Even if you can’t be in town for the weekend, celebrate the Kentucky Derby like they do at Churchill Downs with your own Derby party! There’s a long-running tradition of rain on Derby day, so you’re probably better off in the comfort of your own home anyway.

Dust off your silver platters, toss on your fanciest hat, and get out that forgotten china, while sipping on a Mint Julep of course, to celebrate the most exciting two minutes in sports. These delicious southern treats are Triple Crown worthy and will leave your guests begging for the recipe!

Mini Hot Browns

  • 2 loaves Pepperidge Farm Very Thin Sandwich Bread
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked turkey, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 6 bacon slices, cooked, crumbled, and divided
  • 5 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced

Using a biscuit cutter, cut the sandwich bread into circles. Arrange bread slices on a lightly greased baking sheet. Broil 6 inches from heat for 3 to 4 minutes.

Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat; add flour, and cook, whisking constantly, until smooth. Gradually whisk in milk; cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Add Cheddar cheese, whisking until cheese melts. Stir in diced turkey, salt, and ground red pepper.

Top bread evenly with warm cheese-turkey mixture. Sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese and half of bacon.

Bake at 500° for 2 minutes or until Parmesan is melted. Top with tomato slices, and sprinkle evenly with remaining bacon.

Southern Pimento Cheese

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 (8-oz) package cream cheese, room temp.
  • 3 tablespoons diced pimentos
  • 2 teaspoons grated onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon Paula Deen House Seasoning
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Add the mayonnaise, cheeses, cream cheese, pimentos, onion, seasoning, and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Beat the mixture together with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth and well-combined. Serve it with white bread or soda crackers.

Mini Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pies


  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup water, ice cold (plus additional, depending on how the dough comes together)



  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 6 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a mini muffin baking pan liberally with nonstick baking spray. Set aside.


In a medium-sized bowl, measure out the flour, sugar and salt. Whisk until combined.

Using a pastry cutter, cut the cream cheese into the dry ingredients, mixing until the mixture looks like wet sand.

Slowly drizzle in the water, and stir together with a spoon, mixing until the ingredients just come together. Set aside.


In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, vanilla extract, butter and bourbon until combined. Add the pecans and chocolate chips. Set aside.


Scoop a tablespoon of the dough into your hand. Roll into a ball, then set in the prepared muffin tin. Using your thumb, create a large indention in the middle, making sure to let the dough climb the sides of the tin. Repeat until all of the crust has been used and is in place in the pan.

Carefully drizzle a tablespoon of the filling into the crusts. Be careful not to drizzle too much outside of the crusts, or it will become sticky and stick to the muffin tin.

When all the pies have been filled, place the mini muffin tin on a large baking sheet, and transfer into the oven.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until the tops have browned slightly, then remove from the oven and let cool before eating.

Classic Mint Julep

  • 2 oz. Woodford Reserve®
  • 1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
  • 3 Fresh Mint Leaves
  • Crushed Ice

Express the essential oils in the mint and rub them inside the glass.  To the same glass, add simple syrup, bourbon and crushed ice.  Stir. Garnish with more ice and fresh mint.

Kentucky Oaks Lily

  • 2 oz Grey Goose Vodka
  • 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 1 oz Orange Liqueur
  • 4 oz Cranberry Juice
  • Lemon slice and blackberry garnish

Mix ingredients together and stir; refrigerate at least one hour. Fill chilled glasses with ice to slightly above the rim; pour mixture into ice filled glasses. Garnish with a slice of lemon and a fresh blackberry.

The Man o'War

  • Ice cubes for chilling the glass
  • 1 1/2 oz good-quality bourbon/rye whiskey
  • 1 oz Cointreau or other orange liqueur
  • 1/2 oz sweet vermouth
  • 1/2 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Brandied cherry and lemon peel garnish

Fill a coupe glass with ice and water and set aside.

Add the bourbon (or rye whiskey), Cointreau, sweet vermouth, and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker. Fill halfway with ice. Close and shake until it is thoroughly chilled (almost too cold to touch), at least 20 seconds.

Dump the ice water from the coupe glass. Strain the cocktail into the glass. Spear a abrandied cherries and a bit of lemon peel onto a few cocktail toothpicks and garnish the glass.

Posted on 2023-04-01 by