Holiday Baked Goodies

Let’s face it, the holidays just aren’t going to look the same this year. We’re all hunting for ways to spend distanced time with our closest family, and the Junior League of Omaha cookbook can help you find recipes that can be made into single servings to make life a little easier.

Have a peanut butter lover in the family? Try our Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting recipe! If you want something a little smaller, our Dark Chocolate and Seas Salt Sables more than get the job done. You can also find a recipe for Apple Pie Bars or Bourbon Baked Apples to put a single-serving twist on a holiday favorite dessert, or keep it even more simple with Sweet and Salty Caramel Brownie Bites. Whatever you’re craving, the JLO cookbook can satisfy.

The best thing we can do in this complicated time is keep the holidays simple, so our gift to you this holiday season is our amazing recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies.

You can find this recipe and more in the Junior League of Omaha’s A Century of Serving cookbook, available online or at one of our many local retailers: https://www.jlomaha.org/cookbook/

Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday is right around the corner! Celebrated the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Small Business Saturday is your reminder to shop local during the holiday season and remember that you are a key part of helping your local business owners thrive. 

The Economy of Shopping Small: Keeping it in the Community posted a report in 2017 showing that 42 cents of every dollar spent in a small business comes back to the local community in the form of salaries to local residents, payments to local suppliers, and sponsorships that support local schools, charities and other initiatives. 

One way you can support local business owners this holiday season is by purchasing Junior League’s A Century of Serving Cookbook at the area retailers stocking our book: 

  • Everbloom Floral & Gift (Loveland location only, 90th & Center)
  • Dusk Goods and Gifts (1234 S. 13th St, Suite 201 & 202)
  • Voila! Magdalene Blooms (4922 Dodge Street)
  • JH Interior Design (Clocktower Village: 721 N 98th Street)
  • Stir Coffee Bar (Legacy – 19650 Wright Plaza)
  • Salt Creek Mercantile (1502 Silver St – Ashland)
  • Made in Omaha (Countryside Village, Old Market)
  • Prairie in Bloom (1702 Cuming St.)
  • Village Pomegranate/The Linen Gallery (Countryside Village)
  • Village Grinder (Countryside Village, 87th & Pacific)
  • Clarkson Gift Shop (UNMC)
  • CornerStone Gift Shop (UNMC)
  • The Bookworm (90th & Center)
  • Mine Custom Gifts (114th & Davenport)
  • Spruce Interiors & Gifts (5022 Leavenworth Street)
  • Children’s Hospital Gift Shop (82nd & Dodge Street)
  • Reve (Rockbrook Village)
  • Hearts & Fire (Rockbrook Village)

Check out the link below for more information on our local wholesalers! https://www.jlomaha.org/cookbook/

Junior League of Omaha – A Century of Serving: French Silk Pie Recipe

I will be the first person to admit that pies are very intimidating for me. Crusts seem complicated and the filling seems easy to screw up, but they’re also easy to buy premade.

That said, I’m a sucker for French silk pie. This recipe seemed doable, so I gave it a shot—I am so glad I did! This recipe is surprisingly simple and uses a lot of ingredients I already had at home. Bonus, it turns out AMAZING.

What surprised me most was that I already had most of the ingredients. (Ignore the cherry preserves in the photo—whoops!)

This recipe starts with the graham cracker crust. It calls for chopped almonds, but I couldn’t use them for dietary reasons, so I replaced the same amount with graham crackers. I also had a 9-inch pie plate instead of 10 so I did end up with a little extra crust. It did seem like I needed more butter to make the crust easier to form in the pan but using a spoon to spread the crumbs out actually worked well to make things stick together.

Next you cream the sugar and softened butter, then add your melted chocolate. I didn’t have any baking chocolate on hand, but I did have Hershey’s cocoa powder. The instructions on the back said to mix 3 tablespoons of cocoa with 1 tablespoon of oil and that worked great! I did add just a little more oil in at the end because it wasn’t the easiest to mix, but I’m happy with how it turned out.

Now this is the part where I was 100% not convinced this was going to turn into a pie. The chocolate did not mix well into the butter and sugar, and the recipe uses the words “cream” and “mix well” and was not sure how what I was seeing was going to get us to that but went with it. As you add each egg, mix it for four minutes like it says, but it definitely begins to get to a creamy mix by the end. Color me surprised!

Spoon the mixture into the pie crust and chill for 24 hours—and voila! You have French Silk Pie. Again, this was much easier than I expected the recipe to be. It took about 20 minutes for me to make everything and then it chilled for a day before serving. It doesn’t get much simpler than that! It is rich, but delicious.

I did not take any pictures of individual slices because it honestly isn’t pretty coming out of the pan, but dang it—so very good. I hope this becomes a new favorite in your household because it most definitely is in mine!

Junior League of Omaha – A Century of Serving 

French Silk Pie

# Servings: 8

Category: Desserts

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • ⅔ cup chopped almonds, lightly toasted
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • Whipped cream

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, almonds, melted butter and ¼ cup sugar in a bowl and mix well. Press over the bottom and up the side of a 10 inch pie plate.Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Let stand to cool for 1 hour.

Cream ¾ cup butter and 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the chocolate and vanilla and mix well. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating for 4 minutes after each addition. Spoon into the pie crust. Chill for 24 hours. Top servings with whipped cream.

To learn more or purchase your own copy of the A Century of Serving cookbook click here.

Junior League of Omaha – A Century of Serving: Pumpkin Butter Cake Recipe

Fall is here! That means it’s time to start making pumpkin EVERYTHING. And honestly it’s not fall if you don’t make Pumpkin Butter Cake. It’s made with a yellow cake crust topped with a creamy pumpkin layer and is what all of your fall dreams are made of. Let’s just call this a warm up for Thanksgiving, cool?

The best part about this recipe is how easy it is! Most of the ingredients you already likely have around your kitchen: Yellow cake mix, butter, powdered sugar, pumpkin, eggs, etc.

Start off by making the crust with the cake mix, butter and eggs. You’re not making the cake as directed on the box, instead you’re making it into a crust—keeps it simple!

Next, combine the pumpkin and cream cheese. Once you add in the remaining ingredients it’s ready for the oven! This is where your kitchen will start to smell like fall. And it is DIVINE.

I topped this with a little bit of powdered sugar, but it would be great topped with whipped cream as well! Not only is this super easy to make, but it’s full of flavor and a perfect seasonal dessert. Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake is sure to please everyone at the dinner table this Fall Season!

Junior League of Omaha – A Century of Serving 

Pumpkin Butter Cake

# Servings: 8 Category: Desserts

Ingredients:

  • 1 package yellow cake mix
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 16 ounces confectioners’ sugar
  • 1  teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 egress. Grase a 9×13 inch baking pan. 

Combine the yellow cake mix, softened butter, and 1 egg in abowl and mix well. Spread in the prepared baking pan.

Combine the pumpkin and cream cheese in a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Beat in the melted butter, 3 eggs and vanilla extract. Add the confectioner’s sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and mix well. Spread over the cake batter. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until set but slightly soft in the center.

To learn more or purchase your own copy of the A Century of Serving cookbook click here.

So You Want to Volunteer

The Junior League of Omaha is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. The League’s purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. The women of the Junior League of Omaha live out its mission statement through volunteering at various Done-In-A-Day events, such as wrapping diapers at the Lifehouse, filling cars with fresh produce at the Heart Ministry Center drive-thru food pantry or organizing donation items for our annual Bargain Bash. But what makes for a trained volunteer as outlined in our mission statement?

The 2020-2021 Community Impact Council, “pivoted” this past league year to support the Omaha community in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the initiatives that the Council set out to accomplish was the creation of The Junior League of Omaha Volunteer Guide. The Community Impact Council is committed to making a positive impact within our League and community. The Council strives to empower our volunteers and provide meaningful impact opportunities for our members and those we serve. One of the primary goals of the 2021-22 Community Impact Council is to bring the Volunteer Guide to general membership to facilitate the ongoing development of our volunteers. We will be presenting sections of the Volunteer Guide throughout the year to provide you with helpful information on your path to become a trained volunteer with the Junior League of Omaha. Education material to look forward to includes:

  • The history of volunteering within the Junior League of Omaha
  • Goals of the Community Impact Council
  • Impact shift etiquette
  • General guidelines for volunteers
  • How to have authentic interactions during impact shifts
  • And more!

Thank you to our membership for taking time to volunteer on behalf of the Junior League of Omaha with our community partners! Your time and passion are valuable assets to the League and Omaha community. We look forward to hearing about your experience volunteering with the Junior League of Omaha.

Join Us for The JLO Classic!

The Junior League of Omaha’s newest fundraiser is taking place Sunday, September 26 at Topgolf Omaha, and sure to be a swinging good time. Contact karinakiewel@gmail.com for a JLO Classic flyer you can post or share.

Throughout the event is a silent auction with door prizes and a hole-in-one prize opportunity. Stay tuned to the Junior League of Omaha’s social media channels for more details on the awesome prizes and silent auction items. If you or someone you know would like to donate anything to this event, please contact our chair Beth Kalal at golfclassic@jlomaha.org.

Don’t know what to wear to the event? We’ve got you covered! This year’s theme is Caddyshack—the greatest golf movie of all time. Fire up Netflix (or do a quick google search) for outfit inspiration. There will be prizes for the best individual and team outfits that feature our theme, so come dressed to impress! Bottom line is you won’t want to miss this event!

Bargain Bash COVID Precautions – Keeping you Safe!

Our 4th Annual Bargain Bash is just a few short weeks away!  Join us on Saturday, May 15th, and Sunday, May 16, at The Hope Center for Kids (2200 N 20th St, Omaha, NE 68110).  

Curious about what steps we will be taking to keep shoppers safe as we continue to monitor the Covid-19 situation?  Rest assured that we are as committed as ever to taking the proper precautions for adhering to CDC guidelines and following social distancing best practices.  

Here are the Covid-19 precautions that will be in place throughout the duration of the event:

  • Face masks/coverings will be required for all attendees at all times
  • Floor markings will be placed 6 feet apart for proper social distancing throughout the event space and at checkout lines 
  • Volunteers will be regularly cleaning and sanitizing surfaces throughout the event
  • Contactless payments via the use of Square®
  • Plenty of hand sanitizer will be available for use by all 

And of course, if you are planning to attend, we strongly advise that you continue to adhere to your own self-screening and self-hygiene practices, including:

  • Washing your hands thoroughly and frequently with soap and water, or using hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available
  • Wearing a mask that covers both your nose and mouth
  • If you cough or sneeze, doing so into a tissue or mask, then throwing the tissue away or putting on a clean mask, and washing/sanitizing your hands immediately
  • Monitoring your daily health and staying home if you feel sick or have any symptoms!

We are so excited to be finally hosting Bargain Bash after much delay, and very much hope to see you there, but please do use your best judgement and consider your comfort level when making the decision to attend.  If we work together, we can make this a fun and safe experience for all!

Carryout for a Cause with A Casserole To Go!

Covid-19 has changed the way we do so many things in life. Some of us may have recently celebrated one year of working from home, mastered the art of e-learning, or maybe both! We have had to miss birthdays, celebrations, and holidays to keep those we love and ourselves safe and healthy. 

As an organization committed to addressing the issues of hunger and access to food in the Omaha community, we understand how food brings people together and how food is woven into our cultures. In an effort to bring community members together, we’d love to provide an opportunity that safely brings people together and supports the League! 

The Junior League is excited to be partnering with A Casserole To Go, a division of Abraham Catering, throughout the month of April to help you plan a family dinner, a date night in, or a virtual happy hour without the mess and stress of cooking and cleaning. Whether you’re able to safely come together or use devices to come together virtually, A Casserole To Go provides a plethora of ready-to-bake meals and casseroles, appetizers, desserts, and spirits! When you visit and order from A Casserole To Go, use code JLO at checkout for 10% of your purchase to benefit the League. Both Covide-friendly pickup and delivery are available! Delivery is currently available in the Omaha area only. 

Take a look at how some of our members along with their friends and family came together and enjoyed “Casseroles and Conversations” during our virtual April General Membership Meeting. Our members were able to order items from a special menu, which included: 

App Pack for 4 

Hummus with Zataar Pita, Sliced Vegetables 

Bruschetta with Sliced Crostini 

6 Deviled Egg Co ‘Everything Eggs’ (Gluten Free, Keto Friendly!)

Caramel Baked Brie with Lahvosh (ready to bake)

Charcuterie Box with 4 Pack Babe Rosé 100 

Dessert Bites for 4
Key Lime Pie Tarts

Salted Caramel Brownie Bites 

French Silk Chocolate Tart

Rosemary Shortbread Cookies 

If you’d like to learn more about us, visit our website, or reach out to Join@JLOmaha.org about joining! 
Checkout how the League has been keeping its members and others safe here.

Spread Good with #DoGoodWeek

What is Do Good Week?

Like GivingTuesday, Do Good Week® is a global, week-long movement encouraging people to actively demonstrate kindness and compassion plus share positive stories using #DOGOODWEEK on social platforms. Originally, Do Good Week® started in 2016 as an effort to change the social conversation to something positive for one week and has grown into a movement to inspire kindness and promote positivity. And the world needs it now more than ever! Since 2016, Do Good Week® has reached more than 130 million people with the hashtag #DOGOODWEEK.

When is Do Good Week?

It’s right around the corner! Join in SHARE Omaha’s Do Good Week®, April 19 to April 24, 2021, presented by FNBO. Each day of Do Good Week® is themed to help inspire you to take positive action and learn about nonprofits doing good – like us! The Junior League of Omaha!

 Five days dedicated to helping us meet our needs, followed by a day of celebration!

 Monday, April 19: Mission Monday
          Learn more about our work and needs.

Tuesday, April 20: New Donor Tuesday
          If you’ve never given a gift to our organization, now’s the time! Your gift could help us unlock a cash prize.

Wednesday. April 21: Wish List Wednesday
          Donate the equivalent cost of or purchase items used in our programming. 

Thursday, April 22: Volun-Thursday
          Join us! Become a member or join our volunteer team.

Friday, April 23: Fund It Friday
          Help us meet our fundraising goal!

Saturday, April 24: Celebration Saturday
          Time to celebrate your generosity! Cheer for us as we hope to win a cash prize from FNBO, Omaha Steaks, and Pottawattamie County Community Foundation.

 Get Involved!

Yes, you! Right now! It’s super easy to join this week-long movement and support the Junior League of Omaha. Start by following us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter along with SHARE Omaha. Don’t forget to use the hashtags: #JLOMAHA and #DOGOODWEEK. Next, check out ways to get involved, learn more, and how to support us here.

Who We Are

The Junior League of Omaha is an organization of women committed to our Mission of promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Since 1919, the Junior League of Omaha has trained volunteers, provided civic leadership, raised funds and developed programs and services to help make Omaha great. Throughout our League’s 98 years of service, our membership has donated more than $2 million and more than 1.4 million volunteer hours to causes in our community. The Junior League welcomes all women who value our Mission. We are committed to inclusive environments of diverse individuals, organizations and communities. The wide reach of our community impact would not be possible without the financial support we receive from fundraising activities such as Do Good Week®. We encourage you to support our mission and join us for Do Good Week® this year!

Together Omaha

The Junior League of Omaha is thrilled to be working with our community partners! This year, the League is partnering with Heart Ministry Center, The Big Garden, No More Empty Pots, The Union for Contemporary Arts, and Together Omaha. This blog entry will discuss one of our partners, Together Omaha.

Together was founded by the leaders of Countryside Community Church, Dundee Presbyterian, Temple Israel, Kountze Memorial Lutheran, Trinity Cathedral, First United Methodist, St. Cecilia’s Cathedral, and many others in response to the 1975 tornado that swept through Omaha. The leaders decided to make Together a permanent resource, focused on providing food, clothing and shelter to local residents. 

Together now also provides case management, financial and employment assistance, financial education assistance, navigation services, furniture, bus tickets, and identification. Together’s mission is to prevent and end homelessness in the Omaha community, with a focus on its core values of hope, dignity, compassion, excellence, and diversity. 

Together offers several programs aimed at reducing homelessness, including the Horizons Program, assistance with rent, utilities, and deposits, obtaining identification, transportation, and the Choice Pantry. The Horizons Program provides eligible households with outreach, case management, and assistance in obtaining benefits, which may include: health care services, daily living services, personal finance planning services, transportation services, fiduciary and payee services, legal services, child care services, and housing counseling services. Together may also provide Horizons Program participants with assistance in paying rent, utilities, and deposits. 

Together issues vouchers to aid in obtaining state-issued identification, including a valid ID or a certified birth certificate. They also provide eligible participants free MAT bus passes until the participants receive their first paycheck. The Choice Pantry provides 20-30 meals, including breakfast, meat, fruit, vegetables, and more. Participants may visit the pantry once every 30 days.

Together is a valuable partner in providing important resources to community members. The League looks forward to an educational partnership!