Rites of Spring

Kentucky Derby

In the South,  this week  is Kentucky Derby Time! The Kentucky Oak's Race is on Friday, May 1, and the Kentucky Derby is on May 2nd. This classic  May opener is held at  Churchill Downs, in Louisville, Kentucky, and is an exciting way to celebrate the beginning of Spring. The ladies bring out their big, beautiful hats, dazzling dresses, and the men look sharp wearing their seersucker suits and fedoras. We especially are big fans of the Kentucky Oaks Race, the fillies race,  where attendees adorn pink to support breast cancer awareness, and where part of the event's proceeds goes to Breast Cancer Research.  And let's not forget the food and yummy cocktails: Mint Juleps, Lilys, and traditional Kentucky Hot Browns.   If you are planning a Derby Party, here are some of my favorite Kentucky Derby recipes to try! 



Kentucky Oaks Lily 




  • 1 ¼ oz Vodka
  • 1 oz Sweet and Sour Mix
  • ¼ oz Triple Sec
  • 3 oz Cranberry Drink
  • Lemon wedge
  • Blackberries

 Mix ingredients and pour into a Lily Glass with crushed ice. Add a straw and garnish with a blackberry and lemon wedge.



Kentucky Derby Mint Julep

  • 8-10 mint leaves
  • 1oz simple syrup
  • 3oz bourbon (Our favorite is Pappy Van Winkle)
  • crushed ice
  • additional mint sprig for garnish/aromatics
  • 1 stainless steel julep cup or other drinking vessel of your choice 

Take the mint leaves and gently muddle them in your julep cup, then add  simple syrup. I like to give a little stir here too to combine the mint and sugar water.  Add crushed ice.  The next ingredient is the star of the show—bourbon. Finding a good, smooth bourbon is key. Mustard Girl recommends Pappy Van Winkle.  Add a little spring of mint to the drink and you are off to the races!



Mustard Girl Kentucky Hot Browns


  1. Preheat the broiler. Place the bread on a cookie sheet and broil until a light brown. Turn the bread over and broil the other side until light brown as well. Remove the bread and set aside.
  2. In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. When the butter is completely melted, whisk in flour. Continue to whisk until the mixture turns a light tan (approximately 2 minutes). Add the warm milk one cup at a time and whisk after each addition. Cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in 6 tablespoons of the parmesan cheese, egg, and MUSTARD GIRL AMERICAN DIJON MUSTARD. Season with salt and pepper. Cook the mixture for 5 minutes, stirring constantly and being careful not to let the mixture boil. Remove from heat.
  3. Preheat the broiler once again. Place a slice of bread in each of four oven safe plates or large bowls. Top each piece of bread with a slice of tomato and a liberal amount of turkey. Ladle a generous amount of sauce over the top of the turkey, covering the bread and toppings. Sprinkle with the remaining parmesan. Place the dish under the broiler until the top is lightly browned and bubbly. Remove from the broiler, place two pieces of bacon crossed over the top, and serve immediately.

Fishing Opener

In the North Country it's also Fishing Opener Weekend, where camouflage is always in season! Here is a delicious Mustard Girl Ina Garten Snappy Snapper recipe for to try. It can be used with any trout, walleye, whitefish, or lake bass. Perfect for a Friday Night Fish Fry!

Mustard Girl/Ina Garten Snappy Snapper Recipe

4 (8-ounce) fish fillets such as red snapper
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces crème fraîche
3 tablespoons Mustard Girl American Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Mustard Girl Stoneground Deli mustard
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 teaspoons drained capers
1 lemon


1.Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

2. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. (You can also use an ovenproof baking dish.) Place the fish fillets skin side down on the sheet pan. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.

3. Combine the crème fraîche, two mustards, shallots, capers, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Spoon the sauce evenly over the fish fillets, making sure the fish is completely covered. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish, until it’s barely done. (The fish will flake easily at the thickest part when it’s done.) Be sure not to overcook it! Serve hot or at room temperature with the sauce from the pan spooned over the top. Adorn with lemon slices. This dish goes well with asparagus or French green beans.

Thanks so much for stopping by. Have a wonderful week!


Mustard Girl