With the Kentucky Derby coming up this weekend, I know many Southerners are busy planning grand soirees to celebrate the event. There’ll be no shortage of gloriously big hats, folds and folds of gingham and enough mint juleps for us all to grab a boat and sail away on a river of bourbon.
Whether you’re planning a big party or just want to sip something and relax on the front porch, this delicious Mint Julep recipe by Sun In My Belly‘s Executive Chef, Alison Lueker, will do the trick!
Run for the Roses Mint Julep
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
4 sprigs mint + more for garnish
8 oz. bourbon, small batch
Bring sugar and water to a boil in a small sauce pan. Add 4 sprigs mint remove from the heat and let steep until cool. This is the mint simple syrup. Fill two 6 oz. glasses with ice add 1-2 Tablespoons mint simple syrup and a few mint leaves. Fill almost to the top with bourbon and garnish with a sprig of mint.
Stir often and sip slowly….
As we wrap up this year’s week of Blueberry Bliss, I thought I end things with a special recipe from the grower of all of these beautiful berries – my Papa. He and my uncle put in countless hours tending to these berries, making sure they are the very best. Today he’s been sweet enough to share his wonderful blueberry smoothie recipe, what a treat!
Papa and Mema love to make smoothies and over the years they have tweaked the ingredients to get it just right – mighty delicious if you ask me! A big thanks to Griffis Farms and Bonnie Blueberries for letting us take lots of yummy berries home to enjoy and share with others. I’m already counting down the days until next season!
Papa’s Top Secret Blueberry Smoothie
1 c. pineapple chunks with juice
1 c. plain yogurt
1-1/2 c. Silk pure coconut milk
1 tbsp. Coco Lopez cream of coconut
2 c. frozen blueberries
Combine banana, pineapple, yogurt, milk, cream and frozen blueberries in blender and blend on med-high speed until smooth. Enjoy immediately. Serves 3-4.
Tip: This recipe works best with frozen berries. If using fresh berries, be sure to add ice to the mixture to ensure proper consistency.
In case you’re wondering, these gorgeous goblets are vintage “moonstone”. I started collecting it last year while shopping flea markets with Mema. She love dishes and has collected so many beautiful pieces over the years. It makes shopping much more fun when you have a certain style that you collect. You’d be amazed at all the places it pops up once you start looking for it. These lovely goblets were a 30th birthday gift from Mema and Papa and I smile each time I put them to use.
I don’t know about you, but I love breakfast for dinner! And pancakes have got to be one of my all-time favorites. Wanna know something else? I like my pancakes a little on the raw side. What can I say, I get it from my Mama. She use to make pancakes and leave the inside a little runny. We’d douse it in syrup and devour them right off the griddle. Delish!
No matter how you cook these babies they’re sure to be gone in a flash.
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt, or slightly less table salt
3 tbsp. sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 c. buttermilk
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, plus 1 tbsp. extra for brushing griddle
1 c. blueberries, fresh or frozen and thawed
Preheat an electric griddle to 375°F, or place a griddle pan or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl. Add the eggs, buttermilk, and 4 tablespoons melted butter, and whisk to combine. The batter should have small to medium lumps.
Test the griddle by sprinkling a few drops of water on it. If the water bounces and spatters, the griddle is hot enough. Using a pastry brush, brush the remaining 1/2 teaspoon butter onto the griddle. Wipe off the excess with a folded paper towel.
Using a 4-oz. ladle, about 1/2 cup (for a 6-inch pancake), pour the batter in pools 2 inches apart. If you wish to make blueberry pancakes, arrange a handful over the cooking pancake, pressing them in slightly. When the pancakes have bubbles on top and are slightly dry around the edges, about 2 1/2 minutes, flip over. If any batter oozes or blueberries roll out, push them back under with your spatula. Cook until golden on bottom, about 1 minute.
(Recipe Source: Smitten Kitchen)
Why is it I’m always intimidated by pastries? I didn’t even have to make this crust and I got a little freaked out thinking about it. I always feel like there’s some snooty French chef looking over my shoulder and rolling his eyes. (Ha, I know, I’m weird.)
But I can promise you, there is nothing to be scared about with this recipe. I was pleasantly surprised just how simple it was and it looks gorgeous to boot! Bring this to your next brunch and you’ll steal the show for sure!
1 8oz. sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 large egg, beaten
1 tbsp. granulated sugar
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. heavy cream
1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
3 tbsp. confectioner’s sugar
2 cups blueberries
Heat oven to 375° F. On a lightly floured surface, unfold the sheet of pastry and roll it into a 10-by-12-inch rectangle. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Using the tip of a knife, score a 1-inch border around the pastry without cutting all the way through. Brush the border with the egg and sprinkle with the granulated sugar. Bake until golden and puffed, 18 to 22 minutes.
Using the tip of a knife, rescore the border of the cooked pastry without cutting all the way through. Gently press down on the center of the pastry sheet to flatten it. Let cool to room temperature, 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the cream, lemon zest, and 2 tablespoons of the confectioners’ sugar and beat until smooth. Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly within the borders of the pastry.
Arrange the blueberries in a single layer over the filling and sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of confectioners’ sugar.
(Recipe Source: Real Simple)
You know something I really like about cooking? I love when a dish combines some unexpected ingredients and it works!
This was definitely the case with this Corn and Blueberry Salad: the right amount of sweet, the right amount of crunch and the perfect dash of heat. There’s no better time to make this salad than right now! All of the ingredients are in season’s peak, and if you ask me, there’s nothing better than a garden-to-table dish!
Corn and Blueberry Salad
6 c. fresh sweet corn, husked
1 c. fresh blueberries
1 c. cucumber, sliced
1/4 c. finely chopped red onion
1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro
1 jalepeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 tbsp. lime juice
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. honey
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
In a Dutch oven bring salted water to boiling. Add corn. Cook, covered, 5 minutes, or until tender. When cool enough to handle, cut corn from cobs.
In a serving bowl combine corn, blueberries, cucumber, red onion, cilantro, and jalapeno. For dressing, in screw-top jar combine lime juice, oil, honey, cumin, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cover; shake well to combine. Add to salad; toss. Cover and refrigerate overnight (up to 24 hours). Makes 6 to 8 servings.
(Recipe source: Better Homes & Gardens)