenderloins
Not from a book but from her television show.     
 Barbara (for the hostess always provides the main course)
 cooked them to perfection . . . and as she said it was easy.

She also served them with a wonderful pineapple chutney
which --
a) I forgot to take a picture of
b) I forgot to get the recipe for
But it was delicious -- that bowl of chutney made it's way around the
table at least three times!

Rita's Dish

White Cheddar Cauliflower Gratin

In today's lo-carb world, this definitely would take the place of either mashed or baked potatoes
It was so good and I'm not sure Rita had any to take home!

Martha's Salad

Beets with Orange Vinaigrette

One of the things we try to do is NOT make anything we've made before and I've cooked a lot from the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks.

The few things I had not made, I could not find the ingredients in our little town.
I finally settled on this dish -- from her first cookbook
And I could not find the whole beets so I substituted slice ones
(what are you going to do)

And our cookbook club are beet lovers!
Every. Single. One.



Honey White Bread

Belynda is not a bread baker -- did she say this was the first bread she's every made?
Well, it was fabulous . . I think there were only crumbs left!
But it is the purpose of the cookbook club to have us stretch . . . 
And bringing bread certainly allowed Belynda to!



Beatty's Chocolate Cake

It is a great chocolate cake.    Rhonda chose to make it in a 9 x 13 rather than as a layer cake
which was good because
1).  we all only wanted little pieces
2).  It travels much better that way!

Even non chocolate person, Michelle ate some!


(became our second overachiever of the night!   She brought two desserts!)

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Frosting

Oh, my were they good!
Definitely a dessert to consider for Thanksgiving!

Creme Brûlée
Michelle had never made it before
but you would never know it -- it was as good a creme brûlée as I've ever eaten!
Not having a little kitchen torch
(and not wanting to buy one)
Her husband came to the rescue with the blow torch from his tool room!
A torch is a torch!

Nothing like a trio of desserts to end the evening!

Ina has been a prolific cookbook author --
since she first started in 1998
a new book every other year --

 The first 10 --
Cook Like a Pro makes number eleven
And I have all of them
They are my most used cookbooks

We enjoyed cooking with Ina
Her recipes are definitely easy
But sometimes she uses ingredients that are not available
in little towns in the midwest
which limited our choice of recipes.

We cooked with her once before
(our first year)
and I'm sure we'll cook with her again!

It's always bittersweet to see our Cookbook Club year end
But we meet on the last Thursday of the month
and Thanksgiving and Christmas get in the way
So rather than try to reschedule, we just skip those months.

And in January it's always good to get together again!

Barbara was a wonderful hostess and we always enjoy traveling
there and she likes to host our last meeting!

In January we're turning things upside down and inside out!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Grits to Glory . . . Comes Alive!

A great read

Grits to Glory
A book about the history of Southern Food
Not a cookbook!

Written by:

Joe Johnston
(whose other claim to fame is being part of the marketing team
that came up with McDonald's Happy Meal!)

Yesterday, Joe was in Nevada
at the Bushwhacker Museum
And not only did I get to meet him and hear his talk
But I got to cook and serve some Southern food
to the 50 plus guests attending his "lecture"

But, of course, I didn't do it alone . . . 

My partner in crime, friend Shirley Ann

We said yes, eons ago and spent part of the summer coming up with a menu
after reading the book
Shirley Ann, however, is the Southern part of our duo
(although being raised in Missouri "Southern" food did make it's way to our table
often -- but I'm not the expert)


We got to hear Joe
he was an entertaining speaker
And there were door prizes
(like Lodge skillets and cookbooks)
Which, of course, I didn't win . . . I never do
But I'm used to that by now!

And after, we served a taste of the south to the attendees
of the program

A menu  -- of course -- we wanted our guests to know what we were serving

Shirley Ann and I divided up the duties
Each of us made two things
one sweet and one savory --
Mine were:

Pecan tassies
(Because pies were a big part of Southern cuisine and as everyone knows
if you go to an open house, a sip n see or a shower, pecan tassies always seem to be on the menu!)

 Ham biscuits
(because when you think of Southern food, the first thing you think of is biscuits --
the second is gravy!)
Mini biscuits filled with ham and spread with Aunt Ruie's mustard
(friend Sally's aunt's recipe)

The plate:

Shirley Ann made the smoked Gouda grits and the coconut cake.    Which complimented the tassies and the biscuits perfectly.      

It wasn't a buffet but rather a plate with tastes of all four items.
And we had a big crowd!

We also served Southern sweet tea and Cafe Du Monde coffee
(for drinks had to be southern as well!)

And we had a handout of the recipes.

Many of our guests who swore they did not like grits came back for seconds --
but it is a superb cheesy grits recipe and the smoked gouda takes it over the top!

We made a few extras and so put out a platter with tassies and biscuits on it and gave seconds on the cocoanut cake.

But the best part of the day . . . 

Was that Joe signed my very worn copy of Grits to Glory

Me with my book and Joe with.a plate of Southern food!

I think Joe enjoyed Nevada's hospitality
and the crowd was certainly warm and welcoming!

It was a fun day . . . but any day when I get to cook and share my cooking
is a fun day!

The Recipes:


2 cups self rising flour
1 1/2 c. cream

Mix together until a soft dough is formed.     Pat out onto a cutting board and cut with biscuit cutter.   Place on uncreased cookie sheet and bake in a preheated 400 degree oven about 12 to 15 minutes.


 heat 3/4 stick butter, 3 cups of milk and a good pinch of salt in a saucepan.   When it comes just to the boil add 3/4 cup quick cooking grits.    Stir constantly until it thickens.    Add cheese (the original recipe calls for gruyere but we like Smoked Gouda)    The original recipe calls for 4 ounces, I just put in what I like . . . and a dash or two of Tabasco and 1/2 t. garlic powder.      Pour into a buttered casserole.  
Bake in a 350 oven for 15 to 30 minutes (until it's set)    If you want a brown crust you can run it under the broiler.     

NOTE:   You can use whatever cheese you like.


Ingredients:  1 White cake mix
                    1 can Coco Lopez
                    1 tube Cool Whip - Regular or creamy

 White cake mix (make as directed using only egg whites) then add 1 cup coconut and stir well.   Pour into 9 x 13 pan

Let cool  - Poke holes in cake. Pour 1 can Coco Lopez over top of cake

Put in refrigerator over night

When ready to serve mix l tube cool whip and 1 cup coconut (can add more to thicken) - mix well and put over top of cake.



1/2 c. butter, softened
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 c. flour

1 large egg
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
1 T. butter, softened
1 t. vanilla
dash salt
2/3 c. finely chopped pecans, divided

In small bowl, beat butter and cream cheese until smooth; gradually beat in flour.    Refrigerate, covered 1 hour or until firm enough to roll.

Preheat oven to 375.    Shape dough into 1 inch balls; press evenly onto bottoms and sides of greased mini muffin cups.

For filling:   In a small bowl, mix egg, brown sugar, butter, vanilla and salt until blended.   Stir in 1/3 c. pecans; spoon into pastries.    Sprinkle with remaining pecans.

Bake 20 - 25 minutes or until edges are golden and filling is puffed.    Cool in pans 2 minutes.   Remove to wire racks to cool.