From the monthly archives: "July 2012"

Not going to the Kentucky Derby this year?? No problem! Throw your friends and family a fashionable Derby party they’ll never forget.

We have teamed up with our food and party planning expert Heather Coonradt at “Loon Cliff Specialties” to bring you some great ideas for the perfect Derby party!

The running of the 138th Kentucky Derby always takes place the first Saturday in May which this year is the fifth. But make sure you send out your invites a couple weeks in advance if you can, otherwise get on to that phone!
Like most invites include date, time, and place but don’t forget to tell them to arrive in their best racing wear! Hats, heels and all ladies! And of course, we want our men looking good in those suits!
**The “Something Extra” Tip: You can go to the Kentucky Derby website and add some of their photos to your invites.  If you need to get them out faster…use Evites! Dress up your invites and people will realize that it’s a stylish occasion!
As it gets closer to your party date don’t save everything to the last minute so it becomes a stressful experience! This is about fun! Heather says “Do your grocery shopping on Thursday so you can prepare most of your menu on Friday. Then you can wake up relaxed and excited Saturday morning!”
Heather’s put together a fantastic menu to leave your guests calling you the Iron Chef! It’s quick and easy and anyone can do it! Check out the “Derby Menu” blog for all the step by step recipes.
If you’re preparing your own menu, our advice is to create light finger foods for your guests to pick at throughout the day. Make it easy for yourself and get as much prepared the night before as possible.
**The “Something Extra” Tip: On your buffet table, print out a menu of the food you are serving and place it in a nice photo frame. It gives it a clean and professional look, and your guests will come back asking for the dish by name again and again!
Decorations for your Derby party are pretty easy. The most important aspect…a TV! First post time for the first race is 10:30am on Derby Day, however many of your will choose your parties to start around two, three, or four pm. The big race, the Kentucky Derby’s post time is at 6:24 pm (ET). By this point, you want to make sure that all your guest have had drinks, and both the appetizers and the main. Then when the Derby finishes, you can put out the dessert and more drinks!!
Depending on your choice of using your dishes or paper plates, just pick a simple but elegant theme. If all you have is snowman dishes (like my family) you may want to purchase plastic plates (much more fashionable than the paper). For the Derby, the theme is Roses, a.k.a. The Run for the Roses, so you can choose white and red colors or if you’re really into racing and you have a favorite Derby pick…theme your party in their “silks” colors!
***If you don’t know what some of these terms mean, please leave a comment and we will explain!!

Photo credit to Garden & Gun

Regardless of the invite, the menu, or the color theme, a Kentucky Derby party is a great reason to get family and friends together and celebrate each other’s company. For me, any excuse for a party will do, and a Kentucky Derby Party?? It’s a MUST HAVE! 🙂

Happy Kentucky Derby Everyone!!

How about some Dessert??

Our good friend Debbie Titus who owns a wonderful Catering company called “Half Moon Bakery” in Jamesville, NY provided us with this great dessert choice for you and your guests!

Derby Pecan Pie with Chocolate and Kahlua

                         1/2 cup sugar
                         1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
                         1 tablespoon all purpose flour
                         3/4 cup dark corn syrup
                         1/4 cup Kahlúa
                         1 teaspoon vanilla extract
                         3 large eggs
                         1 cup chopped pecans
                         1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
                         1 purchased frozen deep-dish 9-inch pie crust or make your own
                         2/3 cup chilled whipping cream w/ a capful of Kahlua mixed in
                         Pecan halves (optional)
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Beat sugar and butter in medium bowl until smooth; beat in flour. Gradually beat in corn syrup, then Kahlúa and vanilla. Mix in eggs, then chopped pecans. Sprinkle chocolate chips over bottom of crust. Pour filling into crust.
Bake pie until filling is puffed around edges and just set in center, covering edge of crust if browning too quickly, about 45 minutes. Transfer pie to rack and cool completely. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
Beat cream and Kahlua in medium bowl until peaks form. Drop whipped cream in small dollops around edge of pie. Place pecan half atop each dollop.

Anyone wanting to try the famous Mint Julep??

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • Sprigs of fresh mint
  • Crushed ice
  • Early Times Kentucky Whisky
  • Silver Julep Cups

Make a simple syrup by boiling sugar and water together for five minutes. Cool and place in a covered container with six or eight sprigs of fresh mint, then refrigerate overnight. Make one julep at a time by filling a julep cup with crushed ice, adding one tablespoon mint syrup and two ounces of Kentucky Whisky. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the outside of the cup. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you that they are strong tasting with strong effects 😉
Drink Responsibly

As always, the city of Louisville provided the setting for the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby, and our FR team was there to see it all.
From the fabulous ‘Taste of Derby’ on Thursday night where chefs all over America provided guests with amazing cuisine matched with specific wines, to Fridays Oaks where the Longines Fashion Competition gave the ladies a chance to shine (and the Pinks shone bright!) and finally to the big day itself, the Derby! Where the fashion was

Jeannie Mai, Bri Mott, Catt Sadler

out in full force for both the women and men!

Each race day provided us with wonderful fashion, both from the celebrities and the general public. Style experts Catt Sadler from E! News and Jeannie Mai, the host of How Do I Look? both showed off their best race attire in cute hats and fascinators and goregeous colorful dresses.But the spotlight was on the hats, which are always a huge focal point for any lady, and they didn’t let us down. From the classically crafted wide brimmed pieces to the newer and funkier fascinator type creations, we were treated to a sea of endless people making their own individual fashion statements…Some good, some bad and some just plain painful! You can see it for yourself by checking out our website ( for pictures and we’ve posted some of our favorites on our facebook page. Our Race day Fashionista’s made the front page of our website along with the two best dressed couples of the days.
We were very proud of the Pink representation on Oaks day supporting the fight against cancer.  Longines sponsored a fun fashion competition where the pinks certainly did shine! We were right in the action along with the celebrity judges, Catt Sadler from E! News and Jeannie Mai from the NBC network television show How Do I Look?.  As the contestants walked along the circular pink carpet, one girl stuck out among the rest in her light pink and blue outfit. Not only had she won tickets earlier in the month to attend the Kentucky Oaks with her boyfriend but she also walked away on the day with a  gorgeous new Longines watch after winning the fashion competition. Did anyone bother to get her Derby pick?? 😉
The Derby itself (yes, we know there are horses involved as well) was one by ‘I’ll Have Another” he ran down a courageous ‘Bodemeister’, who set a blistering pace in front, in the last 100 meters to claim the roses. Congratulations to the trainer and connections for a surely magical moment!
Could we have the next Triple Crown Winner? We won’t know until Saturday May 19th when  I’ll Have Another takes on his contenders in the 137th running of the Preakness Stakes. If you won’t be heading out to the Balitmore area, make sure you sit down or head to your local beverage business and tune into the NBC Sports Network! As always, we will be your eyes and ears at the big event. We will again be taking photos of the fashion and the races at the Pimlico Racetrack.
So Kentucky Derby 2012 proved to be a successful one. Great racing, great people and great fashion! Who could ask for more?? Not us! We do expect racing fashion to enter a whole new playing field in the next year. So keep your eye on us…we smell game changers in the air!
Besides, Why should the Horses get all the Attention?
Posted 11th May by

This Saturday brings the second leg of the Triple Crown…of course you should invite your friends over for a PREAKNESS PARTY!!

  Here is a menu put together by Debbe Titus from The Half Moon Bakery in Jamesville, NY, that can be prepared mostly in advance so that you can greet your friends as they arrive.

“As always, do your shopping the day before so that you have fresh items to use.  I would also add a fresh vegetable to this dish.  This time of year, fresh asparagus is always tasty.  Easy to prepare, keep in spears and just quickly steam in a little water. Be careful not to overcook them.  I sprinkle a little lemon juice over the spears before serving.” –Debbe
The day before….
1.      Pound out the chicken cutlets and wrap in plastic wrap and store back in the refrigerator.
2.      Cut up the vegetables for the shrimp mousse and the chicken. Store in the refrigerator in plastic containers.
3.      Make the Shrimp Mousse and refrigerate—remember it needs to sit overnight to really firm up.
4.      Make the Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Brownies and refrigerate still in the pan.
The day of:
1.      Remove the Brownies from the refrigerator and let set for 15 minutes before attempting to cut and remove from the pan.
2.      Find a nice serving dish and place the brownies on it and return it to the refrigerator.  Remember to remove this from the refrigerator when you are serving the chicken so that they will be at room temperature before you serve them.
3.      About 2 hours before your party, prepare the potatoes and place back in the refrigerator so that you can place them in the oven so that they will be fully baked when your chicken is finished. You will have to plan the timing on this based on when you will serve your main meal.
4.      About 15 minutes before folks arrive, remove the Shrimp Mousse from the mold and set on a serving tray. I have garnished with curly lettuce or parsley and it looks fantastic. Arrange a variety of crackers in a basket or plate and serve on the side.  Make sure that you have two spreading knives available. This is so popular that one will not be enough for everyone as they rush to try this out.
5.      Give yourself time to prepare the chicken and place the potatoes on serving dishes.
With lots of advance planning, you can have a delightful dinner party. Your attention to detail will allow you time to pamper yourself as you dressfor your party.  I am sure that you will have a wonderful day at the races!
Shrimp Mousse
1 envelope Knox unflavored gelatin
1 can tomato soup (undiluted)
8-9 oz . cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup of finely chopped celery
1/2 cup of finely chopped onion
1 cup of mayonnaise
2 (4oz) cans baby shrimp-drained
a splash of Frank’s Hot sauce
In a small bowl, add 1/2 cup of cold water and 1 envelope of unflavored gelatin. Set aside.
In a saucepan, heat the tomato soup to be very hot.  Add the cream cheese to the soup and blend very well.  I use a wire whisk at the end to really combine it. Add the gelatin and let it stand to cool.
When cool, add the celery, onion and mayonnaise and blend well.
Add in the shrimp and blend.
Oil a 1 quart gelatin mold.  Pour the shrimp mixture into the mold.
If using a mold with a cover you can just refrigerate it. If not using a cover, top the mold with plastic wrap so that you don’t get a hard crust on the mixture before you refrigerate the mold.
I make this the night before or day before I am ready to serve it so that it has time to gel.  When ready to serve; release over a decorative plate.  This is good with a variety of crackers.
Chicken with Chopped Tomato and Vodka
6 Boneless, skinless chicken breast- halved and pounded into cutlets
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup of flour
3 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 cup of Vodka
3/4 cup chicken broth
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup of chopped, seeded fresh tomato
3 Tbs. half and half or heavy cream
4 Tbs. sliced scallions
Pound the chicken breasts into cutlets. Set aside.
In a dish, add flour and salt and pepper.  Dredge the chicken cutlets through the flour.
In a large sauté pan,  add the olive oil  and heat on medium heat.  Carefully add the chicken and saute for about 5 minutes on each side; remove and place on a platter.
Pour off any remaining oil from the pan. Deglaze the pan with the vodka making sure that you are away from the heat. Remember, this can be flammable!Can’t have you starting a fire!
Return the pan to the heat and cook until nearly evaporated. Add the broth and lemon juice. Return the cutlets to the pan and cook on each side for 1 – 2 minutes more. Transfer the cutlet to a warm plate. Stir in the chopped tomato and half and half/cream.  Heat through and then pour over the cutlets.   Garnish with the scallions and serve!
Cheddar Baked Potatoes
Serves: 6 Preheat oven to 350^
6 large baking potatoes
1/4 cup of butter
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup minced chives/or green onion
3 Tbs. dry bread crumbs
1 Tbs. Parmesan Cheese
Peel and dry potatoes. Cut a thin slice off the long side of the potatoes so they sit flat. Cut vertical slits from top almost to the bottom of the potatoe. (potato is horizontal and slits are vertical-kind of like “fanning them”)
Melt the butter. Place the potatoes on a cookie sheet and brush with the melted butter. Add the salt and bake for 1.5 hours; baste occasionally with the remaining butter.
Combine the cheeses, chives/onions, and bread crumbs.  Remove potatoes from oven and allow to cool slightly.  Carefully fill slits with the cheese mixture and sprinkle the remaining cheese mixture over the tops. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place under the broiler til golden brown. Watch carefully!
Serve with sour cream on the side.
Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Brownies
Brownie Layer:
1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips(7.5 ounces)
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. instant coffee powder dissolved in 2 Tbs. hot water
2 Tbs. hot black coffee
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
Preheat the oven to 350^.  Grease an 8 or 9” inch square baking pan
Melt the chocolate chips with butter in a microwave safe container. Stir and cool slightly. In a large bowl, beat (medium speed) the brown sugar and eggs until blended.  Add chocolate mixture and coffee and blend well.  Mix in the flour and baking powder. Spread evenly in the baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes until the wooded pick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack.
Truffle Layer

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup of seedless red raspberry preserves
1/4 cup of powdered sugar
Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave in a small dish.  In a mixing bowl, beat at medium speed,  the cream cheese and preserves until smooth. At low speed, beat in the chocolate mixture and powdered sugar.  Beat until fluffy.  Spread over the cooled brownie.
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 tsp. Crisco shortening.
Melt the chocolate chips with the shortening.  Drizzle over the truffle layer.
Chill the pan of brownies for 2 hours.  Set out on the counter for 10 minutes before cutting into square.  Cover and store in the refrigerator.
I cut these into approximately 3 x 3 ” squares: about 9 pieces.
Bon Appetit!
Debbe Titus from The Half Moon Bakery-Jamesville, NY

Over the last 6 months its been all we’ve really heard when it comes to history making potential match ups in the world of thoroughbreds.

For those of you who are new to the game, having these two horses in the same era is like having Joe Namath and Tom Brady in the NFL at the same time, Babe Ruth and Derek Jeter in the MLB or even Lebron James and Michael Jordan. They are currently both undefeated at the highest level of their sport, with Black Caviar on an amazing 22-0 record and Frankel on 11-0.

What it has been brought to light, and its a magnificent thing for our industry, is that there is plenty of passion alive and plenty of people who are new enthusiasts to the grand sport of thoroughbred racing. Both horses light up any track that they grace with their presence and bring a new excitement to each and every race day.

It seems the world is almost split into two hemispheres when it comes to deciding just who exactly is the greatest racehorse on the planet at the moment: Is it the magnificent specimen that is Frankel, a wonderfully built entire with the looks to match his immaculate pedigree…or is it the hulking wonder mare form down under, Black Caviar, the huge daughter of a successful Australian sprinter.

I personally believe that they cannot be compared fairly as they are different racehorses. Black Caviar is a sprinter and Frankel is a classic miler/middle distance horse. Even if they were to meet, would one race really do it justice? What’s not to say that one just might have a bad day and then next time turn it around? What distance is fair? Is it the 1200m sprint? a 1400m stretch? or the mile? These questions just cannot be answered. All we can really do is agree that we have been lucky enough to witness two equine champions in the same era that will long be the benchmark when we compare horses over the next quarter of a century

But wait…do I hear voices of disdain…cries to get off the fence, to choose whom we think is best here at FATR? Well, as much as it pains me to try and split these two magnificent horses who have done so much for the industry over the last year, I will say this…


Who has won more Grade 1 Races?

Who has won more races?

Who has won on the international stage, traveling out of their own hemisphere?


The answer to these 3 pertinent questions is Black Caviar.


Whilst I am still firmly of the belief to compare them truly is impossible, I choose the “Wonder Mare” for those reasons alone…but I am also very much aware that Frankel has more seasons to race if he chooses to, and more destinations to travel to if he chooses to…so who knows, in time he may eclipse her on these three fronts, and for me, until he does he cannot be called a superior racehorse.  Perhaps the biggest payday for both would be the amount that may be paid for their offspring if they ever met in the breeding barn.

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