Thursday, May 12, 2011

Kentucky Derby Party

May 7th was the Kentucky Derby. We invited friends over for a southern spring lawn party. Girls dressed in their finest spring dresses and large Derby hats. Men in pastels. 
The decorations were easy enough
Tissue Poms:
My favorite DIY decodration tissue poms are really easy to make. I used 5 or 6 tissues per pom.
Stack four to eight the sheets of paper on top of one another, depending on you puffy you want them to be.
Fold the sheets into 1.5-inch accordion folds, all the way across.
Cut the ends of the tissue into round shapes, to give them a petal-like look.
Wrap the floral wire around the center of the folded tissue and secure it by twisting.
Pull apart each layer, separating it from the center one piece at a time.
Horse Shoe Garland:
Lots of Red Roses:
Label bar “The Watering Trough”
Label food “The Feed Bad”

A “Churchhill Downs” sign
Burlap runner on tables
“And They’re Off” Banner
Small bales of hay
Fried Chicken:
Biscuits and Gravy
1 pound fresh sausage
3 tablespoons shortening, or bacon drippings
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
*In a large heavy skillet (preferably cast iron), brown the sausage breaking it up with a spatula over medium high heat. Do not drain.
Add the shortening, flour, salt and pepper.
Cook stirring constantly until flour begins to brown.
Slowly add milk while continuing to stir.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for one minute stirring occasionally. As the gravy cools it will thicken so if you want thinner gravy, add a little more milk.
Heat Biscuits, Cut the biscuits in half and pour the gravy over the biscuits.

Crab Cakes
1 pound crabmeat, picked free of shells
1/3 cup crushed crackers (recommended: Ritz)
3 green onions (green and white parts), finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper
1/4 cup mayo
1 egg
1 teaspoon Worchester sauce
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
Dash cayenne pepper
Flour, for dusting
1/2 cup peanut oil
Favorite dipping sauce, for serving
* In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients, except for the flour and peanut oil. Shape into patties and dust with flour.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, carefully place crab cakes, in batches, in pan and fry until browned, about 4 to 5 minutes. Carefully flip crab cakes and fry on other side until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Serve warm with preferred sauce.

Benedictine Sandwich
1 large cucumber
8oz cream cheese
2tbs grated onion
1tbs mayo
1/8 tsp salt
Green dye
*Food processer, put mixture on crustless white bread (triangles)

Marinated Asparagus
One pound asparagus
3 tsb lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic minced
1 ½ tsp dill weed
Salt and pepper
*remove the bottom third of the asparagus (woody parts of the stalk) and discard. Place asparagus in casserole dish. Add remaining ingredients. Marinate at least 1 hour, turning frequently. Place skewers through the middle of the asparagus spears, or place spears in a greased grill basket. Grill over hot coals until tender but still crunchy. Garnish with diced red bell peppers and lemon slices.

Kentucky Derby Pie
Recipe for 10-inch Single Crust Pie Crust  This recipe makes enough for 2-4 crusts. You can divide the recipe in half or freeze the extra crusts.)
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted
1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup Karo light corn syrup
4 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup bourbon
3/4 cup gourmet chocolate chips
1 1/4 cup toasted pecans or walnuts, shelled and chopped in half if desired
* Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Roll crust according, or use a store bought pre-baked pie crust, line a 10-inch deep dish pie pan with the dough, and flute the edges as desired.
In a large mixing bowl, on medium speed with whisk attachment, whip butter, sugars, corn syrup, eggs, vanilla and bourbon together until frothy.
Remove bowl from mixer, and fold in chocolate chips and pecans or walnuts. Blend well.
Pour into prepared pie crust and bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes or until set.
Serve warm, or cool completely before serving with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Mint Julep Cupcakes
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon mint extract
4 eggs
2 ¾ cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup bourbon (or whiskey)
1/2 cup Creme de Menthe
3 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mint extract
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
* Preheat the oven to 350ยบ F, and grease or line 30 cupcake cups.
Combine salt, baking powder, and 1 ¾ cups of the flour. Beat butter, sugar, eggs, and extracts in a large mixing bowl until creamy. Gradually beat in the flour mixture. Add the milk and liquors to the batter, then the rest of the flour (1 cup). Mix as little as possible, just until the batter comes together. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake cups. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool. Frost, Garnish with cake sparkles or sprinkles, a straw (trimmed to size), and mint leaves.

Iced Tea
Mint Julep
2 cups water
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh mint leaves
32 fluid ounces Kentucky bourbon
8 sprigs fresh mint leaves for garnish
*Combine water, sugar and chopped mint leaves in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Allow syrup to cool, approximately 1 hour. Pour syrup through a strainer to remove mint leaves
Fill eight cups or frozen goblets with crushed ice and pour 4 ounces of bourbon and 1/4 cup mint syrup in each. (Proportions can be adjusted depending on each person's sweet tooth). Top each cup with a mint sprig and a straw. Trim straws to just barely protrude from the top of the cups. Serve juleps on a silver platter. 

Extra Fun:
Croquet, Horse Shoes, and of course betting. 

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