Gourmet Group Has a “Run for the Roses”

Some info about our Gourmet Group:  We are 4 couples who enjoy cooking, entertaining, and most of all, each other’s company. 
We take turns hosting in our homes.  The hosts decide on the menu (theme) from appetizers to dessert for the evening.  The hosts cook most of the meal, but give at least one course (along with all the recipes) to the other couples to prepare.  We love trying new recipes and ideas.  So most of the time the recipes are ones we haven’t cooked before, but they don’t have to be.


Kentucky Derby party ideas


Another couple in our Gourmet Group hosted the evening of the Kentucky Derby this year for a Derby Celebration.  This Derby-themed dinner party certainly made it into the Winner’s Circle.

Extravagant hats have been a long-established tradition of the Kentucky Derby.  So hats were a must for our celebration.  If we didn’t have a hat of our own to wear, the hosts supplied hats for us to choose from.


derby party ideas

And then we were Off and Running


I loved the creativity of her table!

~ Lots of red and roses ~

And a horse, of course, took center stage on her dining table…


Kentucky Derby table ideas

Kentucky Derby dinner party ideas


A rose motif tablecloth was her starting point…

Derby party ideas

Her prototype of Almost Dreaming (2017 Derby winner) stands center & front in the Winner’s Circle surrounded by the Garland of Roses

Kentucky Derby party ideas

Place Settings…

A special Kentucky Derby glass was an integral part of each place setting (a take home favor for each of us:)

Kentucky Derby party ideas

Special bottles of Kentucky Derby red wine for dinner encircled by horseshoes

Kentucky Derby dinner party ideas

Photos of the Kentucky Derby decorated the walls

Kentucky Derby party ideas


Her kitchen table, where cocktails & apps were served, was decorated with horses waiting in the paddock for the race to start…

Kentucky Derby party ideas

Derby-themed plates and napkins

derby party goods

Fun horse décor



Kentucky Derby menu ideas for dinner party

Bourbon & Mint Juleps

Another long time tradition of the Kentucky Derby is bourbon (with Woodford Reserve being the official bourbon of the Derby).  So naturally, bourbon played an important role in our food and drink throughout the evening.

Can’t have a Derby Party without serving mint juleps…

derby party drinks - mint juleps


~ Bacon Bourbon Carmel Popcorn ~

Derby menu ideas - Bacon Bourbon Carmel Popcorn

We polished off what was left of this sweet treat after dinner.

~ Classic Pimento Cheese ~

Kentucky Derby menu ideas - appetizers

~ Baby Hot Browns ~

Baby Hot Browns - Derby appetizers ideas

~ Derby Cheese Hat ~

Derby Cheese Hat - Derby menu ideas

~ Gougères (Traditional Cheese Puffs) ~

These were assigned to us to make.  Gougères are often served with drinks before dinner in France at restaurants or in people’s homes.  I had never made these before, and was excited to make them for the first time.

The recipe called for a good-sized amount of grated Gruyère or Comte cheese.  I used Gruyère.

gougeres - French dinner party menu ideas

Making the dough

French appetizer ideas - gougeres


Gougères topped with more grated cheese are ready to eat…


French appetizer ideas - gougeres



~ Strawberry Caprese Salad ~

Note the cute red and white plates…

dinner party menu ideas

I love caprese salads, but this one was especially refreshing with the addition of strawberries in it.  Great for the warmer months of the year.

Bourbon-Marinated Pork Tenderloin

I’d have to say this couple are the masters of cooking pork in our group…

Bourbon-Marinated Pork Tenderloin

Very tasty…

~ Bourbon-Marinated Pork Tenderloin, Derby Green Beans with Bacon, & New Potatoes ~

Kentucky Derby menu ideas


… intensified with bourbon.

~ Chocolate-Bourbon Pie ~

dessert ideas with bourbon - Chocolate-Bourbon Pie


“Fun at the Derby…”

Source: Google images

About inspirationaldetails

Passionate about: Entertaining Tablescapes Decorating, and a love of Books!! I find inspiration in the details of life...
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