The Perfect Tailgate

With LSU football season coming up, I thought a tailgate post would be perfect! I have selected three items that would be great to bring to a tailgate! Geaux tigers!

Bill’s Fuzzy “Neighbors”


  • 6 ounces of orange juice concentrate
  • 7 ounces peach schnapps
  • One blender of crushed ice


  • Whirl all ingredients together in a blender and serve!
  • This made such a great drink! So tasty! I would double or triple this recipe for a larger party.

    Artichoke Dip


    • One 15 oz can of Progresso seasoned bread crumbs
    • 4 14 oz cans of artichoke hearts
    • 2 cups olive oil
    • Juice of 4 lemons (Realemon May be used)
    • 2 cups of grated Romano cheese
    • 4 pods of garlic, puréed
    • Red pepper to taste
  • Instructions:
  • Combine the bread crumbs, water from artichokes, lemon juice and olive oil. Put the artichokes hearts in the blender and blend on high speed until well blended. Add artichoke hearts to above mixture. Add cheese, garlic and red pepper. Put in a buttered 4 quart casserole and bake at 350 degrees 20 to 30 minutes until warm. This may be spooned into a chafing dish and served with Melba rounds. Delicious!
  • Yield: 4 quarts
  • This makes a TON of dip- I had two full pans of dip! This would be great for a larger party!

    Lastly, I selected On the Border Meatballs


    • 1 1/2 pounds of round, well-trimmed and ground beef
    • 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
    • 1/3 cup minced onion
    • 1/3 cup of skim/low fat milk
    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
    • 1 teaspoon pepper
    • 2 egg whites of 1/4 cup of egg substitute
    • 1 tablespoon corn oil
    • 12 ounces light Velveeta cheese
    • One 4 ounce can green chilies, reserve liquid
    • One 1 1/2 ounce package of taco seasoning mix
    • 1 cup of water


    • In a bowl, mix the ground meat, bread crumbs, onion, milk, garlic powder, parsley, pepper and egg. Shape into 1 inch meatballs and cook in a nonstick skillet in oil until browned. Set the meatballs aside to drain on paper towels. Spoon off the fat and wipe the skillet clean. In the same skillet over low heat, mix the cheese, green Chile’s with liquid, taco seasoning mix and one cup of water until cheese melts. Return the meatballs to the skillet. Cover and simmer until heated through. Serve hot with toothpicks. The sauce can be used as a dip when the meatballs are gone.
    • Yield: 112 meatballs

    Adult Bento Lunch Box

    First off, I’ll explain what a Bento box is incase you are unaware like I was.

    Courtesy of Merian Webster:

    Definition of bento box: a multicompartment box used for containing the different courses of a usually Japanese lunch

    Here is a cute bento box I found at Albertsons locally in Baton Rouge

    The first item I have chosen is:

    Bagel Chips from RRR 3, pg. 258


    • 6 bagels
    • Non-stick butter flavored cooking spray


    Slice bagels as thin as possible, approximately 6 slices per bagel. Places slices on ungreased cookie sheet. Spray moderately with cooking spray. Add salt, onion, garlic, etc, if desired. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

    Makes 18 servings of 2 chips.

    I have selected cinnamon sugar mini bagels and here is a picture of my bagels.

    To pair with the bagel chips, I have selected:

    Sweet cream cheese with peanuts

    RRR 3, pg. 30


    • 8 ounces of light cream cheese
    • 3/4 cup of brown sugar
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 1/3 cup of chopped dry roasted peanuts
    • 3 or more apples, cut into wedges


    Combine first three ingredients and mix together well. Gold in peanuts. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with slices of apple as a spread.

    Serving size: 25 servings of 1 apple wedge and 1 tablespoon dip

    Here is a picture of the spread.

    The last item I have chosen for the box is:

    Asian Chicken Wraps, RRR 4, pg 265



    • 1 cup canola oil
    • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons minced ginger root
    • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon cracked red pepper


    • 1 rotisserie chicken
    • 1 cup chopped cabbage
    • 1 cup chow Mein noodles
    • 1/2 cup shredded almonds
    • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
    • 1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
    • 4 green onions chopped
    • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds toasted
    • 4-6 large tortilla wraps


    For the dressing, combine the canola oil, vinegar, ginger root, soy sauce, garlic, sugar and red pepper in a bowl and whisk until the sugar dissolves.

    I have added pictures of the ingredients below.

    Here is the minced ginger root.

    Here is the dressing mixed together.

    Now for the wraps, chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces, discarding the skin and bones. Combine the chicken, cabbage, noodles, almonds, bell peppers, green onions, and sesame seeds in a bowl and mix well. Add the dressing to the cabbage mixture and toss to coat. Spread the cabbage mixture over the tortillas and roll to enclose the filling. Wrap each roll individually in baking parchment paper and secure with tape. Cut each wrap diagonally into halves.

    Serves 4-6

    Here are the almonds and sesame seeds toasting. Be careful because the almonds are easy to burn! They should be light brown.

    This is what the mix should look like.

    Add the mix to the tortilla then close up the wrap!

    Here is the finished wrap.

    Here’s a few pictures of the bento box put together!

    Cheese Straws

    Cheese straws are perfect party snacks. My family always makes them for Christmas so I though I would try out the River Road recipe! This was a straight forward, easy snack to bring to a party, tailgate, anything! With school starting soon, you could make this as an after school snack for the kids!


    • 1 cup butter- make sure you get real butter
    • 2 cups hand grated sharp cheddar
    • 2 2/3 cups sifted flour
    • Dash red pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • Rolling pin, cheese grater, mat – not listed in book


    • First hand grate the cheese. I used Cracker Barrel cheese
    • Mix ingredients together well. I melted the cheese and butter before adding the other ingredients and it made a great dough!
    • Roll thin and cut into narrow strips.
    • Bake in slow oven, 275 degrees, until light brown.
    • 25 minutes in the oven was plenty of time!
    • Makes about 4 dozen

    This is what your dough cut up should look like.

    Here is the final product!

    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.

    Once Upon a Time…in the Kitchen!

    For as long as I can remember, I have loved to read. Some of my earliest memories involve my dad reading to me from the Frog and Toad collection, or my mom getting me completely hooked on the Little House on the Prairie series. Bedtime stories are a tradition that I have continued with my own daughter, and we have so much fun re-reading some of my favorite classics every night (right now we are working our way through the Beatrix Potter collection; she especially loves The Tale of the Two Bad Mice!)

    The Junior League of Baton Rouge, working with our community partner, the LSU AgCenter, aims to bring this same joy of books to children and parents in our community through The Little Bookshelf program. The Little Bookshelf has helped thousands of children in our community travel to exotic lands, meet fascinating characters, and embark on thrilling adventures, all without ever leaving the Parish. From Saturday morning story time to free books and art activities at various community events, The Little Bookshelf strives to turn what starts out as an evening bed time story with mom and dad into a lifelong love of reading. Since the program’s inception, The Little Bookshelf has served our community by providing 200 low-income families with in-depth literacy support and resources, an additional 400 children at child care centers with small children’s libraries, and inspiring the imaginations of over 61,500 people with storytelling, free books, and art activities at various community events.


    A childhood classic – The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Photo by Lauren De Witt.

    Keep an eye out for Junior League members on The Little Bookshelf committee at a wide variety of community events in the coming year – from Saturday story-time at the LSU AgCenter Botanical Gardens at Burden, to informational tables at Baby Grand at Woman’s Hospital, and even at the annual Louisiana Book Festival at the State Library of Louisiana! In the meantime, make your own fun at home by reading with your child daily. Make story time an even more memorable activity by pairing a favorite book with a fun craft or snack – like making your very own edible hungry caterpillars from Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar!

    Fresh Fruit “Caterpillars”

    • One strawberry (sliced)
    • One kiwi (sliced)
    • One green apple (sliced)
    • Raisins

    A strawberry, apple, kiwi, and raisin “Hungry Caterpillar.” Photo by Lauren De Witt

    Alternate layering the kiwi slices and the green apple slices to make the body of the caterpillar. Use a strawberry slice to make the caterpillar’s head, and use the raisins to make feet! Get creative – use a straw to make caterpillar “bites” in other foods that The Very Hungry Caterpillar enjoys – like plums, strawberries, cheese, and watermelon; or try using a variety of colorful fruits to make a fruit “butterfly!”