Christmas in the Bluegrass

 
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There's just nothing like a Kentucky Christmas, and signs are popping up everywhere that the Christmas season is upon us. Just this week I felt my first true nip in the air. While I consider myself more of a warm weather kind of girl, a nice chill just seems right for December. Today we are outlining our top picks of things to do in the Bluegrass for Christmas. We've picked activities in several locales, so whether you live in Louisville, Lexington, or a small town, you may be able to find something on this list for everyone.

Family Fun

4th Street Live Ice Skating (Louisville)

Triangle Park Winter Ice Village and Skating (Lexington)

Christmas at the Galt House (Louisville)

Reindeer Ramble 5K (Lexington)

Southern Lights Holiday Festival (Lexington)

Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting (Somerset)

Shows

The Brown-Forman Nutcracker (Louisville)

Bowling Green Orchestra Holiday Pops (Bowling Green)

Radio City Rockettes at The Grand Ole Opry House (Nashville - This is obviously not in Kentucky, but it is a fun show and close enough for many Kentuckians to visit.)

Food

Christmas Tea at Shaker Village (Harrodsburg)

The Whistle Stop Cafe Holiday Dining (Glendale)

Christmas Markets

Wine+Market Holiday Open House (Lexington)

Christmas Market at Michler's (Lexington)

This is certainly not a comprehensive list of holiday events in the Bluegrass, but it is some of our tried-and-true favorites! We'd love to hear your  picks for holiday happenings!

Cheers!

Laura & Sarah

Friday Favorites

Laura and I may have still been in turkey comas yesterday, so enjoy our Friday Saturday Favorites post a day late. We are officially in the holiday season! thankful

1. Wit and Wonder

Nordstrom is easily one of my favorite department stores. Although we don't have a Nordstrom in Kentucky, I love to shop at nordstrom.com. Check out their Wit and Wonder gift shop to find an extensive selection of unique, quirky gifts that would make the best stocking stuffers. My personal picks include this antler bottle opener, the folding selfie stick (judge me), and a cute ice cream pint huggy. -Sarah

2. How to Buy Art in Your Twenties

I have so much blank wall space in my house because I want to make sure I have just the right pieces picked out for each spot. My favorite tip in this montage is,“Don’t overthink it” because I definitely do. Sometimes it’s okay to pull the trigger. -Laura

3. 3-Wick Candles

My first job I ever had was at Bath & Body Works. Although I've never been much into lotions or body sprays, the one B&BW product that I will always swear by are their 3-wick candles. B&BW shares the same parent company as White Barn, which is known for their awesome candles. I almost always have a candle burning whenever I'm home at my apartment, and although I've tried several different varieties, I seem to always come back to my tried and true 3-wicks. Their burn time maxes out at about 45 hours, and I can usually still smell the scent even a day later. While my all-time favorite scent is in the fall collection (Leaves), there are some great options for winter (I suggest 'Tis the Season). Best of all, they are on sale for $12 right now making this the perfect time to stock up! -Sarah

4. Christmas Cookies

As my friends and family know, I love cookies and I love to bake, so naturally, I love cookie exchanges during the holidays. My first cookie exchange is coming up next weekend, and I’m already giddy about sampling everyone’s cookies. I tend to keep my cookies pretty simple, and my go-to recipe is a white chocolate macadamia nut cookie. However, I stumbled upon this list recently, and I’m thinking I may try something new. If you have a favorite cookie recipe, please send it my way! -Laura

5. Kindly Kentucky Facebook

After nearly a month of building content, we are gearing up to take social media by storm. We are so excited to start sharing our voice with more people, and a first step in this is creating a Facebook. Follow the link to check out our page. We will be sharing updates, blog posts, and other fun tidbits through this platform. We can't wait to meet you there!

Cheers!

Laura & Sarah

Dried Herbs

thyme For my birthday earlier this year, my dad built me a raised herb garden made of cedar wood. During the summer and fall, I love to use lots of herbs when I cook, so it was a great gift. Besides the dill that I may have pruned too much, all of the herbs took off, and most thrived until the late fall. With temperatures in Kentucky dropping well under freezing over the weekend, I decided it was time to harvest what was left.

I’ve been known to make huge batches of pesto to make use of overgrown basil and freeze herbs in ice trays before, but I’ve never dried them. This year we had so many that I didn’t want to waste, so I decided to dry them. If everything turns out well, I may put them in cute packages and use them as stocking-stuffers for friends and family who enjoy cooking.

After researching the best methods to dry them, I decided to go with the classic air-drying method. Some guides I read suggested drying the herbs in the oven, but I didn’t want to risk the chance of burning them. While the air drying method may take a couple weeks, it’s much harder to ruin the herbs.

All I did was gather the herbs in bunches. You can use rubber bands or wire. I went with rubber bands because as the herbs dry, they shrink and can fall out of the wrapped wire.

oregano bunch

Then I cut slits around the corners of paper bags to allow for a little bit of airflow before bunching the paper bags around the bunches of herbs. Again, I used rubber bands to secure the paper bags.

herb bagThe placemats are Pomegranate – one of my favorite Lexington brands. A similar pattern is linked here.

I hung the herb bundles from rafters in the attic where we have a dehumidifier. Ideally, you should hang the herbs in a cool, dry area for a couple of weeks.

I’m excited to begin using the finished product in some new recipes!

Do you have any good winter recipes that call for dried herbs?

Cheers! Laura