Stand Up For Girls: September 2014

  JLL Sept14 2The JLL Stand Up for Girls Committee kicked off the year with an event on September 17, 2014, held at the Maryhurst campus. The theme for the evening was “back-to school” and had about 12 young Maryhurst women in attendance and their staff. They enjoyed healthy snacks and drinks while learning about the nutritional benefits of their meals. The JLL committee members supplied fun games covering different subjects that would be covered in the classroom such as math, geography, history and gym. The girls engaged well and shared lots of good laughter over the different answers offered during the games. Each participant also received a fun bag including pens, markers, pencils, erasers, lip-balm, and colorful pony tail holders – all great supplies for the coming year in school. To continue the theme, girls each decorated a notebook and a pencil case with stickers and markers to have as keepsakes from the activity. The night ended with a powerful exercise: all girls had to go around the table and disclose something they want to learn more of in school in the coming year and something special about themselves.

JLL Sept14 3

“The girls really opened up to us during this activity,” said Raluca Loher, committee member. “They were specific about what they thought made each one special and we celebrated with them. Also during this session, we received many heartfelt thanks and handshakes from the young women who all wanted to know when we would be returning to spend more time with them at Maryhurst. I think all JLL members there would agree that it was a great moment receiving acknowledgement that our time is appreciated and that we make a difference.”

The committee plans monthly events between the months of September and May. Each month’s activity is planned by the eight members, with one member being the month’s lead coordinator. The September activity was under the leadership of member Alina Klimkina, who also serves as committee co-chair. Six of the members were in attendance on September 17 to help with the festivities and interact with the Maryhurst teens.

JLL Sept14 1

Committee members:

Chair: Alina Klimkina 

Chair: Lorie Nicols 

Ashley Alexander Hadley 

Courtney Hunt 

Lauren Langley 

Raluca Loher 

Janal Prybys 

Meredith Smith

Featured Project: Stand Up for Girls

Respectfully submitted by Erin Herndon

In January, the Stand Up for Girls committee traveled to one of Maryhurst’s off-campus facilities, the Treasure Home. This facility is for young women transitioning out of Maryhurst; it offers a high degree of structure and support. The program at Treasure Home emphasizes independence from the institutional setting by teaching activities of daily living, use of community resources, participation in community services and pre-employment skills.

With this group of young ladies, we made fleece tie-knot blankets for them to keep in their rooms. There were twelve ladies that participated in the activity. They were able to pick the color blanket they wanted to work on and the committee helped the ladies complete the blanket. The young ladies loved the craft and were excited to use their blankets!


JLL Committee Members: Kristi Culpepper, Raluca Loher, Alina Klimkina, Erin Herndon, Lauren Langley, Courtney Hunt, Fay Kleban, and Kelly Anderson. Lorie Nichols was not pictured.
In February, the Stand Up for Girls committee was back in action at the Maryhurst campus. Inspired by the Membership Enhancement event, decorating cookies with Maggie Hoy, we decided to decorate Valentine’s cookies with the young ladies. Maggie Hoy was nice enough to join us and lend her expertise. The young ladies had so much fun; they enjoyed eating the icing more than anything.

To learn more about Maryhurst and the Stand Up for Girls program, click here.

Bluegrass Gatherings Parties!

What could be a better way to prep for another dreary winter weekend than checking out the Junior League of Louisville blog? How about learning great recipes, courtesy of Bluegrass Gatherings, that you can make while you are rain/sleet/ice/snowed-in to keep you warm and happy!

As part of a contest for JLL members to win a cookbook credit, the Cookbook Committee asked members to share some of the recipes they made from our newest cookbook, Bluegrass Gatherings.

Caroline Wheat was one of the lucky winners! Caroline Wheat got together with her friend, Maggie Heely, to host a potluck brunch. Caroline made the Bourbon Bacon and Cheese Grits. Caroline stated both dishes were easy to make and were a hit at the brunch. Everyone raved about the grits. She has even made the grits a few more times and has made it her “go-to” breakfast party dish.

Here is a teaser recipe for the Bluegrass Bourbon Maple Bacon:
3 ingredients: ½ cup maple syrup, 1 tablespoon Kentucky Bourbon and 2 pounds of thick cut bacon
This serves 6 to 8:
Mix the maple syrup and bourbon in a bowl. Line a shallow baking pan with foil or baking parchment. Place a stainless steel baking rack in the pan. Arrange the bacon slices on the rack in a single layer, Brush the bacon with the maple syrup mixture. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until the bacon begins to brown. Brush the bacon with the maple syrup mixture again and bake for 3-5 minutes longer.


Laura Crahan hosted a dinner party and made the Pear and Blue Cheese Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette and Sage Sausage Minestrone.


That soup looks hearty, delicious and perfect for all the cold weather we had. Laura said she had trouble finding sage sausage and substituted regular sausage instead. All her guests mentioned it still tasted great. Perhaps adding some sage herbs to the soup would amp up the flavor as well when using regular sausage.

Did you know? Bluegrass Gatherings is Official Cookbook of the 2014 Kentucky Derby Festival. Be sure to check back here for more information about our sponsorship as we go through this Derby season.

If you are interested in purchasing any of JLL’s fine cookbooks, check out the League’s website, or contact a member!

Happy Holiday Entertaining

Respectfully submitted by League member Liz Bornwasser

‘Tis the season to be jolly.  Fa la la la la!  La la la la!  The holiday season is in its home stretch, so this week’s entry perfectly highlights the entertaining foods and drinks in Bluegrass Gatherings. I took both the Buffalo and Blue Meatballs and the Sidelined Cider to a party and received rave reviews.  Perfect for your next festive occasion or even just a more relaxed night at home.

Buffalo and Blue Meatballs

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/3 cup hot red pepper sauce
1 pound ground chicken, preferably thighs
1 egg
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1 cup soft bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cool an 8×8-inch baking dish evenly with the vegetable oil.  Melt the butter in a small saucepan.  Cook over low heat until hot, stirring constantly.  Remove from the heat and cool completely.  Combine the chicken, egg, celery, bread crumbs, celery salt, paprika, salt, and hot sauce mixture in a bowl and mix well with clean hands.  Chill for 30 minutes.  Shape the mixture into 1-inch balls and fit snugly into the prepared baking dish.  Bake in a preheated 450-degree oven for 20 minutes or until firm and cooked through.  Cool for 5 minutes before serving with the blue cheese dipping sauce.
Serves 6


Liz’s Tips:  Soft bread crumbs are made by running bread through a food processor.  Add extra hot sauce for more heat.  You may also serve the meatballs with store-bought ranch dressing or blue cheese dressing.

Sidelined Cider

4 (12-ounce) bottles lager, chilled
1 (25-ounce) bottle sparkling apple cider, chilled
1 cup cranberry juice

Pour the beer into a pitcher slowly.  Add the sparkling cider and the cranberry juice gradually.  Pour into frosted glasses and serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6


Liz’s Tip:  For a more festive drink or different flavor, you may use 1 bottle of dry white wine or champagne instead of the beer.

Interested in learning more about the League or wanting to purchase Bluegrass Gatherings, or one of the League’s other wonderful cookbooks? Contact a League member or check out the JLL website.

Bluegrass Gatherings, awarded “Best Cookbook” in two categories by USA Book News

Bluegrass Gatherings Cover Front
LOUISVILLE, KY (November 2013) — The Junior League of Louisville’s (JLL) cookbook, Bluegrass Gatherings: Entertaining through Kentucky’s Seasons, was recently named “Best Cookbook: General” and “Best Cookbook: Regional” by the 2013 USA Best Book Awards.

The annual Best Book Awards, hosted by USA Books News, recognizes titles from all areas of the publishing industry—mainstream, independent, and self-published. Entries are judged on design, content, and overall appeal. As a winner, Bluegrass Gatherings will receive a ten-month book listing on, national media and industry exposure, promotion on social media sites, and the honor of being an award-winning title.
Bluegrass Gatherings—the official cookbook of the 2014 Kentucky Derby Festival—
is a seasonal, menu-based cookbook that features fresh, local ingredients. It includes recipes from celebrated Louisville chefs and restaurants, a wine pairing guide, highlights of local farms and events, entertaining tips, and a Kentucky produce buying guide. It also includes photography of 20-plus recipes and scenes from around the Commonwealth.

100% of the proceeds from cookbook sales support JLL’s mission of promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. You can support the JLL’s mission by purchasing a copy of Bluegrass Gatherings.

Founded in 1921, JLL is dedicated to the betterment of women, children, and families through volunteerism and leadership training. League members contribute countless hours of community service, and influence thousands of lives, through numerous hands-on projects every year. For more information about JLL and its charitable initiatives, visit the League’s website.

My Old Kentucky Cooking

Respectfully submitted by League member Liz Bornwasser


During this League year (2013-2014), I’m going to take you on a culinary adventure through JLL’s newest and greatest cookbook, Bluegrass Gatherings. I hope you will find inspiration and maybe some motivation to step outside your cooking comfort zone and try these new recipes especially as the holidays approach.

One of my favorite ways to cook is with bourbon and beer, so when I found these two recipes in Bluegrass Gatherings, I had to try the Bourbon-Spiced Pecans and the Beer Cheese. Do not let the recipes fool you. They are surprisingly easy to make, and once you do, I am confident they will become some of your go-to entertaining recipes. They certainly were a hit at the Nominating Committee meeting!


Bourbon-Spiced Pecans

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
2 cups pecan halves
1/4 cup Kentucky bourbon
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon chopped dried rosemary
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the pecans and sauté for 5 minutes or until lightly toasted. Stir in the bourbon. Stir in the brown sugar, rosemary, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Cook until the pecans are cooked, stirring constantly. Spread the pecans evenly on a baking sheet. Cool completely, stirring occasionally to break apart the pecans.

Serves 16.

Liz’s Tip: To save on time while the nuts are cooking, mix all of dry seasonings together before adding to the nuts.

Beer Cheese

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup lager
1 cup cream
8 ounces Gouda cheese, shredded
Salt to taste

Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Whisk in the flour. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Mix the beer and cream in a stainless steel saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat. Whisk into the flour mixture 1 teaspoon at a time and cook to desired thickness, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat. Add the cheese, a small amount at a time, stirring until the cheese is melted before adding more cheese. Season with salt and pour into a serving bowl. Serve with baguette slices for dipping.

Note: If the dip seems to thick, thin with a small amount of beer or cream.

Serves 12.

Chef Brian Morgan, Eiderdown

Liz’s Tips: Be very careful when the beer and cream start to boil. If you have any doubt that it might be boiling, go ahead and remove from heat before it boils over and makes a big mess. I used 1/2 1000 day aged Gouda and 1/2 smoked Gouda, but you could probably use any cheese you want. However, Gouda is a great cheese because it is somewhat sweet and melts easily. Lastly, the recipe made as is will end up with the consistency of a spread and not a dip. If you want a thinner, more dip-like consistency, use the entire bottle of beer and entire pint of cream. As you can see, I also kept mine in a crockpot for serving warm.

Contact a member or visit to order Bluegrass Gatherings or any of JLL’s other cookbooks.

Help us build an All-Star Team of JLLers on Thursday, August 1st


Empty space on your calendar on Thursday, August 1st? Are you a current League member who has been trying for a while to convince some of your friends to join but they have not taken the plunge? Or, are you someone who has heard about the Junior League of Louisville (JLL) but are unsure of what JLL is and what YOU can do to be a part of it?

How about grabbing a couple of your favorite lady friends and head to the Fall recruitment reception being held on August 1st in the Kosair Community Room at Kosair Charities (982 Eastern Parkway, Louisville, KY 40217) from 7pm-9pm EDT.

If you are already a League member, you should be well versed in what Junior League is all about; however, this event also provides a wonderful and welcoming platform for you to learn more and ask questions.

If you are not currently a member, how do you know if the League may be something well suited for you?

The Junior League of Louisville is for women interested in improving the community by promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. To join, she must be at least 22 years of age and be a resident of the Greater Louisville area.