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.

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Table At The Top of the Stairs

At the top of the stairs ends the "public" part of the house -- French doors close off the bedroom and bath area. And at the top of the stairs is a small round flip top table (age and heritage unknown but a really good buy in a favorite antique shop in the big town an hour south of us) and over the table is a mirror (which we got really inexpensively because it was missing a couple of little mirrors!)

And to light the top of the stairs, an Oriental lamp (which is a favorite of mine). At night I love the glow it gives through the windows that it sits next to. A "Staffordshire" figurine and an Oriental vase with some stems in it.

As you come up the stairs, this is what you see -- it's always been a favorite spot of mine for vignettes. This version, however, has been here for a while -- the table is a December purchase replacing a smaller black table (that is now for sale in a shop downtown) and I like this table much better -- the wood has a beautiful grain.

It's Tuesday and so I'm joining Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for Tabletop Tuesday.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

In a Magazine!

I've taken Traditional Homes for a long long time. And I eagerly await every issue. There always seems to be something of interesting in it's pages month after month. Something was definitely interesting in this month's issue . . .

This breakfast room . . . but it's not really the room (although I do like it) that sparked my interest but rather the centerpiece on the dining room table . . .
Specifically, the candlesticks on either side of the vase of flowers, because . . .
Those same candlesticks are at Linderhof!!!!

Although I've never had them on the breakfast room table before, I felt that (after seeing them in Traditional Home) they would look good in the breakfast room!

Unfortunately, the index in the back of the magazine showing where things came from did not list a source for the candlesticks.

But Linderhof's candlesticks do have a story. Firstly, we've had them a long long time -- at least five years! They are from Tuesday Morning. We waited a year and a half before we purchased them because they were pricey -- even pricey for Tuesday Morning -- $300 for the pair (original price $600) and so we watched and waited. They were marked down -- but not enough, then marked down once again -- but still not enough and finally, when Tuesday Morning was having one of their half off all marked down merchandise, we traveled to the city and to that Tuesday Morning and they were still there -- and so they came home to Linderhof!!! The price -- $100.

I wonder if those shown in the magazine have as interesting a story as the ones that reside at Linderhof? Or if it was something that the decorator found (for $600) and decided that they would be perfect on that table? Or if the owner has had them (like ours) -- "forever"! I'll never know!!! And if I was the owner of those candlesticks and did pay $600 for them, I wouldn't want to know that someone got the very same candlesticks for $100.

They've been moved around Linderhof a lot -- I think they were first on the living room mantle, they've been on the dining room table and on the dining room sideboard (a picture of them on the sideboard is on the sidebar). And, actually, until I put them on the table for this post, they've been in the corner cabinet in the living room! I think they'll stay (at least for a while) on the breakfast room table -- I like them there!

It's Monday and so I'm joining Blue Monday with Smiling Sally.

So Proudly She Waves . . .

The Patriot Flag
Proudly waiving over the Kansas prairie at Fort Scott, Kansas, the only Kansas stop on the 50 State, Iran and Afghanistan Tour for this flag of freedom.

How proud, we residents of Fort Scott were to be selected to display this historic flag for it serves not only as a reminder of all of those whose lives were lost on 9/11 but also as a tribute to those people who gave their lives to continue to make our country free!

The flag arrived in Fort Scott in it's traveling case, and like any well seasoned traveler, there were souvenirs of its previous stops -- and, of course, Fort Scott, added their own!

Our local VFW and American Legion helped prepare the flag for it's raising. These gentlemen continue to serve their country as they are called upon daily to do the ceremonies at our National Cemetery for the veteran's burials. Some are World War II vets and some are Korean vets and some are Vietnam vets!
Many hands make light work as the flag is being prepared to be raised. Besides our local veterans, local first responders are assisting.
Our State Senator, Bob Marshall, retired Marine Colonel (center in suit and tie) helped raise the flag
And as The Star Spangled Banner was being sung,
the flag, attached to a Fort Scott, Kansas fire truck and a Nevada, Missouri fire truck . .
was raised.
And the veterans and first responders, saluted the flag and all that it stands for.
And then, the crowd gave the Pledge of Allegiance.

I must admit that tears were streaming down my cheeks. This flag is a special flag -- this flag from the World Trade Center. And like the flag in our National Anthem, which is but one verse of the poem by Francis Scott Key, Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave, o'er the land of the free and the home of the Brave!

Star Spangled Banner
by Francis Scott Key

Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flat was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto" "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

If this flag flies in a city or town near you, I would definitely take the opportunity to go see it being raised and displayed. It is a tear jerking, lump in the throat event -- this flag! And I"m proud to say that on Monday, our friends in the town 20 miles East of us, will get to experience this ceremony as well as it will fly once again with the help of our fire department. One of only two stops in Missouri -- Nevada and Saint Louis.

CORRECTION: I was under the impression that this was the World Trade Center Flag -- but it isn't. Instead it is a flag that is a tribute to the Armed Forces, First Responders, Second Responders, the 9/11 families and the fallen of the attacks on America, and all of the Public Safety Personnel on the JOB today willing to make the supreme sacrifice for others.

The cross country tour began in San Diego on August 10, 2010 and ends back in San Diego in August 2011.

The flag will then travel to Pennsylvania, New York City, Washington D.C. and Fort McHenry before an OFFICIAL retirement back in Escondido, CA.

Sorry for the misinformation -- a little knowledge is always a dangerous thing!!!!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Birthday Celebration

Today is a very special birthday -- it's not often you celebrate a 150th Birthday --

But Fort Scott, as well as towns and cities across Kansas, are celebrating our state's 150th Birthday -- for on January 29, 1861, Kansas became the 34th State to enter the Union.

And what better way to celebrate a Sesquicentennial than with a cake -- and no ordinary cake. It's the work of famed cake artist Rebecca Sutterby of Sugar Creations. And it is truly a work of art!!!

We had a grand birthday party for Kansas today -- and although neither Husband Jim nor myself are Kansans by birth, our roots do go deep into Kansas. My ancestors arrived in Kansas long before she celebrated her 10th birthday and actually lived not far from where we do today.

The party was held at the Fort Scott National Historic Site -- and it was great to hear the crowd sing the State Song of Kansas -- Home on the Range before the birthday cake was cut and the celebration began!!!!

I must admit that although I'm not a Kansan by birth, Kansas is my favorite state. I'm joining Laurie at Bargain Hunting With Laurie for A Few of My Favorite Things Saturday

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mad About Madeleines

Tonight was my "Mad About Madeleines" Class at Life+Style. I spent the day in the kitchen making madeleines for class and prepping for my class presentation.

Proust may have made Madeleines famous but tonight we made them fun!!!

Tons of Classic Madeleines cooling . . .

And tons of Barefoot Contessa's Coconut Madeleines which were a gift to class attendees . .

At the store, the recipes, the madeleines . . .

And madeleine pans for sale . . .

Classic Madeleines awaiting tasting . . .

Classic Madeleines dipped in chocolate ganache -- the class thought that only made them better!

Earl Grey Madeleines -- I showed the class how to make these .. . then we baked them, and then they got to taste them!!!

The Corn Madeleines -- madeleines only in shape for they're made from a Jiffy Mix -- the class was pleasantly surprised by the taste of these wonderful savory madeleines.

So many times when I have ladies to lunch, I'll bake these corn madeleines to go along side the quiche or chicken dish that I'm serving. They're easy and the shape makes them a conversation piece!

I've always adored cooking classes and it is so fun teaching them. I'll be doing another in February -- Beef Bourguignon.

It's Friday and I'm joining Michael at Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Wing Chairs

There are two wing chairs in the living room. One, I've had what seems like "forever" while the other we've had but five years. They're upholstered in the same fabric and even though they're not "twins" they are similar and both are antiques.

The one on the right is the one we've had "forever" -- it was bought at an auction for $1, reuphosltered in a nice fabric and then 9 years ago reupholstered again. It's got great "claw and ball feet" and is a comfortable chair.

The one on the left is the newer one -- bought five years ago it was upholstered in an awful red and blue fabric -- trendy, I am sure at one time but by the time we purchased it, it wasn't trendy -- it was awful!!! It was the second day of an estate sale and we were able to purchase it at half-price for $25. I am sure that the fabric had something to do with why it was still there for it is really a great chair -- and has some really great carved legs and claw and ball feet.

We were pleased that they still made the same fabric that the older chair was upholstered in and so, four years later we were able to upholster it so that the chairs were a pair.

Situated on either side of the fireplace, they are a cozy sit in the winter. We do favor older pieces with good bones -- upholstery can be done over and over again, if you have a good frame and considering that the price of both chairs were only $26, they certainly were a bargain. Adding even the cost of upholstering the chairs and the cost of the fabric, they still were far cheaper than new chairs would have cost.

I'm joining Leigh at Tales from Bloggeritaville for Thrifty Thursday and the only thing thriftier than $26 wing chairs would be free wing chairs!!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Sometimes I find myself alone for breakfast . . .some mornings Husband Jim has coffee with his cronies. It's a male only coffee and so . . . . I'm alone in the breakfast room with my coffee and the paper. And eventually breakfast, after the crossword is solved!

I've heard of a dessert called "Eton Mess" forever . . . and there it was on the cover of the latest Barefoot Contessa cookbook and it was one of the recipes on her show Saturday. First reading about it and then seeing it made me realize "How Easy Is That?"

With leftover raspberries and raspberry sauce from Sunday's cake, a partial tin of meringues left over from last week's tiramisu and cream in the refrigerator . . . the ingredient were all at hand!

Thankfully, husband Jim was gone for there was just enough for one "Mess" and it made a grand breakfast!
For I feel that it contained all of the breakfast food ingredients --




It was terrific and I will definitely serve this for dessert. Alas, unlike the Barefoot Contessa, we have no meringue outlet and so will be forced to make my own. But they are simple, really, and can be made ahead.

I'm also thinking that this may be the perfect Valentine's Luncheon dessert -- which needs to be either red or chocolate but definitely scrumptious!

This is Ina's recipe -- I just put mine together using ingredients on hand. But it was just as good as if I had really planned it for dessert!!!


4 (6 ounce) packages fresh raspberries
1 cup plus 3 T. sugar
1 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 T. framoise liqueur
1 2/3 c. cold heavy cream
1 t. vanilla
4 (3 inch) bakery meringue shells, broken in pieces

Pour two packages of the raspberries, 1 cup sugar and the lemon juice into a 10 inch saute pan. Crush the berries lightly with a fork and bring the mixture to a full boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is syrupy. Fold in the remaining two packages of raspberries and the framboise into the hot mixture and refrigerate until very cold.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream, the remaining
3 T. sugar and the vanilla together on medium high speed until it forms firm peaks.

In decorate glasses, layer a spoonful of the whipped cream, a spoonful of the raspberry mixture and a few of the meringue pieces.

Repeat once or twice, depending on the size of the glasses, until the glasses are full, ending with the berries and a dollop of cream.

It's Wednesday or Rednesday and I'm joining Sue at A Very Cherry World with my Rednesday Eton Mess!

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Cake For Company

Sunday, we had company coming by in the afternoon -- for just a short visit. But no one can come to Linderhof and not be offered something to eat. What better treat on a Sunday afternoon than cake and tea!

Dorie Greenspan's French Yogurt Cake (with Ina Garten's glaze) and raspberry sauce to pour over. Since it was two hes and two shes, the cups and saucers are for the ladies. Mugs will suit the gentlemen better!

Before the company arrived, I gathered everything together on the marble topped island --

And, of course, it is a mix of my blue and white -- a French blue and white sandwich tray that is perfect for loaf cakes or breads, a late 1800s blue and white gravy boat is perfect for sweet sauces as well as gravies, and my Spode Blue Room plates and cups and saucers (and mugs for the gentlemen). Cloth napkins, of course, for there is hardly any other kind at Linderhof!

Company always gives me a chance to try something new and I've been wanting to make this cake. It won't be the last time for it's a great cake and I can imagine it baked in a round, split and filled with lemon curd and dusted with powdered sugar, made with orange zest instead of lemon and orange marmalade used to glaze the top. It's a "little black dress" sort of cake!

There was a whole half left . . . which will be perfect for noshes for afternoon tea this week. Alas, the raspberry sauce is gone, however . . . but the cake is a perfect tea cake!


1 1/2 cups flour (Dorie says you can use 1/2 cup ground almonds if you'd prefer)
2 t. baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
grated zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup plain yogurt
3 large eggs
1/4 t. vanilla
1/2 cup canola or safflower oil

1/2 c. lemon marmalade, strained
1 t. water

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350. Generously butter an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan and place the pan on a baking sheet.

Whisk together the flour (ground almonds if you're using them), baking powder and salt.

Put the sugar and zest in a medium bowl and with your fingertips, rub the zest into the sugar until the sugar is moist and aromatic. Add the yogurt, eggs and vanilla, whisking vigorously until the mixture is very well blended. Still whisking, add the dry ingredients, then switch to a large rubber spatula and fold in the oil. You'll have a thick, smooth batter with a slight sheen. Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top.

Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the cake begins to come away from the sides of the pan, it should be golden brown and a thin knife inserted into the center will come out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes, then run a blunt knife between the cake and sides of the pan. Unmold and cool to room temperature right side up on the rack.

Put the marmalade in a small saucepan, stir in the teaspoon of the water and heat until the jelly is hot and liquefied. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the cake with the glaze.


Cook 1/3 cup lemon juice and 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

Carefully place the cake on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.

For the glaze: Combine 1 cup powdered sugar and 2 T. lemon juice and pour over the cake.

It's Tuesday, which means that's it's Tea Tuesday so please visit these ladies to see "All Things Tea" this Tuesday!!!

Tabletop Tuesday with Marty at A Stroll Thru Life

Tea Time Tuesday with Terri at Artful Affirmations

Tea Cup Tuesday with Martha at Martha's Favorites

Tea Pot and Tea Things Tuesday with Pam at Breath of Fresh Air

Tea Time Tuesday with Katherine at Lady Katherine's Tea Parlor

Tuesday Tea for Two with Wanda Lee at The Plumed Pen

Tea Time Tuesday with Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Cup of Tea, A Nosh and A Book

Every afternoon at half past three, I stop for a cup of tea and a nosh . . . and often a read as well. A quiet respite in sometimes a very busy day.

Sometimes, it is just a cup of tea . . . rather than a pot. For even though I stop and slow down, it's not always a pot worth of slow down . . . and January is a busy time for I'm housecleaning as well as doing closets and cabinets and drawers! Days in January are usually a cup of tea day instead of a pot

And as always, my cup and saucer of choice is blue and white . . .

These dishes belonged to my mother. I inherited them when she passed away. They're a bit different from my usual blue and white but I do like them. They're by Mason and the pattern is Fruit Basket. I don't have many of them but I think they're perfect to use in the breakfast room.

Of course, with a cup of tea, there is always a nosh . . .

And I like noshes that can go on the saucer . . . smaller bites of cookies.

For Christmas this year, dear friend Carolyn gifted me with Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table. It was the perfect gift and I love Dorie's recipes.

The one that intrigued me the most was the recipe for Speculoos. A spiced Belgian cookie. I made them and they are perfect for tea. They're not that hard to make although I did not roll mine thin enough. Like Dorie, I used my 1 1/4 inch cutter and three are the perfect afternoon nosh.


1 2/3 cups flour
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. baking soda
2 1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. ground ginger
1/8 t. ground cloves
7 T. unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature

Whisk the flour, salt, baking soda and spices together in a bowl.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy. Add the sugars and beat until well-blended, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg. With the mixer on the lowest speed, add the dry ingredients in 3 additions, mixing only until the flour disappears into the soft dough. You may have some flour at the bottom of the bowl, or the dough may not be entirely smooth, but that's normal. Using your hands (always my first choice) or a spatula, reach into the bowl and knead or stir the dough 2 or 3 times, just enough to eliminate any dry spots.

Divide the dough in half. (The dough is very soft, even after you refrigerate it for several hours, so if your kitchen is hot, you might want to divide the dough into thirds -- that way it won't take you as long to cut out the cookies and the dough won't soften as much.) Working with 1 piece of dough at a time, roll the dough between two sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap until you have a circle that's a scant 1/4 inch thick. As you're rolling, turn the dough over a couple of times and pull away the paper or plastic, so you don't end up rolling creased in the dough. Put the rolled-out rounds of dough on a tray and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

When you're ready to bake, center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment.

Choose a cookie cutter -- I use a scalloped cutter that's 1 1/4 inches in diameter -- and remove 1 circle of dough rom the refrigerator. Peel off the top piece of wax paper and cut out as many cookies as you can from the dough, carefully lifting the cutouts onto the lined baking sheet. Collect the scraps and set them aside to combine with the scrps from the second piece of dough.

Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes or until they are lightly golden and just slightly brown around the edges. Allow the cookies to rest on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool.

Repeat with the second round of dough, making certain the baking sheet is cool beore you put the cutouts on it. To use the scraps, press them together and roll them into a circle and chill before cutting and baking.

It's Monday and I'm joining Smiling Sally for Blue Monday.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Channeling Ina

Some weeks, I cook from one cookbook -- it's fun and by the time the week is over, you feel that you really know the author and their style.

This week, I chose to cook from Barefoot Contessa. But not just one of her cookbooks -- many of them! I love her recipes -- they are classic foods but easily prepared. And I must admit that if I am looking for a specific recipe, I will check either Ina or Anna Pump -- I'll usually find the recipe in one of their cookbooks and I'm never disappointed.

Those two, Ina and Anna, are my favorite two cookbook authors and if I had to give up every other cookbook, I could -- as long as I could keep my Ina and Anna ones!

This week -- was my Ina week and so . . .

We started Monday -- a predicted snowy Monday with

Parker's Split Pea Soup

I've made it many times and it's the recipe that I usually use when I make split pea soup -- it's good and was great for dinner and for several lunches during the week!

We had grilled steak Sunday night for dinner and the steak came in a package of four -- we didn't want grilled steak again and the snow did come on Tuesday -- a comfort dish was in order

Filet of Beef Bourguignon

It wasn't a filet -- it was a strip but it was delicious nonetheless. It turned a simple steak into real comfort food. Perfect for a snowy winter day!

I had a meeting on Wednesday and my contribution was a dessert. I've been wanting to try this ever since I saw Ina making it on her Barefoot Contessa show. But it makes a lot, too much for a calorie counting couple and so I took this meeting as a chance to try something that I've wanted to make but didn't want to make for just the two of us.

Rum Raisin Tiramisu

It was delicious -- by far the best Tiramisu I've ever tasted. And I will make it again -- some night when we have company. It's a great make ahead dessert (which is always good when company is coming for it is nice to get the dessert done early).

With chicken breasts in the freezer, and a recipe from her newest book that I wanted to try, on Thursday, I made

Lemon Chicken

It was yummy and is definitely a "How Easy Is That" kind of meal. I followed Ina's suggestions and served couscous and steamed green beans with the chicken. Husband Jim was so impressed that he opened a special bottle of Chardonnay to enjoy with the chicken!

And tonight, we had an old Ina favorite -- Ina's Parmesan Chicken topped with a salad of mixed baby greens with a lemon vinaigrette. We eat it often, most usually in the summer. We like it so much, we think of it as comfort food. I posted about it HERE. It went extremely well with the rest of the bottle of Thursday's Chardonnay.

I've not cooked everything from all of Ina's books but I've cooked a lot and it was fun this week to try some recipes that I've not fixed before. I must admit that we ate very well, indeed, this week -- our Barefoot Contessa week -- when I was "channeling Ina"!!!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Kitchen Pictures

Husband Jim and I like art -- oils, water color, woodblock prints, etchings, engravings and even just prints.

Art is not just for the living room or dining room with something for the bedrooms. Art should be in every room!

Every room includes the kitchen -- even though the kitchen at Linderhof is functional, why should it not have pleasing things to look at on it's walls?

We've never bought art because we have a bare spot but rather buy what we like and figure out a place to put it. This habit has created an overflow in the attic and sometimes (but not often) we do change art out -- but mainly, we buy new and the old joins the "unwanteds" in the attic!

The art in the kitchen has been accumulated over the years and it isn't "kitchen art" (i.e. fruits or vegetables) per se but it does seem to feel at home there.

A French poster -- for China Tea! The French post fad has passed, me thinks, and although this print has some of the same components of those French posters that you saw everywhere a few years ago, it is just enough different to feel more like an original statement.

Friends Connie and Cecelia and I were on a homes tour and in the kitchen of one of the homes was this gigantic poster -- the very poster that hangs in Linderhof's kitchen. It was probably four feet by six feet -- it took up an entire wall and the three of us fell in love with it because

a - we do love things French

b - we love tea and teas

Coming home, I found the poster and so I got one for Linderhof, one for Connie and Cecelia and their kitchen and a third for another dear friend who I knew would love it as much as the three of us.

It's hung at Linderhof since shortly after that Homes Tour. I loved it then and I love it now!

A French menu from 1890 -- it, unframed, was an Estate Sale purchase. I framed it and hung it on a cabinet in the kitchen -- a menu does seem appropriate to Linderhof for always whenever we have a company meal (whether lunch or dinner), each guest gets a menu

And finally, the bird prints -- they've hung in Linderhof's kitchen the longest . . .

They, too, are French, bought long long ago at an antique store in Topeka where I went with friend Janelle. I brought them home, hung them on either side of the window of Linderhof's kitchen.

Hung there, because when I bought them ages ago, there was no breakfast room and the feeders were outside this kitchen window -- the birds inside are to remind me of the birds outside.

I've always loved bird prints (and there are more at Linderhof) and these are so precious to me. They were inexpensive as I recall and could not believe that they were still in the antique store -- I guess they were just waiting for me!!!

And, although, I love ALL the art hanging on Linderhof's walls, these pictures hold a special place in my heart. They may not be the most favorite but they are some of the most seen because of the time I spend in the kitchen. They make me smile, every time I see them -- even though they've been hanging there for a long time.

And when one is in the kitchen, one must cook. Since it's Favorite Things Saturday, I thought I would share a favorite dessert (or two)! It's not my favorite but it is Daughter Sarah's -- but, alas, she was not here to enjoy it.

Her favorite dessert -- tiramisu. This week, for an event, I made the Barefoot Contessa's Rum Raisin Tiramisu.

It is the best tiramisu that I've eaten -- that recipe is definitely a keeper! It is, however, rather expensive with two tubs of mascarpone and packages of ladyfingers. But it goes together quickly, can (and should) be made ahead of time and is spectacular if you want to wow someone with a dessert.

Because the tiramisu calls for six egg yolks, there is an added benefit to making it . . .


For one wouldn't want to throw away six egg whites!!! And having meringues in the pantry for tea time is a definite bonus in this snowy January! And meringues are my favorite!!!

And for the tiramisu . . .


3/4 cup raisins
1 cup dark rum, divided, plus 2 T.
6 extra large egg yolks, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
16 to 18 ounces Italian mascarpone cheese
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, divided (2 oranges)
1 1/2 t. vanilla
seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean (I omitted this)
24 to 30 Italian ladyfingers
Semisweet chocolate, shaved

Place the raisins and 2 T. of rum in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the microwave on high for 1 minute. Uncover and set aside to cool.

Beat the egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed for 5 minutes, until very thick and light yellow. Lower the speed to low and mix in the mascarpone until smooth. With the mixer still on low, add 1/2 cup of rum, 1/4 cup of orange juice, the vanilla, and the seeds from the vanilla bean. Stir until combined.

Pour the remaining 1/2 cup of rum and remaining 1/2 cup of orange juice in a shallow bowl. Dip one side of each ladyfinger quickly in the rum mixture and place them in one layer in a 9 x 11 by 2 inch rectangular or oval dish. Break the ladyfingers in smaller pieces and dip them in the rum mixture to fill the spaces. Sprinkle half the rum-soaked raisins evenly on top. Pour half the mascarpone mixture over and spread evenly. Repeat the layers of dipped ladyfingers, rum-soaked raisins and mascarpone mixture. Smooth the top, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, but preferably overnight.

Before serving, sprinkle the top with the shaved chocolate and serve cold.

NOTE: I chose to sprinkle cocoa over the top rather than shaved chocolate.

It's Saturday and for the first time, I'm joining Laurie at Bargain Hunting With Laurie for Favorite Things Saturday -- two of my favorite things -- my kitchen pictures and two wonderful desserts!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Lemon Story

I've had a Meyer lemon tree for a long time -- longer than we've had the walls of windows breakfast room. Most years I've gotten some lemons -- but this year it was just two -- I don't know if the hot and dry summer was a factor but it is still great to have two Meyer lemons that I grew myself!!!

And those lemons are a true treat and what fun it is to decide exactly how I am going to use them!

This year, I made curd. For I was having The Lunch Bunch for lunch and decided that lemon curd tartlets would be the perfect dessert. I would share my Meyer lemon bounty with my dear friends.

The curd made, the tartlet shells baked . . .

And what a pretty dessert it was -- individual lemon curd tartlets topped with shipped cream and blackberries.

Two lemons made enough curd for tartlets for the four of us and . . .

There was enough curd leftover for my breakfast muffin the next morning.

A great breakfast of a Wolferman's English muffin, fresh blackberries, grapefruit juice, coffee and the lemon curd.

I use the Barefoot Contessa's recipe for lemon curd -- it's good for tarts or pie filling or cake filling or just eating as is on breakfast toast or muffins or afternoon scones. It's easy to do and can be kept in the refrigerator.


4 lemons, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 extra large eggs, at room temperature
1/8 t. salt

Remove the zest of the lemons with a vegetable peeler, being careful to avoid the white pitch. Square the lemons to make 1/2 cup of juice and set the juice aside. Put the zest in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the sugar and process for 2 to 3 minutes, until the zest is very finely minced. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter with the sugar and lemon zest. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and then add the lemon juice and salt. Mix until combined.

Pour the mixture into a 2 quart saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 10 minutes. The lemon curd will thicken at about 175 degrees or just below a simmer. Remove from the heat.

You can pour into jars, put into a tart shell or refrigerate to put between layers of a cake.

It's Friday, which means that it's time for Foodie Friday -- so please join Michael at Designs by Gollum to see what other foods there are this Friday.