History of the Junior League Cookbook

Did you know the first recorded Junior League cookbook was printed in 1930? It’s titled “The Junior League Recipe Book” and was privately printed by the Los Angeles league. The oldest Junior League cookbook still in print was published initially in 1950! Since their inception, any profits from cookbook sales were used to support community projects and programs – which is still happening today. In Omaha, JLO’s A Century of Serving cookbook supports the League’s training and community initiatives.

We are lucky to have access to a small cookbook library through the JLO Cookbook co-chair Katy Spratte Joyce!  Of her collection of 100+ books, more than 60 are Junior League offerings from around the world. Some of her favorites are “Colorado Cache” from the Junior League of Denver (1978), “And Roses for the Table: A Garden of Recipes” from the Junior League of Tyler, Texas (1997), and “Fresh from the Valley: A Harvest of Recipes” from the Junior League of Yakima (2003). 

What are your favorite Junior League cookbooks? Be sure to pick up our newest one, A Century of Serving, online or at any of our partner retail locations! https://www.jlomaha.org/cookbook/

Below are the cookbooks photographed:

  • “California Fresh” The Junior League of Oakland-East Bay (1985)
  • “Tuxedos to Tailgates: A Celebration of the Seasons” Dallas Junior Forum (2003) “Beyond Parsley, Beautiful Food Presented by the Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri” (1984)
  • “Stop and Smell the Rosemary: Recipes and Traditions to Remember” The Junior League of Houston (1996) 
  • “Pig Out: Selected Recipes from the Junior League of Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Iowa” (1986)
  • “Atlanta Cooknotes”, Junior League of Atlanta (1982)
  • “Sassafras: The Ozarks Cookbook”, The Junior League of Springfield, Missouri (1985)
  • “Seaboard to Sideboard: A Collection of Recipes from the Junior League of Wilmington, North Carolina (1998)
  • “Pomegranates & Prickly Pears”, flavorful entertaining from The Junior League of Phoenix  (2005) 

Breakfast Casserole Recipe

Let’s face it, breakfast casseroles are perfect when you need to feed a crowd right away in the morning. Eggs, sausage, and hashbrowns, layered in a casserole dish and placed in the oven – does it get easier than that? Serve this with fruit (and a mimosa or two), and you are guaranteed to start the day off right with this recipe!

Now I do not pretend to be a professional chef or photographer so I apologize in advance for my amatuer skills here, but I started by prepping all of the ingredients. 

The recipe calls for a bag of hashbrowns. The store only had about 498 options, so I went with a 30oz bag and was happy with the results!

*Disclaimer* This recipe calls for garlic and onion, so onion is featured in the photo, but due to dietary restrictions neither were used in the casserole that is photographed (I know, it’s the saddest thing ever). Good news – this recipe tastes just as great without it!

Start by browning Italian sausage over medium heat, then remove with a slotted spoon and place to the side in a bowl. Saute the chopped peppers, onion, and garlic in the grease remaining in the skillet. Again, I’m not able to cook with onions or garlic so you won’t see them in any of my photos, but my goodness the red pepper smelled amazing cooked in the Italian sausage grease! 

You know that part when you’re cooking where you wonder if it’s supposed to look like that? Yeah, well this is that part for me. 

I added the peppers to the hashbrowns and cheese, mixing them together in a large bowl. As I whisked the eggs and milk together I was 150% convinced there was no way that would be enough to cover all of those hashbrowns – but it does! Top with the remaining cheese and it’s ready for the oven. 

This was baked covered with foil at 375 for 20 minutes, then uncovered for another 10-15 minutes. I don’t have a 7×11 pan so I used a 9×13 instead and felt it worked just fine. 

Overall, this recipe is really easy and delicious!  I was surprised how much egg there was considering there are only 6 in the whole recipe. The Italian sausage adds a ton of flavor so if you have dietary restrictions but can tolerate breakfast sausage, this recipe is great! From start to finish it probably took an hour, including cook time, and it was a hit with my family so it will definitely be made again! If I can make it and have it turn out well, I promise you can too.

…and I wasn’t kidding, this pairs really well with a mimosa 😉

Breakfast Casserole is one of the recipes in the Junior League of Omaha’s A Century of Serving cookbook, available online and in stores now: https://www.jlomaha.org/cookbook/

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 package frozen hash browns, thawed
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 6 eggs
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Sliced green onions to taste (optional)
  • Chopped fresh cilantro to taste (optional)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Brown the sausage in a skillet over medium heat, pressing and stirring with a wooden spoon to crumble. Remove the sausage to a bowl using a slotted spoon. Pour off most of the skillet drippings. Saute the onion and red bell pepper in the remaining skillet drippings for 5 minutes or until tender. Add the garlic. Saute until tender. Add the onion mixture, hashbrowns and 1 ½ cups Cheddar cheese to the sausage and mix well. Whisk the eggs, milk and black pepper in a bowl. Stir into the sausage mixture. Spoon into a 7×11 inch baking pan. Sprinkle with the remaining Cheddar cheese. Bake, covered with foil, for 20 minutes. Bake, uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes or until light brown. Let stand for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with green onions and cilantro. Serve with salsa. 

Meat-Free Meal: Artichoke Fettuccini

I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for spinach and artichoke dip. When I saw this recipe in Junior League’s A Century of Service Cookbook, I knew it was going to be a quick favorite! While the recipe doesn’t call for spinach, it can easily be added in with the rest of the ingredients when making the sauce, and will satisfy all of your spinach and artichoke dip cravings.

Another bonus is that this recipe can be made completely vegetarian! Swap the chicken broth for vegetable broth and you have a solid vegetarian option to keep you warm the rest of the winter. And with how easy it is to make, I’m not how it could get any better!

Artichoke Fettuccini

# Servings: 6

Category: Main Dishes

Pan Size: Large pot

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sliced button mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cans artichokes, rinsed and drained
  • 8 asparagus spears, chopped
  • 1 cup chicken broth (can be subbed for vegetable broth to make it truly meat free!)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons red pepper flakes
  • 8 ounces fettuccini noodles

Directions:

Saute the mushrooms in the butter and olive oil in a skillet until tender. Stir in the flour. Add the artichokes, asparagus, broth, lemon juice, parsley, garlic and red pepper flakes and mix well. Cook the fettuccine according to the package directions, drain. Combine the fettuccini and mushroom mixture in a large saucepan, Cook until heated through. 

Don’t forget to tag us when you make the recipe! 

Artichoke Fettuccini is one of the recipes in the Junior League of Omaha’s A Century of Serving cookbook, available online and in stores now: https://www.jlomaha.org/cookbook/

Cooking Class Takes the JLO Cookbook

Earlier this week some ladies of the Junior League of Omaha partnered with Chief Leisure Officer, Jeff Dodgson to learn how to prepare some recipes. All recipes were made from the Junior League of Omaha A Century of Serving cookbook!

The virtual class allowed members to cook in the safety of their own home and make delicious recipes. The recipes included ale steamed mussels, steamed spinach paired with a steak with port sauce and finished with bourbon baked apples à la mode.

Interested in making these recipes? Get your Junior League cookbook: A Century of Serving today at JLOmaha.org/cookbook!

We’re (peanut) butter together!

There are few things that go better together than chocolate and peanut butter, and this pairing of decadent chocolate cake layers and creamy peanut butter buttercream frosting are a match made in heaven! 

The cake starts with moist, delicious layers of chocolate cake. Between the layers and covering the outside of the cake is a peanut butter frosting. Take the recipe up a notch by chopping Reese’s on top of the frosting and ganache but between the cake layers – every peanut butter and chocolate lovers favorite, am I right? 

After the cake is covered with frosting, drizzle the remaining ganache over the top and down the sides, then add more chopped Reese’s – you know, just for good measure 🙂

Now that you’ve made the most beautiful and delicious chocolate cake, don’t forget to take a picture and tag @JLOmaha when you post about it!

Junior League of Omaha – A Century of Serving 

Flourless Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cake

# Servings: 12

Category: Desserts

Pan Size: 8 inch cake pans

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups chopped semisweet chocolate
  • 1 cup salted butter
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting (below)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease three 8-inch cake pans and line with parchment paper. Microwave the chocolate and butter ina microwave safe bowl until melted, stirring every 30 seconds. Stir until smooth. Beat the eggs and sugar at high speed in a mixing bowl for 5 minutes or until pale and more than doubled in volume. Beat in the vanilla extract. Sift in the baking cocoa and salt and beat until well mixed. Add the chocolate mixture in a steady stream, beating until well mixed. 

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cake pans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted near the center comes out with a few dry crumbs. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely. Microwave the semisweet chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips, and butter in a microwave safe bowl at 50 percent power until melted, stirring every 30 seconds. Let the ganache cool slightly. Spread the ganache and Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting between the layers and over the top and side of the cooled cake, ending with the ganache. Garnish the cake with peanut butter chips. 

Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  •  1 cup salted butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • ¼ cup heavy cream

Cream the peanut butter and butter in a large mixing bowl. Beat in the vanilla extract and salt. Add the confectioners’ sugar ½ cup at a time, beating constantly. Beat at high speed with the flat beater attachment for 15 seconds or until light. Add the cream and beat for 15 seconds or until fluffy, adding additional sugar if too thin or additional cream if too thick. 

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

Images by Joshua Foo

L is for Lemon Love!

With it being peak cold and flu season, citrus fruits seem to be an all too common topic – and for good reason! Citrus fruits help boost your immune system, lower the risk of some cancers and heart disease, and are high in antioxidants, so what’s not to love?! 

Since all the hype tends to be around oranges and grapefruit, we’re going to focus on the underrated and very versatile lemon. It can be used to flavor meat or fish, spruce up a side dish, or create a bright topping to a dessert. Amazing, right?

The JLO Cookbook has recipes to cover anything you’re in the mood for. Looking for a healthy recipe after all of that holiday food? Try the recipe for Baked Lemon Salmon. Looking for a unique side dish? We’ve got you covered with the Sweet Lemon Glazed Carrots! But if you’re feeling like us and it’s just been a long winter, relax with a little comfort food and try the recipe for Lemon Cheesecake. This recipe is so simple to make and could be the bright spot this endless winter needs.

Lemon Cheesecake

# Servings: 10 – 12 Category: Desserts

Ingredients:

  • 25 golden sandwich cookies
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/16 teaspoon salt
  • 32 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups lemon curd

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Proces the cookies in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Combine the crumbs, butter, and salt in a bowl and mix well.  Press over the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 8 minutes. Let stand to cool. Beat the cream cheese in a mixing bowl until smooth. Add the sugar gradually, beating constantly. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract. Pour two-thirds of the batter over the crust. Dollop with 1  cup of the lemon curd and swirl gently with a knife. Spread with the remaining batter. Bake the cheesecake at 325 degrees for 1 hour or until set. Turn off the oven. Let the cheesecake stand in the oven for 15 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the cheesecake to loosen. Let stand on a wire rack for 1 hour or until cooled completely. Chill, covered, for 10 to 24 hours. Remove the side of the pan. Place the cheesecake on a plate. Top with the remaining lemon curd. Garnish with candied lemon slices. 

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

Images by Joshua Foo 

Once you’ve made it, break out portrait mode and show us your creation! Don’t forget to tag us @JLOmaha!

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

The Junior League of Omaha Chicken Piccata

This amazing Chicken Piccata recipe will remind you of your favorite restaurant experience right in the comfort of your own home! With only 30 minutes of total work, this dinner recipe is simple, fast and delicious. Almost sounds too good to be true, right?!

Needs some extra help tackling chicken? Check out our tips below.

  1. Halve your chicken breasts. If you aren’t able to purchase thin chicken breasts, you can butterfly them to double your servings and ensure more even cooking.
  2. Don’t cook chicken cold. Let’s be real, chicken doesn’t taste good when it’s overcooked. The best way to avoid this is to reduce the amount of cook time needed. Instead of going straight from fridge to frypan, let your chicken sit on the counter for roughly 30 minutes to come to room temperature.
  3. Don’t start with a cold pan. For the same reasons as above, it’s not helpful to start with a cold pan because the chicken cooks more slowly, juices start to seep out as the pan heats, and results in pale and overcooked chicken.

Now use these tips with the recipe below and go show us how it’s done! Don’t forget to tag #JLOmaha and @jlomaha in your social media posts when you brag about your cooking skills. 

Chicken Picatta

# Servings: 4 Category: Main Dishes

Serving Size: Pan Size: Saute Pan

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½ teaspoons water
  • ¾ cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
  • 5 tablespoons (about) olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 or 2 lemons, cut into halves
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ¼ brined capers, rinsed and drained
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Pound the chicken breasts to ¼-inch thickness between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper to taste.

Mix the flour, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper on a shallow plate. Beat the egg and water in a shallow bowl. Coat each chicken break with flour, shaking off any excess. Dip in the egg mixture and coat with bread crumbs.

Heat 1 tablespoon of hte olive oil in a large saute pan over medium to medium-low heat. Cook the chicken breasts in batches in the hot oil for 2 minutes per side or until brown, adding additional olive oil as needed and removing batches to a baking sheet. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes or until cooked through.

Wipe out the saute pan with a dry paper towel. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in the pan. Squeeze the lemon juice into the butter, adding the lemon halves. Add the wine, capers, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 2 minutes or until reduced by half. Remove from heat. Add the remaining butter and swirl the pan to mix. Discard lemon halves. 

Place a chicken breast on each of 4 plates, spoon equal portions of the sauce over each breast. Sprinkle each with parsley and garnish each with a lemon slice. 

Photos submitted by Nola in St. Augustine, Florida.

Chicken Piccata is one of the recipes in the Junior League of Omaha’s A Century of Serving cookbook, available online and in stores now: https://www.jlomaha.org/cookbook/

Must-Try Pumpkin Recipes from Junior League of Omaha’s A Century of Serving Cookbook

As the season of pumpkin spice swirls around us all, we wanted to share some of our favorite pumpkin recipes from the Junior League of Omaha’s A Century of Serving cookbook. These sweet treats are sure to make all of your pumpkin dreams come true! 

First up, Pumpkin Loaves with Caramel Glaze. Move over banana bread! Not only does this recipe have pumpkin and all of its spicy friends, we stepped it up a notch with a scrumptious Caramel Glaze. Both of these recipes can be found on page 184 in our Brunch & Breads section. This is the perfect way to start your day.

Next up, Pumpkin Butter Cake. Now you may have had St. Louis staple ooey gooey butter cake, but honestly once you add that pumpkin, spice and cream cheese swirl, you’ll never go back. This recipe can be found on page 196 in our Dessert section. 

And you can’t forget a traditional pumpkin pie recipe right? Well never fear, this isn’t your average pumpkin pie. Did someone say Caramel…Pecan….SAUCE? Yes, yes we did. The whipped cream is optional, but 10/10 would recommend. Find this decadent dessert on page 200

Finally, the moment you have been waiting for…the true star of the pumpkin show….

Our recipe for Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake with Caramel Sauce! This is sure to wow your guests, family, or roommates this holiday season. And truly it couldn’t get simpler when it comes to the caramel sauce, as it is microwave friendly. Run, don’t walk to the grocery store to get these ingredients and give @jlomaha a tag when you make it. We can’t wait to share your photos. Happy baking and even happier holidays! 

Jillian Humphries

Cookbook Committee – Co-chair 

Junior League of Omaha – A Century of Serving 

Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake with Caramel Sauce

# Servings: 12 Category: Desserts

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups gingersnap crumbles
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 32 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 ⅔ cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 ⅔ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Caramel Sauce (below)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Combine gingersnaps and 1 teaspoon cinnamon in a medium bowl and mix well. Add the butter and stir until crumbs are moistened. Press over the bottom and 1 inch up the side of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 8-9 minutes or until set. Wrap the outside of the pan with two layers of aluminum foil and place in a roasting pan. Add enough hot water to the roasting pan to reach 1 inch up the side of the springform pan. Beat the cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in the flour, 1 ⅔ teaspoons cinnamon and ginger. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating constantly. Beat in the pumpkin, bourbon and vanilla extract. Spoon into the crust. Bake in the hot water bath for 1 hour and 45 minutes or until just set, adding additional water to the hot water bath if needed. Let stand to cool on wire rack. Remove the foil. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the cheesecake to loosen. Chill, covered, for 8-12 hours. 

Remove the side of the springform pan. Place the cheesecake on a plate. Serve with the Caramel Sauce.

Caramel Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • ⅛ teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ cup (or more) heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Directions:

Stir the sugar, corn syrup, water and lemon juice in a microwave safe 2-cup measure. Microwave for 4-8 minutes or until pale yellow. Let stand for 5 minutes or until rich amber, microwaving in 30-second intervals until the mixture is dark enough. Heat the cream in a bowl in the microwave just until hot. Add a few tablespoons at a time to the sugar mixture and stir until melted and blended, adding additional cream if too thick. Let stand to cool. Cover and chill. 

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

Images by Joshua Foo 

Shop Small This 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/

Impress Your Guests This Holiday Season

So you’re hosting a holiday gathering. Finding the right recipe to complete your meal should not be on your list of things to worry about while preparing! Need the perfect drink to go with dinner? A vegetarian side to provide a meatless option? A decadent dessert to leave your guests wanting more? The Junior League of Omaha’s A Century of Serving Cookbook has you covered! 

With over seven different categories of recipes, JLOmaha’s cookbook can help you find a fun new recipe to add a fresh spin to dinner, or a recipe with a fresh spin on a traditional dish – the choice is yours! Check out the list below to see your options.

Junior League of Omaha’s Hand-Picked Favorites:

  • Sips & Spritzes (Beverages)
  • Tastes & Tidbits (Appetizers)
  • Healthy & Hearty (Salads & Soups)
  • Meats & Mains (Main Dishes)
  • Mix & Match (Vegetables & Sides)
  • Bakes & Bites (Brunch & Breads)
  • Treats & Treasures (Desserts)

With recipes like Bourbon-Infused Beef Tenderloin, Sweet and Salty Caramel Brownie Bites, and Shrimp Scampi-Stuffed Mushrooms, you’re sure to be a great host!

Shop local by purchasing a cookbook at one of our 18 area retailers or online through the link here: https://www.jlomaha.org/cookbook/