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Sausage, Cheddar, and Cream Cheese Biscuit Bites

Hey, y’all!

Sausage, cheese, cream cheese, biscuits… how can you go wrong with a combination like that?

Today I am excited to bring to y’all one of my favorite Saturday morning recipes. It doesn’t get much easier; apart from that, they are filling, quick, and are sure to please a crowd. I love preparing dishes that taste more impressive than their preparation; as a home cook, I think that is a key to ensuring quality!

Sausage, Cheddar, and Cream Cheese Biscuit Bites

Growing up on the farm, sausage was a staple at breakfast time – well, that and biscuits, of course! The skillets used in my grandmother’s kitchen certainly outdate me (and probably my father). The recipes? Even older!

Sausage, Cheddar, and Cream Cheese Biscuit Bites

While I didn’t grow up eating these Sausage, Cheddar, and Cream Cheese Biscuit Bites, they are inspired by my childhood and by my upbringin’ south of the Mason-Dixon, as many of my recipes are.

Sausage, Cheddar, and Cream Cheese Biscuit Bites

If you make these for your family (or, well, for yourself, as I do), they won’t disappoint – that I assure you.

Sausage, Cheddar, and Cream Cheese Biscuit Bites

Ingredients (can be easily doubled, tripled, etc):

1 lb (16 oz) Hot Country Sausage (you can use mild if you prefer)

2 cans of biscuits (I like to use Pillsbury Grands Flaky Layered Biscuits)

1/2 c. shredded mild cheddar

1/2 c. shredded sharp cheddar

8 oz. cream cheese

1.5 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  2. Fully brown the sausage; drain the grease (I like to keep just a little of it).
  3. Add sausage into a mixing bowl along with the mild cheddar, sharp cheddar, cream cheese (softened), and Worcestershire sauce.
  4. Mix well.
  5. Split each biscuit in half horizontally.
  6. Lightly spray your muffin tin with cooking spray.
  7. Place each biscuit into the muffin tin; I find it best to press some of the dough up against the corners, more or less covering the entire hole with dough.
  8. Evenly scoop the sausage, cheese, and cream cheese mixture into the biscuit dough.
  9. Bake for 13-15 minutes, allowing biscuits to brown.
  10. Enjoy!

Sausage, Cheddar, and Cream Cheese Biscuit Bites

These are, as I like to say, Write Your MeeMaw Good, y’all.

From my kitchen to your’s — enjoy!

Sausage, Cheddar, and Cream Cheese Biscuit Bites

As always: Happy Eating, Happy Traveling, Happy Living!

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

My best,

JC

FTC: This is not a sponsored post and all opinions are my own.

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Authentic Kentucky Fried Chicken at the Claudia Sanders Dinner House in Shelbyville, KY

Hey, y’all!

There are few things more commonly associated with Kentucky than fried chicken. The only competitors, in my opinion, would be the Kentucky Derby, the horse industry in general, and bourbon. That said, in terms of the culinary world, fried chicken is king of the Bluegrass; for that, I am thankful (and owe my waistline).

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Side story: I briefly lived in Mexico and worked in finance for a government entity (more on that story later, if y’all are interested). That said, everyone was fascinated that I was from Kentucky! Instead of saying “pollo frito” (fried chicken), it was colloquially accepted in the area to say “pollo Kentucky”. Thus, it was a hit that I was from the Bluegrass and I immediately became known as “Kentucky Boy”. Some of my most fond memories!

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Kentucky History

We often hear about Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken. However, in learning about the legacy, it is important to also discuss Claudia.

To quote: “In 1959, at the age of 69, Colonel Harland Sanders and his wife, Claudia, moved from Southeastern Kentucky to Shelbyville. Prior to this, the Colonel had spent many years in Corbin, Kentucky, developing his now world-famous chicken recipe. His move to Shelbyville was prompted by the opening of Interstate 75 which bypassed Corbin and his restaurant. It was from this property that Kentucky Fried Chicken grew into a world-wide organization.

Claudia Sanders Dinner House, Shelbyville, KY

The one hundred twenty five year old dwelling, Blackwood Hall, which is adjacent to the Dinner House, served as the Sander’s residence and the base of operation for Kentucky Fried Chicken after their move here. The expanding business soon brought a need for office and warehouse space, so they constructed a building, later to become the Claudia Sanders Dinner House.

Claudia Sanders Dinner House, Shelbyville, KY

In 1964, Colonel Sanders sold Kentucky Fried Chicken and the company offices were moved. Neither this building nor the Sanders Family were to remain idle for long however. Their knowledge of Southern Recipes and their natural leaning toward the restaurant business soon brought about the creation of the Claudia Sanders Dinner House, where an air of southern hospitality and cooking, combined with old fashioned, family style service, still remain.”

The Experience 

Immediately upon parking on the property, you know that you are in for a southern treat. Needless to say, it’s obvious that you are south of the Mason-Dixon — which, if you know me, is where my heart is happiest.

The building is stunning, an expansive southern homestead by first glance. Inside, be sure to enjoy the gift shop, the main dining room, and the Saddlebred Lounge.

Claudia Sanders Dinner House, Shelbyville, KY

However, let’s get down to the nitty gritty — the food. Diners at the Claudia Sanders Dinner House can order from the main menu, choose a family style dinner, or enjoy the Sunday buffet.

To start my meal, I chose to visit the salad bar; the bar features all of the typical fixin’s, along with delicatessen favorites such as egg salad, pasta salad, and chicken salad. There are few things that I love more.

The main course? Fried chicken, of course. I’m not so sure if I’ve told y’all this, but I don’t love to eat meat off of a bone. I can, but I prefer not to; with that said, I chose to order the fried chicken breast tenders. Delicious, well-seasoned, and delectably breaded — how can you go wrong? If you are more of a traditional fried chicken connoisseur, don’t miss the Claudia’s Chicken Special.

Claudia Sanders Dinner House, Shelbyville, KY Fried Chicken Kentucky Style

The menu includes other Kentucky favorites, such as a hot brown, country ham, chicken livers, and sugar cured ham. Sides at the Claudia Sanders Dinner House are made from scratch and are finger-lickin’ good. Some highlights include creamed spinach, corn pudding, Harvard beets, stewed tomatoes, macaroni and cheese, and my favorite – the mock oysters. Mock oysters = breaded eggplant prepared in such a way that it is reminiscent of oysters.

My favorite thing about dining at the Claudia Sanders Dinner House? Hands down, the bread. Buttery, yeasty, and simply perfect. Don’t ask me how many rolls I consumed this time around…

Claudia Sanders Dinner House, Shelbyville, KY

So. Good.

Oh, and don’t miss dessert by the fire. Cobbler, anyone?

Claudia Sanders Dinner House, Shelbyville, KY

You can visit the Claudia Sanders Dinner House at 3202 Shelbyville Road, U.S. 60, Shelbyville, KY 40065; they can be reached at 502-633-5600.

Claudia Sanders Dinner House, Shelbyville, KY

There’s so much to do and see in Shelby County, Kentucky. For other recommendations, check out my guides here, here, here, oh and here!

As always: Happy Eating, Happy Traveling, Happy Living!

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

Claudia Sanders Dinner House, Shelbyville, KY

My best,

JC

FTC: This is a commissioned post; however, as always, all opinions are my own.

Iconic Kentucky Fried Chicken at the Claudia Sanders Dinner House in Shelbyville, KY

The Perfect Day in Georgetown, Kentucky

Hey, y’all!

I recently had the privilege of spending the day with my friends at Georgetown Tourism. While I knew that this was one of the loveliest towns in the Commonwealth, I left feeling even more pride in my Kentucky heritage!

Georgetown, at its core, is historic, quaint, and charmingly southern. Near Lexington, it is home of Georgetown College, a world-class Toyota manufacturing plant, Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Farm, Ward Hall, Country Boy Brewing, and fabulous food. It is a focal point in the midst of both bourbon and horse country; a trip to Georgetown is good for the soul.

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There’s no better way to kick off a morning in Scott County than with breakfast at Fava’s. Originally conceptualized as a confectionary in 1910, it has been a Georgetown staple for many generations. While the ownership and offerings have changed throughout the years, the goal is steadfast: serving good food and facilitating fellowship.

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Located downtown, I knew that Fava’s was the perfect restaurant for breakfast — it’s an old-school diner with southern comfort food. I couldn’t decide between biscuits and gravy and a breakfast croissant sandwich; thus, naturally, I had both! The food at Fava’s will, without question, remind you of your grandma’s cookin’.

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Also, check out this meringue — that’s Write Your MeeMaw worthy by any standard!

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I love diners that still have the old-school bars + stools. It’s very nostalgic and reminds me of my childhood.

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You can visit Fava’s at:

159 E. Main St, Georgetown, KY 40324

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After breakfast at Fava’s, I intended to visit the Old Friend’s Thoroughbred Retirement Farm. A dignified home to over 100 horses who have retired from their racing/breeding careers, it is a place to both pay respect to Kentucky culture and to spoil the horses for their hard work! From past Derby winners, to Little Silver Charm – a favorite in Scott County – their repertoire is sure to please!

The weather did not cooperate for a visit to the farm; that said, I fully intend to revisit!

You can visit Old Friend’s Thoroughbred Retirement Farm at:

1841 Paynes Depot Rd., Georgetown, KY 40324

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With the impending weather, I decided to tour the local Toyota Manufacturing Facility. A driver of huge economic impact in the state, “Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. (TMMK) is Toyota’s largest vehicle manufacturing plant in the world, annually capable of producing 550,000 vehicles and more than 600,000 engines.”

Tours at the plant are conducted on trolleys, which allow you to see the nooks and crannies of the expansive facility. It was very interesting to see the process from beginning to end — so much so, it garnered a new level of respect for the industry on my end. I would recommend anyone to take this tour — adults, families, children — because it has interest points for all. I’m not very interested in automobiles, though I found myself enthralled the entire time.

We are so fortunate to have this industry in our Commonwealth!

You can visit the Toyota Manufacturing Facility at:

1001 Cherry Blossom Way, Georgetown, KY 40324

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After a late morning spent at Toyota, it was only fitting to relax with my friends at Country Boy Brewing.

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Founded by Kentuckians with a passion for craft beer, Country Boy Brewing specializes in minimally-processed, high-quality brews. I was impressed to find out about the ingredients that go into Country Boy Brewing products; for example, the vanilla is extracted from actual vanilla beans, not just vanilla flavoring. While this is not the cheapest route, it does ensure the highest quality, which I appreciate.

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Country Boy Brewing originated in Lexington, though they have now opened a state-of-the-art taproom and production facility in Scott County.

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The best part? They now offer food – and y’all, this is not your average bar food. It’s delicious!

Roast Beef & Beer Cheese Sandwich

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Southwest Turkey Club

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Hot Brown Pizza (yes, please!)

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Pretzel + Beer Cheese & Mustard

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After spending a few hours (or the entire afternoon) with the fine folk at Country Boy Brewing, there’s no better place to soak in some Georgetown history than at Ward Hall. Easily the grandest Greek Revival residence in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Ward Hall is said to be one of the finest examples of mid-nineteenth century classical building in the United States.

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To quote, “Built for Junius Richard Ward and his wife Matilda Viley Ward, the mansion is attributed to British-born military engineer and Lexington architect, Major Thomas Lewinski. It was constructed by Taylor Buffington with the assistance of James Bailey. The house embodies numerous Minard Lafever design elements from his 1829 and 1835 pattern books.

The more than 12,000 square-foot house rises from a six-foot high brushed and hammered coquina limestone foundation with twenty foot wide heroic scale steps leading up to a portico supported by four 27 foot-high fluted Corinthian columns with cast iron capitals and bases and the façade decorated on all four sides with pilasters and matching cast iron capitals set against Flemish bond brickwork. All window and door enframements on the exterior are cut stone.”

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To say the least, time spent at Ward Hall will take visitors back to a different time in the South. I am so happy to know that the property is being cared for by the Ward Hall Preservation Foundation. They have incessantly worked to better the property since the acquisition in 2004 and have many plans for the future.

Support our state’s history by visiting Ward Hall at:

1782 Frankfort Road (US 460 W), Georgetown, KY 40324 

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No trip to Georgetown would be complete without dinner at Rodney’s on Broadway! Housed in a historic property just outside of Downtown Georgetown, Rodney’s prides itself on serving elegant, southern cuisine. Don’t miss out on the cocktail menu, either!

Seahorses: fresh diver scallops, wrapped in prosciutto, served on a bed of crispy spinach, and drizzled with hollandaise sauce.

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Known for their prime beef, I had to have the filet mignon – an ultimate barrel cut steak that is both slow and naturally aged. It is, to understate, a fork-tender piece of meat.

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Y’all – let me tell you – it was delicious!

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For all of my food lovers, be sure to participate in Georgetown’s #GtownEats Week, which is happening from March 23rd – March 30th, 2019. This event is an eight-day culinary exploration and celebration, highlighting local Georgetown restaurants, bakeries, and drinking establishments. In doing so, businesses offer either multi-course meals or unique menu items at a discounted price. These meals and deals are only available during this time frame; thus, don’t miss out, y’all!

You can find more information here.

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Adventure awaits in the Commonwealth of Kentucky; if you aren’t planning your next trip to Georgetown, Kentucky — get on it! Be sure to come with a hunger for culture, history, and of course, delectable food!

As always: Happy Eating, Happy Traveling, Happy Living!

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

My best,

JC

FTC: This is a commissioned post; all opinions, as always, are my own.

 

 

Bardstown Bourbon Company + Bottle & Bond Kitchen/Bar

Hey, y’all!

I recently had the privilege of spending the day with my friends at Bardstown Bourbon Company + Bottle & Bond Kitchen/Bar (which is located in the same property). It was my first time at either location; and, to grossly understate, it won’t be my last.

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Upon entering the facility and meeting the staff, one thing was clear: bourbon is their passion and they are doing their best to share it with the world. At Bardstown Bourbon Company, you can experience the tradition, process, and legacy of bourbon — and it doesn’t get much more Kentucky than that.

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The facility is state of the art and left me feeling impressed. It is clear that quality is at the forefront of everything that they do; as a consumer, I greatly appreciate that. However, that’s a given in all reality — Steve Nally is their Master Distiller. That says all that needs to be said about Bardstown Bourbon Company in and of itself.

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While a tour + tasting at Bardstown Bourbon Company are both ingredients to a fantastic day in the Commonwealth, it doesn’t stop there. Enter: Bottle & Bond Kitchen & Bar.

What I am about to say is something that I do not say lightly; that said, I mean it with full sincerity: this was, hands down, one of the best meals that I have ever had in Kentucky.

The dishes followed my philosophy on food: there need not be a lot of ingredients, just really pure, delicious ones. Bottle & Bond is doing just that — plating up high-end food in an unpretentious, relatable, Kentucky way. They’ve taken classic dishes and elevated them in a way that commands my respect. I can’t wait to bring both my friends and family back to B&B for dinner!

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Oh, and before we talk about the food — let’s talk about the interior. Y’all, it’s as posh as all get out. I felt like I was brunching in a Bardstown / Los Angeles hybrid. The location has Kentucky soul and flavor, no doubt — but, aesthetically speaking, it’s something that we haven’t quite seen in the Commonwealth.

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Now — what we’ve all been waiting for, the food!

Glazed Brussels Sprouts: pan seared, bourbon bacon, Kentucky blue cheese.

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Grilled Cheese Sticks, served with a dunk-worthy, classic tomato soup. How fun are these?

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Hand-cut Fries, which are out of this world good, y’all.

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Shrimp and Grits, featuring Red Gulf Shrimp + cheddar grits. A southern staple.

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A gorgeous Macaroni + Cheese — creamy, cheesy, and the right about of crunch/texture.

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Gnocchi, which was – without hesitation – a menu standout for me: sweet potato gnocchi, broccolini, covered in a bourbon-infused mushroom sauce.

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A buttery, delicious, 8 oz. prime filet – top-notch quality!

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And, naturally, you can’t visit Bottle & Bond without indulging in some libations! The cocktails were unique, artistically crafted, and downright delicious, friends.

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Oh, and no meal is complete without The Entrepreneur, a boozy milkshake featuring Bardstown Bourbon Company Collaboration Bourbon, malt chocolate, chocolate syrup, with a chocolate bar garnish. It’s write-your-MeeMaw good, y’all.

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Pro tip: while you’re at Bottle & Bond, don’t miss out on the Whiskey Library, which features over 400 vintage American whiskeys, curated by Fred Minnick.

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Bottle & Bond serves up classic, southern comfort food that is refined, elegant, yet overwhelmingly approachable. Using the finest ingredients, they take familiar dishes and serve them better than you’ve ever had them before. A restaurant — especially on a distillery property — like this was missing from the Kentucky culinary scene and I am so grateful to have had that void filled by Bottle & Bond.

Most importantly, the people behind the operation are top-notch — talented, yet more than anything, kind.

You can visit both Bardstown Bourbon Company + Bottle & Bond at 1500 Parkway Drive, Bardstown, Kentucky 40004. Reservations can be made online or over the phone at 502-252-6331.

Tell ’em that I sent ya!

As always: Happy Eating, Happy Traveling, Happy Living!

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

My best,

JC

FTC: This is a commissioned post; however, as always, all opinions are my own.

 

Honey Ginger Soy Salmon + Frisch’s Big Boy Spicy Tartar Sauce

Hey, y’all!

If you know me well, you are well-aware of the fact that I love seafood. So much so, I was actually a pescatarian for several years!

I was recently made aware of the new Spicy Tartar Sauce from Frisch’s Big Boy. Y’all, listen up — this sauce is incredible. Colorful, creamy, flavorfully bold, and appropriately spicy; it is a fantastic addition to many dishes that you make at home (especially with grilling season coming up!). You can pick up the sauce by the bottle at your local Frisch’s Big Boy; that said, heed to this warning: it’s addicting. After testing it out, I immediately drove back to my location and picked up a second jar.

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When constructing dishes, we often think about pairing contrasting flavors. Salty and sweet, for example, is very common. In creating this new dish for y’all, I wanted to take it another step: I’m combining salty, sweet, and spicy.

Trust me on this one.

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Honey Soy Ginger Salmon + Frisch's Big Boy Spicy Tartar Sauce

Ingredients:

1 lb. fresh salmon

1/3 c. honey

1/4 c. reduced sodium soy sauce

1.5 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

Directions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, olive oil, garlic powder, and ground ginger. Whisk until well-mixed.
  2. In a skillet over medium-high heat, place salmon skin side up. Cook salmon for 5-7 minutes; using a fork, check doneness by ensuring that the salmon is easily flaked.
  3. Place the salmon on a platter; afterwards, baste/cover with the honey, soy, and ginger marinade.
  4. Serve immediately; for an extra kick, use Frisch’s Big Boy Spicy Tartar Sauce. For an accompaniment, serve with rice, broccoli, or seasonal vegetables!

Watch me prepare the dish!:

 

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While this recipe is simple, it is unbelievably flavorful. I’ve already placed it on my  menu for next week again!

Be sure to visit your local Frisch’s Big Boy to pick up the Spicy Tartar Sauce. You won’t regret it!

As always: Happy Eating, Happy Living, Happy Traveling.

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

My best,

JC

FTC: This is a commissioned post; however, as always, all opinions are my own.

Blogger Dinner Party

Hey, y’all!

A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to a Blogger Dinner Party hosted by my friend Marie of Backroad Bluegrass Blog.

Blogging is fantastic — it allows us to connect with like-minded individuals. People that share our same interests, passions, and concerns. People that are equally as quirky, eccentric, and adventurous. While that is great, it’s even better when we get to get together IRL (am I right, y’all?). The Internet is fun, but it never parallels real, face-to-face experiences.

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The other attendees were Nicole of Share Lex KY, Reagan of Food Is My Thang , Karrie of Muse Marketing, and Brooks!

Marie was a gracious host – however, knowing her, I expected no less. She is a true Kentucky Woman!

The theme of the evening was locality in Kentucky — we dined using all local ingredients and dished about life in true blogger fashion! Everyone at the table, in their own way, uses their platform to better local business in Kentucky. It was a very powerful feeling to all come together — the symbiosis was palpable, y’all.

Though this was a March dinner party, it still snowed. If you know anything about Kentucky weather, you know that it is wildly unpredictable. One moment it is 60 degrees and sunny, the next it is sleeting. You get used to it – and a little bit of winter weather wasn’t keeping me from this event (I was the only Louisvillian).

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The ambiance of the evening was set by the aroma of Wixology candles, which are local to the Commonwealth; inspired by Kentucky bourbon-based cocktails, the scents are sure to please. From there, the pre-party included cheeses from Boone Creek Creamery, wine from Harkness Edwards Vineyards (out of customized, etched glasses via Forever Lasered Memories, no less!), and dipping oils from Stuarto’s.

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The main course? Fabulous pasta from Lexington Pasta, of course! As a group, we prepared the Caprese Gnocchi + the Four-Cheese Ravioli. They were both Write Your MeeMaw good!

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The pasta was finished by Triple J Farm; their pasta sauce + Italian sausage were both finger-lickin’ good.

Last, but in no shape, form, or fashion, least — dessert from Martine’s Pastries! Five words: Pistachio Cake, French Buttercream Icing. Need I say more?

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A special thank you Karrie of Muse Marketing for the photography. Also, shoutout to all of our sponsors for the fabulous goodies + to Marie and Brooks for being fabulous, gracious hosts.

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I am better because I know these people!

As always: Happy Eating, Happy Traveling, Happy Living.

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

My best,

JC

FTC: This is not a commissioned post; all opinions are my own.

 

Celebrate March Madness in Kentucky With Ale-8-One

Hey, y’all.

March? Yeah, it’s madness in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The weather? Unpredictable. The desire for spring? Insatiable. Basketball? Pandemonium.

I believe that the combination of the three play into the true definition, as we know it, of March Madness. However, we all know that there is a powerhouse of a contender in the aforementioned trifecta.

Basketball.

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We are proud of many things here in Kentucky. Our bourbon is strong, our grass is blue, our horses are fast — and, simply put, our basketball culture is unrivaled.

Allegiances aside, basketball connects us all. We believe in our teams, we support our teams, and we fight for our teams. That’s one of the most beautiful parts of Kentucky — we are fierce: fiercely loyal, fiercely competitive, and fiercely devoted.

When defining cultural factors – whether they be macro or micro in nature – there are very few things that unanimously unite us. In my opinion, we experience three of those during this time of year: food, tradition, and sports.

Ale-8-One is doing us all a favor by combining all three into one package.

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Kentucky Proud and family-owned since 1902, Ale-8-One is a regional favorite. After poppin’ the top off, with one sip, you’ll be immersed in the sensation of our Commonwealth. Just as they are aware of the quality of our teams, they take pride in the quality of their recipe. A ginger and citrus-based soft drink, the taste immediately transports me back to the farm that I grew up on in Russell County — the exact location that I tuned into many NCAA tournament games with my late father, JC Phelps. Maybe it takes you back to summer evenings spent in the Highlands, fishing out of your grandpa’s pond in Pikeville, betting on horses in Lexington, or working on the farm in Paducah.

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Whether your bracket is pulling for the Wildcats, the Cardinals, or your out-of-state alma mater, know this — Ale-8-One is the drink of basketball country.

When shopping for your viewing parties, tailgates, cookouts, get-togethers — be sure to look for the limited-edition basketball packaging. It can be found in a market near you around the Commonwealth; furthermore, Ale-8-One can be ordered online and shipped domestically to all 50 states!

As you all know, there are few things that I am more proud of than being a Kentuckian; I wouldn’t trade my heritage for anything. Wherever the Ale-8-One is flowin’, that’s where I’m meant to be, y’all.

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Cheers!

As always: Happy Eating, Happy Traveling, Happy Living.

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

My best,

JC

FTC: This is a commissioned post; however, as always, all opinions are my own.

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