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The Bluegrass Recipe

The Bluegrass Recipe

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This one ought to be a no-brainer — we add fruit and sugar to our cocktails all the time — but good luck finding a jar of good preserves behind most bars. Try The Bluegrass, my take on a blueberry summer spritzer.


  • 2 Ounces bourbon
  • ½ Ounce Amaro Montenegro
  • ½ Ounce orange juice
  • 3 sage leaves, divided
  • 1 -2 bar spoonfuls of blueberry preserves or jam
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 -2 ounce seltzer water
  • Orange peel for garnish

Cookin’ With Grass

“I was walking back to my office one day and thought it would be a good idea to type up some of those typical recipes families make – the ones you don’t really find in cookbooks anymore,” says Becky Cantrell. “I was really thinking about breakfast casseroles and the like. I planned on typing up the recipes and putting them in a notebook for my daughter.”

But then Becky got a bigger, better idea. “One day, I thought it would be a good idea to gather recipes from bluegrass performers and put together a cookbook of their recipes along with their stories of the recipes.”

That sounded like a simple, clear cut idea. After all, Becky’s husband, Kyle Cantrell is the program director of SiriusXM Radio’s Bluegrass Junction. Prior to that job, he had a 21-year career at WSM Radio and the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. So Becky had a leg-up on contacting the artists she wanted to submit recipes. “Well, not all of them,” she says. “Kyle knew some of them, but I had to track the others down, which was probably the hardest and most time-consuming part of the whole process.”

Determined, Becky searched out the artists she wanted in the book on the Internet. “I would message them on Facebook and send emails through their websites. I spent about a year and a half to two years gathering the recipes.

Her first cookbook, Cookin’ With Grass, Recipes from some of your favorite Bluegrass artists, was published in 2016. The book sold well, with many of the artists selling it at their merch table at concerts and festivals. “There were even artists selling the book who didn’t have a recipe in it!”

The book was popular with seasoned cooks as well as novice cooks. “I tried to write this cookbook in a way that even the most inexperienced cook could be successful in the kitchen,” says Becky. In the front of the book, Becky writes, “Please be merciful to me if the directions are too detailed or too specific.” She outlines tools for a well-appointed kitchen and how to use them, and details ingredients, how to cook with eggs, cookware and temperatures, definitions, and “this and that.” Like most cookbooks, Becky’s book is divided into sections that include appetizers, soups, salads, breads, main dishes, side dishes, desserts and miscellaneous.

Never dreaming she’d ever do one book, let alone two, Becky is now actively working on her third book. The second book, Cookin’ With Grass II, Recipes from some of your favorite Bluegrass artists, includes more detailed tips for the novice chef, which covers such topics as measuring flour, the wonders of paper towels in the kitchen, tasting food, how to keep ice cream from getting ‘icy’ and even an ode to Crème Fraiche. “I dedicated my first book to my husband, children, mother, and father, and the second book was dedicated to my friends. If I had known I’d be doing so many books, I would have spread the dedications out!”

Donna Ulisse wrote the blurb on the back of the book, part of which says, “The bluegrass genre is rich in Americana living so the contributions made by this talented group represented here know the delicious and down-home goodness. These troubadours will floor you with soul-filling music when they are on the stages of America and soulful food within these pages packed with Becky’s dream of sharing wonderful recipes.” The books are available on Amazon, or by contacting Becky through her Facebook page. And of course, you’ll find them on merch tables at bluegrass festivals and concerts around the country!

Walking Tacos

By Lou Reid (Lou Reid & Carolina and Seldom Scene)

Cookin’ With Grass, Recipes from some of your favorite Bluegrass artists

Each person can make their own walking tack – buffet style. This one is a favorite at the North Iredell High School concession stands our daughters, Regan and Mackie, are athletes at North. We spend a lot of time at games! This is also a great meal idea when entertaining lots of teens. Easy and quick clean up! – L. R.

1 packet (1 ounce) taco seasoning

Variety case of small bags of Doritos®

1 bag finely shredded cheddar cheese

1 container (16 ounces) sour cream

In a large skillet, brown the beef with the chopped onion. Drain and discard grease. Add taco seasoning, mix well.

Before opening a bag of chips, gently crush chips inside the bag. Open the bag, add the meat and choice of other ingredients into the bag. Grab a fork and eat out of the bag. Voila! Walking tacos!

Killer Mashed Potatoes

By Kyle Cantrell (SiriusXM Radio)

Cookin’ With Grass, Recipes from some of your favorite Bluegrass artists

There are mashed potatoes – then there are Mashed Potatoes! These are moist and full of flavor. Once you’ve tried them, you’ll know why we call them “Killer Mashed Potatoes!” – K.C.

1 container (16 ounces) sour cream

1 package dry ranch dressing mix

Cook potatoes until done, either by an oven, microwave, or boiling. If microwaving or baking, be sure to cut slits in the potatoes to keep them from exploding. Peel potatoes (while hot if possible – it helps in melting the butter) and place potatoes in a mixing bowl, discarding the peeling. Add sour cream, butter and ranch dressing mix. Mix until everything is well blended.

You can make a day or two ahead and refrigerate. Warm them in the oven before you plan to serve them.

You can use this as stuffing for twice-baked potatoes. Bake the potatoes in the microwave or oven. Cut an oval in the top of the potato, scoop out the pulp and mix as per the above directions. Spoon mashed potatoes back into potato skins, top with shredded cheese, and heat in the oven or microwave.

Hot Feta Artichoke Dip

Cookin’ With Grass, Recipes from some of your favorite Bluegrass artists II

I love cooking Italian dinners up for family and friends and had always longed for an appetizer that would taste good with ante pasta salad. The initial recipe hooked me with the words, “feta cheese” – one of my all-time favorites! After making it several times I added tastes I loved and reduced tastes I wasn’t crazy about and this is the result. It’s a gooda! – D.U.

1 can (24 ounces) artichoke hearts, drained

2 packages (8 ounces each) crumbled Athenos® feta cheese

¾ – 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1 jar (4 ounces) diced pimiento, drained

1 large clove garlic, pressed

Preheat oven to 350. In a bowl, combine artichoke hearts, feta cheese, mayonnaise, pimiento, and garlic. Mix well. Spread in a 9” pie plate or shallow dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Garnish with tomatoes and green onion.

The Bluegrass Recipe - Recipes

All cookbooks (include those printed that are SOLD OUT) are available on Amazon and Kindle.

Barbara Harper-Bach is a well known, blue-ribbon cook and artist who has recently published thirteen cookbooks.

From My Daughter’s Kitchen. 45 pages of delicious and easy recipes that are calorie conscious, light and all tweaked by my daughter, Rebecca Bach Cain, a former University of Kentucky Varsity Cheerleader during the Sutton era. Healthy but delicious! She is still calculating and health conscious about her food. $16.00 + $5.00 shipping.

Meatloaf Mania Cooking Clinic. The meatloaf cookbook is a lifetime collection of my best meatloaf recipes and some tweaked to become meatloaf burgers, stove top meatloaf, meatloaf sliders and more, including recipes from two local top chefs in the bluegrass and other friends. A Kentucky Book Fair cookbook 2018. Only $14.00!

The Southern Wedding Cooking Clinic, Around 250 pages of recipes and menus for engagement parties, wedding showers, bridesmaids luncheons, sweetheart luncheons, rehearsal dinner and many different themed wedding receptions. The only cookbook of this kind on the market to our knowledge. Color photos of my daughter’s 2016 wedding and photos of many recipes in center fold. Large print. $32.00.

The Irish American Cookery Clinic, 167 pages, SOLD OUT but available on Amazon..

The Sweet Confections Cooking Clinic, 189 pages, photos, accepted in the Kentucky Book Fair as an outstanding cookbook of 2015. SOLD OUT.

From My Mother’s Kitchen has been reprinted from the 2008 edition with photographs and some new recipes added, this book is a nostalgic collection of Barbara’s mother and grandmother’s best recipes including recipes from some of her friend’s moms as a bonus. SOLD OUT but available on Amazon.

“The Holiday Hostess Cooking Clinic, A Seasonal Sampler“, 300 pages of monthly menus, special occasions and recipes galore with more photographs and illustrations than ever before. SOLD OUT but available on Amazon.

“Butler’s Doggie Dish of the Day Cooking Clinic”, 70 pages of home made main dishes and treats that don’t contain the preservatives and chemicals of commercial dog food, plus lots of photographs of the recipes. A must for the holidays for the dog owners on your Christmas list. SOLD OUT but available on Amazon.

“The Derby Party Cooking Clinic” cookbook, 120 pages. The book is a stellar collection of unique Derby recipes from award winning horsewoman, artist and cook, Barbara Harper-Bach and area Derby Host/Hostesses to make your Derby Party as exciting as the Kentucky Derby itself. Ideas for decorating and games are included with color photographs throughout. The horsey set will be delighted with sections like “The Watering Trough” (Beverages) and “Sweetfeed” (Desserts). A must for this year’s Derby celebration and for years to come. Barbara’s oil on canvas print of her 2013 Kentucky Derby Poster entry adorns the cover and she has done horsey illustrations for each section. SOLD OUT but available on Amazon.

“The Pat-A-Cake Clinic” cookbook is 200 pages of mouth watering recipes for biscuits, breads, coffee cakes, pancakes ,yeast rolls, and heirloom cakes, including Angelica Guica’s (Teodora’s) Artisan bread. Chef Candido’s Tutti Fruitti Cake of Celebrity Cruise Lines, and Anita Madden’s wonderful cook Virginia Shelby ‘s Cheese Bread and as a bonus many great recipes for accompaniments and side dishes. SOLD OUT.

“The Pure Kentucky Pie Clinic” cookbook is 145 pages of the best collection of pie recipes in the world, many being award winners. Won third place in the Georgetown pie contest with my apple butter pie in Feb. 2012. SOLD OUT but available on Amazon.

“Thanking The Ping” The Canning Clinic Cookbook teaches the reader the lost art of canning and preserving and includes recipes for the condiments as well as recipes that use home canned goods. As usual, Barbara includes a good read in the text of this 140+ page cookbook, with stories about family and friends in connection with almost every recipe. Barbara is busy preparing for “IGA Meals in Minutes (two television shows based on recipes from the new book. TV station WBKO in Bowling Green, KY will be airing those shows.

Blue Ribbon Breakfasts is a collection of the recipes that Barbara’s Blue Ribbon Breakfast committee used when they cooked for a Men’s Prayer Breakfast at Anchor Baptist Church in Lexington, Ky. The women prepared breakfast once a month for almost year for 32 hungry church men and when the leader of the group died, the breakfasts were discontinued. The book is dedicated to the leader, Jack Adcock and proceeds from the book will be donated to the church in his name. This book contains amazing recipes for wonderful country breakfasts and brunches with lots of eggy dishes suitable for spring and Easter feasting. Blue Ribbon Breakfasts is $20.00 plus $5.00 shipping.

The next book “The Christmas Clinic Cookbook“, $22.00, contains every recipe you will need for Christmas and is divided into two parts: the sideboard which contains recipes for all the gift giving and family that can be made ahead beginning the day after Thanksgiving with the traditional fruitcake that needs to be basted every day until Christmas with a good Liquor, and the Christmas Table that includes recipes and instructions for elegant holiday feasting from Christmas luncheons to Christmas day dinner. Her second passion as an artist enables her to illustrate her own books.

“If you like to cook and eat and want the very best, try some of the recipes from these cookbooks. They are the best of the best. I am 77 years young and know what good cooking is. The proof is in the pudding y’all.”

As I mentioned in my earlier post about Turmeric Ginger Tea, I’ve become a fan of the turmeric ginger combo and its health benefits. It took me some experimenting over the course of five or six pitchers to develop a recipe for the lemonade I like: Leigh’s Turmeric Ginger Lemonade 7 cups water 2 inches [&hellip]

In the last six or eight months I’ve been doing a lot of research about alternative health care possibilities to help my mother with her unending arthritis pain. I was very impressed by some medical school studies on turmeric and the positive results from drinking turmeric ginger tea. They found that participants who cut out [&hellip]


Biscuits, Kentucky-Style

Mint Julep, a Kentucky Treasure The Hot Brown

Thanks to Kathy Witt, the award-winning travel and legendary lifestyle writer for these delicious contributions.

In a world gone topsy-turvy by a pandemic, comfort food comes to the rescue, calming nerves and nourishing the soul. This week, we welcome signature recipes from the Bluegrass State. Georgetown, Kentucky's Local Feed is a popular restaurant and their acclaimed Chef Justin Thompson generously contributed his recipe for an American favorite. Is there anything melted cheese doesn't make just a little bit better?

Local Feed's Famous Mac 'n Cheese

1 lb. dry pasta (shells, macaroni, etc.)

15 slices American cheese

1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs

Boil and strain pasta. Bring heavy cream to a simmer. Season to taste. Add American cheese slice by slice, followed by smoked Gouda, stirring slowly. Season to taste. Fold in pasta and place in your favorite casserole dish or cast iron. Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top and bake at 425 degrees until golden brown. Tip: If cheese sauce is a little thick, rinse out the cream container with 1/2 cup of water, then add a tablespoon of it at a time until desired thickness.

Local Feed is across the street from Royal Spring Park in downtown Georgetown, where legend has it that Rev. Elijah Craig first made bourbon in 1789. Craig was also the first distiller to use charred oak casks, which gives bourbon its beautiful color and distinctive taste. These troubled times become easier to endure with a little Bourbon from time to time.

Fava's, a Georgetown diner that has been around since 1910, serves what Kentuckian's call "down-home delicious," like fried catfish, thick-cut bologna, pimento cheese sandwiches, loaded chili cheese dogs and signature country breakfasts. Fava's also has its own version of what Kentuckians hail as one of the state's most beloved culinary masterpieces, the Hot Brown.

Fava's Kentucky Hot Brown

Topped with sliced ham and turkey

Topped with homemade cheese gravy

Topped with juicy sliced tomato

Topped with 2 slices of crisp bacon

Topped with cheddar cheese

The 146th running of the Kentucky Derby may be postponed until September, but there's no reason we shouldn't enjoy some Derby favorite's now. The Beaumont Inn is Kentucky's oldest family-operated country inn and a James Beard America's Classic Award recipient. Located in Harrodsburg, they shared two classic recipes. The Mint Julep is the official drink of the Kentucky Derby where nearly 120,000 of these bourbon-based libations are served over the 2-day Derby weekend at Louisville's Churchill Downs. Country ham biscuits-a revered Kentucky culinary tradition- has a prominence around the "greatest two minutes in sports."

You'll enjoy these recipes from The Beaumont Inn Cookbook.

Beaumont Inn Mint Julep

For the Simple Syrup: Put equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat add a generous handful of fresh mint. Allow mint to rest in simple syrup. After 20-30 minutes, or when syrup has cooled, strain mint from simple syrup.

For the Mint Julep: Fill a tall glass with crushed ice. Pack in as much ice as possible. The traditional recipes call for 2 parts bourbon to 1 part simple syrup. We usually mix ours 1 to 1 because most people like them sweeter than traditional, so for the Beaumont Inn Mint Julep, add 2 ounces bourbon to a tall glass of ice, and add 2 ounces simple syrup. Add a large sprig of fresh mint and sturdy straw. Crush the mint with the straw to the bottom of the glass. Then sip away!

Country Ham Biscuits (Kentuckians love these).

Dissolve mustard, sugar, salt and flour in water. Beat eggs and vinegar in the top of a double boiler. Add the dissolved ingredients. Cook and stir the dressing over boiling water until thick and smooth. Add butter. Use for chicken salad, coleslaw and country ham salad. (Egg whites may be frozen and saved for other recipes.)

Mix ground country ham with enough country dressing to produce a smooth consistency. Spread mixture on cooked biscuits. Heat at 425 degrees about 5 minutes or until very hot.

Sift dry ingredients. Cut the shortening into flour. Make a well in the center of the flour and put milk into the well. Stir until the dough cleans the bowl – not over a half minute. Knead it for a half minute. Pat it out on a floured surface to about 1/2 inch or to desired thickness. Cut with 2-inch biscuit cutter. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Leftover biscuits can be stored in a tin or frozen and enjoyed later.

Kentucky Bluegrass Fudge Pie

This fudge pie a cross between a brownie and a dense chocolate cake, and better than either. It's a fun dessert to serve on Derby Day at a party. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Grease an 8 x 1-1/2-inch cake pan and set it aside. Combine the flour, cocoa and salt in a bowl, stirring with a whisk to break up any cocoa lumps.
  2. Beat the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy. Stir in the flour mixture. Add the pecans, mixing well. Pour into the cake pan.
  3. Bake about 30 minutes, until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Do not over-bake. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. The pie may be dusted with powdered sugar or served with ice cream.

Note: To toast the pecans, preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Spread pecan halves, or pieces, on a cookie sheet and place in the oven. Stir every 2 minutes to allow even toasting. Bake about 10 minutes for halves and about 6 minutes for pieces. The nuts will darken slightly - don't let them burn. Although they may not look very toasty, they will have a different taste from regular pecans. If halves are used, coarsely chop before adding to the recipe.

Kentucky Benedictine Sandwiches

The Bluegrass State has given us plenty of delicious dishes, and benedictine sandwiches are one of our favorites. These eight-ingredient tea sandwiches are a lovely addition to lunches, brunches, and teas. Kentucky Benedictines pair with anything and everything thanks to their flavor&mdasha wonderful mix of fresh crunch and smooth creaminess. A base of white bread plays host to the Benedictine spread, which is a blend of cream cheese, chopped cucumber, green onions, a sprinkling of dill, mayo, and a healthy dose of salt and pepper. This is our best-ever tea sandwich recipe, partly because it&rsquos so easy, and partly because it&rsquos so delicious. Even if you&rsquore low on time, this recipe will leave you with a platter of bite-sized apps that you&rsquoll be proud to share with all your friends and family. They&rsquore a must-make for your next ladies&rsquo luncheon. Scale the recipe up or down depending on how many people you&rsquore feeding. It doubles&mdasheven triples!&mdashjust beautifully.

Tasting Kentucky: Favorite Recipes from the Bluegrass State

This spring seemed busier than usual, so I wasn’t cooking dinner as much as I’d like. Getting my copy of Tasting Kentucky in the mail was just the kick in the pants I needed to get back into the kitchen. Upon receiving my copy of the book I immediately sat down to read through it and I couldn’t put it down. By the time I finished going through it I had a pretty lengthy list of “Must Try” recipes. I decided to start with the recipe for Burgoo, which just so happened to come from the kitchens at the Keeneland. And what better to pair with the Burgoo than the Bread Pudding with Maker’s Mark Bourbon Sauce, which also came from Keeneland. The kids and I made these recipes on Derby weekend, to celebrate the big race. I love involving the kids with dinner prep, it not only teaches them kitchen skills, but helps me out a great deal! Both the Burgoo and the Bread Pudding were delicious, and have already been added to our list of favorites for our dinner rotation. A week later I made the Beef Short Ribs with Bourbon Barrel Ale from The Village Anchor restaurant and those were also a big hit with the whole family. I feel like I’m going to spend my summer going through this cookbook and trying as many recipes as I can.

While I’ve spent much of this post bragging on the mad cooking skills and cookbook-creating skills of Maggie Green it’s also important to shine the spotlight on the photographer for Tasting Kentucky. Sarah Jane Sanders photographed each of the dishes in Maggie’s own kitchen and her photographs are fabulous. They will seriously make you drool. What I would have given to have been in that kitchen while the testing and photographing of the recipes was going on! I’ll have to do my own taste tests in my kitchen, and I’ll post my own pictures on Instagram, but they won’t do nearly as much justice to the dishes as Sarah Jane’s pictures did.

You don’t have to be from Kentucky to appreciate this cookbook. It doesn’t matter what state you live in, Bourbon Slush is always delicious. The recipes in this book would please any palate, no matter what state you are in. But if you have family who lives out of town this would be a perfect gift to send to give them a taste of home. I know that this is now going to become a go-to gift for us, because I love to give the gift of good eats (and I love to support local businesses).

If you don’t own one or both of these cookbooks yet you really should add them both to your collection. I guarantee you will find recipes to love and make again and again. Tasting Kentucky can be found in the Greater Cincinnati area at: Joseph Beth, Bunches of Bows in Ft Wright, Monera in Ft Thomas, Village Gifts in Covington and Let me know what your favorite recipe is when you add these cookbooks to your collection!

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of Tasting Kentucky for review purposes but as usual all of the opinions stated in this post are 100% my own.

Bourbon Slush

Recipe adapted from Kat Kinsman, Editor in Chief

Yield: 18 to 20 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes, plus chilling time

Cook Time: N/A

Total Time: 10 minutes, plus chilling time


12 ounces frozen lemonade concentrate

6 ounces frozen orange juice concentrate

2 liters ginger ale, chilled, for serving


1. In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups of the water to a boil. Add the tea bags and allow to steep for 10 minutes. Discard the tea bags. Stir in the sugar until it dissolves.

2. In a large container, combine the brewed tea, lemonade and orange juice concentrates, remaining water and bourbon.

3. Place the container in the freezer for at least 4 to 6 hours or preferably overnight until the slush is firm all the way through.

4. Scoop the bourbon slush into a tumbler glass, top with ginger ale and serve.

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Wir haben dieses Rezeotbuch als Kindleversion erworben. Damit haben wir es immer an Bord und können es ausprobieren.

Wir kennen Kentucky nicht nur als Zentrum der Bourbonherstellung, Pferdemekka der USA sondern auch von der grünen Landschaft und der Gastfreundschaft der Bewohner. Wir landen immer mal wieder bei Freunden.

Dieses Rezeptbuch enthält überschaubare und leicht nachkochbare Rezepte. Alles Masseinheiten sind in amerikanischen Maßen angegeben. Die Umrechnung ist aber nicht schwer und man gewöhnt sich schnell daran. So ist eine Cup 250 ml, also nimmt man wahlweise ein Maß oder eine Tasse, die etwa dieses Volumen hat. Wir nutzen eine Tasse, geht flotter als abmessen. Kommt auch nicht so auf die Unze an.

Man bekommt mit diesem Buch einen Hauch Kentucky kulinarisch nach Hause. Amerikanische Gerichte sind weit mehr als Hamburger, Spare Ribs und Steak. Das allein sind schon schöne Dinge, aber hier findet man noch viel mehr. Uns gefallen an der amerikanischen Küche die Einflüsse der Einwanderer die dieses Land groß gemacht haben. Es spiegelt die Vielfalt wieder.

Watch the video: Bluegrass Benedictine. Flavors of the Bluegrass. A Kentucky Original Series (July 2022).


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