“Recipe of the Month” Series Builds Excitement for the Upcoming Junior League Cookbook, A Century of Serving

Hosting can be stressful, especially when you do not have a tried and true, crowd-pleasing recipe. But fear not: the Junior League of Omaha’s Cookbook Committee has you covered, releasing recipes from the forthcoming A Century of Serving cookbook every month this League year for its “Recipe of the Month” series.

Already this 2017-2018 League year, the Cookbook Committee has released the recipes for black bean cowboy dip (September), pork green chili stew (October), cilantro-sesame sticky wings (November), ginger cookies stuffed with caramel goodness (December), herb breakfast hashbrowns (January) and best chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting (February).  

We had a few questions for Cookbook Committee members and Recipe of the Month participants about how the recipes have been received and what League members have to look forward to.

Q: How did these recipes go over with their tasters?

A: “The cowboy chic black bean dip was a great addition to our Communications Project Management meeting and my fridge,” said Courtney Kastelic, communications project manager for Project Hope Pack. “It was delicious served warm with tortilla chips and the leftovers also worked well as a taco salad topping.”

The recipe was a hit with Jen Teusink, Cookbook treasurer and sale coordinator, and her family too.

“The dip was really easy to make,” Teusink said. “I just made it one afternoon with the pantry items I already had. My five-year-old loved it!”

The dip has been the most popular recipe with League members so far – especially during football season – but every recipe has had rave reviews.

“I used the cilantro-sesame sticky wings recipe and thought it was great,” New Member Andrea Pieper said. “It was simple enough that I could make it and I’m not a very great cook.”

Even though Pieper modified the recipe to omit ingredients she did not have on hand, she said it still tasted great.

Pieper made the wings with Madeline “Maddy” Toepfer, also a New Member. “We just wanted to get together and thought making the wings would be a fun thing to do.”  Pieper also made the dip.

Q: What do League members have to look forward to next?

A: Herb roasted salmon and garlic-roasted asparagus recipes will be released as a “Recipe of the Month” in March and April. The A Century of Serving cookbook will hit shelves this fall, much to the excitement of at least one League member.

“I am always looking for new food ideas to incorporate into my cooking and baking, so I will be excited to see the full cookbook,” Kastelic said. “I am a party of one, so Junior Leaguers can look forward to me sharing at any upcoming meetings.”

Q: How can members get their hands on the A Century of Serving cookbook?

A: The cookbook will be available for purchase online and at events and locations throughout the city.  The committee will keep members posted on exact details when the release date nears.

“I am definitely looking forward to the cookbook release,” Pieper sad. “Maddy is slowly teaching me how to cook and to be able to have a fun JLO cookbook to use in the teachings will be helpful.

Q: Why participate in “Recipe of the Month”?

A: Besides the obvious benefits (getting to taste delicious food!), each person who made the “Recipe of the Month” and posted a picture on social media with #JLOCookbook was entered to win a gift card. The giveaways will continue for future months, so join in the fun!


Featured Recipes:

September: Cowboy Chic Black Bean Dip

# Servings: 8     Category:  Appetizers & Beverages

Ingredients and Directions

  • 1 Teaspoon(s) vegetable oil
  • 1/2 Cup(s) chopped onion
  • 2 Clove(s) garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Cup(s) diced tomato
  • 2/3 Cup(s) bottled picante sauce
  • 1/2 Teaspoon(s) cumin
  • 1/2 Teaspoon(s) Chili powder
  • 1 Can(s) black beans (drained and washed)
  • 1/4 Cup(s) monterrey jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 Cup(s) fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon(s) fresh lime juice
  • 3 Tablespoon(s) Tabasco-if desired

Heat oil in skillet.  Add onion and garlic, and sauténtil tender.

Add tomato, picante sauce, chili powder, cumin, and black beans to skillet. Cook 5 minutes or until thick, stirring

constantly.  Remove from heat.

Partially mash mixture with a potato masher. Add cheese, cilantro, and lime juice. Stir until cheese melts.

Serve warm with tortilla chips.


October: Pork Green Chili Stew

# Servings: 10               Category: Soups & Salads
Serving Size: 2 cups     Pan Size: stock pot

Ingredients and Directions

  • 2 Pound(s) pork shoulder (cut in 1/2 inch cubes)
  • 1 Medium onion, diced
  • 2 Clove(s) garlic, minced
  • 1 Pound(s) potato, peeled and diced
  • 5 Cup(s) chicken broth
  • 1 Teaspoon(s) Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Cup(s) Roasted Green Chile Sauce
  • 1 Cup(s) Diced Hatch Chiles
  • 3/4 Cup(s) corn, fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 Cup(s) carrot, diced
  • 1 Can(s) Rotel tomatoes
  • 1 Teaspoon(s) cumin

Season the pork with salt and pepper to taste. Sear the meat in a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat.

Stir in the onions and garlic and cook several minutes, until the onions become translucent. Pour in stock and scrape the mixture up from the bottom to loosen browned bits. Stir in the rest of ingredients and simmer until meat is tender, the vegetables are soft and have blended together.

(Option to braise in oven at 250 degrees for 2 hours until tender) Ladle into bowls and serve hot, top with cilantro if desired.

Option to serve with tortillas or corn bread.


November: Cilantro-Sesame Sticky Wings

# Servings: 8 Category: Appetizers & Beverages

Ingredients and Directions

1) 1/3 Cup(s) soy sauce
2) 1/3 Cup(s) balsamic vinegar
3) 1/2 Cup(s) brown sugar, packed
4) 1/3 Cup(s) honey
5) 3 Tablespoon(s) garlic
6) 3 Tablespoon(s) Sriracha, or more, to taste
7) 1 Teaspoon(s) ginger powder
8) 1 Teaspoon(s) pepper
9) 1 Teaspoon(s) onion powderr
10) 3 Pound(s) chicken wings
11) 2 Tablespoon(s) corn starch
12) 2 Tablespoon(s) water
13) 2 Tablespoon(s) sesame seeds
14) 1/4 Cup(s) fresh cilantro, chopped

1. In a large bowl, whisk together soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, honey, garlic,
Sriracha, ginger powder, pepper and onion powder.
2. Place wings into a slow cooker. Stir in soy sauce mixture and gently toss wings to combine. Cover and cook on low heat for approximately 3-4 hours.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water. Stir in mixture into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high heat for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.
4. Preheat oven to broil. Line a baking sheet with foil.
5. Place wings onto the prepared baking sheet and broil for approximately 2-3 minutes, or until caramelized and slightly charred.
6. Serve immediately with remaining sauce, garnished with cilantro and sesame seeds.


December: Ginger Cookies Stuffed with Caramel Goodness

# Servings: 2 1/2 dozen

Ingredients and Directions

1 1/2 Cup(s) dark brown sugar, packed

1/2 Cup(s) salted butter, softened

2 Tablespoon(s) salted butter, softened

2 Large eggs

1 1/2 Teaspoon(s) vanilla extract

3 Cup(s) all-purpose flour

1/4 Cup(s) crystallized ginger, chopped

2 Teaspoon(s) baking powder

1 Teaspoon(s) kosher salt 16 caramel candies, halved

1/2 Cup(s) Demerara sugar

Beat brown sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla with a heavy-duty stand-up mixer on medium speed until mixture is smooth.

Process flour, ginger, baking powder, and salt in a food processor until ginger is very finely chopped and mixture is well-blended, approximately 1-2 minutes. Gradually add flour mixture to sugar mixture, and beat on low speed just until blended after each addition. Shape dough into a disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill 6-24 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Shape dough into approximately 30 (1 ½inch) balls. Flatten each ball in your palm, and place 1 caramel half in center. Wrap dough around caramel, and reshape into a ball by rolling in hand, completely covering the caramel. Place balls approximately 2 inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Sprinkle each cookie lightly with Demerara sugar.

Bake in preheated oven until flattened and lightly browned on the bottom, approximately 10-12 minutest, switching pans halfway through baking (i.e. top cookie sheet is switched with the bottom cooking sheet). Cool on pans for 8 minutes.

Serve warm either straight out of oven or reheated in the microwave.


January: Herb Breakfast Hashbrowns

# Servings:       10                       Category: Brunch & Breads

Ingredients and Directions

2 1/2 Pound(s) hashbrowns (fresh or frozen)
1/2 Cup(s) onions, finely chopped
1 Clove(s) garlic, minced
1 Cup(s) freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 Cup(s) heavy cream
1 Tablespoon(s) Kosher salt
2 Tablespoon(s) fresh ground pepper
1 Tablespoon(s) chives
1 Tablespoon(s) fresh thyme, chopped

Preheat oven at 350 degrees F. Mix hash browns, onions, garlic, parmesan cheese, heavy cream, salt, pepper, chives, and thyme in a large bowl.  Spread mixture into a buttered 9×13 casserole dish.

Cover and bake 1 hour, then uncover and bake 20-25 minutes.  Serve hot.


February: Best Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

March: Herbed-Roasted Salmon

April: Garlic-Roasted Asparagus