Archive for the 'tidbits' Category

Cookbook will help pay for new stained glass windows

When a tornado destroyed much of West Liberty in March, it also demolished the stained glass windows at the United Methodist Church. As a result of the tornado, members of the Margaret Stacy Circle decided to update the cookbook, Stained Glass Treasures, they published in 1995. It featured photographs of the six stained glass windows, including the Good Shepherd window, which was judged to be the most beautiful and suitable stained glass church window in the rural south by Progressive Farmer magazine in 1957.
“So many people had wanted copies of the cookbook that we did back in 1995, but there were none,” Jonell Tobin said.
Proceeds from the sale of Stained Glass Memories will be used to purchase stained glass windows for the new church that will be built at the corner of Main and Prestonsburg streets.
The books are $15, plus $5 shipping and handling. Call (606) 743-4772 or order by mail by writing to The Margaret Stacy Circle, West Liberty United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 295, West Liberty, Ky. 41472.
Jim Embry of Lexington will represent the United States at the 2012 International Slow Food conference in Torino, Italy Oct. 25-29.
Embry will host informational meetings about his trip at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Natasha’s Bistro, 112 Esplanade, and at 7 p.m. Monday  at Good Foods Market & Café, 455 Southland Drive .
Every two years, Slow Food supporters from around the world come together for Terra Madre and Salone del Gusto to share innovative solutions and time-honored traditions for feeding the planet in a good, clean, and fair way. Embry will also serve as a U.S. delegate at the International Slow Food Congress, which will be held simultaneously. He will be accompanied by other local good food advocates: Mark Williams, Southeast regional governor of Slow Food USA, Maggie Galloway, co-leader of Slow Food Bluegrass, and Libby Allen, a member of Slow Food Bluegrass.
Embry is the founder and director of the Sustainable Communities Network, a non-profit organization in Lexington that inspires the community to bring about change to create sustainable cities.
Blue Grass Community Foundation has created an online information center that presents news about local food and healthy lifestyles in a user-friendly format. is a source for all things related to food, urban gardening, food preparation and storage, cooking, entrepreneurship, and healthy living.
Food Works is a valuable asset especially for those who live in “food deserts,” neighborhoods that have little or no access to fresh produce and affordable, nutritious food. The Food Works website includes recipes, tips for locating and preparing healthy food, resources for healthy living, and where to turn for help in obtaining food in crisis situations.
Front Porch Memories is the theme for the 41st annual Forkland Heritage Festival and Revue Oct. 12-13 in Gravel Switch.
The festival will be held at the Forkland Community Center, 16479 Forkland Road. Admission is $2, and $15 for a supper and drama.
Entertainment includes sorghum making, old-fashioned kids’ games, and artisans at work. A pancake breakfast will be held Saturday. Call Janie Drye at (270) 692-2732 or go to
Beth Busky of Middletown’s recipe for chocolate chili was the first place winner in the first Derby Chili Challenge, sponsored by the Kentucky Beef Council and coordinated by the Kentucky Derby Festival and Kroger.
Sharon Cullop of Louisville won second place with “Hot Momma’s Chili,” and third place went to Peter Wilson of Frankfort for “El Cid Chili.” In the media division, Madeline Dee of won with her chili that featured Indian spices. Here’s Busky’s winning recipe.

Beth’s chocolate chili

Beth Busky’s chocolate chili was winner of the Derby Chili Challenge

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 pound ground beef
2 cans (10.5 ounces each) beef broth
1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
1/4 cup chili powder
1 square (1 ounce) unsweetened chocolate
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
Shredded Cheddar cheese
Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat until hot. Add onion and cook until tender, about 6 minutes, stirring frequently. Add ground beef; continue cooking 8 to 10 minutes, breaking beef into crumbles and stirring occasionally. Remove from saucepan with slotted spoon. Pour off drippings; return beef mixture to pan.
Stir in beef broth, tomato sauce, chili powder, chocolate, vinegar, cinnamon, cumin, bay leaf, allspice, cloves, and red pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer at least 1 1/2 hours to blend flavors, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf. Serve topped with shredded cheddar cheese, as desired. Makes 4 servings.
Note: Cooking times are for fresh or thoroughly thawed ground beef. Ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Color is not a reliable indicator of ground beef doneness.
Chili can be made 1 day ahead and flavors will continue to develop.


Entertaining at home isn’t as prevalent as it was a few years back. Is it because we’re too tired to clean the house, unskilled in the kitchen, or simply don’t want to be bothered?
We want to hear about your holiday plans. Do you plan to entertain? If so, tell us how you make it all come together. Share your tips and favorite recipes with others by e-mailing Sharon Thompson at

Kitchen update

The remodeling of my kitchen is finished.
It started in June, and the last bit of cabinet trim was nailed in place Oct. 10. In between, we experienced deliveries of Diamondcabinets that were damaged or not aligned properly, trim that was delivered to Lowe’s and was misplaced, and on and on. Everything is in order now and it’s a functional kitchen again. (Read my kitchen remodel mishaps below.)
The only thing left to do is select a ­decorative backsplash, and that’s more difficult than choosing the type of cabinet or color of the granite countertops. We can take our time doing that, now that I have everything I need to cook the Thanksgiving feast.


Waiting for new kitchen gets old
One thing leads to another in renovation project

A chicken casserole I made last week was so unappealing that I tossed the leftovers. My husband and I should have eaten out. But we’ve been eating almost all our meals in restaurants since the first of July, and we’re tired of it.

What’s the Herald-Leader food writer doing eating out so much?

In May, my husband and his sister decided to update the home of their late parents. The house, built in the early 1950s, needed a new kitchen to make it more marketable.

It made practical sense for me to get a “gourmet” kitchen at our 10-year-old house and take our “almost new” appliances to the older house. While we were contemplating that idea, our refrigerator quit working and couldn’t be repaired. I figured it was a sign.

We decided to shop for a new refrigerator at Pieratt’s on Nicholasville Road. We were seduced by the shiny, stainless appliances that are trendy now. Lucky for me, that stainless refrigerator needed a matching double oven and range, microwave and dishwasher.

Our kitchen had white builder-quality cabinets, and we wanted to replace them with a wood finish. We chose to buy the cabinetry at Lowe’s, and the sales consultant said the custom order for the alder cabinets we’d chosen would take about four weeks.

In the meantime, the contractor at the in-laws’ Idle Hour home was ready for our old cabinets. To save $500, we decided to tear them out ourselves. The new ones were scheduled to arrive in a week, so I figured we could manage a few days without cabinets.

But with everything out of the kitchen, all the stains, dings and worn places on the hardwood floors were magnified. It seemed a great opportunity to have the floor sanded and coated with polyurethane.

When the new cabinets arrived, they had to be inspected by the installer. Five cabinets were damaged or not aligned properly, and none could be installed until they all arrived in pristine condition. That would take two more weeks.

The new stove and refrigerator had been delivered weeks earlier, but because the kitchen was a wreck, I had used the range top only a couple of times and the convection oven once, to bake a cobbler.

I have heard great things about convection ovens, but I was not impressed. When I roasted fresh tomatoes in the oven, I noticed that the top of the range reached an unsafe temperature (with the oven set at 350 degrees and no burners turned on).

I was ready to send the Frigidaire Gallery double-oven range back to Pieratt’s. I wanted to exchange it for a dual-fuel range and oven, and I was willing to pay the extra money. But the fox-red Labrador puppy my husband recently brought home needed emergency surgery. I had to exchange the unsatisfactory range for a stainless version of my previously owned Maytag Gemini, which we had taken to the Idle Hour house.

So, now I have a range exactly like the one I had, only in stainless, a refrigerator that pops ice onto the just-refinished floor, and no sink. The dishwasher is on order.

A week after the base cabinets had been installed, a team from the granite manufacturer in Nashville came to make a template. I could feel my new kitchen coming closer to reality.

But the countertop, and the sink, probably would not be installed for three weeks, “or it could take longer,” the team leader said.

So, we’re waiting, and eating out. A lot.

One night we called friends and asked them to join us at the new Chuy’s, near Fayette Mall. Our house is near Hamburg, and with traffic, it took 35 minutes to get there.

Now we’re choosing to dine at restaurants closer to home. Fortunately, there are plenty of options. But burgers, fish tacos, burritos, won ton soup, pizza, and sub sandwiches are no longer appealing.

Grilling burgers and chicken at home and eating on paper plates with plastic forks is doable, but washing knives and tongs in a small bathroom sink is unpalatable.

Recently, my neighbor Carla Kimmons generously washed a load of dishes for me after I had rinsed them with the back-yard hose.

Because we don’t have a kitchen, family members drop by less often. I don’t even make iced tea. We buy large iced teas for $1 at McDonald’s before heading home.

We no longer snack at night. It’s too much trouble.

The kitchen — which used to be our favorite room in the house — isn’t a pleasant place right now.

And because of the kitchen renovation, our entire downstairs is a mess. The dining room table is piled with plates, cups, glasses, silverware, and pots and pans. They cannot be placed in the cabinets until the finishing work is done.

But — yes, I have one success story — the kitchen utensils have a new home.

An idea I found on showed how to hang a shoe organizer over the pantry door to store utensils and small kitchen items. They are out of the way but handy.

This idea works great, and it led me to clean out the pantry.

There were extra bottles of hot sauce, barbecue sauce, pancake syrups and flavored oils that needed to be tossed or given away. My son-in-law Eric Chambers devours hot sauce, so I put a bottle of Pete’s in a bag with some other items for my daughter Emily to take home.

When my back was turned, the large, now-healthy puppy pulled the bag with the hot sauce off the makeshift countertop, which broke the bottle and spattered the bright-red sauce onto the rug I recently bought to cover up the den carpeting, which was dulled by the sparkle of my refinished kitchen floor.

As I wait, impatiently, for my kitchen to return to normal, the recipes are piling up.

Wonder where we’ll eat tonight.


Restaurants offer Labor Day specials

Alfalfa Restaurant, 141 East Main Street, will serve its popular holiday brunch on Monday, Labor Day, and the menu includes farmers market omelet and fresh peach pancakes. Hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The restaurant staff now is using all local free-range eggs. “We use 120 dozen a week so we feel like we’ll have an impact on the local economy while serving our customers a fresher product and a product that has fewer health safety concerns than commercially produced eggs,” Jake Gibbs said. The eggs are from Home Pickins Farm of McKee and Garey Farms of Paris. Call (859) 253-0014 or visit

Staxx BBQ, 11 Carson Place in Frankfort, is offering a Labor Day weekend special: Buy 5 pounds of barbecue (pork, brisket, chicken, turkey, sausage) and receive 4 quarts of sides for free. Sides are jambalaya, baked beans, green beans, coleslaw, potato salad, and macaroni and cheese. The special is good through Sunday. Staxx will be closed Monday. Call (502) 352-2515 or visit


Thai Orchid Café, 1030 South Broadway, is closed for vacation and will reopen Tuesday. Call (859) 288-2170 or visit

The Julep Cup, 111 Woodland Avenue, now is accepting the University of Kentucky’s Plus account. To welcome back students, the restaurant will offer 10 percent off its Saturday brunch and Monday night dinners. Call (859) 226-0300.

Greentree Tearoom, 521 West Short Street, is turning to fall for inspiration for its September menu. Included are carrot and ginger soup, apple-walnut scone with apple butter, and herbed tomatoes in phyllo cups. Call (859) 455-9660 or visit


Saul Good Restaurant, 1808 Alysheba Way in Hamburg, is having a mural dedication party 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday. Artist Jeff Schaller has completed the mural, which depicts the history, personality and progression of Lexington and the Hamburg Place area. Call (859) 317-9200 or visit

Winchell’s, 348 Southland Drive, is kicking off the NFL season with a lobster boil Wednesday. The menu, served 4 to 9:30 p.m., features whole Maine lobster with corn on the cob and new potatoes, New England clam chowder, and fresh fruit cobbler. Call (859) 278-9424.

■ On Thursday, Modern Mercantile and Wine, will introduce Entwine, Food Network’s own brand of wine. The party, 5:30 to 8 p.m., will feature four varietals. The cost is $8. Call (859) 223-0471. The store is at 3101 Clays Mill Road.

Holly Hill Inn, 426 North Winter Street in Midway, will have its first-ever vegetarian feast at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. The multicourse dinner celebrates the local harvest with okra fritters, stuffed eggplant, and “wacky” tomato dumplings. The regular menu will not be available. The cost is $35. Call (859) 846-4732 or visit

Farmers market report

■ The Bluegrass Farmers Market has corn, tomatoes, peaches and beans. Hours and locations are: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and 3 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at 3450 Richmond Road, in the parking lot of Pedal the Planet and Fast Signs; and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and 3 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Mill Pond Shopping Center. Go to

■ The East End Community Farmers Market will have Customer Appreciation Day from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. For every $5 spent on Electronic Benefits Transfer card transactions, customers get an additional $2.

■ The Lexington Farmers Market is open 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday in Cheapside Park in the Fifth Third Bank Pavilion, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday on Southland Drive near Sav-a-Lot, and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday at South Broadway and Maxwell Street.

■ The Woodford County Farmers Market locations and hours are: 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays at Courthouse Square, 3 to 6 p.m. Mondays in downtown Midway and 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays at Versailles Presbyterian Church. adds a magazine to its mix

From couponing to home gardening, grocery shoppers are looking for ways to stretch their dollars. has created a magazine companion that is filled with recipes that include a per-serving cost analysis. The first issue includes topics such as 10 dinners for $10, a month of low-cost meals, using pasta to stretch a budget, and recipes for making popular take-out items at home.
There’s also a free mobile tag-reader app that allows you to scan tags throughout the magazine and download recipes to your phone. If you don’t have a smartphone, type into your browser to access an interactive list of all the tagged recipes in the publication.

The best ‘right now’

Esquire food blogger and author John Mariani listed the “Best Restaurants in Kentucky Right Now” in a recent post and includes several in Central Kentucky. They are:
Lexington’s Dudley’s on Short, 259 West Short Street; Jonathan at Gratz Park, 120 West Second Street; Malone’s, 3347 Tates Creek Road; and Yamaguchi’s Sake and Tapas, 125 Codell Drive; and Midway’s Holly Hill Inn, 426 North Winter Street, and Heirloom, 125 Main Street.
You can read what Mariani has to say about each at

Pick and choose

Courtney Farms in Bagdad has created a “virtual farmers market” to sell produce directly to consumers.
Mary and Shane Courtney, owners of the 94-acre farm in Shelby County, have offered community supported agriculture memberships for two years, but their new A La Carte program is designed for people who want to pick and choose their vegetables. Consumers can go to and choose among six locations in Shelbyville and Louisville to pick up their orders.
The program offers vegetables grown at Courtney Farms. They include: beets (candy-striped, golden and red), rainbow Swiss chard, cucumbers, garlic, green onions, squash (yellow and Zephyr, which is part yellow and green), and zucchini. For additional A la Carte offerings, Courtney Farms collaborates with a number of local farmers. They include:
Swallow Rail Farm in Simpsonville: asparagus, blueberries, herbs, eggs, lamb, specialty vegetables.
Mulberry Orchard in Shelbyville: apples, peaches.
Stone Cross Farms and Cloverdale Creamery in Taylorsville: beef, pork, and English-style farmstead cheeses made from local milk in four flavors.
Highland Livestock in Waddy: frozen hamburger patties and ground beef, beef jerky in hickory-smoked original and black pepper.
Debbie Young in Finchville: Hampshire-Suffolk cross lamb.
Cedar Haven Farm in Waddy and Shelby Countian Suzi Rice: blackberries.
David Davidson in Henry County and the Hogg family in Shelbyville: eggs.
Franklin County producer Mike Salyers: mild and hot sausage, asparagus.
Franklin County beekeeper Joel Shrader: raw honey.
Fayette County producer Todd Clark: whole chickens and turkeys.
Smiley’s Strawberries in Washington County: strawberries.
Gilkison Farms in Winchester: black raspberries.
Steve Isaacs in Nonesuch: table grapes.

All dressed in white

It is Christmas in July at Southern Living. The magazine is challenging readers to create a white cake, and the winning recipe will be featured on the cover of the December issue.
The contest winner will receive $1,000. Two runners-up will receive $500 each, and their recipes will be featured in the dessert story in December.
Here’s how to enter: Start with one of Southern Living’s five favorite holiday cake batters listed on the Web site, then make it your own. The deadline for submissions is July 31. Go to

Ky.’s foodie destination

Grub Street, New York magazine’s food and restaurant blog, has compiled a list of the top foodie destinations in each state, with the Kentucky Bourbon Trail representing Kentucky. Here is what Grub Street had to say about it:
“It wouldn’t be too difficult to chart your own tour of Kentucky’s distilleries, but why bother when the Kentucky Distillers’ Association has done the work for you? Just head for the official site to get all the info you need to plan your pilgrimage to America’s boozy Promised Land.”
The blog also suggests adding Buffalo Trace to the itinerary and stopping at The Brown Hotel in Louisville for its signature hot Brown. Go to×00055.

10 summer food trends

If you would like to jazz up your summer menus, take a look at Betty Crocker’s top 10 summer food trends, then try a new recipe for each.
The trends and recipe ideas include:
Cheeky tiki. Originally inspired by South Pacific culture, the fun tiki trend is back in a big way. Make mai tai tiki pops. Rum-spiked frozen treats take the flavors of a tiki cocktail – the mai tai – and turn it into a fruity (and boozy) ice pop.
New takes on cupcakes. Dessert lovers are inventing interesting twists on the classic cupcake – even looking to retro refrigerator, or “icebox,” desserts for inspiration. Try lemon-ginger icebox cookie cupcakes made with cookies – which, when stacked between layers of whipped cream and then chilled, become cakelike.
Spice it up. Bold and big flavors are all the rage, updating classic foods through new flavor combinations and cooking techniques. Make fresh sriracha refrigerator pickles by adding a hot, Thai-inspired sauce that spices up your garden bounty – no canning equipment required.
Move over, meat. With vegetarian – and flexitarian – eating gaining popularity, more and more people are seeking meatless options that don’t skimp on flavor. Prepare a monster veggie burger loaded with fresh vegetables and tasty chickpeas. It moves veggies from the side to the center of the plate.
Easy freezy fun. Frozen ice cream novelties are the ultimate summer treats for adults and kids, leading to interest in homemade ice cream and frozen pops. Fruity fro-yo fun bars call for four ingredients and a few simple steps, so it’s easy to make with the kids.
Thrillin’ grillin.’ Grillmasters everywhere are taking lessons from the “tableside” preparation trend, using the grill to bring flavor to unexpected dishes. Make grillside guacamole with fresh avocados, sweet onions and other veggies.
Kid food grows up. The foods that we loved best as children always inspire special memories. Make beer snow cones from granita-style beer “snow” and a drizzle of fruity simple syrup.
Pie lovin.’ This has been declared the “Year of the Pie,” and we are seeing (and eating) creative takes on pies, from sweet to savory. Take crunchy graham crackers, melty chocolate, and marshmallows, and put them into a handheld pie pocket.
Back-yard green grocer. More people than ever are “shopping” in their own gardens – or at local farmers markets – to create flavorful summer dishes full of their favorite veggies. Make green garden fries from fresh veggies.
Switch up the ‘wich. Sandwiches are the ultimate comfort food from old favorites like PB&J and grilled cheese to new obsessions like Korean tacos. We’re seeing this trend in everything from food trucks to restaurants devoted to a singular type of sandwich. Serve Greek grilled cheese tacos, a Mediterranean-inspired dish that reinvents the familiar grilled cheese sandwich in taco form.
Recipes are at