Monday, May 11, 2015

Talk Derby to Me - Kentucky Derby Party

I've decided I'm a Derby girl at heart. Sundresses, big hats, beautiful weather, getting friends together to enjoy delicious food and drinks and watch the race - I can't find a thing wrong with it! So until I can check off "Going to the Kentucky Derby" from my bucket list I will be hosting a derby party, starting this year with my housewarming Derby party! I planned this for months - mostly because I was just so excited about it and I changed my mind on the menu a few times before locking it in for the big day, if you can imagine I just couldn't pick which cupcakes to make for the party (I finally settled on three flavors - Mint Julep, Chocolate and Vanilla). In true Derby style, most of the dishes included Bourbon (okay that's not true - only 3 recipes included Bourbon)! A few more notes before we move on to the recipes, I took to Pinterest for a little inspiration but also just pulled out some of my own ideas to complete the party. I've often said my mom was the original Pinterest, she was always so creative with every birthday party, school function, wedding shower she ever threw so I gather a lot of ideas from her when planning anything themed! I wanted to go with a rustic/burlap theme for that little bit of Southern charm and of course placed fresh red roses around my house in honor of the Derby (sidenote - I really like having fresh flowers around my house). Also, we enjoyed our drinks from Mason jars. Enough about the decor and planning I know you are ready for the menu and recipes!

Welcome to the Derby!

Roast Beef Goodness
Pimiento Cheese Sandwiches
Bourbon Meatballs
Broccoli Salad
Mint Julep Cupcakes
Chocolate Cupcakes
Vanilla Cupcakes
Mint Juleps


Roast Beef Goodness  Years ago my mom put together a cookbook "Going to Carole's" of all of our favorite recipes growing up. At the time I received the cookbook I was 12 and really had little use for it but now I reference this cookbook all the time. All this to say, my mom has a recipe we call Ham Goodness if you are looking in the actual cookbook it is called Ham and Cheese Sandwiches, I adapted this recipe for Derby day to include Roast Beef instead.

1/2 cup margarine, softened
1 tablespoon mustard
1 1/2 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 tablespoon steak sauce
1 pound sliced roast beef
8 slices Swiss Cheese you can use more than 8 slices
1 package of dinner rolls usually the Hawaiian dinner rolls

1. Mix together margarine, mustard, poppy seeds, and steak sauce.
2. Leave dinner rolls connected but slice entire package in half.
3. Spread the sauce mixture on both sides of the rolls.
4. Layer with roast beef and cheese.
5. Heat at 400 for 10 minutes.

Pimento Cheese Sandwiches  this was my first time making Pimento Cheese but I would say it was a hit! I found this recipe from after a simple google search!

Makes about 3 1/2 cups
6 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup extra sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
4 ounces pimientos, chopped
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 dash hot sauce I actually didn't have any hot sauce but it didn't affect it too much
fresh ground black pepper to taste

1. Beat cream cheese until soft.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and beat until combined and creamy.
3. Cover and refrigerate for about an hour.
4. Spread on bread for sandwiches and serve (or serve with crackers).

Bourbon Meatballs  this was a Pinterest find from Key Ingredient

Ingredients I doubled or tripled the recipe but below are the original ingredient amounts for one recipe
1 pound bag frozen meatballs
1/2 cup Ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup Bourbon
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1. Combine all ingredients but the meatballs in a mixing bowl.
2. Place meatballs in the crockpot and pour the whiskey sauce mixture on top. Mix it all up so each meatball is coated with the sauce.
3. Turn the heat up to high for about an hour, stirring a couple of times.
4. Once meatballs have thawed, turn the crockpot on low for a few hours until ready to serve.

Broccoli Salad  Another recipe from my mama's cookbook. Can be prepared a day ahead.

2 heads broccoli
1 cup raisins
1 cup sunflower seed kernels
1 small onion, diced finely
12 bacon strips, cooked crisp

1. Cut broccoli into small pieces.
2. Cook and drain bracon.
3. Mix broccoli, raisins, sunflower seeds, onion and bacon.

Ingredients for Dressing
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon white vinegar

1. Blend mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar.
2. Mix dressing in salad.


Mint Julep Cupcakes a Pinterest find from My Thirty Spot

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon mint extract
4 eggs
2 3/4 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup bourbon
1/2 cup Creme de Menthe

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Line 24 cupcake cups.
3. Combine salt, baking powder and 1 3/4 cups of flour.
4. In a separate bowl, beat sugar, eggs and vanilla and mint extract until creamy.
5. Gradually beat in the flour mixture. Add the milk and liquors to the batter, then add the remaining flour (1 cup) to the batter. Mix just until the batter is combined, do not overbeat.
6. Spoon batter into each cupcake tin, bake for 25-30 minutes.
7. Cool before frosting.

Ingredients for Icing if using a piping tool, double the following recipe
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mint extract
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
Heavy Whipping Cream

Steps for Frosting
1. Combine powdered sugar, salt, vanilla and mint extract and melted butter and beat until creamy.
2. Gradually add heavy whipping cream until desired texture.
3. Pipe icing on cooled cupcakes.
4. Garnish with sprinkles, mint leaves, and a straw (trimmed to size).

Chocolate Cupcakes originally from Glorious Treats

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cups cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

1. Line muffin tin and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
3. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for about 1 minute.
4. Stir in boiling water, your batter will be thin, this is correct
5. Fill liners about 2/3 full.
6. Bake for 22-24 minutes, turning the pan halfway through baking.
7. Cool completely before frosting.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting  I finally think I've found the chocolate frosting that will be my new go-to chocolate icing from Live Like you are Rich... on any income

1/4 cup salted butter
8 oz. cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 - 1/3 cup cocoa baking powder (start with 1/4 and add as desired)

1. Soften butter and cream cheese in microwave.
2. Add all of the ingredients and only 1 cup powdered sugar to a mixing bowl. Mix on low speed adding the rest of the powdered sugar slowly until it is all added.
3. Mix on high for 1-2 minutes until the frosting is smooth.
4. Decorate cupcakes as desired.

Vanilla Cupcakes  I chose to use the recipe that was the base of my Banana Pudding cupcakes from Spicy Southern Kitchen

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1 egg, room temperature
2 egg yolks, room temperature
2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350, line cupcake tin with paper liners.
2. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in large mixing bowl.
3. Add butter, sour cream, egg, egg yolks, and vanilla and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds, until smooth.
4. Divid batter equally among the cupcake tins and bake 18-22 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting taken from my mom's cookbook

1/2 cup softened butter
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 lb powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Cream butter and cream cheese.
2. Blend in sugar and vanilla and beat until creamy.
3. Frost cupcakes.

I added a little spin to my chocolate and vanilla cupcakes and laid them out in the shape of a horse, I found a template on Pinterest and eyeballed it as I laid them out. Most of the cupcakes will be frosted with chocolate cream cheese frosting but the tail and some of the upper main will be spotted with vanilla cream cheese frosting. I then added a black twizzler as the horse's rein. I was quite happy with how the horse cupcake display turned out!

My sister made the Mint Juleps for the party so I don't have an exact recipe but she made a simple syrup with sugar, mint, and boiled water. Added bourbon over crushed ice, simple syrup, and a mint sprig.

A glance at the drink station, mark your mugs, mix your Mint Juleps, enjoy!


Harrison and I are Derby ready

My dapper puppy, he loved the party because apparently he is really good at talking people into sharing, however he is not a huge horse fan so that made for an interesting party trick!

She is counting her winnings, because yes the 13-month old picked the winning horse

Now I have to wait a whole year for another 90-second horse race and the fun that comes with that! From this Derby girl at heart I hope you've enjoyed reading my recap and found a new recipe or two to try nothing says you have to wait until Derby to make these recipes. Thank you to those that made my first Kentucky Derby party such a success!