Mark latest holiday with ‘River Road’ menu

Photo provided by Junior League of Baton Rouge --Banana Cupcakes With Caramel Icing provide a decadent ending to a winter dinner.
Photo provided by Junior League of Baton Rouge --Banana Cupcakes With Caramel Icing provide a decadent ending to a winter dinner.

The start of a new year doesn’t mean the end of holiday entertaining for south Louisiana residents.

Instead, Carnival season and football bowl games bring a new round of parties. Plus, members of dinner clubs find the winter months are the perfect time to host festive, sit-down meals with more substantial fare.

Many party-givers find planning a menu the most difficult part of entertaining. Members of the Junior League of Baton Rouge’s cookbook committee have solved that problem.

They recently prepared a dinner at the home of Blair Charleville, the cookbook committee’s chairwoman, using a menu that takes advantage of fresh ingredients available at this time of year.

Their recipes, of course, come from the league’s four cookbooks in its “River Road Recipes” series.

Welcome guests with Roasted Red Bell Pepper Dip served with bagel chips and vegetables. The recipe is from “River Road Recipes IV: Warm Welcomes, Entertaining Menus From Our Homes to Yours.”

The league members’ choice for the entree is Fig-Glazed Pork from “River Road Recipes III: A Healthy Collection,” which was originally published in 1994.

A suggested side dish is Baked Pepper-Cheese Squash, a casserole found on Page 75 of “River Road Recipes II: A Second Helping,” first printed in 1976.

For dessert, Banana Cupcakes With Caramel Icing, comes from the original “River Road Recipes” cookbook, published in 1959.