The Preakness – Ponies and the Recipes to Pair Them With!

Updated: May 14, 2015
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Let me start by saying that I’m tired and I know Dre is too. We work full-time (and by full-time I mean waaaayyy over 40 hours a week) and we both love to cook and never want to miss a party so as you can imagine, at times it makes you real tired.

(I can just hear my husband saying “Is it haaaaaaarrrrrddd for you?!?!” And damn straight, sometimes it is!)

But right now although the kitchen is a complete disaster from my cooking escapades tonight, the food turned out great, my #Degen was impressed, and I now have dessert ready for the Preakness party this weekend!

When our #Degens decided to start this website, we of course got on board and tried to think of ways we could contribute. We wanted a section called “How to Keep Your #Degen Happy” and I still think if we press hard enough, we’ll get it. And once we figure out how to post without our #Degens helping us, we’ll sneak some really good tips up for you #BuschBabes on topics such as how to get your #Degen to bed when he’s had too many, how to dilute drinks stealthily, and how to answer the very important question of “Who are you rooting for?”

Our first attempt at contributing to the site was for the Kentucky Derby. We had so much fun making the Traditional Derby Food that we decided we would deliver recipes and final products for all 3 races of the Triple Crown. Original #BuschBabe Jaymee Sire worked 7 days straight at the Mother Ship so she wasn’t able to make us a Preakness Jello shot but she promised to have a Belmont Breeze version ready for the final race (you can check out her other awesome cooking and jello-shot making adventures at Making food that matches the sporting event is something Dre and I love to do and we hope to make regular contributions on BLS with recipes for you to enjoy!

But for now, we direct your attention to the secrets of throwing a kick ass Preakness party! First some Preakness Bullet points because who doesn’t love to drop some knowledge…

  • Winning Preakness owner is presented the Woodlawn Vase. Originally created by Tiffany and Company in 1860. Its value was assessed at $1 million which makes it the most valuable trophy in American Sports. Winners were awarded possession of vase until 1953 and then they changed it and winning owner is given $30,000 sterling silver replica instead. Original is on display at The Baltimore Museum of Art and brought to Pimlico under guard for the annual running of the Preakness.
  • Long standing tradition at the Preakness is to drape a blanket of Black-Eyed Susan’s across the shoulders of the winning horse. The black and yellow flowers are also the state colors and color theme for the Preakness. It takes three people two full days to make it.
  • Once the Preakness winner has been declared official, a painter is lifted up to the top of the replica of the Old Clubhouse copula in the winners circle to paint the weather-vane. The weather-vane is painted the colors of the winner’s silks and the horse’s color. It remains painted that way until the next year when the next Preakness winner is crowned. This practice began in 1909.


For the Menu this is what we came up with:

Baltimore Stye Crab Cakes

Owner’s Box Asparagus

Maryland Fried Chicken

Traditional American Strawberry Shortcake

(Copy Cat) Berger Cookies

food collage

The Finished Products


We like that you can make these for a dinner party or bite sized if you were having a bigger party. Although the recipe and the pictures are of full-sized portions, really easy to make smaller crab cakes, asparagus on a skewer, chicken strips or all drumsticks, and strawberry shortcake skewers too (who doesn’t love a good skewer?!?!)

We had to make two desserts because one of the #Degens “doesn’t like fruit in his dessert”. These Strawberry shortcakes look a little different because I made them gluten-free so that I could enjoy them too, and they were AWESOME (even the gluten eating #Degen thought so). The Berger cookies are not gluten-free so I wasn’t able to taste them. I texted a picture to my friend from Baltimore and he said it sure looked like them (his grandma sends them to him every Christmas!!) but he won’t be at work to taste them so I won’t know how close they are! The resident #Degen first tasted just the cookie (this is TERRIBLE) and then the finished product (REALLY good) so I think the frosting is key. Although said Baltimore friend claims they put a secret ingredient in their frosting so not sure I nailed it.

And now, here is where I give you permission to…

  • Order the cookies straight from the source (
  • Buy pre-made shortcake but definitely make your own whipped cream
  • Order KFC. everyone’s guilty pleasure!

BUT… Make the crab cakes from scratch. Totally worth it. If you have the time, make it all. It’s damn good, and you’ll help us #BuschBabes live the dream that we really can do it all.


Baltimore-Style Crab Cakes


Crab Cakes

This is the best crab cake recipe ever! Recipe makes 8 crab cakes, or you can make your “cakes” a little smaller and make 24-26 mini donut-hole-sized crab cakes which are perfect for Preakness Parties!

½ cup mayonnaise
1 large egg, beaten
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon hot sauce (I like tabasco, but anything works)
1 pound jumbo lump crab meat (or you can do like I did and do a mix of half jumbo lump and half lump)
20 saltine crackers, finely crushed
¼ cup canola oil
Lemon wedges, for serving

In small bowl, whisk the mayo, egg, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce until smooth.
In medium bowl, lightly toss the crabmeat with the finely crushed cracker crumbs. Gently fold in the mayo mixture. Cover and refrigerate for an hour.
Scoop the crab mixture into eight 1/3 cup mounds; lightly pack into 8 patties, about 1 ½ inches thick. In a large skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the crab cakes and cook over moderately high heat until golden and heated through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer crab cakes to plate and serve with lemon wedges.

***Make sure not to over mix or pack your mounds too tight.***


Owner’s Box Asparagus


Asparagus in the ice bath

40 Stalks Of Asparagus (5 stalks per person so adjust accordingly)
Green onions (to tie around the stalks)

3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbs lemon juice
2 tsp finely chopped shallots
1/4 tsp coarse salt
Coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs (I used gluten-free), toasted in a 350° oven until crisp (about 5 minutes)

Wash and cut the asparagus to desired length, peel lower part of stalks if necessary (I did for looks but I don;t think it’s worth the time!). Quickly blanch in lightly salted water and chill immediately in ice water. Drain and pat dry. Tie 5 stalks together with a free onion (can totally skip but make it look so cute!)

To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the lemon juice, shallots, bread crumbs, salt, and a few grindings of pepper, while slowly adding in the olive oil. Or do what I did which is dump it all in a jar, put the lid on and shake!

Drizzle vinaigrette over the asparagus


Maryland Fried Chicken

photo 1

Chicken frying in coconut oil

Assorted chicken parts
Salt & Pepper
Crisco Shortening

Wash chicken, pat dry. Season chicken pieces with salt and cayenne pepper,
dredge with flour and shake in a paper bag, knock off excess flour and deep
fry in Crisco Shortening.

** I wanted a “healthier” fried chicken and needed it gluten-free so I used GF flour and fried it in Coconut oil. It was FANTASTIC this way, but not sure how “traditional”.


Berger Cookies

I did a lot of research but it seems that the ACTUAL recipe is kept secret. King Arthur Flour had 2 recipes on their website and the 2nd was adjusted after people from Baltimore wrote in and gave suggestions. That is the one I used.

photo 3

Calvin the #BuschDog thought if he smiled and looked cute he might just get a taste!

Rich Chocolate Icing

2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chip
1 1/2 tablespoons (1 ounce) light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup (6 ounces) heavy cream
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) confectioners’ sugar, sifted

1/3 cup (5 1/3 tablespoons, 2 5/8 ounces) unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cups (3 1/2 ounces) sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups (6 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/3 cup (2 5/8 ounces) milk

To make the icing: Place the chocolate chips, corn syrup, vanilla, and cream into a large microwave-safe bowl, or into a large saucepan. (I used a double boiler) Heat the mixture till it’s very hot; the cream will start to form bubbles. Remove from the heat, and stir until smooth. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar. Let cool to warm room temperature while you make the cookies.

To make the cookies: In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, salt, vanilla, and baking powder. Beat in the sugar, then the egg.

Add the flour to the wet ingredients alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Do this gently; there’s no need to beat the batter.

Using a teaspoon cookie scoop, drop the dough onto the prepared cookie sheets (I tried a buttered baking sheet and non stick foil. the foil worked much better!) Flatten each mound of dough to a circle about 1 ½” across; wet your fingers or a knife, or grease the bottom of a drinking glass or measuring cup to do this. Leave 2″ to 2 1⁄2″ between each cookie, for expansion.

Bake the cookies for 1o to 11 minutes, or until they’re a mottled brown on the bottom (carefully tilt one up to look), but not colored on top. You may see the barest hint of browning around the edges, but these cookies are supposed to be soft and cake-like, so don’t over-bake them. Cool the cookies on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.

Dip the flat bottom of each cookie into the icing; swirl the cookie around to really give it a good coating. Set cookies back on the baking sheet, or on a rack. Spread remaining icing evenly atop the cookies. It’ll feel like you’re piling on a lot of icing; that’s precisely the point! Allow to set, then store airtight in a single layer. (I missed the whole frost both sides of the cookie part. oops!)


Traditional American Strawberry Shortcake

These shortcakes are similar in style and method to a traditional biscuit dough. For maximum flakiness, do not over mix. The dough should remain lumpy and mealy in texture in order to achieve a truly delicate cake.

Makes 6

photo 2

The shortcake dough ready to go into the fridge!


1 cup sifted all-purpose flour (I used Gluten Free)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus 1 tablespoon butter (for the cookie sheet)

1 quart strawberries

1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Confectioner’s sugar

To make the shortcakes: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. After the dry ingredients are thoroughly blended, add the buttermilk, cream, and cold butter in quick succession, combining only briefly, to leave the mixture as lumpy as possible. Or use a food processor fitted with a dough blade. Combine the dry ingredients, pulse briefly, then add the liquid ingredients and butter, and pulse briefly.

Turn this lumpy dough out onto a lightly floured board and flatten gently with a rolling-pin into a squarish shape approximately 1-inch thick. Cut into 6 equal squares. Spread 1 tablespoon butter on a non-stick cookie sheet, place the squares on the sheet, and place the entire cookie sheet in the refrigerator to rest 20 minutes while you pre-heat the oven to 375°. Bake the chilled shortcakes 20 to 25 minutes, or until they are nicely browned.

While the shortcakes are baking, make the filling and topping. Clean and slice the strawberries. Whip the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla together into soft peaks. When the shortcakes are finished baking, allow them to cool 5 minutes. Then split them in half, slather the bottom with 2 or 3 tablespoons whipped cream and 1/2 cup sliced strawberries, cover with the top biscuit, and sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar. (My gluten free version wasn’t thick enough to do it so I just piled all the toppings on top!)


Hope you enjoy the recipes!

and remember…

If you Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em!!!!!

D and R