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Decorators' Showcase to feature meals by Varden's

The GlenLary mansion in Bourbon County — a Greek Revival dating back to 1840 — is being jazzed up for this year's Decorators' Showcase.

In addition to seeing a beautiful private home with interiors created by Central Kentucky designers, visitors will get to enjoy lunch prepared by Varden's of Paris.

The event benefits the Nursing Home Ombudsman Agency of the Bluegrass.

Lunch will include tomato dill soup, Varden's salad (mixed greens with red onions, dried cranberries, walnuts and bleu cheese), chicken salad, lemon cake, and bourbon bread pudding.

The invitation-only showcase party, held before the official opening and catered by Varden's, will feature imported and domestic cheeses, seasonal fruit with orange yogurt dip, asparagus and country ham roll-ups, Henry Bain meatballs, caviar, Kentucky hot Brown bruschetta and a bread pudding bar.

Recipes from Varden's executive chef, Matt Corbin, and Jessica Gosser-Walton, wife of Varden's co-owner Steve Walton, appear on Page B2.


Tomato dill soup

8 to 10 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled and diced

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cloves garlic, finely minced

1/2 cup chopped fresh dill or 2 heaping tablespoons dried dill

2 teaspoons celery salt

2 tablespoons tomato paste

11/2 cups water

2 cups heavy cream

Purée tomatoes and strain. In a soup pot over low heat, add oil, garlic, dill, celery salt, tomato purée and tomato paste. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add water and bring nearly to a boil. Stir in cream, return to low heat for a few minutes and serve.

Hot Brown bruschetta

Baguette, cut into 1/4-inch slices

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

1 cup bechamel sauce, cooled (recipe follows)

1 cup turkey, small dice

5 slices bacon, small dice

1 cup tomatoes, small dice

1/4 cup Asiago cheese, crumbled

Drizzle baguette slices with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place on baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees for 5 minutes. Make bechamel sauce and cool. Add turkey, bacon, tomatoes and cheese to sauce. Spoon mixture onto bread and bake at 450 degrees for 2 minutes or until mixture is hot.

Bechamel sauce

5 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

4 cups milk

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons pepper

2 teaspoons cayenne

In a saucepan, combine butter and flour. Add milk, salt, pepper and cayenne. Heat until thickened.

Chicken salad

4 cups cooked white meat chicken, 1/2 diced and 1/2 shredded

1 stalk celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice

1 tablespoon pickle relish

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 cup mayonnaise

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and chill before serving.

Key lime pie martinis for a party

1 pound cream cheese

1 pound sour cream

2 14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk

4 limes, juiced

Zest of 2 limes

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1 stick butter, melted

Whipped cream, for garnish

Combine cream cheese, sour cream, sweetened condensed milk, lime juice and zest in a bowl. Blend with a mixer. Separately, mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter, and pour into a baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool. Spoon cream cheese mixture into martini glasses and garnish with fresh whipped cream and graham cracker crumbs.