Derby Cocktails: Bloody Mary

The Kentucky Derby is this Saturday — but we will be attending the Virginia Gold Cup race. It’s  much closer to home.

The race only lasts two minutes, but the event lasts all day and it’s all about traditions. Big hats, pretty dresses, pastels, plaid, and good tailgating food!

Jenny over at Savory Style helped us come up with our Southern theme for the tailgate. I am making several jugs of bloody mary’s (my favorite) and corn muffins.

*2 shots of Absolute vodka *1 cup V8 vegetable juice *1 teaspoon horseradish *2 shakes of Worcestershire sauce *1 teaspoon lemon juice  *1 teaspoon Tabasco (if you like it hot!) *salt *Old Bay seasoning *1  celery stalk
Makes 1 – 16 oz bloody mary

1. Use two similar size glasses, keep one empty and to the side. Pour your vodka and V8 into one glass.

2. Spoon in your horseradish, and two shakes of Worcestershire and teaspoon of lemon juice. Stir with a spoon and add a handful of ice cubes.

3. In a bowl or on a plate mix about 1/4 cups salt and 2 table spoons old bay seasoning into a circular mound. Wet the rim of your empty glass and then twist it around the salt and seasoning.

4. Carefully pour your bloody mary into the now salt rimmed glass. Garnish with a celery stalk (or lemon wedge.)

Honey so badly wants to come to the race. I really wish I could get her a mini derby hat with two holes cut out for her ears. I would walk her around on her pretty pink leash, she is certainly a Southern belle. After all we did rescue her from South Carolina! 🙂

The most traditional derby cocktail is the mint julep of course! Jenny is bringing that one. We will also have mimosas and sangria.

Sunday Breakfast: Baked Eggs

For Sunday breakfast I make this delicious baked egg recipe.  You could get fancy and call it Eggs en Cocotte if you want.  It’s super simple and has runny eggs and melted cheese,  two of my favorite things.

I used bacon, mozzarella cheese (the new kind from Kraft that has Philadelphia cream cheese in it), chives and french bread,  but you put anything you want in the ramekin. Mushroom, spinach, sausage, even french toast or pancakes (hmmm… I may have to try it again with pancakes!)

*2 slices of bacon,*2 eggs * 2 teaspoons heavy cream *butter *french bread *chives *your choice of cheese (grated)

1. Butter your ramekin, then place two small french bread slices on the bottom then chopped bacon slices on top of the bread.

2. Sprinkle your grated cheese on top of the bacon, then crack your two eggs on top.

3. Spoon a teaspoon of cream on top of each egg, salt and pepper the eggs, then sprinkle some more cheese. 

4. Place the ramekin in a baking pan, resting in 1 1/2 inch hot water at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes (just so the egg sets, if you over cook the egg everything will be dry instead of runny, learned that one the hard way).

5. Carefully remove from oven and water bath, sprinkle with chives, and serve with more sliced french bread.

Don’t be afraid to try this one, it really is as easy as it sounds. It’s soft and cheesy, salty and eggy, everything that breakfast should be.

Sweet Coffee Popsicles

Sun is shining, the weather is sweet
Make you want to move your dancing feet

*1 pot extra strong coffee, your favorite flavor *3 table spoons sweetened condensed milk *popsicle molds

I ran a 5k “mud and obstacle” race today in costume as Black Swans  with three of my girlfriends.  It was my third year at “RunAmuck.”  Check out Ericka’s photos here at The Sweet Life. My shoulders are seriously red with sun burn,  my calves are sore and my manicure is a mess,  but I feel amazing and refreshed.  It’s really starting to feel like Summer!Since I love iced coffee so much, and it’s been so warm lately, I thought I would see how coffee popsicles might taste.  I used my new favorite flavor Dunkin Donuts Strawberry Shortcake.  It’s just a hint of strawberry so that it’s not to sweet.  It’s dreamy.  If you don’t make the popsicles at least try the coffee.


1. Make a pot of strong, strong coffee.

2. Sweeten it with three tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk (too much cream will keep them from hardening).

3. Let your coffee cool in the fridge for a couple hours.

4. Pour into popsicle molds and let them harden over night.  If you have trouble removing them from the mold, run some hot water over the mold briefly and they should slide right out.

Apple Cinnamon Muffins with Cream Cheese Icing

I was really craving muffins yesterday.  I went with apple, cinnamon because Nick loves cinnamon.  This particular muffin recipe is extra soft a fluffy.  I added bits of Fuji apple (the best apple for baking) and the swirled icing to make them irresistible.  Yum.

1 box Betty Crocker Premium “Cinnamon Streusel” Muffin Mix , 3/4 cup milk, 1/4 cup canola oil, 2 eggs, 1 package low fat cream cheese, 1 stick salted butter, 1/4 cup water, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1 Fuji apple, muffin tins

I am going to eat one of these bad boys for breakfast today and not feel guilty at all.  You know why?  Because I just started the P90X work out.  I plan to eat healthy over the next 90 days but allow myself decadent desserts that I can burn off through out the day.  Get ready for some serious breakfasts recipes!


1. Heat oven to 425 degrees F (or 400 degrees F for dark or nonstick pan). Place paper baking cups in 12 regular-size muffin cups.

2. Stir muffin mix, milk, oil and eggs in medium bowl just until blended (batter may be lumpy). Peel and chop your apple pieces, stir into mix. Divide batter among muffin cups (each about 2/3 full).

3. Sprinkle streusel over batter in each cup; press lightly. Bake 16 to 21 minutes or until golden brown.


1. With a electronic mixer whip room temperature cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar until it is smooth and incorporated. Add water last for a thinner consistency. 

2. Fill a piping bag or squeeze bottle (I picked up my Wilton squeeze bottles from Michaels for $2 and I use them to decorate all my dishes!) to create the swirled icing.

NOTE: I frequently use boxed mixes that you can buy ahead of time to show that with a little thought and some extra ingredients anything can look unique and taste and homemade. Maybe you’re a mom and you work a full time job as well… Do you have time to make 24 cupcakes from scratch? Probably not, but you could make these easy orange creamsicle cupcakes that will wow everyone!

Follow me on Twitter

Happy Anniversary

To celebrate our year together Nick took me to Meadowlark Botanical Garden. It was the sweetest most thoughtful idea ever.  It had been cloudy all morning but the sun came out just for us as soon as we got there.  I took a million photos  (He knew I would).

In season this month are: Daffodils, Minor Bulbs, Tulips, Magnolias, Flowering Cherries, Potomac Valley Native Wildflowers, Rock Garden, Conifers Collection, and Lenten Rose.

This Asian gazebo is still under construction. The wood work was gorgeous, and Japanese cherry blossoms had just been planted. Imagine this 15 years from now…

This one of the red and dark purple tulips is my favorite.  It reminds me of something from Midsummer’s Night Dream.

I can’t wait to go back next month for the Peonies, they are my favorite, and then in June for the Daylillies.