JLH in the News

JLH in the News Archives

Junior League of Houston sets beauty (and charity) in motion
Annual Opening Style Show re-focused to benefit Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund and donation drive
September 2017

The show must go on.

And on Friday morning, at the Junior League of Houston, it did indeed.

The volunteer organization's annual Opening Style Show continued as planned – well, almost. This year's theme, "Beauty in Motion," re-focused on "the massive outpouring of support, labor, and love as a result of (Hurricane) Harvey."

"We decided to move forward with this event because the Junior League of Houston is in a position to collectively do so much good for the city," said Sarah Snyder, League president. "(Hurricane) Harvey was an unprecedented weather event for our city and it presented unprecedented challenged for the League. But action was needed quickly and efforts were made to make a difference where possible."

While event attendance and flourishes felt mildly scaled back in light of Hurricane Harvey, a portion of each ticket purchased directly benefit the Junior League's Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, which has raised $49,000 to date.

Additionally, Friday's shindig kicked off a three-week donation drive; toiletry items and beauty products can be dropped off at the Junior League through Oct. 5.

Fady Armanious, creative director of Tootsies, spoke next. He shared fall's biggest trends – power red, patchwork, tea-lengths, embellished heels, and velvet – before a string of Junior League volunteers modeled corresponding looks on stage.

The "Style En Pointe: Beauty in Motion" runway portion of the program included designer Cinq a Sept, Rebecca Taylor, Rag & Bone, Yigal Azrouel, Self Portrait, and more.

Afterwards, lunch-goers feasted on shrimp remoulade, steak salads, and key lime pie; some even enjoyed a flute of bubbly or two.

Come Friday evening, the show will go on – again - at 7 p.m.

Source:September 15, 2017 Houston Chronicle, by Amber Elliott

Unfussy meals with friends
September 2017

In the words of one of my favorite authors, Shauna Niequist, “Hospitality is about love, not about performance,” a philosophy I embrace wholeheartedly.

I may not have the time or ability to prepare gourmet meals, but I love to host a good dinner party. And thankfully, so do our friends.

Gatherings in someone’s home feel more intimate, and the conversations are richer. We are able to linger around the table longer in a relaxed atmosphere. Plus, we don’t have to hire a babysitter as long as there’s a Pack ’n Play and an empty room.

Over the years, my friends and I have really learned our way around each other’s kitchens – where to find the wine openers, serving utensils and water glasses. That kind of comfort among friends makes hosting (and cleanup) even easier.

I like to serve homey, unfussy food: a simple appetizer, a hearty main course, a green salad, a delicious side, and a light but satisfying dessert.

If we’re hosting a large group, I’ll let The Pantry at the Junior League of Houston do the heavy lifting and will pick up the Sliced Beef Tenderloin with Creamed Horseradish and Rolls for the main course along with the Crudités and Fresh Dip for an easy appetizer. The seasoned fresh vegetables are offered with a choice of fresh dill, creamy blue cheese or roasted red pepper dips.

On my way home, I’ll pick up a succulent red fruit Pinot Noir and a rich Napa Cabernet Sauvignon to complement the flavorful tenderloin.

For a fall gathering, I love to serve the Avocado Cucumber Soup with Cilantro. It pairs well with the Arugula, Corn and Tomato Salad. Both recipes can be found in Peace Meals

Then before anyone has left the table, I’ll bring out a platter of Hazelnut Dream Cookies, also from Peace Meals. A ready-plated, no-fuss dessert is a wonderful way to round out the meal.

I hope you’ll consider hosting a dinner party instead of making a restaurant reservation the next time you gather around the table with friends.

To buy a Junior League of Houston cookbook, see jlh.org or call 713-871-6608.

Source:September 1, 2017 The Buzz Magazines, by Jaclyn Luke


Hats on!

August 2017

The Junior League of Houston Sustainer Transfer Club held its annual luncheon in the home of Barbara Isham. The 50 women volunteers were adorned in their “bonnets” while they sipped mint juleps and had tea sandwiches. Co-chairs Cindy Trice and Mary Ann Blalock were joined by Rita Blanchard, Ann Ahuero, Julia Jones, Susan Hewitt, Barbara Grady, Emily Grimm, Diane Strong and Jennie Beckham to admire the view of Buffalo Bayou from the veranda.

Source:August 23, 2017 The Buzz Magazines, by Sharon Albert Brier

Junior League of Houston Gives Back
August 2017

This past Saturday, over 100 Junir League volunteers and employees from Hess Corporation, the League’s Community Sponsor, arrived at the Sawyer Heights Target before store opening hours to assist 100 children with back-to-school shopping. Volunteers participated in Childspree benefiting Child Advocates, Inc.

Children received backpacks filled with school supplies and other necessities to help them transition into the new school year.

From addressing critical issues such as children’s health and education and abuse of women and children, to enhancing the community through cultural enrichment, The Junior League of Houston, Inc.continues to adapt to meet the evolving needs of its membership and the community. The League trains volunteers to be effective in the community well beyond their membership requirements. With 1,400 active members and over 3,000 sustainer members, the League encourages mentorship and development, cultivating a lifetime of civic service for thousands of women. Through the achievements of its members and generous donors, the League will contribute more than $2 million in volunteer time and direct financial support to 38 community projects and other volunteer initiatives in 2017 –2018. The League is able to triple the value of each donation received by pairing it with trained volunteers. For more information, please visit www.jlh.org or call 713.622.4191.

Child Advocates volunteers make a profound difference in the lives of the children they serve. Studies show children served by an advocate volunteer are better able to work with others and to control deviant behavior than children without an advocate. Also, more parents of these children complete counseling services, psychiatric evaluations and drug and alcohol counseling than those without an advocate. With Child Advocates’ help, the cycle of abuse can be broken, allowing these children to become productive adults and loving parents. For more info visit http://www.childadvocates.org 

Source: August 22, 2017, from WestUniversityMoms

JUNIOR LEAGUE OF HOUSTON HELPS SEND CHILDREN BACK TO SCHOOL WITH A SMILE
Child Advocates, Inc. Annual Childspree
August 2017

The Junior League of Houston, Inc., an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers, sponsored and participated in the Childspree benefiting Child Advocates, Inc. on Saturday, August 19.

Over 100 Junior League volunteers and employees from Hess Corporation, the League’s Community Sponsor, arrived before store opening hours to assist 100 children with back-to-school shopping at Target. The participating children, who are in foster care, will be equipped with the gear necessary to get the school year off to a great start. Volunteers from the League and Hess served as personal shoppers to help the children select back-to-school clothes and accompanied them and their guardians to an in-store breakfast party. Children also received backpacks filled with school supplies and other necessities to help them transition into the new school year. At the event, one child enjoyed playing the Connect Four she received in her backpack with Junior League member Autumn Schoen, and said, “I was so excited to go shopping with Ms. Autumn. I love the pink, light-up shoes that I got.”

For almost 30 years, League members have worked with Child Advocates, Inc. in a multitude of capacities, including volunteering for special projects and events, and creating Life Books. The goal is for every child in foster care to have a scrapbook of their life, not only to be used as a therapeutic tool, but often as the only mementos these children have of their biological families. Several League members also volunteer as court appointed special advocates (CASA).

Source: August 19, 2017, JUNIOR LEAGUE OF HOUSTON HELPS SEND CHILDREN BACK TO SCHOOL WITH A SMILE Press Release

Easy weeknight dinners
August 2017

Back-to-school time means it's time to to start thinking about easy weeknight dinners. Find simple, delicious dinner ideas in this month's Cooking Buzz column, such as Tortilla Soup.

Source: August 14, 2017, Morning Buzz from The Buzz Magazines by Courtney Hurst Hoyt

Easy weeknight dinners
August 2017

Cooking Buzz is produced in partnership with the Junior League of Houston.

Back to school draws near, and the lazy days of summer come to a close. This has always been one of my favorite times of year, as I was an eager student who enjoyed the excitement of back to school and shopping for school supplies.

Now as a mother, however, the excitement and busy-ness can mean less time for preparing food for our family. Plus I am always looking for something my picky toddler will try, which can be a challenge. In the heat of a late-Houston summer, any recipes that can be served cool are winners in our house.

A unique choice we’ve tried recently is the Tuna Niçoise Salad from Peace Meals. With a mix of fresh vegetables, potatoes, eggs and tuna, this meal is approachable enough for a small child and delicious and refreshing for an easy, late-summer meal. In fact, my toddler loves picking his bites from the deconstructed platter arrangement.

Another favorite is one I have been making for years, the Tortilla Soup from Stop and Smell the Rosemary. A dear friend made this for us once. It was so delicious we called her to get the recipe. Imagine my surprise that it came from a cookbook I already had on my shelf. Normally, I would not say that a soup is a quick and easy dish to make, but this recipe is just a few steps beyond making basic tacos. Sometimes I use a rotisserie chicken to make it an even quicker meal. It is a great idea to make extra servings; we have it for lunch, bring it to friends, or freeze it for a future meal.

And for me, there is nothing simpler and tastier than a great B.L.T. A Bacon-Lettuce-Tomato dinner is the perfect way to take advantage of the gorgeous tomatoes from the farmers’ market this time of year. Stop and Smell the Rosemary’s Best B.L.T. with Hill Country Basil Mayonnaise takes a simple, classic summer sandwich to new heights with the delicious homemade dressing. It is a breeze to make the mayonnaise over the weekend using basil from our little herb garden. And here’s a tip: You can keep it in the refrigerator for up to a week, making it an easy meal spread for when that busy night pops up later in the week.

Enjoy spending these last few days of summer with your family and friends – and not spending it all in the kitchen.

To buy a Houston Junior League cookbook, see jlh.org or call 713-871-6608.

Source:August 1, 2017 The Buzz Magazines, by Courtney Hurst Hoyt


Celebrating the Fourth
June 2017

Alicia Lee shares delicious recipes, perfect for celebrating the Fourth of July, including some festive dishes from The Junior League of Washington’s Capital Celebrations cookbook.

Source: Morning Buzz from The Buzz Magazines by Alicia Lee

Celebrating the Fourth
June 2017

Cooking Buzz is produced in partnership with the Junior League of Houston, a women’s charitable and education organization founded in 1925.

The Fourth of July always makes me proud. I love our nation’s holiday.

As a girl, I remember spending the entire day in the water. My family went to the lake, or we spent the day at the pool.

As a young professional, I spent more than a decade in Washington, D.C. July Fourth is the big holiday there. I spent the day eating delicious food before we headed to the National Mall to watch fireworks shoot over the Potomac River.

These days, I want to spend precious time with my friends and not in the kitchen, so everything for my celebration is made ahead.

Everyone loves festive, flavorful ice cubes in their water, so I’ll fill the ice bucket with Watermelon Ice from the Houston Junior League Cookbook.

Every party has to have a signature drink, and this holiday calls for the Cherry Mint Limeade from Star of Texas. You can even make the limeade base and allow your friends to create their own limeade flavor by having other fruit for mixing, such as strawberries or blueberries.

The Potomac Pasta Salad from the Junior League of Washington’s Capital Celebrations cookbook reminds me of a fresh Caprese salad. While the recipe calls for bowtie pasta, I like to use Texas-shaped pasta, subtly reminding friends of my home state. (As an aside, Texas-shaped pasta also makes a unique hostess gift, and I usually bring a bag or two when I’m visiting friends.)

Tallahassee Chicken Salad from Houston Junior League Cookbook is an easy make-the-day-ahead dish, going directly into the refrigerator and then out onto the table. I usually swap half the mayonnaise with Greek yogurt. Sometimes, I pick up ready-made chicken salad from The Pantry at the League building, 1811 Briar Oaks Lane. Plate it by lining a platter with greens and spooning the salad on top, no one will know that the chicken salad didn’t come from your kitchen.

The other make-ahead dish I’ll put on the table is the Bean Salad from Houston Junior League Cookbook. This one involves a little chopping, opening cans, and then stirring it all together. Definitely allow the ingredients to marinate overnight, bringing the flavors together.

Fresh-cut watermelon is always a welcome addition to any gathering. I leave a knife next to the watermelon, allowing everyone to cut their own slices. If your friends have a competitive streak, expect a seed-spitting contest.

Everyone knows I love ice cream. I have at least two options. For those with a sweet tooth, the Peach Sherbet from Star of Texas is light and refreshing. The tarty Lemon Ice Cream Sans Machine from Capital Celebrations can be made with or without an ice cream maker, as the recipe title suggests. If you’re feeling ambitious and want a third option, switch out the lemons for limes for lime ice cream.

To buy a Houston Junior League cookbook, see jlh.org or call 713-871-6608.

Source:June 28, 2017 The Buzz Magazines, by Alicia Lee

Cooking Buz
June 2017

Cooking Buzz, a column about cooking and entertaining, is produced in partnership with the Junior League of Houston.

Source: June 13, 2017, Morning Buzz from The Buzz Magazines

Summer block parties
June 2017

These delicious recipes are perfect for a summertime party in the neighborhood. Cooking Buzz is produced in partnership with The Junior League of Houston.

Source: June 2, 2017, Morning Buzz from The Buzz Magazines by Lauren Michelle Williams

Summer block parties
June 2017

Cooking Buzz is produced in partnership with the Junior League of Houston, a women’s charitable and education organization founded in 1925.

Each year, in celebration of the beginning of summer, my neighborhood hosted a huge block party. Families moved grills from the back to the front yard, and each house made favorite summer foods. Parents cooked while kids ran from house to house. Once dinner was ready, the parents walked to neighbors’ houses, trading snack-size portions and plans for the summer.

Many families would cook hot dogs or hamburgers. My family, being the adventurous bunch they are, usually made something a little less traditional.

Our family’s summer grill-outs almost always consisted of more than just an entrée. We had a festive drink, at least one appetizer and dessert. If I were preparing for the block party today, the Summertime Cooler and the Roasted Red Pepper Dip from Stop and Smell the Rosemary would be my choice to start to the meal.

The Summertime Cooler is a refreshing citrus drink that reminds me of a slightly more complex and upscale lemonade. This drink can be prepared without alcohol as a fun drink for the kids, or it can be made with sparkling wine or vodka – also a fun drink for the adults. It is great for cooling down in the summer heat or lightly sipping throughout the evening.

The Roasted Red Pepper Dip is light and airy – perfect for an evening outdoors. Depending on how much heat you would like to add to the Houston evening, you could add extra jalapeños to the recipe. The dip is best served with tortilla chips, or, my preference, assorted uncooked vegetables.

The Grilled Pizzas from Peace Meals are another good choice. Although preparation work is required on a surface other than a grill, the dough and pizza itself are grilled. This recipe is great for large gatherings because it makes four to six pizzas. Guests could make the pizzas to their liking, or the host could feature a variety of favorites.

Then it’s on to Cookies and Cream Cheesecake from Stop and Smell the Rosemary for dessert. One of my favorite desserts is cheesecake, any kind of cheesecake. Oreo Cookies are not far behind, and this dessert pairs the two. The cheesecake is cool but creamy and can easily be sliced into bite-size pieces for serving a larger group.

To buy a Houston Junior League cookbook, see jlh.org or call 713-871- 6608.

Source: The Buzz Magazines, Morning Buzz - Summer block parties by Lauren Michelle Williams

JUNIOR LEAGUE OF HOUSTON ANNOUNCES NEW EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Women-Led, Volunteer Organization Introduces Incoming Leadership for 2017 - 2018
June 2017

The Junior League of Houston, Inc., an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers, recently announced its 2017-2018 Executive Committee and revealed the theme for the year, Make Today Beautiful. The newly selected leaders bring a great deal of experience to the organization.

Incoming Executive Committee of the Junior League of Houston:
• President: Sarah Heck Snyder
• President-Elect: Stephanie “Steph” Lowrey Magers
• Community Vice President: Courtney Hurst Hoyt
• Development Vice President: Mary Lee Hackedorn Wilkens
• Financial Vice President: Melisse Reynolds
• Membership Vice President: Mitra Azodi Woody
• Recording Secretary: Sally Anne Schmidt

The gavel was officially passed on Monday, May 22, 2017, as the Junior League of Houston turned over its executive leadership team and Board of Directors during The President’s Tea, which was held at the River Oaks home of Martha Ann Gregg Snyder, a past president of The Junior League of Houston and mother-in-law of 2017- 2018 president, Sarah Heck Snyder. Members celebrated a successful 2016-2017 year, during which the Junior League of Houston contributed over $2 million in volunteer time and direct financial support to the Houston community. Outgoing President Shannon Beirne Wiesedeppe accepted a sterling silver platter generously donated by Tenenbaum Jewelers as a token of appreciation and support for her leadership over the past year.

Newly minted President Sarah Heck Snyder introduced her theme for the year, “Make Today Beautiful” to remind members to make the most of each today and recognize the beauty in all that the League does. With an emphasis on mentorship this year, members will realize the long-term impact the League’s training program has on its volunteers, the community and the member herself. “Make Today Beautiful” also serves as a representation of how League volunteers touch lives in a beautiful and meaningful way throughout the Houston community. This year, Junior League volunteers will contribute more than 65,000 hours of service through 38 community projects, including partnerships with Texas Children’s Hospital, Child Advocates, Inc., Children’s Museum of Houston, Houston Food Bank, Dress for Success Houston as well as the newly added Project C.U.R.E. The Junior League also offers one of the only free CPR certification courses in the city.

Source: THE JUNIOR LEAGUE OF HOUSTON ANNOUNCES NEW EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Press Release

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