Magnolia Mound Punch

‘Tis the season to be jolly and jolly we’ll be with this delicious punch recipe. It’s simple, looks pretty, and is sure to put you and yours in the holiday spirit. Enjoy!

Magnolia Mound Punch (RRR II, Page 26)

  • 1 bottle pre-chilled strawberry wine such as St. Martin’s (not strawberry flavored wine)
  • One 32-ounce bottle pre-chilled ginger ale
  • Fresh Strawberries

Mix first two ingredients. Strawberries may be floated in the punch as decoration. Makes 12 to 14 four-ounce servings.

Iced Spiced Tea

This refreshing drink is found in River Road Recipes II on page 23.

Prep Time:  5 minutes

Cook Time: 5-10 minutes, plus at least 2 hours refrigeration time

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Servings: 1/2 gallon


  • Measuring cups
  • Colander
  • Large pot
  • Pitcher
  • Citrus squeezer
  • Cutting knife and cutting board
  • Stirring spoon



Photograph by Lauren De Witt

  • 4 Community tea bags
  • 1 quart (4 cups) boiling water
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • 1 quart (4 cups) cold water
  • Fresh mint (optional)


  1. Gather kitchen tools and ingredients. Add water to pot and bring to a boil. Cut lemons in half.
  2. Once water is boiling, add the tea bags, cinnamon, and cloves and remove from the heat. Let steep for 3 to 8 minutes.
  3. Using the colander, strain the tea. Add the sugar and quart of cold water. Squeeze the lemons into the tea (make sure to remove any lemon seeds that may slip through the squeezer). Stir.
  4. Refrigerate until cool and serve over ice. Garnish with lemons or fresh mint!

Sparkling Cranberry Punch

Sparkling Cranberry Punch

The kids are out of school, alarms are turned off, and a refreshing punch is calling your name as you relax by the pool or feel the sand in between your toes at the beach. Start your summer off right with one of River Road Recipes I tried and true beverages. So bust out those sunglasses, throw down that towel, and grab you a drink. The ladies of River Road Recipes will help you make it through those hot summer months.

1 large can jellied cranberry sauce

2 1/4 cups water

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup lemon juice

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 1/2 cups ginger ale

Clove-studded lemon slices

Crush cranberry sauce in can with fork and empty into saucepan. Beat with rotary beater. Add water and beat until sauce is melted. Add sugar and cool. Stir in lemon juice, extract, and 1 cup of ginger ale. Just before serving, dilute with remaining 1/2 ginger ale, and serve well iced in frosted glasses. Garnish with mint and clove-studded lemon circles. Serves 12 punch cups.



Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

While Mardi Gras is sadly over, all is not doom and gloom. St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, and River Road Recipes knows the perfect way to help you celebrate!

Baton Rouge’s annual Wearin’ of the Green Parade is an event that rivals any Mardi Gras parade here in town. This year, the parade rolls on Saturday, March 18, 2017 at 10 am, rain or shine! You can find out more details and see the parade route here.

Enjoying the 2016 Wearin' of the Green Parade. Image from The Parade Group LLC at

Enjoying the 2016 Wearin’ of the Green Parade. Image from The Parade Group LLC at

After enjoying a morning at the parade, let the festivities continue with traditional Irish fare: Shepherd’s Pie, Cabbage (Cabbage Salad, RRR IV, p. 275), Corned Beef, Reuben Sandwiches (check out our mini-Reubens in RRR II, p. 15), or anything with potatoes, of course (our Potatoes Supreme recipe in RRR III, p. 118 is a healthier take on a favorite comfort food)!  Want more ideas? Check out these 50 Traditional Irish-Inspired Dinners from the Delish blog! Finish off your meal with an Irish Coffee from River Road Recipes II.


Image from Eat Well 101 at

Irish Coffee, RRR II, p. 22


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 1/4 ounces Irish whiskey
  • Strong, hot Community Coffee®
  • Whipped Cream


  1. Add to each pre-warmed glass sugar and Irish whiskey.
  2. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Fill glasses with strong, hot coffee, and top with whipped cream.
  4. Pro-tip: Use shamrock cutouts and cocoa powder to add the perfect, festive touch to the whipped cream!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from all of us at River Road Recipes!

Magnolia Mound Punch

One of my friends was married at Magnolia Mound Plantation a few years ago. It was a beautiful day in late Spring with their nearest and dearest mingling under the oak trees as the Spanish moss swayed in the Mississippi River breeze. This punch is a perfect tribute to that day and the love my sweet friend shares with her husband. I like to load it up with some Ponchatoula strawberries fresh from the Red Stick farmer’s market to make it a truly local treat.

It also makes an insanely beautiful cocktail for the holidays. These photos were featured in our Junior League newsletter, thanks to the lovely Kaela from Kaela Rodehorst Photography.

Magnolia Mound Punch RRR Blog 1

Magnolia Mound Punch (RRR II, Page 26)

  • 1 bottle pre-chilled strawberry wine such as St. Martin’s (not strawberry flavored wine)
  • One 32-ounce bottle pre-chilled ginger ale
  • Fresh Strawberries

Mix first two ingredients. Strawberries may be floated in the punch as decoration. Makes 12 to 14 four-ounce servings.

Magnolia Mound Punch RRR Blog

Couldn’t be easier!



JLBR Member Spotlight: Back to School with Candice Kidder

Back to school: that time of year when your already busy life becomes even more complicated. School supplies, uniforms, meet-the-teachers, carpool, homework help, and endless after school piano lessons, sports, and dance lessons – the list goes on and on! With so much to do and only twenty-four hours in day, it’s a wonder any of us find time to take care of the never-ending to-do lists.

Candice and family enjoying a well-deserved beach vacation!

Candice and family enjoying a well-deserved beach vacation!

Candice Kidder, Vice President of the Junior League’s Marketing and Communications Council, can certainly sympathize. With three growing children and a demanding in-League placement, Candice finds the recipes in the “After School Snack” section (pages 48-51) of River Roads Recipes IV: Warm Welcomes, to be a lifesaver during this time of year.

The Kidder family celebrating last Christmas.

The Kidder family celebrating last Christmas.

“My kids (especially my boys) come home from school STARVING so the Miniature Pizzas and the Banana Berry Smoothie are hits in my house. My boys adore smoothies!” she says. Additionally, Candice is looking forward to adding the homemade granola recipe to the family’s regular morning routine this school year. “[We] usually have yogurt, fruit, and cereal, but the granola sounds yummy and healthy!”

Whether you have young kids starting back to school or perhaps you are just in need of some quick and easy snacks to enjoy yourself, the following recipes are just a few of the great options found in River Road Recipes IV, Warm Welcomes!

Grape Ape Smoothie, RRR IV, p. 50

Photo by Jessica McVea.

Photo by Jessica McVea.

  • 1 (12-ounce) can ginger ale or club soda, chilled
  • 1/2 (6-ounce) can froze grape juice concentrate
  • 6 ice cubes

Process the ginger ale and grape juice concentrate in a blender until smooth. Add the ice cubes 1 at a time, processing constantly until of a slushy consistency. Pour into 2-3 glasses and serve immediately.

Photo by Jessica McVea.

Photo by Jessica McVea.

Other delicious smoothie options in the “After School Snack” section of River Road Recipes IV that your kids will go nuts for include Perfectly Peachy, Strawberry Smoothie, Count Choc-Ula, and Pineapple Freeze! Each recipe makes just 2-3 glasses and uses frozen or canned fruit or juice concentrate, making these quick, easy snacks to whip up when the kids get home from school.

Photo by Jessica McVea.

Photo by Jessica McVea.

Homemade Granola, RRR IV, p. 51

  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 1 (12-ounce) package frozen coconut
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped pecans
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 cup wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Combine the oats, coconut, pecans, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and wheat germ in a 9×13-inch baking pan and mix well. Bake at 300º for 30 minutes, stirring several times.

Combine the brown sugar, honey, oil, butter, and water in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat. Stir in the vanilla. Combine the oats mixture and brown sugar mixture in a bowl and toss to coat. Return the mixture to the baking pan.

Bake at 300º for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Let stand until cool. Store in an airtight container.

This Homemade Granola recipe makes 10 cups, making it a great bulk recipe you can make ahead and keep stored in the pantry. The granola can be enjoyed as a cereal with milk or with dried fruit, and you can also make nutritious granola-topped parfaits to keep in the refrigerator for a quick grab-and-go treat for breakfast to save time during those hectic weekday mornings.

Granola Topped Parfait

Layer one-half cup of your favorite fresh or canned fruit in the bottom of a large, disposable plastic cup, top with one-half cup of yogurt or cottage cheese, and finish with one-half cup of Homemade Granola on top. Cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate, and stock up on some disposable spoons for easy clean-up in the event you decide to bring it to work or need to eat on-the-go.

Miniature Pizzas, RRR IV, p. 51

Photo by Jessica McVea.

Photo by Jessica McVea.

  • 4 miniature bagels, cut into halves
  • 1 cup spaghetti sauce
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 8 slices pepperoni (optional)
  • Sliced green or black olives (optional)

Arrange the bagel halves cut side up on a baking sheet. Spread each half with some of the spaghetti sauce. Layer with the cheese, pepperoni, and olives. You can experiment with toppings, too, depending on what your family enjoys. Classic pizza toppings like bell peppers, mushrooms, sausage, or even pineapple make great options!

Bake at 400° for 7 to 10 minutes or until the cheese melts. Cool slightly before serving.

Makes 8 pizzas.

RRR IV Minature Pizza p 51 photo Jessica McVea

Photo by Jessica McVea.

Mocktails for Expectant Moms

Having been pregnant for the last nine months, I occasionally find myself wishing I could indulge in a fun, colorful drink, especially now that these hot, summer months are upon us. Luckily, I stumbled upon the most refreshing (and low calorie!) Pineapple-Orange Sparkler in River Road Recipes III, A Healthy Collection. As an added bonus, the ginger ale in this recipe may help relieve morning sickness! Knowing quite a few other ladies in my position, I couldn’t resist sharing this delicious “mocktail.”

Pineapple Orange Sparkler – RRR III, p. 36

  • One 12-ounce can frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 36 ounces ginger ale
  • One 46-ounce can unsweetened pineapple juice


In a large pitcher, dissolve orange juice with 3 cans of ginger ale. Add the pineapple juice and stir well. Chill or serve over ice.

Yields twelve 8-ounce servings.

Nutritional Note: This recipe has 143 calories per serving. Shave off an additional 8 grams of sugar and over 30 calories per serving by replacing the ginger ale with club soda, sugar-free soda, or sparkling water.