16 May 2016

Derby Party Food and Decoration

Back in April, we gathered and froze rosebuds to serve with the mimosa sangria (then promptly did not use them at the party). I also ordered the mint julep cups which we did use. Those were souvenir cups for the guests.

Rose Ice
Halfway through the Rose Ice Block Formation

I managed to make that pallet horse sign too. At first, my right facing horse looked very disapproving or like Alf, but I added a few more paint strokes and he ended up looking older and wiser, and maybe just a bit jowlier too. Loved having these placed around the drink stations at the party.

Horse and Alf, Apparently
Scott and I also crafted something that looked sort of equestrian. I was imagining something like this:

Barrel Riding
How cool would this have been?
But this is what we ended up with...

The horse makes galloping noises when you pinch his ear, just like in real life.
So just now I was searching through my flickr photos for horse photos and I found a couple of old pictures that I must print for the next derby party: this one and this one.

The night before the party, I made the simple syrup for the juleps, and marinated lime, orange, cherries, raspberries and watermelon in Chambord to use as a base for the sangria. Right before the party started, I harvested mint from the yard and my hostesses and I mixed champagne, orange juice and the Chambord soaked fruit. It was very delicious and very drinkable. Will have to make more of that mimosa sangria soon. I love Chambord! In fact, the bottle was so lovely that I filled it with red colored water on the mint julep station for decoration.

Mint and Sangria Base
Very Aromatic

For the Burgoo, I used Elise's recipe again because it was so good last time. This time I located lima beans so there were no substitutions. This recipe is definitely "stick to your ribs" good with beef, pork and chicken. I made the base of the stew ahead of time and froze it so I could finish it on the day of the party.  Saturday after lunch, I tossed the frozen bags of meat, chicken and beef stock and tomatoes into a big pot along with frozen corn, lima beans and a few chopped up potatoes and let it warm and then simmer for a couple of hours. So yummy!


For the Pecan Pie Bars I used this recipe for Pecan Cake Bars (cake? notsomuch) and I added in a bit of vanilla. I had to make my own brown sugar and I wanted to balance out the molasses flavor. The results were so good!

Pecan Pie Bites

I made Benedictine Spread with blended Greek yogurt cream cheese, chopped green onion, grated cucumber, a dash of cayenne and a couple drops of green food coloring.

Derby Spread
Fuzzy side capture of the goodies

For the biscuits, I was going to use my old standby recipe from Smitten Kitchen, because those biscuits are perfect, but I wanted to make these the night before, and wasn't sure how the buttery deliciousness of SK's biscuits would hold up until the next day. I found a recipe that looked similar but didn't call for butter and it worked out well for me and our guests.

Mini Cream Biscuits

Instead of cutting out 24 round biscuits, I used a pizza cutter and made a little over 50 mini-biscuits that made a perfect mound of ham sandwich bites.

I really did try to capture the food table at the beginning of the party but my pre-party pics were accidentally deleted from my camera before I could upload. Bummer! I didn't discover this until late that evening when I was transferring the pictures.

For table decorations, I reused rose candles, my horse weather vane with felt blanket of roses, the mini hats I got last time, some horseshoes I got at Atwoods and I had the colored bow tie pasta in jars.


  1. Nolita, I look forward to your Derby Party every year. (Although vicariously...) What a great celebration, drink ideas (Chambord soaked fruit for the sangria? swoon...) and eats! Cool art projects, too. These posts always make me happy.

    1. Kim, I swear I replied to this already. Next year you are cordially invited to come to my Derby Party!


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