Archive for March, 2010

Sandra Lee’s Easter ideas will air on WTVQ Wednesday

Food Network star Sandra Lee will share ideas for making a semi-homemade Easter brunch on WTVQ-TV (Channel 36) on Wednesday, March 31. The show airs at 8 a.m.
The editor of Semi-Homemade magazine and the host of Food Network’s Sandra’s Money Saving Meals and Semi-Homemade Cooking, will viewers how to make savory bread pudding, maple sausage springtime quiche, and buttermilk cakes which blossom in minutes into a beautiful bouquet of cupcakes for an edible centerpiece.

Here are her instructions for making an edible Easter centerpiece.

Buttercup cakes

1 (16-ounce) box pound cake mix
11⁄4 cups whole buttermilk
2 large eggs
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (16-ounce) container classic white frosting
Yellow food coloring
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pans with white paper liners.
In a large bowl, combine cake mix, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla; beat at low speed with an electric mixer until combined. Increase speed to medium, and continue beating for 2 minutes. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups, filling about two-thirds full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks. In a medium bowl, place frosting; gradually tint with food coloring, stirring to achieve desired color of yellow. Pipe or spread frosting over cupcakes. Makes 24 cupcakes.

Buttercup bouquet

1 recipe unfrosted buttercup cupcakes (24 cupcakes)
1 (8-inch) Styrofoam® sphere
1 container to hold sphere
1 box round wooden picks
Green cupcake liners
Place sphere in desired container and secure as needed. Starting at the bottom of the exposed sphere, press 2 wooden picks halfway into Styrofoam®. Gently press unfrosted cupcake onto picks and continue around the top rim of the container.
Continue attaching remaining cupcakes up the sphere until the exposed area of the sphere is covered. You will have to adjust your spacing between cupcakes as you go. The bouquet pictured here used 24 cupcakes.
Pinch cupcake liners in the middle from the underside to form a cone-shape and tuck in between cupcakes to fill the empty spaces. If your cupcake liners are too tall, fold the pointed end to match the height of the cupcakes. Also, if liners fall away from sphere, press wooden picks through them to hold them in place. Finish by piping or spreading frosting over cupcakes.
Source: Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade magazine

Cookbook preserves endangered Kentucky recipes

Glenn “Buddy” Westbrook thinks there should be an endangered-species list for food. Like the gray bat or the red-cockaded woodpecker, boiling-water corn bread and dried apple pies just might become extinct.
Westbrook is dedicated to saving and preserving old-­fashioned, time-consuming recipes. He has written A ­Collection of Heirloom ­Kentucky & Southern ­Recipes, Featuring How ­Kentuckians Really Fry Chicken at Home. He hopes it will revive ­interest in and appreciation for treasured recipes.
Westbrook grew up in London, where home-cooked foods were prepared with great care from the rich tradition of Kentucky and Southern hospitality, he said.
While serving in the ­Korean War, Westbrook visited Paris and Provence, France; Monaco and the ­Riviera in Italy; and ­Würzburg in ­Bavaria, Germany.
“Food was literally a passport to friendship with people in each country,” Westbrook said.
Before retirement, ­Westbrook designed ­kitchens for homes, horse farms, schools, hospitals and Kentucky resort parks. His sampler cookbook is ­available for $9.99 at Printed ­copies also are available online.

Share a mid-week recipe

Often, preparing healthy mid-week dinners is a chore. We’re looking for recipes to help busy mothers make smart choices. If you would like to share recipes that work for you, post yours at Names will be entered in a drawing for a copy of my cookbook, Flavors of Kentucky, in its third printing.

A Favorite open house

My Favorite Things, 2721 Old Rosebud Road, near Garden Ridge in Hamburg, will have an open house ­Friday and Saturday. Barbara Harper-Bach will autograph copies of her newest cookbook, My Mother’s Kitchen: Five ­Generations of Mothers ­Cooking in Horse Country. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call (859) 264-0837.

Eat the chips, then turn bag into compost

If you’re a midnight snacker, you might have to take your SunChips outdoors to open them — or you’ll wake the entire household.
The 10½-ounce package of SunChips is designed to fully break down when placed in a hot, active ­compost bin or pile. Because it’s made with plant-based materials, it makes a loud crackling sound when you touch it. The ­manufacturer’s Web site,, explains how the ­package is made and ­includes tips for composting.

Lean, but with fiber

If your New Year’s diet is now the spring swimsuit diet, rejuvenate it with some new items from Lean ­Cuisine. The Spa Cuisine dishes contain five to six grams of dietary fiber in each serving.
The new entrees are apple cranberry chicken (grilled chicken in an apple reduction with cranberries, French cut green beans and whole wheat pilaf), with 6 grams of fiber; roasted ­honey chicken (roasted chicken in a sweet honey sauce with snap peas, ­yellow beans and whole wheat pilaf), with 5 grams fiber, and Thai-style noodles with chicken, green beans and carrots in a creamy chili peanut sauce, which has 5 grams of fiber. They sell for $3.59.

Wishful baking

If you bake a special Betty Crocker cake for Easter, you can help the Make-A-Wish Foundation grant wishes to children.
Betty Crocker’s ­Stirring Up Wishes Program is donating 10 cents to the foundation for every specially marked package bought through the end of May. Products include cake, frosting; muffin, cookie and brownie mixes; and select Warm Delights and ­Bisquick items. Go to
You can use a Betty Crocker yellow cake mix to make this Easter cake.

Easter basket cake

Easter basket cake

Easter basket cake

1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist yellow cake mix
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box
1 container Betty Crocker rich & creamy chocolate fudge frosting
1 cup shredded coconut
Green food color
Candy Easter eggs
Heat oven to 350 degrees (325 degrees for dark or non-stick pans). Make cake as directed on box for two 8-inch or 9-inch round pans. Let cool.
Place 1 cake layer, rounded side down, on ­serving plate. Spread with about 1⁄3 cup frosting. Top with second layer, rounded side up. Frost side of cake and spread a thin layer of ­frosting on top of cake. Make a basket-weave ­pattern in frosting on side of cake by drawing inch-long horizontal and vertical lines with tines of fork. Shake ­coconut and 3 or 4 drops food color in tightly covered jar until evenly tinted; sprinkle on top of cake. Place candy eggs on ­coconut. Store loosely covered.

Josie’s now open for breakfast

Josie’s Grab & Go now is simply Josie’s.
Owners Bobby and Jennifer Murray have turned the former gourmet carry-out store into a breakfast and lunch spot.
“We took out the cases and put in booths, tables and an old-fashioned counter,” Jennifer Murray said.
Eggs Benedict, quiches, and biscuits and gravy are served for breakfast, and the lunch menu features burgers, salads and soups.
“We still have one small ‘grab and go’ case which has Mamoo’s chicken salad, pimento cheese, ham dip, artichoke dip, and some sweets,” she said.
Hours are 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Josie’s is at 821 Chevy Chase Place. Call (859) 523-8328.

Whiskey battle at Portofino’s

It’s Kentucky bourbon versus Tennessee whiskey at The Great Barrel Debate on Tuesday at Portofino, 249 East Main Street. The event, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., features appetizers and a tasting of Woodford Reserve and Old Forester bourbons along with Gentleman Jack and Jack Daniel’s single-barrel whiskey. It’s $19.99 in advance, or $24.99 at the door. Call (859) 253-9300  or go to

Cheapside is a quarter-century old

Cheapside Bar and Grill, 131 Cheapside, is celebrating its 25th anniversary Saturday through Wednesday. The bar served its first drink and appetizer in 1985, just before the NCAA finals at Rupp Arena. The patio and bar open for the season Saturday. Call (859) 254-0046 or go to

Brain drained? Head to Holly Hill

Food for the brain is the theme for Holly Hill Inn’s March menu. Chef/owner Ouita Michel said it was inspired by her father, Dr. Raymond Papka.
“Dad retired last year after more than 40 years of research on the nervous system and 30 years of teaching medical students about the brain. Feeding our brains with stimulating and healthy food is my culinary salute to Dad,” Michel said.
The items on the menu are low in fat, high in fiber and rich in dark, leafy greens, omega-3 fatty acids, dark and richly colored fruits and vegetables, with plenty of seeds and nuts and vitamin C — all to help your brain.
Holly Hill is at 426 North Winter Street in Midway. Call (859) 846-4732 or go to

Time for the mobile smoker

Dave McCauley and his Big Blue Q mobile smoker are ready for the outdoor party season to begin. McCauley’s barbecue specialties include shaved pork loin, chopped pulled pork, smoked turkey breast, and grilled steaks. Call (859) 229-7927  or e-mail McCauley at

Julep Cup hosts vagabond weekend

The Julep Cup, 111 Woodland Avenue, is having a vagabond weekend on Friday and Saturday. Featured are pan-seared Atlantic salmon, beef tenderloin medallions in a wild mushroom red wine cream sauce, and marscapone and cherry blintzes with vanilla bean ice cream. Entertainment is Bob and Ben Lacy on Friday and Brice Farrar on Saturday. Call (859) 226-0300 or go to

Saturday night at Campbell’s

The Saturday night buffet at Campbell’s in Paris features fried chicken and shrimp Creole. Sides include fresh kale greens, roasted root vegetables, and a variety of salads. Cost is $15.95. On Friday nights, the all-you-can-eat catfish dinner is $14.95. Campbell’s is at 519 Main Street. Call (859) 987-5164.