Derby Party Ideas

by - Monday, April 25, 2016

Derby season has begun! The beginning of derby season means it's time to start planning out how you are going to watch the events. Can't make it to an event this year? Check out all of our tips about how to make the perfect stay-at-home derby party!

Have guests come dressed to impress in their best derby outfit!

The gentlemen at the races are known for their dressed up outfits. Some guys wear colorful pants with a coordinating shirt while others tend to go for a more subtle look with simple navy blazer. A derby essential is a tie! Whether it is a bow tie or the classic necktie, guys usually wear a colorful tie to complete their outfits. A derby hat is not just for men. Guys can wear a fedora or bowler hat with their suit in a simple color like natural.  (picture from

Ladies are known for their big floppy hats and colorful spring dresses that they wear while at the derby. Whether you choose to have your hat or your dress at the center of your look you are sure to look great! Pair this combination with a cute pair of heels. A clutch goes well with your preppy dress and completes you look. As long as you have a big floppy hat and a cute dress you are sure to look great for the derby.

Set up a table at the door where guests can place their bets!

Who says you have to be at the derby to bet? As guests walk in greet have them fill out a betting sheet for added fun! Print out this fun betting sheet and a list of all the horses for guests to choose from. Just remember win is first, place is first or second, and show is first, second, or third place. Make a wager with your guess. It could be as simple as making dinner or put money on your guess. Keep a tally on who wins the races by writing the finishers in the column. At the end of the night figure out who guessed the races correctly and those who have to pay up.

Prepare classic derby food like what you would find at the races!

For Mornay sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
For the Hot Brown Bites:
  • 15 mini phyllo tart shells
  • ½ cup roasted turkey breast, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup diced tomatoes* (see note)
  • ¼ cup white cheddar, shredded
  • 2 slices cooked bacon, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon paprika (smoked or regular)
  • 1 teaspoon grated Parmesan cheese

For the Mornay sauce:
  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Slowly whisk in flour until well combined to form a roux. Cook the roux for 2 minutes stirring frequently.
  2. Increase heat to medium. Whisk in heavy cream and cook until the cream begins to simmer, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Remove saucepan from heat and whisk in cheese 1 tablespoon at a time until sauce is smooth. Taste sauce and adjust salt and pepper levels as desired.
  4. Transfer sauce to a bowl. Allow sauce to come to room temperature. Once sauce reaches room temperature, cover bowl and chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour. (Can be made a day in advance)
For the Hot Brown Bites:
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place mini phyllo tart shells on parchment-lined baking sheet, about ½ inch apart.
  2. Fill the bottom of tart shells with a sprinkling of shredded white cheddar cheese.
  3. Combine the cold Mornay sauce, turkey breast, and tomatoes in a medium-sized mixing bowl and gently mix to combine. Transfer mixture to a quart-sized Ziploc bag to use for piping.
  4. Snip the tip of the Ziploc bag. Pipe mixture into each tart shell.
  5. Top Hot Brown Bites with bacon and a sprinkling of paprika and Parmesan cheese.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until heated through. Allow to cool for a minute or two, then serve!
(recipe from

1 large English cucumber, peeled*, halved, and seeded and grated*
1/4 medium white onion, grated8 oz. {1 package} cream cheese {I used the 1/3 less fat kind}1/4 cup sour cream1 tablespoon Green Jalapeno Tabasco sauce
1/4 to 1/2  teaspoon kosher salt

  1. Place grated cucumber and onion in a fine mesh strainer over a bowl. Press down to drain of excess water. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and let sit for 15 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator, pressing every so often to drain. {Alternatively, you can place the grated mixture in the center of a clean kitchen towel and twist to wring out as much water as possible.} Discard liquid.
  2. In the bowl of a mixer, combine drained cucumber, onion, cream cheese, sour cream and Tabasco. Beat until well combined.
  3. Taste and add salt to your liking. {Start with less & work your way up.}
  4. Put in a bowl and refrigerate until chilled.
  5. Serve with pumpernickel toasts, veggies, or crackers.
(recipe from

1 1/2 packages (3 pie crusts) refrigerated piecrusts
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
24 pecan halves for topping pies
1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
1 cup dark corn syrup
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup bourbon (substitute water if you prefer)
4 large eggs
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 teaspoons cornmeal
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt

  1. Preheat oven to 325F. Spray 2 muffin pans with nonstick spray. Using a 3 1/2 inch or 4 inch round cookie cutter, cut out circles of pie crust dough and place in muffin pan. 
  2. Sprinkle pecans and chocolate evenly in bottom of each piecrust, set aside.
  3. Combine corn syrup and next 3 ingredients in a large saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Whisk together eggs and next 4 ingredients. Gradually whisk about one-fourth hot mixture into egg mixture; add to remaining hot mixture, whisking constantly. If some of you egg bits solidify, pour your filling through a fine mesh strainer before adding into your pie shells.
  5. Pour filling into prepared pie crusts, taking care not to over fill, since overfill will make the mini pies harder to remove from the muffin pan. Once filled, top each pie with a pecan half. Bake at 325 for approximately 25 minutes or until pies are set. Cool in pan 5-10 minutes, then remove pies from muffin pan to cool completely on wire rack.
(recipe from

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