Some women depend on their little black book to cook up something spicy, but in Dallas another color takes the cake. The “Blue Book,” as resident chefs term The Dallas Junior League Cookbook, is now in its sixth printing, and its red-hot recipes are tastier than ever.
First created in 1976 by a team of members with a meager budget, The Dallas Junior League Cookbook has become a hallmark for hosting. The Dallas Junior League introduced its masterpiece at a NorthPark Mall Cookbook Carnival, which drew more than 30,000 people, and the latest version (printed in 2003) retains the hints and old-fashioned recipes that made its first edition so successful.
From salads to sauces, beverages to breads, casseroles to candy, the book includes a section on every “food group” imaginable. Each offers a selection of comfort foods and more creative fare: Curried Chicken Crêpes, Asparagus Soufflé, and Braunschweiger Pâté (made with beef consommé, goose liver, and dill) are just a few examples. The “Beverages” section caters to both drinkers and non-drinkers alike. The Green Lizard, a blend of frozen limeade, vodka, and mint, sounds like an early version of the mojito, while the nonalcoholic Hot Cranberry Punch is Christmas-in-a-mug.
The League also added menus for a “Festive Gathering,”—think New Year’s Eve dinner or lunch on a private jet—and a collection of recipes from “some of Dallas’ finest restaurants.” Plus, the League has supplied a handy list of tips entitled “Things Grandmother Never Told Me.” Who knew that a pinch of baking soda will make mashed potatoes fluffier or that a teaspoon of salt or vinegar in boiling water will keep egg whites from leaking through a cracked shell?
With all this, plus extra sections devoted to food gift-giving for all ages, information on types of wine, and weight and measuring tables, there’s nothing petite about this Junior League production.