This week fall has finally hit with cooler weather so I decided on a variation of one of my favorite dessert recipes for the MTSU Football Radio Network Pregame show! How about Grilled Pound cake!

Published in Sweet Stuff

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Aug. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- You can't celebrate National S'mores Day without fire, and this year Bernzomatic, the leader in fueled flame, is offering up delicious s'mores recipes with unexpected flare – by using a torch.

Published in Foodie News

It's Derby.... Pie Time!! The Kentucky Derby is right around the corner! Two things happen in my family when Derby weekend approaches. First, my wife Ally starts her search for the perfect Kentucky Derby Hat. This year the hunt started between New Years day and Easter. Secondly, my mom starts talking about Derby Pie.

Actually, with my family a Derby Pie conversation can pop up any time of year. I was born in Louisville Kentucky so the Derby comes naturally to me. Its pageantry, sports, tradition and Southern Charm combined with NASCAR style tailgating, cold beverages and city wide block parties. Food is a natural ingredient to any Derby Day celebration.

Since Ally has her Derby hat covered I'll move onto updating your Derby Dessert knowledge.

Derby Pie is a registered trademark!
Jessie Oswald, of has written several great articles about the origins of the Derby Pie, and how the Kern's family perfected the recipe while they owned the Melrose Inn. When they sold the Inn they continued to make the pie for select customers and the business continued to grow. Once perfected Kern's Kitchen and the Kern's family locked up rights to the name with federal trademark protection and the actual recipe is top secret! Here's a tidbit of trivia on how the Kern's family decided on a name. According to Oswald's articles the Kern family members all had different ideas on what the new pie should be named. To settle things everyone agreed to write down a name and place the pieces of paper in a hat.  Guess what? Derby Pie was the winner.

Pecans? Nope  - Walnuts!
Did you know that a "traditional" Derby Pie uses walnuts instead of pecans? Sure, many people substitute nuts when they make their versions. There is nothing wrong with that. If you meet a purest and offer up a slice of Pecan based Derby Pie and they seem to have a problem with it - then take the pie back!

Kern's Kitchen
According to Jessie Oswald Kern's Kitchen produces between 120,000-130,000 pies each year and one man, Production Mgr./Baker JB Keahey, bakes them all! That is amazing and shows how secret the recipe is. The dessert is most popular during the weeks surrounding the Kentucky Derby. Here are some more numbers; 1,892 sheets of Derby Pie are produced solely for use by Churchill Downs and 25,000 slices are served on Derby Day alone.

Since the Kern's Kitchen Derby Pie is a secret recipe people like me have been taking guesses at it for a long time. No one can match the taste of the original. However, there are some pretty darned good versions out there. Most often cooks substitute pecans for walnuts and Whiskey for Bourbon, even though this is frowned upon by many people from Kentucky and almost all horses in the state. Below is a recipe that will make a nice Chocolate & Walnut pie that will be a great addition to your Derby party since it would be hard to order one in time now.

For the official bakery and home of the Derby Pie check out . You can order a pie and find a distributor near you. This way you can be ready for next years Derby. Believe me, it's a treat worth trying!

Our Version
The Deck Chef Chocolate and Walnut Pie is similar to what my mom called a "Derby Pie." In fact, it's a recipe from her collection... except for the added bourbon. 

Chocolate & Walnut Pie
1/2 cup flour
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup melted butter
2 tablespoons Kentucky bourbon
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 ready-made piecrust

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine flour and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the eggs and butter; mix to combine. Stir in the bourbon, walnuts, chocolate chips, vanilla, and salt. Pour the mixture into the unbaked piecrust. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool before slicing.

Photo via Kern's Kitchen



Published in Sweet Stuff

Another in our fun hoiliday "back of the box" recipes. This is slightly more than a back of the box recipe, I admit that, but it's still easy and kid friendly with some adult supervision in the kitchen.

Published in Sweet Stuff

It's National Cookie Day! So, why not go with a classic Christmas and Holiday cookie recipe!

The Hershey's Christmas Peanut Butter Kiss Cookie is easy to make, perfect for kids to help with, and you can't beat eating a few of these tasty cookies. Simply put - Try this classic cookie recipe from Hershey's! I have to be honest - I think I ate just about everyone of these cookies shortly after Ally whipped up a batch.

The recipe was amazingly easy, perfect for kids to help out with, and the end result is... a great tasting cookie!

Makes 4 dozen

  • 48  HERSHEY'S KISSES Brand Milk Chocolates
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup REESE'S Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1  egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Additional granulated sugar


  • Heat oven to 375°F. Remove wrappers from chocolates.
  • Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.
  • Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet.
  • Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate into center of each cookie; cookie will crack around edges. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.
  • Makes About 4 dozen cookies.

Nutritional Information from Hersheys
per serving (1 cookie):
Calories: 90, Total Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 5mg, Sodium: 75mg,
Total Carbohydrate: 10g, Dietary Fiber: less than 1g, Sugars: 6g, Protein: 2g, Vitamin A: 0%DV*,
Vitamin C: 0%DV*, Calcium: 0%DV*, Iron: 2%DV*
*%DV= %Daily Values are calculated based on a 2000 calorie diet
Photo and recipe via Hershey

Published in Sweet Stuff

Who says you have to use bourbon? Why not Whiskey made in Chattanooga?

Welcome to Chattanooga! Here is the official Kent Whitaker twist on the traditional bourbon or rum ball. But... in this case I'm using Chattanooga's own Chattanooga Whiskey for the main ingredient. So far Ally and I have managed to make barbecue sauce, baked beans, cedar plank salmon glaze and more with Chattanooga Whiskey.

More information on Chattanooga Whiskey

This recipe is almost too easy. The main twist, besides using Chattanooga Whiskey, instead of your normal bourbon / whiskey is the fact that Ally and I really love almonds but we used mixed nuts for this recipe. You can use your choice of nuts. Pick them and place them in a zip close bag and bang them with a spoon! Or place them in a grinder. The message is... Grab some nuts of your choice and break them up into tiny pieces.

Read on, tweak this recipe as you wish and enjoy some classic tasting whiskey holiday balls from the Scenic City otherwise known as Chattanooga and Chattanooga Whiskey.

Kent's Chattanooga Whiskey Holiday Balls

2 cups crushed vanilla wafer crumbs
2 cups finely chopped mixed nuts
2 cup confectioners' sugar
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup Chattanooga Whiskey
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoons light corn syrup
confectioners sugar, divided
Addition water as needed.

Thoroughly combine vanilla wafer crumbs, chopped mixed nuts, confectioners' sugar, and the cocoa. In a separate bowl, blend the Chattanooga Whiskey, water and corn syrup. Stir this mixture into the dry mix and blend well. Cover and chill for  two hours. Sift some confectioners sugar onto a cookie sheet or plate. Shape small bits of the dough into balls and roll them in the confectioners. You may need to add a few drops of water as you go. Store in refrigerator in tightly covered containers. Make these a few days in advance for best flavor, and roll in confectioners' sugar again before serving, if desired. These can also be frozen for longer storage.

Published in Deck Chef Blog

Courgette Souffle & Camembert Ice Cream - Comfortably Hungry in the UK and Beyond! Meet my foodie friend from across the pond - SJF Bilton, Sam to her friends.

Published in Other Eats

I've Grilled Pizza? Why not cake? Grilled pound cake is my signature dessert. It's a perfect match for my style of cooking, which is heavy on barbecue, the real, slow-smoked kind, as well as when I fire up the grill.

Sure, you can make your own pound cake and ice cream from scratch or you can save some time and pick some up at the store.

The great thing is that you can replace ingredients as needed. No strawberries? Use pineapple, peaches, or mandarin oranges. Flavored pound cake and your favorite ice cream and toppings will help you make this dish one of your own. You can also trim calories by using low-fat, sugar-free items and dropping the butter and brown sugar.

If you fear placing slices of pound cake directly on a grill, try using a grilling basket or use a sheet of heavy-duty foil to make a griddle-like surface.

My recipe and photo was featured on the website the Daily Meal along with several other not so common items that you can toss on the grill. Check those recipes and a pretty cool slide show RIGHT HERE

Cooking spray, for the grill
4 slices pound cake
Spray butter or
2-3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
2-3 teaspoons brown sugar (optional)
4 scoops ice cream
1 cup sliced strawberries
1/4 cup strawberry syrup
1/3 cup toasted and sliced almonds
Preheat the grill over medium heat.Coat the grill or foil with cooking spray. Coat the pound cake with spray butter or brush with the melted butter. Grill until the edges are browned and the slice is heated evenly. If desired, sprinkle the slices lightly with brown sugar before removing from the grill. Place a slice on a plate, top with the ice cream, sliced strawberries, strawberry syrup, and almonds.

Thanks to the Daily Meal for selecting my Grilled Pound Cake!

Published in Sweet Stuff