Girls’ Night Out Menu

Last May the Junior League of Louisville sent a team to attend Cookbook University hosted by our new cookbook publisher, FRP.  We met many wonderful Junior League ladies from all across the country that all shared their love of cooking and utilizing cookbook sales to fund their League’s mission.  We were inspired by the Junior League of Tampa and their cookbook collection.  Please enjoy this guest post and Girls’ Night Out menu from Krista Dietrich of the Junior League of Tampa.

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Every group of girlfriends knows how much fun it is to get friends together for a girl’s night. Good food, good friends and some games or a book club are the perfect way to make any long week seem shorter.

The Junior League of Tampa’s Life of the Party cookbook features a fabulous girl’s night menu with some great party tips as well.  The entire award winning Junior League of Tampa Cookbook Collection can be purchased at www.jltampa.org/cookbooks.

Girls’ Night Out


Life of the Party Cookbook, Junior League of Tampa

When the stress of daily life has got you maxed out, there is nothing like a girls’ night out. Bunco and a book club are great ways to stay connected with friends and enjoy good food.

GNO

Menu
Wine Punch
Bunco Jumble
Hot and Spicy Spinach Dip
Party Steak Spiral
Mixed Greens with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Papas Con Mojo
Macadamia Cheesecake

Wine Punch

wine punch

Looking for a different drink to serve at your party? Try this sangria-like punch, which would be a hit at a Bunco or book club gathering.

4 cups Burgundy wine
4 cups blush wine
2 cups chilled orange juice
1 (2-liter) bottle chilled lemon-lime soda
1 (12-ounce) can frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed
Combine the Burgundy wine, blush wine, orange juice, soda and lemonade concentrate in a large container; mix well. Chill until serving time. Pour into a punch bowl to serve.

Yield: 15 to 20 servings

Party Steak Spiral
Roasted sweet red pepper, basil, and prosciutto combine with the steak to create a marvelous dish for entertaining. Slice and fan out on individual plates or a large platter for a buffet.

Marinade
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
¼ teaspoon group pepper

Steak
1 (1 ¼ -pound) flank steak, butterflied
2 roasted red bell peppers, cut into 4 halves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
6 to 8 thin slices prosciutto
24 basil leaves
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Freshly ground pepper to taste

For the marinade, combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, parsley and pepper in a shallow glass dish.

For the steak, add the steak to the marinade. Marinate, covered, in the refrigerator for 2 to 8 hours.

Remove the steak from the marinade to a foil-covered work surface, reserving marinade. Place the bell pepper halves on top of the steak. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon parsley and cover with the prosciutto slices. Arrange the basil leaves in a single layer over the prosciutto. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons parsley and pepper.

Lifting the steak away from the foil, roll tightly from the long side as for a jelly roll. Tie the steak tightly with kitchen string at 2 to 3 inch intervals. Place the steak in a shallow baking dish and pour the reserved marinade over the steak. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes (for medium-rare to medium) or to the desired doneness, basting twice during cooking. Let stand for 15 minutes before slicing.

To serve, cut into ½ inch slices, removing the string as you cut. Arrange on a platter.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Macadamia Cheesecake
A cheesecake that melts in your mouth! The buttery graham cracker crust, rich nuts, and white chocolate can make this addictive. Garnish with additional macadamia nuts, drizzle white chocolate or fresh berries.

Crust
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
½ cup macadamia nuts, chopped
3 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup melted butter

Filling
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
½ cup chopped white chocolate
½ cup chopped macadamia nuts
½ cup chopped white chocolate

For the crust, mix the graham cracker crumbs, macadamia nuts, sugar and butter in a bowl. Press into the bottom and up the side of a 9-inch spring form pan.

For the filling, beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl at a medium speed until creamy and well blended. Add the eggs and beat well. Stir in ½ cut white chocolate. Pour into the prepared crust. Sprinkle the macadamia nuts and ½ cup white chocolate over the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. To reduce the risk of fire, place a piece of aluminum foil or a baking sheet on the bottom rack of the oven to catch any dripping butter. Cool on a wire rack. Chill for at least 3 hours before removing from the pan. Remove the side of the pan and cut into slices to serve.

Yield: 12 servings

Say “I Do” This Valentine’s Day with Our Strawberry Bruschetta [Recipe]

Start off your Valentines dinner by saying “I Do” love you with this wonderful Strawberry Bruschetta.

"I Do" Strawberry Bruschetta Bluegrass Gatherings

Many of you may have sampled this recipe at our September meeting. Also be on the look out for a YouTube video with our very own Lacinda Glover giving a great step by step for the fabulous recipe.

You can get more if these great recipes with our newest cookbook , Bluegrass Gatherings out in March!  Pick up your copy at http://www.juniorleaguelouisville.org

“I do “Strawberry Bruschetta

2 1/2 cup diced strawberries
2 TBS Basil or Mint sliced thin
1/2 cupBalsamic vinegar
1 tsp Sugar
1 loaf Baguette cut into 1/2 inch slices
4 TBS Olive oil

Place bread slices on a baking sheet. Brush both sides lightly with 2 tablespoons olive oil and and bake in a 325 degree oven for 3-5 minutes. Flip slices over and bake for another 3-5 minutes or until lightly toasted.

Meanwhile, combine strawberries and mint or basil in a medium mixing bowl and set aside. In a small sauce pan over medium heat, combine vinegar and sugar and stir until reduced to 1/4 cup. Let vinegar mixture cool then combine with strawberries and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and toss until strawberries are coated. Just before serving, top bread slices with strawberry mixture.

Share and enjoy !

-Pia Posadas-Miller

Perfect Sunday Chili [Recipe]

Beef and Bean Chili with Guacamole

On a cold winter day there’s nothing better than a warm, spicy bowl of hearty chili!  This chili has the perfect amount of spice and flavor and the best part is, it’s easy to make and it doesn’t take a pantry full of ingredients.  You could even put this recipe together when you get home from work and it will be done in time for dinner.  The guacamole adds a perfect freshness and coolness to the warm, meaty chili.  Pair it with your favorite cornbread, I use the one on the Quaker cornmeal container and added jalapenos and cheddar cheese and you have a perfect winter dinner.  (Note: Saturday, Feb 25th is National Chili Day!  Another reason to make this recipe and celebrate)

Beef and Bean Chili with Guacamole
Bluegrass Gatherings pg. 173 

1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 canned chipotle chile plus 2 T of adobo sauce
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 large red onion, finely chopped
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 T chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
pinch of cayenne pepper
2 (15 oz) cans pinto beans drained and rinsed
juice of 1/2 lime
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
kosher salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. Process the black beans, tomatoes, chili and adobo sauce in a food processor until smooth
2. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat or until shimmering.  Add the ground beef and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring and breaking into pieces.  Remove the ground beef with a slotted spoon and put on paper towels to drain.
3. Add the garlic, onion and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and saute for 3 minutes or until tender.
4. Reduce the heat and add the chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper and cook for 20 seconds, stirring in the pinto beans, black bean mixture and ground beef.
5. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring.  Stir in the lime juice and 1/4 cup chopped cilantro.  Season with salt and black pepper.  You may need to add water to the chili if it’s too thick.  Ladle into servicing bowls and top with guacamole and additional cilantro.

Guacamole
1 avocado, chopped
juice of 1/2 lime
1.2 large red onion, finely copped
kosher salt and pepper to taste

Combine ingredients and mix.

You can find this recipe and others to make a complete Soup Night menu in our newest cookbook, Bluegrass Gatherings.  Order your copy today at www.juniorleaguelouisville.org!

-Emily Daniels