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, March 30, 2017


I adore tulips
They are one of my favorite flowers
And when they're first offered for sale at the grocery store,
I bring home at least one bunch every week

I love them on the dining room or breakfast room table

And if I can find the frilly ones, so much the better!

Mostly they're about $5 for a bunch of 6
(or sometimes less if we go to Trader's Joe's in the city)
And it's well worth the $5 to me
For they bring a smile to my face

I don't know if it's the fact that the prairie is a bit further south and thus a little warmer
than where I grew up in Kansas City, but here, tulips are
You plant them in the fall, get a good bloom the following spring
And you're lucky if the year after that you get a bloom at all
So I rarely plant them

In the fall of 2015, I did succumb to these beauties

And they gave a good show in 2016

But in 2017, I have but one lone tulip and actually not much foliage!
In 2018, I won't even have that one bloom!

Sometimes I find a pretty tulip and will plant the bulbs, just for that one year of bloom
Just for the chance to have a pretty bouquet in the old blue pitcher!

Growing up, mother never planted tulips.
And we had tulips every year!
Red ones or white ones as I recall.

Were they "heirloom" bulbs?
Was it the fact that Kansas City is a bit colder than here?
Whatever reason, I was a bit dismayed that tulips were an "annual".

And look at the garden in 2017

These lovely red tulips are blooming

As they did in 2015

And in 2014!

I know I planted these tulips
What kind they are, I'm at a loss to say
I would assume that I got them at Costco
(for I get a lot of my bulbs there)
but I may have ordered them

But they're "comeback" tulips!
For this is at least the fourth year they've bloomed
And bloomed well!
(I couldn't find any pictures of the garden at tulip time in earlier years, so I'm not sure
when I planted them)

I may try to look at some heirloom varieties of tulips to plant this fall
With the hopes that they won't be just a "one year show"
like most.

I must admit that these red tulips bring a smile to my face
As I take my afternoon tea in the breakfast room
And see their red blooms dancing in the breeze.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Restaurant Food

Restaurant food that we make at home
We don't eat out all the time
And over the years some of our favorite foods were first tasted at

We've found the recipes and now make them at home.

Our favorite
And made over and over again
It's one of our go-to celebratory dishes as well

 baked beans
From Smokestack Restaurant -- the "father" of the current Jack Stack restaurants in Kansas City.  I've had the receipe "forever"!

 Irish soda bread

Top of the Tower Irish Soda Bread -- the restaurant no longer in business was at the top of the Commerce Tower in downtown Kansas City.    This was the bread that was served to every diner.   I was so happy when the recipe was published in The Kansas City Star.


Another downtown Kansas City restaurant that is no longer.     Their salads were so different from the salad served as most restaurants.    And the white "cheese" is not feta but rather common old cottage cheese!

 fried chicken

Strouds was one of the plethora of fried chicken restaurants that were all over Kansas City  after the war.    Sadly, one by one they closed.    Except for Stroud's.     Eating there is like having a Sunday fried chicken dinner when I was a kid!

four o'clocks

Wolferman's did have a restaurant -- a ladies place where one could have lunch with friends after a morning shopping in downtown Kansas City.     Downstairs was the grocery store and bags of these would come home with Mother.


Same Wolferman's.    And this was my favorite cookie.   Loaded with raisins and nuts and it was always a good day when Mom would bring a sack of these home after a day of shopping.

Steak Soup

Plaza III is an old school and old time Kansas City steakhouse.  Back in the day, your choice of their "steak" soup or salad would be your first course, followed by your steak and potato of choice.
I'd eat the steak but I went for the soup!


Olive Garden, the chain, serves a good salad (and in my opinion  is the only reason to eat there).   There salad is easy to copy and it is so good.     We don't have it once a week but we do have it several times a month especially if we're eating "Italian"!

Tiffan Room Chicken Salad

Same Wolferman's that the cookies came from.   This is the chicken salad that mother and her friends would invariably eat for lunch if they chose to dine in Wolferman's Tiffan Room.     I became the second generation to lunch at Wolferman's when I went shopping downtown.    In the old days, when one could shop downtown!

stuffed peppers

The Forum Cafeteria was a Kansas City institution and one of the places  our family would eat Sunday dinner after church.    Mother favored these stuffed peppers and this is the recipe I favor when I make stuffed peppers.

chicken and butter and cream
green rice

Stephenson's Restaurant was an old restaurant in Kansas City that closed after celebrating over 60 years of business.    The Green Rice served there is one of my favorite dishes and it was served in a small portion with all dinners     I usually ordered their smoked brisket but husband Jim loved this chicken dish.    It was known as The Apple Farm for the restaurant grew out of their orchard business and  apple cider was available while you waited for your table.   Apple fritters also accompanied every meal and their apple daquaries were famous.

Stephenson's baked chicken and cream and green rice casserole

The recipes:


8 pieces frying chicken
2 cups flour
1 T. salt
1 T. pepper
2 t. paprika
1 stick butter, cut into 8 pats
2 cups half and half or cream

Dip chicken in cold water.    Mix together flour, salt, pepper and paprika.    Coat each piece of chicken thoroughly in flour mixture.    Place pieces skin side up in a 13 x 9 inch pan.    Bake uncovered at 450 for 30 minutes or until brown.   (Recipe may be prepared ahead up to this point.)    Pour cream around chicken, place 1 pat of butter on each piece and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
(*Note I used chicken breasts -- with bone in and skin on)


1 c. chopped parsley
1/4 c. green pepper, chopped
1/2 c. grated Cheddar cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1/2 t. seasoned salt
1/3 c. onion, chopped
14 1/2 oz. Pet milk
3 c. cooked rice
juice and grated rind of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T. salt

Mix rice, parsley, cheese, onion, green pepper, garlic in greased 2 quart casserole.    Blend rest of ingredients.    Mix into rice.    Sprinkle with paprika.    Bake at 350 about 45 minutes or until like a soft custard.


Creole Sauce

1 pound ground beef
1 small onion
1/3 c. chopped green pepper
1/2 t. chili powder
1/8 t. salt
16 ounce can whole tomatoes
16 ounce can tomato puree
1 cup cooked rice
6 whole green peppers

Prepare Creole Sauce and allow to simmer while preparing stuffed peppers. Mix beef and onion, chopped green pepper. Add chili powder, salt, tomatoes and cooked rice and mix well.

Cut 6 whole green peppers in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Spoon stuffing mixture into each pepper half. Place stuffed peppers in a single layer in large shallow baking dish. Sprinkle with paprika and pour can of tomato puree over and around peppers.

Bake at 350 about 30 minutes until browned and meat and peppers are done. Spoon hot Creole Sauce over peppers and serve.


1 large onion
1 t. minced green pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 t. chili powder
1 can tomatoes
1/2 t. salt
1/8 t. sugar

Mince onion; combine onion, green pepper and garlic in a skillet to which you've added olive oil. Saute over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until vegetables are tender. Add tomatoes and continue to simmer. If it thickens too much, add water. Serve over stuffed peppers.


    • 1 (12 ounce) bags iceberg garden salad
    • 1/4 small red onion, sliced paper-thin
    • 6 -12 pitted black olives
    • 6 mild pepperoncini peppers
    • 1 -2 small roma tomato, sliced
    • 1/2 cup crouton
    • Italian dressing ( or use a recipe for Olive Garden's House Dressing)
    • freshly grated parmesan cheese, to taste
    • fresh ground black pepper, to taste

  1. In a large glass or wooden salad serving bowl, toss together the lettuce mix, onion slices, olives, pepperoncini, tomatoes, and croutons. Add dressing and toss to combine.
  2. Serve with fresh Parmesan cheese and black pepper to taste.
    PLAZA III Steak Soup
    • 8 T. unsalted butter
    • 1/2 C. flour
    • 4 (10 oz.) cans beef consomme
    • 1/2 C. diced carrots
    • 1/2 C. diced onions
    • 1/2 C. diced celery
    • 1 C. diced canned tomatoes
    • 1 1/2 t. Kitchen Bouquet sauce
    • 1 beef bouillon cube
    • 1/2 t. ground black pepper
    • 10 oz. frozen mixed vegetables
    • 1 lb. ground sirloin, browned and drained (make sure to get ground steak - regular ground beef can work, but the ground steak is what makes this special.)

    1. Heat a large soup/stock pot to medium heat and melt butter.
    2. Once butter is melted (and before it browns), add flour and stir together to form a roux.
    3. Cook roux for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
    4. Whisk in consomme and stir until smooth and slightly thickened. Bring to a full boil.
    5. Add in vegetables, tomatoes, Kitchen Bouquet, bouillon cube, and pepper. Allow to return to a full boil.
    6. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until vegetables are just barely tender (20 to 30 minutes).
    7. Add frozen vegetables and the cooked ground steak. Simmer for 15 minutes until the flavors meld.

    Wolferman's Four O Clocks

    Wolferman's always sold these delicate tea cookies.   Sometimes they are formed into small balls or crescents.

    1/2 pound sweet butter, softened
    1/2 c. powdered sugar
    1 cup pecans, finely ground
    2 cups white flour
    1/4 t. salt
    Confectioner's sugar (to drop cookies in)

    Preheat oven to 350
    Mix butter, sugar and nuts.    Add flour.   Mix thoroughly.     Roll thinly between waxed paper.    Cut out into small rounds the size of 1/2 dollars.    Bake 3 to 5 minutes.    Drop in extra powdered sugar while still hot.


    (Makes 4 to 6 servings)
    1 head iceburg
    3/4 c. olive oil
    1/4 c. vinegar
    garlic powder to taste
    1/2 t. salt
    1/2 t. pepper
    1 t. oregano leaves
    1/4 c. cottage cheese (rinsed and drained)
    2 hard boiled eggs, sliced
    4 to 6 bottled marinated peppers, drained
    ripe olives

    Tear lettuce into bite size pieces. Mix olive oil and vinegar until well combined and pour over lettuce. Sprinkle with seasonings. Add cottage cheese and mix well. Garnish with eggs, peppers and olives.


    4 slices bacon
    40 ounce can pork and beans, drained
    3/4 c. brown sugar
    1 T. minced onion
    1 T. chili powder
    1 T. mustard
    1 t. liquid smoke
    1 cup barbecue sauce
    1/4 c. sorghum

    Combine all ingredients except bacon.    Put in large baking dish.    Put bacon on top of the beans.
    Bake uncovered in 325 degree oven 60-75 minutes.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

In The Garden . . . With The Fairy

I'm not the only one at Linderhof that has been busy this Spring in the garden
Our fairy has been planting and weeding!

Her house and her old fashioned garden!

Gardening is hard work and so you need to take a rest!

 Ground cover, some Irish moss and violas with a rosemary standard "tree"!
She needs some creeping thyme to finish her garden . . . She'll be on the lookout for that!

After watching the ferry gardening, I needed some sustenance!

Carrot poppyseed cake
(from one of my favorite blogs, The English Kitchen)
I've made it before and it is good!
Of course, I love poppyseed and this is an unusual combination!

It's too cold and drippy to take tea in the garden
So I'm on the breakfast porch this afternoon

And since they were mini loaves of tea bread, I had two pieces!

I followed Marie's advice and glazed it with an orange/sugar glaze.  
I also found the recipe at Marks and Spencer --
they put a cream cheese and orange marmalade icing on theirs --


5 ounces of vegetable oil
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
6 medium carrots, peeled and grated
1 T. poppyseeds
1 3/4 c. self raising flower
1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. mixed spice (it's an English thing -- a combination of cinnamon, ginger, cardamon, cloves -- you 
                             can buy something close at Penzys)

For the topping:
zest of one orange
juice of 1/2 orange
couple of teaspoons of sugar

Preheat the oven to 300.    Butter a 9 by 5 inch loaf tin and line the base with parchment (I used three mini loaf pans)

Beat the eggs together with the brown sugar and vegetable oil.    Stir in the carrots and poppy seeds.   Sift the flour, baking powder and mixed spice together.    Stir this into the west mixture, stirring to mix well together.     Spoon into the prepared baking tin and smooth the top.    Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes (mini loaves baked in less time)

Remove fro the oven and let stand in the tin for about 5 minutes, then carefully tip out and place right side up on wire rack.

Whisk together the topping ingredients and then spoon slowly over top of the hot cake, a bit at a time, allowing it to be absorbed each time.     Allow to cool completely before cutting into slices 

NOTE:   Marks and Spencer mixed room temperature cream cheese with orange marmalade and frosts the loaf with that.

Monday, March 20, 2017

England Meets The South . . .

When we lived in England that Spring, one of our favorite dinners
was Fish 'N' Chips

There was not a "Chips" shop in our little village but there was one
in the village next to us
We would stop at the market and pop in next door for a couple of orders of fish 'n' chips
to take home

There are so many small fish 'n' chips shops throughout England
Small shops
To Go shops

Inside is plain
And it's to go only
(or as they say "Take Away)
With a menu board
(ala McDonald's)
from which to make your selection

Once home, we'd unwrap the greasy paper revealing a mass of chips (which we know as French fries)
and a nice piece of deep fried battered fish

We bought a bottle of malt vinegar and kept it at home
for those fish 'n' chips nights.
British battered fish 'n' chips need malt vinegar!

Oh, how I miss those meals!

Long John Silvers does not compare (like fish to fish sticks) and even some "Irish" pubs
in the city just don't do it right!

Then in the tiny Southwestern Missouri town of Lamar,
there is

With a British flag and the words "fish and chips",
I thought I might be entering fish 'n' chips heaven!

It's a quaint place
It's a small place

The kitchen is open

And yes, they do serve wonderful fish 'n' chips

Cod, fresh out of the fryer 
(would there be any other way for "Cap"?)

Served with chips
And the "South" part of it --
coleslaw and hushpuppies
We are, after all, in South Missouri!

Owner Charles James
stopped by our table
So not only do you get good food you get great service.
It's always nice when the owner comes by to see if you like your food!

And how you know you're eating proper British fish 'n' chips!

Cap's Cabin serves other food -- hamburgers including a Juicy Lucy
(for those misplaced Minnesotians who are carving their favorite food!)

We'll be back
For it was not just good food -- it was great food!

And Fort Scottians or Nevadans don't seem to give a second thought to
traveling for good food.   

And if you think you've heard of Lamar,
you have
It's famous

As the birthplace of Harry S. Truman in 1884
The "Man from Independence" was really the "Man from Lamar"
although his time in Lamar was brief!

It's a fun stop when you're in town to eat at Cap's Cabin!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Would You Bring . . .

It was a busy week in the kitchen at Linderhof
Besides breakfast, lunch and dinner
(and a company lunch on Friday)
we baked -- not for us but rather
"to take"

On Monday:

Or in this case "to send"
The shamrock cookies for the grands

They have been renamed by Lucy as
"Broccoli Cookies"!
(although they don't taste like broccoli!)

And on Tuesday . . . 

two chocolate chess pies

My donation for a fundraiser
"A Night In The Museum"
for the Bushwhacker Museum

Just two of the 40 pies donated for the event!

On Wednesday:

I made sugared pansy cookies
for a reception we had after the DUV-CW meeting in Kansas City on Thursday

It's the same cookie dough I used for Monday's shamrock cookies
And a favorite recipe of mine.

On Friday:

I made a six layered salad
for a funeral dinner on Saturday
It's one of my favorite salads and it's great because it's a make ahead one!

It was a busy week in the kitchen but I love to cook and am always glad to be asked to
bring something.

Friday, March 17, 2017

A St. Patrick's Day Luncheon

St. Patrick's Day finds me inviting my Irish friends to lunch.
Not an American style St. Patrick's luncheon
but one that you might find if you were in Ireland
In a cottage in the country

My table is simple:

A lace tablecloth
(but alas, not Irish lace but rather Quaker)

English Spode sets each place,
an Irish linen napkin in a silver ring
Jim's grandmother's cutlery

The menu written on a watercolor of an Irish cottage
A nod to America is the frosted and sprinkled shamrock cookie
as a favor (for tea that afternoon) --
if we had been in Ireland, it would have been shortbread --

Orange tulips (because we're protestant)
in a Waterford pitcher
(actually, the first Waterford pitcher I ever bought)
(and it pours poorly -- more useful for flowers than for iced tea!)

The view into the living room

I like my menu to reflect what perhaps an Irish housewife
would serve her friends:

An Irish leek and potato soup
(garnished with chives)

Irish Soda Bread
(not an Irish recipe but rather one from the Top of the Tower restaurant in Kansas City --
it's a recipe I've had "forever"!)

And dessert . . . 

Irish Apple cake
(made with fresh apples and it is yummy)
with a big pour of custard (Bird's Custard -- I always like to keep some in the larder)

And every year after dessert we have:

Irish Coffee
served in wee cups that I've had "forever"!
And used just for this one day every year!

Irish Coffee has an interesting beginning:

The original Irish coffee was invented and named by Joe Sheridan, a head chef in Foynes, County Limerick.    The coffee was conceived after a group of American passengers disembarked from a Pan Am flying boat on a miserable winter evening in the 40s.     Sheridan added whiskey to the coffee to warm the passengers.    After the passengers asked if they were being served Brazilian, Sheridan replied "No, it's Irish coffee"!

We had a grand time.
Sharing stories of Irish relatives and trips to Ireland.
It's one of my favorite luncheons of the year!