Saturday, December 11, 2010

Easy Gingerbread House to make with kids

We all know how much most kids like making stuff in the kitchen, with or without mom. And making cookies is one of their favorite activities...probably because they can eat the lovely little morsels after they come from the oven looking all delicious and tempting.

When Christmas comes around, making cookies for gifts or to serve to family and friends becomes one of the most intriguing and fun things for kids to do, aside from trimming the tree of course. Those who cook or bake with children try to keep the project fairly simple and would most likely not think that making a gingerbread house would be easy.

However, I found this video on line that makes constructing one's very own little house of candy and cookies something that can be done by most children, let's say, over five years old. So mom or grand-mom or dad or whoever...get out those baking pans, run to the store and buy the necessary ingredients, and let's get started



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Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Victorian Christmas in Louisville, Kentucky

Louisville's Christmas Tree
If you're looking for a charming place to have an old fashioned Christmas, Louisville Kentucky is the place for you. Christmas time here is an absolute delight. Louisville is a charming city with row upon row of historic Victorian houses which, when dressed for the holidays, look like a page out of a Charles Dickens novel. There's nothing more picturesque. And, if you're thinking about staying for a few days, the many bed and breakfasts here will be delight you. Along with treating you to southern hospitality and serving the very best in gourmet breakfasts, the Innkeepers go all to decorate their beautiful Victorian mansions, both inside and out.

Christmas is one of the loveliest and most charming time of the year to visit is Old Louisville. Everything is so festive and there is so much to do. A family tradition of many is to drive around in December in search of the best Christmas lights Louisville house displays. However, as the years go by, the best neighborhoods for Christmas light displays change. If you haven't rented a car, You could always take a taxi to look at Christmas lights. Most of the drivers know the best neighborhoods

There are a few houses on Mile of Sunshine Drive in Okolona that go above and beyond. They are worth a stop for sure, and donations go to the Home of the Innocents. Freeman Lake Park in Elizabethtown, about an hour from Louisville has a drive-thru Christmas lights display, as well as the Mega Caverns under the Zoo. Then, of course, most of Old Louisville is pretty well decorated and lit up for the holidays. "My family goes to Christmas By The River in Brandenburg Kentucky every year. The lights are beautiful, and the grand kids love it." (Guest - ) Michelle

 You might enjoy midnight mass at the cathedral of the assumption downtown. If you go, get there early and you might just get a seat. Also check out some holiday plays at actors theater or Huber's farm over the river. I think they have a holiday show..  And a really fun and interesting thing to do is glassblowing an ornament at Glass works.

Another fun thing is the Holiday Cruise with Santa that the Bell of Louisville has on the Spirit of Jefferson, December 19th this year from 2-4 pm. You board downtown at the 4th St. wharf. Call 502-574-2992 or (toll-free) 866-832-0011 for information, to make a reservation, or to check the status of the cruise. [for more details]

The holiday season wouldn’t be complete without a visit with Marie, her Nutcracker Prince  and that nasty rascal the Rat King. You can be a part of all the magic and wonder new Brown-Forman Nutcracker has to offer. The choreography is by Val Caniparoli and the music by Peter IlyichTchaikovsky. The performances run December 4-19 down town at the Center for Performing Arts.

Also at the Kentucky Performing Center for the Arts will be The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, December 11-19. and performances of the classic It's A Wonderful Life all though out December. Check out the Kentucky Center  for The Arts on the Internet.

Our wonderful Actor's Theater will also be getting in on the holiday fun with performances of and A Christmas Carol, December 7-23, again down town Louisville on Main Street. Call 502-584-1205. Adapted by Barbara Field from Charles Dickens and directed by Sean Daniels, this  music-filled holiday celebration is Louisville’s biggest and best holiday tradition—the classic story of Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim and th e spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future, brought to life with visual splendor and the warmth of holiday music. 

Another Louisville holiday tradition is "Light Up Louisville" which was November 26th. It is held in in Jefferson SquarePark  in downtown Louisville (6th St & Park) and ushers in the magic of the holiday season with a fifty foot tree, lights, fireworks and music which transforms downtown into a fantasy land aglow with the spirit of the holidays. The fun of Light Up Louisville will continue through the holiday season with displays and lights featured nightly. Called Lou-minations, it's a 14-minute display of lights and music on Metro Hall presented by GE. Paired with a carriage ride and dinner at one of Louisville’s many great restaurants and you have the makings for a very special holiday experience.
There are many other holiday activities you might enjoy during the month of December. You can check on line or wait until you get here and visit out two visitors centers: Old Louisville Visitors Center and the Louisville Visitors Center. Here are a few more suggestions:
Westport Villiage Xmas lights
Where: Westport Village
What: This annual Westport Village Christmas lights unveiling event includes the holiday tradition of pictures with Santa, horse-drawn sleigh rides, an outdoor Christmas concert, local choirs, and Christmas carolers.

First Friday Trolley Hop

When: December 4th Where: Downtown Louisville What: A tour of dozens of galleries in Downtown Louisville’s art district, taking participants to several different art galleries located on the Main, Market, and Fourth Street strips.

2009 Hollydays Art and Gift Market

When: December 4-6 Where: Mellwood Arts and Entertainment Center What: Art Fair and Christmas Sale

Santa Safari

When: December 5-6
Where: The Louisville Zoo
What: Eat and make cookies with Santa and other North Pole characters while enjoying a full day of animal-watching at the Zoo.

Olde Tyme Christmas on Frankfort Avenue
When: December 5
Where: Frankfort Avenue
What: This Louisville Christmas event features the Santa Sprint Run and Stroll, festive Dog Walk, Good Neighbor Awards, holiday refreshments, photo opportunities with Santa at the Louisville Water Company, and trolley, horse, and carriage rides.

Old Louisville Holiday House Tour

Come and explore the country’s most extensive collection of Victorian mansions and picturesque homes at the 34th Annual Old Louisville Holiday House Tour and Festival, an absolute must for architecture buffs and history enthusiasts alike. In keeping with the rich tradition of Southern hospitality, homeowners in the nation’s premier Victorian neighborhood invite you and yours inside their charming residences to get a unique glimpse of life from a bygone era – a slower time when elegant women rushed about in bustles and corsets and when dapper gentlemen donned tails and ties for dinner. Good cheer and tidings of the season abound as visitors to this one-of-a-kind national historic preservation district tour eight neighborhood dwellings that have been lovingly decked in Old-World finery and festive holiday décor. Enjoy the spirit of the yuletide at this matchless holiday event in the heart of Kentucky’s largest city and see why people are talking about America’s Victorian Gem, Old Louisville.

When: December 4th and 5th, 2010
Where: St. James Court
What: This tour of Old Louisville showcases seven historical Victorian homes, both inside and out, that are decorated for Christmas.
The 2010 Holiday House Tour begins with complimentary parking at Cochran Elementary School, 5th & Lee Streets, with shuttle van transportation to the Conrad-Caldwell House Museum, 1402 St. James Court, where all tickets are picked up.
     Shuttles run continuously between all of the house tour homes and bed and breakfast inns and The Chapel of St. Philip.
    The Holiday Gift Boutique is open during the tour. It offers unique craft items and a holding area for packages.
    Ticket sales, will-call tickets, and the Holiday Gift Boutique are located directly behind the Conrad-Caldwell House Museum on Magnolia Ave.
     During the tour, The Conrad-Caldwell House Museum will host a high Victorian Tea at the Inn at the Park, 1332 South Fourth Street, each day with seatings from noon until 4 pm. The Tea will feature English teas and a tasteful sampling of savories and sweets reminiscent of holiday teas in the 19th century. The food will be prepared by David Dominé, The Bluegrass Peasant, and served by the Conrad-Caldwell House Museum Volunteers. Entertainment will be provided by harpist, Nancy Stagner. You may order tickets to the Victorian Tea by calling the Old Louisville Information Center at 502 635-5244. Tickets to the Victorian Tea are $20 each and may also be purchased during the tour at the door of The Conrad-Caldwell House or at the Inn at the Park. (http://www.holidayhousetour.com/)
If you come: Be sure to book you accommodations early. Not all of the bed and breakfasts will be taking guests on Christmas and New Year's Eve. But be sure to check them out before you make your final plans. For information, check out the Old Louisville Information Center phone: 502 635-5244 email: olnc at bellsouth.net


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Monday, November 22, 2010

Pancakes in the Time of Pumpkins

Guest post by Theresa Rice
Theresa's Blog


We are living in the time of pumpkins. Great boxes are filled with them at the local farm market--gone now to jack o' lanterns, many of them and unceremoniously tossed out after their night of drama.

Some go on to be cooked and used now or saved for special holiday recipes. Many will go into pies, the iconic Thanksgiving dessert. Some will go to lovely warming soups or pumpkin bread or muffins. A few will go inmore exotic culinary directions. And don't get me started on the squashes--so many varieties, from mirlitons to sweet dumplings, butternuts to buttercups.

I'm tempted and bewildered by my imagination as my table, loaded down with all manner of squash and pumpkin can testify. What to make and write about? Pumpkin ravioli--buttery, tender and delicious? Or a butternut soup, fragrant with saffron and rich with cream and ghee? I ponder long over a delicate pumpkin roulade, filled with sweetened mascapone. Then I think about swiss chard wrapped around sausage, pumpkin and barley mixture, or mirlitons filled with highly seasoned shrimp stuffing.

These, along with pies and cakes, muffins and breads, will be welcomed in my home as we travel the calendar into the holidays, to the winter solstice and on to a new year. But one special dish--an ultimate comfort food--comes first.

PUMPKINS AND PANCAKES

Saturday mornings were hotcake eating time at our house, also at my grandma's. Mamma would get out her round twelve-inch griddle and she'd let me skitter water drops across the surface to test the heat. Then she'd ladle out five or six little hotcakes at a time. When bubbles formed and just began to pop the spatula would swoop down and flip them, splat splat splat. I'd watch their cooked tops rise up when the raw side hit the hot griddle. They'd hesitate, then sigh and lower themselves to the pan to finish cooking.

We'd gather around the table like baby birds, waiting our turns. Hot stacks piled onto our plates as they got done, never one by one, so you'd have enough to pile together with butter pats. We buttered them up and ate them down with Steen's Cane Syrup--thick, dark and smoky flavored--or a lighter syrup my mother made with maple extract added to simple syrup.

The ettiquete was to use your knife to cut the stack into eight triangular wedges and load as much as you could get onto your fork. The fork became a mop and the hotcakes became hot, tender butter-and-syrup delivery devices. Wow.

Mamma's hotcakes were always pristine and plain. No blueberries or pecans, no bananas or walnuts. But I remember my grandma making us pink and blue and green hotcakes at Eastertime. They didn't taste any different, but they were crazy fun.

The pumpkin was not a familiar part of our lives and certainly didn't find its way onto our table for hotcake mornings. The Louisiana yam filled its place in pies and cakes and anywhere else a pumpkin might be. They must have been somewhat available, though. On the road between Baton Rouge and Hammond a little sign indicated the turn off to Pumpkin Center, Louisiana--pronounced "punkin." The sign actually gave the turn for Baptist, Louisiana and then Pumpkin Center so it looked like all the Baptist pumpkins must gather at the Baptist Pumpkin Center to do who knew what. This was a hilarious joke at the time and still makes me smile.

RECIPES

I would have found these incredibly exotic in my childhood, even as I do today. They are the deep old gold of spectacular winter sunsets. Spice aromas capture you the minute you begin to mix the batter and the hot griddle instantly careens the smell throughout the house. No one will sleep through breakfast when you make these. I find I close my eyes and breathe these long before I get to taste them. Once I finally get a butter-drenched pumpkin-butter-slathered bite, my tastebuds rise up to meet the flavors on a cloud of weightlessness.

Many recipes for pumpkin pancakes are dense and heavy from the added pulp. Leavening agents like baking powder and baking soda are too wan to carry pumpkin up to the lightness a pancake deserves. The secret is to beat the egg whites and delicately fold them in to assist with the rise. This batter, as a matter of fact, is very similar to an airy roulade recipe, frothy and tender. The pancakes must be baked quickly or the egg white advantage deflates. The optional sprinkle of pumpkin seeds gives a satisfying counterpoint. If you're not fond of pumpkin seeds, try my favorite chopped and toasted pecans, which is not to say that they aren't perfect without nuts of any kind.

The pumpkin butter--oh lordy, what can I say? A touch of rum for breakfast? Let the good times roll, dawlin'. I prefer a thick spread, particularly for my pancakes, but adjust the liquid to suit yourself once the cooking is done.

Pumpkin Pancakes

•1 cup buttermilk

•1/2 cup fresh cooked pumpkin or canned pure pumpkin (not pie filling)

•3 large eggs, separated, room temperature

•1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

•2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

•1 cup flour

•1/2 teaspoon each cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg

•1/2 teaspoon baking soda

•1 teaspoon baking powder

•1/4 teaspoon salt

•Vegetable oil, butter or non-stick spray for the griddle

•1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, optional

Whisk buttermilk, pumpkin, egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla in medium bowl to blend; whisk in melted butter. Sift flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into large bowl. Add dry ingredients to buttermilk mixture and whisk to combine. Beat egg whites in medium bowl until soft peaks form. Fold whites into batter.

Lightly oil or butter heavy large skillet set over medium heat. Working in batches, pour batter by 1/3 cupfuls onto skillet. Sprinkle a few pumpkin seeds on each pancake and cook until bubbles form on top, about one-and-a half minutes.  Turn pancakes over and cook until second sides brown, about 1 minute. Transfer to plates. Sprinkle with nuts. Serve with Rum Pumpkin Butter and maple syrup.

Rum Pumpkin Butter

•1 cup fresh cooked pumpkin or canned pure pumpkin (not pie filling)

•1/2 cup orange juice or apple cider

•1/2 cup brown sugar

•1/4 cup butter

•1/2 teaspoon each cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg

•1/4 teaspoon salt

•1 tablespoon dark rum, optional

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and cook over low heat for 5 - 20 minutes or until blended, stirring frequently. Add more orange juice or cider if mixture is too thick.

All text and images copyright 2010 Theresa Rice

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Sunday, October 31, 2010

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 things from scratch. It is much cheaper and, in most cases costs less and 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.

Food and Drink

After the meat, probably 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 is cost from inexpensive green beans, corn, and broccoli and zucchini 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.

While the kids most likely will drink milk, and some of the adults too, for something a little more festive, you might try a cranberry punch (http://www.cdkitchen.com/recipes/recs/1801/Cranberry-Punch75550.shtml) 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 tryptophan in the turkey.

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 crusts made, you can decide whether you prefer pumpkin pie or apple.

Recipes: Pie crust (video), Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie


And for something very special
Fabulous Pumpkin Cheesecake

 
Crust:
1 1/2 cups graham crumbs
5 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 Tbsp. sugar


Filling:
3- 8oz.pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup canned pumpkin
3 eggs
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. allspice
Whipped Cream


Instructions:
Mix crust ingredients together, just till coated and crumbly. Press onto the bottom and 2/3 up the sides of an 8" springform pan. Bake for 5 min. at 350. Set aside.

Combine cheese, sugar and vanilla in large bowl, mix until smooth with an electric mixer. add pumpkin eggs, and spices, beat till smooth and creamy. Pour into the crust. Bake for 60-70 min. or till the top turns a bit darker. Remove from oven and allow to come to room temperature, then refrigerate. After it has thoroughly chilled, remove the pan sides and cut. Serve with whipped cream.

Happy Thanksgiving!


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Friday, October 15, 2010

Best hotel is in Louisville

Such a Lovely Place, Such a Lovely Place ...

There are well over 45,000 hotels in America, so when 21c Museum Hotel won Conde Nast Traveler’s “Best Hotel in the U.S.” last year (and sixth best in the world), people took notice. After all, what are the odds the very finest hotel in the country would be in Louisville — rather than one of those huge, impressive, and prestigious cities like New York City or LA? (OK, statistically they’d be less than one-in-45,000, but you know what we mean.)

Anyway, the point is, locally owned and operated 21c beat them all. Louisville was home to the best hotel in the world for a whole year. Or Was It?

Today we got some startling news. 21c wasn’t the best hotel in 2009. It was the best hotel in 2009 AND 2010 — because it won again. This back-to-back triumph is a testament to the standards 21c has set since it opened its doors. It’s also another example of how, with hard work, imagination, and teamwork, it’s possible to accomplish just about anything in Louisville.

This Just In. Seriously: This morning Businessweek just released the winner of an NCAA-style battle for a lifestyle lodging national champion. One guess for who won. Click here for the whole story.

Bragging Isn’t Wrong. It’s Fun. If you want to congratulate the folks at 21c, or just bask in and share the universal attention, you can visit 21c’s Facebook page, follow them on Twitter, or check out some videos on YouTube. Or, if you know anyone in New York City or LA . . . why, you can just forward them this hugely impressive and prestigious email.

But Wait, There's One More Thing . . .As a special treat for Friends of Lou, 21c is offering special super-sweet rates on Thursdays and Sundays. Call 502.217.6300 and mention "LOU" to have your own 21c experience.*

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Orangy Chicken Salad

I'm trying to watch my diet. I was doing fine over the summer. But every year when Fall approaches I start putting on the pounds again. Guess my body's getting ready for the long, hard winter. Anyhow, I've been looking for good fruit and veggie dishes and this one looks like a keeper. I haven't tried it out yet, but I'll let you know how it is. It looks delicious, but sometimes looks are deceiving. If it's not good, I'll take the video off my site immediately. Fair enough? OK, here it is. Just click on the picture.



Recipe

Ingredients

5 oz. fresh baby spinach
1/2 sliced cucumber
1/2 sliced sweet onion
2 sliced Navel oranges
2 grilled chicken breasts

1/2 C.soy milk
1/4 C. toasted sesame oil
1/4 C. canola oil
3 TBL. rice vinegar
2 TBL white miso paste
2 TBL. fresh chopped ginger
1 TBL. honey

Instructions

Place fresh vegetables into a large salad bowl.
Add grilled chicken slices.
Process dressing ingredients in blender
Add to vegetables and combine.
Ladle salad onto individual plates.
Enjoy!
(serves four)

The dressing in this recipe is creamy in texture and rich in flavor, but there isn't a drop of dairy in it. Made with miso and soy milk, this dressing tastes like what you would find in a restaurant. Use it for Asian salads with chicken, shrimp, or steak; try it as a dip for crudites or as a sauce for seared salmon.

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Unbeetable Chocolate Cake

You will not believe that beets give this delicious chocolate cake its luscious, moist texture. We made ours in a Bundt® Pan, but you can also make this cake in a tube or rectangular baking pan.

Get your family to guess the secret ingredient in this tasty chocolate cake. When they give up, tell them it’s made with beets, a naturally sweet fall root vegetable. As a bonus, it’s a great way to sneak in a nutritional boost for picky eaters in the family, since beets are a good source of vitamin C, beta carotene and folate. Plus, if you're using fresh beets to make the purée, save the beet greens; they can be washed and sautéed like spinach.

Total Time : 1 hour 10 minutes to 2 hours 40 minutes (depending on whether you use fresh-cooked beets or canned)

Prep Time : 20-95 minutes
Bake Time : 40-50 minutes
Cool Time : 10-15 minutes
Servings : Serves 10-12

Ingredients

1 stick (1/2 cup) plus 1 Tablespoon butter, softened
1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
1 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups puréed beets (see chef's note)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Chocolate Glaze (Optional)
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 Tablespoons honey
1 Tablespoon butter
1/4 cup low-fat milk

Directions

Make sure the oven rack is positioned in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a small microwavable bowl, melt 1 Tablespoon of butter in the microwave on low power. When butter is melted, stir 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder into the butter. Use a pastry brush to apply a thin coat of the butter-cocoa powder mixture to the inside of a Bundt® pan (10-cup maximum capacity) and then set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the remaining 1 stick of softened butter, the sugar and the honey. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the puréed beets and mix well. Place 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high power for about 1 minute. Stir the chocolate chips and microwave for another 30 seconds or until chips are completely melted. Allow the melted chocolate to cool slightly before adding to the mixture in the large mixing bowl (from Step 3). Add the vanilla extract. Mix well.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, the remaining 1/2 cup cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Stir to combine. Add the dry ingredients gradually to the chocolate mixture from Step 4 and mix well. The batter should be smooth and thick. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup of unmelted chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt® pan and place the pan in the preheated oven on the middle rack. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes.

To remove the cake from the pan, place another cooling rack on top of the cake pan and, using oven mitts, flip the cake pan upside down and gently shake or tap it until the cake comes out onto the second rack. If the cake seems stuck, turn it back over and carefully run a thin rubber or silicone spatula between the edge of the cake and the pan. Then turn it over again onto the second cooling rack.
Dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar when cool.

Variations

Instead of sprinkling the cake with confectioners’ sugar, make a chocolate glaze. To make the glaze, combine the chocolate chips, honey and butter in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30-second increments at full power, stirring in between, until the chocolate is melted. Let cool slightly and then gradually stir in the milk. Place the cooled cake on a serving platter and spoon the glaze over the cake. Place the cake in the refrigerator for 15 minutes or until the glaze hardens slightly.

chef's notes

Don't skip the instructions for coating the pan with the butter-cocoa mixture; it will keep the cake from sticking to the pan.

To make the 1 1/2 cups of puréed beets, use 5 fresh beets (small to medium in size) or 2 cans (14 oz. each), drained. If starting with fresh beets, trim greens, roots and stems from the beets and rinse the beets. Place beets in a pot of boiling water, cover and simmer for 30 minutes to an hour, depending on size, until the beets are tender when pierced with a knife. Let the beets cool (or run them under cold water) until they're still warm but comfortable enough to handle. Then use a paper towel to rub away the skin. Cut the cooked beets or canned beets (drained) into small chunks and purée them in a blender or a food processor until smooth.

Use any leftover beet purée to make a sauce for pork or chicken by simmering it with sautéed onions, vinegar and fresh herbs.

If you don't have a Bundt® pan, you can make this in a regular tube pan or as a sheet cake in a 13-by-9-inch baking pan. Prepare the pan and the recipe as directed and bake at 375 degrees F for 40 to 50 minutes.

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

The rebirth of Market Street, in Louisville, Kentucky

In downtown Louisville Kentucky, just a few blocks south of the Ohio River, is Market Street. Lined with turn of the century historic buildings, Market Street is undergoing what promises to be a rebirth comparable to any other historic city in the United States. The target area on Market for this incredible renaissance is the area east of 3rd street, all the way to Baxter.

In the 1980s, most of the buildings in this area were left vacant and in disrepair and the city was ready to tear them down. But, fortunately, Barbara Smith, a business women with uncanny vision bought up 12 of them and began renovating them. In the 1990s, she started selling them one by one to artists to be used as work spaces, galleries, and homes. Finally a couple of restaurants moved in and these, along with Joe Ley's Antiques and Muth's Candies started the movement towards a real "Gallery district".

Soon after this, a Trolley Hop was started which brought visitors into the area on one of Louisville's charming historic trolleys the first Friday of each month. The trolley hop is still a popular attraction. Visitors from all over the country love to come into Louisville over the week end just to enjoy the trolley hop. If you'r looking for a fun getaway for this summer or fall, look no further. Call us at the Aleksander House for accommodations and futher information



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Friday, July 30, 2010

Great things to do with bread crumbs

Bread crumbs have been around our kitchens for a long long time. I remember my mom dredging just about everything in bread crumbs, after dipping it in an egg and milk or cream mixture. It always made the outside of every piece of meat crusty and delicious. Lots of Italian dishes call for breadcrumbs, like veal and eggplant Parmesan. I also remember my mom making Potatoes Au Gratin with bread crumbs all over the top. It was so good.

Recently, I found a great video which uses bread crumbs three different ways. I thought the one with Broccoli was really interesting. Chefs nowadays suggest making your own bread crumbs and, I have to admit, they are a lot better and more flavorful than the ones we used to shake out of those little boxes.

Here's an easy recipe for bread crumbs. You can add whatever else you would like to add to the flavor:

Ingredients: Italian bread (enough to make 2 cups of 1/2 in. cubes), 2 T butter, 1 T olive, 1 T minced garlic, 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
Directions: Cube the bread and process it until coarse bread crumbs form. Melt butter on med. heat in skillet. Add bread crumbs and cook 7-8 minutes, until golden brown. Remove frpm pan. Add olive oil, minced garlic and crushed red pepper. Cook 3 minutes. Add bread crumbs and mix thoroughly. Remove from heat and cool. Add salt, ground pepper and your choice of herbs (oregano, thyme, basil).

Click on picture to see the video:


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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Summer outdoor cooking: Grilling corn and making iced tea

I found a great video this morning on how to grill corn so that it is cooked to perfection. I love fresh corn and it is so good when it's cooked on an open grill. With a salad and a serving of grilled Teriaki chicken, you have  an easy, healthy summer meal. Eaten outside on the deck or patio, it's even better.


Delicious grilled corn with a wonderful flavored butter 


*Note: Don't forget to make a big frosty pitcher of iced tea, the perfect drink to compliment your dinner.

Iced Tea
Ingredients
6 tea bags
1 quart boiling water
Directions
Place tea bags in a heatproof pitcher or glass measure. Add boiling water. Let steep 3 to 5 minutes; remove tea bags. Use immediately, or cool at room temperature about 2 hours. (After cooling, store in refrigerator. Don't chill quickly or tea will cloud.) Serve over ice. Sweeten as desired. Makes 5 servings.

Serve the pitcher of tea with a simple syrup (2 cups of sugar dissolved in 1 cup of water), so everyone can adjust sweetness to personal preference. If desired, add a hint of flavor by adding fresh mint leaves.

Sweet tea
Ingredients
2 quarts water
4 tea bags
1 cup sugar
 ice
lemon slices (optional)
Directions
Bring 2 quarts of cold water to a boil. Pour boiling water over 4 tea bags in a glass pitcher (the ratio of tea bags to quarts of water is 2:1). Steep for about 5 minutes. Remove bags, and let the tea cool to room temperature. Add 1 cup of sugar to the pitcher and stir until dissolved. If desired, add 4 slices of lemon. Refrigerate Add enough ice cubes to bring level back up to 2 quarts.

Citrus Iced Tea
Ingredients
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar, or to taste
3 1/2 cups strong brewed tea

Directions
Stir together lemon juice and sugar in a pitcher until the sugar dissolves. Stir in tea; chill.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

How to make a great omelet

There are many different ways to make omelets. We make them at the bed and breakfast all the time. Our guests vary widely when it comes to their "favorites".

We usually do vegetable omelets unless we are told not to include veggies, only cheese. But most of our guests like vegetables added. It's a good way to get part of your healthy day's vegetable requirements.

I always ask if there are any vegetables that they don't like. Green peppers is the most frequent reply to that question. We always have onions, tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, brocolli, asparagus, and green peppers on hand. Most guests pick two or three of these and like cheese added. We usually use a good Italian or Mexican melting cheese.

In addition to the omelets, we add bacon, ham or sausage on the side unless our guest happens to be a vegetarian. To complete our morning offering, we include toast (usually whole wheat or sour dough), home made muffins and juice (orange, apple, or cranberry.) Most guests are completely satisfied when they leave the table.

It's easiest to learn how to make a good omelet by watching. I've included a good video here. You can add any veggies you want to what they've done in the video. Just click on the picture.




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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Amazing Mango bread

Ingredients
3 Large Eggs
¾ Cup Canola or Safflower Oil
2 ½ Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 Cup Sugar
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 ½ tsp Ground Ginger
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
¼ tsp Sea Salt
½ Cup (packed) Light Brown Sugar
2 Cups Diced Mango (from 1 large peeled and pitted mango)
¾ Cup Moist, plump Golden Raisins
Grated Zest of ½ Lime


Instructions
Preheat the oven to 350˚F.Butter an 8 ½ x 4 ½-inch loaf pan, dust the inside with flour and tap out the excess. Put the pan on an insulated baking sheet or on two regular baking sheets stacked one on top of the other. (This extra insulation will keep the bottom of the bread from overbaking.)


Whisk the eggs and oil together.In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Rub the brown sugar between your palms into the bowl, breaking up any lumps, and then stir it in.


Pour the wet ingredients over the dry, switch to a sturdy rubber spatula or wooden spoon and mix until blended-the batter will be very thick (really more like a dough than a batter) and not easily mixed, but persevere, it will soon come together.


Stir in the mango, raisins and zest. Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.Bake the bread for 1-½ hours, or until it is golden brown and a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean. (If the bread looks as if it’s getting too brown as it bakes, cover it loosely with a foil tent.) Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before running a knife around the sides of the pan and unmolding. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up on the rack.

(Recipe by Angie at SeaSaltWithFood)
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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Things have changed

If you read my previous post, you would have discovered that I was about to move to Austin Texas some time in July or August, having sold my bed and breakfast and my Victorian home. Well, don't believe everything you read! 

Actually, I had planned to do just that, but the whole deal fell though; the buyers could come up with the necessary financing and regretfully had to back out. I have written an article for Hubpages (to be published soon) explaining where my head is now and what's going on in my life and at the bed and breakfast
 
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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Apology: To all my faithful viewers and those who drop in once in a while

I know I haven't been around much lately and that you haven't seen anything new on my site for a while now. But, if you will please accept my apology, I will try to explain. I didn't want to write about this sooner, although I have known for a while now. But I had to be sure before I let you in on it.

I have sold my bed and breakfast. Yes, after 16 years of "fun and frivolity" :=), I am retiring from the bed and breakfast world and starting a new career....in Austin, Texas! So, besides selling the business I am also selling my beautiful Victorian house and packing up to go to Texas.

Do I know what I'm getting into? Well not completely, of course, but I have a pretty good idea: hot weather and lots of air conditioning. But that's not the only thing. This is an important transition in my life; one that was inevitable.

I have had two major careers, in my life, and a lot of other short term dalliances. Having been schooled in a variety of disciplines, I have had the opportunity to apply what I learned in many situations. While I was teaching for thirty years in Chicago I was able to teach across the curriculum which really set the stage for what was to come. Of course, I was able to use what had gone before to the fullest...and there was a lot that had gone before...mostly centered around the arts: music, theater, dance, drawing and painting.

All of these experience were brought into play again when I retired from teaching, moved to Louisville, Kentucky and became an innkeeper. And adding to those was the newest and probably the most challenging of all, so far. I became an entrepreneur. I had always said, up to that point, "I will never go into business! It's not for me." I'm an arts person and my personality and experience all fit that persona.

So there I was, 16 years ago, sitting in the middle of a beautiful Victorian house in the third largest preservation area in the United States trying to figure out how to launch a business. First thing was to decorate the house in keeping with the period in which it was built....Victorian. Knowing nothing about the Victorian period, I scoured the library for information and decorated the house myself, with a little help from local artisans, antique dealers, and established Innkeepers.

I must back up a bit and tell you that prior to starting the decorating project, I had to deal with the agencies in town which dictated how a bed and breakfast was to be run in their precious city. I went through a litany of rules, regulations, and required accoutrements and procedures, and finally brought the place up to standards and ready for the world of B&Bs.

During all this, I was shopping...for beds, towels, linens, decorative stuff, waffle irons, and all the that bed and breakfasts are made of. Gradually it starting taking shape. For support and information, I joined a local group of 4 innkeepers. Eventually the group expanded into the Louisville Bed and Breakfast Association, which has close to 20 members now. I also joined the Bed and Breakfast Association of Kentucky, which has over 100 members from all over the state.

Fast forward 16 years. I have learned a lot, from being a bed and breakfast business owner, about running a B&B, about people, cooking, and most of all about myself, in general. I know I'll miss the wonderful times I've had, the many interesting and lovely guests, the Kentucky Derby and other events, and the challenges. But I am really looking forward to the future.

I want to write...every day...all day long. I love it, and never realized how much until I started writing again a couple of years ago. I'm writing journal articles, poetry, and collecting stories for a memoir of the past 16 years as an innkeeper, among other things. That's what I'll be doing in Austin...and damn the hot weather. It wont affect me, cause I'll be sitting at my computer in an air conditioned room writing about everything and anything I can think of.

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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Left over Easter Eggs

Got a few too many leftover Easter eggs on hand? The good news is that, if left in their shells, hard-boiled eggs will keep in the fridge for up to a week. But with the 12 hard-boiled egg recipe ideas here, they'll likely disappear a lot faster than that. In fact, you might find yourself boiling another dozen. (A note on safety: Be sure to use food-grade dye for your eggs and don't eat eggs that have been out of the fridge for more than two hours total.)

Southwestern Egg Salad Sandwich: Mash chopped eggs with a potato masher or a fork along with some mayo, a little chipotle in adobo or chipotle chile powder, lime juice, salt and sliced scallions. Place on a sandwich roll along with sliced avocado.

Egg Quesadilla: Brush one side of a burrito-size flour tortilla with olive oil. Place oiled side down on a baking sheet. Scatter shredded pepper Jack cheese over the tortilla, top with sliced hard-boiled eggs, green salsa and cilantro sprigs. Top with more cheese and another tortilla. Brush top of tortilla with oil and bake until the cheese has melted and the tortilla is crisp.

Eggs in Purgatory: Make a spicy tomato sauce with onions, garlic, a little bacon (if you like), tomatoes and some cayenne. Slice hard-boiled eggs about 1/2-inch thick, place in a shallow pasta bowl and spoon sauce over.

Potato and Egg Salad: Boil Yukon gold potatoes in their jackets until tender. Drain; peel while still warm, cut into thick slices and toss with a little vinegar (I like sherry or rice vinegar, but it's really your choice). Let sit 30 minutes then toss with hard-boiled egg slices, finely chopped red onion, a little mayo, and a little mustard. If you like, jazz it up with some ham, shrimp or cooked chicken.

Eggs with Asparagus and Parmesan Cheese: Do a riff on an Italian classic that usually has poached or fried eggs atop roasted asparagus. Trim ends of asparagus, then cut them in half crosswise. Place in a bowl, toss with olive oil to coat and roast at 400 degrees until lightly browned and crisp-tender. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan and panko breadcrumbs and roast a few more minutes until cheese has melted. Top with chopped hard-boiled eggs and chives, and if you like, a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar.
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Quick Egg and Vegetable Hash: Cook some chopped onions, diced red pepper, and thinly sliced peeled carrots in a combo of butter and vegetable or olive oil until the onion is golden brown and caramelized. Add diced cooked potatoes and cook until the potatoes are nicely browned. Add chopped hard-boiled eggs and just a little cream or half-and-half; cook until eggs are heated through.

Not Your Usual Egg Sandwich:
Use a baguette or a couple of slices of thick whole-grain country bread. Spread hot pepper jelly on both sides of the bread and top with arugula, sliced prosciutto and sliced eggs.

Warm Bacon, Spinach and Egg Salad: Cook a few slices of bacon until crisp, save the bacon fat and whisk it together with red wine vinegar, red currant jelly (or a little brown sugar) and toss while still warm with fresh spinach and sliced sautéed or grilled portobello mushroom caps, hard-boiled eggs cut in wedges and crumbled bacon. If you don't want to use bacon, omit it and make the dressing with olive oil.

Rich and Creamy Salad Dressing: Halve hard-boiled eggs and separate yolks and whites. Push yolks through a fine-meshed strainer. Whisk in olive oil, mustard, a touch of lemon juice, salt and pepper. Toss with a hearty lettuce, such as romaine, and garnish with chopped egg whites. Variation: Combine sour cream, mustard, yolks, and mayonnaise for a creamy thick dressing.

Norwegian Butter Cookies: This treat is a perfect use for egg yolks. In a mixing bowl, combine 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, 2 mashed hard-boiled egg yolks, and 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Beat until well combined. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon grated orange zest, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and, if you like, 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom. Fold in 1 cup all-purpose flour. Using a teaspoon measure, drop cookie dough mixture 1-inch apart onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, until golden around edges and set. Cool 2 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely

Meatloaf with Eggs: Put together your favorite meatloaf mixture. Pat half of it into a loaf pan, then make a trench lengthwise down the center and place a row of hard-boiled eggs in the trench. Top with remaining meatloaf mixture, patting it down to enclose the eggs and bake.

Gratinéed Eggs: Make a white sauce by melting 3 tablespoons butter and whisking in 3 tablespoons of flour, cooking over medium-low heat until just beginning to turn golden. Whisk in 2 cups milk, a little nutmeg, salt, pepper and a pinch of cayenne. Cook until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Whisk in about a cup of shredded sharp cheddar (or more if you like). Spoon some of the mixture into an 8 x 8 baking dish that's been brushed with a little butter. Place 6 to 8 thickly sliced eggs in the dish and top with more sauce. Sprinkle with a little grated Parmesan and bake at 350 degrees until golden brown and bubbling.
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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Humana Festival of New American Plays 2010

The 34th annual HUMANA FESTIVAL OF NEW AMERICAN PLAYS is in full swing in Louisville, Kentucky

February 21-March 28, 2010

Actors Theatre of Louisville's Humana Festival of New American Plays is an annual site of pilgrimage where theatre lovers from around the world converge to get the first look at the future of the American theatre. More than 400 plays have been produced in the internationally acclaimed Humana Festival, representing the work of more than 200 playwrights.


List of Plays

Sirens by Deborah Zoe Lauferdirected by Casey StanglFebruary 21 - March 28

Fissures (lost and found) by Steve Epp, Cory Hinkle, Dominic Orlando, Dominique Serrand, Deborah Stein and Victoria Stewartdirected by Dominique SerrandFebruary 26 - March 28

Phoenix by Scott Organdirected by Aaron PosnerMarch 5 - 27

Ground by Lisa Dillmandirected by Marc Masterson March 2 - 28

The Method Gun by Kirk Lynndirected by Shawn Sidescreated and performed by Rude MechsMarch 16 - March 28

The Cherry Sisters Revisited by Dan O'Brienoriginal music by Michael Friedmandirected by Andrew Leynse March 18 - April 11part of the Brown-Forman Series

Heist! conceived and created by Sean Daniels and Deborah Steinwritten by Deborah Steindirected by Sean Daniels with animation by Adam Pinney in collaboration wih René Dellefont performed by the 2009-2010 Actors Theatre Acting Apprentice Company March 11 - 28 performances at 21c Museum Hotel, 700 W Main St

TEN-MINUTE PLAYS March 27 & 28

Let Bygones Beby Gamal Abdel Chasten

Lobster Boyby Dan Dietz

Post Wave Spectacular by Diana Grisanti

An Examination of the Whole Playwright/Actor Relationship Presented As Some Kind of Cop Show Parody


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Monday, February 15, 2010

It's snowing again

I cannot believe how much snow we are getting this year. It's more than any of the sixteen years that I've been here. Of course, being from Chicago and before that Detroit, I'm used to a lot of snow, but I never thought Kentucky would get that much. ..maybe a little because Louiville is situated in the northern part of the state, but certainly not this much.

I must say it's beautiful. I'm sitting in the suite on the second floor and looking out of the window. All of the magnolia trees are laden with the white, fluffy stuff and the streets, walkways and cars are barely peeking from underneathe it. It's quite cold too. Around 19 degrees and evfen colder, with the wind chill.

Fortunately, the snow hasn't kept visitors from coming to the bed and breakfast. I have three business people from London, England here who checked in last night. They flew into Chicago and what should take around a five hour drive took them ten hours. It seems they googled for directions and ended up in Detroit. They called from the road, got the right directions from Robyn and made it by ten o clock last night.

If any of you have been contemplating coming to Louisville, please don't be put off by the snow. It's beautiful and you'll love it. The city has been on alert and the streets and highways have been cleaned off. It isn't icy, just white and powdery. All the shops and restaurants are open and our bed and breakfast is ready for you, with comfy beds and wonderful gourmet breakfasts. Y'all come.



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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Farm Machinery Show: Where are all the farmers?

Well, the Farm Machinery Show is this coming week (Feb 11-14) and I don't have a single booking as yet.. Last year I had a full house; interesting people who own farms and come into town each year to enjoy the displays and new equipment at the fair grounds and have a good time. My guests all went to one of the local restaurants last night for dinner (will post on local restaurants later) and said the food was great. It's an Italian restaurant called Amici's and , since it changed hands a couple of years ago, they now have a terrific owner and chef, and they are top notch!

So what's going on? I'm always booked for the Farm Machinery Show. Are people waiting 'til the last minute? Or is this a sign of the bad economy? One of the biggest reasons for coming to the show is the Tractor Pull! What fun! Officially introduced to the world in 1969 during the fourth National Farm Machinery Show (NFMS), the Championship Tractor Pull is now celebrating 40 years of making champions. The competition had been a vision of its originator, Billy Joe Miles, and was so popular in its first year that 15 drivers signed up to compete in the inaugural pull before it was officially established.

Truck and tractor pulling, also known as power pulling, is a competition using tractors and large trucks to pull a heavy drag along a 'track'. It's very popular in rural areas. Usually the drag offers progressively greater resistance as it is pulled. It can be a great spectacle, although the vehicle produces a great deal of noise and smoke and tends to kick up dirt. Also, the tractors pulling don't actually travel very far (a typical "full pull" is 300 feet). There are many different classes, from "factory" tractors, to custom built vehicles with multiple engines.

When farming machines were pulled by horse, farmers would boast about the strength of their horses, claiming their's could tow the largest loads. They would challenge each other to contests to prove who had the strongest horse. A barn door was removed and laid flat the ground, the horse was then hitched to it and the farmer urged the horse to drag the barn door along the ground. One by one, people jumped on the door until the horse could no longer drag it; the horse pulling the most people the greatest distance was judged the strongest. This event, was called horse pulling,. Although still carried out today with specially bred horses, in around 1929 power pull contests began utilizing motorized vehicles. By the 1950s and '60s, the tractor pull had become a popular sport. For complete history see: http://tinyurl.com/ar4o7c

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Sunday, January 31, 2010

It's February: A message from the Innkeeper

I'm looking out the window and everything is covered with snow. Robyn came yesterday and cleaned of the sidewalks in front for me, in case we got some bookings over the week-end. It's been pretty slow lately.....January usually is. But it will be getting busy soon. February is usually a pretty good month for us. There's Valentine's Day, the Farm Machinery Show, and visitors who just want to get away or who are traveling here on business.
We have been focussing on Valentine's Day lately; putting Sweetheart packages together and making plans for decorating the rooms with flowers and candy. One of our Valentine's Packages includes champagne, red roses, chocolates and accommodations in a beautiful Victorian room with four-poster bed. It's very romantic.
We enjoy making confections for Valentines day and have tried cakes, candies, and fondue. Fondue is one of our favorites and we have a great recipe which I have posted here.
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
Combi
ne 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


Love Notes
Besides candy, flowers, and confections, it is traditional to send cards or to write poetry for the one you love. We have included a poem here, written in the name of love.
Falling In Love Again
I'd crept into the deepest darkest place,
Where life and love no longer saw my face.
My heart was cold, my very soul was dead.
My only solace, memories in my head.

You came to me and caught me unaware,
And unprepared, I fell into your lair.
I struggled as you crawled into my mind,
Afraid of what your loving me might find.

And as I stayed resistant to your touch
You never turned away, instead t'was such
an oh so gentle nudging at my soul
that woke me with your ever sweet cajole

'Til finally I melted in your arms
Unfolding as a child would, free from harm.
I gave myself completely, so beguiled.
A whole new world had opened when you smiled

Click here: for info on a lovely Valentine's Day week-end

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Friday, January 8, 2010

Chef Kathy Cary from Lilly's Bistro

My B&B guests are always amazed when they come to Louisville and find that the restaurants here are amazing. They are top notch, with most of the owners and chefs having been trained in some of the finest culinary Arts schools and restaurants in the world. One of the most popular is Lilly's Bistro, owned and operated by Kathy Cary, who is also the executive chef there.

Much of Kathy Cary's inspiration derives from her knowledge and love of her own Kentucky roots, where she learned to love food at an early age in her mother's kitchen. Apprenticed to a cordon Bleu-trained chef in Washington, D.C., she later started a small catering firm there and then became a chef at a stylish Georgetown restaurant.

She returned to Kentucky, and opened her first La Peche gourmet-to-go shop in 1979. Lilly's opened 24 years ago, with a menu that reflects Kathy's French-inspired use of traditional Kentucky ingredients with unexpected, contemporary twists.

Food at Lilly's continues to be influenced by our longstanding tradition of buying locally from farmers and producers, rather than pursuing fashionable food trends," says Kathy Cary, chef/owner. Kathy uses ingredients such as catfish, country ham, bourbon, seasonal produce and local artisanal cheeses and meats on an ever-changing menu that honors Southern foodways but doesn't hesitate to draw from Continental, Mediterranean and Asian techniques.

Kathy also heads a celebrated catering operation, known as La Peche. She is known and admired both regionally and nationally. The Louisville Dining Guide summed up Lilly's as "the most influential and celebrated Louisville restaurant of the past decade

Kathy has been honored to be selected as one of the few James Beard Award Nominees in the category of "Best Chef of the Southeast" – annually from 2002 through 2006.

A New York Times writer concluded, after a culinary visit to Louisville, "My eating expedition could actually have begun and ended happily in a sleek restaurant called Lilly's." (courtesy of Louisville Originals)

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