Recent gift keeps on giving

Published 12:26 am Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A few weeks ago during a visit to Oxford, my son’s girlfriend’s parents sent me a new cookbook. It’s titled “Splendor in the Bluegrass” and it’s written by the Junior League of Louisville, Ky. I’ve been cooking out of it since then and found two great recipes that I can make ahead, I think they will perfect for making and transporting to football games.

The first one is a cheese log made from feta. As much as I liked it, it was even better the second time when I made it with Chevre or as you may know it — goat cheese. They are both good, the feta is a little saltier and the goat is a little tangier. But both are better made ahead and are easily transported.

Savory feta cheese log

Email newsletter signup

8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 small clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup chopped black olives

1 tablespoons chopped green onions

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

Combine the feta cheese, cream cheese, olive oil and garlic in a mixing bowl. Beat at medium speed until blended. Stir in the black olives and green onions. Shape the cheese mixture into a 10-inch log. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator.

Toast the walnuts in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until light brown, stirring constantly. Let stand until cool.

Roll the cheese log in the walnuts and parsley. Chill, covered in plastic wrap until serving time. Serve with crackers.

The nice thing about thisnext recipe is that this cake bakes up with a smooth dense texture that is easily sliced and it cools in the pan. I can just make it the night before, let it cool, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and transport to the game. There is just enough Southern Comfort to give it a great flavor but it isn’t as boozy as some rum cake recipes I’ve tried. I think this might be a holiday hit also.

Southern Comfort cake

Cake ingredients

1 cup chopped pecans

1 package butter-recipe yellow cake mix

1small package vanilla instant pudding mix

4 eggs

1 / 2 cup cold water

1 / 2 cup Sothern Comfort

Southern Comfort glaze

1 cup butter

2 cups sugar

1 / 2 cup cold water

1 cup Southern Comfort

For the cake, flour and grease a 10-inch Bundt pan and sprinkle the pecans as evenly in it as you can. Combine the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, cold water and Southern Comfort in a mixing bowl and mix until smooth. Spoon into the prepared pan.

Bake at 325 degrees for one hour. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.

For the glaze, combine the butter, sugar and cold water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes, stirring to dissolve the sugar completely. Remove from the heat and stir in the Southern Comfort. Prick the cake ( I used a skewer) and pour the glaze slowly over the top. Let it stand for at least 8 hours before removing from the pan and serving.

Christina Hall writes a weekly column for The Democata. She can be reached at