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April 2007
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April 2008

It's the Preakness! Time for a Black Eyed Susan!

Besdrink07 Streetsense_110406_200x175 Well, it's almost time for the running of the Preakness Stakes, and all eyes are on Street Sense, the gorgeous bay colt  who barnstormed the Kentucky Derby in such an incredible fashion.  WIll there be a triple crown winner this year? Only the fates know for sure, but no matter what, we'll be having great food and excellent drinks to see us through to the last furlong !

Crab Cakes with Louis sauce, smoked oysters and fried chicken, these are the staples for a good Preakness party! But, you've got to have a special drink, and in Maryland on this day it's the Black Eyed Susan!

This is a another classic, and it's so simple to make!

You'll need,

2 parts exceptional Bourbon

1 Part Citron vodka

3 parts sweet and sour mix

1 part freshly squeezed orange juice

Shake together, pour into a goreous tall glass and garnish with a slice of orange and a maraschino cherry (preferably homemade!)

Oh HAY! It's post time and I'll be back after the race!


It's the Preakness! Time for a Black Eyed Susan!

Besdrink07 Streetsense_110406_200x175 Well, it's almost time for the running of the Preakness Stakes, and all eyes are on Street Sense, the gorgeous bay colt  who barnstormed the Kentucky Derby in such an incredible fashion.  WIll there be a triple crown winner this year? Only the fates know for sure, but no matter what, we'll be having great food and excellent drinks to see us through to the last furlong !

Crab Cakes with Louis sauce, smoked oysters and fried chicken, these are the staples for a good Preakness party! But, you've got to have a special drink, and in Maryland on this day it's the Black Eyed Susan!

This is a another classic, and it's so simple to make!

You'll need,

2 parts exceptional Bourbon

1 Part Citron vodka

3 parts sweet and sour mix

1 part freshly squeezed orange juice

Shake together, pour into a goreous tall glass and garnish with a slice of orange and a maraschino cherry (preferably homemade!)

Oh HAY! It's post time and I'll be back after the race!


Classic Mint Julep with wink to Southern Living Magazine!

Julep I love Mint Juleps! I'm one of those "horsey girls" with a deep appreciation of Kentucky racing tradition, and the Mint Julep is definitely part of that! There's something about that alluring combination of mint syrup with the crushed ice and the best bourbon, as the band plays "My Old Kentucky Home" that sets me to tears. There's almost nothing that I love more than a Kentucky Derby Party and it's the perfect occasion for this drink. Fast horses, Gorgeous hats, a bit of bourbon, a fine gentleman and a wager or two creates a perfect day!    

Because I am so "equestrian" (my cousin's nickname for me was "horse") only Blanton's BourbonBlantons,with the cute pewter horse on the stopper will do! Blantons has a lovely smoky flavor, laced with burnt caramel that is absolutely luscious with the mint and sugar!

  I have one other requirement for my Mint Juleps and that is that they MUST be served in a proper Julep cup. It can be silverplate, sterling or pewter, but a metal cup is a must. Quite simply, it keeps the drink colder longer. Also, the metallic tinge of the glass provides a delightful  top note to the drink , a bit like what a touch of jasmine does to a predominantly rose perfume. Please trust me on this one!

I wish that I could take credit for this recipe, but this is the classic Julep recipe from Southern Living Magazine. It is simply the best version that I've found. To start, you must make a simple mint syrup which is very easy. Take a cup of water and a cup of sugar and bring it to a boil stirring often until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat, add about 12 fresh sprigs of mint and refrigerate for 24 hours in a jar with a lid.  Remove the mint  after the infusing period and you are ready to go!

Next.......

3 fresh mint leaves

1 tablespoon simple mint syrup

Crushed ice

1 to 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) bourbon

One 4-inch cocktail straw or coffee stirrer

fresh mint sprig

Powdered sugar (optional)

Place mint leaves and Mint Simple Syrup in a chilled julep cup. Gently press leaves against cup with back of spoon to release flavors. Pack cup tightly with crushed ice; pour bourbon over ice. Insert straw, place mint sprig directly next to straw, and serve immediately. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.

It's that simple...gentility in a glass!

Mint Juleps are amazing stirred and served with good friends and horse races, Hunter Trials in autumn, homemade cheese straws and ham biscuits!

Tally Ho!

Photographs  are from Blantons Bourbon and Southern Living online.


Classic Mint Julep with wink to Southern Living Magazine!

Julep I love Mint Juleps! I'm one of those "horsey girls" with a deep appreciation of Kentucky racing tradition, and the Mint Julep is definitely part of that! There's something about that alluring combination of mint syrup with the crushed ice and the best bourbon, as the band plays "My Old Kentucky Home" that sets me to tears. There's almost nothing that I love more than a Kentucky Derby Party and it's the perfect occasion for this drink. Fast horses, Gorgeous hats, a bit of bourbon, a fine gentleman and a wager or two creates a perfect day!    

Because I am so "equestrian" (my cousin's nickname for me was "horse") only Blanton's BourbonBlantons,with the cute pewter horse on the stopper will do! Blantons has a lovely smoky flavor, laced with burnt caramel that is absolutely luscious with the mint and sugar!

  I have one other requirement for my Mint Juleps and that is that they MUST be served in a proper Julep cup. It can be silverplate, sterling or pewter, but a metal cup is a must. Quite simply, it keeps the drink colder longer. Also, the metallic tinge of the glass provides a delightful  top note to the drink , a bit like what a touch of jasmine does to a predominantly rose perfume. Please trust me on this one!

I wish that I could take credit for this recipe, but this is the classic Julep recipe from Southern Living Magazine. It is simply the best version that I've found. To start, you must make a simple mint syrup which is very easy. Take a cup of water and a cup of sugar and bring it to a boil stirring often until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat, add about 12 fresh sprigs of mint and refrigerate for 24 hours in a jar with a lid.  Remove the mint  after the infusing period and you are ready to go!

Next.......

3 fresh mint leaves

1 tablespoon simple mint syrup

Crushed ice

1 to 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) bourbon

One 4-inch cocktail straw or coffee stirrer

fresh mint sprig

Powdered sugar (optional)

Place mint leaves and Mint Simple Syrup in a chilled julep cup. Gently press leaves against cup with back of spoon to release flavors. Pack cup tightly with crushed ice; pour bourbon over ice. Insert straw, place mint sprig directly next to straw, and serve immediately. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.

It's that simple...gentility in a glass!

Mint Juleps are amazing stirred and served with good friends and horse races, Hunter Trials in autumn, homemade cheese straws and ham biscuits!

Tally Ho!

Photographs  are from Blantons Bourbon and Southern Living online.


Southern Sweet Tea!

Sweettea

I love Southern Sweet Tea! To me, there is nothing more refreshing on a hot summer day although I'll happily drink it at any time! I've put it in the magical potions category because that's truly what it is, a drink made with care and love that gives as good as it gets. Southern hospitality is laced with so many wonderful things, old silver, fresh biscuits, lazy days and a wraparound porch, but the blood of the South is definitely made up of sweet tea and perhaps a touch of Bourbon!

I'm not a southern girl by birth, but just in my heart. I love my southern girlfriends with their naughty charm and their flirtatious ways. It is in their honor that I give you this recipe, simple as can be yet as potent as Mardi Gras! A huge plate of homemade cookies or a delicious Lane cake, and you are only a friend or two short of a party!  Store bought dessert on a gorgeous cake plate is fine too, "cause sugar it's the thought that counts!"

By the way, don't balk at the amount of sugar in this tea, because that's what makes it grand. Add some organic storebought lemonade and you've got an "Arnold Palmer"! Steep some fresh mint in it along with the tea and you've got ambrosia! Most importantly, serve it in a long tall glass, with ice made from branch water (a fancy name for pure stream water!) and a squeeze of lemon or a sprig of mint.

For a good pitcher of tea you will need to bring about a quart of water to boil, turn off the heat and add 4 tea bags. In spite of all of my "fancy" teas, I use Constant Comment, which is a basic "good ol'" orange pekoe spice blend.   A lovely country music star who came into my store one evening swore by Pappy's sassafras tea concentrate  http://www.sassafrastea.com/, so much so that when she got back to Nashville she sent me some!  No matter what you use,  let it steep and add about a cup of sugar, stirring the sugar until it's melted. This is the key, adding the sugar when the tea is hot, otherwise,  it just doesn't taste right!  Let the mixture cool, and put it into a pitcher, adding spring water to taste. Stick it into the refrigerator and wait for intense heat and real good company!

PIcture courtesy of teamuse.com


Southern Sweet Tea!

Sweettea

I love Southern Sweet Tea! To me, there is nothing more refreshing on a hot summer day although I'll happily drink it at any time! I've put it in the magical potions category because that's truly what it is, a drink made with care and love that gives as good as it gets. Southern hospitality is laced with so many wonderful things, old silver, fresh biscuits, lazy days and a wraparound porch, but the blood of the South is definitely made up of sweet tea and perhaps a touch of Bourbon!

I'm not a southern girl by birth, but just in my heart. I love my southern girlfriends with their naughty charm and their flirtatious ways. It is in their honor that I give you this recipe, simple as can be yet as potent as Mardi Gras! A huge plate of homemade cookies or a delicious Lane cake, and you are only a friend or two short of a party!  Store bought dessert on a gorgeous cake plate is fine too, "cause sugar it's the thought that counts!"

By the way, don't balk at the amount of sugar in this tea, because that's what makes it grand. Add some organic storebought lemonade and you've got an "Arnold Palmer"! Steep some fresh mint in it along with the tea and you've got ambrosia! Most importantly, serve it in a long tall glass, with ice made from branch water (a fancy name for pure stream water!) and a squeeze of lemon or a sprig of mint.

For a good pitcher of tea you will need to bring about a quart of water to boil, turn off the heat and add 4 tea bags. In spite of all of my "fancy" teas, I use Constant Comment, which is a basic "good ol'" orange pekoe spice blend.   A lovely country music star who came into my store one evening swore by Pappy's sassafras tea concentrate  http://www.sassafrastea.com/, so much so that when she got back to Nashville she sent me some!  No matter what you use,  let it steep and add about a cup of sugar, stirring the sugar until it's melted. This is the key, adding the sugar when the tea is hot, otherwise,  it just doesn't taste right!  Let the mixture cool, and put it into a pitcher, adding spring water to taste. Stick it into the refrigerator and wait for intense heat and real good company!

PIcture courtesy of teamuse.com


Truffled Roast Chicken with Fine Herbs!

J0316896 To me, roast chicken is one of the simplest and most elegant dishes that can ever be made. It is also very easy to prepare and serve, making it the perfect Sunday dinner or anytime feast! The delightful free range bird that I roasted last weekend ended up in sandwiches on Monday, stir fry with snow peas and sesame on Tuesday and as a full throttle chicken soup on Wednesday! I do like free range organic birds better, mostly because they really do taste healthier to me. I am sensitive to hormones and antibiotics, and I don't get the same physical reaction from the organic birds as I do the others. I also think that they are safer because they are usually not exposed to the many disgusting types of nasty bacteria's that have definitely been found in factory farms. Besides, it's so much fun to go to the local farmers market if you have one near , choose your own chicken and talk to the farmers that raised it. For me, that really enhances the pleasure! Warning! This is not a low calorie, low cholesterol recipe! However ...All things in moderation! To start , I rinse the bird inside and out, neck gizzards and all. To be truthful, I roast the "nasty bits" (as Anthony Bourdain calls them!)but never eat them! They do lend a wonderful flavor to the drippings as they are roasting. After the bird is rinsed, I take my roasting pan (enameled cast iron) and lay a mirepoix of fresh vegetables on the bottom. A mirepoix is a combination of diced carrots, onions and celery, and is an excellent moist base for many different types of roasts. I like to season the vegetables with a teaspoon of fresh sage and a bit of salt and pepper, but it's not necessary. Next I soften a stick of salted butter and add to that about a tablespoon of white truffle oil (a little goes a long way!), and some dried herb's de provence. You can also use a mixture of Boursin cheese (the garlic and herb type) mixed with the butter...Yummm! With both hands gently start from the opened cavity and loosen the skin from the bird without removing it. Really what you are trying to do is just get room between the skin and the meat so that you can season it. Then take good handfuls of the butter mixture and rub it underneath of the skin onto the breast meat. Take whatever butter is left and rub it onto the the skin. Sometimes I take several slices of really good bacon and lay them on top of the chicken as well, as it really flavors the pan drippings. Then, take one large yellow onion and quarter it, one meyer lemon (cut in half) and several good sized sprigs of fresh rosemary and stuff it into the cavity of the bird. Finally add a cup of water. You will probably need to add a bit more water along the way, but you never want the mixture to be "juicy"! Place the chicken breast side up onto the vegetables and put the whole thing into a 375 degree oven. I tend to roast my chicken slowly, basting frequently. After about 50 minutes, I turn the chicken upside down so that the juices from the dark meat flow into the breast, keeping the whole bird moist. I roast the chicken like that for another 1/2 hour and then turn it right side up. At this point it will definitely be browning but not yet crackly and golden. Turn the heat up a little bit and watch carefully. Keep basting the chicken with the drippings for about another 15 minutes and it will reward you with a golden skin and very moist,flavorful meat. Take the chicken out of the pan and place it on a wooden carving board so that it can rest for a few minutes because as it cool the juices will settle back into the bird. If you carve it when it is hot, the meat will be very dry. Take the roasting pan and place it on the top burners of your stove and turn the burners onto medium. Reduce the pan mixture by about a third (whisking consistently...you want to get the good browned bits up!) and then add 1 cup of white wine that you have enhanced with a tablespoon of a good organic chicken stock base (or bouillon), 1 scant tablespoon of saucing flour and a pressed clove of garlic. Whisk the wine mixture into the sauce and let it cook for a few minutes and then add a good tablespoon of butter which will give the sauce a lovely sheen. I have added sliced mushrooms to the sauce as well with delicious results. Remove the vegetables from inside the bird and discard. Slice the chicken and serve each portion with a few tablespoons of the sauce. I love to serve a simple steamed asparagus with this, and some lightly buttered egg noodles. A yummy chilled white wine (or champagne!)completes this feast but don't forget sparking white grape juice or cider for those who don't want the alcohol. Enjoy with family , friends and good stories! 


Truffled Roast Chicken with Fine Herbs!

J0316896 To me, roast chicken is one of the simplest and most elegant dishes that can ever be made. It is also very easy to prepare and serve, making it the perfect Sunday dinner or anytime feast! The delightful free range bird that I roasted last weekend ended up in sandwiches on Monday, stir fry with snow peas and sesame on Tuesday and as a full throttle chicken soup on Wednesday! I do like free range organic birds better, mostly because they really do taste healthier to me. I am sensitive to hormones and antibiotics, and I don't get the same physical reaction from the organic birds as I do the others. I also think that they are safer because they are usually not exposed to the many disgusting types of nasty bacteria's that have definitely been found in factory farms. Besides, it's so much fun to go to the local farmers market if you have one near , choose your own chicken and talk to the farmers that raised it. For me, that really enhances the pleasure! Warning! This is not a low calorie, low cholesterol recipe! However ...All things in moderation! To start , I rinse the bird inside and out, neck gizzards and all. To be truthful, I roast the "nasty bits" (as Anthony Bourdain calls them!)but never eat them! They do lend a wonderful flavor to the drippings as they are roasting. After the bird is rinsed, I take my roasting pan (enameled cast iron) and lay a mirepoix of fresh vegetables on the bottom. A mirepoix is a combination of diced carrots, onions and celery, and is an excellent moist base for many different types of roasts. I like to season the vegetables with a teaspoon of fresh sage and a bit of salt and pepper, but it's not necessary. Next I soften a stick of salted butter and add to that about a tablespoon of white truffle oil (a little goes a long way!), and some dried herb's de provence. You can also use a mixture of Boursin cheese (the garlic and herb type) mixed with the butter...Yummm! With both hands gently start from the opened cavity and loosen the skin from the bird without removing it. Really what you are trying to do is just get room between the skin and the meat so that you can season it. Then take good handfuls of the butter mixture and rub it underneath of the skin onto the breast meat. Take whatever butter is left and rub it onto the the skin. Sometimes I take several slices of really good bacon and lay them on top of the chicken as well, as it really flavors the pan drippings. Then, take one large yellow onion and quarter it, one meyer lemon (cut in half) and several good sized sprigs of fresh rosemary and stuff it into the cavity of the bird. Finally add a cup of water. You will probably need to add a bit more water along the way, but you never want the mixture to be "juicy"! Place the chicken breast side up onto the vegetables and put the whole thing into a 375 degree oven. I tend to roast my chicken slowly, basting frequently. After about 50 minutes, I turn the chicken upside down so that the juices from the dark meat flow into the breast, keeping the whole bird moist. I roast the chicken like that for another 1/2 hour and then turn it right side up. At this point it will definitely be browning but not yet crackly and golden. Turn the heat up a little bit and watch carefully. Keep basting the chicken with the drippings for about another 15 minutes and it will reward you with a golden skin and very moist,flavorful meat. Take the chicken out of the pan and place it on a wooden carving board so that it can rest for a few minutes because as it cool the juices will settle back into the bird. If you carve it when it is hot, the meat will be very dry. Take the roasting pan and place it on the top burners of your stove and turn the burners onto medium. Reduce the pan mixture by about a third (whisking consistently...you want to get the good browned bits up!) and then add 1 cup of white wine that you have enhanced with a tablespoon of a good organic chicken stock base (or bouillon), 1 scant tablespoon of saucing flour and a pressed clove of garlic. Whisk the wine mixture into the sauce and let it cook for a few minutes and then add a good tablespoon of butter which will give the sauce a lovely sheen. I have added sliced mushrooms to the sauce as well with delicious results. Remove the vegetables from inside the bird and discard. Slice the chicken and serve each portion with a few tablespoons of the sauce. I love to serve a simple steamed asparagus with this, and some lightly buttered egg noodles. A yummy chilled white wine (or champagne!)completes this feast but don't forget sparking white grape juice or cider for those who don't want the alcohol. Enjoy with family , friends and good stories! 


Tom's Honey Glazed Fried Chicken!

J0227810 Okay, so I'm going to cheat a bit! My favorite recipe for fried chicken is not really a fried chicken recipe, but a honey glazed fried chicken recipe!  One day after a particularly memorable meal just outside of Monticello , this recipe was born. Thomas Jefferson has been my muse since I was very young, and it delights me to pay him homage with this recipe. On my list of people I'd love to have dinner with, he's always been number one right after my husband and son. I'd definitely serve him this on a pewter plate with a huge frosty mug of something quite delightful and lots of beeswax candles!   

  Any  divine fried chicken recipe  will do for this sticky, yummy summer dish, all I've added to the mix is a bit of frosting! With this dish, everyone will think that you are amazing. No one needs to ever know just how very simple it really is!

For this meal I prefer to go get my chicken already fried at the local grocery store. Rotisserie chicken won't do, because you definitely want that crispy flavorful coating! Going to get the chicken is the hardest part! The rest of this recipe is even easier!
Take about a cup of good honey and gently warm it adding about a tablespoon of bourbon,a 1/4 teaspoon of onion powder (not onion salt) a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce to taste and a good knob (about a tablespoon) of butter.

Place the already fried chicken on a baking sheet, season it to taste with salt and pepper and gently drizzle the honey mixture over each piece. Reserve the rest for later on because you will want to add more as the chicken is baking. Turn your oven on to about 300 degrees and put the chicken in to begin to bake. Just watch it carefully, and when it begins to caramelize (about 30 minutes maximum) it will be done.  Keep drizzling the sauce during baking, it keeps the chicken moist!

I love to serve this chicken with iced tea, lemonade and great beer, cornbread and a tossed salad that's a little heavier on the fresh tomatoes and spicy greens, tossed with your favorite Italian dressing and a bit of blue cheese.
Sweet potato fries are definitely a plus and fresh sweet corn that you've grilled and basted with the leftover honey sauce is even better!

Make sure that there's a hammock ready....you'll need it!


Tom's Honey Glazed Fried Chicken!

J0227810 Okay, so I'm going to cheat a bit! My favorite recipe for fried chicken is not really a fried chicken recipe, but a honey glazed fried chicken recipe!  One day after a particularly memorable meal just outside of Monticello , this recipe was born. Thomas Jefferson has been my muse since I was very young, and it delights me to pay him homage with this recipe. On my list of people I'd love to have dinner with, he's always been number one right after my husband and son. I'd definitely serve him this on a pewter plate with a huge frosty mug of something quite delightful and lots of beeswax candles!   

  Any  divine fried chicken recipe  will do for this sticky, yummy summer dish, all I've added to the mix is a bit of frosting! With this dish, everyone will think that you are amazing. No one needs to ever know just how very simple it really is!

For this meal I prefer to go get my chicken already fried at the local grocery store. Rotisserie chicken won't do, because you definitely want that crispy flavorful coating! Going to get the chicken is the hardest part! The rest of this recipe is even easier!
Take about a cup of good honey and gently warm it adding about a tablespoon of bourbon,a 1/4 teaspoon of onion powder (not onion salt) a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce to taste and a good knob (about a tablespoon) of butter.

Place the already fried chicken on a baking sheet, season it to taste with salt and pepper and gently drizzle the honey mixture over each piece. Reserve the rest for later on because you will want to add more as the chicken is baking. Turn your oven on to about 300 degrees and put the chicken in to begin to bake. Just watch it carefully, and when it begins to caramelize (about 30 minutes maximum) it will be done.  Keep drizzling the sauce during baking, it keeps the chicken moist!

I love to serve this chicken with iced tea, lemonade and great beer, cornbread and a tossed salad that's a little heavier on the fresh tomatoes and spicy greens, tossed with your favorite Italian dressing and a bit of blue cheese.
Sweet potato fries are definitely a plus and fresh sweet corn that you've grilled and basted with the leftover honey sauce is even better!

Make sure that there's a hammock ready....you'll need it!