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.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Snowballs for a Hot June

It's been hot on the prairie
End of July and early August hot
But it's only June
The golden days of early summer to enjoy in the garden
were not to be
Instead it was hot
And garden chores
were -- well, a chore!

We relished time spent indoors
Where it was cool!

And tea time went from a pot of tea
To a pitcher of tea
Poured into a glass full of ice!

But there's always time for a nosh . . . 

And what better nosh on a hot and humid summer day
(at least looking at them you can feel cool!)

You know, snowballs, another name for that many named cookie
Always in any church or community cookbook
And so often on cookie plates at Christmas.
So often, in fact, most people think of them as Christmas cookies.
They go by the name of Mexican Wedding Cakes, Swedish Tea Cakes, Pecan balls,  Russian Tea Cakes, Butterballs,  and Martha Stewart's name of "Nut Balls".

This recipe is a bit different and will replace the one I usually use
It has a bit of nutmeg in the cookie dough which gives a pleasant surprise when you
bite into one.

One of my mother's iced tea glasses
filled with ice tea
And 4 snowballs for an indoor
early summer 
afternoon tea


1 1/2 c. melted butter
3/4 c. powdered sugar
1 1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 t. nutmeg (freshly ground is best)
1/2 t. salt
3 1/2 c. flour
1 cup finely chopped nuts (we always use pecans)

Melt the butter.   Mix in the powdered sugar, vanilla, nutmeg and salt.    Add the flour and mix thoroughly.    Stir in the nuts.   (If you work quickly, while the butter is still warm, the dough will be softer and easier to mix.)

Form the dough into one-inch balls and place them on an uncreased baking sheet, 12 to a standard sheet.    Bake them at 350 for 10 minutes until they are set but not brown.

Let the cookies cool for 2 minutes and then roll them in powdered sugar.   (You must do this while they're still warm.)    Place them on a wire rack and let them cool thoroughly.

When the cookies are cool, roll them in powdered sugar a second time.    Let them rest for several minutes on the rack, and then store them in a cookie jar or covered bowl.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Cookbook Book Club -- Road Trip

Instead of a regular meeting in June, 
we decided we would do a "Foodie" Road Trip to Kansas City
Five members met at 7 a.m.
for the trip North

Each person selected one segment of the trip
We decided that because we were going to eat our way through Kansas City,
we would get three items per stop and share -- both the food and the bill.
That way when we got to our dinner stop, we would be hungry and we would have money in our pockets!

I had breakfast
and chose a favorite breakfast spot
of Husband Jim and myself


(We had been going since it first started in the City Market and it was like 4 tables --
we've always loved Succotash and thought it was a fitting way to start the day)
I was the only one who had been so it was a new experience for all!

The group was enchanted with the funky decor

For breakfast, we shared . . . 

Peach Melba French Toast

Kitchen Sink Scramble

Smoked Salmon Wrap

The selections we chose were perfect -- a sweet:   French toast with fresh peaches and raspberries; the scramble included eggs and gravy and potatoes and vegetables all rolled into one plate and the smoked salmon wrap combined the salmon and goat cheese and was served with the fried potatoes.
We liked it all!    
Everyone said they would come back
Everyone agreed that their favorite was the kitchen sink, however, if they came back they would like to try the blueberry pancake or the biscuits and gravy!

Michelle had the next choice and she chose

Pryde's Westport

Kansas City's "own" William Sonoma

Filled to the brim with merchandise.
If they don't have it, they don't make it!
And they carry Fiesta ware
And every kind of kitchen gadget and pan that you can imagine.
Only Michelle and I had been to Pryde's and everyone was impressed.

I shopped and bought . . . 

Two small tube pans.    I had been wanting them for a long time
and felt they would be a good reminder of a fun foodie trip to Kansas City.
(and a birthday present -- the ballerina was not for me)
Everyone in the group also made a purchase here -- they have some good stuff!

Rhonda  had lunch -- she chose:

Plowboys, Blue Springs

In Blue Springs
An award winning BBQ

None of us had been there
so it was a new experience to all!

You order at the counter and they deliver --
it's the way of a lot of BBQ joints in KC.

And a good BBQ joint will have their own sauce/sauces
Plowboys had three --
regular (which I think was everyone's favorite), hot and sweet

Lunch was:

BBQ Fries

Royal Crown Combo

Burnt Ends Plate

An amazing amount of food.
We were a bit disappointed that the fries were the frozen variety but the homemade cheese sauce and BBQ brisket did elevate them to French fry heaven; between the two plates we were able to sample 4 meats -- brisket, burnt ends, pulled pork and ribs.    They were all good but Rhonda and I felt that the burnt ends were really chunks of smoked brisket -- not real burnt ends.    Because we ordered two plates, we had 4 choices for sides and chose cheesy potatoes, cheesy corn, creamy coleslaw and the baked beans.

The cheesy corn was our least favorite, we all liked the coleslaw, potatoes and baked beans.
The ribs were good -- meaty, no grizzle, and flavorful.
I will go back but would not make a special trip to Blue Springs just to go to Plowboys . . .
but if I'm in the area . . . I would stop again for lunch.
One of their biggest sellers is the burnt ends sandwich
And although I was not impressed with their burnt ends as burnt ends, the meat was tender and flavorful and I think would be a good brisket sandwich . . . and I would order beans as my side!

We spent the time after lunch at some Thrift Stores in Blue Springs . . . 
They were nice Thrift Stores . . . and to keep it a foodie trip,
we tried to limit our purchases to foodie items (dishes and kitchenware and cookbooks)

After all that shopping, we decided to visit a bakery
And chose:

Ibis Bakery
 None of us had been there before
All of us agreed that we would go back . .  .for both bread and lunch

We were there late in the day and they were mostly sold out

But did get to sample some of their wonderful artisan breads

And brought home a cheese slipper
to divide five ways!
(breakfast tomorrow or a late night snack tonight!)

A trip to Kansas City isn't a foodie trip unless you stop at

We're fortunate to have one in downtown Overland Park
All of us had been there before but all of us needed something!
(I got big salt for my salt grinder --'there is none to buy locally!)

A plethora of jarred herbs and spices
And blends.
It's a wonderful smelling store!

Is new to Overland Park
taking over the space of a container store
(but not THE Container Store)
None of us had been there
And we loved looking at all the merchandise
From chicken feet to duck tongue
to shrimp chips

bags and bags of dried chilis
King size bags

They also carry other imported stuff
And I bought a package of ladyfingers --
I'm having company on Thursday and thought of making a chocolate Charlotte
but alas I needed ladyfingers so thought I would not be able to!
Now I can!

From the place where you can buy a pound of poppy seed for $4
to the place where you can buy a half ounce of poppy seed for $24

It's still fun to browse

Some had never been before and found it fascinating --
both the merchandise and the prices!

We decided to end the shopping portion of our Foodie Day

What's not to like about Williams Sonoma

I get giddy just going in!
But the best part is that everything in the store was 20% off!
(and that included the sale items)
I spent $30 and got:
A $30 cookbook
Three jars of $12.95 pumpkin pie filling
Two $10.95 pie plates!

Donna got to chose dinner and she chose:

 Only Rhonda and I had been there before.
We chose to each pick an appetizer and share:

It's June and when the first tomatoes come in,
they are famous for their
Table side Fresh Mozzarella

Served with fresh local tomatoes and basil
and drizzled with balsamic and olive oil

Scampi ala Livornese
A dish that's been on Jasper's menu for 55 years

Lobster Ravioli

Asparagi con prosciutto

None of us could agree on which was the best --
they were all good and actually eaten together it was perfect --
two hot and two cold
Although Rhonda, I think, dipped her bread in that delicious sauce that was over the lobster ravioli (but I won't tell!)

We had been so good all day --
no desserts, no cupcakes, no ice cream, no cookies

But Jasper's is the place to eat desserts,
if you're going to
We decided to get a trio and share

The Fresh Peach Napoleon
(only on the menu as long as the peaches are fresh)

(can you go to an Italian restaurant and not have them)

Jasper's famous strawberry cake
(for which I have the recipe!)

We each took a fork and took a plate, took a bite and passed it to the right
Until there was no more on any of the three plates.

Our opinion -- to a man (er, woman):
The peach Napoleon was the favorite hands down!

Barbara had been a good little girl, going where we chose
But now it was her turn:


 Christopher Elbow's Ice Cream Place
I was the only one who had been there before.

At this stop we each got our own
And we didn't even give the others a lick!
It was the perfect way to end a perfect Foodie day!

When I got home and unpacked

I had quite a bit of "loot" from my trip.
All foodie related!

It was a fun time and a great outing for a bunch of Foodies.
We're thinking that it needs to be more than a once a year trip.
That we can do it again and not have it take the place of our
monthly Cookbook Club Dinners.

We decided on the way home that wherever we went next time, no one can have been there before!   It has to be new to the whole group!

Friday, June 24, 2016

National Cream Tea Day

As the world is talking of the events yesterday in England
and their leaving the EU,
my thoughts today turn to my very first cream tea

We arrived in England, got in our rental car and headed off
We kept seeing signs in windows of houses and small shops that read
"Cream Tea"
Being American and used to Starbucks and their frothy creamy drinks
I thought it was tea with a big pile of whipped cream on top!
Not usual but cream anything is good.

The second day we stopped
And I could wait to get a cup of hot tea
Mounded with whipped cream!

Instead, I got . . . 

A scone, a dish of clotted cream and a dish of strawberry jam
It was a marriage made in heaven
The warm scone, the clotted cream topped by the sweet strawberry jam
(although at first we wondered if the cream went in the tea)

And I fell in love!

Today is National Cream Tea Day in the UK

But for me, every day that I'm in England is Cream Tea Day!
Alas, I don't get to England enough
And it's hard to find a cream tea on the prairie
(Actually it's hard to find it anywhere in Kansas --
the one exception being The Clock Tower Bakery in downtown Overland Park)

So we make them at home

If it were cooler, there is nothing like a cream tea in the garden!

A dish of cream (not clotted, but whipped really firm -- I find that it's better than any of those "recipes" for "Mock" Devonshire or Clotted Cream) and a dish of strawberry jam.

A scone, fresh from the oven and a pot of tea

Warm scone, cream and jam
Pure Bliss
(Although I read today that it should be scone, jam and cream --
I guess I've been eating mine wrong all these years!)

We shall be in the breakfast room or in the garden (if the weather is mild)
enjoying a cream tea this afternoon.
As we celebrate in Linderhof fashion, National Cream Tea Day!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Women's Club Meets . . .

One of the Women's Clubs I belong to met tonight
. . .
At Linderhof

It's hot
It's been hot for a couple of weeks
My co-hostess, Lissa, and I decided to do
for treats

Two salsas (regular and peach/mango)
Street Corn Dip
Served with chips

Crescent Roll Churros

And because it is hot . . . 
Cool icy drinks

A minty lemony ice tea on the left
 white sangria on the right
(which can never be replicated because of using odds and ends from our wine cellar)

And during the meeting . . . 

Doogie found it all very boring
And took a short nap!

The churros 
(which co-hostess Lissa made)
are easy and start with Pillsbury Crescent Rolls


2 T. sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1 can Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
2 T. butter, melted

Heat oven to 374.    In a small bowl mix sugar and cinnamon, set aside.

Unroll dough, separate into 4 rectangles.    Press each to 6 x 4 inch rectangle, pressing perforation.

Brush tops of 2 rectangles with melted butter; sprinkle with about half of the sugar mixture.    Top each with remaining rectangles lightly.    Brush tops with melted butter.

With sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut each rectangle stack lengthwise into 6 strips.    Twist each strip 3 times, place on uncreased cookie sheet.

Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.    Brush tops with any remaining melted butter, sprinkle with remaining sugar/cinnamon mixture.