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Smith House Restaurant

Billie Jo Ashcraft is the third-generation owner of the Smith House Restaurant in Owenton. Her mother, Mable Plunkett, and grandparents Bill and Kathleen Smith opened the restaurant in 1968. Ashcraft currently operates Smith House with her daughters and granddaughters. She attributes its longevity to her small community. “Our community is as strong as our regular business,” she says. “We use local products whenever possible, in addition to buying from Kentucky Proud vendors.” The restaurant is known for its made-from-scratch dinners and delicious sandwiches. Prices are modest, and a combination of taste and value keeps customers coming back year after year. The desserts are a real specialty. Ashcraft says her grandparents perfected their pecan pie recipe many years ago when the restaurant opened. The Smith House, located at 1640 Hwy. 22E, is open every day but Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

1 stick butter, melted
1 C sugar
1 C dark Karo syrup
3 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt
1 unbaked pie shell
11⁄2 C chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine ingredients in bowl, mix well, and pour into pie shell. Bake for one hour or until pie doesn’t jiggle. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 8.


8 oz (11⁄2 C) strawberries, hulled and quartered
1⁄2 medium cucumber, sliced and cut in half
1⁄4 C small red onion, thinly sliced
1 pkg (6 oz) baby spinach
1 lemon
2 Tbsps white wine vinegar
1⁄2 C sugar
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp poppy seeds

To make dressing, grate lemon for about 1/3 tsp of zest and squeeze 2 Tbsps of lemon juice. Combine juice, zest, and the other dressing ingredients. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Combine all other salad ingredients in large bowl and toss gently. Whisk dressing and pour over salad just before serving. Serves 10.

Submitted by DARLENE H. VINCENT, Park City, Warren RECC, who writes that the salad “is wonderful to make when strawberries are in season.”

5 C cooked chicken, chopped
7 oz cooked corkscrew pasta
1 bag spinach
21⁄2 C celery, diced
1 C snow peas
1 medium cucumber, peeled and diced
3 green onions, chopped
2 C green grapes, halved

1 tsp dried minced onion
2 Tbsps parsley flakes
1⁄2 C oil
1⁄4 C sugar
3 Tbsps red wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp lemon juice

Toss salad ingredients in large bowl. Whisk together dressing ingredients, pour over salad, and toss. Serve chilled. Serves 8-10.

Submitted by AMY NEIGHBORS, Edmonton, Farmers RECC, who writes: “My husband and I enjoy packing this cool refreshing salad in the cooler along with us whenever we go to the beach (hence its name) or our favorite lake.”

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