Sharon Thompson: Birthdays are worth celebrating with a meal like this

swthompson@herald-leader.com,Sharon ThompsonNovember 14, 2012 

Sharon Thompson

MARK CORNELISON | STAFF

Lexington caterer and cooking instructor Phil Dunn turns 64 on Nov. 30, and he's celebrating by teaching others how to prepare his favorite meal.

During the week of Nov. 26 to 30, his cooking classes will be devoted to the ideal birthday dinner.

"Join me for a crab appetizer from days long ago at the Coach House, lamb chops with lots of garlic, peas from Ireland, gruyere-scalloped potatoes from St. Maarten and baked Alaska with a candle on top," Dunn said. He was chef at the well-known Coach House restaurant for several years.

Here's a list of the other classes Dunn will offer during November and December.

■ Thursday: A cheese menu including champagne French onion soup gratinée and apple galette with aged Gouda.

■ Monday: making stock for Thanksgiving dishes.

■ Tuesday: Thanksgiving pies, including caramel apple, bourbon pecan.

■ Dec. 3: gratins, including a spinach, bacon and new potato gratin.

■ Dec. 11: holiday appetizer workshop.

■ Dec. 14: late autumn dinner .

■ Dec. 17: seafood and cheese.

■ Dec. 19: another round of holiday appetizers.

■ Dec. 28: couples night out featuring olive-crusted pork tenderloin on creamy polenta.

Classes begin at 6 p.m. and are at Architectural Kitchens & Baths, 345 Lafayette Avenue. Each class is $50. Call (859) 533-3553.

Dinner is a relief effort

The Bluegrass Culinary Association is joining the University of Kentucky Alumni Association to raise money for the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund for victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Local chefs will serve a gourmet dinner from 6 to 11 p.m. Sunday at The Club at Spindletop Hall, 3414 Iron Works Pike. Tickets are $100; a sponsor's table of 10 is $800. Call (859) 255-2777 or go to Spindletophall.org.

Thanksgiving done for you

South Van Events will prepare your entire Thanksgiving feast or help you with a few dishes.

The meal, which can be delivered or picked up by 4 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, features cranberry dream salad, country deviled eggs, slow-roasted whole turkey, corn bread dressing, giblet gravy, Southern-style whole green beans, garlic mashed potatoes, shoe peg corn pudding, yeast rolls, and pumpkin and pecan pies. The dinner, which serves 10 to 12, is $229. Call (859) 233-3736 or email Info@southvanevents.com. The deadline for reservations is noon Tuesday.

Holiday bakery treats

Brown's Bakery, 1226 Versailles Road, is offering a variety of baked goods for the Thanksgiving feast. Included are pumpkin, pecan, transparent, bourbon chocolate pecan, fruit, butterscotch and coconut pies, and cheesecakes. Call (859) 225-8400or go to Brownbakery.com. The deadline to order is Monday.

Roll with it

If no one in your family is an expert at making dinner rolls for the holiday meal, you can buy them from a neighborhood bakery or from the freezer case at the supermarket. But if you want to jazz them up a little, add flavorful toppings or make flavored butter. These ideas are from Spice Islands.

■ Combine melted butter with a combination of your favorite spices, such as garlic, oregano and parsley. Spread on rolls before and after baking.

■ To create flavored butter, soften 1 stick butter and stir in 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of your favorite spices. Italian seasoning and garlic work well for creating compound butters.

Candy in every cup

You can make your after-dinner coffee special for Thanksgiving by adding some sweet flavors.

These suggestions are from Eight O'Clock Coffee, which recently launched its line of Keurig K-Cup packs. Place flavorings into a cup. Brew coffee as you normally would and pour into cup. Stir for about a minute, or until the candy has dissolved. Add cream or milk, if desired. To make:

■ Peppermint perfection, use 1 snack-size peppermint patty for each cup.

■ Caramel apple, use 3 caramel apple candies per cup.

■ Marshmallow candy bar, add 1 tablespoon mini marshmallows and 1 snack-size chocolate/caramel-type candy bar.

■ Dark chocolate raspberry, place 2 squares dark and raspberry chocolate squares and 1 drop orange flavored extract into each cup.

■ White chocolate, place 1 tablespoon white chocolate morsels into each cup.

Sharon Thompson: (859) 231-3321. Twitter: @FlavorsofKY. Blog: Flavorsofkentucky.bloginky.com.

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