December 20, 2010

A Horse for the Ages

Today finishes our stay in the Great State of Kentucky, but not before a great horse story as promised, and a link for a fun twist on the classic Mint Julep drink. Maker's Mark's Toll Gate Cafe serves Chocolate Mint Julep Cookies with Andres creme de menth candies and tops it with a Bourbon Fudge.

I made the cookies without the fudge for my cookie exchange recently and they still have a good kick, but I can imagine the topping is decadent. Depending on how the rest of the winter goes, I might need to be testing the fudge soon. You can find the recipe HERE.

Perfect Drift will turn 11 this spring. (Photos by Dianne Reed)
So with visions of Bourbon fudge on mint cookies it's time to meet the second richest racehorse in America. Perfect Drift, who is the horse in resident at the Derby Museum at Churchill Downs in the spring and summer and winters in Kansas City, Missouri. Perfect Drift won more than $4.7 million from 2002 until his retirement in 2008.

December 13, 2010

A Speedy Hot Brown Becomes Favored

I'm accustomed to having my daughters get surprised by new food dishes, but most of the time I'm not wowed by new dishes. I like trying new things -- thus this blog -- but I usually have an idea how new recipes will turn out. When I talked with my friend Dianne Reed we realized that a feature of Kentucky's famous foods needed to include the Hot Brown recipe, though neither of us were fans. We discussed ways to make it easier and more kid-friendly. Who needs to spend time making the cheesy Mornay sauce when kids will just turn up their noses?

The tasty results surprised me, and this recipe moves up from a Thanksgiving leftovers recipe to my quick weeknight meal recipe file. Keep reading to see our quick makeover. Later this week we'll feature racehorse Perfect Drift, who spends racing season in Kentucky and winters in Kansas City, and a delicious dessert for Chocolate Mint Julep Cookies.

December 7, 2010

A Winning 'n' Easy Kentucky Derby Pie

You'll be in the winner's circle in no time with this quick recipe
Imagine a state's quintessential pie that's like eating cookie dough in a flaky pie crust. It's long on taste but short on time with my grandmother's no roll-out method pie crust. I'd say it's like cheating on making pie crust, but that doesn't quite keep with our winning theme here. And the inside filling is like a pecan pie meets a chocolate bar.

December 1, 2010

Good-Bye to Massachusetts and On to Kentucky

So as we leave Massachusetts (for now, returning later) I leave you with a link for a New England clam chowder recipe. I'd planned to make this for my family but my husband (and myself) find that rich, cream dishes are best to forgo. I still love the thought of a creamy and steamy, thick white clam chowder.

Dave Lieberman's New England Clam Chowder from Food Network web site.

I think soups are perfect for chilly winter evenings, but my family doesn't seem to think dinner surrounded by liquid is their idea of a good meal. I appreciate the ease of throwing a bunch of healthy ingredients in a pot of water and then just letting it simmer over the stove for an hour. So my mission is to find that ideal soup recipe that makes my family likes. It always makes me think of that story about Stone Soup.

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So as we cross a new state border, we wander over to Kentucky, a state with rolling green hills and stately white fences and a history of horses. Our friend Dianne Reed of Overland Park, Kansas, says it's a friendly state that despite status everyone talks horses. "The horses are such a great equalizer," Dianne says. "From barn workers to dealing with the richest people in the world, everyone talks about horses. Perfect Drift opened a lot of doors for us."

As a three-year-old gelding in 2002, Perfect Drift placed third at the Kentucky Derby and continued to have a successful racing career for many years after. Since 2009 Perfect Drift has spent the warmer months as the horse in residence at the Kentucky Derby Museum, right beside Churchill Downs. But this week, Perfect Drift will be returning to his annual winter home with his owners, Dr. William and Mary Reed of Stonecrest Farms, south of Kansas City.

We'll share more of Perfect Drift's great story later this week -- you've got to have a great horse story for Kentucky Week, and Perfect Drift's is a Cinderella story.

While we're on soups, here's a link from Simply Recipes for a typical soup/stew called Kentucky Burgoo.