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 http://www.paradegroup.com/galleries/160.

Enjoying the 2016 Wearin’ of the Green Parade. Image from The Parade Group LLC at http://www.paradegroup.com/galleries/160.

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.

irish-coffee

Image from Eat Well 101 at http://www.eatwell101.com.

Irish Coffee, RRR II, p. 22

Ingredients

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

Directions

  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!

Past Chairwoman’s Luncheon

The mission statement of the Junior League of Baton Rouge says it all:

“The Junior League of Baton Rouge is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.”

Since the River Road Recipe cookbook collection began in 1959, combined sales of our four beloved cookbooks have earned more than $3,000,000 to fund League projects in the Baton Rouge community! This is truly an amazing legacy. This feat would not have been possible, however, without the “effective action and leadership” of our volunteers, in particular, the past Chairwomen of the River Road Recipes Committee.

Standing (left to right): Toni Buxton; Cheryl Payne; Lisa Ann Moore; Martha Rome; Angelique Freel Bottom Row: Tanya Foil; Suzette Say; Leslie Berg, 14-15 JLBR President; Kristen Landry; Mary Carmouche

Standing (left to right): Toni Buxton; Cheryl Payne; Lisa Ann Moore; Martha Rome; Angelique Freel
Bottom Row (left to right): Tanya Foil; Suzette Say; Leslie Berg, 14-15 JLBR President; Kristen Landry; Mary Carmouche

Friday, March 10, we celebrate our past River Road Recipes Committee Chairwomen with a luncheon at Galatoire’s Bistro from 12-3 pm. We look forward to honoring these innovative  and dedicated women and their collective leadership over the past 58 years. From the bottom of our hearts and the hearts of the hundreds of thousands in our community who have been positively impacted by League projects, thank you!

Past Chairwomen at the 2014-2015 Luncheon at Juban's.

Past Chairwomen at the 2014-2015 Luncheon at Juban’s.

Past Chairwomen at the 2014-2015 Luncheon at Juban's.

Past Chairwomen at the 2014-2015 Luncheon at Juban’s.

Red Stick Farmer’s Market

Join us this Saturday, March 4th from 8:00am until noon at the Red Stick Farmer’s Market!

Red Stick Farmers Market Logo

Members of the River Road Recipes cookbook committee will be on hand sharing cookbook knowledge, offering samples and of course, selling all 4 of our beloved books.

The weather is supposed to be gorgeous this weekend and the Red Stick Farmers Market is a wonderful way to grab a cookbook along with some fresh ingredients to whip up something special for dinner later that evening!

 We hope to see you Saturday! Be sure to stop by our booth and say hello.

Kids in the Kitchen: Snickerdoodles!

The recent blast of cooler weather here in Baton Rouge (it dipped below 60° today!) has us wanting to snuggle up with our loved ones and a yummy snack! Cinnamon always seems to pair nicely with chilly temps, so we are busting out one of our favorite cookie recipes: Snickerdoodles!

Whipping up this classic recipe is a great way to spend an afternoon with the kids, especially when they might be going a little stir crazy from being cooped up inside during the winter months. It’s never too early to start cultivating a love of cooking, and children love to feel helpful. Even the littlest members of your family can get involved – starting from the time your baby is able to sit up on his own, you can help him “help” you scoop ingredients and pour them into the mixing bowl. Toddlers are naturally curious and will enjoy tasting each individual ingredient, and older children will proudly help you stir the batter. Don’t worry about a little mess, it’s all part of the fun!

Through the Junior League of Baton Rouge’s Kids in the Kitchen community project, we help children of all ages in our community learn the joy of cooking. Junior League members purchase and transport ingredients to various volunteer locations, where we then demonstrate and work with youth to prepare meals and snacks.  During the activities, volunteers will encourage conversation about the benefits of healthy eating. So far our Kids in the Kitchen program has impacted between 350 and 550 children in the Greater Baton Rouge area!

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Snickerdoodles, River Road Recipes I, page 200

  • 1 cup soft shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 3/4 cups sifted flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Preheat oven to 400º. Mix shortening, sugar, and eggs together thoroughly. Sift flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt together and add to above mixture.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Chill dough. Roll into balls the size of small walnuts. Roll the dough balls into a mixture of 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Place about two inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned but still soft. (These cookies puff up at first then flatten out with crinkled tops.) Makes about five dozen 2-inch cookies.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Laissez les Bon Temps Rouler!

So long New Year’s resolutions — carnival season is here, and that means king cake! From the French-style king cakes at Strand’s Cafe, to the traditional, cream-cheese, fruit-filled,  or Zulu confections at Ambrosia Bakery and Gambino’s, to the maple bacon king cake at Tiger Deaux-nuts, the variations are infinite. And the fun (cough, calories) don’t stop there – don’t forget the king cake balls at Cupcake Allie, the king cake milkshake at Fat Cow, and even king cake fries from Freetown Fries!

Some New Orleans favorites: McKenzie’s, Party Palace, Croissant D’Or, Cake Cafe, Haydel’s and Dong Phuong Bakery. Picture courtesy of The Scout Guide New Orleans.

Some New Orleans favorites: McKenzie’s, Party Palace, Croissant D’Or, Cake Cafe, Haydel’s and Dong Phuong Bakery. Photo courtesy of The Scout Guide New Orleans.

So many amazing options with so little time before Lent is upon us. Luckily for you, there is a way to get your fix: host a king cake tasting party! This fantastic idea was originally featured by The Scout Guide New Orleans in January 2015, and they recently featured this idea again, with staging by  New Orleans caterer Patti Constantin. It’s the perfect way to sample all of the City’s best king cakes and Mardi Gras inspired treats while enjoying time with friends.

Photo courtesy of The Scout Guide New Orleans.

Photo courtesy of The Scout Guide New Orleans.

First, the menu. Have friends bring their favorite local king cake (or king cake inspired treat) to share with everyone. Can’t pick a favorite? Here’s our cheat sheets from 225  Magazine and Baton Rouge Mom’s Blog:

For beverages, serve our Café au Lait Punch from River Road Recipes IV, page 17, along with wine, beer, sodas, and water.

Cafe au lait Punch, RRR IV

Photo courtesy of The Scout Guide New Orleans.

Photo courtesy of The Scout Guide New Orleans.

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup dark roast coffee or coffee extract, at room temperature
  • 1 liter ginger ale, at room temperature
  • 1 liter club soda, at room temperature
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream

Combine the sugar, coffee, ginger ale, club soda, and half-and-half in a large punch bowl and mix well. Fold in the ice cream and ladle into punch bowls.

Makes 12 to 14 (2-cup) servings.

Second, decorate! Go big with Mardi Gras beads and plenty of purple, green, and gold accessories, or keep it simple with an elegant bouquet of purple Irises or other flowers as a centerpiece. Break out the silver and crystal to have a party fit for royalty, or keep it casual with purple and green paper plates. Either way, you’re bound to pass a good time!

A beautiful King Cake tasting by Patti Constantin. Photo courtesy of The Scout Guide New Orleans.

A beautiful King Cake tasting by Patti Constantin. Photo courtesy of The Scout Guide New Orleans.

Special thanks to The Scout Guide New Orleans for the photos and the fantastic idea!

Happy Valentine’s Day

Pink and red, roses and chocolate – love is in the air! It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and the ladies of the River Road Recipes committee want to show our love for you by helping you plan the perfect Valentine’s Day party for the littlest loves in your life! While our thoughts typically turn to our significant others on Valentine’s Day, Valentine’s Day is a fun holiday for children, too! Pair our snack ideas with fun activities for the kids, like making “mailboxes” out of shoe boxes to receive home-made Valentine’s Day cards from friends or making heart-shaped crayons. Check out some fun craft ideas here!

Sparkling Cranberry Punch

This non-alcoholic punch is the perfect beverage for a kid-friendly Valentine’s Day party. The ginger ale adds a little sparkle, and the cranberries lend a festive hue for the occasion.

Photo by Don Kadair.

Photo by Don Kadair.

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

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 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.

River Road Recipes I, p. 11

CHOCOLATE FUDGE TURTLES

Instead of store-bought candy, try our Chocolate Fudge Turtles from River Road Recipes I! Everyone is guaranteed to enjoy these delectable desserts, and they are made with the most important ingredient of all: love! You can find our easy, step-by-step recipe here!

Photo by Don Kadair.

Photo by Don Kadair.

Party Mix

To round out the sweetness, add some salt to your Valentine’s Day party snacks with this simple Party Mix. It’s a perennial favorite for children of all ages. Recipe here!

Photo by Don Kadair.

Photo by Don Kadair.

Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at River Road Recipes!

Throwback: RRR 50th Birthday Party

As our League members are no doubt aware, our first General Membership Meeting of 2017 is quickly approaching on February 7! Since we are celebrating the 85th birthday of the Junior League of Baton Rouge AND the 80th reprint of  River Road Recipes I: A Textbook of Louisiana Cuisine this year, we thought we would throw it back to our September 2009 General Membership Meeting, when we celebrated the 50th birthday of River Road Recipes I: A Textbook of Louisiana Cuisine!

Junior League members with special guest speaker, former Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden.

Junior League members with special guest speaker, former Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden.

With over 1.4 million copies sold since the original edition was printed in September 1959, River Road Recipes I is the oldest community cookbook still in print in the United States.

Ladies of the 2009-2010 RRR Committee showing up the special 50th Anniversary limited edition of River Road Recipes I.

Junior League members showing off the special 50th Anniversary limited edition cover of River Road Recipes I.

After so many decades of success, it’s hard to imagine that this historic cookbook almost never came to be. When the idea for a cookbook was first proposed by the original Junior League of Baton Rouge cookbook committee in 1957, the League’s financial advisors (incidentally, a group of men) strongly advised against it. “It was another generation, the men thought we couldn’t do anything,” Emily Robinson, chair of the the original cookbook committee, recalled in an interview with Country Roads Magazine in 2011.

Let them eat cake, or rather, humble pie! Years later, after witnessing the enduring success of River Road Recipes I, one of the financial advisors finally admitted to Robinson, “We gave you bad advice.”

Let them eat cake, or rather, humble pie! Years later, after witnessing the enduring success of River Road Recipes I, one of the financial advisors finally admitted to Robinson, “We gave you bad advice.”

 

The River Road Recipes I 50th birthday cake!

The River Road Recipes I 50th birthday cake!

Make sure you log in to your member home page through Digital Cheetah to RSVP for next week’s meeting if you haven’t already. Can’t wait to see you there!

Cheese Straws

Cheese straws are a perpetual crowd favorite at parties. The sharp cheddar cheese with the hint of red pepper make them an irresistible, savory snack for any event! They also make great gifts when placed in a decorative bag or tin. While the recipe calls for you to roll the dough thin and cut it into narrow strips, you can also place the dough in a cookie press to give them a decorative shape before baking.

Photo by Don Kadair.

Photo by Don Kadair.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 2 2/3 cups sifted flour
  • Dash red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

Mix ingredients together well. Roll thin and cut in narrow strips. Bake in slow oven, 275°, until light brown. Makes about 4 dozen.

River Road Recipes I, p. 223

Bourbon Walnut Balls

These tasty treats are perfect for your next party or social! Easy and quick to make, these delicious Bourbon Walnut Balls will keep your guests coming back for more!

Photo by Don Kadair.

Photo by Don Kadair.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups (5 dozen) finely crushed vanilla wafers
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons white corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • Additional confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Directions

Mix well the wafer crumbs, cocoa, sugar, and nuts. Add corn syrup and bourbon. Blend well. Form into one-inch balls (in diameter). Roll each of these into the sifted sugar. Makes about 3 dozen.

River Road Recipes I, p. 229.

Pecan Pie

Just because the holidays are over doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the occasional treat! Pecan pie for dessert is a Southern staple, and you simply cannot beat a warm slice of pecan pie on a chilly night. And for those not-so-chilly winter nights that we are oh-so-familiar with in the Deep South, a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side puts this favorite over the top!

Photo by Don Kadair.

Photo by Don Kadair.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 unbaked pie crust

Directions

Cream butter and sugar. Add remaining ingredients and pour into unbaked pie crust. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes and lower to 350° and cook for approximately one hour.

River Road Recipes I, p. 205