Thursday, July 14, 2016

Onion Rings Like We Had at The Rustic Inn, Fort Calhoun, Nebraska...

In a world where onion rings merge to double deliciousness, mine melded last year.

Daughter Beth found a great recipe for onion rings online. And we love them like crazy.

And then we had a writer's retreat in Nebraska, and we stop at the Rustic Inn in Fort Calhoun and guess what the cute local restaurant served???


My worlds collided.




(Work with me here, I don't get out much. There's probably a reason for that.)

So here is the recipe... a great one that's simple and marvelous and delicious and yes, we deep fry them, but we only make them once in a while, not daily (like I would like) so it's okay...



A little of this, a little of that.

Slice two or three large Vidalia onions into 1/4" slices.... If they break, no worries!

Spread onion rings in flat bottom pan, like a 13" x 9" baking pan, or bigger...

Pour milk over onion rings until about half-way up the onions. Mix them around now and again for about 1/2 hour, like when you think of it, or when you end a chapter of a really good book!!!

Drain the milk away... I just added this, realizing that if you didn't do this, #MESS.
Shake them in flour mix below.

FRY at 375° until golden brown and delicious smelling.

Drain on paper towels.

Serve and I've even got dipping sauce akin to Blooming Onion sauce at Outback for you to try!

2 cups of flour
Salt & Pepper
1-2 tsp Cajun Seasoning  (we kind of do this to taste, like when you're making fried chicken flour mix, but I go heavy on the seasonings because I like to!!! So be liberal....)

Make the dipping sauce whenever, and this is also a great burger dressing for burgers on the grill:

1/2 Cup Mayo
2 Tbs ketchup
1 Tbs. horseradish (can add more if you like more bite)
1 tsp Paprika
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper (I use Red Hot Pepper sauce instead, about six shakes... and then I taste it to see if it is PERFECT... and if not, more red pepper sauce!)

We've got a busier than usual summer with kids this year, so there are smallish children here every day, all day.... It's a little cray/cray, but we're doing okay. We do better at 80° than at 95°.

(Have I mentioned I'm kind of whiny and short-tempered in the heat??? I am. I don't even like myself!!!)

But this day the crew were fossil finders:

And behind them is my bean garden... this was one of the gardens that had English ivy, so we killed that repeatedly.... and it was empty and the whitetail deer kept eating the beans on the farm, so there are about 40-45 bean plants right here.... Healthy, being hand watered, and starting to blossom....

So we'll have some beans, after all.


And my Iris were way too crowded, so I separated out a few dozen and tucked them in here to be a backdrop. I think they are all this color...

But every now and again, something else pops up and hybridization brings new and amazing surprises!

So we'll see what the bean garden produces next May!

This is my crazy busy time of year.

The farm is rocking with people coming to buy eggs and veggies.... Workers are in and out all day. I've got kids full time in the summer, so it's a busy from long before sun-up until long after sun-down kind of season...

So this time of year that early morning, pre-dawn writing is critical... and my therapy!!!!

Well, that and playing in the dirt.

I just finished my historical Christmas novella for "Cowboy Christmas Homecoming" from Gilead Press this October....

And I'm diving into a Christmas story for 2017 for Love Inspired.

And when it's a crazy hot summer up here, I love delving into cold, snowy, windy terrains!


Give me sweater weather....

But look at what releases in TWO DAYS!!!!

This is such a lovely story of second chances and new beginnings and don't you love Dolly and Timmy?

Dolly has Mosaic Down's Syndrome, so she bears the challenges that many Down Syndrome children face, but she doesn't have the notable facial features we generally see... which means people expect her to behave like her twin brother, but of course, her reality is quite different.

It was an absolute pleasure to develop this story with an overprotective single dad, a beauty queen who worked with special needs kids during college, and a town that wraps itself around you, waiting for a nice, long visit!

I'm so delighted to be releasing this now.... and yes, (of course!) here's the link to my buddies at Amazon.... Her Unexpected Family Here!!! 

And that's it from the Northern sector this week.... the trees are full of leaves, frogs and bugs, and life is good!

With well over a million books in print, multi-published author Ruth Logan Herne loves God, her family, little kids, big kids, dogs, chocolate, coffee and just about anything that has baby animals... She lives on a farm in upstate NY where the winters are very long and very white so this time of year Ruthy loves getting into the dirt and growing pretty flowers and plants and doing fun, whimsical things, creating places where fairies and dryads will feel quite at home, all four seasons! Visit her at or stop by here whenever.... and she loves to make friends on facebook!


  1. I'm afraid I'll have to admire these onion rings from afar. I'm scared of deep frying!!!!!! Really scared.

    I'm jealous of your bean plants. I didn't get around to planting veggies this year. :-( Luckily there's a farmer's market close by so I can get fresh stuff there. Now my goal is to organize everything so that I'm ready to plant next spring.

    1. Kav, the bean plants are gorgeous and under my watchful eye because the deer keep eating the ones out back on the farm! And this little garden was sitting there with a big old VACANCY sign! OOPS! So we tucked in some squatters for this year! I wish you lived closer, I'd give you veggies and hugs!

    2. Kav, you know you can pan fry anything you can deep fry... you just have to keep an eye on it, of course, but look at pan-fried chicken... Oh, wait. Don't look. SORRY!!! :)

      Okay, pan fried squash... Same thing. You can bread it and deep fry, or bread it and pan fry... or grill it.

      Grilled squash..... Mmmmmmmmm............

  2. There is so much to love about this post! Children, gardens, books...and the onion rings!

    I'm addicted to them. Seriously. But I'm picky, and won't eat the easily accessible fake ones like some fast food places sell.

    I actually rate restaurants on how they do their onion rings, and if I find a place that does them right, I'll be back. Even if said restaurant is thirty miles away!

    And I'll be looking for that book! Happy release day!

    1. Jan, thank you! You know, this original recipe was on Pioneer Woman's website, or something similar, and we'd always done the flour/egg/breadcrumb onion rings, but then that's a lot of outside fattening stuff.... and these are amazing.

      But what a surprise to have the waitress bring us two monster baskets of onion rings, and they were done like this... Perfect!!!

  3. These look yummy, but frankly I'm more interested in writer retreats in Nebraska than onion rings! Sounds like fun!!!!!!

    Okay, I'll have onion rings.

    1. Cate, we should do a NY or East Coast writer's retreat... There's a bunch of us this way.... And next time I go WEST I'm bugging Drexler.

      But I do get to room with her in Nashville next month and I can't wait for that!


  4. Yummmm. They look delicious.

    1. Tina, they're just like the ones we had in Fort Calhoun...


  5. Love onion rings! Yummy! We tried making them one time, what a disaster! I'll have to try your recipe, it seems a bit more straightforward. I cannot do spicy, can I skip the seasoning? What do you recommend in place of it? Hubby would love the Cajun seasoning! I may whip him up some.

    1. Regina, you can do anything you want! Sure, if you want a straight version, just season the flour with salt and pepper.... and then fry.

      If you make the dipping sauce, he can fire his up by using that... and it's a really good dipping sauce!!!

      So nice to have you over here!

  6. I'm going to have to try these onion rings. New York State living is great. I love it. I'm a country girl from Southwestern NY.

    1. Cathy, hey! I love country living, too... But then I love visiting the big cities and seeing things and annoying my children!!! Both make me laugh!