Louiseville, Kentucky

Oh my goodness! I have not been very active here over the past few months! Sorry about that! I had a busy, but exciting couple of months. I finished off my second year of residency, went on a couple of vacations, and most excitingly - I moved to a new house! My sister Lara bought a house and asked me to come live with her. Of course I jumped at this opportunity. Although I've loved my little apartment for 3 1/2 years, I felt like it was a good time to move on. For some time now, both Lara and I have felt the urge to get some more space that we can use to share our love of hospitality, celebrations and sharing our home with others. 

So there have been some crazy weeks over the past few months, and this little did not get much of the love. We are settled in now, and things have calmed down so I think it's time to get back to blogging! I will certainly be sharing more of the new house in the coming months, but for now I'm going back to the beginning of June to share my vacation to Louisville, Kentucky. 

At the beginning of June, Lara and I headed south to visit our friend from college who is now living in Louisville with her husband. We made a long weekend of it and had a blast. I really enjoyed exploring the city, so many historic homes, great bars and restaurants, and fun places to explore. 

We drove in Thursday night, and Friday morning my friend had to work so Lara and I did what we do best - found the best looking bakery and settled in for coffee and pastries. Blue Dog Bakery and Cafe did not disappoint. This cute little place had amazing looking bread, delicious pastries, sandwiches, salads and more. I wanted to try pretty much everything. 


Our lovely home for the weekend. 


We tried out a plum ginger scone, and a morning glory muffin, both were delicious!


We took a stroll on the Big Four Bridge over the Ohio River to Jeffersonville, Indiana. A very cool bridge
and a fun walk, even in the 90 degree sunshine! 


In Jeffersonville we checked out some of the shops, and then stopped for a cold beer at the Parlor. It was the perfect way to cool off after a lot of sweaty walking! Lara went for her favorite local (MI) beer, Founder's Rubaeus


The man next to us asked if we wanted to help finish off his pizza! Um, YES!!!


Dinner and drinks that night at Holy Grale, a neat beer bar located in an old church. Awesome patio,
good beer, great friends! 


We finished off our hot day with some cool popsicles from Steel City Pops. Customized
popsicles, what a fun idea! I went with refreshing cantaloupe drizzled with chocolate. 


Since Lara and I are morning people, we couldn't help but head back to Blue Dog Bakery the next
morning while our hosts slept in. Then we of course had to check out one of the local farmer's markets
before heading back home. 


The afternoon was dedicated to the races! We went to Churchill Downs and enjoyed watching
the horses, and drinking in the history. I loved horse racing growing up so this was
kind of a dream come true! 


It may not have been Derby day, but we still had to wear our hats!


And finally, dinner on our last night was at The Eagle, a southern restaurant that was the perfect choice. We started with the pickled country vegetables. A fresh bright start to the meal. For dinner I had a slow cooked pork sandwich with peppers, onions and cheese. So good. I also wanted to try the spoonbread for a side; it was cooked in an iron skillet served with maple butter. Very tasty, but I was hoping this would be a little more custard-y.  It felt more like a regular cornbread to me, still good, but not as unique. Overall a very nice experience, and a place I would go to again. 


Mint Juleps for the Kentucky Derby

I love horses, always have, always will. So for me, the first Saturday in May is always exciting. I've been watching the Kentucky Derby every year for almost as long as I can remember and amazingly I can't remember ever missing one, at least not recently. I was even able to visit Churchill Downs when I was in middle school, it was great, even my dad liked it and he doesn't care about horses at all. I'm holding out hope for a Triple Crown winner someday, hopefully sooner rather than later.

Usually it's just Lara and I in front of the TV for a few hours to watch the 2 minute race, but this year I was feeling a little more festive. I decided that I needed to try making mint juleps, the drink of the Kentucky Derby. Since I know nothing about bourbon other than I don't like it, I invited my grandparents over for pizza and derby watching, and also asked if they'd bring the bourbon since they have a little more knowledge of the stuff. It turned out to be a very fun afternoon, a nice way to relax after spreading wood chips all morning. My grandma even showed up with a festive hat, very in the spirit of things, I loved it!

To make the mint juleps, I went out and bought a spearmint plant and whipped up a batch of simple syrup. I took a few leaves of mint in each glass, crushed them a little with a spoon, and then covered them with a ton of crushed ice. I then poured one ounce of bourbon over the ice followed by one ounce of simple syrup. Stir it up a little and serve. I was surprised because I really enjoyed the drink. Pouring sugar water over whiskey makes it quite drinkable!

The key players; mint and bourbon
(my grandpa says this is good bourbon, I liked it, but what do I know)

My spearmint plant

Crushing the mint leaves

Ready to drink, traditionally this is served in a sterling silver cup, 
seeing as I'm a grad student, a glass will have to do

Enjoying our drinks, love the hat Grammy!

Note: I don't know how authentic this recipe is, but it's what I did. My inspiration was a segment I saw on the Today show. I liked it. 

  • 1 c water
  • 1 c sugar
  • mint
  • bourbon
  • crushed ice (lots!)

To make simple syrup, put water and sugar in a small saucepan and heat, simmering until all the sugar dissolves (about 5 minutes). Cool the syrup in the fridge until cold. 

Place mint leaves in glass, crush a few times with a spoon. Cover the mint with lots of crushed ice. Add one ounce each of bourbon and simple syrup. Give it a stir. Garnish with a mint sprig. Drink and enjoy.