TOPS in Lexington Magazine, December 2015

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30 Out & About 32 TOPS In Lexington Preview Party 34 Ball Homes Night of Hope 36 OpportuniTEA 38 Miss TOPS In Lexington 40 Jubilee Jobs Year of Dignity & Hope #1 42 Jubilee Jobs Year of Dignity & Hope #2 44 St. Joseph Foundation Stars Gala 180 Kiss A Pig #1 182 Kiss A Pig #2 184 SEAS Evening with the Stars 186 Epilepsy Foundation Expressions of Hope Gala #1 188 Epilepsy Foundation Expressions of Hope Gala #2 190 Salvation Army Breakfast Roast 192 TOPS Weddings Preview Party 194 KCTCS Philanthropy Awards Luncheon


226 TOP Shots


Captions for event photos are typically provided to TOPS by the event organizers. We do our best to check names and spelling…but we are all human and make mistakes. Please contact with any corrections and we will make note of it in the next issue.



IN EVERY ISSUE 47 TOPS Cares: Silver Bells 122 Etiquette & Entertaining: Always Have a Plan B 123 Parties: Christmas Fun with Kids 141 Family: Christmas Shopping Back in the Day 178 Business News


201 Weddings: Rustic Centerpieces are the Center of Attention 202 The Southern Lady Cooks: A Sweet Christmas 205 TOP 5 Dining: Steakhouses 208 Dining: Learn. Cook. Eat. Repeat. 213 A Taste of Thyme: ‘Tis the Season…to Eat 214 Lesley’s List 217 Lex & the City 222 Save the Date


122 The views and comments expressed by the authors are not always that of our editors or publishers. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this publication, TOP Marketing Group accepts no responsibility or liability for any errors, omissions or resultant consequences, including any loss or damage arising from the reliance on information in this publication. All images contained in TOPS in Lexington Magazine are subject to copyright of the artist or photographer as named, but not limited thereto. Reproduction of any part of this magazine without prior written permission is prohibited.




Dillard’s Cosmetic Sensational Meg C Jewelers turns 3!

Brandice & Scott Harrison at the Prive Open House

Marshall Lifestyle Medicine at Christ the King Sip and Shop



Michael Russell, Trisha Atcher, Tate Sherman, Sheldon Kozee and David Stubblefield

Walk for Down Syndrome

Gl z Glit &


L-R Short dress with gold lace insert by Alberto Makali ( Jerome). Pearl earrings and necklace (Rose & Lime). Fur shrug in winter white (Bella Rose). Ilana dress in ivory, Marissa fur jacket in gray, both by Antonio Melani (Dillard’s). Pearl necklace (Rose & Lime).

Holiday Fashion

Fitted dress in metallic white by Trac, Crystal necklace (MadHaus). Jacket in winter white by Jack (Entwine). Minuet dress in taupe (Entwine). Earrings ( Jerome). Charm Heels in platinum glitter by Kate Spade (Monkee’s).

Photography by Kristin Tatem; Styled by Kristen Oakley & Megan Hillenmeyer; Hair styled by Alexis Prince and Chandler Shahin from Vocé; Makeup by Lindsay Whitt from Chanel at Dillard’s; Holiday decor provided by House, LV Harkness, and Queen Bee.



Holiday Fashion

Metallic Jacquard cocktail dress by Yumi, Charm heels in platinum glitter by Kate Spade (Monkee’s). Pearl necklace ( Jerome). Narcissus necklace and Delirium necklace, both by Lulu Frost (Omar + Elsie).



Holiday Fashion

Dress in white by Wayne Clark, Necklace and earrings by Boyer New York, Embellished clutch in black by Inge Christopher (Carl Meyers). Yolandan caged pointed toe pumps in black by Gianni Bini (Dillard’s). 56


Holiday Fashion

Strapless structured mini dress in Lipstick by Halston Heritage, Hello Shanghai clutch in black by Kate Spade, Fur pom-pom charm and Touch screenfriendly connect gloves, both by Diane von Furstenberg (AJ’s). Fur infinity scarf in black by Dana Herbert (LV Harkness). Heels in antique bronze and vintage metallic by Vince Camuto, Chance perfume by Chanel (Dillard’s).



Holiday Fashion

Zena sequin romper by Shoshanna, Jewelry by Sorelli (Bella Rose). Keyara booties in black by Gianni Bini (Dillard’s).



Holiday Fashion

L: Jumpsuit in black and white, Gold rope necklace (Olive You). R: Silk Lexi cape dress in red by Marie Oliver, Statement necklace (Monkee’s).



Holiday Fashion

L: Sleeveless sparkle top by J Brand, Skinny jean in ruby cryst by J Brand, Bracelet by Soixante Neuf Jewels, Phara Rhodium necklace by Kendra Scott, Zip clutch in gold by Rag & Bone (Vocé). R: Lace and floral dress; Fur shrug in white (Anthropologie). Quadrafoil earrings (Monkee’s).



Holiday Fashion

L: Lace mock neck top in black, Faux leather leggings, Fur Infinity scarf, Bracelets and Ring (LOFT). R: Romper in gold and black by Privy (MadHaus). Poison necklace and Narcissus drop earrings, both by Lulu Frost (Omar + Elsie).



Holiday Fashion

Jana top in silver metallic crinkle by Julie Brown, Leather mini skirt in black by Bishop + Young, Necklace by Sylvia Benson (Olive You). Keyara booties in black by Gianni Bini (Dillard’s).



TOPS in Equine

Colt of the Month:

Norman Casse Summers in Kentucky and winters in Florida—that’s the lifestyle of Norman Casse. As a horse trainer, he often travels with his “work product” as horses follow him from Churchill Downs in Kentucky to Palm Meadows Training Center near Boynton Beach, Florida. Casse lives in West Palm Beach during the wintertime, a half hour north of Palm Meadows. Like grandfather, like father, like son, Norman Casse has followed in his family’s horse training footsteps. He is a trainer with his father Mark’s business, Casse Racing. A native Louisvillian, Casse lives in the Derby City but in spring and fall he is in Lexington once or twice a week when Casse Racing has horses at Keeneland. “We’ve been the leading trainer at Keeneland in the spring of 2014 and recently in the fall of 2015,” he said. Speaking of late October, Casse Racing won two Breeders’ Cup races, thank you very much. “That was a really cool deal,” Casse said. “We had tried for a long time and were 0-for-25 in the Breeders’ Cup.” Actually, he’d had it in the back of his mind that it would be nice to win the Breeders’ Cup when it came back home to Kentucky. “Keeneland is a special place for us,” he said. “We train there. Dad bought horses there to begin with, so for them to come back and run there is important.” Casse has a business administration degree from Bellarmine University, where he played baseball during his freshman year. As a kid, he loved baseball and wanted to play professionally. “I figured out I wasn’t good enough,” he said. He quit the team so he could focus on horse racing while finishing his degree. Although he didn’t live with his father growing up, he spent summers in Canada with him. “I’d go to the barn every morning,” he said. When he graduated from college, he moved to Ocala to run the business end of his dad’s farm in Florida. “I was miserable,” Casse said. It turned out the business end he preferred was in a stable. “One day I called and told Dad I was going to train racehorses,” he said. “I drove nonstop to Toronto.” That was in 2006 and Casse has been a horse trainer ever since. The majority of horses he has worked with are Kentucky bred Thoroughbreds. Casse Racing brought six horses to the Breeders’ Cup weekend in Lexington and won two races. “It was an extremely gratifying moment for me and my family,” he said. “Everybody got to be there, including my mom, who doesn’t necessarily get to come all the time.” Catch a Glimpse, a Keeneland-based filly, won the Breeders’ Cup $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf on Friday, Oct. 30. Tepin, who has been at Churchill



TOPS in Equine

A Tribute to the Breeders' Cup:

Featuring Photos by: Jim Burgett • Keni Parks • Lasko Photography • Lisa Sheehy • Dr. Michael Huang • Paul Atkinson • Ron Morrow • Susan Black • Woody Phillips • TOPS Staff 98


TOPS in Equine



TOPS in Equine



TOPS in Equine



TOPS in Equine

Refuse to Retire ”To promise not to do a thing is the surest way in the world to make a body want to go and do that very thing.” – Mark Twain It’s the end of the year and champions are retiring to farms. Athletes once sleek from racing will now be putting on weight as they get used to their new role in the breeding sheds. But that doesn’t mean you have to... put on the pounds, I mean. You ate too much at Thanksgiving and Christmas is around the corner. You’ve taken a look at those Breeders’ Cup pics and it starts to sink in that racing season’s going to swing back around in just a couple of months. How are you you going to rock next season’s dress? Should you panic during the holidays?

Looking forward to next season’s potential, a new crop of horses are learning to become racehorses. Matchmaking decisions and stable revisions bring thoughts of hope and change. This time of year is a good time to take that positive outlook into our own lives.

Diets don’t work. If you’ve ever been on one before (who hasn’t?) you probably already know this. In fact, if you want to lose weight long-term, dieting is the worst possible thing you can do. Sure, you’ll probably drop a few pounds and maybe even reach your goal weight, but what happens when you decide you want to live your life again? Unless you’ve made permanent changes and created habits, the second you start to incorporate some of your old lifestyle back into your routine the weight will come back.

Take action today. Dump restriction and dieting and simply implement one small healthy habit at a time. Maybe it’s starting off your day with lemon water, adding in greens at breakfast, or moving your body. Small changes add up over time and consistency is key, but remember this is your life: make it amazing!

So what if you were to quit dieting and start living? It’s one simple mindset that can allow you to look and feel the way you want to feel and enjoy life. Why the heck wouldn’t you want to do that?

2. What does living mean to you? How do you want to feel every day?

By looking at food and embracing eating as a source of pleasure instead of pain, you can get in touch with what your body really craves. Kate Horning Health Coach. Lifestyle Expert. Chef.


When you reprogram those cravings by flooding your body with amazing, nutrient-dense foods, you will find your body actually begins to want greens, veggies, and fresh fruits most of the time without forcing it. When you do want a cupcake, it becomes less of a big deal as it’s not seen as “off limits”; you can move on when you’re done, happy about your choice but excited to get back to those greens and water!


Take out a piece of paper and answer these questions to get started. 1. What is one healthy habit you’re going to focus on this week and how are you going to implement it into your busy schedule. 3. What things are important that you don’t want to give up when creating your healthy lifestyle? (For me it’s coffee, wine, bread .. oh and chocolate!) And remember, we aren’t meant to grow alone so share your questions with someone else. Help them find their answers, while sharing your journey and thoughts. Provide support and refuse to retire... together!

Etiquette & Entertaining

Always Have a Plan B O ne’s approach to entertaining is a lot like one’s approach to life: you have to be ready for the unexpected. Much of the

planning and preparation must be well thought out before it begins. As a result, changes can easily be made with only a different way of thinking. Discussion need not be a part of the changes. What becomes important? The quick ability to derive a Plan B. A party planned with every detail decided will invariably have a surprise challenge – a last minute cancellation, a weather alert, a food flop; the possibilities are endless. It is on these occasions that a Plan B must be put in place. The thinking must be quick and on the spot. No time to call a friend or go shopping. Every hostess should have a “stash shelf ”. It should hold back-up items to resolve a problem. On this shelf should be ingredients to prepare another food. The arrival of an unexpected guest or a scorched new recipe call for Plan B. This “stash shelf ” should hold the answer to a guest announcing that she is gluten-free as she sits down at the table. A spilled drink can send even the most prepared hostess spinning out of control. Before an event, try to imagine things that could go wrong and how you would handle them. What would be your Plan B? This mind exercise will start you thinking how to be more flexible and how to come up with possible alternatives. The “stash shelf ” could also contain on-hand gifts for an almost forgotten birthday, a hostess gift, an “I’m sorry” gift for a friend, a welcome gift for a new neighbor or a get well gift. When you have an available gift on the shelf, you become more thoughtful – no, you are prepared to share well-wishes stress-free.

In addition, Plan B can be an unusual and creative way that you see and use an item. It has been said that “you never learn until you get out of your own sandbox”. So, get out of your sandbox and begin to look at items for a different purpose than which they are intended. Look at a champagne glass: it could be filled with candy sitting on a coffee table, small guest soaps in a powder room, chilled soup, dessert mousse, paper clips on a ladies’ writing table, your jewelry on a bedside table at night, filled with salad dressings or assorted nuts. Think about a crystal pitcher: arranged with garden flowers for a spring centerpiece, holding bread sticks on a buffet table, serving as an ice bucket, holding rolled napkins, filled with water and three little floating candles, arranged with Magnolia leaves and placed on a fern stand, filled with colorful candy or filled with make-up brushes on a vanity tray. Consider a long scarf: tied around your head, used as a runner on a table, tied as a belt, draped on a Christmas tree, tied around a large container with a plant, tied on the handle of a purse, placed across the foot of a bed, tied into a bow on the back of a plain black dress, tied on a door knob with a bell to welcome guests, used instead of a ribbon on a holiday package, swirled through the greenery on a mantle, hung on the front door or tied on the back of a chair. Plan B can creatively arrange any object into a surprise. Entertaining is fun for guests and hostesses alike. Send the stress traveling while devising a creative Plan B to face the unexpected. Transform calamities into an opportunity, not an obstacle. Enjoy your friends and family this holiday!



by Sue Ann Truitt Etiquette & Entertaining Consultant


Christmas Shopping Back in the Day


often feel a little sorry for parents of young kids. I was fortunate enough to make it through four pregnancies—and the resulting years of infancy and toddlerhood—without input from Pinterest or Facebook, and the ensuing pressure to make every moment Instagram worthy. I raised my children on the threshold of the digital age, and I consider it a blessing that not every moment of their life is documented. (They probably should, also.) But tis the season for Christmas shopping, and I realized: young Moms have it so good. If you think a back-logged website is frustrating, imagine taking all your little people shopping.

Back in the day, parents had to leave the house to purchase gifts. In the snow. Uphill. With all the children. For me, this resulted in one of two scenarios. Either one child disappeared, causing sheer panic and rendering the entire trip completely unproductive. Or, they all stuck right with me, causing sheer panic and rendering the entire trip completely unproductive. Sometimes a mall would set up a “Secret Santa” shop, allowing small children to be escorted by one of Santa’s elves (yes, for real!) on a private shopping spree. Parents provided said elf a list of people and a budget, and the child would disappear behind a closed door. Some portion of an eternity later, the child would reappear with a bag of wrapped gifts, and a mile-wide smile. This tradition always provided two great surprises: the gift chosen for me from the shop, and a case of whatever crud seemed to be plaguing the masses that particular year. Apparently whatever was behind that closed door included some sort of germ-infested area. Trust me: a visit to the pediatrician during the holiday mayhem was never on my agenda. Parents could also do fun things like take their children to visit Santa, and capture on film the moment of terror as their child was seated on a bearded-stranger’s lap or make up stories about why his beard was attached with elastic. Sometimes I just hired a babysitter in order to shop sans children. But really, I would have rather paid someone to do the shopping for me.

by Hallie Bandy



An alternative to leaving the house was to find a block of uninterrupted time to place an order from a catalogue. That’s right: call a 1-800 number and read off item numbers and hope the correlating merchandise was still in stock. Because, darn it, the postcard that read, “The item you requested has been back-ordered until January 5; we apologize for any delay” inevitably arrived in the mail on December 22. There were years when parents stood in long lines for fad toys like Tickle Me

Elmo. If you happened to have a kid who changed her mind during the normal Christmas shopping window, you had to drive to the store to return the already-purchased-but-no-longerwanted item, or face the music Christmas morning. Worse yet, if a child hopped on the I-need-the-latest-fad-toy bandwagon too late, you were out of luck. There were parents who had all their shopping done in August. I would be envious of their efficiency and planning strategies—until their kids pulled that changed-mymind thing. The Santa myth only complicated things. Because you had to shop with stealth. Even if you were fortunate enough to have a kid or two in school during the day, you couldn’t let the younger kiddo see you making a Santa purchase. (We all know the third child is The Reporter.) I’m here to tell you, I managed to celebrate most Christmas mornings with happy children, no more stressed than the next parent.

One year my boys decided they needed coonskin caps. Because, you know, Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett wore them. Somehow we managed, without Pinterest—or even Google or Cracker Barrel— to locate and purchase said hats. And the boys didn’t change their minds. So as I sit in my comfy chair ordering this year’s gifts via my laptop, I think proudly back on those crowning moments of Christmas parenting, knowing UPS will deliver, and our family will celebrate an Instagram-worthy holiday.




Tour of Homes

“My husband Dave jokes that we are the only family that has built two houses on the same lot,” Jennifer Harris said with a laugh. After raising their daughter Ashley and son Justin, their home in Nicholasville’s Equestrian Woods was in need of a revamp. But since they love the location, and have plenty of friends in the neighborhood, not to mention an abundance of family memories (including Ashley’s wedding, which took place in the backyard), the Harris’ decided to renovate their home from top to bottom. “It was a major overhaul, but it was fun,” Jennifer recalls. They moved out for about four months while the renovation took place, and hired John Schaefer of Schaefer Homes, who took the house down to the studs and created the open plan living space that exists today. One of the major projects that took place was the opening of the kitchen and family room area. Like many homeowners, Jennifer was frustrated by the wall that separated the kitchen from the rest of the home. “When I was cooking in there, I couldn’t see or talk to anyone,” she commented. Schafer and his team solved the problem by removing the wall and creating a bright, airy space with plenty of interesting details. Now it’s a pleasure for Jennifer and Dave to prepare meals and interact with family and guests. Jennifer worked extensively with Dwayne Anderson of House by JSD Designs on the interior design. Dwayne is responsible for the

gorgeous Christmas tree and most of the other holiday decorations as well. The décor is a perfect illustration of the traditional yet eclectic style the House retail store and design company is known for. For example, the spray of natural twigs topping the tree has a traditional look, but is a great alternative to the customary star or angel figurine. Jennifer also gives a great deal of credit to her daughter Ashley, who came up with many of the initial concepts for the renovation and design. She worked closely with Dwayne on just about every detail of the home, from color schemes to furnishings. The entryway sets the tone for the chic, traditional design of the home. The ornate sideboard, purchased from Norwalk furniture, is one of the few original pieces from the previous design. The centerpiece with pine boughs and holly berries welcomes visitors with an immediate feeling of holiday cheer. “We display that container all year round, but we change out the décor according to the season. But Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year,” said Jennifer. The same pine boughs can be seen wrapped around the staircases and mantles, complete with rustic burlap bows, pine cones, and twinkling white lights. The antique wood barn door, exposed ceiling beams, mantles, and other wood accents were all purchased from Longwood Antique Woods.



Tour of Homes


he master bath is stylishly outfitted in custom marble tile from The Tile Shop. The couple had a window removed from the rear wall and the former Jacuzzi bathtub converted into a steam shower. All of the plumbing fixtures in the home are from Ferguson.



Tour of Homes


of cribs faces the twin Serena and Lily beds, and between the beds is an antique piece of furniture that was given a fresh coat of paint.

Finally, the last bedroom is fondly referred to by Jennifer as the “grandkids’ room”. This is where her twin grandchildren, Elle and Ford, stay when they come to visit. A pair

The Harris home is a wonderful example of how a cohesive design and thoughtfully chosen furnishings can create a space that is both elegant and livable. “When we built this home 19 years ago, we knew we were here to stay,” said Jennifer. And now, with its fresh new look, the family is ready to enjoy the next chapter of their lives. •

he guest bedroom is a peaceful and rustic retreat, with grass cloth wallpaper and a striking arrangement of mounted antlers and equine photography from House. The bedding was purchased from Serena and Lily, and the Harris’ had the monogramming done locally. The navy and white lamps from House coordinate perfectly.



Tour of Homes

Throughout the home, recessed ceilings are illuminated with rope lights. Columns and pedestals add dashes of drama. And ceiling-level platforms offer places to display plants and other decorative items. The Turners purchased most of the furnishings from Norwalk and Lexington Furniture, while the accent and holiday décor pieces are mostly from Frontgate. Linda plans to make some changes in the near future, including painting many of the interior walls white. She’ll work with designer Cherie Gains on the update. The land that the Turner home sits on is bordered in the rear by a small, idyllic lake. The location holds special memories for the couple. Linda said, “My husband and I got married right out of high school, and have been married for 53 years. When we started dating, this was just a big farm, and we’d go fishing on this lake. We bought the land because we had so many memories here, and built a house on it.” Linda is the first to tell you that she was not



interested in a large backyard. “I never wanted land. It’s too much work. I’d rather be surrounded by water, and I love having the lake and the pool.” The home is also a place of relaxation and refuge for the Turners’ three children and eleven grandchildren. After speaking to Linda for just a few minutes, it’s clear that family is her top priority. She loves hosting, entertaining and spending quality time with the people she loves most. Near the front of the home is Linda’s “devotional room” – a place of peace and quiet with no television, phone or computer. The octagonal room is decorated in a rich color palette of gold and beige, the illuminated recessed ceiling is accented with an ornate medallion and opulent yet comfortable furniture lines the room. Off the devotional room is a chic guest bathroom finished in black and gold, with coordinating leopard print wallpaper. The quilted ceiling and chandelier adds unique and luxurious touch.

Tour of Homes

Off the kitchen is what Linda refers to as the

“green room”. This is a place where the children and grandchildren gather after a day in the pool. “This was actually the former bathhouse,” she explained. “It used to be a large patio, but we had it enclosed. As our family grew, we realized that we needed more space, and a place for the kids to come in from the pool or the lake.” Two sets of doors lead to the pool area and a full bath and shower are attached. A plush sectional sofa is arranged in a semicircle in front of a large flat-screen television. “After they’ve had enough sun, they love to relax in here and play video games,” Linda said.



Tour of Homes

Centrally located on the second level is a large, sitting and gift wrapping room—complete with fireplace, mini kitchenette, and a view overlooking the water. Finished with a whimsical painted ceiling reminiscent of a circus tent, it’s easy to imagine the room as a fun place where presents are lovingly prepared for birthdays, Christmas and all the holidays in between.



Tour of Homes

The Turners certainly love their home, but they also love the joy it brings to other people. “We’ve really enjoyed all the folks who

have stopped by over the years,” Ron said, adding that he and his wife host many local organizations during the holidays. Some visits are more bittersweet than others. Ron recalls, “One night, at about 7 pm, there was a knock on the door. When I answered, a woman with a cane asked if she could take a picture with us on the steps. It was late, but we agreed, and afterward, we offered her a Christmas teddy bear. She accepted it, saying, ‘I’d like to be buried with this.’ We learned that she had cancer, and with only a few days to live, her last wish was to see the inside of the ‘Christmas house’.” The bright, festive lights of the Turner home truly draw attention to the reason for season. Their goal is to bring families together with their children – to laugh, hug one another, take family pictures, sing along with their outdoor holiday music in hopes that everyone will join them in celebrating the season. Now, with three generations of people who come to see the Turner home each year, the tradition shows no signs of slowing down. “We still keep those same traditions we grew up with, and now our children are continuing them,” said Linda. “Not a day goes by that I don’t see one of my children or grandchildren. Our home keeps us all together.”




Rustic Centerpieces are the Center of Attention


hen planning a rustic wedding, the feel is more casual, but the details remain as important as with the most formal of weddings, if not more so. It becomes more important to build in details and elements that fit the theme in order to set the mood. For example, building elements as simple as burlap and twine into your receptions’ tabletop décor will bring your theme into focus. But there are so many more wonderful, creative ways to say ‘rustic’ with your centerpieces. More Options with Rustic Florals: The great thing about a rustic theme is that your options of florals open up to include less greenhouse choices and more handpicked, casual looking options. But don’t kid yourself. Plan to use or buy from a florist, even if the feel is ultra casual. Even if you have acres of wildflowers growing, what will be blooming on your specific wedding date will be very limited. Sunflowers bloom when they want to, not when you want them to. However, you can completely DIY the arranging of your centerpieces, as bunches in jars and casual containers that aren’t contrived or ‘arranged’ in oasis fit the bill. While simple jars of baby’s breath are boho perfect, there are wonderful, inexpensive choices of cut flowers available at grocery store chains like Trader Joe’s. But with any large chain you will be limited to what is available the week of your wedding. No choosing for you! Rustic Blooms Suit the Room: With rustic centerpieces, natural colors and interesting mixes of hue work perfectly. Instead of flowers in all one theme, rustic centerpieces can burst with bolder colors like rich orange, yellow, purple, deep red and bronze browns. Flowers like sunflowers, daisies, anemones, dahlias and waxflowers fit the bill. Don’t forget to add greenery. My favorite is to choose beautifully muted rustic arrangements, with more formal anchor flowers mixed with casual greenery and smaller wildflowers. Colors like light tea rose, cream, blush with dusty sage and muted purples are breath of fresh air. Your Centerpiece Container Sets the Mood: The go-to rustic centerpiece is loose flowers in mason jars, and the look is truly sweet, uncontrived and casual. But with a little more creativity, you can elevate the look of your Mason jar centerpiece, or go miles beyond. Let’s explore that in next month’s article, and see how you can erase the vase. Erase the Vase Sets the Rustic Vibe with your Centerpiece Container: Your centerpiece container is key to the feel. Florist’s clear glass vases are a no no here. If you can get your hands on authentic large vintage teal blue mason jars, you win. But this isn’t always possible. Reproductions in brighter blue and clear are on the market and readily available. While this has become the standard go-to look, you can do more. And some great looking choices abound. Would You Choose Wood: With this rustic theme, it is much easier for you to pull off a DIY project making rustic boutonnieres that can save a little money and be a fun project while you’re at it. Plus, if you don’t use live greens you can glean your own materials and make them ahead, checking this piece off your list. Be Photo Rustic: Remember that in close up photos, his flowers might be the only thing that communicates your rustic theme. So be creative, and do something really different.

by Marsha Koller Wedding Consultant



The Southern Lady

A Sweet Christmas The Holiday Season is here! This is the time of year when we all take a moment and enjoy amazing food with our family and friends. Time to reminisce and catch up with the events of the year that is coming to an end. Family and friends gather around the kitchen to be festive and indulge! These dessert recipes from Judy Yeager of The Southern Lady Cooks will be the perfect addition to your Christmas!

The Southern Lady’s Peppermint Fudge Ingredients: 3 1/2 cups white chocolate chips 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk 1 1/2 cups finely crushed peppermint candy canes (I used 18 of the ones that are about 6 inches long.) 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract Couple drops red food coloring (Optional) Preparation: Line an 8 inch square dish with aluminum foil. Grease the foil with butter or margarine. Combine the chips and milk in a saucepan and melt on the stove on medium heat stirring often to keep from burning. Once melted remove from heat and stir in crushed candy canes and extract. Pour into 8 x 8 dish. If using the food coloring you can add along with the candy canes, but I found it makes the fudge pink. I dipped a toothpick in the food coloring and kind of swirled it into the candy once it was in the dish for a festive look. Put in refrigerator for about 1 1/2 hours or until fudge sets up and you can cut it with a knife. Makes about 24 pieces.

Crunchy Peanut Butter Balls




2 cups crunchy peanut butter (could use smooth) 1 stick butter or margarine or 1/2 cup or 8 tablespoons 2 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar 2 cups Rice Krispies cereal 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips 2 tablespoons shortening, Optional (This is solid shortening like Crisco and you cannot substitute butter or margarine)

Melt the peanut butter and butter together. (You can do it over low heat on the stove or in the microwave. I do mine 2 minutes in the microwave) Mix together the powdered sugar and the Rice Krispies. Mix the sugar and krispies with the melted peanut butter and butter. I just use a wooden spoon to mix them together. Form into balls about 1 inch in size or whatever size you like. Cover a baking sheet with wax paper and place peanut butter balls on the sheet and chill in the refrigerator for about an hour.


Melt the chocolate and shortening, either on the stove or in the microwave. I do it in the microwave for about 2 1/2 minutes and stir well. Dip peanut butter balls into chocolate and place back on cookie sheet. Keep chilled until firm or about an hour. Makes 3 dozen depending on size you make them.

The Southern Lady

Bourbon Pumpkin Spice Cake Cake Ingredients:

Cake Preparation:

2 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 3 eggs 1 1/2 cups sugar 1/2 cup oil (I used Canola) 2 teaspoons vanilla flavoring 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon nutmeg 1 teaspoon ground cloves 1 teaspoon allspice 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup buttermilk 1/2 cup Kentucky bourbon 1 cup pumpkin 1 cup raisins 1 cup walnuts, chopped

Pour the bourbon into a small bowl and add the raisins. Set aside to let the raisins soak up the bourbon while mixing the other ingredients. (The raisins probably won’t soak up the entire 1/2 cup of bourbon, but allow to set for at least several minutes.)

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients: 1/2 stick or 4 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened 4 ounces cream cheese, softened 1 1/2 cups confectionery sugar 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon ginger 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg 1/4 cup pumpkin 1 teaspoon bourbon 2 tablespoons milk

In a large mixing bowl mix the eggs, sugar, oil, buttermilk. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, salt and vanilla and mix well. Mix in the 1 cup of pumpkin. Fold in the raisins, walnuts and what is left of the bourbon into your batter. Pour into a greased or sprayed bundt pan and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 45–50 minutes. Let cake cool 20 to 25 minutes before removing from pan. Frosting Preparation: Wait for cake to cool completely. Mix ingredients together with mixer. Pour over cake. You may add more milk for thinner frosting or more sugar for thicker frosting until you reach the desired consistency. Note: If you bake this cake in a 9 x 13 pan, you will probably need to double the frosting recipe. If you have frosting left over, it is wonderful to heat in the microwave and pour over the cake once it is sliced, too.

Judy Yeager of The Southern Lady Cooks had no idea when she started her food blog in 2008, she would have such an amazing following... 800k and growing on Facebook! She loves to feature many traditional Southern recipes, along with family recipes and dishes created in her Kentucky Kitchen. She has two published cookbooks and a third on the way! For more great Southern Lady recipes, visit

by Julie Yeager, The Southern Lady Cooks





with Allison Davis

Where are you from? I am a born and raised Kentucky girl. I’m from Richmond, and I’ve lived in Lexington for 15 years. How did you start Wild Thyme? I started by helping my mom with her catering business and realized I enjoyed working with food. I went to EKU for business, and then Sullivan University for culinary school. I did work in restaurants for a little while, but I’m mostly self-made. When I started Wild Thyme, I just built my clientele and went from there. Food-wise, what’s your guilty pleasure? Bring on the meat! What is one of your leadership secrets? At Wild Thyme, we are a team. That is our biggest mantra. My team doesn’t work for me, they work with me. We all do what it takes—whether

Fennel & Mushroom Risotto

Incredients 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms, such as shiitake, oyster, morel or porcini 1 cup sliced fennel bulb ½ teaspoon fennel seed, crushed Pan seared halibut, fennel & mushroom 1 tablespoon olive oil risotto with roasted baby broccoli ⅔ cup Arborio or medium-grain rice 2 cups chicken bone broth splash of Sherry Wine ½ teaspoon salt ⅛ teaspoon pepper Pinch of Saffron Threads 4 asparagus spears, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1/4 cup) ⅓ cup thinly sliced green onion 1 tablespoon snipped fennel leaves ½ cup of Gruyere Cheese Fennel leaves (optional) Directions In a medium saucepan cook mushrooms, sliced fennel bulb, and fennel seed in hot olive oil until tender. Stir in uncooked Arborio or medium-grain rice. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Carefully stir in sherry and let reduce then add the broth, salt, and pepper, and saffron. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes (do not lift cover). Remove from heat. Stir in asparagus, green onion and cheese. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. The rice should be tender but slightly firm, and the mixture should be creamy. If necessary, stir in a little water to reach the desired consistency. Stir in snipped fennel leaves. If desired, garnish risotto with additional fennel leaves. Makes 4 servings.

it’s cleaning, washing dishes, or anything else that needs to be done. What is one of your favorite places to eat in Lexington? I love to go out for sushi, and I’m quite fond of Buddha Lounge and Tomo. What would you order for your last meal? I’d go a little bit country and a little bit gourmet. Fried chicken and chateaubriand steak (center cut beef tenderloin). What do you enjoy doing on your time off? I just love spending time with my family and friends. When it comes to restaurants, what is one of your pet peeves? Poor service. I don’t mind paying extra for a quality experience all around. When the service is bad, it can ruin a great meal.

COOKING CLASS: How to Pan Sear Halibut

A versatile and easy-to-cook white fish, halibut combines a light, sweet flavor with a firm texture. The fish is also packed with nutritional benefits, including being high in protein yet low in calories, while also containing a healthy serving of potassium. The mild flavor of halibut allows it to be paired with a wide variety of herbs, spices, seasonings and sauces. There are many ways to prepare halibut; pan searing gives the fish a crispy outside yet without absorbing large amounts of oil. Step 1: Pat the halibut dry with paper towels before cooking it. Excess moisture can cause the fish to stick to the pan and cause steam, which can make it difficult for the fish to obtain a crispy outside. Season the fish to your liking. Step 2: Use a skillet that can withstand high heat, such as one that is made of cast iron, stainless steel or aluminum. Step 3: Warm your skillet by placing it over medium to high heat on the stove. Add your preferred type of fat. Choose a fat that can withstand high heat, such as grapeseed, safflower or canola oil. Step 4: Place the halibut into the pan, skin-side down if appropriate. Press lightly on the fish with a spatula to keep it flat in the pan while it is cooking. Step 5: Allow the fish to cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until a crust has formed on the bottom. Flip the halibut over, cook for 1 more minute and then remove it from heat.




Joanna Clark and Allyson Ledford, Miss TOPS In Lexington along with “Elton John”

Happy Holidays from TOPS in Lexington



Triple Jam

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