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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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Celebrate Arbor Day April 24-26........Get involved

Tangley Oaks wines is now partnering with the Arbor Day Foundation. Over a 50-year lifetime, one tree will generate $31,250 worth of oxygen, provide $62,000 worth of air pollution control, recycle $37,500 worth of water and control $31,250 worth of soil erosion.

Tangley Oaks will donate a percentage of its profits for the next year to planting thousands of trees through the Arbor Day Foundation. On Arbor Day weekend alone, Tangley Oaks will donate one tree for every bottle or glass of wine sold. Learn more aboutthe Arbor Day Foundation and how get involved.

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Thunder Over Louisville

For the past 20 years, as a prelude to the Kentucky Derby in Louisville Kentucky, the city presents the largest annual fireworks show in North America. It is the beginning 0f a two-week celebration in Kentucky and Southern Indiana, with an attendance of nearly a half million people. "It's the kind of show you have to see to believe" says Matt Gibson, Derby Festival Vice president of Events.

To assemble a show the size of Thunder, eight tractor trailers are filled with nearly 60 tons of fireworks shells. The show is put on by Zambelli Internationale, the largest fireworks family in the world, and Visual Presentations. As much firepower as possible is packed into 28 minutes, with a series of fantastic "finales". "Wayne Hettinger, director and owner of Visual Productions, has it down to a science, working with a team from Zambelli to create a heart-stopping, eye-popping show", he says.

"It all starts with music", Hettinger says. "We work to lay out a sound tract that most everyone will be able to relate to. It's very gratifying to see people start to move and react to their favorite cuts of the sound tract, and it give Zambelli the foundation on which to build the show".

Thunder Over Louisville Air Show

The Thunder Over Louisville Air Show began as a way to amuse visitors during the time leading up to the fireworks. However, as one of the top five air shows in the country, the Thunder Over Louisville Air Show now has its own bragging rights. The Thunder Over Louisville Air Show features more than 100 planes performing more than six hours of fly-bys, acrobatics, and diving stunts. It also gives visitors a chance to view the newest planes being flown by the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines.

Thunder Over Louisville Fireworks

At 9:30 p.m. on the night of Thunder Over Louisville, the real show begins. You'll know that the fireworks are getting ready to start when two helicopters fly a large American flag as the "America the Beautiful" and "The Star Spangled Banner" are blasted over the speakers. Then, the Thunder Over Louisville fireworks show begins. It is the largest fireworks show in the world: a 28-minute show that will leave you half-deaf, covered in soot, and absolutely amazed.

Thunder Over Louisville Tickets

While it seems like an event this extravagant would require visitors to pay some sort of admission, Thunder Over Louisville is an entirely free event. With the exception of a few restricted areas, anyone who wishes to watch the show can do so from the Louisville or Jeffersonville waterfronts for no charge whatsoever. Visitors can also watch the show from the Waterfront Park Chow Wagon as long as they're wearing a Derby Festival Pegasus Pin from the current year.

Thunder Over Louisville Schedule

The Thunder Over Louisville Air Show begins at 3 p.m. and goes on until around 9 p.m. that night. At 9 p.m., the "Star Spangled Banner" and "America the Beautiful" will play, signifying that the fireworks will be starting soon. The fireworks go off from 9:30 to 10 p.m. For more info, check out

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Helping small businesses stay alive

One of my favorite sites is Victorian House Scones . I buy their scone mixes all of the time. They are awesome, not dry and crumbly like some scones, but moist and delicious. My guests love them. I have, of course, subscribed to their news letter, and today received the following recipe and information which can help small businesses stay alive. To order scone mixes or subscribe to the newsletter, click on the following link:

Apple-Cinnamon Oatmeal Scones (yum!)

We did it!!! I've been on a quest to find the perfect Apple Cinnamon Scone. Over the years I've played around with fresh apple, diced apple, shredded apple--and never was happy with the results--until now. Enjoy!

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Scones:
**The recipe is given for a retail size bag of mix. If you are using a commercial bag of mix, please double the recipe**

If you prefer, you may substitute Original Recipe for Original Oatmeal scone mix. A recipe card will be posted SOON on our directions page!

You will need:
1 bag (16 scones/bag) Original Oatmeal Scone Mix
1 1/2 sticks butter
3/4 C chunky applesauce
~1/4 C buttermilk
2 tsp ground cinnamon
(more or less to taste)

1. Pour contents of bag into mixing bowl. Cut in 1-1/2 sticks chilled butter until mixture is fine and crumbly.
2. Add ground cinnamon to bowl.
3. Measure applesauce into measuring cup. Add sufficient buttermilk so that combination measures 1 cup **You actually may need to add an additional 1-3T buttermilk, if dough seems to be too dry.**
4. Stir in buttermilk/applesauce mixture. Dough will form a soft ball. Turn dough out onto floured board, and knead gently 3-4 times.
3. Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a flattened circle, 6-7" in diameter, approximately 3/4 inch thick.
4. Using a sharp knife, cut circle into eighths (or quarters if larger scones are desired). *Dough may be frozen at this point for later use.
5. Place scones on parchment lined cookie sheets. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake in preheated oven at 425 degrees for 13-18 minutes (time will vary with scone size). Top should be very light golden brown when done.
6. Serve warm and enjoy!

The 3/50 Project for Small Businesses

A small business owner and friend sent me this today--and while I do not have a bricks and mortar business, many of you do.

The 3/50 Project is an organization to promote small, locally-owned independent brick and mortar businesses. The origin of the name being that if you spent $50/month (total) at 3 LOCAL small businesses, you would help them prosper and stay in business--thus helping to keep your local economy alive and thriving.

Check them out--and if you choose--register. It is completely free of charge. Small businesses supporting small businesses--what a concept!

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Friday, April 3, 2009

New Gluten-Free French Bread Being Tested

ScienceDaily (Apr. 1, 2009) — Gluten-free bread, which is suitable for patients with celiac disease, has been supplemented to resemble French bread in terms of texture and color, according to a study in the Journal of Food Science, published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). The study was sponsored by the Commission of the European Communities.

Celiac disease is a digestive disease that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. According to the National Institutes of Health, more than two million people who have celiac disease cannot tolerate gluten, a protein in wheat, rye, and barley. From a food science perspective, proteins play a key role in the unique baking quality of wheat by providing elasticity and cohesiveness to dough. Since bread is prepared mainly from wheat flour containing proteins implicated as the cause of the disease, celiac patients must avoid bread in many countries.

The ingredients added to gluten-free bread include guar gum, buckwheat flour, whole egg powder, and whey proteins. Breads with guar gum had color characteristics similar to French bread. Bread prepared with buckwheat flour had improved quality and softer texture similar to regular French bread and contained dietary fiber.

“Buckwheat flour in the actual base of ingredients was found to have interesting improving effects on the quality attributes of the bread,” according to lead researcher Marie de Lamballerie. “Sensory analysis is now underway to evaluate the acceptance of this formulation by a panel of consumers."

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