Cooks can jazz up family recipes by adding a splash of flavored olive oil, a sprinkling of naturally flavored cane sugar, or a dash of infused sea salt. To learn the secrets of cooking with these ingredients, attend a class at The Club at Spindletop Hall.
Spindletop's executive chef Ed Valente and sous chef Timothy Wood, along with Stuart Utgaard, owner of Stuarto's Olive Oils, will lead the class from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 13.
The menu features oven-roasted garlic sea salt and Dijon chicken breast with 18-year-aged balsamic reduction; asiago and white truffle mashed potatoes and fried eggplant crouton with rosemary sea salt; Girl Scout lemonade yogurt parfait with seasonal fruits and wild blueberry cane sugar; and fudge peanut-butter bourbon balls rolled in espresso cane sugar. Cost is $38. Spindletop is at 3414 Iron Works Pike. Call (859) 263-0088 or (859) 269-0088.
Teatime on Walton
Tea blender and author Bruce Richardson will present a tea tasting at 3 p.m. Jan. 25 at Ruth Hunt Candy, 213 Walton Avenue.
Richardson will talk about historic teas of America and his role as tea master for Boston's new Tea Party Ships & Museum. Teatime treats from several of his recipe books will be served.
Richardson and his wife, Shelley, are owners of Elmwood Inn Fine Teas in downtown Danville. He is a columnist for TeaTime magazine and author of a dozen books on tea. The event is free, but reservations are necessary. Call (859) 268-1559.
Guac-Off at Whole Foods
Produce team members at the Lexington Whole Foods Market will prepare their rendition of the "best guac ever" and customers will choose the tastiest one. The store's first Guac-Off will be at noon Jan. 20 at the market, 161 Lexington Green Circle. Call (859) 971-8600.
Crazy for casseroles?
Fayette County Extension Office, 1140 Red Mile Road, is offering a series of food classes. Classes begin at 6:30 p.m. and cost $10 each. Topics and dates are: Crazy for casseroles, Feb. 4; Sensational soups, March 5; Meat market 101, April 30; A glimpse at Gluten-Free, May 20; Jammin' into summer, June 6; An evening with Azur Restaurant chef Jeremy Ashby, Aug. 20; Kentucky Proud fruits and vegetables, Sept. 9; Basic vegetarian cooking, Oct. 15; and An evening with Allison Davis, owner of Wild Thyme cooking school, Nov. 7. Call (859) 257-5582.
Hearts in the right place
Valentine's Day is less than a month away, and a great way to celebrate is at one of Kentucky's Bed & Breakfast inns. Many are featuring special romantic getaways for February. Go to Kentuckybb.com or call 1-888-281-8188.
Here are places that are catering to romance.
■ Maple Hill Manor, 2941 Perryville Road, Springfield. Call 1-800-886-7546 or go to Maplehillmanor.com.
■ First Farm Inn, 2510 Stevens Road, Petersburg. Call (859) 586-0199 or go to Firstfarminn.com.
■ Spongie Acres, 610 Matlock Road, Bowling Green. Call (270) 495-9545 or go to Spongieacresbedandbreakfast.com.
■ Lyndon House, 507 North Broadway, Lexington. Call (859) 420-2683 or go to Lyndonhouse.com.
■ DuPont Mansion, 1317 South Fourth Street, Louisville. Call (502) 638-0045 or go to Dupontmansion.com.
■ Christopher's, 604 Poplar Street, Bellevue. Call (859) 491-9354 or go to Christophersbb.net.
■ Aleksander House, 1213 South First Street, Louisville. Call (502) 637-4985 or go to Aleksanderhouse.com.
■ Snug Hollow, 790 McSwain Branch, Irvine. Call (606) 723-4786 or go to Snughollow.com.
■ Farm House Inn, 735 Taylor Branch Road, Parkers Lake. Call (606) 376-7383 or go to Farmhouseinnbb.com.
■ Halcomb's Knob, 430 Wallacetown Road, Paint Lick. Call (859) 925-9936 or go to halcombsknob.com.
Bake-Off mixes things up
New things are happening at the 46th Pillsbury Bake-Off. A refreshed format gives participants three chances to enter, and for the first time America will vote from among entries selected by the Bake-Off Kitchens to determine all 100 recipes to vie for the grand prize. The 100 finalists will compete at the finals, Nov. 10-12, at the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.
To give creative home cooks more chances to enter, the contest now features three recipe categories with separate entry periods. To encourage simpler, original recipes, submissions must include no more than seven ingredients, not including table salt, ground black pepper and water, and take 30 minutes or less to prepare, not including baking or cooling time.
■ Amazing doable dinners: Simple main dishes such as pizzas, calzones, sandwiches, casseroles, chilis. This category ends Feb. 7. Voting will be March 14-28.
■ Simple sweets and starters: Party sweets and appetizers such as cookies, bruschetta, focaccia. Entry period is April 4 through May 9. Voting is June 13 -27.
■ Quick rise and shine breakfasts: Recipes for a casual brunch or family breakfast, such as sweet rolls, pastries, breakfast breads, egg dishes, breakfast sandwiches. Entry period is from July 4 to Aug. 8. Voting is from Sept.12-26.
Final judging will be conducted by a panel of food experts. Go to BakeOff.com for contest rules.
Sharon Thompson: (859) 231-3321. Twitter: @FlavorsofKY. Blog:flavorsofkentucky.bloginky.com