Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Kentucky Derby Book Club

This last weekend, we had another chapter chat! I heart my girls and I love getting together with them every few weeks. Sometimes we get around to chatting about the book, but mostly we just hang out and that is A-okay with me!

Last month our books was...
It was pretty amazing, I am not going to lie! It's been a spell since I read it, but I know that I finished it in like 3 days, when Kellen was sick and refused to take medicine a few weeks ago. 

It's the sequel to a book we read a few years ago, The Kitchen House and it picks up many years later with the main character Jamie, who at the end of the first book finds out that his mother is one of the slaves on his family's plantation, after being raised by wealthy his grandmother, and escapes his crazy family and past. The book starts with him being a successful business man living as a white man with no one suspecting his past. Then the plot twists begin. The man who saved him as young boy shows up at his door, with his own son, Pan and asks him to raise him as a servant in his house to keep him safe from slave traders. Well, old Pan decides to go down to the docks one day to buy a parrot to win over his boss and gets himself kidnapped by slave traders. Jamie decides since Pan's father, Henry, saved his life, to go after him back to his old town and enemies there are still out to kill him. The book goes back and forth between past and present and tells all the back stories of the characters and how they came to be where they are since the last book left off. There is lots of drama and controversy and secret things going with the underground railroad and escapes and captures, all the crazy things that you should love in book, this one has got them! So stinkin' good! 

Since it was Derby day and our books was pretty southern, I decided our food should be pretty southern as well.

Let me tell, it was a day of cooking firsts for this girl! I decided we were going have to Kentucky Brown sliders (never have eaten one in my life!) Deviled eggs, because, yum ( never made those either. Sad, right?) Pecan Pie (You guessed it, never made one of those either!) and Mint Juleps (Minus the bourbon, and nope, never tried that either)

So here's the crash course and the lessons, I learned!

First up: Kentucky Browns!
You need slider bread, I went with good old Hawaiian rolls
1 lb of sliced turkey
1 large tomato
10 slices of bacon
 1 stick of butter
1 tbsp of flour
1 cup heavy cream or milk
1 cup Romano cheese (I couldn't find this except in the deli and the line was super long, so I went with grated parmesan)
minced garlic
1 tbsp mustard
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1. Preheat the oven to 350
2. Slice all the rolls in half and brush both sides with a little melted butter.
3. Layer on the turkey and tomatoes
4. Whip up the cheese sauce! Make a rue by melting the butter and then whisking in the flour, let that cook down for about 2 minutes until it simmers. Then add in the milk/cream and whisk, whisk, whisk. Once it starts to boil removed from heat immediately and add in the cheese. I had a little bit more milk in to smooth the sauce out. Then add in some salt and pepper.
5. Layer the sauce over the sammies.
6. Add on the bacon and then put the bread tops back on. 
7. Mix in the garlic, mustard and Worcestershire sauce into the rest of the melted butter and then brush on top of the sliders.

Cover with foil and bake for 10 minutes, uncover and bake about 5 minutes longer to crisp up the tops. My tops got super toasty, cause you know we got to talking and I forgot the set the timer.

They were SO messy and a little gooey from the cheesy sauce, but they came out alright!

Next up deviled eggs!
So remember when I said I have never made these before, true facts right there. It's because whenever I make hard boiled eggs, I always crack half of them and they just end up an icky mess!

Thus, I had to make the perfect eggs! You better believe I googled that nonsense and found out how to make perfect hard boiled eggs. They were in fact perfect, so here's watcha do...

Put the eggs in the empty pot. Duh, that way they don't crack, you think I would know these things!
Then cover with cold water. Then put it on the stove on high. When the water is at a rolling boil take em off the burner and cover the pot with a lid. Let them finish cooking in the hot, hot water for another 17 minutes. Then rinse with COLD water. That's it.

They were amazing! No cracked eggs, the yolk was soft and creamy and the shells practically peeled themselves they came off so easy!

The rest you can probably figure out yourself, but you cut the eggs in half and scoop out the yolks and mix in mustard, mayo and vinegar. The fill the egg whites and top with salt and paprika.

I forgot to take a picture, but they came out really nice!

Pecan Pie!
This was probably one of the easiest pies I have ever made, ridiculous really...
You need:
a pie shell
1 cup of pecans (I used chopped)
1 cup of chocolate chips
1 cup of light corn syrup
1/2 cup of white sugar
1/2 cup of brown sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat the oven to 375.
2. Lay out the crust in your pie plate and pinch the edges.
3. Evenly pour the pecans and chocolate chips right into the pie crust.
3. Mix up the corn syrup, sugars and beat on the eggs, then add the vanilla.
4. Pour the mixture over the pecans and chocolate.
5. Bake for 30 minutes on the top rack then move to the bottom for about 20 more minutes

It too got a titch too done, because I decided to take a shower the last 20 minutes it was baking and I didn't hear the timer going off. It was still mighty tasty even with the top being a little crunchy.
It was yummy-oh and I will totally make this again, but with a little less cook time!

Last but certainly not least, Mint Juleps!

I am not a huge Bourbon fan and we actually didn't have any in our house, so Vodka it was!
But first you have to make a simple syrup, another cooking experience!

You need:
2 cups of sugar
2 cups of water
mint leaves
lime juice (we actually used limeade) 
Berries (for pretties! I used black berries)

First you gotta make the syrup. You just add equal parts water and sugar. I used 2 cups. Then stir, stir, stir over medium heat. When it is completely clear, seriously, no cloudiness, and it's starting to bubble just a little on the sides, remove from heat. Then add in the mint leaves to infuse the syrup while it 

When the syrup is cooled, remove the leaves and store in a air tight container!

To make the drinks, I just added ice, a few shots of vodka, a few tablespoons of syrup and the limeade into a shaker, then pour over berries into a martini glass and enjoy book club with the girls!

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