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, July 28, 2017

Cookbook Book Club - July

Last night was our Cookbook Book Club -- July edition.
What started out as a 30 Minute Meal theme cooking together in the
kitchen of the Catholic Church
turned into a pre-prepared "Picnic" Fare
At a Shelter House in Gunn Park!

Because . . . 
  • the Catholic church decided to refinish their floors this week in preparation of school starting 
  • My church, which was a backup, was painting the sanctuary and pews and altar are higgedly piggedly in the fellowship hall
  • The Presbyterian Church had a big funeral dinner to prepare for!
Rhonda, the hostess, was able to secure an air-conditioned shelter house at the Park.
We changed from cooking together 30 Minute Meals to Picnic Fare
(for we are not a "make ahead" type of group and we could adjust to Picnic Fare quite easily)
(In fact no one brought their 30 Minute Meal Dish!)

It was a wonderful meal (as it always is)
And we had a grand time sitting at the picnic tables in Gunn Park's Shelter House
eating our Plan D menu!

Rhonda, the hostess prepared

A "sheet pan dinner" -- she does that often because it's simple and good.
She's not made this one before
It's a Pioneer Woman recipe and we all thought it quite tasty.
(The good thing about sheet pan dinners is that you throw away the foil, wipe the pan and you're done!)
It's chicken tenders (she did tenders rather than breasts because we always have too much food), rolled in crumbs and cheese and lemon with potatoes and beans

Michelle, was our "over achiever" -- bringing two salads

The ramen noodle coleslaw with a twist -- mandarin oranges
It was good!

And an Asian peanut dressed pasta salad
We all liked it and thought it would be good in spring roll wrappers with a bit of chicken added and additional dressing to use as a dipping sauce.

Sara brought this spinach, onion, feta cheese salad

My contribution was the hot pickled Brussels sprouts.
Not a recipe but from a jar because now my kitchen is getting new grout and I'm bound from
the kitchen until it cures.    I was going to do a pickled vegetable . . . actually, carrots.
This is a good product, available at our local G and W store and I would buy them again --
they're quite spicy!

Sara's zucchini and onions.    A Jacque Pepin dish which she felt a failure.
None of us did!     It was quite good.   And good picnic fare because it can be served at room temperature.

 Rita had bread this month and brought "bread in a sack".    It's a yeast bread, really good, and one that I will definitely make.    An easy way to make homemade bread.
As Rita said, as easy as making it in the bread machine!

The prettiest picture goes to Angela for her tapioca dessert topped with roasted peaches and pistachio nuts.     Not only pretty but tasty.     Angela had never made tapioca before.    It was good with the hint of cardamon in the pudding.

Gabrielle brought our other dessert.    Gabrielle admitted to not being a cake baker (she leaves baking cakes to husband Brian) and so to challenge herself she chose a cake.    It's a Whiskey Sour Cake and you could taste all the elements of a whisky sour in the cake.     She thought it a bit dry but none of us did -- we all thought it was delicious!

Considering we were on Plan D by the time we got to the Shelter House, we had a 
grand time (as we always do)
And we're planning on cooking together next month --
We'll make pizza!
Each one of us will bring a pizza or pizza type dish -
And like always, it has to be something we've never done before
(although we'll allow tried and true dough!)
And I don't think pizza night will evolve into Plan D because . . .
* the floor at the Catholic church is refinished and school has started
*my church painting will be done and pre-school will have started
*chances of a funeral at the Presbyterian church are unlikely!
It will be nice to have a Plan A evening!

We have learned and have grown because of the club
And have eaten things we've never thought we would eat
For we try everything -- even if we've avoided that particular item our entire adult life!
(Rhonda and the Brussels Sprouts)

We're looking forward to our pizza night!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Garden

It's Mid July --
The garden is still lush thanks to an abundant supply of rain

The begonias

There's always "thyme" in the garden
my favorite Indiana Summer petunias and a dark purple salvia
and thyme, of course!

the lilies in the pond are even blooming
(in fact, it looks like the lilies are trying to take over the pond!)

And there is always time to work in the garden . . . 

Garden chores are constant!

But when it's hot out, one stops for a glass of icy tea and a nosh
(in this case pecan shortbread)

I am afraid, however, that the heat and dry that we are beginning to have
will put an end to our lush garden.
I've been watering . . . and trying to keep ahead rather than get behind.

But as it gets hotter, the garden gets tended to less --
for I am truly a fair weather gardener!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

A Simple Dinner for Company

Friends Anne and Tim had his brother visiting from back east.
We enjoy David and always try to have them over for dinner when he visits.
It has been hot on the prairie
So no garden party last night
But rather an inside dinner
In our cool air conditioned dining room

It was company
So we used the lace cloth
Blue and white dishes
Damask napkins in silver rings

And a bouquet of garden flowers in the center

A simple meal
But a company meal . . . 

Mashed potatoes, with a lump of butter and a sprinkle of paprika
(otherwise they look pretty bland)
And Farmer's Market green beans fixed my grandmother's way

Rich thick beef gravy to go on the potatoes

And the star of the show,
an Angus rump roast -- cooked to perfection
Served with Yorkshire Pudding
(and homemade Horseradish Sauce --
the recipe from Stephenson's Restaurant)

Dessert was Husband Jim's new favorite:

Strawberry Pavlova Roll

A meringue topped with hazelnuts and rolled around strawberries and whipped cream.
It's a made ahead dessert which is good for a company dinner
And it's an "ice box" dessert which is good when the temperature is pushing 100

It's a good meal even though it is a simple one
And a meal enjoyed by all!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

A Small Change

In the Guest Room

We have wood floors
the original 1920 wood floors
that we refinished 17 years ago

And I adore them
And in the guest room . . .  

The wood floors are bare . . . 
(which actually makes it easy to run a dust mop in there)
But like an outfit needs jewelry
I think a room needs a rug . . . 
The finishing touch -- the jewelry for a room

And I've been searching . . . 
On eBay, at Estate Sales, Flea Markets and Antique Malls
For it can't be "just a rug"
It needs to be a "perfect rug"!

Yesterday, I was in the city
And on a whim I ran into a Tuesday Morning
And there it was!

A braided rug
(which fits my old house style)
neutral in color
(which I've learned -- keep the main pieces neutral -- you can get creative and colorful
with inexpensive pillows and curtains)

I think it is the finishing touch for the guest room
And I adore it!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

A Most Entertaining Weekend

Saturday was a busy day at Linderhof . . . 

Company for Lunch and Dinner!

Luncheon Company were Air Force Reserve Friends Don and Denise
who came to visit our Fort and the Symbols of Sacrifice
We invited them to stop by for lunch . . . 

A table for four in the dining room
My blue and white plates, of course
A pretty summery table runner
Blue napkins in silver rings
The plates on wicker chargers

And a bouquet of garden flowers in the center of the table

A cool lunch for a hot July day

Homemade chicken salad, fruit and a roll

Strawberry cobbler and ice cream for dessert

We spent a good part of the afternoon visiting
And after they left I cleaned up and prepared for
Party II

Dinner company were dear friends Jack, Shirley Ann and Steven
Invited because he did a favor for me and I can't pay him . . . 
in money but I can pay him in steak!

Same table, same napkins (well Jim and mine were -- I did get out new ones for the company!),
same plates and chargers
Why reinvent the wheel?

A steak house meal --
A tossed green salad with vinaigrette
served family style


Steak -- a KC Strip from our local meat market, The Butcher Block
and a "naked" baked potato
Toppings were on the table so everyone could top as they wish!
A pound of a potato!

And since it was The Fourth of July weekend . . .

We served our most patriotic dessert --
cherry pie
What's more American?
(well, perhaps Apple Pie)
Instead of lattice, we make stars and stripes!

Served with vanilla ice cream!

It was quite a day for entertaining
And we enjoyed each and every minute!

Happy Fourth of July!


Fourth of July

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