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Saturday, March 28, 2015


It's THAT time of year again!  While football is definitely MY sport, who can resist the college basketball excitement as it draws closer and closer to the final showdown?!!! The FINAL FOUR schedule is at the bottom of this post.

My Gators are out, so I've put all my energy into my son's alma mater, Kentucky!  They're undefeated as of writing this post and are the favorite to win it all (again).  GO CATS!!!
PIZZA DIP with chips or crackers


MINT JULEPS (for a crowd)

(Adapted from Cabi)

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
12 ounces light cream cheese (about 1½ boxes)
¾ tsp dried oregano
¾ tsp dried parsley (or 2 TBSP finely chopped fresh)
¼ tsp dried basil
2 (8-oz) cans tomato sauce
1 (6-oz) can tomato paste
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried basil
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp garlic powder
1 cup mozzarella cheese, divided
½ cup powdered parmesan cheese
¼ cup pepperoni
plus any other toppings you’d like (green pepper, mushrooms, banana peppers etc)
Chips, crackers or bread slices
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 1½ quart casserole dish with cooking spray; set aside. I used a smaller round baking dish - it'd be better in a rectangular dish.
Mix together cream cheese, oregano, parsley, and basil in a small bowl.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Spread the herbed cream cheese on the bottom of prepared dish. Layer with ½ cup mozzarella cheese and ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

In another medium sized bowl, mix together tomato sauce, tomato paste, oregano, basil, sugar, and garlic powder. Pour over cheese layer in dish.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Cover with the remaining cheeses. Top with pepperoni and any other topping you'd like (I happen to be obsessed with banana peppers!).
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Place in preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes or until heated through and bubbly. Serve with crackers or bread slices.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
This one is soooooo good - served last at a UK v UF game in Lexington a few years ago and it was a huge hit!

3 1/2 lbs eye of round beef roast, cut in 2 - 3 pieces vertically
12 cloves garlic, peeled whole
1 large onion, cut into strips
1 12oz your favorite beer
1 tsp salt
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
2 cups of your favorite BBQ sauce
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 TBSP chopped parsley (I used Italian or flat-leaf here)
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
pickle slices
coleslaw (see recipe below)

Sprinkle beef with ~1 tsp salt.  Place beef, garlic, onion and beer in a crock pot. Cover and cook on LOW for about 5-7 hours (or until meat pulls away from the roast easily).

When meat is done, remove it from the pot and let cool a bit. Pull beef into shreds.

In a small bowl, combine the sauce ingredients.

Pour one cup of the mix on the shredded beef and combine.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Save remaining sauce for sandwiches. Serve on rolls with additional sauce, pickles and cole slaw.

(Adapted from

My friend Wendy brought this dish to our Supper Club in December, and it was gobbled up in no time.  It's a snap to prepare and goes very nicely with beef. It's also great for transporting - I'll definitely be taking it tailgating in the fall.  I know, I know - chicken soup, but... just this once...

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
2 lbs. frozen hash browns (Southern style)
1/2 cup melted butter
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1 can cream of chicken soup (try to find one with healthy ingredients)
1 (8 oz.) carton sour cream
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cup corn flakes
1/4 cup melted butter

Mix all ingredients except corn flakes and 1/4 cup butter. Put in greased long casserole pan. Add the 2 cups of corn flakes to 1/4 cup melted butter, and sprinkle on the top. Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour, uncovered. HINT: It's best to let the hash browns thaw a little before mixing.

(Adapted from Robert Irvine)
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
6 cups shredded cabbage (I chose to go the easy route and buy pre-shredded cabbage mix)
1 cup shredded carrot
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon celery seed
1/8 cup sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
In a large bowl, combine cabbage and carrots. In a small bowl, make dressing by combining mayonnaise, vinegar, celery seed, sugar, salt and pepper.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Toss dressing into cabbage mixture and let chill. Serve in a family style bowl.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
This dessert is BY FAR my most requested recipe!  It's decadently delicious, and I've been making it since I first had it at a girlfriend's house in high school.  It's crazy good!!!

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans, toasted (optional)
1 (10.5-ounce) bag miniature marshmallows

1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 (16-ounce) package powdered sugar, sifted
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

Mix butter and sugar. Add eggs and mix well. 

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Sift and add next 4 ingredients, then add vanilla and nuts if desired.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Pour batter into a greased and floured 9x13 baking pan.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Remove from oven; top warm cake evenly with marshmallows. Return to oven, and bake 5 minutes.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Top immediately with chocolate frosting (below).

Mix butter until creamy.  Add cocoa and sugar, and then drizzle the evaporated milk in until you get a good consistency for the frosting.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Drizzle or spoon Frosting over warm cake. Cool completely.

And voila!!! Oh, and you're welcome! ;)
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

(Adapted from the Huffington Post - Max Wattman)

My nod to Kentucky....

Simple Syrup
Kentucky Bourbon 

The day before you need the drinks, make a batch of simple syrup by combining one cup each of sugar and water in a sauce pan, and bringing it to a boil over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Cut the heat and let it cool.

Rinse a bunch of mint and pluck the leaves. Take the cooled -- or mostly cooled -- syrup and pack it with mint leaves plucked from their stems. The stems can add woody, soapy flavors, so take the extra time to pluck. Leave the syrup and mint in a jar in the fridge overnight.

The ratio of mint syrup to bourbon is largely up to you and depends, on how sweet you like your drink. I'm going with  3 ounces of bourbon to 1 ounce of syrup. Which means that one cup of minted simple syrup is enough for a 750 ml bottle of bourbon.

Strain a cup of mint syrup into a carafe and pour in a bottle of bourbon, give it a stir. (If you need it to be portable, buy a liter bottle of bourbon, fill up a flask and then fill the bottle back up with the mint syrup.) Then have crushed ice on hand, and keep a bunch of mint in a glass for garnish. Scoop ice into a glass; pour julep mixture over; garnish with mint, and then enjoy!

The Bracket as of this writing:

My shameless Kentucky plugs (who are now on to the FINAL FOUR!!!):

Duke, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Kentucky advance to the Final Four!

Las Vegas has Kentucky as the 2/3 favorite betting favorite to win it all.
Here's the schedule and TV times 

for the Final Four:

Michigan State (7) vs. Duke (1) 

Saturday, April 4th at 6:09 p.m. eastern time on TBS

Kentucky (1) vs. Wisconsin (1)
Saturday, April 4th at 8:49 p.m. eastern time on TBS

Championship game 

 Monday, April 6th at 9 p.m. on CBS


Wednesday, March 11, 2015



I'm not Irish; nor am I even Catholic, but, St Patrick's Day (aka any excuse to enjoy some good food) is a fun reason to celebrate life with some outstanding food, family and friends.  And it certainly can be more than just drinking some green beer!  And I always thought that corned beef and cabbage sounded boring - boiled beef and smelly cabbage.  Boy, was I wrong!  This menu will change your mind about St Patrick's Day/Irish food forever!


DRINK - GUINNESS (of course!) - or a glass of good Sancerre


(Adapted from Food and Wine)
Food and Wine
These little tidbits are sooooo good, and the best part is - they take about 5 minutes to put together! I loved them so much, that the next time I was at the store, I bought the ingredients and made them again! That combination of smoked salmon, dill and lemony spread - OMG!

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 TBSP Dijon mustard
1 TBSP grainy mustard
1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
2 TSBP chopped dill
Freshly ground pepper
1 baguette, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 pound thinly sliced smoked salmon
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Preheat the broiler and position a rack 6 inches from the heat. In a bowl, beat the butter with the Dijon and grainy mustards, lemon zest and 1 tablespoon of the dill and season with salt and pepper.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Spread the baguette slices on a large rimmed baking sheet and broil until golden and crisp, ~ 1 1/2 minutes per side. Let cool.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Spread the toasts with the mustard butter, top with the smoked salmon and arrange on a platter. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of dill and serve.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
So yummy....

(Adapted from Closet Cooking)
Closet Cooking
1 4 pound corned beef in pickling liquid and spices
1 bottle/can (12+ ounces) Guinness or other Irish stout
1 small onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 TBSP grainy mustard
1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Place the corned beef along with the pickling spices, onion and garlic in a slow cooker/crock-pot with the fat layer on top, pour in the Guinness.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Cook on low until fork tender, ~ 8-10 hours.
Set the corned beef aside, strain the solids from the Guinness and juices.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Place the liquid into a large sauce pan, add the brown sugar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, bring to a boil reduce the heat and simmer to reduce by half, about 10 minutes.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Cut the fat layer from the corned beef.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Glaze the beef with the Guinness glaze, and bake in a preheated 400 degree F oven until the glaze starts bubbling, about 10-15 minutes.  Let rest for 10 minutes or so and slice thinly.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Serve with the reduced sauce on the side.

(Adapted from Food Network)
Food Network
1 small head white cabbage, including outer green leaves (2 1/2 pounds)
2 TBSP unsalted butter
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Cut the cabbage in half and, with the cut-side down, slice it as thinly as possible around the core, like you were making coleslaw.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Discard the core. Melt the butter in a large saute pan or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the cabbage, salt, and pepper and saute for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is tender and begins to brown. Season, to taste, and serve warm.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
(Adapted from Food and Wine)
Food and Wine
This bread looks so yummy and - - - no yeast!  Should be a snap to make.

3 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter an 8-by-5-inch metal loaf pan.
In a large bowl, whisk both flours with the baking soda and salt.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
In a small bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the egg; stir into the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon until a rough dough forms.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead a few minutes until smooth. Form the dough into a loaf and put it in the prepared pan.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Bake for about 50 minutes, until the bread has risen about 1/2 inch above the rim of the pan. Once unmolded, the loaf should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Let cool to warm or room temperature, then slice and serve.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Here's another Irish Soda Bread recipe from Closet Cooking.  It makes a smaller loaf and includes rolled oats and again, no yeast.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup buttermilk

Mix the flours, baking soda, salt and rolled oats in a bowl.

Mix in the buttermilk and form a dough.

Shape the dough and place it on a baking sheet or in a loaf pan.

Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F oven for 40 minutes (the top should be golden brown).

I've been making these cupcakes for years and years - I took them to my kids' various classes when they were younger, and I brought them to their sports teams as a treat etc.  Those "kids" are adults now and still ask for these cupcakes - they are THAT good.  I have no idea where the recipe originally came from - I ripped it out of a magazine some 30+ years ago!

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 pkg instant pistachio pudding mix
2-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Buttercream or cream cheese frosting (I'm using buttercream).

And for decoration you can use anything you'd like.  I'm going with green M&Ms, but you can use green sugar or sprinkles or dye the buttercream green with food coloring!

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, pudding mix, baking powder and salt.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
In another bowl, combine the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Stir into dry ingredients until combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Fill foil or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Bake at 375 degrees F for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Frost and decorate as desired. Makes 20-24.

Buttercream Frosting
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 to 2 TBSP whipping cream or milk

In a mixer, mix together sugar and butter until light and fluffy - around 3-4 minutes.

Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat for 1 minute more, adding more cream if you want for your desired spreading consistency.

Frost and decorate the cupcakes however you desire.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
I thought about coming up with some great cocktail to serve alongside this Irish meal, but nothing green and (sickeningly) sweet sounded like a good accompaniment.  While a white wine would go fine with it (think Sauvignon Blanc or French Sancerre or a French Pinot Gris), the true drink du jour should be a good Irish stout such as:

Sláinte!!!!! (pronounced SLAYN-CHA!)

Now for the BEST part of this meal - - - LEFTOVERS!

(Adapted from Closet Cooking)

Now for the real reason I'm preparing a St Patty's Day dinner - LEFTOVERS the next day are even better!  Nothing better than a good reuben sandwich!  The recipe is for ONE sandwich:

1 TBSP butter, room temperature
2 slices rye, lightly toasted
1/2 cup swiss, shredded or sliced
2 TBSP sauerkraut, drained and patted dry, coarsely chopped
1 TBSP 1000 Island Dressing (or just mix together equal parts mayo and ketchup to make your own)
2 ounces cooked corned beef, sliced or shredded

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat (or you can use a panini press). Butter the outside of each slice of bread.

Sprinkle half of the cheese on the inside of one slice of bread, top with half of the sauerkraut, half of the dressing, the corned beef, the remaining dressing, sauerkraut, cheese and finally the other slice of bread.

Add the sandwich to the pan and grill until golden brown and the cheese has melted, about 2-4 minutes per side (or heat and melt the cheese in a panini press like I did).  These are absolutely perfection!

Another fabulous sounding recipe using St Pat's leftovers that I have not made (but hope to!) is the following:

(Adapted from Closet Cooking)

2 (8 inch) tortillas
1/2 cup swiss cheese, shredded
1/4 cup cooked corned beef, chopped or shredded and warm
1/4 cup sauerkraut, squeezed and drained
1/2 TBSP thousand island dressing

Melt a bit of butter in a pan over medium heat.
Place a tortilla into the pan, swirl it around in the butter, set it aside and repeat with the second tortilla leaving it in the pan.
Sprinkle half of the cheese on the tortilla followed by the corned beef, sauerkraut, 1000 island dressing, the remaining cheese and finally the other tortilla.
Cook until the quesadilla is golden brown on both sides and the cheese is melted, about 2-4 minutes per side.


Erin Go Braugh!
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue