Dessert · Every Day Feasts · Recipes · Uncategorized

Peanut Butter Bars

At last month’s noon and evening General Membership meetings, I was standing in the back next to the most delectable looking and smelling plate of desserts. They were so tempting that when it came time for this blog post, I immediately knew what I was going to make – Peanut Butter Bars from Everyday Feasts! My husband is a sucker for anything with peanut butter and chocolate, so I knew they would be a well received treat! These are perfect served with a nice glass of cold milk. (In a Junior League cup of course!)


For the bars: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Cream the butter, brown sugar and sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy.


Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until blended. Add the flour and oats and mix well.


Spread evenly in a 10 x 15-inch buttered baking pan.


Bake for 25 minutes or until light brown and set in the center. Spread the peanut butter over the warm crust. Let stand until cool.


For the icing: Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa and milk and mix well.


Add the confectioners’ sugar and whisk until smooth. Spread over the cooled peanut butter layer.

Chill, covered, for several hours before serving. Store in the refrigerator. Enjoy!





1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened                            1 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar                                              2 eggs

2 tsps. vanilla extract                                                2 cups flour

1 cup rolled oats                                                           1 ½ cups creamy peanut butter

Chocolate Icing:

¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter                                            6 tbsps. cocoa powder (I used dark!)

½ cup milk                                                                    1 lb. confectioners sugar


Every Day Feasts · Uncategorized

Morning Granola

Morning Granola

Everyday Feasts

Pg. 69

Almonds, toasted oats, and sesame seeds combine to make a healthy and not-too-sweet cereal. For breakfast, it can be topped with yogurt and berries, or you might even find yourself sneaking into this all day long!

5 cups oats (not quick-cooking)

1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/2 cup wheat germ

1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds

1/4 cup sesame seeds

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup light corn syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the oats in a large baking pan for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let stand until cool. Combine the oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, almonds and sesame seeds in a large bowl and mix well. Add the oil, corn syrup, and vanilla and stir until the dry ingredients are coated. Spoon into the baking pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until browned, stirring often. Let stand until cool, stirring occasionally. Serve with cold milk, soy milk, or yogurt and fruit. Store in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag. You may add dried cherries, raisins or your choice of nuts if desired.

Make a double batch to save time!


Dessert · Every Day Feasts · Recipes

Peach Pound Cake

By Kathryn Zahn


The tagline for this recipe, found on page 106 of Everyday Feasts, is “A refreshing fruit-filled twist on a classic recipe” and I couldn’t agree more.  Fruit is grown here year-round and if you just ask around I am certain that most anyone who cooks can direct you to a local farmer’s market.  One of our personal favorites is Parksdale, over in Plant City.  It is well known throughout Central Florida and has even been featured in Food Network Magazine for its Famous Strawberry Shortcake.  The prices are cheap and you never know what you are going to stumble across.  Last summer I bought an entire basket of Georgia peaches (about 25) for $6.99 and towards the end of strawberry season you can pick up a full flat for nearly the same price, maybe higher or maybe even lower.  So what do you do with all of this fruit???…you make pound cake!  You’ll see from the pictures below that this recipe is versatile enough to use any fruit of your liking….Bon Appétit!

Peach Pound Cake (EveryDay Feasts, p. 106)

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 cups eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups chopped peaches

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Grease a 10-inch Bundt pan generously with butter and sprinkle with sugar, shaking out the excess.  Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.  Cream the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add the vanilla and beat well.

Add the flour mixture gradually, beating constantly until blended.  Fold the peaches into the batter, spoon into the prepared Bundt pan.  Bake for 60-70 minutes or until golden brown and a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for 10 minutes.  Invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Every Day Feasts

Corn Chowder

By Kelly Elkins

This corn chowder recipe is the absolute perfect comfort food! I was feeling under the weather so I decided that soup would make me feel better. Since I didn’t have the energy to cook, my husband stepped up to the plate. I was nervous that he didn’t get enough fresh corn cob since the recipe calls for 4 cups of corn, but 4 medium size corn cobs did the job. Since he loves bacon, he decided to add a little more than the 5 strips the recipe called for. I’m glad he did because the extra bacon made it that much more delicious! We decided not to add any chicken or crab meat, but I think we will go this route the next time we make it. It turned out amazing and he told me that it was an easy recipe to make.

Corn Chowder – EveryDay Feasts, pg. 34

5 strips bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 cups chopped onions

2 tablespoons flour

4 cups chicken broth

2 large potatoes, peeled and diced

1 cup half-and-half

4 cups fresh corn

Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the bacon in a large stockpot over low heat until wilted and the fat is rendered. Add the butter and cook until the butter is melted. Add the onions and saute for 10 minutes or until translucent. Add the flour and mix well. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the chicken broth and potatoes. Increase the heat to medium and cook for 10 to 15 minutes or just until the potatoes are tender. Stir in the half-and-half, corn and salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. You may add 1 cup chopped cooked chicken or 1 (8-ounce) container cleaned fresh crabmeat and a dash of Tabasco sauce and cook just until warmed through.

Yield:  6 to 8 servings

Every Day Feasts · Recipes

Macaroni and Cheese with Black Forest Ham

By Kelly Elkins

This recipe is very easy to make! I’m not one to find any joy out of cooking but this was a recipe I will definitely continue to make now that I know how easy it is.

I did make a few changes due to preference and time constraint. Instead of making the garlic oil, to save time I just used regular olive oil. Also, I forgot to buy fresh garlic at the store so instead of running back to the grocery store, I used minced garlic that I had in the fridge.

Next, I decided against the fresh bread crumbs because I had some seasoned bread crumbs in the pantry and thought they would be a quick  alternative. Everything went smoothly without any hiccups. My husband and I enjoyed it so much that we decided to make it as our contribution for Thanksgiving dinner. It was delicious even with the few shortcuts, but I decided next time I make it, I will do everything exactly like the recipe calls for. I can’t imagine how good it will taste then!

This is a moderately easy recipe that even an amateur cook can make with ease.

1 1/2 tablespoons garlic oil

2 large shallots, minced

2 cups milk

2 cups heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

1/8 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

10 roasted garlic cloves, mashed

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

8 ounces (2 cups) shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese

8 ounces (2 cups) cubed Black Forest ham

1 pound bowtie or elbow pasta, cooked al dente

1 cup fresh bread crumbs

1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

3 tablespoons garlic oil

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the shallots and saute for 4 minutes or until tender. Whisk in the milk, cream, thyme, lemon zest and garlic. Simmer over medium heat for 30 minutes or until reduced to 2 3/4 cups, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low. Add 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and the Cheddar cheese gradually, stirring until blended. Add the ham and mix well. Add the pasta and toss to combine. Spoon the mixture into a 9×13-inch baking pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the bread crumbs, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and 3 tablespoons garlic oil in a bowl and mix well. Sprinkle over the prepared dish. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until the mixture is bubbly and the bread crumbs are golden brown. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve immediately.

Ask for Black Forest Ham at the deli counter to be cut into 1-inch slices. Cut into cubes at home.

Yield: 6 servings

Every Day Feasts · Salad

Fresh Carrot Salad

By Kristin Vrana

Fresh Carrot Salad with Almonds

The first recipe that caught my attention as I was browsing through EveryDay Feasts was the Fresh Carrot Salad.  This recipe screamed simple and fresh, which define a good summer recipe in my mind.

Fresh Carrot Salad

1 TBSP White Wine Vinegar

1 TSP Dijon Mustard

1/2 TSP Salt

1/2 Cup Olive Oil

2 LBS Carrots, Grated

1/2 Cup Slivered Almonds, Toasted

Combine the vinegar, mustard and salt in a small bowl and whisk until blended.  Whisk in the olive oil and set aside.  Combine the vinaigrette with the carrots in a large bowl and toss to mix well.  Spoon into a serving dish.  Sprinkle with almonds when ready to serve.

I made a couple tiny modifications in the interest of time, calorie reduction, and my one-person household.  The most notable changes were using the only available bag of shredded carrots (10 oz rather than 16 oz) and reducing the olive oil by 1/4 cup.

After sampling a small portion, I shook the remaining salad in a ziploc and let it marinate as I packed it in a picnic basket to bring with me to Rock The Park.Carrot Marinade

This was my first experience with a carrot and almond combo and I was very impressed!  I would have never thought that carrots and almonds would compliment each other so well.  This recipe was also ideal for a picnic dish because it tasted even better after sitting and all of the ingredients were outdoor temperature friendly.

I passed the salad around as a side and then plopped the rest on a whole wheat pita with homemade hummus and cucumbers as my main course.  The addition of the carrot salad was a game changer and I highly recommend adding this burst of color to your favorite summer sandwich!Carrot Salad on a Wrap

Every Day Feasts · Junior League of Tampa · Pork · Pork Tenderloin · recipe · Recipes

Grilled Honey-Bourbon Pork Tenderloin

By Jaime Brewer

My husband always makes fun of how much I love to eat and cook pork. To me, it’s a great alternative to always eating chicken and while he keeps insisting it’s not the healthiest of meats, I still love it. So, when the opportunity to try a new pork recipe arose, made with honey and bourbon no less, I jumped at the chance. Although I made it on a Sunday, which is usually put aside for slightly more complicated recipes, this is going to become a weeknight “go to recipe” for me because of how easy it was. After gathering all of the necessary ingredients, I went to work on the marinade.

Grilled Pork Ingredients

½ cup chopped onion
½ cup lemon juice
½ cup bourbon
¼ cup honey
¼ cup soy sauce
1 tablespoons minced fresh gingerroot
4 to 5 fresh garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 (12 ounce) pork tenderloins, trimmed
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper

Once I threw all the ingredients in a bowl and gave it a whisk, I was finished. It was that easy! The trickiest part for me was deciding on a side (I chose asparagus and couscous).

Grilled Pork Marinade

I did make one small change, instead of 3 tenderloins, I only made two. I probably could have cut down on the amount of marinade, but I wanted to make sure I had plenty to baste the meat while it was grilling. I let it marinate for roughly two hours.

Pork Marinade

Then, it was off to the grill. It took about 20-25 minutes total to reach to desired 150 degrees.

Grilled Pork

I must say, this pork was one of the juiciest I’ve ever made, and, as I mentioned, I make a lot of pork. I’m not sure if it was the marinade or the basting, but we all agreed it was perfectly moist. I will absolutely make this again and again!

Grilled Honey-Bourbon Pork

Grilled Honey-Bourbon Pork Tenderloin

Cookbooks History · Dave Kempf · Every Day Feasts


By Dave Kempf

When you’re looking for ideas on what to make for supper, you can’t go wrong with EveryDay Feasts. It has a ton of great ideas to get you out of a rut without a lot of fuss. These ladies did a great job as they took up where The Life of the Party left off, putting together a book that we always go back to.

Terrie Dodson was chosen to lead the second title in The Junior League of Tampa Culinary Collection. Since the first book had established the format and design this should be a “piece of cake”, right?  Think again. Following the blockbuster and wildly successful The Life of the Party just two years later proved to be a big challenge. The good news is that Terrie (and her committee) was up to the task.

This committee was more eclectic in nature than the original The Life of the Party team and this presented some decision-making challenges. I remember flying into Tampa on several occasions to meet with this group to serve as a “mediator” of sorts. I don’t mean to say that they didn’t get along, there were simply creative differences that, when all worked out, contributed to producing spectacular cookbook as well.

One of the great things about the Culinary Collection is that it has over 400 total recipes, menus and recipes for parties, everyday fare, all holidays and regional favorites of the Tampa area. EveryDay Feasts was the title chosen for book two and the idea was to share a collection of recipes that were general enough in nature to work for families, both large and small, every day of the year. They chose a pleasing green accent color and the “pineapple” as the icon for their book.

Each book in the series contains approximately 100 recipes; however the task for great recipes to choose from got tougher with each title beginning with EveryDay Feasts because most League members felt they had submitted their BEST recipe for Life of the Party. This proved not to be true as each title is chock full of great dishes.  Again, Kristie Salzer worked with the committee to oversee the food styling and they used the same photographer, Rob Adamo, for a consistent food look.

Another key success ingredient that has been a result of the Culinary Collection is the development of the League leadership through training of their volunteer members. In fact, several chairs of the actual new development or the marketing chair on in between years has moved to a leadership position within the League including several League Presidents.  The League commits 40 members each year to its marketing efforts in addition to an additional 8-10 during new title development years. You see, they treat this as any other special event and it pays off in funds developed and used to improve their community.

Capture the Coast · Cookbooks History · Dave Kempf · Every Day Feasts · Savor the Seasons · The Life of the Party

A Unique Approach and a Lesson In Commitment

By Dave Kempf

A good friend to The Junior League of Tampa, Dave Kempf is also the President of FRP Books, an essential partner in the publication of our cookbooks. He was kind enough to write about the creation of our Culinary Collection in his own blog, and we are happy to share his words with our readers.

This post is going to take place in multiple parts because it is so unique and so personal I don’t want to leave anything out of the story.  Over the last decade I have been privileged to meet and work with some of the “BEST” and most dedicated volunteers in the US.  Along the way I have developed friendships with many of the individuals that will last long after I retire.

In 2001, I noticed that two members from The Junior League of Tampa were attending FRP’s Cookbook University, an annual seminar for those who want to learn more about developing and marketing cookbooks.  I was excited to know that they were thinking about producing a new book.  Little did I realize, the power of long-term relationships, and how important these two ladies, Danielle Welsh and Kristie Salzer would be in both the life of their books, but in my life as well.

We took a short drive from the seminar to my office and they presented me with the challenge of coming up with something that hadn’t been done before in the world of community cookbooks.  The idea I shared with them was a simple one which I had presented unsuccessfully to another prospect: Create a series of smaller books each with its own theme, but with a consistent look and design.

Both Danielle and Kristie loved it and proceeded to “make it happen”. They, along with other leadership within JL Tampa were the creators of The Junior League of Tampa Culinary Collection, a four volume set of cookbooks.  The first three titles have collectively sold approximately 60,000 copies thus far with the fourth and final book coming out in September.

What started out as a rough idea has turned into over $300,000 in profits to better the community of Tampa, FL.

One lesson to be learned from watching this group in action is how important commitment is to a plan.  I can assure you that obstacles presented themselves to this League over the last decade that could have caused others less committed to a plan to throw in the towel and say, “we’ve done enough.” Little events like hurricanes ripping through the state—not once, but several times, is just one example. Or, how about Danielle finalizing the manuscript before sending it off for printing while going into labor? Yes, these ladies were committed.

In the next installment I will share with you some details on each book plus more information about how the League and the community have benefited from this pioneer effort of grit and determination.

Drinks · Every Day Feasts · recipe

Mid-Summer Night Cocktail

JLT Blogger Kristin Vrana shares a recent encounter with one of the stellar drink recipes from Every Day Feasts.

Productivity unexpectedly knocked on my door yesterday afternoon as I was about to head home from work. And by productivity, I mean a text requesting my active presence on Bayshore Boulevard. I said yes, but the second my feet hit the pavement, I instantly wished I had said no. Although four miles in July heat was the purest form of torture, it did initiate a craving for a spectacularly summery cocktail, and for that I am thankful.

At that point, the only thing separating me and the glorious concoction that I spent approximately 60 minutes dreaming about was a quick trip to the market. Or so I thought. A slight feeling of panic came over me when every store within a five mile radius had been swept clean of mint, the obvious star of this thirst-quenching show. Three trips and one phone call later… I was back in business.

Iced Lemonade with Vodka and Mint:

1 cup packed fresh mint, stemmed
2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 10
2 cups good quality vodka
Iced Lemonade with Vodka and Mint
1-1/3 cups sugar
2 lemons, sliced lemons)
½ cup water
Ice cubes
1 liter club soda
Lemon Slices
Mint Sprigs

Combine the sugar, mint, and lemons in a pitcher and mash lightly with the back of a wooden spoon. Let stand for 30 minutes.

Add the lemon juice, vodka, and water and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Chill for 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Strain the lemonade and discard the mint. To serve, fill a tall glass or goblet with ice. Pour the lemonade to fill 1/3 of the glass and top with the club soda. Stir to blend. Garnish with a lemon slice and mint sprig. Yields 8 servings.

I split the recipe in half as eight servings is a little aggressive for a two person Wednesday, and I’m sure glad I did. Between the third guest we invited over, and the slurpability of this delightful drink, finishing all 8 servings would have been a breeze! As each of us finished our last sip, we found ourselves planning a pool party in which we could serve this exact mix. A mid-summer night cocktail that leaves you with the desire for fun in the sun? I’d say that’s perfection.