Since we had a great week of celebrating the Kentucky Derby on our blog last week, I thought it was appropriate to host a Derby party here in Syracuse. It was a chance for me to introduce some southern foods and traditions to my northern friends. First off, I sent out paper invitations. I love, love, love invitations and decided to send invites in the mail. Might as well help the postal service out.
I bought the invitations in Kentucky and printed them out on our home printer. We used our custom monogram on the invite. Any chance we can use it, we do.
I tried to do a little Derby decor. A few months ago I saw this horse in a store and bought it. At first I was going to use it as a table centerpiece, but it didn’t have enough color. I ended up putting him on the mantel with some fabric in a frame for a little kick. The fabric may look familar. It is extra fabric I had from my DIY drawer liners. You can read about them here.
I used the chalkboard platter to remind people of the great day, and I printed out some silks to add some color to the dresser near our front door.
Our bar that Mr. Spring built (details coming soon) was set up as Julep Central. Since Mr. Spring is a true Yankee, born and raised in NYC, I thought this quote by Henry Clay, a famous Kentucky statesman, was great to display on the bar.
Since the Derby is the Run for the Roses, of course I had to make the centerpiece red roses. I have been cutting the stems and changing the water daily, and they still look great!
We had a “Best Hat” and “Best Bow Tie” contest. I bought these official Kentucky Derby glasses and mint julep cups for the prizes. Now, whenever the urge strikes them, the winners can make their own juleps.
The table was filled with all the goodies. Most of the food was bite size, so it was very easy to replenish as needed.
I happened to be in Lexington when all the Derby party items were for sale, so I loaded up my suitcase and brought it all back to New York.
These sausage cheese puffs were so easy to make. I made a ton before the party and froze them. Carmel from Our Fifth House had a link for these cute Derby printables. Here it is if you are interested for future use.
I love eating beer cheese when I go to Kentucky and never thought about making it till I found a recipe. It was a huge hit.
Benedictine is another Kentucky favorite. I made little finger sandwiches filled with it.
I tried my luck at mint julep cupcakes.
I also had to introduce bourbon balls to all our friends. I tried a new recipe, and I was shocked how easy and how great they turned out. I will be making them again.
I was so proud of these things.