April 26, 2013

Kentucky Derby

Growing up my family went to the races all the time. And watching the Kentucky Derby was always a big event.  We were those people who go to the local race track just to watch the Derby on TV.  Someday I will make my way to Churchill Downs, but until then I will have to enjoy from afar.  To get ready for the festivities on May 4th here are some derby essentials:

Derby Hat

Big hats are one of the most identifiable items of the Kentucky Derby.  Well, maybe second to horses. This is the Monogrammed Wide Navy Blue Derby Hat with the Extra Sash Bow both by Marley Lilly

Mint Julep

Early Times Mint Julep is the official mint julep of the Kentucky Derby.  I'm not usually a huge fan of mint julep's but I think I'll give them another go.   The recipe for the Early Times Julep can be found here.

My Old Kentucky Home

One big tradition of the Derby is the singing of "My Old Kentucky Home", so go here to learn the lyrics.

Do y'all have any Derby essentials or tips to pass on?

The Key Prep on Campus,


April 6, 2013

Sesame Green Beans

For Easter, my family decided to have a pot luck to keep everything simple and I choose to make a green bean dish.  I wanted to do something different that was healthier than a green bean casserole.  So, I found this great recipe from Martha for Sesame Green Beans. It turned out great and was super quick and easy.


  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds


  1. Set a steamer basket in a large pot. Fill with enough water to come just below basket; bring to a boil. Add green beans to basket; reduce heat to a simmer. Cover, and cook until crisp-tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together vinegar and oil; season with salt and pepper. Add green beans and sesame seeds; season with salt and pepper, and toss.

The Key Prep on Campus,


March 25, 2013

Easter Egg Crafts

With Easter just around the corner I thought I'd compile some fun Easter Egg crafts and tips I've found. 

At Paas they have all the information you could ever want about dying Easter Eggs.  They even have a helpful Egg Decorating Tips page that gives tons of information including different ways to hard boil your eggs (oven?? who knew?).

If the experts at Paas don't answer all your questions you can download the Martha Stewart Egg Dying App for $.99.  It gives you the run down on different dying techniques and crafts for the dyed eggs.  If you can come up with a question that Martha can't answer, you're asking the wrong questions.

After you're done dying all your eggs you can be crafty and green by using the empty egg cartons to make these precious candy holders.  Over at Paper, Plate and Plane, Jeromina gives you all the deets.

Hope you all have a Hoppy Easter!

The Key Prep on Campus,


March 23, 2013

Connecticut & Etiquette

Don't worry. You're not going crazy nor am I.  I know the picture is the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, not Connecticut. On my trip over winter break, I went to visit my aunt in Connecticut and then took the train down to New York with my cousin to spend a few days.  It was fabulous! I got to have a wonderful white Christmas and then go to all my favorite New York spots. 

Not super white Christmas, but white none the less.
While in New York I did some shopping and went to the Met.  The Met is my absolute favorite place in the whole world. 

My favorite painting -- The Blind Man's Meal by Picasso

After the Met, I ventured across the park to the Museum of Natural History. I had never been before and I loved it.  Teddy Roosevelt is my favorite President, so of course I loved all the Roosevelt exhibits... maybe more than the dinosaur ones. 

That night we went out to Beauty Bar a really fun old 1950s salon that has been converted to a bar.  

My cousin and I at Beauty Bar.

Since this a long post. Just a link to Emily Post for the etiquette portion.  If you haven't been you should. 

The Key Prep on Campus,


March 21, 2013

Chewy Sugar Cookies

Tonight one of my dear friends hosted game night. Of course, I could not let the opportunity to cook some goodies go to waste.  For St. Patrick's Day, I made homemade Irish Soda with buttermilk, so I had a butter of buttermilk just sitting in my fridge. I had no idea what to do with the rest (no biscuits for me because I would eat the whole batch).  So, I went searching for recipes with buttermilk and came across this one on Food Network (Chewy Sugar Cookies).

They were delicious and yes, chewy.  The best way I can describe them is they were airier than regular sugar cookies.  But they were a huge hit and definitely something I will make again.

 Recipe says small bowl, but this my 2.5 quart mixing bowl.

Quick prep with the stand mixer.
Dough was easy to shape.

I am terrible at cookie sizes.  These are way too big.


2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup softened butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 to 4 tablespoons buttermilk
Sprinkles or colored sugar, for decorating


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Gradually blend in dry ingredients. Add enough of the buttermilk to moisten the dough and make it soft, not wet.

Roll rounded teaspoons of dough into balls and place on a ungreased cookie sheet. With a brush or fingers, moisten the top of each cookie with the remaining buttermilk and slightly flatten the top of each cookie. Sprinkle with raw sugar or colored sprinkles.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until slightly golden. Let stand for 2 minutes before removing to cool on a rack.


The Key Prep on Campus,

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