If you're too busy to bake holiday goodies or don't understand the workings of an oven, you can leave it to the professionals.
■ Old Kentucky Chocolates has a new candy for the holiday season. Aged bourbon cherries are wrapped in red foil and ready for giving. The candy company also is making fruit cakes and pecan cakes aged in 100 proof Jim Beam bourbon.
Locations are 450 Southland Drive, (859) 278-4444; Lansdowne Shoppes, 3385 Tates Creek Road, (859) 268-4711; and Lexington Center Shops, 410 West Vine Street. (859) 252-2639. Go to Oldkycandy.com.
■ European Delights Gourmet Bakery, 221 East Brannon Road in Brannon Crossing Shopping Center, is making decorated yule logs with chocolate mousse, raspberry filling and chocolate icing. Other holiday specials include red velvet cake, stollen bread and cranberry walnut tarts. Call (859) 271-7000.
B&B holiday specials
Kentucky's bed-and-breakfasts are featuring several holiday specials and Christmas teas during December. The Bed & Breakfast Association of Kentucky provides a statewide list of holiday offers and special events at Kentuckybb.com.
A collection of recipes from premier bed-and- breakfasts of Kentucky would be a delightful gift for a cook. Room at the Table is $24.95 plus tax and shipping. It's available at Kentuckybb.com, at participating member inns or by calling (502) 419-8025.
Open house all month
Maple Hill Manor Bed and Breakfast is having a Christmas open house from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturdays in December. There will be homemade goodies, holiday music and tours of the Greek Revival-style house, circa 1851, and the inn's alpaca farm. The farm store offers alpaca fur blankets, hats and shawls.
Maple Hill Manor is at 2941 Perryville Road/U.S. 150, Springfield. Call (859) 336-3075 or 1-800-886-7546. Go to Maplehillmanor.com.
Coming up at Good Foods
Good Foods Market & Café has a variety of classes and holiday events planned for December.
■ Holiday sampling will be 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Rona Roberts, author of Sweet, Sweet Sorghum, and sorghum producer Randal Rock will have sorghum treats available.
■ Staff dietitian Beth Loiselle, author of The Healing Power of Whole Foods, will have a book signing and recipe sampling from noon to 3 p.m. Wednesday.
■ Good Foods board member Jim Embry will talk about his recent trip to Italy for Terra Madre, the International Slow Food gathering. He will speak from 7 to 9 p.m. Dec. 13.
■ The Christmas Eve buffet will be served from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Cost is $7.99 a pound.
Good Foods is at 455 Southland Drive, Call (859) 278-1813 or go to Goodfoods.coop.
Just a call away
Carlisle/Nicholas County Tourism has a new telephone number to make reservations for its monthly luncheons at the Old Jailer's Home. Call (859) 749-7986.
A holiday tea will be served Saturday and luncheons are planned Dec. 6 and 13. The menus are prepared and served by members of the tourism group. Proceeds are used to maintain the historic jailer's home in Carlisle at 120 West Main Street.
It's time for luscious eggnog, but many of us don't enjoy the holiday treat because it's very high in calories. In the December issue of Cooking Light, eggnog gets a makeover.
Writer and registered dietitian Sidney Fry said, "Eggnog is virtually indistinguishable in makeup and flavor from melted vanilla ice cream. Why not just make it out of melted ice cream? More than a third of the calories in eggnog come from saturated fat — about the amount in 2 heaping tablespoons of butter. Add rum, bourbon or brandy ('tis the season!), and you're into 400-plus-calorie range. Starting with full-fat ice cream wouldn't be much better. But I found I could shave 250 calories and 14 grams of sat fat by simply using light vanilla ice cream (we like Edy's Slow Churned vanilla)."
Here's the formula: Let ½ cup light ice cream melt. Stir in 1 tablespoon bourbon and ½ tablespoon brandy, sprinkle with nutmeg, and garnish with cinnamon. It has 150 calories.