Derby Party Menu Inspiration

derby menu graphic

The 143rd Derby is only 2 weeks away, and those of us who want to enjoy the Kentucky Tradition from our own home can absolutely enjoy all the traditions. Below is a menu that each feature an element of Kentucky and are wonderful for a meal style party. Check out last week’s blog for finger style foods great for those snacking all day parties. The races will begin at 10:00 am and the “most exciting 2 minutes in sports” will take place at 6:34pm.

Ham & Biscuits (Appetizer)
These bite sized sandwiches are perfect for a brunch or appetizer before the full dinner is served. These are full of flavor as the beaten biscuits will soak up the flavor of the rich smoked ham. Easy to prepare and can be made ahead of time.

Ingredients
24 Broadbent’s Beaten Biscuits
6 oz. Broadbent Cooked Country Ham Slices
Broadbent’s Sweet & Tangy Mustard

Directions
Pull the ham slices out and allow them to come to room temperature about 1 hour before hand. Spread a dash of mustard on each biscuit and layer on a slice of ham. Present on a beautiful platter.

Watermelon Tomato Salad (Starter)
This unique seasonal dish is from the Kitchen of Executive Chef David Danielson at Churchill Downs. Heirloom tomatoes fall into season but purchase them just before preparing (1-3 days) because they can are delicate and quickly change from ripe to overripe.

Ingredients
3-4 medium heirloom tomatoes, cut into ¾ inch chunks
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into ¾ in. chunks
¼ C. sliced pickled red onions
1 C. ¾ in. cubed red seedless watermelon
1 T. Chopped Mint
1 T. Chopped Basil
3 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 T. Lemon Juice
Dash of fresh ground salt & pepper

Directions
Once all your ingredients are sliced combine tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelons, onions and herbs into a bowl. Toss gently. In a separate bowl whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pour liquid mixture into the large bowl and coat evenly. Adjust any seasons to taste.

Hot Brown (Entrée)
This traditional Kentucky dish is served at some of the most renowned restaurants in Kentucky. This dish needs to be served immediately and prepared in individual dishes. This is great for a more intimate gathering.

Ingredients
4 white bread slices
¾ lb. Sliced Roasted Turkey
1 C. Shredded Parmesan Cheese
3 Plum Tomatoes, sliced
8 slices Broadbent Peppered bacon
Mornay Sauce (click here for a recipe)

Directions
Preheat broiler with oven rack about 6 inches from heat. On a baking sheet place your 4 slices of bread, and broil 1-2 minutes on each side allowing it to toast. Remove from oven and transfer each piece to its own individual baking dish. Top with turkey slices, Mornay Sauce, and sprinkle with Parmesan. Return to broiler for 3-4 minutes until bubbly and lightly browned. Remove from oven and top with tomatoes and bacon. Serve immediately

Derby Pie (Dessert)derby pie
This Derby Pie is from Kern’s Kitchen the premier baker since its inception by George Kern at the Melrose Inn of Prospect in Kentucky. While there are recipes available, there is no recipe better than the original which is why we sell their pie exclusively.

Mint Julep Punch (Beverage)
Traditional mint juleps are simply Kentucky Bourbon, Mint Julep Mixer over crushed ice and mint leaves. While these are delicious a punch style can bring the Kentucky traditional for a crowd. Don’t be afraid to leave out the bourbon and let every party guest enjoy this delicious beverage.

Ingredientsmintjulip
46 oz. unsweetened Pineapple Juice
2 C. Water
28 oz. Lemon Lime soda
½ C. lime juice
Mint Julep Mixer to taste
1 Liter Kentucky Bourbon (leave out for a non-alcoholic version)

Directions
Mix all ingredients into a large punch bowl until you reach the desired flavor. The more Mint Julep mixer you add the more minty it becomes. Garnish with Lime slices and Fresh Mint Leaves.

Once you’ve made all the beautiful treats don’t forget to adorn the table with the traditional roses and color scheme of black, gold and red roses.  Be sure to dress for the occasion hat and all. Check out the full derby schedule to plan the perfect watch party at https://www.kentuckyderby.com/party .

Derby Party Finger Foods Menu

Derby Party Finger Foods GraphicThe Kentucky Derby is only a few weeks away but those of us who won’t make it to the Downs can still enjoy traditional Kentucky Derby foods while we watch. Kentucky is known for more than just “the fastest two minutes in sports”. Kentucky is a place steeped in tradition and known for the Derby, Bourbon, Bluegrass, college basketball and horse farms that offer picturesque views.

As a Kentucky Proud product, we provide a variety of local flavors that can bring the taste of Kentucky to your Derby Party anywhere. This blog focuses on the finger foods, as many watch parties last much longer than 2 minutes. Let guests eat and mingle throughout the event with these delicious and filling foods.

Now send out the invites and grab your hats.

Appetizers

Party FareOur Kentucky Party Fare is an assortment that includes traditional Country sliced ham, beaten biscuits and tangy mustard to create finger sandwiches for a crowd.

Meat, Cheese and cracker pairings are a hit with our mouth-watering hand cured lean cuts of pork. These tenderloins are rolled in freshly cracked black pepper and smoked over hickory to infuse them with flavor. Serve the tenderloin sliced thinly along with a buttery cracker and rich cheddar cheese.

Beer Cheese Dip is a crowd pleaser paired with your choice of chips, crackers, or vegetables. The spice is mild, but it brings a unique flavor that will set your party apart.

Desserts derby pie

Derby Pie is a long-standing Kentucky tradition. Enjoy this pie which begins with a flaky buttery crust, a blend of chocolate and walnuts mixed with a wonderful filling.

Bourbon Barrel Cake is sweetened by brown sugar, maple, and chocolate. It’s topped with walnuts and drizzled with a rich chocolate and caramel bourbon icing. The Kentucky bourbon is aged seven years and

Drinks

Sweet tea is a southern staple, add a unique option to your gathering with our Old Honey Barn mintjulipSassafras Tea. If you’ve never had it, sassafras offers a taste that many say is reminiscent of root beer.

The crowning show stopper for the derby is the Mint Julep! We off the mixer which need only be combined with bourbon, ice and fresh mint leaves for a true taste of the derby. For those wishing to partake in the flavor but skip the alcohol, simply exchange bourbon for a quality ginger ale.

 

Now that you’ve got a bit of all the Kentucky traditions you’ll only need to get all dressed up and turn on the race. Offer guests an opportunity to pick the winning horse through a friendly wager. For those wanting to create a full meal for your party, check back next week as we offer a dinner menu, recipes included.

Spring Cleaning Kitchen Tips

spring cleaning header

Spring has sprung and it’s the perfect time to lift open the windows and do some spring cleaning in the busiest room in the house. The kitchen is often the gathering place for families and while daily tasks are often taken care of, the deep cleaning can be forgotten. Make a plan, assign some chores and get that kitchen clean and fresh from top to bottom. You’ll find tips below for cleaning each area of the kitchen that are forgotten daily but are used often.

Appliances

Microwave: Measure one cup of water, then add a lemon cut in half (squeeze juice into water). Microwave for about 3 minutes, then let it sit another 5 minutes. Remove glass and wipe down entire inside with a hot soapy sponge easily.

Dishwasher: Remove and clean the filter by soaking it in hot soapy water for about 10 minutes. Wipe clean and replace. Pour 1 cup of white vinegar into the bottom of the dishwasher and run on a heavy cleaning cycle. If still gunky sprinkle 1 cup of baking soda all over the bottom, let it sit overnight and run it empty in the morning. *If mold is an issue in your dishwasher pour a cup full of bleach set it on the top rack and run the dishwasher empty, using the hottest setting.

Stove Top: For flattop stoves or others the stove itself (burners removed) sprinkle the barkeepers friend on the stove. Use a wet cloth or scrubber to scrub in a circular motion. Wipe down with a damp cloth. Repeat scrubbing if necessary on trouble spots. If you have electrical coils on your stove, remove them from the stove and wipe down with a damp Mr. Clean Magic Eraser or damp cloth with bar keepers friend. Just be sure not to get the electrical connection wet.

Oven: Many ovens have a self cleaning setting which uses extremely high heat and work well. If your not a fan of that function, try this. Remove wire oven racks and set aside. Make a paste with baking soda and water, then apply the paste using an old sponge or scrubber to scrub as you go along. Wipe clean with a warm damp cloth.

Toaster: Use a small pastry brush to remove crumbs from the inside of the toaster. Remove tray and clean.

Slow-Cooker: The insert of the crock-pot is normally cleaned after every meal, but what about the shell of the crockpot. Using baking soda or bar keepers friend scrub it down with a scrubber and wipe clean with a damp cloth. Never submerge this part of the slow-cooker as it contains an electrical connection.

Counter Tops

Dish Racks: Mold and mildew is the top issue for dish drying racks. Clean yours by filling a sink with hot water and ¼ c of bleach for each gallon of water. Submerge the rack in the water and let it soak for about 20 minutes. Use a cloth to wipe away any mildew or debris easily. Rinse thoroughly with clean water and allow it to dry completely.

Canisters: Wipe down canisters that normally sit on the counter top from top to bottom with a disinfectant. Want to clean them completely, pour out all contents and wash, then let them dry completely before replacing dry ingredients.

Deep Clean the Refrigerator

Clean out: Remove all items from the fridge and throw out any old or empty items. Wipe down bottles or trays. Clean all walls and shelves of fridge with baking soda and hot water.

Clean Out Freezer: pull items out of your freezer and throw away any freezer burnt items that have been forgotten. Chip away at excess ice if necessary, then wipe down with baking soda and hot water.

Reorganizing: While replacing items in the fridge move those with close expiration dates to the front and remind family to eat them up. Leave space between foods to allow for proper cool air circulation otherwise foods can get to warm and spoil faster.

Deep Clean the Sink

Stainless Steel: Pour on a heavy coating of baking soda then scrub with an old toothbrush or green scratchy pad to clean entire sink including the drain area.

Ceramic/Porcelain/Copper: Pour on a heavy coating of bar keepers friend then scrub with an old toothbrush or green scratchy pad to clean entire sink including the drain area.

Garbage Disposal: Drop in a cut up lemon along with running water and turn the disposal on to clean out build up and remove most smells.

Organization Trays: Clean and disinfect any organizational trays for sponges and soaps. Also, consider getting new sponges/ scrubbers depending on their age.

Cabinets/ Drawers

Cabinets: Remove contents and wipe down with a dry cloth the interiors. For the exteriors mix a 50/50 combination of warm water and white vinegar dampen cloth with mixture and wipe down cabinet doors and pulls. For ornate cabinets, hinges or pulls use a toothbrush to reach in the crevasses. Wipe down again with water only then dry all surfaces completely. If you have a trouble area from a spill such as syrup or sticky hands, create a paste of vinegar and salt then scrub on lightly, then wipe with water and remove.

Drawers: Remove contents and wipe clean with a dry cloth. Wash organizers in warm soapy water and let dry completely before returning contents. This is a great time to throw out anything broken or no longer used.

Kitchen Table

Wipe down with a 50/50 water, vinegar blend to help remove that sticky waxy layer that can build up. Wipe down chairs, legs and bottoms completely. Chair and table feet attract a lot of dirt but are often forgotten.

Conclusion: Failure to clean accounts for one of the top reasons behind home kitchen fires every year. Give yourself peace of mind by cleaning your kitchen from top to bottom on a consistent basis. Wiping up messes at the time of cooking is the best way to make spring cleaning easier.

 

 

Choosing the Right Ham

choosing right ham At Broadbent, we often get questions especially from first time buyers about the differences in our ham styles. We are best known for our traditional country ham which is salt-cured, but we offer multiple styles to accommodate differing palates. Below we’ll breakdown the details on each of our 4 main styles which we offer in sizes perfect for holidays and family dinners.

Traditional Country Hamcountryham

Our traditional country hams are smoked with hickory wood until rich in pecan color. After smoking is complete they are dry-cured and aged about 9 month to the peak of perfection. The style of curing came from a time prior to refrigeration but creates a unique taste that leaves the ham salty and rich in flavor. These hams are salty, they are quite different from those you will find in your local super markets.  This style comes in boneless or semi-boneless, as well as it is also available in pre-sliced packages.

mildhamMilder/ Less Salty Semi-Boneless Cooked Country Ham

These mild hams are cooked and cured just as our Traditional Country Hams but aged only a fraction of the time. The shorter aging process lessens the saltiness letting it be closer to the traditional city hams. These are sold semi-boneless and come with the accompanying tub of honey glaze to add a layer of sweetness.

 

Traditional City Ham

traditionalham

City ham is a hickory smoked ham that is lean and sweet. We use a combination of wet and dry curing, then expertly smoke it over hickory wood for a tender ham. It is comparable to those hams you’ll find at your local grocery. The order will include a tub of honey glaze that will add an extra layer of sweetness to this Easter tradition. You’ll find this ham is available in the bone-in and boneless, choose whichever you prefer as both are fully cooked and ready to eat.

BBQham1Bone-in BBQ Ham

Our last style of ham is the Bone-In BBQ ham. These hams are smoked on a pit of Hickory wood bring out the sweet while adding an element of smoky. These hams are offered as bone-in only and do NOT include a glaze.

These hams are all cooked and ready to eat when they arrive. We do offer uncooked hams in our Country and Milder/ Less salty style of curing which can allow you to have more of a hand in the preparation of your meal. If you’ve never had a country ham before, we would recommend starting with -the milder/ less salty country ham. If you’re looking for that sweet flavor your used too, -go for the city ham style.

Don’t be afraid to ask either. Our customer service associates are available at 800-841-2202 to help answer specific questions so that you can choose the right ham for your family. Not only about style but size and delivery options as well.

Easy Sides for Easter Supper

Easter Supper Sides Graphic

Traditional Easter meals look different across the U.S. but ham is almost always at the center of the table. We’ve put together a few of our favorite recipes that are easy, but add color to your beautiful springtime table served alongside that delicious ham. Whether you’re feeding a small family or a large group these recipes are easy to adapt and won’t leave you weighed down, but we can’t say the same about the Easter candy you’ll sneak.

Savory Garlic Mashed Potatoes serves 4

These potatoes are delicious and perfect for lighter meals, as the garlic and butter mixture renders gravy unnecessary. This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled for large groups.

Ingredients

4 Russet Potatoes, peeled

2 cloves garlic

1 ½ Tablespoons white sugar

2 Tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon salt

1/3 Cup Milk

Directions

Peel your potatoes and slice thinly (I slice rather than dice and they cook just as efficiently). Add potatoes and garlic into the pan and fill with water just enough to cover potatoes. Bring to a boil and cover cooking about 10-15 minutes. You want potatoes to be fork tender. Drain water from pan and add in milk, salt, butter, and sugar. Use either a hand mixer or potato masher to mash the potatoes. Serve warm.

*If you love garlic, you can feel free to add additional cloves in with the potatoes.

Buttery Garlic & Bacon Peas

Bacon adds a bit of savory to peas in this light side dish that will add color to your Easter table. If your store has steamable bags of peas, I recommend cooking them for the shortest time on the package then skipping to step 2. This is an easy and quick dish that you can whip up just before heading out the door to an Easter gathering.

Ingredientsbacon peas

1 lb. frozen Green Peas

2 Tablespoons Butter or Margarine

2 Cloves Garlic, minced

½ teaspoon lemon pepper

1 cup Broadbent Bacon, cooked and crumbled

½ cup Parmesan Cheese

Directions

  1. Pour peas into a skillet and add water, just enough to cover the peas. Bring water to a boil then reduce and simmer about 5 min turning the peas to a fork tender.
  2. Drain water and return peas to pan. Add bacon, butter, garlic and lemon pepper. Continue to cook over medium heat about 5 minutes stirring gently. Add parmesan cheese and toss to coat, serve warm.

 

Maple Glazed Carrots  serves 6

These carrots bring color and sweetness to the table. Offering sweet and savory side dishes will really balance out the salty goodness of a salt-cured country ham.

Ingredientshoney-glazed-carrots-045

10-12 Carrots

4 Tablespoon Butter (recommended to use real butter)

½ teaspoon Salt

1/3 Cup Pure Maple Syrup

2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

Dash of Black Pepper

Directions

Scrub carrots and slice into thin sticks. Heat skillet over medium heat. Add 2 Tablespoons of butter. Sauté carrots until they become a richer orange, several minutes. Turn skillet to low, add salt, brown sugar, maple syrup and remaining butter. Continue to cook uncovered for an estimated 10 minutes. Carrots should be tender enough to bite, the glaze should be thickened. Place carrots in a serving dish and sprinkle with black pepper.

 

bacon_bundled_green_beans_jpg_1280x800_q85Bacon Wrapped Green Beans

Ingredients

1 lb. Fresh Green Beans

8 Slices of Broadbent Maplewood Smoked Bacon

1 Tablespoon of unsalted butter

Salt & Pepper

Cooking Spray

Directions

Grease a large baking sheet. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash beans and snap their ends off. Salt and pepper them lightly. In bunches of 5-6 wrap the green beans with one slice of bacon. Lay them seam-side down on the baking sheet. Melt butter and drizzle on top of beans evenly. Bake 40-45 minutes until bacon is crispy and brown.

 

Don’t forget the rolls and dessert, we suggest carrot cake! If you’re a first ham cook, check out our tips on preparing your ham here. See our tips for presenting your holiday ham here. When it comes to Easter create a colorful inviting atmosphere and take advantage of the weather to spend time outdoors and let kids burn off that energy!

 

Picnic Pack-Worthy Recipes

picnic graphic

Spring has sprung and we are bursting at the seams to spend more time outdoors, for us that means picnics! Time spend with family is a priceless and outdoors to boot is better. Whether you like to hike, camp or just play in the backyard you can’t forget the food. These recipes keep it simple, travel well and are kid friendly. Stock your pantry for these picnic basket worthy recipes and don’t forget the napkins.

Fruit & Cheese Skewers

This is an easy, kid-friendly picnic snack. Let the kids help by layering the items onto the skewers. By using skewers you’ll be kids hands clean and make it easy to eat outdoors.

Ingredients

8 Small skewers
16 oz. Broadbent Cheddar Cheese, cut into squares
2 apples, cut into squares or balls

Directions

Cut your block of cheddar cheese into 16 squares that are bite size (1 oz.). Then cut or scoop out apples until you get 16 balls (use a melon baller) or squares. Alternate cheese and apples onto the 8 small skewers, 2 cheese/ 2 apples each. Place in an air tight container and keep cool. If you want to prepare them early brush apples with lemon juice to keep from turning brown.

Turkey-Bacon-Avocado Club

This is a popular sandwich at many shops and delis around the country. Make your own and wrap in wax paper to separate for each family member. Let kids stack their own together and decorate the wax paper which it will be wrapped in for a more special outing.

Ingredients

8 slices bread, sourdough recommended
8 slices Broadbent Bacon
1 avocado, peeled and sliced thinly
1 tomato, sliced
12 oz. deli-style turkey
8 small leaves romaine lettuce
Mayo

Directions

Spread mayo on each slice of bread. On four, layer tomato, lettuce, turkey, bacon and avocado. Top with sliced bread, wrap with wax paper.

Ham Salad

This is an easy dish to make at the last minute. It is easy to double or triple the recipe making enough to feed a crowd. You could also serve in a sandwich style like chicken or tuna salad.

Ingredients

8 oz. Broadbent’s Cooked Ground Ham
8 oz. your favorite mayo
1pk Buttery crackers

Directions

In a medium bowl, stir together mayo and ground ham until combined. Store in an airtight container. Serve with your favorite buttery crackers (such as Townhouse or Ritz).

Sweet & Sassy Country Ham Rolls

This sandwich is a delicious blend of kid-friendly favorites. Combine cheese, fruit and meat onto one savory roll. Serve them up warm or cool. You could also take ingredients separate (pre-heat the rolls) and assemble outdoors.

Ingredients

Broadbent Cooked Country Ham Sandwich slices
Sister Shubert Rolls, heated per package directions
Broadbent Sweet & Tangy Mustard
Broadbent Hickory Smoked Cheddar Cheese
Golden Delicious Apple Slice
Lettuce

Directions

Heat rolls, slice in half then layer from bottom to top beginning with mustard, ham, cheese, apple, lettuce and 2nd half of roll.

These recipes are delicious and easy, but different than your average PB&J or burgers you may have at many picnics. Remember to get kids involved in the kitchen, cooking is a life skill, probably the best tasting and most fun too. Do you have a favorite picnic recipe? Share in the comments.

Easy Ham Recipes for Busy Families

Ham Recipes Image

Ham often comes to mind when picturing large family gatherings, but there doesn’t have to be a holiday for ham to be on the menu. We recommend ham any time of year. Usually even a medium sized ham will feed more than an average family, which is the beauty of ham. Once it’s cooked it can be sliced and diced to store.

Store cooked ham in the freezer, up to a month and in the refrigerator about a week. One way to save time during the week is to cut the remainder of the ham up and store them for easy use later. I dice mine into bite size pieces which are perfect for eggs, quiche, soups and casseroles. This makes it easy to pull out a handful for eggs in the morning, or a whole package for a casserole that night. Be sure to use air tight containers.

 

Slow Cooker Potato Soup

This is a delicious comfort recipe that is relaxing at the end of a long day. One trick to make weeknight recipes faster is to use slow cookers and prep foods on the weekend. Onions, carrots and celery can usually be chopped and stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container for a few days. Think about chopping up all the items you can for recipes when you’re making dinner on the weekend it will save time and dishes.

Ingredients

8 C. Potatoes, diced
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
½ C. Celery, chopped
1 lb. Broadbent Ham, diced
¼ C. Flour
4 C. Chicken Broth
1 ½ C. Whole Milk
1/2 C. Sour Cream

Directions

Place your chopped potatoes, ham, carrots, celery, and onions in the slow cooker. Pour in your chicken broth and set to low 7-8 hours, or high 4-6 hours. Use a potato masher mash into the slow cooker, about 1/3 of the potatoes. Add flour, milk, pepper and sour cream stir it all together let cook about 15 minutes longer. Add salt to taste, but be sure to taste it first as our ham is saltier than standard grocery store hams.

Ham & Hash Casserole

This recipe is easy to throw together, pop in the oven and let you get back to having time with the kids. No stirring or flipping is necessary. This uses frozen hash browns but you can use fresh potatoes simply shred or chop them into bite sized pieces.

Ingredients

1 30 oz. Bag of frozen hash brown
8 oz. sour cream
1 large Onion, chopped
2 cans Cream of Mushroom
1 lb. Broadbent Ham, Cubed
2 C Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all your ingredients into a 9×13 baking dish, but reserve ½ your cheese to sprinkle directly on top. Then bake about 1 hour, potatoes should be done enough to easily poke with a fork.

Slow-Cooker White Bean & Ham Soup
Slow-cooker recipes are great when your busy, plus you get a delicious aroma. In this recipe, we use canned beans out of convenience and additional to make the soup more ham-tastic. You could put this together the night before and pour into your slow cooker in the morning before your off for the day.

Ingredients

1 Broadbent ham-hock
1 1/2 cups of Broadbent country ham, diced
1 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, diced
1 cups carrots, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
3 cans white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (15 ounce cans)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
2 cups chicken stock

Directions
In your slow cooker place the bone, chopped ham, garlic, onion, carrots, celery, cannellini beans, thyme, rosemary, chicken stock. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. Remove the ham bone and discard. Add salt or pepper to taste (due to the increased saltiness of cured country ham, we always recommend salting only after tasting)

These recipes will make great use of a ham and are easy to let cook while you’re busy with work, family, or life in general. Ham and Ham-hocks are great items to keep on hand as they are quick and easy to work with. Have a favorite ham recipe share it in the comments below!

10 Tips for the Modern Southern Hostess

hostess blog

A modern southern hostess offers southern hospitality and grace. Those characteristics never go out of style, but the addition of technology adds a few items to our hostess’ list we can offer guests. One key thing to remember as well is that whether a party, dinner or overnight holiday pictures will likely be taken and shared. Be sure to get your home Facebook ready.

Entertaining Tips

#1 Write your Wi-Fi password somewhere visible and easy to read. Consider a white board or chalk board in the kitchen or on a table. There are a ton of cute DIY whiteboard ideas on Pinterest that can fit any decor. This avoids having guests roam the property looking for signal to post group shots.

Bonus Tip: Write a unique hashtag, (i.e #ourparty) along with the password so everyone can use it to connect party photos. This is very popular for weddings now, but can be done for any party size.

#2 Stock the fridge with drinks and snacks. Have a variety on hand for guests to easily grab. It will make snacking quick and easy for you and your guests. Let no one go home hungry or thirsty.

#3 Be sure you have enough seating and perhaps an extra or two for anyone unexpected that comes along. A southern hostess welcomes the unexpected guests no matter what. This doesn’t necessarily have to be at one dining table, just avoid anyone having to sit on the floor.

#4 Have the Tylenol (or your choice of pain reliever) on hand. I keep mine in the kitchen. It prevents anyone from rifling through your bathroom and is close to the drinking glasses.

#5 Have dessert! Cake is the number one, even if it is a small cake such as Coffee or Bundt. Since these get together are often a special occasion indulge a little. Don’t forget coffee or tea to serve alongside.

#6 Thank everyone for coming. Be sure to say goodbye and thank each individual guest for coming. Even if you don’t get much time to spend one-on-one, this recognizes them and their contribution to the event.

Overnight Guest Tips

#7 For overnight guests stock up on extras. Consider having travel size items of things like toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, etc. just in case something was forgotten. Consider displaying them or just organizing them well in the restroom.

#8 Add a bit of luxury. Place in the bedroom more luxurious items if you wanted to offer a five-star feeling like slippers, magazines, robes, etc. Stock the bathroom with the best linens. Make the experience Facebook brag worthy.

#9 Keep extra phone chargers on hand. The worst feelings, is to have forgotten your phone charger and having to make every bit of battery last. Keep one for each type of device. They are relatively inexpensive now and are not often changed by the manufacturers.

#10 Plan for Breakfast. Keep Broadbent Breakfast items on hand to make the first meal filling and fun.

These tips should help your party or holiday run smoothly. It’s all about convenience and ease for guests and yourself. Really put yourself in your guest’s shoes when it comes to planning. While you don’t need to make it a full luxury resort, pre-planning and prep provides plenty of time for you to enjoy the festivities as well.

3 Enticing Recipes for Southern Grits

Grits Blog Graphic

Grits are a staple in south whether they are prepared for breakfast, lunch or dinner. In almost every southern movie, you’ll find snappy one liners about grits. If you didn’t know, Grits are coarsely ground corn kernels that are boiled with water or milk to create a creamy porridge like dish. They come in stone ground, hominy, quick and instant. Many cooks have their own preferences about which ones they will use.

“I never make the instant kind – some things a Southerner just won’t do!” Paula Deen

At Broadbent, we sell Stone Ground Grits. You’ll see them sold alone or in part of our breakfast combinations. There are a huge variety of ways to fix them. We are sharing three very popular ways in our recipes below.

Sausage & Grits Breakfast Casserole

Ingredients
1 cup Stone Ground Grits, uncooked
1 lb Grandma Broadbent’s Hickory Smoked sausage
1/2 stick butter
1 egg
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tsp paprika
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Directions
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook grits in 4 C. of salted water until thick. Saute your sausage separating it into small even sized pieces. Drain grease from the sausage and pat dry, setting aside. Add egg, butter and 1 c. of shredded cheese to the grits stir to combine. Combine grits with sausage, then pour into a greased 13 x9 casserole dish. Top the dish with the additional cheese, paprika and parsley. Bake around 45-60 minutes, casserole should be lightly brown.

Shrimp & Cheese Grits with Bacon

Ingredients
4 cup water
1 cup stone ground grits
3 T butter
2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
6 slices Broadbent Hickory Smoked Bacon, chopped
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 tsp lemon juice
2 T parsley, chopped
1 cup green onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 black pepper, to taste

Directions
Bring 4 C. of water to a boil in a large pan. Add grits and cook until the water is completely absorbed est. 20-25 minutes. In the meantime, cook your bacon slices then remove from grease and pat dry.  In your bacon pan, save the grease and use to fry your shrimp until they turn pink. Then add lemon juice, green onions, garlic, parsley and sauté a few minutes longer.  When your grits have completely cooked, remove grits form heat and stir in your butter and cheddar cheese. Then layer your grits onto your serving plate(s) and top with the shrimp mixture, then sprinkle with bacon.

Gouda Grits

Ingredients
4 C. Chicken Broth
3 ½ C. Milk
2 tsp. salt
½ tsp black pepper
2 C. uncooked quick grits
6 oz. Gouda Cheese, shredded
¼ C. Butter

Directions
In a large pan bring broth, milk, salt and pepper to a boil. Gradually whisk in your grits pouring in evenly as you stir. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered about 10 minutes or until thick, whisking often. Remove from heat and stir in your butter and Gouda cheese. Serve warm.

Grits are really a solid foundation for many recipes, don’t be afraid to try them. Once you’ve got down how to prepare the grits experiment with a variety of pairings to create your own southern traditions. What are some of your favorite ways to prepare grits? Share in the comments below.

Peppered Bacon Spices Up 3 Classic Recipes

peppered bacon blog graphic

This week we are obsessing over our peppered bacon. This is a treat in and of itself, but it can bring an extra something to some of your favorite recipes. We absolutely love to use and top or wrap our burgers, chicken and shrimp. Peppered bacon adds a bit of spice on top of the savory flavor of bacon. We are bursting at the seams to share some of our favorites recipes where peppered bacon steals the show.

Bacon Pepper jack Mac n’ Cheese

This comfort dish is bursting with flavor due not only to the peppered bacon, but the additional cheeses which come together for an award-winning combination. Consider this meal for your next night in!

Ingredients
4 T Butter
3 T flour
2 C heavy cream
1 C Milk
2 C Pepper Jack Cheese
1 C sharp cheddar cheese (white)
1 ½ C Cheddar Cheese
1 lb. Broadbent Peppered Bacon, cooked & crumbled
16 oz. macaroni noodles

Directions

Cook your pasta in a separate pot per package directions then set aside. In a sauce pan melt butter, over about medium heat, whisk in flour once it is fully melted creating a paste. Pour in cream and milk while whisking to get a smooth mixture stirring about 1-2 minutes as it warms. Add in all cheese about 1 cup at a time and whisk avidly. After all the cheese, then add in bacon and fold gently. Pour the cheese and bacon mixture onto the pasta and stir together.

Peppered Bacon & Onion Green Beans

This is an easy and delicious side dish. It is quick to put together but breaks the mold of plain steamed veggies served on the side. The recipe can easily be doubled or tripled for family gatherings.

Ingredients

1 lb. Green Beans, snipped and halved
5 slices of Broadbent Peppered bacon
1 C Sweet Onion, chopped
2 tsp Sugar
½ tsp Fresh Thyme
1 ½ T Apple Cider Vinegar
½ tsp pepper

Directions

Bring a pot of water to a boil and toss in green beans to boil about 4 minutes. Pour them into a strainer and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Remove bacon but leave grease (around 2 T) in the pan, add onions and saute about 3-4 minutes. Add sugar and thyme continue cooking another 2-3 minutes. Add in apple cider and pepper cooking for about another minute. Toss in bacon and green beans mixing everything together and serve warm.

Spaghetti Pasta Carbonara

This classic pasta dish gets a bit of an upgrade by using peppered bacon. The pepper brings to life the simplicity of this dish. This dish is quick and easy to prepare but there can be a trick to mixing it together quickly at the end for a perfectly creamy sauce.

Ingredients
1 T Olive Oil
½ lb. Broadbent Peppered Bacon, diced
2 garlic cloves
4 whole eggs
1 C Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 lb. Spaghetti Pasta
Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions

Boil pasta noodles in a large pot per package directions. While cooking pasta, in a sauté pan heat the olive oil and bacon pieces cooking until crispy. Add garlic and cook another minute. Remove bacon and garlic mixture, set aside in a large bowl (I mean big). In a small bowl, combine ½ c. cheese and eggs and set aside until pasta is al dente. Once the pasta is al dente, pull out with tongs and place in the large bowl with the bacon and garlic, the pasta will be dripping wet toss to combine. Quickly while the pasta is still mostly hot pour the egg mixture and toss to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add some pasta water (start with a tablespoon) and mix to get desired creamy texture. Serve warm and top with the additional parmesan cheese.

These 3 recipes are just the start of what any cook can do to bring more flavor to the kitchen. What ways have you used peppered bacon?