If you’re looking for some meal ideas to celebrate this weekend’s Kentucky Derby, Rania Harris has you covered!

Cheddar Cheese and Ham Biscuits

  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 1-tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2-teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons chilled shortening
  • 1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 3/4-cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • Thinly sliced baked ham
  • Honey Mustard


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Place the flour, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Cut in the butter and shortening, using a pastry blender until the mixture resembles oatmeal flakes and then stir in the cheese. Make a well in the center, and pour in the milk and egg yolk. Stir until all the flour is blended and the dough leaves the sides of the bowl. The dough will be very moist. This can also be done in a food processor.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it about 10 times. Roll out the dough some it is 3/4 inch thick, and cut out biscuits with a 2-inch cookie cutter. Re-roll the scraps and continue to cut out biscuits until the dough is used. Place the biscuits 1 inch apart on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake 12 minutes.

Split the biscuits in half and spread with honey mustard and fill with thinly sliced slivers of baked ham. Serve immediately.

Yield: approximately 12 biscuits

Pimento Cheese Deviled Eggs

  • 12  large eggs
  • 2  teaspoons white vinegar


  • ½ cup Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 6 tablespoons cream cheese
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons diced roasted red pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste


In a large pot over high heat, bring eggs, vinegar, and enough cold water to cover by 1 inch to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-high to maintain a medium boil and cook eggs for 8 minutes. Drain and run eggs under cool water. Fill a bowl with cold water, add eggs, and let sit for 20 minutes to cool at room temperature.

Peel eggs and halve horizontally. Cut off the tips so that the eggs will stand upright. Remove yolks and transfer to a medium bowl. Set aside white egg cups on a serving plate.

Place the yolks in the bowl of a food processor and process just long enough to break up yolks.

To yolks, add Cheddar cheese, cream cheese, mayonnaise, diced roasted red pepper, dry mustard, salt, and freshly ground pepper. Process until light and fluffy. Place the mixture in a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe the mixture into the egg white cups. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or until ready to serve.

Mint Julep

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • Sprigs of fresh mint
  • Crushed ice
  • Kentucky Bourbon
  • Silver Julep Cups


Make a simple syrup by boiling sugar and water together for five minutes. Cool and place in a covered container with eight sprigs of fresh mint, then refrigerate overnight.

Make one julep at a time by filling a julep cup with crushed ice, adding one tablespoon mint syrup and two ounces of Kentucky Borubon. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the outside of the cup. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

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