Recipes From Junior League Cookbooks
Junior League Cookbooks - Why I Love 'Em
Some of the tastiest recipes I've ever prepared have come from Junior League cookbooks. They're typically tested over and over by Junior League members so you can be assured of an accurate recipe.
I'll start by introducing you to my personal favorites and, from time to time, will add more recipes and more feature more cookbooks from other Junior Leagues.
A Word About Junior Leagues
The first Junior League was founded in New York City in 1901 by Mary Harriman, a young debutante who gathered a group of 80 women to work to improve literacy, nutrition and the health of children of immigrants living on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Eleanor Roosevelt, Mary's friend, joined the group in 1903.
Today there are more than 161,000 Junior League members throughout the world making a difference in their communities by identifying needs and filling them.
Junior Leagues earn money for their projects by hosting fundraising events, by operating thrift shops and by publishing and selling cookbooks highlighting regional cuisine and time-tested recipes of their members.
Visit The Association of Junior Leagues International for more information.
Helping Rebuild New Orleans
Watch this inspiring video to see how the Association of Junior Leagues International made a difference by working with Habitat for Humanity to help rebuild after Hurricane Katrina.
Monterey Jack Wafers
Simple, Delicious & Fancy Schmancy
I have two cookbooks from the Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri: Beyond Parsley and Above & Beyond Parsley.
They're both beautiful books and the recipes range from so-easy-and-delicious-you-won't-believe-it to recipes for "seasoned cooks".
Here are a couple of my "so-easy..." favorites:
MONTEREY JACK WAFERS
"Light and lacy and couldn't be easier. Fabulous with cocktails, soups and salads."
Simple, simple, simple...delicious and a real conversation starter. Make lots!
1-pound Monterey Jack Cheese
Cut cheese into 1/4-inch slices, then into circles or squares approximately 1-1/2 inches in diameter. On a non-stick cookie sheet, space at least 3 inches apart. (This is important as they spread while baking.) Bake 10 minutes at 400 degrees. Do not overbake. Remove immediately and allow to cool. Store wafers in airtight cookie tin.
Makes 36-48 wafers
NOTE: This recipe works only with Monterey Jack cheese. Be sure to cut the jack cheese into 1/4 inch thick slices because they will be paper-thin when baked so they need to be cut a little thicker.
Another Beyond Parsley Offering
This simple dessert is one of our favorites. I like to serve Raspberry Sherbet in these antique champagne glasses that my husband inherited from an aunt. A few fresh berries and a mint sprig or two and "voila"...
1 10-ounce package frozen raspberries, thawed and mashed
1 scant cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Combine all ingredients in a covered freezer-safe container and freeze.
Elegant Serving Pieces
Serve your most special desserts in an antique bowl or platter.
Classic Wild Rice Soup
From Above & Beyond Parsley - The Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri
Photo courtesy of Northern Transplant
This is a wonderful soup...I've substituted cooked chicken for the ham but it's great either way. If I use the chicken, I cut it in bite-size pieces and add with the cream and Worcestershire sauce.
CLASSIC WILD RICE SOUP
"This soup doubles easily..."
1/2 cup uncooked wild rice
5 slices bacon, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 onion, finely chopped
3 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups half-and-half
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 pound diced ham
Run cold water over rice for 1 minute in strainer. Set aside.
Cook bacon and garlic in a large saucepan until partially browned. Add onion, celery and carrot. Cook and stir for 8 minutes until tender. Drain fat. Add drained rice and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes or until rice is tender. Add water to thin if necessary. Stir in cream and Worcestershire sauce and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until heated (approximately 5 to 10 minutes). Sprinkle with ham and serve.
Above and Beyond Parsley
From The Pride of Peoria Cookbook - The Junior League of Peoria, Illinois
This cookbook has many, many of my favorite recipes. Here are just two of them.
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1 cup oil
6 Tablespoons sugar
1 small onion, finely grated
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon poppyseed
1 teaspoons lemon juice
Blend all ingredients together and refrigerate. Serve on fresh spinach; top with chopped bacon and hard-cooked eggs.
I have to confess a tendency to "tweak" recipes and I have "tweaked" this recipe by using a little walnut oil and/or peanut oil and I've added a Tablespoon of honey plus an additional teaspoon of poppyseeds. It's delicious either way, though.
Barbecue Brisket for Buffet
A Delicious Entrée for Entertaining - From the Pride of Peoria Cookbook
Photo courtesy of GreggWithTwoG's
This recipe requires advance planning but it is SO worth it. The sauce keeps indefinitely in the refrigerator and the meat freezes well.
BARBECUE BRISKET FOR BUFFET
1 (5-6 pound) beef brisket
1 bottle (5 ounces) worcestershire sauce
1-1/2 to 3 ounces liquid smoke
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
1 cup catsup
1/3 cup worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
Combine worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, garlic salt, pepper, and seasoning salt. Cover meat with this mixture and marinate in an airtight bowl for 24 hours or longer, turning several times.
Place meat in baking pan with marinade. Cover loosely with foil. Bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes. Turn oven down to 225 degrees and continue to cook for 1 hour per pound of meat. If brisket is very lean, increase baking time to 1 hour and 20 minutes per pound of meat. Turn meat occasionally while baking. Chill meat and slice thin.
Make sauce: Add enough water to meat juices to make 2 cups liquid. Add sauce ingredients and cook 5 minutes.
To serve: Pour sauce over sliced meat and heat at 350 degrees until hot. Serve on small buns as a sandwich or as a main dish.
The Pride of Peoria is available at Amazon
Besides the Barbecue Brisket and Poppyseed Dressing recipes, you'll find a traditional recipe for Yugoslavian Potica...two delicious recipes for Carrot Cake (I love them both)...and a chapter which includes recipes to prepare complete menus with an International flair (French, Lebanese, Hungarian, South American, etc.)
Don't miss this chance to own this...you'll love this cookbook!
From A Bouquet of Flowers Cookbook - The Junior League of Wheaton, Illinois
Photo courtesy of digipam
NOTE: I've tried to find a link to this cookbook but so far there's nothing listed either in Amazon or on eBay. Still, you may be able to locate a copy through a resale shop or thrift store.
This wonderful recipe is also perfect for entertaining. The person who submitted the recipe to the Wheaton Junior League noted that it's their family's tradition Christmas Eve main course. Or it would be excellent for New Year's Eve. Or any large gathering. It's good to prepare this the day before
6 lb. turkey breast
1 teaspoon peppercorns
3 ribs celery with leaves
4 green onions, divided
1-1/2 cup butter, divided
1-1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
3 cups half & half, scalded
2 green peppers, chopped
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
3 ounce jar pimentos
1 cup dry white wine (or try a dry marsala wine)
Simmer turkey breast with peppercorns, celery, 2 green onions and carrots in water to cover, about 4 to 5 quarts, until tender, about 2-1/2 hours. Cool and dice turkey into large chunks.
Strain stock and reserve for sauce. Prepare sauce by melting 1 cup butter in large, heavy saucepan. Blend in flour, salt and white pepper. Gradually add reserved broth and half & half and cook, stirring constantly until thickened and smooth. Sauté 2 chopped green onions, green pepper and mushrooms in 1/2 cup butter. Add to sauce with pimento, turkey and wine. Taste for seasonings. Heat through and turn into chafing dish or individual shell dishes. Garnish with parsley and pimento.
And here's another excellent Junior League Cookbook:
Soupcon II - From the Junior League of Chicago
I've used this cookbook so much that the pages are starting to loosen! The Hot Brandied Cocoa is especially delicious.
If you've got a favorite Junior League cookbook or recipes that have come from them, please share...