Category Archives: sandwiches

Horse Bites: Drinks and Mocktails

Rain or shine, cold or blazing hot, it’s easy to host a casual Derby party at home for everyone. After all, getting a babysitter for Derby is harder than hitting an Exacta!

And if you’re planning on staying home with your kids anyway, have them invite all their friends! The parents will be so shocked they’ll offer to keep your kids for your anniversary, a long weekend, whatever you want. How do I know this? Because I used to do it for both my sons for New Year’s Eve. The kids had a blast, and I never go out on New Year’s Eve, anyway. Even if I’m not drinking that doesn’t protect me from all the other idiots on the road.

Whether you are planning a party for families or only for kids beverages are important. Recipes for the Oaks Lily, the Mint Julep, and the new-this-year Woodford Reserve Spires are all available on KentuckyDerby.com.


I’ll be honest – if I’m pouring simple syrup, cranberry juice, or lemonade over something I’m not using top-shelf alcohol. Straight? Sure. But for party mixes like these I’d save the budget for food and drop it a couple of rungs on on the snooty liquor scale. Anyone who’s displeased is officially elected bartender – they can run to the liquor and make their own and everyone else’s drinks. #mypartymyrules

Here are the kid-friendly versions (or the versions you give your guests who are getting too tipsy):

Lily: Cranberry juice, a splash or orange juice, and a splash or orange juice over ice. Garnish with a half-strawberry unless your kids like blackberries.

Julep: Green Kool-aid or Crystal Light (Bug Juice for you Scout Parents out there) over ice with a sprig of mint. They can eat it, rub it on their teeth to gross everyone out, throw it at each other, whatever. It cleans up easy. If you’re lucky the dog will eat it and have very fresh breath!

Spires: Lemonade over ice with a splash of cranberry juice for color. Garnish with a tiny wedge of lemon.

Nab a couple of “too cool for this party” teens and put them to work making the mocktails. Maybe show them a few scenes from “Cocktail” first (while you’re transferring everything into plastic bottles). They’ll be bragging about their bar-tending skills for a decade.

You’ve probably seen my Horse Bites series with Benedictine, Thurby Pie, Hot Brown, and Country Ham. But here’s another option: the YUMMY Mint Julep! This is one even the adults will want to try. Again, sorry for no pics. I’ll insert them if/when my docs clear me to be a semi-normal human again.

But it’s super-easy. Peel a kiwi (Makea shallow cut around the circumference and use a spoon – trust me on this one!) Then slice it. Add half a strawberry (cut side down), a blueberry, and just a leaf of mint. Now make just a cup of simple syrup (sugar or Splenda dissolved in hot water). Once it cools, pour a tiny bit on every stack. Yes, sorry, this once takes toothpicks, too. None of these fruits will brown or shrivel, so they can be done well ahead of time. If you want an adult version put bourbon in the simple syrup. But in that case make sure there’s an Adult section of the Buffet Table and an Under-21 section!

For the Thurby Pie just don’t use Bourbon in the whipped cream, and perhaps not nuts in their pie (the bourbon cooks out of the pie.) The Hot Brown will be a hit – maybe use ramekins instead of shot glasses and put two sandwich quarters in each. Kids love to dip! Benedictine and Country Ham Horse Bites are fine as they are – maybe you can get some veggies into them along the way.

Posting this after twelve-noon EST since I don’t want to encourage day-drinking, even though my Neurologist says I should give it a try. Yes, seriously! And no, I’m not giving out his name. If I do I’ll have to wait two years for my next appointment. And I’m rather fond of the margarita machine in the waiting room. #justkiddingitsinthelobby

 

Horse Bites: Country Ham

This is one of the many treats you’ll always find at the buffet at Churchill Downs during Dawn at the Dawns. It’s a particular favorite of my husband’s. I apologize again for the lack of pictures. Blame my doctors. They’ve kept me too busy (and exhausted) to do any fun stuff.

Now Country Ham is one of those things that you love or hate. I love it in small doses, so a Horse Bite is perfect for me. A big slab on a plate would make me uncomfortable. I did actually cook one. Once. Michael was in hog heaven (pardon the pun).

Little PSA here. If your doctor has EVER said the words Congestive Heart Failure to you, or has said anything about your heart muscle being weak. . . PASS on the Country Ham or you’ll be explaining it to a grumpy ER nurse right before she inserts a catheter in someplace you don’t want it. #justsayin.

Now I think the perfect way to serve Country Ham is atop a slice of nice, crusty baguette. Ideally, I’d serve this warm with half a small baked or boiled red-skinned potato and half of a tender broiled asparagus stalk on top. Yes, this one takes a toothpick as well. You don’t want asparagus being ground into the carpet. And the salt from the ham will season both the potato and the asparagus, so just give them pepper, lemon, or garlic as you prefer. Actually, it’s just as good cold, so don’t stress about it.

Again, sorry for the lack of pics. Blame my docs. Recipes for Benedictine, Thurby Pie, and Hot Brown Horse Bites are only a click away! Next up: Kids’ Derby Parties!

Time to Make the Pesto!

I only planted one basil plant this summer.  Thankfully, I put it in a pot that could by moved, since Boss, my rescue dog, thought it was a fabulous place to relieve himself.  Now it sits on a bench, well out of his range.  And I have more basil than I could possibly use, so it’s time to make pesto and freeze it for the winter.  Consider this a head-start on your homemade Christmas gifts!

pesto

  • 3 cups basil
  • 4 tsp chopped garlic (about 8 cloves)
  • 3/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  1. Mix everything except lemon juice and oil in blender or food processor.
  2. Blend well.
  3. Add olive oil and lemon juice and mix to combine.
  4. Will keep in fridge for 2-3 days, can store frozen through the winter.

printable version

These are the jars I like to use for basil.  Nice wide mouth, but not such a large amount that it starts to brown before you can use all of it.

I’m linking up with The Mommy Club Resources and Solutions and Whatever Goes Wednesday.

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