Food & Drink

Cheney got a Kentucky meal

When Vice President Dick Cheney visited Lexington Monday, he received a Kentucky breakfast at the home of Kelly and Judd Knight.

Caterer Selma Owens prepared homemade biscuits and pastries, country ham and grits casserole. ”They ate every country ham and biscuit, and we made 200,“ Owens said. When the visit was first scheduled, Cheney was expected for lunch, and the menu featured bison burgers. Still using local products, Owens and Kelly Knight substituted a menu that was ”simple and homemade and very flavorful,“ Owens said. Guests began the breakfast at 9:30 a.m.; Cheney appeared shortly after 11 and eventually took a box of food ”to go.“

Farmers Market ready for the year

The Farmers Market opens Saturday on Vine Street Though it's too early for much local produce, you'll find many fresh items.

Susan Miller, owner of Bluegrass Chevre of Clark County, will have fresh feta and a new goat cheese this year: bloomy rind French market-style cheese.

Three Toads Farm in Clark County will offer several lily varieties. You can get homebaked sourdough and sweet breads from The Paw Paw Plantation of Powell County; wild sassafras root for tea from Roland McIntosh; and honey and soap from Abigail Keam of Fayette County.

Leo and Jean Pitches Keene, owners of Blue Moon Farm in Madison County, will have garlic powder and garlic scape pesto. ”The garlic fields look great,“ Leo Keene said.

Blue Moon also sells pork products from Pat and Leeta Kennedy of Stone Cross Farm, bread from Sunrise Bakery, and Kenny's Country cheeses.

Chocolate everywhere

Bath County candymakers Mike and Kelsie Jackson will be serving chocolate-dipped cream candy at the Chocolate Festival in Washington, Ky., next month.

The Jacksons, who own KC Candy, will join dozens of other vendors at the 21st Annual Chocolate Festival on April 19 and 20. They make several flavors of cream candy dipped by hand in unsweetened chocolate.

Festival activities include a chocolate fudge contest, live entertainment and a parade. The crafts and antique shops in the historic town will sell such ­goodies as chocolate coffee, buckeyes, bourbon balls and turtles.

Washington is 4 miles south of Maysville and one mile south of the AA Highway, on U.S. 68. Go to www.washingtonky.com.

Tea and Chautauqua

The Chautauqua Tea in Danville is two months away, but it's a good idea to order tickets early. The tea is part of the Great American Brass Band Festival and will be at 2 p.m. June 12 at Toy Box ­Catering, 312 West Main Street. A ­musical Chautauqua performance will be at 3 p.m. at the Community Arts Center, 401 West Main Street.

Tickets are $20 for the tea and reserved seating at the performance. Call (859) 236-7794 or 1-800-755-0076. The Chautauqua program is open to the public.

Earth Day at Whole Foods

Whole Foods Market will celebrate Earth Day on Saturday. Jim Embry, director of the Sustainable Communities Network (www.sustainlex.org), will be a special guest.

Customers can have old T-shirts made into bags and will get a free carabiner for use with a reusable bag. Hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the store at 161 Lexington Green Circle. Call (859) 971-8600 or go to www.wholefoodsmarket.com.

Healthy sit-down eateries

A couple of surprises popped up on Health Magazine's list of the healthiest sit-down chain restaurants. Lexington has five franchises from the top 10 list featured in the April issue.

Two surprises are Bob Evans, (which was chosen for its low-carb, low-fat entrees and alternatives for children and adults, including grilled chicken tenders instead of fried), and Denny's, which ­offers ”Fit-Fare“ dishes that have less than 15 grams of fat each.

P.F. Chang's China Bistro was at the top of the list for its offerings of whole-grain brown rice, sustainable Alaskan salmon, all-natural chicken, wok-based cooking (which requires less oil), and less sodium in the sauces. Olive Garden got high marks for using an olive-branch icon to mark low-fat garden fare, and for offering whole-wheat linguine as a substitute for any pasta.

Ruby Tuesday offers organic greens, trans fat-free frying oil, and better-for-you beverages including organic teas and all-natural lemonade.

Of the top five fast-food spots, ­Lexington has three.

Chipotle Mexican Grill uses naturally raised, antibiotic-free meats, organic beans, and even hormone-free sour cream. The corn tortillas offer a whole-grain option, and the tortilla-less burrito bowl lets you load up on protein and veggies.

Così's central theme, the hearth, yields hearth-baked entrees including alpine chicken and grilled wild Alaskan salmon. The chain got high marks for baby carrots as a substitute for chips.

Panera's soups offer low-calorie and low-sodium options, and fresh fruit cups and apples make for healthy sides. For more listings, go to www.health.com.

New chipotle at Sam's Club

The original roasted raspberry ­chipotle sauce from Fischer & Wieser now is available at Sam's Club.

The sauce, which was named ”outstanding new best seller“ by the ­National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, is available in a 40-ounce size. It's great right out of the jar, poured over cream cheese and served with crackers, or as a condiment for pork or chicken.

Quick Take: lemonade

Strawberry lemonade was the Quick Take recipe that I prepared on Friday's cooking segment on WKYT-TV (Channel 27) during 27 Newsfirst at Noon. It's a refreshing drink to serve before or after a day of racing at Keeneland.

Strawberry lemonade

1 pint strawberries

8 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sugar

8 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Sprite or 7-Up

In a blender, pulse strawberries and 2 teaspoons sugar. Set out two glasses and spoon 3 tablespoons of the purée, 4 tablespoons sugar, and 4 tablespoons lemon juice into each glass. Stir and add ice or frozen strawberries. Top off each drink with Sprite or 7-Up. Add more sugar if desired.

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