Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Our "Going Green" program: Heating your home in winter

Savings Experiment: How to Save Money on Heat at Night (courtesy: Bank of America)

When winter chills get your teeth chattering, one way to stay warm--and save money on heating bills---is to throw on a pair of wool socks, some sweaters, winter boots and a hat, but who wants to do that while lounging at home? We certainly don't. After properly winterizing your home, you can lower the thermostat 5 more degrees to a comfortable temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit. In total, you will save $28.80 per month ($144 per year) by lowering the thermostat 15 degrees. Figuring in the cost of the thermostat ($50) and the cost of plastic sheeting and duct tape ($10.28), you will save $83.72 your first year.

Effective ways to help you maximize warmth & reduce costs.

Programmable thermostat

In order to start saving money now, it is essential that you purchase a programmable thermostat and lower your temperature during the night and during the time you are usually out of the house. If your winter heating bill adds up to $960, that means that from mid-October to mid-March, you're paying about $192 a month. By turning down the heat about 10 degrees for eight hours each day, you will save around 10 percent on your heating bill, which translates to $19.20 a month or $96 a year. (For our experiment, we turned down the thermostat from 75 degrees Fahrenheit to 65 degrees, from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.) A programmable thermostat can cost you anywhere from $30-$150 at discounted prices. Let's say you spend $50 on the thermostat. Even after figuring in its cost, you'll still save about $46 on your heating bill your first year.

Proper insulation

You can further decrease your heating bills with proper insulation. Although the best option is to insulate the walls of your home and start saving 50-60 percent on your monthly heating bill , the process generally requires a two to three-week renovation and costs approximately $2,000-$3,000, depending on the size of your home. Also, this is done to an owned property and since many of us live in rentals, it won't work for our experiment. However, you can still winterize your home with a bit of DIY work.

Insulate and seal windows

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can reduce your home's heating costs by up to 30 percent through proper insulation and air sealing methods. First, hold a lit candle to windows and doors on a windy day to test for air leaks. If frosts, water condensation or drafts are present, then you can purchase a heavy-duty clear, plastic sheet and tape it to the inside of your windows. This will cost about $10, depending on the number and size of windows in your home. (I usually purchase a clear, polyethylene sheeting at Home Depot for $8.28 and 3M duct tape for $2, so my total comes out to $10.28.) In addition, make sure to keep your bedroom doors closed. You can put old towels or blankets at the bottom of your doors to keep out cold air.

A different approach

You can also take a different approach, and lower the thermostat 10 more degrees instead of 5 and then use a space heater to warm up your bedroom to the aforementioned comfortable temperature. There's no reason why you should have to warm up the entire house when you spend most of your night in only one or two rooms. Therefore, lowering the thermostat to 55 degrees Fahrenheit and purchasing an electric heater to warm up your bedroom(s) might be a better solution. At discount prices, space heaters can cost anywhere from $30 to $100. We recommend programmable space heaters so that they can shut off when the room reaches the desired temperature. However, there are some caveats, so doing both is suggested.

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Four family favorite holiday desserts

These recipes have either been in my family for years or have been developed by me and/or my daughters. We all three love to cook and enjoy developing recipes on our own. The first recipe listed below was found in a text book used at a chefing and baking school in Louisville. I made several major changes to it until I got it just the way I wanted it.

The second recipe, chocolate Fondue is a great recipe to serve at Christmas, delicious and fun to eat, kids really love it, as do adults. Serve it with a variety of fresh fruit, chunks of angel food cake and/or marshmallows.

Kim's cheesecake is a real favorite of all of ours. We have served it on Thanksgiving and Christmas both. She has developed and perfected it over a period of several years And it is one of the best cheesecakes I've ever tasted...smooth and delicious.

I've included a Christmas morning breakfast cake. This cake is a little work intensive, but definitely worth it. To begin with, it is beautiful. The cranberries against the white cake and cream cheese are very Christmasy. And it tastes heavenly.

To die for br
ead pudding
serves: 8

Ingredients
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup Brandy
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 loaf day-old French bread
3 cups heavy cream
1 cup orange juice
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla
Bourbon or Lemon sauce
whipped cream

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine raisins and Brandy in a small pan. Heat just to a simmer. Set aside.
Us part of the butter to coat a large, glass baking dish.
Tear bread into chunks and put into baking dish.
Beat eggs and sugar until thick. Add vanilla, remaining melted butter, cream and orange juice. Mix together.
Add raisins in Brandy. Pour mixture over bread and let sit for at least 3 hours.
Bake at 350 until brown and almost set (aprox. 45 min).
Spoon into dessert dishes, pour sauce over top and garnish with whipped cream.


Chocolate Fondue
serves: 6-10

Ingredients
6 ounces dark good chocolate
3 ounces of bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons dark corn syrup
2 tablespoon Gran Marnier or Kirsch
fruit, chunks of Angle food cake, and/or marshmallows

Instructions
Combine all ingredients in a double boiler, Stir until melted and well blended.
Transfer to a Fondue pot. Keep warm. Supply each person with a long fork and a small plate.
Have guests take turns dipping fruit, cake and/or marshmallow into the chocolate


Kim's Pumpkin-marble Cheesecake with chocolate crust

serves: 8-10

Ingredients
2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
1/2 cup fine chopped pecans
1/3 cup soft margarine or butter
2 8/ounce pkgs Philadelphia cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
1 15.3/ounce can pumpkin
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Instructions
Combine cookie crumbs, pecans and margarine or butter.
Press into bottom and up 11/2 inches of sides of a 9/inch spring form pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for ten minutes.
Combine cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla.
Mix at medium speed until well blended.
Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each one. Reserve 1 cup batter.
Add remaining sugar, pumpkin and spices to remaining batter & mix well.
Alternately, layer pumpkin and cream cheese batters over crust.
Cut through batters with knife several times for marbled effect.
Bake at 350 degrees fro 55 minutes.
Loosen cake from rim. Cool before removing from pan. Chill & serve.


Christmas Morning Breakfast Cake

Ingredients
i cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 large eggs
2 cups AP flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2-1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries


Instructions
Chop cranberries and add 1/2 cup sugar. Set aside.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream butter and sugar. Add vanilla and eggs and mix well.
Mix dry ingredients together.
Alternately, add sour cream and dry ingredients to butter mixture.
Stir in cranberries and spread in bottom of a 10/inch spring form pan.

Filling
8 ounces softened cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup cranberry preserves

Beat sugar and cream cheese until smooth.
Add egg and vanilla and beat well.
Pour over cake batter, leaving a one inch border.
Heat preserves until pourable. Pour over filling.

Topping
1/2 cup flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts
4 tablespoons melted butter

Mix all topping ingredients together
Sprinkle evenly over top.
Bake 55-60 minutes at 350 degrees.
Top will be jiggly.
Cool to room temperature and refrigerate.
Freezes well.

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Friday, December 11, 2009

How to make delicious holiday appetizers

It isn't always easy to juggle work, family and a social life. And yet most women enjoy giving parties and entertaining friends and family, especially during the holidays. Christmas is so festive and a great time to have fun decorating the house, buying gifts and cooking and baking special recipes and dishes for the ones they love. If you are working and taking care of a home and children, having enough time to do all the things you want to do during the holidays is a real challenge.

The first thing you need to do is to decide if you will be having a party, preparing Christmas dinner, or just serving snacks and drinks to friends and family who drop by during the holiday season. If you are doing all three, it would be a good idea to start way ahead of time and freeze a lot of your food items.Appetizers are always a delicious addition to dinner, a party, or to go along with drinks at a cocktail party of informal gathering.

I have included six different appetizers here. Some can be made ahead of time and frozen, others can be made the morning of or a day or two before your party. When guests drop by or when you are ready to start your party, you can take out what you need from the freezer, defrost it and pop it in the microwave or oven, if need be.

APPETIZERS (you can freeze)

Curried sausage balls
Prep: 20 min. Bake time: 15 min


Ingredients
1 pound bulk breakfast sausage
8 ounces finely shredded Cheddar cheese
3 cups biscuit baking mix
1/2 cup finely minced green onion
1/4 cup finely minced red bell pepper
1 tablespoon Curry powder

Instructions
Combine all ingredients and mix well. This can be done by hand, with a heavy duty mixer, or in a large food processor. Shape into small balls and freeze for up to two weeks. When ready to serve, place on a baking sheet (with sides). Bake at 350° for 12 to 15 minutes, until browned on bottoms. Serve on a platter right from the oven or place in cruet and cover with your favorite bar-b-cue sauce. Set tooth picks and small plates next to sausage balls.


Spinach balls
Prep: 10 min. Cook time: 15 min.


Ingredients
6 eggs, lightly beaten 6 oz. pkg. stuffing mix 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1/4 tsp. salt 1/8 tsp. pepper 2 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

Instructions
In a bowl, combine eggs, stuffing mix, butter, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Add spinach; mix well.Can freezr at this point for up to two weeks. When ready to serve, shape into 1-1/2-in. balls; place in an ungreased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve on platter, with tooth picks and small plates handy.

APPETIZERS (make the morning of or day before)

Lemon-Basil Cheese Ball
Prep: 15 min. serves: 24


Ingredients
1 8-ounce carton mascarpone cheese1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese (4 ounces)3 tablespoonss finely chopped pistachio nuts2 tablespoons finely snipped fresh basil4 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel1/8 teaspoon pepper


Instructions
1. In a mixing bowl, beat mascarpone with an electric mixture on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Stire in Gruyere. Stir in pistachios, basil, lemon peel, and pepper.
2. Line a 2 cup bowl with plastic wrap. Transfer cheese mixture to bowl. Cover and chill 3 hours or until firm. (Can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.) To serve, unmold onto a serving plate; remove plastic wrap. Serve with pita chips or crackers. Makes 24 servings


Artichoke dip

Prep time: 15 min. Baking time: 20-25 min.
Serves: 10

Ingredients
2 6-ounce cans of artichoke hearts
2 cups mayonnaise
2 teaspoons garlic powder
3 teaspoons lemon juice
8 ounces grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions
Beat all ingredients together with mixer on medium for one minute. Mixture will keep in refrigerator for 2 days. When ready to serve, empty mixture into an oven proof dish and bake at 325 degrees fro 20-25 minutes. Serve with chunks of French bread

Appetizers (somewhat time consuming, but incredible)

Brie wrapped in puff pastry

(easy)Prep: 15 min., Bake time: 25 min. Make ahead the morning of the party (except for baking)
Yield: serves 8-10

Ingredients

a sheet of puff pastry, thawed

1 eight-ounce round of Brie cheese

1/2 cup whole pecans

1/3 cup brown sugar

2TBL butter

Instructions


Heat oven to 400 degrees. Melt butter and sugar together and add pecans. Unfold pastry on a floured surface. Put cheese in the center. place pecans and brown sugar mixture on top of cheese. Fold pastry over the cheese to cover it. Trim excess pastry and press to seal. Reserve scraps for decoration, if desired. Beat egg with 1 TBL water. Brush seams of pastry with mixtture. Place seam side down on a baking sheet. Brush with egg mixture. Bake 25 minutes or until golden. Let stand 20 minutes. Serve with crackers or chunks of french bread.

Sundried Tomato and Basil Spread (a little more complicated, but awesome)
Prep: 25 min., Chill: 8 hrs. Make this recipe up to 3 days before the party.
Yield: Makes 20 servings


Ingredients
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/3 cups sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
2 (3-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened and divided
1/3 cup tomato paste
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 cups firmly packed fresh basil
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Vegetable cooking spray
Garnishes: fresh rosemary sprigs, sun-dried tomatoes
Crackers or baguette slices


Instructions
Beat 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, butter, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Set aside.
Process dried tomatoes in a food processor until chopped. Add 1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, tomato paste, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; process until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Spoon into a bowl, and set aside. Wipe container of food processor clean.
Process garlic and next 4 ingredients in food processor until chopped. Add Parmesan cheese, remaining 3-ounce package cream cheese, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt; pulse just until blended, stopping to scrape down sides.
Spray a 6-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Spread 1/2 cup butter mixture evenly on bottom of springform pan. Layer with half of tomato mixture, 1/2 cup butter mixture, and half of basil mixture; top with 1/2 cup butter mixture. Repeat layers with remaining tomato mixture, 1/2 cup butter mixture, and remaining basil mixture. Top with remaining butter mixture. Cover with plastic wrap; chill at least 8 hours.
Run a knife gently around edge of pan to loosen sides. Remove sides of pan; carefully remove bottom of pan, and place layered spread on a serving tray. Garnish, if desired. Serve with crackers or baguette slices. (from Brenda Dills, Southern Living Magazine)



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Monday, December 7, 2009

Friday, December 4, 2009

Holiday House Tour and Festival - Louisville, Kentucky - December 5 & 6, 2009

Gargoyles, chameleons, serpents and swans ... turrets, towers, bays and gables ... wrought-iron fences, hand-carved doors, stained-glass windows ... hidden balconies, secluded courtyards, and secret passageways ... terra-cotta, glazed brick, tile, marble and stone ... Old Louisville is a feast for the eyes, and as such, Kentucky can boast one of the most splendid residential neighborhoods in the entire country. A leisurely stroll along the tree-lined streets of Old Louisville can transport a visitor back in time to an era when a man’s home truly was his castle.

Victorian Gothic abounds, as do shining examples of Richardsonian Romanesque, Queen Anne, Italianate, Chateauesque and Beaux Arts architecture, making Old Louisville the country’s largest Victorian neighborhood. As a National Preservation District, it ranks as the third largest only after Boston and Georgetown. The picturesque boulevards, streets and alleys of Old Louisville boast miles of grand mansions and comfortable dwellings, thousands in all, embellished with architectural styles and elements of centuries past from all corners of the globe.

Old Louisville has a very colorful history - mostly of local importance - and this history is kept alive and well in the many stories and anecdotes swapped in the parlors and salons of its gracious homes. First developed between the 1870s and the early 1900s, many consider the Southern Extension, as residents called it, Louisville’s first suburb. A major catalyst to its growth came in 1883 when Louisville hosted the extremely successful Southern Exposition and received international attention when then-resident Thomas Edison showcased his incandescent light bulb. When it finally closed its doors in 1887, savvy developers started to sell off the land on the newly-dubbed Saint James and Belgravia Courts, realizing that image-conscious Victorians would snatch up anything reminiscent of London aristocracy. The rich and elite poured into the posh “new” neighborhood, and residents applied the name “Old Louisville” to the district in the 1950s.

While “Urban Renewal” caused the destruction of similar neighborhoods all around the country, most of Old Louisville somehow managed to escape the wrecking ball. After a blighted period in the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s, residents of Kentucky’s largest city started to realize that they had a diamond in the rough. Instead of giving in to the planned destruction of priceless examples of architecture, locals banded together and had the entire area placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Old Louisville Preservation District today includes approximately 48 blocks of the residential core bounded by Kentucky and Bloom Street to the north, and between Sixth Street and Interstate 65 to the east and west.

Aside from the festive first weekend in December, Old Louisville also puts on its finery and southern charm in the springtime, just before the Kentucky Derby in May when crystal blue skies provide the perfect backdrop for a colorful explosion of azalea, dogwood and redbud blossoms. It shines in the crisp fall air of October as well, when hundreds of thousands flock to its quaint streets for the Saint James Art Show and stroll beneath a canopy of spectacular fall colors. Since the 1970s, Old Louisville has undergone an impressive renaissance, but it is still one of the “best-kept secrets” around. About 20,000 people, representing a wide spectrum of ages, incomes, races and lifestyles, make Old Louisville their home today. This diversity, as well as the beautiful, turn-of-the-century Victorian homes and friendly residents, makes Old Louisville an exciting place to live, work and play.


For more information contact:
Old Louisville Information Center
1340 South Fourth Street
Louisville, KY 40208
(502) 635-5244
olnc at bellsouth.net


ORDER TICKETS ONLINE

HOME TICKETS EVENTS ABOUT PHOTOS VOLUNTEER



Download our 2009 JPG 8.5 x 11" poster here.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

Office-friendly Thanksgiving treats

So you have to work on thanksgiving. That doesn't mean you can't enjoy the day or have to forego all the good things to eat that come with the holiday. You and your fellow workers can each bring something from home to share with the rest of the crew.

If you are the one responsible for getting the Thanksgiving meal together, you might want to start a couple of days before the big day and get as much done as you can ahead of time. If this is the case, don't forget to put plan your special treat for the office gang. It can be an appetizer, dessert, or beverage. But, be sure it's something that you've already planned for your own family so that you don't have to prepare an extra dish.

Whatever you decide to make, be sure you make enough for both your family and the workplace. I have included an appetizer and dessert recipe below. Both can be made ahead of time. The amount you make will depend on how many people you will be serving. Be sure to adjust the recipes.

Appetizer: Cranberry Chutny and Cream Cheese (serves 12)
Ingredients:
  • 3 cups fresh cranberries
  • 2 packages cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup minced green onions
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tblsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tblsp minced and cored jalapeno peppers
  • 2 tblsp fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 1/4 cup minced, fresh cilantro leaves
  • Cranberries and cilantro sprigs for garnish
Instructions:
  • Rinse and drain cranberries
  • In a food processor, pulse cranberries until finely chopped.
  • In a medium sized bowl, mix together cranberries, onions, jalapeno peppers, cilantro leaves, ginger, sugar and lemon juice.
  • Cover and refrigerate 4 hours till a flavor develops.
  • Place the cream cheese on a serving plate and cover it with the dip.
  • Garnish with cranberries and cilantro
  • Serve with taco chips
(you can substitute store bought cranberry chutney to save time)

*I serve this a Chrismas time with chunks of French bread

Dessert: Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars (makes 16 bars)
FOR THE CRUST
  • 20 chocolate wafer cookies, (half a 9-ounce package)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
FOR THE FILLING
  • 2 packages bar cream cheese, (8 ounces each)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin puree
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  1. In a food processor, blend cookies with sugar until finely ground.
  2. Add butter, and pulse until moistened.
  3. Transfer crumb mixture to prepared pan, and press gently into bottom.
  4. Bake until fragrant and slightly firm, 12 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  5. Place cream cheese in food processor; blend until smooth.
  6. Add sugar, pumpkin puree, eggs, flour, pumpkin-pie spice, and salt; process until combined. Set aside.
  7. Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave in 30-second increments, stirring between each, until melted.
  8. Add 1 cup pumpkin mixture; stir to combine. Set aside.
  9. Pour remaining pumpkin mixture into prepared pan. Drop dollops of chocolate mixture onto pumpkin mixture; swirl.
  10. Bake until cheesecake is set but jiggles slightly when gently shaken, 40 to 50 minutes.
  11. Cool in pan. Cover; chill until firm, at least 2 hours (and up to 2 days). Using overhang, transfer cake to work surface.
  12. With a knife dipped in water, cut into 16 squares. Serve.
*this is a fabulous Martha Stewart recipe

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thanksgiving on a shoestring

Enjoy the holiday

During this time when most of us are cutting back on our spending and trying to find ways to beat the economic slump, entertaining family and friends may be quite a challenge, especially during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Americans love to eat. Some wait all year for that one day they can "pig out" and feel okay about it. Everyone stuffs themselves with all manner of food and drink on Thanksgiving. It's been a tradition since the pilgrims sat down with the Indians for the first Thanksgiving in Plymouth in 1621.

Keeping the cost down

Even if you are out of work, on employment or temporarily living with your parents, it is still possible to create an incredible Thanksgiving dinner, if you give it some thought. The secret is in the planning and in doing most of the work yourself. Rather than rushing out and buying up expensive bags of ready made dressing, cans of cranberry sauce and canned gravy, you might want to consider making these items from scratch. Lots of good recipes are available on the internet and making them from scratch costs a lot less and, in most cases, tastes better.

Planning your dinner

You first have to decide whether or not you can afford to buy a turkey. That might depend on the size of your family and the amount of money you have to spend. Turkeys are more expensive than chicken or other fowl and are usually quite large, so you might consider buying a chicken instead or Cornish game hens, if you're cooking for a smaller group. Chicken goes just as well with all the thanksgiving trappings. However, if you absolutely have to have a turkey, remember that if you buy one a little bigger than what you'll need for the big day, you can have at least three meals out of it by making wonderful dishes with the left overs. Some ideas are: turkey sandwiches, turkey pot pie, turkey/rice soup, turkey burgers, and turkey hash.

Food and Drink

After the meat, the easiest and least expensive dishes to include in your meal are potatoes (white or sweet), vegetables, dinner rolls, and pumpkin pie. The first two items will probably be on sale at your grocer during the season. Vegetables vary in cost from inexpensive green beans, corn, broccoli and squash to more expensive mushrooms, artichokes and asparagus. A big cost saver would be to make your own dinner rolls or biscuits and pie, as well as the cranberry sauce, the dressing, and the gravy. They really are not difficult to make and you can actually have fun doing it, if you allow enough time. Figure your schedule out ahead of time and make some of your food and drink items the day before.

The kids most likely will drink milk, and some of the adults too. But, for something a little more festive, you might try a cranberry punch or serve a lovely white wine with your turkey. Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Grigio all go well with turkey, as does Pouilly Fuisse (which is a little more expensive, but might be an interesting choice if you are a guest and want to bring something special to the host or hostess). And, of course after the main meal, lots of delicious strong coffee to keep everyone from falling asleep from the the tryptophan in the turkey is a must.

Making a fabulous pie

If you don't like pumpkin, apple pie goes well with this type of meal. And if you have children, they really enjoy helping in the kitchen and can be assigned various jobs to help you out. Making pie crust seems to strike terror in the hearts of many cooks. So, buying them ready made has become common place. However, they are more expensive than homemade and, in most cases don't taste as good. For those of you who are adventurous, here is a video with exact instructions. Once you have your crust(s) made, you can either add apples for a scruptous apple pie or canned pumpkin for the traditional pumpkin pie.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Pamper yourself with our packages



SWEETHEART PACKAGES
(perfect for Valentine's Day)

Sweetheart package #1
-Spacious Victorian room with Queen 4-poster bed
-Private bath
-Bottle of wine, champagne (or non-alcoholic beverage)
-Cheese and fruit tray
-Sweetheart roses
-Chocolates
-Gourmet breakfast
Cost: One night: $165 Two nights: $275.00

Sweetheart Package #2
-Lovely, spacious suite with Queen bed
-Private bath
-Working fireplace,sitting area, TV/VCR
-Many other amenities
-Bottle of wine, champage (or non-alcoholic beverage)
-Cheese and fruit tray
-Sweetheart roses
-Chocolates
-Gourmet breakfast
Cost: one night: $235.00 Two nights: $380.00

SPA PACKAGE

(reserve at least 3 weeks ahead)
30-60 minute Massage in your room
spacious guestroom with all amenities
Bottle of wine
Cheese & Cracker tray
Gourmet breakfast
One-two nights (with two 1/2 hr massages): $195-290 for two.
One-two nights (With two one hr massages): $270-375 for two.
Suite available:one-two ngts:(two 1/2-1 hr massages)$290-450 for two
Extra persons: $20 each per night plus massage
licensed massage therapist available

ANTIQUEING PACKAGE
2-day package includes:
-accommodations
-Private bath
-Gourmet breakfast daily
-Two Antique malls
-Five Antique shops
-One Garden shop
-Architectual Salvage Shop
-Glassworks Studio
-Two Gift Shops
-Lunch daily at or near Antique Malls
For two: $350.00

CULTURAL PACKAGE
2-day package includes:
-Accommodations
-Private bath
-Gourmet breakfast daily
-Two tickets to JB Speed Art Museum
-Two tickets to Actors Theater
-Lunch at the Museum
For two:$375.00

GIRLFRIEND'S GET-AWAY

(in the privacy of your rooms)
-2 days accommodations
-Suite/private bath
-Great videos/TV/VCR
-Comfort food (Pizza, Pop Corn)
-Wine/Sodas
-Terry cloth robes
-Bedtime Cookies and Milk
Cost: 4-6 persons, without massages:$395-425
........With Massage:$37.50-75.00 extra pp

THE HUMANA FESTIVAL
Feb. 21-Mar 28, 2010

The Humana Festival of New American Plays is an annual site of pilgrimage where theatre lovers from around the world gather to get a glimpse of the future of the American theater. The Aleksander House is offering a theater package which includes two nights accommodations, one or two nights at the Humana Festival of New American Plays and two late morning Gourmet breakfasts. We will also make dinner reservations for you at a restaurant of your choice (dinner is not included in the price of the package). Theater is within blocks of our Inn. Cost: $320--375 (includes booking & handling fees.) (double occupancy)








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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Halloween Fun: Spirit Ball in Old Lousiville

Old Louisville is one of the most splendid residential neighborhoods in the entire country. With tree-lined streets and imposing turn of the century mansions that can transport a visitor back in time. Viewing its seven major kinds of architecture, one can see gargoyles, chameleons, serpents and swans, turrets and towers.

In addition a variety of wrought-iron fences, hand-carved doors, stained-glass windows can be seen; as well as hidden balconies, secluded courtyards, and secret passageways made from terra-cotta, glazed brick, tile, marble and stone.

According to legend, many of Old Louisville's mansions, buildings and churches are inhabited by a variety of ghosts, mostly friendly.Locals are convinced that a young girl with black hair haunts the neighborhood to this day. Although she died 90 years ago, it is said that she still waits for her betrothed on the steps of the First Church of Christ Science, only three blocks from where I live.

And on the next street east of me, is the "phantom of Brook Street", a young girl attacked and murdered by two vagrants in the very home where she was employed. Although that home was demolished years ago, it is said her ghost comes to work daily. Other ghosts, such as the Widow Hoag and the Iceboy can be seen from time to time lurking in the shadows.

Old Louisville's third annual Spirit Ball was held in the opulent Conrad Caldwell Mansion last night, October 24th, from 8:00 pm until midnight. A one-of-a-kind masquerade ball to celebrate Halloween, the event included wonderful gourmet food and plentiful libations. Participants dressed in their best Halloween garb and enjoyed a night of dancing and spooky fun.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

St James Art Show in Old Louisville, Kentucky: Oct. 2, 3 & 4, 2009

The St James Art Show is one of the largest art shows in the country. Booths and tents span over blocks and blocks of Old Louisville, displaying every kind of art object and craft imaginable. Our Inn will be filled with artists, two of whom are jewelry makers who have been returning to stay with us for the past five years.

Environmental awareness at the St. James Court Art Show

In an effort to raise environmental awareness, the St. James Court Art Show patrons will have a new way to enjoy the show without transportation and parking hassles. Bicycling for Louisville will offer secure valet bicycle parking throughout the event. Patrons may leave their bicycles at the valet bicycle parking corral at 6th Street and Magnolia Street, spend the day perusing the art, and pick up their bicycles for the ride home. No lock is necessary. Bicycling for Louisville will provide the parking service at no charge, and will welcome donations.

October schedule of Tours

"Lantern Ghost Walks" at 9:00 every night starting October 4, which will include a candlelight tour of the Conrad-Caldwell House. Cost: $25 + Tax

"Old Louisville Ghost Walks" on Tuesdays through Saturdays at 1:00 p.m. and Tuesdays through Thursdays and Saturdays at 7:00 p.m. Cost: $20 + Tax

"Ghosts of Old Louisville Tours" at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings every weekend except the weekend of St. James Court Art Show. Cost: $25 + Tax

"History and Architecture Walks" at 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays Cost $15 + Tax

"Mansions & Milestones Tours" on Friday and Saturday at 2:30 p.m. Cost $25 + Tax

All tours leave from the Old Louisville Visitor Center, 218 West Oak Street. For information or to make reservations (payment is required when reservations are made). (502) 637-2922


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Monday, September 14, 2009

Fruit Cobbler idea from the Scone Lady

The Scone Lady has become a trusted supplier of scone and cookie mix for me. I happened to try out a sample she left a year or so ago, and it was so fabulous that I began using her mixes. She frequently sends me updates on her products, new and old, and I order from her what I think my guests would like. I just received this email from her this morning with a great idea for cobbler. It's almost fall and so cobbler is a delicious addition to our fall morning breakfast. I am definitely going to try this! You can contact the Scone lady here.

Fruit Cobblers

Funny how we all have our preferred fruit desserts. For me, apple crisp is usually fall dessert of choice--although I do occasionally change that to blueberry or peach, or apple cranberry crisp.

So, when I was asked to make a cobbler, I actually had to go look up the definition of a "cobbler". A fruit filling topped with a "biscuit-like" crust. . .hmmm. . .sounds like scones to me! Time to experiment (good thing I have a willing in-house guinea pig!)

Follow your favorite fruit cobbler recipe, but rather than make a biscuit crust, top it with scone dough. I've used Indian Chai (on peach), and Cinnamon Streusel (on blueberry-peach).

I did have to play a little with baking time--and settled on baking at 350 degrees for (at least) 25-45 minutes--until the scones are baked completely through and the filling is fork tender and thickened. Check it at 25 minutes, and continue to add time until both scones and filling are baked. The times vary significantly, depending on whether you are starting with frozen or fresh fruit, and frozen or fresh dough. This is one case where I do think it is easier to work from "fresh" scone dough, rather than frozen--but it does work either way (The Scone Lady).

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Doctor's Inn fabulous Chili

Chili Con Carne Authentique 
from  Room At The Table Cookbook
(Recipe created at Doctor's Inn Bed and Breakfast, Berea Ky)


Prep: 20 minutes
Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

1 cup chopped onion
2 Tablespoons oil
11/2 lb. ground beef
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tablespoon salt
2 cups tomato sauce
2 cups whole tomatoes
1 cup water
3 Tablespoons Chili powder
1 Tablespoon ground Cumin
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 ounce unsweetened baking chocolate
1/4-1/2 cup Sherry
1-3 cans red Kidney Beans

Instructions

Saute onion in oil until translucent and tender. Add beef, garlic, and salt. Cook until meat is browned. Add tomato sauce, tomatoes, water, Chili Powder, Cumin, hot sauce, black pepper, and chocolate. Cover and simmer for 21/2 hours, adding more water if necessary. Stir frequently. Add Sherry in last 30 minutes of cooking. Add Kidney Beans.





Saturday, August 29, 2009

First Louisville International Film Festival: October 1-4, 2009


The first Louisville International Film Festival is due to open in Louisville this year on October 1st. With 200 entries already secured, it will run until October 4th and feature thirty five films of all lengths and styles. Competing for prizes the films, which are from all over the world, will be screened at several local venues including the Kennedy Center and the Mohammad Ali Center in Downtown Louisville.

Most of the films will have fairly large budgets and bring in some well-known directors and stars. Of eight non-competing films at the festival, one of them: "The Burning Plain", stars Charlize Theron, Jenifer Lawrence and Kim Basinger. Guillermo Arriaga, who wrote the screenplays for "21Grams" and "Babel" is the director. Two of the film's stars, Theron and Lawrence, will attend the festival. (pictured is Charlize Theron)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The ghosts of Old Louisville

Old Louisville, located in the nation's 16th largest city, is the third largest historic preservation area and has the largest collection of Victorian mansions in the country. It's streets are lined with beautiful late 18th and early 19th century mansions. A National Preservation District, Old Louisville has more than 1,400 homes in a forty-eight block area.

These grand homes, built in seven major architectural styles of centuries past, sit along miles of tree lined streets, courts and avenues. According to legend, many of Old Louisville's mansions, buildings and churches are inhabited by a variety of ghosts, mostly friendly.

Locals are convinced that a young girl with black hair haunts the neighborhood to this day. Although she died 90 years ago, it is said that she still waits for her betrothed on the steps of the First Church of Christ Science, only three blocks from where I live.

And on the next street east of me, is the "phantom of Brook Street", a young girl attacked and murdered by two vagrants in the very home where she was employed. Although that home was demolished years ago, it is said her ghost comes to work daily. Other ghosts, such as the Widow Hoag and the Iceboy can be seen from time to time lurking in the shadows.

Get in the spirit, come take a tour of this beautiful, ghostly neighborhood and experience it for yourself. And while you're here, spend the night in our beautiful bed and breakfast, in the heart of Old Louisville
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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

How to make fabulous scones from a mix


I didn't even know there was such a thing. I'd seen mixes for just about every other kind of baked goods; but never had I ever seen a mix for scones. That is , until I met the Victorian scone lady. She called me one day, when she was in town for a trade show. She had brought some samples of her mixes, which she intended to drop off at the local bed and breakfasts.

She stopped by later and left a small bag, which sat on the shelf next to the nuts and raisins for weeks. Then, one day a guest ask if I would make some scones for breakfast. I decided to use the dried cherries in the cupboard. When I opened it, out fell the bag of scone mix, right into my mixing bowl.. This had to be a "sign" , I thought.

The bag made 6 scones and had a recipe for mixing & baking, and directions for freezing. "You freeze the cut out dough, not the finished scone". I read the directions, mixed in some dried cherries and baked the scones, all six of them. When they were done, I slathered some lemon curd on one of them and popped it in my mouth. It was absolutely the best scone I'd ever tasted! Not dry, not tasteless, not doughy, but fabulous. "Scone mixes from Victorian House Scones
http://victorianhousescones.com/ taste like home made...[all you do is ]add butter and buttermilk to the mix, and bake".

I had made hundreds of scones from scratch, but never tasted any better than Victorian House Scones. After trying the first one, I went right to the phone and ordered several big bags of their mix. To find out how good they are for yourself, click on the link above and see what they have to offer.

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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Special July Events in Old Louisville

Louisville hosts a variety of interesting and fun events both in-door and out, from sports, to theater, to music, to nature. When the weather is pleasant, during all but the winter months, there are many out-door festivals to keep you occupied during your visit. Offering wonderful accommodations and restaurants, Louisville makes a great homebase, while you attend some of the local events and travel the countryside and tiny villages.

Shakespeare in Central Park
June 10 - July 19, 2009




Hidden Treasures Garden Tour
July 11 and 12, 2009




Purchase advance Old Louisville Hidden Treasures Garden Tour Tickets online before 5 pm, July 11, 2009 by clicking the button at bottom of page.

Garden Tour tickets are $12 in advance, $15 day of tour. Children 12 and under may attend free when accompanied by parent or guardian. Your ticket will be available for you in front of the Conrad-Caldwell House, and is good for either day of the event.

Each ticket allows you one entry into each garden. After you click the Buy Now button it will open an integrated, secure PayPal shopping cart page.

Select the number of tickets you would like to purchase, and then Proceed to Checkout to complete the transaction and pay with your credit or debit card.

You do not have to have a PayPal account to complete the purchase.

To purchase advance tickets by mail, send a check or your credit card info, and your contact information to: Old Louisville Information Center, 1340 South 4th St. in Central Park, Louisville, KY 40208, or phone 502 635.5244.


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Thursday, June 11, 2009

You deserve a break: Summer Travel

Summer travel this year is all about the bargain. You might consider a trip to a lovely, historic bed and breakfast, where getting more for less could mean you have the best room at the Inn, more personal attention, and lots of extras. Most B&Bs, across the country, feeling the economic crunch, are reacting by offering discounts, valuable packages, additional services and more. It's definitely a win win situation for travelers looking for a great deal. So, now is the time to plan that great escape!

Look for Value: We're all uneasy about these economic times and a great many of us have decided to cut back, spend less and save more. But that doesn't mean we must continually deprive ourselves of the very things that can revive and recharge our batteries. We still need that occasional manicure, trip to the health club, massage or get away. This year more than ever, travelers are looking to get the best get-aways they can afford. Bed and breakfasts, all over the country, are plugging into that need by offering affordable relaxing and fun week-end packages.


Travel in the US: With airfares still fairly high, traveling in North America instead of Europe or other far away destinations is a cost effective. Leisure travelers might consider travel by car, since gas prices have remained down. Business travelers, flying into town, may find prices and amenities are to their advantage. If you wont be traveling this summer and plan your trip for sometime in January (slowest accommodations month of the year) and February (Valentine's Day), you'll find plenty of interesting and reasonable packages and things to do.

Explore Kentucky: Kentucky is rich in history,. It is jam packed with beautiful scenery and lots of towns and cities with lovely Inns, bed and breakfasts and working farm Stays to accommodate your overnight and breakfast needs. Week-end rates are a great value and most major attractions are free or minimal in price.

Plan Your Trip with the help of an innkeeper: Innkeepers are great concierges. They know the area. They can suggest ideas for sight seeing and entertainment, restaurants and can make reservations for you. They can help you get the most for your money; a popular travel trend every year.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Going green in Louisville


Litter is the most visible sign of pollution. Litter creates ugliness in public places including streets, parks and waterways and impacts real estate values. It can cause injury to people and wildlife. It encourages pest animals as well as the spread of germs and disease.

How long does litter last?

Glass bottles 1,000,000 years Aluminum cans up to 100 years Plastic bags up to 20 years Cigarette butts up to 5 years Orange/banana peels up to 5 weeks What can I do?

As an individual citizen…
- Make sure your trash is securely placed in the proper receptacle. This means putting cigarette butts in an ashtray, securing paper and other items so that they don’t blow out of your vehicle and properly sealing
your garbage containers.
- Recycle materials to save landfill space, energy and natural resources. Most litter is recyclable!

As a business…
- Start a recycling/waste reduction program at your company.
- Educate your employees by placing anti-litter articles in your
newsletters or other corporate communications. Encourage your employees to take pride in their workplace by keeping it litter-free.
- Make sure your dumpsters are closed and provide cigarette/litter receptacles at the entrance to your building.

To report litter, or illegal dumping…
- http://www.louisvilleky.gov/MetroCall/report_a_litterer.htm
- Call MetroCall at 311 or 574-5000

For more information click here.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Edible Aphrodisiacs

For thousands of years, people have been using so-called aphrodisiacs — herbs, spices, fruits, vegetables, insects, animal organs, and so on to enhance their love lives. How effective are these stimulants, really, at increasing sexual desire and drive? According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), not very effective at all. In 1989 the FDA asserted that there was no scientific evidence that aphrodisiacs have any effect on libido whatsoever. Still, many people claim that certain foods put them in the mood.


Legendary, edible "aphrodisiacs" that are safe and healthy:

Oysters Some say it's because they're high in zinc, and are among the world's oldest reputed aphrodisiacs.

Chocolate In most countries chocolate is associated with romance, and with good reason, it was thought by the Aztec's to have aphrodisiac qualities, invigorating men and making women less inhibited. So when it was first introduced to Europe, it's small wonder that chocolate quickly became the ideal gift for a man to bestow on a loved one.'

Wine A properly paired red wine will enhance the taste of your food and, hopefully, get the two of you in the mood for love, since moderate amounts of alcohol can lower people's inhibitions and help them relax

Ginseng Studies have shown that ginseng may sexually stimulate animals, but there is no conclusive evidence that it has any effect on a human's sexual response

chili peppers might be your best bet for heating things up. Chilies contain capsaicin, a compound that makes the peppers spicy. Capsaicin will also raise your heartbeat, cause you to perspire, and release endorphins that may trigger feelings similar to those experienced during sexual arousal.

Avocados has long been considered an aphrodisiac. Its ancient Aztec name, ahuacatl, actually means "testicle," and the fruit was associated with fertility.

Strawberries Known in the world of erotic foods for its phallic form. multiply the strawberries' "aphrodisiac" powers, dip them in warm chocolate and feed them to your lover

Honey They don't call it a "honeymoon" for nothing! Ancient customs encouraged newlyweds to drink mead, a fermented drink made with honey, to increase fertility and add sweetness to the marriage.

Many experts attribute the mythical properties of aphrodisiacs to the power of suggestion. In other words, if you believe a certain thing will turn you on, it probably will. And it isn't just foods that can put you in the mood — according to researchers at the Chicago-based Smell and Taste Foundation, studies reveal that certain smells can also be sexually arousing. They cite as examples lavender, pumpkin pie, and licorice. Ultimately, though, the best aphrodisiac is a healthy diet combined with regular exercise. Eating healthfully and staying in shape will keep your body, and your libido in top form.

Friday, May 22, 2009

610 Magnolia, Louisville KY: unusual restaurant, amazing food, creative chef

Located in the heart of historic Old Louisville on an out of the way side street is 610 Magnolia, from the outside, a small, unpretentious building with no indication that it is, indeed, one of the finest restaurants, and maybe the finest restaurant in Louisville. If you were to walk by during the day, you would never guess that on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, an extraordinary chef was creating extraordinary cuisine.

Offering his guests a combination of southern hospitality and urban sophistication, he has created an interior which is a simple statement in elegance with the original wooden beams along the ceiling, mullioned windows, and French doors leading to alovely garden patio. Inside the restaurant are highly polished mahogany tables, Frette linens and Riedel crystal that add up, along with the unsurpassed wine list, to a truly unique dining experience.

Chef Edward Lee has been cooking professionally for 10 years in America and Europe, training under Chef Frank Crispo in New York. At 25, he opened Clay, a successful Asian-inspired restaurant in the NoLiTa section of Manhattan. "I was the chef, the manager, the dishwasher and the host there. After five years, I was looking to rise to the next level."



He discovered 610 Magnolia eight years ago, while researching the best American restaurants. A regular customer in New York who was also a Louisville native, told him about the restaurant and its eccentric chef, Ed Garber. When Lee visited Garber during Kentucky Derby week 2001, they began a mentor-apprentice relationship that resulted in the passing of the torch from one Ed to another. Garber closed 610 Magnolia in July. Lee, in partnership with businessman Brook Smith, reopened 610 Magnolia on September 11, 2003.



610 Magnolia has reopened, in 2003, under the leadership of Edward Lee, a former innovative New York City chef who has studied under Ed Garber, the former chef and proprietor. The restaurant is now open to the public three nights a week. The restaurant focusses on New American cuisine, blending the eclectic with classical European techniques to produce a contemporary and exciting approach to dining that has always been the benchmark of 610 Magnolia. Chef Lee brings to the diners of Louisville a top tier dining experience comparable to the finest restaurants in this country.



Chef Lee believes that a true dining experience requires an entire evening. So there is only one seating nightly. "Your reserved table is yours for the whole evening,” he said. “That's what it takes to make a dinner memorable." The menu changes week-to-week depending on the seasons. The restaurant is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Tables will not turn. Reservations are required. A full bar serving a small a la carte menu opens at 5:30 p.m. 610 Magnolia is also available for private events.



Photos: courtesy Dan Dry
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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Surviving the family road trip: Base yourself in Louisville

This year, all of us are going to have to come up with some creative ideas for summer travel. The economy is still in a slump, but the kids are out of school, they've worked hard all year and, hopefully have gotten passing grades! They really deserve a break. One of the most painless ways for folks to take the kids along on vacation is to take a car trip. You can stop along the way, they sleep in the back seat, play video games, and listen to music with ear-phones on. They can eat snacks and drink beverages in the car and even take fido along. Most dogs love to travel with the family. And, it's a lot cheaper that airflight.

There are many cities in the US that make good central locations for a week-end or week-long getaway. And the choices in accommodations are better than ever. Nearby state parks offer both cabins and lodges in beautiful woodland settings, farms or ranches are great places for kids, and if you want to include some city life, a bed and breakfast is ideal.

Our national parks are astounding. Most people don’t realize that many state parks have lodges and cabins that you can rent. In South Dakota, you can rent a rustic cabin — there’s A/C but no bathroom — that sleeps four for $35 a night, or a lodge that sleeps eight for $150 (800/710-2267, sdparks.info) . In West Virginia, you can rent a modern cabin that sleeps four for under $100 a night (304/558-2764, wvstateparks.com).

In Kentucky, Cumberland Falls offers beautiful affordable accommodations
(http://parks.ky.gov/findparks/resortparks/cf/). Besides relatively cheap lodging, you get inexpensive activities like hiking, fishing, kayaking, biking, etc. Some even have golf courses! Plus, the rangers usually lead programs and activities designed for children.

Farmstays are B&Bs or working farms, where you help ocan out as much as you like, or just explore the area. This trend first took off in Italy, where they’re called agriturismi. A room that sleeps four usually goes for around $100 — and that includes farm-related activities and breakfast. You can help gather eggs or feed sheep at Leaping Lamb Farm Stay in Alsea, Ore. The daily cost for a family of four starts at $125 — and the seventh night is free (877/820-6132, leapinglambfarm.com). A week at the Herds Inn at Hedgebrook Farm in Virginia is $750 (866/783-2681, theherdsinn.com). Working Cows Dairy is a farm near Dothan, Ala., that rents a cottage that sleeps six for $300 per week (334/886-3839, workingcowsdairy.com).

Some states have farm associations — including Pennsylvania (888/856-6622, pafarmstay.com) and Vermont (866/348-3276, vtfarms.org) making it easy to locate farmstays. Other states such as California (805/238-3799, agadventures.org) maintain agritourism sites where you can find farms that rent rooms or welcome day visitors. And you can always just Google your state’s name and the phrase “farm stay.” Most of Kentucky's farmstays are B&Bs and are associated with the Bed and Breakfast Association of Kentucky (http://www.kentuckybb.com/).

Bed and Breakfasts are ideal for combining what a city has to offer with the surrounding area. You can situate yourself in a beautiful Inn for a week and take day trips to small villages, farms, lake, beaches or whatever you like. A city like Louisville, in Kentucky, is perfect. It has all of the above, plus outstanding restaurants, museums, theater and many attractions. There are a whole host of events and festivals going on all summer, from the Shakespeare Festivals in Old Louisville's Central Park to My Old Kentucky home pageants to the Kentucky State Fair.

An advantage of staying in Louisville is that it is very accessible from other states; such as Illinois Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, Iowa and Arkansas, etc. The innerstate highway system is amazing and easily leads right into downtown Louisville. Another advantage is that Louisville has aproximately 18-20 awesome bed and breakfasts (www.lbba.com), most centrally located.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Drink up!: Mint Juleps for Kentucky Derby Day: Saturday, May 1st


Aleksander House Mint Juleps

2 Cups water, 2 Cups sugar
Large handful Kentucky Colonel Spearmint leaves
Maker’s Mark Bourbon
Derby glasses or silver mugs
Straws, cut to about one inch above glass or mug

Simple Mint Syrup
Combine water and sugar in a small sauce pan. Boil 5 minutes to make a simple syrup. Pour into storage container. Add mint leaves, cover and let steep overnight.

Mint Juleps
Place 1-2 ounces of simple syrup into glass or mug. Add a sprig of mint and crush with a wooden spoon. Fill glass with finely crushed ice. Pour 1-2 ounces of bourbon over ice. Garnish with a sprig of fresh, add a short straw and serve.
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