Archive for October, 2008

Cindy McCain’s cookie recipe

A cookie recipe just might predict the winner of Tuesday’s Presidential election.

Family Circle readers have a 100 percent track record in predicting the winner of the White House, based on whose wife has the most popular recipe.
In 2000, Laura Bush’s cowboy ­cookies were judged tastier than ­Tipper Gore’s ginger snaps, and her oatmeal-chocolate chunk cookies beat out Teresa Heinz Kerry’s four years later.
This year Cindy McCain’s oatmeal-butterscotch ­cookies beat out Michelle Obama’s shortbread cookies. Here’s the winning recipe that appears in the ­magazine’s ­November issue.

Cindy McCain’s oatmeal-butterscotch cookies
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups rolled oats
1 2/3 cups butterscotch chips
Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, beat the butter or margarine, granulated sugar and brown sugar together. Add the eggs and vanilla, beating well. In a medium-size bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture; stir until blended. Stir in oats and butterscotch chips. Drop by tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Makes 5 1/2 dozen.

Secret to Phil’s great B-B-Q ribs is the technique

Phil Kearns

Phil Kearns also makes great chicken wings.

A number of chain restaurants are known for their ribs, but they’re nothing compared to ribs fresh off the grill at a friend’s house.

We get together often with our friends, Barry and Annette Boggs, Sam and Orpah Hicks, and Kim and Phil Kearns and for the past year, the menu has been Phil’s ribs. No matter who hosts the gathering, Phil cooks the ribs.

A couple of years ago when we were doing a weekly Bible Study, we took turns preparing the entree. When it was my turn, I tried serving new recipes and always got compliments, but there were often a lot of leftovers. Hmmm. I finally got the message. Meat and potatoes and nothing fancy!

So now we just let Phil do the cooking. There are no secrets to Phil’s ribs, he says, but no one else can cook ribs like Phil.

He came up with the recipe by “trial and error.”

Phil’s ribs

He starts the process the night before. Place the ribs in single layer in a metal pan. Do not use glass. Pour ginger ale over the ribs and cover with aluminum foil. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Place ribs in the oven and cook for 2 1/2 hours.

Phil cooks the ribs from 8 to 10:30 p.m. and then turns off the oven and leaves the ribs in the oven overnight. The next morning around 7, Phil removes the pan from the oven and drains off the ginger ale. If you’ve made two or more pans of ribs, you can now stack them into one pan, wrap tightly with foil and place in the refrigerator. When ready to grill, prepare grill for medium to low heat. Place ribs, rib side down, on the grill. Brush top with barbecue sauce. After 5 minutes, turn them over (Very carefully.) and brush with barbecue sauce. Let cook another 5 minutes and flip back over (Very carefully.) and brush with more barbecue sauce. Let cook another few minutes and remove from the grill. Total cooking time is 15 to 20 minutes.

Phil’s barbecue sauce begins with a bottled sauce and he adds a few secret ingredients. A little of this and a little of that makes for a mighty good sauce.

Pirate’s gold coins candy not safe

Candy coins recalled

Candy coins recalled

Be sure and check your children’s candy bags this Halloween for Sherwood’s milk chocolate pirate’s gold coins. They are made in China and contain melamine and are not safe to eat.
Check it out at

Serve Jack-O-Lantern pizza on Halloween

You probably won’t have time to cook dinner Friday night before the trick-or-treaters arrive at your door. So, stop at Papa Murphy’s Take ‘N’ Bake Pizza for the Jack-O-Lantern pizza. It’s made with freshly-grated cheese and premium pepperoni arranged to resemble a Jack-O-Lantern. It takes 12 to 18 minutes to bake in your home oven.
Trade publication Restaurants & Institution’s magazine named Papa Murphy’s Take ‘n’ Bake Pizza the best value in its annual Consumers’ Choice in Chains survey. Papa Murphy’s was honored for the sixth time as “Best Pizza Chain in America,” but in this survey consumers ranked the company “best value” over any of the other 200 chains in the survey.
Central Kentucky locations are at 123 Town Center Drive, (859) 233-0111; 2348 Nicholasville Road, (859) 245-0005; 110 Blueberry Lane Nicholasville,(859) 887-2254, and 101 Magnolia Drive Georgetown, (502) 863-9889. Go to

Lillian Robinson saves her best recipes

New cookbooks arrive weekly, but the one that arrived this morning probably has the best recipes of all.
It’s from Lillian Robinson of Mt. Sterling who is 88 years old and is a secretary and bookkeeper for Community and Adult Education at the Montgomery County Board of Education. It’s called Lolly’s Tried and Tested Recipes that she compiled in 2000.

Here are two recipes from her photo-copied booklet.

Applesauce-cranberry bread
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup oil
1 cup applesauce
1 cup cranberry sauce

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Spoon batter into two greased loaf pans. Bake at 325-degrees for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the loaf.

Bishop’s chicken

16 chicken pieces
1 package Lipton onion soup mix
1 jar Russian dressing
1 large jar apricot preserves

Place chicken pieces in a 11- by 13-inch baking pan. In a medium bowl combine onion soup mix, Russian dressing, preserves and pour over the chicken. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn chicken once while cooking.

Bacon-flavored bourbon?

A few weeks ago, Herald-Leader designer Brian Simms introduced the newsroom to chocolate-covered bacon. He was inspired by a Food Network show and made a batch to share with his co-workers.
It appears chocolate-dipped bacon is a tremendous hit around the country and now the latest bacon craze is to make bourbon taste like bacon.
A post on Fine Cooking’s web site,, editor Allison Ehri Kreitler posted a blog about infusing Maker’s Mark with the flavor of smoky bacon.
Here’s how Kreitler developed her bacon infusion: “After a few tries I found that 1 3/4 cups Maker’s Mark and the fat from 12 ounces Niman Ranch bacon (about 1/2 cup) gave me the smoky, meaty flavor I was looking for.” Slowly cook the bacon so you don’t burn the fat. Eat all the bacon and let the fat cool just a little (so it doesn’t boil the booze out of the bourbon). Pour the fat into the room-temperature bourbon and let sit, stirring occasionally at first, until the fat solidifies, then refrigerate for two days. Remove the fat layer and strain the bourbon. “Keep refrigerated; I found that the bourbon changes flavor as it sits, so you’ll want to use it fairly quickly.”
Here’s how Brian made chocolate-covered bacon.

1 pound thickly sliced slab bacon
1/2 pound milk chocolate

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place bacon on a cookie sheet and bake until crisp, about 25 minutes. Melt chocolate in double boiler over low heat. Dip crisp bacon in chocolate and place back on sheet tray. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until ready to serve.

Halloween parties for dogs, kids, and adults

Central Kentucky restaurants and a bakery are gearing up for Halloween.

■ The Oct. 31 ­celebration at Buddy’s Bar and Grill is for the entire family. Dogs dressed in costumes will receive doggie treats from 6 to 7 p.m., and the kids’ party is 7 to 8 p.m. ­After 9 p.m., Lucille’s Lounge will have ­music in the bar and Halloween drink specials. Buddy’s is at 854 East High Street. Call (859) 335-1283 or go to

■ Tinker’s Cake Shop is offering ­pumpkin-shaped cookies and cakes, and spooky cupcakes for Halloween. Fall specials also include pumpkin cheesecake and butter pecan coffee cake. The deadline for orders is Tuesday. Call (859) 224-0639. Tinker’s is in The Paddock Shoppes, 109 Springdale Drive, Nicholasville.

■ DeSha’s Restaurant and Stone Castle Magic will present the Kentucky Magic ­Dinner Theatre on Friday and Saturday in the Victorian Room at deSha’s. Magician John Shore will perform a magic show during a three-course dinner featuring prime rib and grilled sugar-spiced salmon. Dessert will be a choice of Derby Pie or deSha’s bourbon bread ­pudding.

Seating begins at 6 p.m. with the show starting at 6:30. Tickets are $37.50 and are available at the Downtown Arts Center, (859) 225-0370 or DeSha’s is in Victorian Square at Main and Broadway. Parking is available in the ­Victorian Square garage.

Bombay Brazier fired up for lunch

The Indian restaurant Bombay Brazier, 102 West High Street, now is open for lunch. Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call (859) 389-7107.

Among the newest and the best

Corbett’s An American Place in ­Louisville is included in Esquire magazine’s best new restaurants roundup in the ­November ­issue. Esquire writer John Mariani praises chef/owner Dean Corbett for the ­stylish ­restoration of the 150-year-old Von ­Allman mansion, and chef de cuisine Chris ­Howerton’s balance of locally informed and international flavor. An American Place is at 5050 Norton Healthcare Boulevard in Old Brownsboro Crossing. Call (502) 327-5058 or visit

For a good time platter, call O’Charley’s

If you’re planning a tailgate party, ­business meeting, holiday office party or family gathering, take a look at O’Charley’s good time platters.

The menu selections offer servings for six to 10 people and include appetizers, salads, sandwiches and whole pies. Each order includes plates, forks, napkins, sauces and O’Charley’s soft rolls.

Included are: dip sampler, $24.99; chicken O’tenders combo platter, $39.99; appetizer combo, $39.99; prime rib pasta, $49.99; baby back ribs, $59.99; chicken salad, $36.99; and club sandwiches, $26.99. Key lime pie and caramel pie are $14.99.

O’Charley’s restaurants are at 2270 ­Nicholasville Road, (859) 278-4164, and 2895 Richmond Road, (859) 266-8640.

Farmers market report

Bluegrass Farmers Market will have ­tomatoes, winter squash, sweet ­potatoes, eggplant, dried peppers and zinnia wreaths. The market is open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. ­Saturday and 3 to 6 p.m. Tuesday on ­Richmond Road, in the parking lot of Pedal the Planet and FastSigns.

Tips for saving money at the meat case

It’s tough going to the grocery store these days.
We’re comparing prices to make sure we’re getting the best nutritional value for our dollars, but according to a recent Kentucky Beef Council consumer study, many of us aren’t sure of the best approach.

Here are some tips for making good choices at the meat counter from Alison Smith, director of consumer affairs at the Kentucky Beef Council.

• Evaluate purchases based on the cost per serving – not just the price per pound.
The amount of beef to buy varies with the cut selected. Cooked yields per pound are
related to the amount of bone, fat trim and cooking method.
• Match the cut with the cooking method. Matching the beef cut to the appropriate
cooking method is the key to moist, tender, flavorful beef. For instance, less-tender steak
cuts from the chuck, round, plate and flank (shoulder steak, eye round steak, top round
steak, skirt steak, flank steak) are more affordable, but all require a tenderizing marinade
before cooking using the grill, broiler or stove top.
• Plan ahead to cook once and dine twice. Preparing a little extra ahead of time is an
easy way to create beef dishes that are ready to serve without breaking the bank. A
grilled steak tonight easily becomes a key ingredient for tomorrow’s protein-packed
salad. Or crumble leftover cooked burgers into chili, pizza or pasta dishes for the next day.
• Explore the versatility of ground beef. A perfect option for many recipe favorites is 95
percent lean ground beef, a convenient and economical way to add protein to a family
• Buy in bulk to realize cost savings. Instead of buying pre-cut meat for kabobs, stew and
stir-fry, save money by buying steaks or roasts and cutting into meat cubes or strips.
Another approach is to purchase boneless roasts to cut into steaks. Your local butcher
may be happy to slice them for you without added cost. Plan ahead and freeze cut beef
for 6 to 12 months.

This recipe for classic beef pot roast with root vegetables utilizes the affordable chuck shoulder pot roast. Use leftovers to make shredded beef sandwiches the next day.

Classic beef pot roast with root vegetables

1 boneless beef chuck shoulder, arm or
blade pot roast (2-1/2 to 3 pounds)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 can (14 to 14-1/2 ounces) beef broth
1 pound small red-skinned potatoes
(about 1-1/2-inch diameter), cut in half
1 pound carrots, peeled, cut diagonally
into 1-1/2-inch pieces
1 large onion, cut into 8 wedges
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour dissolved
in 1/4 cup cold water
Chopped fresh parsley (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves, crushed

Combine seasoning ingredients; press evenly onto all surfaces of beef pot roast.
Heat oil in stockpot over medium heat until hot. Place pot roast in stockpot;
brown evenly. Pour off drippings. Season with salt and pepper.
Add broth to stockpot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover tightly and simmer 2-
1/4 hours. Add potatoes, carrots and onion to stockpot; bring to a boil. Reduce
heat; continue simmering, covered, 25 to 30 minutes or until pot roast and
vegetables are fork-tender. Stir in peas; simmer 5 minutes.
Remove pot roast and vegetables; keep warm. Skim fat from cooking liquid, if
necessary. Measure 1-1/2 cups cooking liquid and return to stockpot; stir in flour
mixture. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes or until
Carve pot roast into thin slices; serve with vegetables and gravy. Garnish with
parsley, if desired. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Cook’s Tip: Beef bottom round or beef round rump roast may be substituted for shoulder,
arm or blade pot roast. Simmer 2-1/2 hours before adding vegetables.

Cook’s Tip: Recipe can be prepared in a 4-1/2 to 5-1/2 quart slow cooker. Brown meat in a skillet before placing in slow cooker. Increase garlic to 3 cloves and dried thyme leaves to 1 tablespoon. Place potatoes, carrots and onions in slow cooker; top with pot roast. Add broth. Cover and cook on LOW 8 to 9 hours or on HIGH 5 to 6
hours until beef is fork tender. Add peas; cook 5 minutes. Remove pot roast and
vegetables; proceed to make gravy in stockpot or small saucepan as directed in above recipe.

Nutrition information per serving (1/6 of recipe): 335 calories; 10 g. fat, 75 mg. cholesterol; 633 mg. sodium; 27 g. carbohydrate; 4.2 g. fiber; 32 g.protein.

Planned-over idea
Shredded beef sandwich: Shred remaining pot roast and chop remaining vegetables.
Spread Dijon-style mustard on tops and bottoms of sandwich rolls. Top roll bottoms with
lettuce leaves, beef and vegetables; close sandwiches.

Jessica Simpson’s recipe a hit

I spoke to a group of mothers on Thursday at Camargo Elementary in Montgomery County and they were talking about one of their favorite recipes for chicken and dumplings. They laughed and said, “It’s a Jessica Simpson recipe,” and explained that it was a recipe Jessica made on Rachael Ray’s daytime talk show.
The women said their families loved this recipe.

Jessica Simpson’s chicken and dumplings
3 rolls of reduced-fat croissant rolls, divided
1 small rotisserie chicken, skin discarded and meat removed from bones
1 can of low-sodium, reduced-fat cream of chicken soup
1 can of low-sodium, reduced fat cream of mushroom soup
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
Salt and ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out the cans of croissant sheets and separate into diamond shaped sections. Place a small handful of rotisserie chicken on each diamond, fold dough over and press ends together to create dumplings. Cut up any excess dough into strips.

Line a 9×13″ baking dish with one layer of dumplings. Pour the can of cream of chicken soup over the layer of dumplings, followed by the can of cream of mushroom soup, and chicken broth. Place strips in a crisscross pattern on the top of the dumplings and soup mixture, season dish with salt and ground black pepper and bake until the dumplings are tender and cooked through and the top is bubbly and brown, about 30 minutes.

via The Insider

Get your truffles at Lexington Farmers’ Market

Elaine Shay of Lexington and Marianne Swintosky of ­Georgetown have a new artisan food company, Viburnum ­Valley Farm Confections, and they are making chocolate truffles and European-style pastries. “We are combining traditional European truffle-making with ­local farm products,” Shay said.

Truffles are made with Susan Miller’s Bluegrass Chevre and Jamieson’s Chocolate.

Swintosky has been making truffles and pastries for friends, family and co-workers for years. She was born and raised in ­Germany. When she came to the United States, she missed the truffles she could buy in Europe, so she started making her own, Shay said.

The women will have raspberry truffles at the Bluegrass Chevre booth at the Lexington Farmers Market on Saturday. Call (859) 312-1157 or go to

Former restaurateur is at home at home

Jennifer Burchett, former owner of Café Jennifer at The Woodlands, is ­talking about cooking at home instead of at a restaurant on her blog,

Burchett, a restaurateur for 10 years, said on her blog that she’s “thrilled to be at home with my family and to explore the joy waiting around every corner. I firmly believe that respect for what goes into our bodies, as well as respect for the art of preparing our meals, enriches our lives considerably.” She shares inspirations, ideas and a few recipes.

A beer for every course

The chefs at Azur are pairing food and beer at their October chef series dinner. Sous chef Justin Clark will feature five courses and five specialty beer pairings in his “Side by Side 5” dinner. The Oktoberfest tribute, at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 28, includes five beers selected from three countries. The cost is $55. The menu features yellowtail sashimi, butternut squash and caramel flan, ballotine of duck, char- grilled elk, and beer float with vanilla ice cream and chocolate covered espresso beans.

Kentucky food and wine

Three Suns Bistro will have a Kentucky wine-tasting dinner at 6:30 p.m. ­Wednesday featuring Talon Vineyards. The menu includes country ham with silver-dollar biscuits, beef sirloin steak with vegetable burgoo, and fried apple pie a la mode with bourbon caramel. Cost is $40. Call (859) 245-0048 or go to The bistro is at 298 East Brannon Road in Brannon Crossing.

Three Suns’ original location, 501 North Main Street in Nicholasville, now is The Little Moon Bistro. The menu features hand-cut steaks, fresh seafood, chicken, pork and Italian dishes. Call (859) 881-8225.

After dinner, the show’s next door

Heirloom Restaurant and Thoroughbred Theatre in Midway are teaming up for ­dinner and a play.

On Oct. 30, a three-course dinner will be served at Heirloom at 6 p.m., then guests will walk next door to the theater for Racing Toward Murder at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $50.

The menu features choice of Caesar salad or potato-leek soup, and pan-seared salmon over roasted eggplant purée or chicken picatta over ricotta gnocchi. Dessert (choice of chocolate decadence, apple crisp, crème brûlée) will be served during intermission at the theatre. Call Heirloom at (859) 846-5565 or go to, or call the theater at (859) 494-2877cq or go to

The Ketch’s oyster catch

The Ketch Seafood Grill, 2012 Regency Road, is serving fresh oysters from the Gulf of Mexico and Chesapeake Bay. On Monday, you can get a dozen Gulf oysters for half price. Call (859) 277-5919 or go to


Corbett’s An American Place in Louisville is included in Esquire magazine’s best new restaurants roundup in the November issue. Esquire writer John Mariani praises chef/owner Dean Corbett for the stylish restoration of the 150-year-old Von Allman mansion, and chef de cuisine Chris Howerton’s balance of locally informed and international flavor. An American Place, 5050 Norton Healthcare Boulevard in Old Brownsboro Crossing. Call (502) 327-5058 or visit

Samples of bourbon and beer

Village Vineyard will be sampling ­bourbons, wines and beer from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday today. Dad’s Favorites cheese of Lexington will be ­available for tasting. The store is at 4379 Old ­Harrodsburg Road, behind Ramsey’s Diner. Call (859 552-8793.

Farmers market report

The growing season is winding down, and Bluegrass Farmers Market will be open until Oct. 28. At the market this week are grass-fed beef, peppers, apples, eggplant, green beans, pumpkins, squash, tomatoes, flowers and baked goods. The market is open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and 3 to 6 p.m. Tuesday on Richmond Road, in the parking lot of Pedal the Planet and FastSigns.

Next Page »