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.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Husband Jim's heritage is Scottish.
A great Scottish tradition is Hogmanay
First Footing

The first foot is the first person to enter your house.
They bring symbolic gifts of salt, coal, shortbread, whisky and black bun (fruit cake)
which represents flavor, warmth, food, good cheer and financial prosperity

They're meant to bring luck to the householder.

Food and drink are then given to the guest.

In Scotland, this may go on throughout the early hours of the morning
(and well into the next day)

The first-foot is supposed to set the luck for the rest of the year.

Traditionally, tall dark haired men are preferred as the first-foot.
(Kilts are optional!)

We at Linderhof
wish you and yours
a Very Happy New Year
and may your year
have flavour, warmth, food, good cheer
and financial prosperity!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


The Tween time
That time between Christmas and New Year's

The house is still decorated
But the hustle and bustle of Christmas is past

There are no more presents to wrap . . .
No more cards to  be addressed

The ribbon and wrapping have been put away

A peace has descended upon Linderhof

And it's a great time to entertain

Which I did --

Luncheon for 3 guests on Monday

And luncheon for 4 on Tuesday

Same table setting

A new Christmas gift lace cloth
My blue and white transferrer
And old white damask napkins in the silver rings

A Christmas rose in a birch pot
And the glass sleighs filled with greenery
(and the Santa salt and pepper shakers)

Old brass candlesticks complete the centerpiece

Luncheon at Linderhof

Monday, December 29, 2014


Roasted Pear Salad
(with blue cheese, cranberries and pecans)

French Chicken Pot Pie

Double Chocolate Creme Fraiche Cake
with whipped cream and cranberry/rosemary garnish

Luncheon at Linderhof

December 30, 2014


Gingered Carrot Soup

Christmas Quiche
Tossed Green Salad

Double Chocolate Creme Fraiche Cake
with Grand Marnier whipped cream and orange/rosemary garnish

Even though it was the same dessert --
it wasn't the same cake.

I baked two -- one for each day
But in my small bundt pans
Two small bundt pans equal one regular bundt recipe

Monday's Cake with whipped cream and candied cranberries and candied rosemary

Tuesday's Cake with Grand Marnier flavored whipped cream and an orange slice and rosemary garnish

I love to entertain and this week is perfect for at Christmas, the house is often aglow
with it's Christmas finery!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Magical City of Scott

We started it the year we moved to Linderhof.
Husband Jim had always admired miniature villages
And wanted one of his own.

At a favorite mark down shop,
we scored four of these ceramic lighted villages
Department 56
"Snow Village"

We put them up on the living room mantle and lighted them.
We loved the twinkling little lights!

And over the next ten years, we acquired more and more of these lighted little houses.
They outgrew the mantle . . .
And the folding dining room table I bought to put behind the couch.

The only place we could fit the village was in the guest room/daughter Sarah's room
By that time she had left for college and the village could be set up on the bookshelves in her room.

And this we did for a number of years.

But they were not "user" friendly.
Guests had to tromp upstairs to see our magical lighted village.

Our home was on our town's Homes Tour in 2005
And we set the village up that year.

And then put it in bins, took it up to the attic and there it stayed
until this year!

We now also have a breakfast room
Perfect for the village we named "Scott City"
(after our beloved town of "Fort Scott")
So with the breakfast room table extended as far as it can
And with a church size folding table

Scott City has a home downstairs!

There's a downtown with merchant buildings, a trolley and a courthouse,

And a residential area
On a "hill" overlooking the downtown!

The courthouse reminds us of the one in Nevada (where we used to live)
And every town needs a tourist attraction -- what better than a big ball of twine!

And if you have a tourist attraction like a big ball of twine,
you need a Tourist Information Center so that the tourists can be told how to find said big ball of twine!

And stores so that the village inhabitants can buy neccisities

And Christmas trees -- every town needs a Christmas tree lot!

The villagers children go to school
Jefferson School was one of the schools in Nevada

And, of course, there are the homes
and like the homes in Fort Scott, each house is different

Nestled in the residential area, is one of the four churches
of Scott City

And at night, it turns from Scott City into the Magical City of Scott!

Why, after all these years did we put up our village once again?

For Grandgirl Lucy, of course!

And she did find it magical!

Some day, all of that real estate will be hers!

We had to sacrifice meals in the breakfast room this December
Once again, the dining room became the place where we ate breakfast, lunch and dinner!
But it was a small price to pay for the enchantment of the lighted city.

The Magical City of Scott

It's Monday and I'm joining Judith at A Lavender Cottage for Mosaic Monday

Friday, December 26, 2014

Boxing Day Brunch

A Christmas Tradition at Linderhof
is Boxing Day Brunch
With family

Christmas is still out and about at Linderhof
The dining room centerpiece is the Christmas Day centerpiece

But the Christmas china is back in the cabinet
and our beloved blue and white now set the table

Boxing Day Brunch at Linderhof

Spiced Apples
Spanish Tortilla
Chicken and Apple Sausage
Easy Sticky Buns
Freshly Brewed Coffee 

The spiced apples are a baked apple dish
with a little bit of sherry, a little bit of chardonnay, orange and cinnamon and clove

Chicken and Apple Sausage
Sauteed to perfection

A Spanish Tortilla
A cousin to a frittata
except that it is potatoes and eggs only
The men had to have salsa, too!

 And every brunch needs a sweet
Ina's Easy Sticky Buns

A fun way to end the Christmas festivities at Linderhof!

With Jim, Sarah, Andy and Lucy around a breakfast table

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!