April 7, 2011

Derby Party SET- now to PLAN!

Menu Ideas:

Every year I do a pulled chicken BBQ. It's super easy, especially since it's in a crock pot!
I'm including the recipe below for your use and enjoyment!

1 8-oz can tomato sauce
1 4-oz can chopped green chilies, drained
3 tbsp cider vinegar
2 tbsp honey
2 1/2 lbs boneless/skinless chicken thighs (key as it tends to be easier to 'pull' than standard chicken breast)
1 tbsp sweet or smoked paprika
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp dry mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp ground chipotle chili
1/2 tsp salt

Add all to crockpot and cook at least 5 hrs. Take each thigh and shred on cutting board between two forks. Add shredded chicken back to pot and stir until all chicken is shredded.

When i moved out of my parents place, I may or may not have 'borrowed' this Mint Julep book.
Secret.... "it's in the Sauce!" (YAY, Fried Green Tomato quote!) Seriously though, depending on how much syrup you need (I typically use double so that i have plenty depending on how many mint julep/bourbon fans I have). Last year I had to make another batch in the middle of the party. Basically, you take 1 cup water and 1 cup granulated sugar and boil, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved. I keep mine in a pitcher in the fridge. It keeps it fresh and away from bugs. Additionally, I was surprised to learn it never solidifies again, and keeps for up to 2 weeks. If you want to add more minty ness you can boil mint leaves when stirring in sugar, just be sure to drain. It's vital that you get the mint juleps right. (followed closely by having good music, and extra food for 'late night')
Another recipe I recently fell upon that might be added to the mix is a Mint Julep Cupcake:
{adapted from Cooking and Booking}
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon mint extract
4 eggs
2 3/4 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup bourbon (or whiskey)
1/2 cup Creme de Menthe
3 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mint extract
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 350ยบ F, and grease or line 30 cupcake cups.
Combine salt, baking powder, and 1 3/4 cups of the flour. Beat butter, sugar, eggs, and extracts in a large mixing bowl until creamy. Gradually beat in the flour mixture. Add the milk and liquors to the batter, then the rest of the flour (1 cup). Mix as little as possible, just until the batter comes together. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake cups. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool.
Combine the powdered sugar, salt, extracts and melted butter and beat until creamy. Gradually add milk until the texture is right for piping. When the cupcakes are completely cool, pipe or spread the icing on top. Garnish with cake sparkles or sprinkles, a straw (trimmed to size), and mint leaves.

I'll let you know how it turns out. Additionally, if you have ANY suggestions, please let me know! I love to cook and try new recipes!

PS: Lucky guests won't be subjected to yet another Alpha Xi Delta party cheese ball... it never gets completely eaten and let's face it, there's just something creepy about shaped cheese...

Are you having a Derby Party?

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