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Posts Tagged ‘Kentucky Derby’

I’ve been checking my blog stats and have noticed a really strong uptick in the number of people visiting the blog that are looking at a previous blog post about Easter Hats.  In New York City, every Easter Sunday the Easter Parade takes place on Fifth Avenue and hundreds and hundreds of people come out to walk (parade) along the Avenue.

It is a day of colorful, creative, beautiful, outrageous, big, small, funny and fabulous hats. chapeaus, bonnets, derbies, top hats and straw hats!  I make my own creations, sometimes re-cycle them with new flowers and ribbons.  You have no ideas how difficult it is to store these broad-brimmed hats in an apartment!!

As Easter is literally around the corner and if you’re going to make your own Easter bonnet, the time would be NOW!  So here are some inspirational creations for you look at and if you’re successful, you’ll be all set for a Kentucky Derby Day party.

Lavender Lady

Lavender Lady

Red Roses

Red Roses

Sun Flower Sue

Sun Flower Sue

Black & Cream Dream

Black & Cream Dream

Pink on Pink on...

Pink on Pink on…

Dramatic Plume

Dramatic Plume

Aren’t these stunning? Hats can be so flattering. For more Easter Hat photos click on the link below.

https://pbenjay.wordpress.com/2011/04/24/crazycreativec…ky-easter-hats

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Gosh, I don’t know what to celebrate first!
I guess I could wear a sombrero to the races or eat quesadillas while placing a bet. Or wear a fabulous floral creation like the ones in one of my previous http://wp.me/pNyWj-2SH, which featured Kentucky Derby hats by Dee, to a Cinco de Mayo celebration.
As it turns out, I’m opting to cook a Cinco de Mayo meal tonight and invited some friends over.

The menu for tonight is Mexican beer ( they all opted out for Magaritas) with chips and salsa and quesadillas.
I’m serving Arroz con pollo et frijoles, steamed asparagus and dessert from a Mexican bakery.

Well I started this post Saturday afternoon, then in the midst of prepping, I had to stop and watch the Derby.  I love watching that race!  I didn’t have any favorites and apparently the favorite to win, Urban Rags, didn’t even place.  It was so exciting to see “I’ll Have Another” come from behind.  There really is something thrilling about horse racing.

So onto the meal….

I had never made Arroz con Pollo so I researched a few recipes online and came up with three that I liked or at least part of each so I did what any good cook does, I combined them and created my own.  AND I will be the first to admit, that I don’t often do that.  If you read this blog regularly then you know that I find a recipe I like, make it and if I post it, I always credit the source.

Cinco de Mayo, Kentucky Derby, saffron, Viga rice, chicken dinner, one-pot meal, arroz con pollo, black beans,

Arroz con Pollo*

* This is NOT a photo of my dish. Note there are no black beans! But it is similar and gives you an idea of what it should look like when done.

Arroz con Pollo con Frijoles Negros

2 1/2 -3 lb. chicken; I used skinless boneless thighs

1/2 cup flour for dredging

Salt, ground pepper, paprika and chili powder (optional)

2 cups long grain rice (I used a package of Viga yellow rice)**

1 medium onion chopped

3 -4 garlic cloves minced

1 green bell pepper chopped ( I used an orange pepper)

1 14.5 oz can diced  or stewed tomatoes.  I used a can of Del Monte petite cut tomatoes with jalapeno – was not too  hot.

4 cups chicken broth* The Viga rice called for 4 cups water – substitute broth

black olives (handful – I used what was leftover from making quesadillas

1 cup frozen peas (optional) ( I had a half pkg in the freezer)

** Follow directions for whatever rice you are using and substitute broth for the water.

Heat 3 TBS olive oil in large skillet ( I used a braising pan). Rinse chicken, pat dry and dredge through flour.  Season chicken with salt, pepper, paprika  and chili powder. Brown the chicken about 3-4 minutes per side.  Remove and set aside.

Add the onions, pepper and garlic to the pan, scraping up brown bits. Cook about 5 minutes till onion and pepper are softened.

Add the rice and cook till rice becomes slightly opaque and browns. Stir a bit, then let it brown  and then stir some more.  If you use the Viga rice, you won’t see it turn opaque, just lightly browned. Lower heat if rice begins to stick to pan.  Add the broth and bring to boil.  Lower to simmer, cover pot, cook for about 10 minutes.

Layer the chicken on top of the rice mixture, pour tomatoes over the chicken, add the black beans.  Cover pot and cook till chicken and rice are done.  About 15 minutes before done, toss in olives and peas.

Recipe by Lori-adapted from Simplyrecipes.com, allrecipes.com, weheartfood.com

One of the best parts of this dish for me was that I made it slightly ahead of time and just before serving , I heated it up.  It’s not so often that I actually sit with my dinner guests for drinks and hors d’ouevres  and Saturday night I did!

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If I had the money, time, where-with-all, materials or money to buy one of these FABULOUS hats, you would have seen me on The Avenue yesterday parading like a peacock.  These fantastic creations are by Dee’s in Kentucky where these hats are created for the Kentucky Derby.  I realized as I was scrolling through the gallery of photos of one more terrific creation after another, how much I would love to go to her store and take one of the classes on making a real Derby hat.  Maybe I just will do that next year!!!

Easter parade, easter hat, easter bonnet, NYC

Pink and Green and Light as Spring

Easter hat, easter parade nyc 2012, easter bonnet

Classic Black and Red and White

Easter bonnet, easter parade, nyc 2012

Think Ribbon Candy, Yum Yum

Easter parade

Step out of Church and onto Fifth Avenue

Easter parade, easter hat, nyc 2012

Perfect with a Channel suit

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Blue grass, bourbon and branch water, Mint Juleps, silks, jockeys, thoroughbreds, on the rail, wreath of roses and the Winner’s Circle – This is the stuff of The Kentucky Derby!!  NOT QUITE!

True, watching the pounding hooves, sleek spectacular horseflesh, hearts pumping, binoculars moving in unison following the race is fun BUT really, it’s all about the HATS! Take a look at some of the best of the best Kentucky Derby Day creations.

Kentucky Derby, original creation by Dee

Pink Hat with Huge Gray Flower

Kentucky Derby hat, Dee's hats

Yellow Hat with Red-Orange Flowers

Kentucky Derby hat by Dee, peacock feathers

Peacock Feathers

Kentucky Derby hats by Dee

White Broad Brim with Lime Green Bow

Kentucky Derby, polka dot bow

Pink Broad Brim with Polka Dot Bow

Kentucky Derby hat, Dee's hats

Black Hat with Yellow Flower

Dee's hats, Kentucky Derby Day

Pale Blue with White Cabbage Rose

All these beautiful hats were created by Dee’s Crafts except for one and I bet you can guess which one.

Kentucky Derby Day,

I Love My Hat!

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