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/

Bourbon Baked Apples a la Mode

Looking for the perfect fall dessert? Our recipe for Bourbon Baked Apples A La Mode could be just what you are looking for – with or without ice cream! This perfect combination of apples, cinnamon and bourbon could be just the thing to warm you up in the crisp fall weather. 

Bourbon Baked Apples 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/

Bourbon Baked Apples a la Mode

# Servings: 6 Category: Desserts

Ingredients:

  • 6 large Honeycrisp apples
  • ⅔ cup rolled oats
  • ⅔ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • ⅓ cup bourbon

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Core the stem end of the apples partially, removing only two-thirds of each core. Combine the oats, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl and mix well. Add pecans, butter and vanilla extract and work into the oats mixture until a ball forms.  Stuff equal portions of the mixture into each apple and arrange in a large baking dish. Sprinkle with more cinnamon if desired. Pour the apple cider and bourbon into the baking dish, spooning some over the apples. Bake for 45 minutes or until the apples are wrinkled and browned, spooning the cooking liquid over the apples every 10 minutes. Serve immediately with cinnamon or vanilla ice cream.

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

Images by Joshua Foo 

Game Day Wings

Looking to impress for your at-home game day party? If your spread usually includes a store bought bean dip or having pizza delivered it doesn’t have to be that way! Our chicken wing recipe includes pantry staples you already have at home – and plenty of time to get other party preparations done while they cook in the crock pot!  

Cilantro Sesame Sticky Wings is one of the recipes in the Junior League of Omaha’s A Century of Serving cookbook, available online and in stores now!

Cilantro Sesame Sticky Wings

# Servings: 8 Category: Appetizers

Serving Size: Pan Size: Slow cooker, baking sheet

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons Sriracha hot chili sauce or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 pounds chicken wings
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Directions:

Combine the brown sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, honey, minced garlic, chili sauce, ginger powder, garlic powder, onion powder and pepper in a bowl and whisk to mix well. Place the chicken wings in a slow cooker. Pour the brown sugar mixture over the chicken and toss to coat. Cook, covered, on low for 3 to 4 hours. Combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl and whisk to mix. Pour over the chicken and stir. Cook on high for 10 to 15 minutes or until sauce is thickened. Preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil. Remove the chicken to the prepared baking sheet, reserving the sauce. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes or until the caramelized and slightly charred. Sprinkle with the cilantro and sesame seeds. Serve immediately with the reserved sauce on the side. 

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

Cool Down With Cocktails

Looking for a light and refreshing drink to cool down in the summer heat? Check out this recipe for Whiskey and Bubbles! The Champagne and whiskey base with a splash of lemon will give you the cool down you’ve been looking for and is the perfect drink for Labor Day Weekend! 

Whiskey and Bubbles is one of the recipes in the Junior League of Omaha’s A Century of Serving cookbook, available online and in stores now. 

Whiskey and Bubbles

# Servings: 2 Category: Beverages

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon warm water
  • 2 cups ice
  • 2 ounces whiskey
  • ½ ounce yellow Chartreuse
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • 2 ounces Champagne
  • 2 spiral-cut lemon twists

Directions

Combine the honey and warm water in a small dish and mix well. Fill a cocktail shaker with the ice. Add the whiskey, Chartreuse, lemon juice and honey mixture. Cover and share vigorously. Strain into 2 chilled double old-fashioned glasses or Champagne flutes. Add 1 ounce of the Champagne to each flute and stir. Place a lemon twist on the rim of each flute and serve.

Junior League of Omaha Cookbook Recipe: Little Applesauce Muffins

In the spirit of fall, I tested out my baking skills with these applesauce muffins. A recipe from the new Junior League of Omaha Cookbook. They’re easy to make, filled my kitchen with the cozy scents of the season and they’re super tasty!

I had most of the ingredients in my kitchen. Straying from the recipe slightly, I opted to use whole wheat flour and baked these as full size muffins because I don’t own a mini-muffin pan. 

Once all the ingredients were blended together, I poured my mix into the muffin tray and stuck them in the oven. Despite making larger muffins, they were pretty well baked through in the same amount of time called for in the recipe. 

Then, I dipped each delicious muffin top in butter and rolled them in my cinnamon-sugar mix for an absolutely divine topper! 

These were simple to whip up and they’re a crowd pleaser! I highly recommend.

If you don’t already have your own copy of A Century of Serving: A Centennial Cookbook Celebration, you can purchase online via the Junior League of Omaha website

Or, visit one of these local retailers: 

Alexandra Stone, Blog Content Creator

The Cookbooks Are Here!

The Junior League of Omaha’s fourth cookbook, A Century of Serving: A Centennial Celebration Cookbook, has more than 200 mouthwatering recipes, from cocktails to desserts and every course in-between. This book will help you turn any meal into an occasion. Did you know, if every League member bought seven cookbooks or encouraged seven people to buy, we would hit our 2018-2019 goal? Bring one to work, your kids’ sporting event, or a friend gathering. Let’s work together to rally the Omaha community and celebrate 100 years of The Omaha Junior League!

The cookbooks are on sale now at general membership meetings and the JLO Holiday Social for $35 plus tax. You can also purchase online at https://www.jlomaha.org/cookbook/. You’ll even get a 10% discount if you purchase a case of 10, online only! Online orders should be placed by Dec. 8 to ensure delivery by the holidays.

cookbook

Here is one recipe to highlight: 

Junior League of Omaha – A Century of Serving: A Centennial Celebration Cookbook

Turtle Bars

# Servings: 3 dozen Category: Desserts

Serving Size: Pan Size: 9 x 13 baking pan

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 ½ cups pecan halves
  • ¾ cups packed brown sugar
  • ⅔ cup plus 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 ½  cups chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the flour, 1 cup brown sugar and ½ cup melted butter in a bowl and mix well. Press over the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Sprinkle with the pecans.

Combine ¾ cupbrown sugar and ⅔ cup plus 3 tablespoons butter in a heave saucepan. Bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Pour evenly over the pecans. Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly and light brown. Sprinkle with the chocolate chips. Let stand to cool completely before cutting into bars.