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Experiencing Locality in Shelby County, Kentucky

Hey, y’all!

If you follow me on Instagram or read my Kentucky travel series, you will know that I am no stranger to Shelbyville, Kentucky.

Some might argue as to what is the best part about this Kentucky town. The food? The kind, generous people? The fact that it’s the Saddlebred Capital of the World? The local shops? All of those are, of course, great – however, I would like to add one to the mix: the location.

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Conveniently located between Lexington and Louisville, Shelbyville is a true meeting ground of the state. It serves as a central location for all Kentuckians, let alone the city dwellers wishing to escape for a day or weekend trip.

Over the course of the last year, it has turned into one of my favorite destinations (and one of Jude’s, my grandmother + travel partner, favorites, too!). On our most recent trip, I wanted to dive deeper into the small businesses, restaurants, events, and farms that make Shelbyville special. I went in with high expectations – but, y’all, let me tell you… they were greatly surpassed.

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Upon arriving and checking into my hotel (I always stay at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites, which is located at 110 Clubhouse Dr. Shelbyville, KY 40065), I joined Chenelle for dinner at the Old Stone Inn.

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Stay tuned for an upcoming post to learn more about the Old Stone Inn; but, I’ll say this now: it’s a historic dining experience not to miss. Recently reopened by Chef David Danielson of Churchill Downs, the food and atmosphere is a true highlight for the region.

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Also, side note: any restaurant that serves their butter in the shape of the Commonwealth of Kentucky is a restaurant that will get my repeat business.

The following morning started bright and early with the first of my Dine & Discover classes, which was held at Citizens Union Bank. Dine & Discover is a fantastic series put on by the ShelbyKY Tourism Commission & Visitors Bureau; both of these classes catered to small businesses and I discussed how one can leverage social media to be a driving factor in their success. It was an honor to be a guest speaker; if you are looking for educational classes in the area, I highly recommend this series!

Between classes, I had to do my due diligence as a food writer and check out a new-to-me local eatery, right? At least that was my justification.

McKinley’s Bread Shop & Deli (615 Main St. Shelbyville, KY 40065)

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I stumbled into McKinley’s via Chenelle’s recommendation – and it didn’t let me down. I love casual, local eateries. It was clear that the clientele is predominantly locals — patrons that have dined there for years & will continue to do so. That’s when you know you’re in for a treat, y’all.

The bread is made in-house and is cut via a bread machine that is nearly a century old. If something, or a method, isn’t broken — why fix it? I love that they have maintained their methods; there’s something special about doing so that cannot be ignored.

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I chose the Tuscany, which featured Caesar dressing, grated parmesan, black pepper, turkey breast, and romaine lettuce, served on focaccia (my favorite bread). At less than $8, this sandwich is a fantastic value for the budget diner.

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Oh, and don’t miss out on their cookies — they are, arguably, the best part. Large, moist, and ringing in at around $1, you can’t go wrong, y’all.

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After my second Dine & Discover class, I went and visited my new friends at Lettleiki Icelandics (6105 Eminence Pike, Shelbyville, KY 40065). Now I — and any true Kentuckian — would be amiss to not love the equine industry. However, I must confess: prior to this trip, I was not well-versed in Icelandic horses, a very historic breed.

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Lettleiki is the Icelandic word for “lightness”; interestingly enough, each Icelandic horse that is born must have an Icelandic name given to it. Furthermore, in reference to their homeland, Icelandic horses cannot return to Iceland after they leave; this is largely due to the fact that Iceland does not experience vast equine diseases, unlike other countries. As for personal history, the breed’s ancestors are often traced back to Viking-Age Scandinavians that came to the region.

Upon visiting the farm, you will find world-class facilities; seriously, y’all — their barns are the most gorgeous that I have ever seen! Apart from that, they have a gorgeous arena on site, and they offer a wide array of services (breeding, training, clinics, etc).

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One of our tour guides was the farm dog — what a sweetie!

I left a big, big fan of Lettleiki Icelandics — be sure to check them out!

While I was in the spirit of the horse industry, I hopped over to Shelby Horse Supply (7022 Shelbyville Rd, Simpsonville, KY 40067) to learn more about their business. The man behind the shop, Vance Riester, very well might be the nicest guy around. He welcomed Jude and I into his shop, walked us through some of his processes, and even made a custom gift for Jude to take home!

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A full-service tack shop, Shelby Horse Supply is – and should be – your one-stop shop for all of your equine leather good needs. But, their offerings do not stop there! You can find many personal leather goods in the store, whether it be wallets, key fobs, or a plethora of other items. They custom-made a piece for me a couple of months ago – and y’all, it is truly one of my prized possessions.

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The best part? The leather goods are customizable! Many of the belts, fobs, and equine goods can have engraved plates attached to them. A true southerner, I love a good personalization service! If it walks, talks, or moves — monogram it. Am I right?

The quality of their goods is unmatched; be sure to keep them in mind!

After spending the afternoon on the farm and shopping, we decided that we needed a sweet treat. For that, I wanted to try out Serendipity Kandy Kitchen (519 Main St, Shelbyville, KY 40065), a newcomer to Downtown Shelbyville. A mainstay in La Grange for several years, the new shop in Shelby County is a very welcomed addition to the community.

Their best-selling item? Bourbon-infused, chocolate dipped Twinkies. Yes, you read that correctly. That is, simply put, my Kentucky dream. I knew that I had to try one when I visited; however, I was pleasantly surprised that the owner wanted to let me make some of my own!

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While the process is self-explanatory, I’ll omit some of the strict details for proprietary purposes. However, believe me when I say that you MUST try one of these. You’ll keep going back for more — thank me later.

Post-refreshing at the hotel, I knew that no trip to Shelby County is complete without a stop at Jeptha Creed Distillery (500 Gordon Ln, Shelbyville, KY 40065). Jeptha Creed’s property is stunning & it is a kick ass, woman-owned business — one of my favorite’s in the Commonwealth.

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Luckily for Jude and I, we were there for one of their Farm To Table dinners, which features four courses from Chef Josh Moore of Volare Italian Restaurant in Louisville, KY. What’s even better is that fact that each course is paired with a cocktail! Now that’s the Kentucky way of dining, y’all.

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The first course was a stunning salad, which featured Aqua Fresh Farms red oak leaf lettuce, roasted Italian sausage, pepperoncini peppers, Capriole Farms goat cheese, and crispy potatoes, finished with a balsamic & Jeptha Creed blueberry vodka vinaigrette. It was paired with a cranberry-spiced Negroni, which was my favorite cocktail of the evening.

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The pasta course was next, which boasted house-made Garganelli pasta in a rich mushroom ragout of Sheltowee Farm mushrooms, Jeptha Creed original moonshine, cream, sage, and ricotta salata cheese. It was simply divine! The pairing was a bay leaf limoncello.

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Our main course was a Stone Cross Farm pork loin scallopini (fra diavolo style) in a spicy tomato and pepper sauce with onion, rosemary and Jeptha Creed Hot Pepper Vodka. It was accompanied by Tuscan white beans (two thumbs up from me!) and braised, bitter greens. The cocktail? A honey raspberry sgroppino, which was fabulous!

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Last, but certainly not least (trust!), was the dessert course: zeppole. Plated were three  house-made Italian doughnuts tossed in cinnamon and sugar, joined by cherry preserves & Jeptha Creed apple pie moonshine apple butter. This was a standout, y’all. To wash it down, we were given a coffee & lavender affogato. The lavender was a fantastic touch!

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To say the least, it was a night to remember – fabulous food and even more fabulous company. Better yet, as per usual, it was a trip to write home about (or, in my case, to blog about!).

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A special thank you to ShelbyKY Tourism for two fabulous days; it is truly a privilege that y’all share your slice of Kentucky heaven with all of us!

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

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

My best,

JC

FTC: This is a sponsored post; all opinions, however, are my own.

 

 

 

 

Blogger Brunch at Corto Lima

Hey, y’all!

Long time, no chat. If you’ve been following along with my Instagram posts + stories, you know that I just purchased my first home in Louisville, Kentucky. So much of my January has been focused on furnishing my home, decorating it with love, and preparing for my move (which was this weekend). I feel immensely grateful that my job has flexibility and that y’all allowed me this grace period to get everything together. Your words of love, encouragement, and the well wishes have meant so much to me!

With that said, many new things are coming to y’all with the acquisition of my home. More recipes, more photos, a dedicated filming space, and so much more! Stay tuned — there’s so much to come!

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Now, back to the regularly scheduled culinary programming!

Those that have been with me on the blog from the get-go are aware of the fact that I love Corto Lima, which is located in Downtown Lexington, KY. The name is derived from the location of the restaurant in Spanish; it is on the corner of Short (Corto) and North Limestone (Lima).

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What I love most about Corto Lima is that I get to enjoy a lot of inspired dishes from my travels right here in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Their inspiration is well-curated and executed with utmost precision; many meals have been shared within their restaurant walls and many more are to come.

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This month, Corto Lima invited ten bloggers to a Winter White Brunch to sample a plethora of brunch favorites. I’ve had both lunch and dinner with them before; however, this was my first time sampling the brunch offerings. I left with mixed feelings — the food was impeccable, yet I was sad that I don’t have this as a regular brunch option in Louisville. It was fantastic, y’all.

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Before we get into the courses, there are many parties to thank: Corto Lima for the event space and the delicious food, Sarah of Space, Place, and Grace for the fabulous photography, Marie of Back Road Bluegrass for her assistance in orchestration, The Big Event Photos for the iconic photo booth experience, and Miss Make It All for the custom KY decals. Y’all sure do know how to make a boy feel special!

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Now — the food!

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We started with guacamole, queso, and the salsa trio — need I say more?

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Next was the Mango Con Chili, a sentimental dish for me. It’s a classic treat in México and took me back to living in downtown Mérida with my host mamá, Ligia. I enjoyed many bowls of this with her in the morning, cherishing new family,  and enjoying the beautiful sunshine. Special, special memories — and I thank Corto Lima for transporting me back to that time.

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Next? One of my favorites — the Huitlacoche Egg Quesadilla. An edible corn fungus, this is one of my favorite delicacies! It’s a must-try on your next visit.

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I’ve never met a burrito that I didn’t spiritually bond with; this one was no exception. The portion that you are seeing is one-third of the typical serving size (yes, you read that correctly). Thus, come hungry, y’all!

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Arepas were the feature of the next course, which happened to be one of my favorites. Most commonly made from ground maize dough, arepas are a staple in both Colombian and Venezuelan cuisine (with other prominent features in el mundo hispanohablante). Having just traveled to Colombia, this teleported me right back to the streets of Cartagena!

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Okay, y’all. It’s time to get serious. This is the Roasted Banana Dulce de Leche French Toast. Dulce de leche stems from heating sweetened milk, inducing a Maillard reaction. The result? Culinary gold for a sweets aficionado! The addition of the banana French toast made this a two thumbs up dish for me.

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Why have one dessert when you can have two? Welcome to the stage — hibiscus ice cream + a delectable churro. It’s as good as it looks, which is all I need to say.

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Scratch that. Why have just one or two desserts? Pffft! Three desserts it is! Tres Leches is one of my favorite menu offerings from Corto Lima. El Pastel de Tres Leches is a Latin American classic, featuring sponge cake soaked in three variations of milk. If a recipe involves heavy cream, evaporated milk, and condensed milk — I’m here for it… with bells on, as I grew up saying.

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Again, a special thank you to Corto Lima for the food, Sarah of Space, Place, and Grace for the stunning photos, Marie of Back Road Bluegrass for her orchestration, The Big Event Photos for the photo booth experience, and Miss Make It All for the custom KY decals.

Be sure to check out each of these Kentuckians; better yet, start planning your next visit to Corto Lima in Lexington, KY (101 W. Short St)!

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

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

My best,

JC

FTC: I was not compensated for this post; all opinions are my own.

 

Simple Truth Lemon Shrimp

Hey, y’all!

I hope that your New Year is off to a great start. January 1st marks a change in the lives of many, myself included. I promote food positivity, not diet culture; that’s why I am so tickled to be partnering with Kroger on their Simple Truth line.Processed with Focos Processed with VSCO with e6 presetKroger simply wants to help people live their best lives in 2019; with so many diet fads focusing on what you should eat less of, Kroger is focusing on the items to eat more of. That’s a mission that I can get behind!

In your local community, Kroger is your one-stop shop for quality, healthy food. When shopping, look for the Simple Truth label. Located all throughout the store, Simple Truth foods are free from 101+ artificial preservatives and ingredients! Thus, there is no worry as to how the food was raised, processed, and/or acquired. That, to me, means everything.

For today’s recipe, I decided to work with the Simple Truth Raw Shrimp (both peeled and deveined). Shrimp is, simply put, my favorite meat. It’s versatile and flexible – two qualities that I very much appreciate in food.Processed with Focos Processed with VSCO with e3 preset

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Processed with Focos Processed with VSCO with e6 presetI developed an easy, foolproof shrimp recipe that can be used in a multitude of ways. Eat them as described and simply dip them in cocktail sauce; if that doesn’t tickle your fancy, use them in salad, tacos, pasta, or soup! How easy is that?

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Lemon Shrimp

Ingredients:

1 Bag Simple Truth Raw Shrimp, Peeled & Deveined

3 lemons, juiced

1 tsp. lemon zest

¼ c. olive oil

1 tsp. Italian Seasoning

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. chopped parsley

Salt, to taste

Directions:

  1. Follow instructions, as provided, for the shrimp.
  2. In a large bowl, combine lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, Italian Seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt; mix well.
  3. Add shrimp to the marinade, stir well, and cover with cling wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. Over medium-high heat, add shrimp and marinade into a large skillet. Preparation time depends on size, though typically is around 2 minutes per side (4 minutes total). Shrimp, when done, are pink and have an opaque, white flesh.
  5. Garnish with finely chopped parsley and serve!

I believe that there is power in food. It sustains us, and most importantly, it brings us together. That’s my culinary truth – and the Simple Truth line at Kroger is perpetuating that notion. For that, I thank them.

Also, be sure to check out the Simple Truth Digital Coupon Event on the Kroger app – there are so many savings to be had! The event ends on February 5th, 2019.

Tell me – what’s your favorite way to eat shrimp? I think I’m going to use these in a salad for lunch and inside a burrito for dinner. Yum!

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, all opinions are my own.

 

 

Iconic HopCat Fries Rebranded

Hey, y’all!

If you are from Kentucky, you are likely familiar with HopCat; there are locations in both Lexington and Louisville.

The Louisville location is in the Highlands at 1064 Bardstown Rd.

Their mission is a fun one: to be the best damn beer bar on the planet. They define great beer as as product that is made with both care and pride. If you are a beer aficionado in Louisville, you should check out their selection – I am confident that you will find both a beloved and a new favorite on the menu. They have 100 on tap!

However, HopCat is known for more than just their beer. If you are a foodie like me, you probably have dreams about their fries (fries before guys, am I right?). Beer-battered with amazing cracked pepper seasoning — they are downright addictive.

img_5835_facetune_14-01-2019-12-11-45Originally named “Crack Fries” due to their addictive nature, HopCat took it upon themselves to rebrand their iconic menu offering because they feel that the ever-growing drug problem is no joking matter — and it isn’t.

I very much appreciate their initiative and their desire to change how we frame and discuss drug culture. It takes a lot for a company, brand, or restaurant to redo something that they’ve done so well for years – however, at times, it is necessary to do so in good conscience.

Released today, they are proud to bring “Cosmik Fries” to all of their 17 area locations. The name Cosmik comes from the song “Cosmik Debris” by Frank Zappa, an anti-drug anthem.

Be sure to visit your local HopCat to celebrate the rebrand; if you are in the Louisville area, visit my Instagram before Friday and enter the giveaway I’m hosting for a $50 gift card!

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, all opinions are my own.

Jeptha Creed Southern Fried Green Tomatoes with Vodka Aioli

Hey, y’all!

How’s your week going? I finally feel like I am starting to get into a routine again, Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise. I’m so thankful!

I was recently featured in a cookbook released here in Kentucky – Jeptha Creed: Kitchen Collection. A special thank you to my friends at Jeptha Creed for partnering with me for this book! I am honored to be a small part of their efforts – a kickass, woman-owned business here in the Commonwealth. They are movers + shakers!

c66cfd4d-4f31-4b4e-9594-f481a2a18e7fToday, I’m sharing my recipe for Jeptha Creed Southern Fried Green Tomatoes + Vodka Aioli with y’all. They are finger lickin’ good!

Processed with Focos Processed with VSCO with e3 presetFried Green Tomatoes are sentimental for me; they remind me of the farm, of growing up in the country, of meals at home in Russell County. They are reminiscent of my childhood; and for that reason, they will forever be one of my favorite foods.

For the breading, I used Jeptha Creed’s Bloody Butcher Corn Meal, which is a product of their Shelby County-grown Bloody Butcher Corn. I also infused the aioli dipping sauce with their Hot Pepper Vodka, which amps it up like we enjoy doing here in the Bluegrass State!

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Jeptha Creed Southern Fried Green Tomatoes & Vodka Aioli

Ingredients

Tomatoes:

  • Green Tomatoes, sliced
  • 1.5 c. Jeptha Creed Bloody Butcher Cornmeal
  • 1.5 c. all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tbsp. water
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Sugar, to taste

Vodka Aioli:

  • 1/2 c. mayonnaise
  • 1/4 c. ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • Jeptha Creed Hot Pepper Vodka to taste, starting with 1 tbsp.

Directions:

Tomatoes:

  1. After slicing tomatoes, heavily salt and pepper both sides. After that, sprinkle a little sugar on either side to both cut bitterness and amplify the natural flavor of the green tomatoes. Allow tomatoes to rest on a baking pan lined with parchment paper for a few minutes.
  2. In three separate bowls, set up a dipping station. From left to right and in order of use: all-purpose flour, the eggs whisked with the water, Jeptha Creed Bloody Butcher Cornmeal.
  3. Cover each tomato slice with all-purpose flour, fully coat in the egg + water mixture, and coat liberally with Jeptha Creed Bloody Butcher Cornmeal. Repeat for each slice.
  4. Fry in olive oil.

Sauce:

  1. Stir together all ingredients, minus the Jeptha Creed Hot Pepper Vodka.
  2. Starting with 1 tbsp, add in the vodka to taste.
  3. Refrigerate until serving.

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

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

Best,

JC

FTC: This is a sponsored post; all opinions, however, are my own.

The Cynthiana, Kentucky Experience

Hey, y’all!

I am so excited to bring the next installment of my guides to the Commonwealth of Kentucky to you today!

I recently had the privilege of spending two nights with my friends at Cynthiana Tourism. While I was familiar with Harrison County on a surface level, I was honored to have the chance to get to know the community through the eyes of the locals.

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Home to many notable Kentuckians — such as Joe B. Hall, a famed University of Kentucky Men’s Basketball Coach, and Robert Kirkman, co-creator of the Walking Dead — Cynthiana has permanently placed itself on the radar of all Kentuckians. Upon visiting, you will find that the community has every ounce of small town Kentucky charm that one would imagine it would. Maybe even more, y’all.

I arrived to Cynthiana on Sunday evening. Luckily, my Grandmother Jude and I had the privilege of staying at the Ashford Acres Inn. There’s more information coming soon on Ashford Acres (watch out for that post!); however, I’ll say this — it is a first-rate experience. The setting, charm, details, and food were all spectacular. It was my first time staying at a true bed and breakfast; to say that it was a treat would be a hyperbolic understatement.

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You can visit Ashford Acres Inn at 1801 KY-36, Cynthiana, KY 41031.

The Trip, Day 1: 

Upon waking up on Monday morning, my nose was immediately greeted by glorious smells coming from the kitchen. The meal started with scones and fresh-squeezed orange juice – what a treat (one that you don’t see often enough in Kentucky)! Upon finishing the first installment, the chef at Ashford Acres Inn bought out a dreamy plate of chicken and waffles. A southern classic, it is one of my favorites. However, this was an elevated take on the dish. The chicken was prepared via a three-day process – and it was smack your MeeMaw good. The waffles were herb-infused, which was a first for me. It took a simple, often bland food into a new realm of flavor. Two thumbs up!

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After breakfast, I led a two-hour, intensive Social Media course at the Harrison County Extension Office. This class was brought to the county in collaboration with the Harrison County Tourism Commission and the Harrison County Chamber of Commerce. Seeing each seat filled warmed my heart; attendees were, by and large, business owners in town  — I can’t wait to see what all they will do with their social media presence!

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Post-teaching, I had worked up quite an appetite! Enter: Leono’s. This is your classic local, at-home pizza joint from first glance; however the product that is produced is much, much better. Known for their pan crust pizza, diners having been patronizing this institution for years — and for good reason.

Crispy, nearly fried on the bottom; thick and soft in the middle — that’s what makes pan-crust pizza so special.

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You can visit Leono’s at 253 S Church St., Cynthiana, KY 41031.

Directly after leaving Leono’s, I did a portion of the Historic Church Tour. Cynthiana is proud of their religious history – and for good reason. Their churches are stunning and have so much history! From the tour, I learned a lot about architecture from parishioners; furthermore, the churches were especially beautiful this time of year, since they were decorated for Christmas.

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The Methodist Church is located at 302 E. Pike St., Cynthiana, KY 41031.

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The Cynthiana Christian Church is located at 202 N. Main St., Cynthiana, KY 41031.

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The Episcopal Church (my favorite stop – I’m Episcopalian!) is located at 118 N. Walnut St., Cynthiana, KY 41031.

Next was the Cynthiana Museum. An overarching theme of this trip is the devotion that locals have towards Harrison County. That, to me, is what makes small towns so very special. Inside the doors of the museum, visitors are able to see almost 3,000 community artifacts! This includes items from Cynthiana’s religious, educational, and agricultural history. There are also rooms dedicated to childhood in Cynthiana, daily life, local industries, and more. This is an awesome resource for Harrison County!

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The museum can be visited at 124 S Walnut St., Cynthiana, KY 41031.

My final tour stop of the day was the Rohs Opera House – a stop that I was very much looking forward to! Originally built in 1871 as Aeolian Hall, the modern day Rohs Opera House is a weekend theatre + performance venue for shows from the Rohs Theatre Company. However, the best part? It’s haunted! Having been featured on many “Most Haunted” lists, ghost hunting enthusiasts come from all over to experience the paranormal activity inside the doors of Rohs.

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You can visit Rohs Opera House at 133 E Pike St., Cynthiana, KY 41031.

After a long day of touring, I had to visit my friends at Maiden City Brewing for a beer (or two!). Brewed in Downtown Cynthiana, Maiden City Brewing is a newer addition to the local scene, yet a very special one. Established in 2016, this is the craft beer destination for all beer aficionados. Do not miss it!

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You can visit Maiden City Brewing at 123 E. Pike St., Cynthiana, KY 41031.

Dinner was at Biancke’s, arguably the most known restaurant in the county. Serving up family-style meals for over a decade, Biancke’s is one of Cynthiana’s most beloved, historic businesses. Established in 1894 by Italian immigrants, this is the spot to go to if you want to interact with locals. And, trust me on this – get the fried green tomatoes and a pie topped with their famous meringue!

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Biancke’s is located at 102 S. Main St., Cynthiana, KY 41031.

The Trip, Day 2: 

Breakfast was, once again, held at Ashford Acres Inn. The chef had mentioned the day before that he was going to be pulling out some tricks to make the meal extra special, since it was my last there. What he brought out exceeded any form of preconceived notion that I had. In all honesty, it’s one of the best breakfasts that I have ever had in my life.

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Jude and I started with an open-face omelette with foie gras and truffles. It was as decadent, luxurious, and rich as it sounds – I assure you. A showstopper!

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Next was Eggs Benedict – but, with a twist. Instead of the traditional bacon or ham, the chef used Alaskan King Crab meat. It was gorgeous and finger-lickin’ good, y’all.

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Post-breakfast, my social media tour continued at WCYN. I spent thirty minuets on air with the mayor talking about my class, all things JCP Eats, Kentucky culture, and more. It was my first time doing a live radio show and it was a blast!

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To fuel up for the rest of the day, I then visited the Main Cup. A new coffee shop in town, it has a fantastic mission tied to the neighboring Presbyterian Church. Previously used as their parsonage, I love what they did to the building. It’s quirky, yet cozy – and they are serving up some delicious coffee and treats.

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Be sure to check out the Main Cup at 105 N. Main St., Cynthiana, Kentucky 4103.

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Though it was chilly, I quickly headed off to the Quiet Trails State Nature Preserve. Quiet Trails is a 165 acre area of ridges and ravines – and it’s absolutely stunning. Full of birds, trees, and wildlife, one can truly experience the fauna and flora of the Commonwealth of Kentucky here. For nature enthusiasts, this is a must-see!

Directions:

From Cynthiana, take U.S. 27 north approximately 10 miles. Turn right onto KY 1284, which leads into Sunrise. Continue on Pugh’s Ferry Road after crossing the four-way intersection. The preserve is located on the right, 1.8 miles from the intersection.

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After a morning in nature, I decided to spend the afternoon shopping. The thing that impressed me most with Cynthiana was the robust downtown scene they have. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — there’s nothing like a small town downtown; Cynthiana executes this with high precision. Full of eateries and boutiques, it’s easy to spend an entire afternoon visiting all of the stores.

I used this opportunity to do a lot of my Christmas shopping. This holiday season, do not forget to shop local, y’all. It’s so important!

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Abstract Distractions, 129 E. Pike St., Cynthiana, KY 41031. (Love my new copper bracelet, y’all!)

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Inspired Designs, 134 E. Pike St., Cynthiana, KY 41031.

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Emerson Steel Boutique, 135 E. Pike St., Cynthiana, KY 41031.

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Molly B’s Boutique, 208 E. Pike St., Cynthiana, KY 41031.

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I love to gift Candleberry candles during the holiday (Hot Maple Toddy is my favorite); furthermore, local honey makes a great holiday hostess gift!

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Flower Depot, 208 S. Main St, Cynthiana, KY 41031.

Last, but certainly not least, I had to finish my time in Cynthiana with the Mural Tour. They are plentiful around town, though some of the highlights include the Joe B. Hall Mural, the Mural of Distillery History, and, of course, the Walking Dead Mural.

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These are fantastic photo opportunities to commemorate your trip to Harrison County, y’all.

I cannot thank my friends at Cynthiana Tourism enough for a fabulous trip. If you haven’t been to Cynthiana, or if you aren’t currently planning you’re next trip there, what are you waiting for? Adventure awaits!

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, however, are my own.

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CRÚ Food and Wine Bar

Hey, y’all!

Long time, no chat. I spent last week in New York City getting in the holiday spirit! I’ll be heading to Central and South America at the end of the week, so I needed some cooler temps + Christmas cheer in my system before I leave!

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Since I will be gone many of the days leading up to Christmas, shopping for everyone on my ever-growing list has been stressing me out. Luckily, I had the opportunity to go to The Summit at Fritz Farm this week – in a matter of a couple of hours, I was loaded down with amazing gifts! What a relief, y’all.

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What is The Summit at Fritz Farm?

The Summit at Fritz Farm is a $156 million mixed-use development at the crossroads of Nicholasville Road and Man O’ War Boulevard. From amazing dining, to shopping, to living – this is the place to be in Lexington, KY!

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The iconic part of shopping at The Summit at Fritz Farm is that it is a one-stop destination. They have it all!

After shopping, Jude and I had worked up a mean appetite; we decided to check out CRÚ Food and Wine Bar for the first time.

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I left questioning myself.

Why?

I had to know — how on Earth was this my first time at CRÚ? It was delicious! Jude and I both gave it two thumbs up.

Now — the food!

I must say, first and foremost, that I was very impressed by the wine selection at CRÚ; to say that they stood up to their reputation would be an understatement. Overwhelmed by the many pours I wanted to try, I opted for a flight (or two!). This was the perfect way to sample six of the wines. Apart from gorgeous table-side presentation, they were simply divine! I found several new favorites that I cannot wait to serve at dinner parties.

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We started with the cheese fondue. Fontina + Truffle Tartufo + Apple + Pear + Herb Flatbread + Brussels Sprouts + Haricot Verts.

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It was then time for Steamed Prince Edward Mussels (lemongrass + white wine + tomatoes + basil).

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Next were the Lobster + Shrimp Potstickers (roasted Fresno chiles + spicy lemon sauce).

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No night at CRÚ is complete without chocolate fondue. Be still, my heart.

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The next time you are in Lexington, be sure to head over to The Summit at Fritz Farm and visit my friends at CRÚ – 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 sponsored post; however, all opinions are my own.

 

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