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 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)
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
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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com.
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!
bRUNch 5k is excited to announce that for this year’s event, the League is whisking away to Aksarben Village on May 4, 2019.
I visited with Jess Winter, Communications Project Manager for the event, about why people should consider participating in the Junior League of Omaha’s annual bRUNch 5K. She shared, “Running with a group is a great way to build community. Exercise groups empower one another and can be your best cheerleaders. You’re all in it together.”
Are you beginning to prepare for bRUNch 5k? Consider downloading apps that feature running programs for beginners, such as Couch to 5K. These programs combine walking and running each week until reaching a continuous run.
Already a seasoned runner? Cross-training options that will add to your endurance include weight training and barre classes.
Jess Winter offered additional insight for those who are unsure about running. “If you are hesitant about running, start slowly and modify if needed. Essentially, you want to set yourself up for success, and if you feel like you’re doing too much, then take a step back and train one less day until you feel confident. If you have knee issues, recovering from an injury or had physical therapy, talk your physical therapist. They are a great resource in supporting your goals and can give some great exercises, stretches and programming if needed.”
Most importantly, Jess advised, “Share your goals! People want to support you.”
Run, brunch, or both! Enjoy the best of both worlds at bRUNch 5K
Additional local resources to keep you motivated and offer support, whether you are an experienced runner or just starting out, can be found at locations below.
Omaha Running Club
Moms on the Run
Pure Barre West Omaha and Loveland locations
Barre Code West Omaha and Dundee locations
Moms Run this Town – Facebook Group
Junior League of Omaha bRUNch 5K Committee members pose during the 2018 event.
The 100th anniversary of the Junior League of Omaha is upon us, and the League has planned two events to mark this special occasion. The 100th Anniversary Celebratory Luncheon was held on March 15, at the Marriott Downtown at the Capitol District, and the 100th Anniversary Annual Meeting & Cocktail Reception will be on May 3, at the Joslyn Art Museum. These two events are truly “A Celebration of the Junior League of Omaha’s Past, Present and Future.”
Bethany Banister and Patricia Stillmock are the co-chairs of the 100th Anniversary committee, and they have been creating and executing the plans that surround the festivities for nearly three years. When asked how the history of the League influenced their preparations, they responded, “The team of historians and our committee did an amazing job looking into the history of the League, and it inspired all aspects of our planning.” The Joslyn Art Museum, for example, not only has historical connections to the Junior League, but the architecture of the building dates back to around the same time as the Junior League of Omaha’s establishment.
A great deal of time has been spent on making the 100th anniversary celebrations special, and this includes research into the past, as well as interviews with Sustainers and past members of the League. In addition to studying the records at Junior League of Omaha headquarters, the committee has worked with the Omaha World-Herald, the Durham Museum, and the Douglas County Historical Society to locate anecdotes, photos, and stories from the past. Sustainers have been generous with sharing their archives, and Banister and Stillmock agreed that these interactions have been “the most fun and rewarding part of this journey.”
Highlights from the luncheon include guest speaker, Yesterday’s Lady, Sue McLain, who shared the history of the little black dress. A ten thousand dollar gift was made to The Rose Theater, an organization with whom the Junior League of Omaha has a strong history. And lastly, the anniversary video debuted an interview with the oldest living Junior League of Omaha Past President, who also attended the event!
As we enjoy these special events, we remember the theme: A Celebration of the Junior League of Omaha’s Past, Present and Future. Bethany and Patricia hope that the “League continues to be a strong organization that teaches women how to be great volunteers while making great friendships.”
This year, the Junior League of Omaha’s Big Red Block Party fundraiser hosted 108 people at the Scott Conference Center. The silent auction was a favorite among attendees with 62 fun, unique packages with a wide range of starting bids, appropriate for all spend levels! Attendees also enjoyed a delicious buffet with rotating, heavy appetizers, two bars, and yard games.
This was the final year for this special event, and Lauren Anderson, the Big Red Block Party Co-Chair, stated, “The most meaningful moment during the event was honoring the previous Chairs and talking about the fundraiser. This event has raised $176,000 for the League over the last nine years, and that deserves to be celebrated.”
Collaboration and communication were two key elements that contributed to Big Red Block Party’s success. As Lauren Anderson, Big Red Block Party Co-Chair, described, “Our committee worked really well together…between our (almost) weekly committee hot sheets and our committee meetings, we were able to efficiently plan our event.” Anderson also credited working with Jen Bartlet, their JLO Sustainer Advisor, and a past Big Red Block Party Chair, as a vital resource who gave both Co-Chair Hunter Taylor and herself additional insight into making the event a success.
When asked if she had any advice for future Junior League of Omaha fundraisers, Anderson responded, “Yes! Create a timeline and stick with it. Check in with your committee, but don’t bombard them with emails. Say thank you. And most importantly, seriously evaluate your event every year to make sure it’s still relevant.” For more information about upcoming Junior League of Omaha events or to become a member, visit our website at http://www.jlomaha.org.
The Junior League of Omaha Foundation hosted the annual Past Presidents and Sustainer Luncheon on a beautiful October day at Champions Run. Kathy Martin, Junior League of Omaha Foundation Board President, welcomed a large group to the luncheon, introducing past Junior League of Omaha Presidents and past Foundation Presidents. Current Junior League of Omaha President Lindsey Tonniges updated the Sustainers on the exciting projects with which the League is currently involved.
The 100th Anniversary Co-Chairs, Patricia Stillmock and Bethany Bannister, spoke on the upcoming events for the centennial celebration of the Junior League of Omaha in 2019. Foundation President Kathy Martin shared, “All the Sustainers are looking forward to attending the March 15th luncheon celebrating our 100th anniversary!” In addition, the Junior League of Omaha Cookbook Co-Chairs, Ashley Rich and Jamie Schneider, were there to promote A Century of Serving: A Centennial Celebration Cookbook.
This fall Junior League of Omaha members had the exciting opportunity to participate in town hall forums that sought to both educate members on the new community impact focus areas and gather feedback regarding membership engagement. Approximately 130 Junior League of Omaha members attended, and almost 50 shared feedback through surveys!
The Community Research and Development Committee and President-Elect-Elect Katie Triplett, on behalf of the Membership Engagement Ad Hoc Committee, organized these meetings for Junior League of Omaha members as a way to engage in powerful conversations about League experiences and shared visions for the future. According to President-Elect-Elect Katie Triplett, “members really are excited about building a more diverse and inclusive League experience. JLO leadership is committed to participating in AJLI’s Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives, so we are excited our membership is already supportive of these efforts.”
In January, League members will be voting on one of three areas in which to focus future Junior League of Omaha programs: Disenfranchised Youth; Hunger and Access to Healthy Foods; or Abuse in Women and Children. Additionally, the Membership Engagement Ad Hoc Committee’s focus is to ensure that the Junior League of Omaha continues to attract and retain members by providing enriching opportunities. With such significant topics of interest, it was the perfect time to coordinate conversations and seek feedback from the many perspectives shared by the membership.
As a result of the conversations, questions, and suggestions garnered by the town hall forums, the Membership Engagement Ad Hoc Committee will present a report to the Board, which will feature current information on where the League stands, as well as recommendations from other Leagues and from AJLI. Specific ideas and concepts to bear in mind while planning for the 2019-2020 year will also be included.
The town hall forums have provided a wonderful way for League members to meet and engage with other League members in a smaller setting. President-Elect-Elect Katie Triplett stated, “I’m so appreciative so many of our members joined us for these forums and shared so candidly! In addition to receiving great details about how to make League membership even more amazing, we also had an opportunity to meet and visit with members we hadn’t met before. Members also shared with me how much they liked the forums – we are going to try to work these town hall forums into future years! We want to ensure the Junior League of Omaha stays transparent, relevant, and influential for years to come!”
Recruitment for next year’s New Member group begins in February. For more information about joining the Junior League of Omaha, visit https://www.jlomaha.org/join-us/.
Over the years, Project Hope Pack has positively impacted the lives of thousands by distributing necessities and comfort items to children ages 3-18 who are taken out of crisis situations. These backpacks are donated to several agencies around the Omaha metro. In addition to hygiene products, these backpacks also include items such as stuffed animals, blankets and activities, which help to boost children’s spirits during challenging times.
The Junior League of Omaha is proud that this program has come full circle and that so many members have seen Project Hope Pack from its inception to the community launch to the Service Board of CASA of Douglas County, which will take place in May 2019.
The 2018-2019 League year has been filled with launch milestones, such as a complete move of products from our inventory to CASA. All of our project shifts now take place at CASA, located at 2412 St. Mary’s Avenue in Omaha.
The CASA Service Board members have been paired with Project Hope Pack committee members to ensure a smooth transition. So far, we have distributed 620 backpacks to organizations such as Project Harmony, Youth Emergency Services, Partnership 4 Kids, Lutheran Family Services, Completely Kids, Heart Ministry, Boys Town, and more!
The committee looks forward to the continued success of Project Hope Pack through the hard work and volunteerism of CASA Douglas County Service Members!