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Contest: Junior League of Denver’s newest cookbook (and don’t miss these 4 recipes!)

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The Junior League of Denver (JLD)’s cookbooks have been part of my family since the beginning. Shortly after our wedding, my mother-in-law gifted me with two JLD cookbooks which have become the backbone of what I feed my family for 15 years strong! 

Centennial Celebrations, the JLD’s sixth cookbook, has officially been released. The newest cookbook joins the League’s collection of five other award-winning cookbooks that many regard as a Denver institution. Packed with the colorful flavors of the Centennial State and honoring the League’s 100th anniversary, Centennial Celebrations includes more than 200 thoroughly tested recipes for every season and occasion. The creative menus, recipes and entertaining tips will inspire you to cook, connect and celebrate… Colorado style!

 Centennial Celebrations Chair Mary Beth McErlane explains, “Centennial Celebrations is a treasure trove of recipes that truly reflects how people cook today. Hosting a game day party? The cookbook contains delicious recipes that are easy to throw together with just a few ingredients. Looking for something a little fancier for an anniversary or a special holiday meal? Centennial Celebrations has that too!” said McErlane. “The book also includes photos at iconic locations throughout Denver, including a few nonprofits and historical sites that the League has supported throughout the last 100 years. The book is functional, and also an excellent gift for anyone that has fallen in love with all things Colorado. We are proud and honored to add it to our collection.”

 JLD’s cookbooks have been a Denver staple since Colorado Cache was released in 1978. The League has sold more than 2.1 million books to date, raising nearly $7 million to support the community. JLD is known for creating incredible cookbooks that feature unique triple-tested recipes, as well as mouth-watering recipe photos and Colorado landscape photography. 

We are giving away one of these amazing cookbooks; be sure to enter to win below! But first, enjoy these delicious recipes. 

Grilled Peaches with Whipped Ricotta Fig Toast

4 medium peaches, pitted and cut into halves
2 1⁄2 tablespoons honey
1⁄2 cup ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons fig spread
16 slices French bread, toasted
1⁄8 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Preheat the grill to medium. Drizzle the peach halves with the honey. Arrange cut sides down on the grill. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes or until grill marks appear. Remove to a cutting board. Cut into slices.

Combine the ricotta cheese and fig spread in a food processor. Process until smooth and creamy. Spread equal portions of the cheese mixture over each toast and top with a peach slice. Sprinkle with the sea salt and mint. Drizzle with additional honey if desired.

Picnic Skewers

1 cup balsamic vinegar
1⁄4 cup honey
4 ounces feta cheese, cut into 12 (1⁄2-inch) cubes
12 mint leaves
12 (1-inch) cubes seedless watermelon

36 cocktail skewers

4 ounces Brie cheese, cut into 12 (1⁄2-inch) cubes or wedges
12 basil leaves
12 blackberries
12 (1-inch) cubes honeydew melon
6 slices prosciutto, cut lengthwise into halves
12 small fresh mozzarella balls
12 (1-inch) cubes cantaloupe

Combine the balsamic vinegar and honey in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to low. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until the mixture coats the back of a spoon and is reduced to about ½ cup, stirring frequently.

Thread a feta cheese cube, a mint leaf and a watermelon cube on each of 12 cocktail skewers, arranging on a plate. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the balsamic reduction.

Thread a wedge of Brie cheese, a folded basil leaf and a blackberry on each of 12 skewers, arranging on a plate. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the balsamic reduction.

Thread a honeydew cube, a piece of prosciutto folded accordion style, a mozzarella ball and a cantaloupe cube on each of 12 cocktail skewers, arranging on a plate. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the balsamic reduction.

Citrus-Marinated Olives

1 cup pitted kalamata olives and/or green olives
1⁄4 cup fresh orange juice
1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons matchstick-cut orange, lemon and/or lime peel
2 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
1⁄2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
Salt to taste

Combine the olives, orange juice, olive oil, citrus peel and garlic in a small bowl and mix well. Season with the red pepper flakes and salt. Chill, covered, for 8 to 12 hours or up to 4 days.

Marinated Mushrooms with Lemon

Juice and grated zest of 1 medium lemon
4 to 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pint button mushrooms
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

Combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl and mix well. Wipe the mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Trim any tough stems. Cut the mushrooms into halves (or quarters if large).

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms. Cook for 10 minutes or until most of the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated, stirring occasionally. Spoon into the lemon juice mixture and mix well. Chill, covered, for 5 hours or up to several days. Stir the mushroom mixture and sprinkle with the parsley just before serving.


We’re giving away a Centennial Celebrations cookbook. You may enter as many as five times below.

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Amber Johnson
Author: Amber Johnson

Amber is the founder and editor of Mile High Mamas, travel writer and former columnist for The Denver Post. She is a passionate community builder and loves the outdoors. She has two awesome teens and is happily married to a man obsessed with growing The Great Pumpkin.

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