Produced by Stephen CampbellRecipes by Alicia Bozewicz
Put your money down, because good times are a sure bet with this colorful setup. Inspired by the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing—the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Preakness Stakes in Baltimore and Belmont Stakes in Elmont, New York—this winner-worthy mix of festive decor and finger foods is both budget-friendly and deceivingly easy to make. In your friends' eyes, you’ll be a champion host.
Our take on the classic cocktail of the Kentucky
Derby. Ours is sweeter and smoother than the
traditional one. Bottoms up!
Yield: 5 servings
For syrup, combine the sugar, water and
chopped mint in a large saucepan. Bring to
a boil over medium heat; cook until sugar is
dissolved, stirring occasionally. Remove from
the heat; cool to room temperature.
Line a mesh strainer with a double layer
of cheesecloth or a coffee filter. Strain syrup;
discard mint. Cover and refrigerate syrup for
at least 2 hours or until chilled.
For each serving, place ice in a metal julep
cup or rocks glass. Pour ¼ cup mint syrup,
bourbon and lime juice into the glass; stir until
mixture is well chilled. Top with ginger beer;
garnish with a mint sprig and lime slice.
Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (calculated
without garnishes) equals 310 calories,
trace fat (trace saturated fat), 0 cholesterol,
9 mg sodium, 46 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber,
1 g protein.
A bite-sized version of the open-faced sandwich
that’s a Kentucky tradition. Three words: ooey
Yield: 35 appetizers
In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat.
Stir in the flour, salt and pepper until smooth;
gradually add the milk, broth and sherry.
Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or
until thickened. Stir in the cheddar cheese
and 1⁄3 cup Parmesan until cheese is melted.
Remove from the heat.
Place toast slices on a baking sheet. Top
each with turkey, sauce mixture, tomatoes and
bacon. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan.
Broil 3-4 in. from the heat for 3-4 minutes or
until cheese is melted.
Nutrition Facts: 1 appetizer equals 104
calories, 5 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 26
mg cholesterol, 219 mg sodium, 5 g
carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 9 g protein.
The official drink of the Preakness Stakes, its
name comes from the flowery wreath that
adorns the winning horse's neck (not the result
of having one too many).
Yield: 1 serving
Place desired amount of ice in a rocks glass.
Pour the vodka, rum, Triple Sec and juices
into the glass. Stir and garnish with lime slice
Nutrition Facts: 1 serving equals 242
calories, trace fat (trace saturated fat), 0
cholesterol, 3 mg sodium, 21 g carbohydrate,
trace fiber, trace protein.
The place for the race is the Pimlico Race
Course in Baltimore, Maryland. Hello, crab
cakes! Our minis are topped with a pickle slice.
Yield: 16 appetizers
In a large bowl, combine the first six
ingredients. Cover and chill until serving.
For crab cakes, in a large bowl, combine
the egg, bread crumbs, mayonnaise, onion,
parsley, mustard, seafood seasoning and
pepper sauce. Fold in crab. Refrigerate for at
least 30 minutes.
With floured hands, shape mixture by 2
tablespoonfuls into ½-in.-thick patties. In
a large skillet over medium heat, cook crab
cakes in oil in batches for 3-4 minutes on each
side or until golden brown. Top each with a
pickle slice. Dollop with sauce and sprinkle
Nutrition Facts: 1 crab cake with 1 Tbsp.
sauce equals 134 calories, 12 g fat (1 g
saturated fat), 36 mg cholesterol, 402
mg sodium, 3 g carbohydrate, trace fiber,
4 g protein.
Made popular at Benedict's restaurant in
Louisville, Kentucky, we kicked ours up with
goat cheese and cayenne pepper.
Yield: 1 3/4 cups
In a small bowl, combine the cheeses, parsley,
mayonnaise, salt, cayenne, pepper and food
coloring if desired; beat until smooth. Stir
in cucumber and onion. Chill. Serve with
Nutrition Facts: 2 Tbsp. (calculated without
crackers) equals 51 calories, 5 g fat (3 g
saturated fat), 15 mg cholesterol, 105 mg
sodium, 1 g carbohydrate, trace fiber,
2 g protein.
Its name originates from the former head
waiter at the Pendennis Club in Louisville, who
invented the sweet-and-sour sauce and inspired
our can’t-just-eat-one twist.
Yield: about 6 dozen
In a large saucepan over medium heat,
combine the first six ingredients. Add
meatballs; cover and cook for 20-25 minutes
or until hot, stirring occasionally.
Nutrition Facts: 1 meatball equals 58
calories, 3 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 5
mg cholesterol, 220 mg sodium, 6 g
carbohydrate, trace fiber, 2 g protein.
A party celebrating the Belmont Stakes isn't complete
until you’ve had one of these little babies. Tart, sweet
and refreshing—we would drink these any day.
Fill a shaker three-fourths full with ice. Place remaining
ice in a cocktail glass; set aside.
Add the whiskey, juices, sour mix and sherry to shaker;
cover and shake for 10-15 seconds or until condensation
forms on outside of shaker. Strain into prepared glass.
Top with sodas. Garnish with mint and lemon wedge.
Nutrition Facts: 1 serving equals 223 calories, trace fat
(trace saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 13 mg sodium, 29 g
carbohydrate, trace fiber, trace protein.
Another Kentucky Derby classic, they're sweet, nutty and
drenched in bourbon. They just might just remind you of
your favorite Southern friend or relative.
Yield: 4 dozen
Combine 1 cup pecans and bourbon; cover and let stand
for 8 hours or overnight.
In a large bowl, cream butter and confectioners’ sugar
until light and fluffy; stir in pecan mixture. Cover and
refrigerate for 45 minutes or until firm enough to shape
into 1-in. balls. Place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets.
Chill for 1 hour or until firm.
Dip in chocolate coating; allow excess to drip off.
Sprinkle with remaining pecans. Let stand until set.
Nutrition Facts: 1 bourbon ball equals 126 calories, 7 g
fat (4 g saturated fat), 5 mg cholesterol, 14 mg sodium,
16 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, trace protein.
Our cheerful color palette takes its cue from jockey racing silks. We used contrasting colors of felt ($5 a yard, joann.com), which resists fraying, to cover our table. For our self-serve bar, we stacked four hay bales and covered them with Reno New Zealand Wool Solid Saddle Blankets ($25, tackwholesale.com).
Make a trophy centerpiece by filling a faux silver punch bowl with water-soaked floral foam bricks. Starting at arrangement's top center, stick flowers (we used inexpensive, easy-to-find
carnations) with the tallest stems into foam. Working down, build three rings with consecutively shorter-stemmed flowers. Cut stems at a 45-degree angle with sharp scissors. Pack flowers to hide stems. Fill container two-thirds full with water.
Set the scene with inexpensive details like buttons from cafepress.com and ring snaffle bits and classic horseshoes from farmandfleet.com. All sell for $4 or less.
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