I am positively blushing–but excited–about my coverage today in the Orange County Register.
“Orange County Fare: A Culinary Journey Through the California Riviera,” the first cookbook produced by the Junior League of Orange County in more than 20 years, is a finalist in the cookbook category of the 2009 National Best Books Awards sponsored by USA Book News. The book focuses on fresh California-style cuisine – colorful dishes easily mastered by the home cook.
One of the recipes featured is by Rebecca Lacko of Capistrano Beach. Here’s a closer look:
Rebecca Lacko of Capistrano Beach donated her recipe Chicken Sausage Crostini to the Junior League of Orange County’s cookbook, “Orange County Fare: A Culinary Journey Through the California Riviera.”
Q. What was it like to be included in the new Junior League cookbook?
A. I was absolutely flattered to have my recipe appear in the same book with chef Jeff Lavia, chef Jamie Gwen, Richard Nixon, John Stamos and Vanna White. The proceeds from the book directly impact our Orange County neighbors and friends.
Q. What is your recipe?
A. I was pleased to donate my recipe Chicken Sausage Crostini (Page 21) to JLOCC, which devotes its trained volunteers and resources to five community projects focusing on the improvement of the lives of families in our community. The current projects are Orangewood Mentoring Program Activities, Florence Crittenton Services, CHOC Reading Program, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) Emancipated Youth Program, and Orangewood Kinship. Through these projects, JLOCC returns more than $50,000 and gives more than 1,500 volunteer hours to the Orange County community each year.
Q. What is your full-time job?
A. Mother to two young boys, produce a national column on green living, and write for a variety of national publications and Web sites.
Q. What were your career dreams as a kid?
A. I always wanted to be in some creative field – writing, painting or singing, although I can barely carry a tune. I can remember relishing the idea of being able to live anywhere in the world while weaving stories for readers or painting scenes from my adventures on canvas. And I always wanted lots and lots of kids.
Q. When did you become interested in writing about food?
A. I began writing about food and nutrition more than six years ago. It seemed natural and effortless because I am always thinking about eating good food and I want others to join me. I’m also curious about how different kinds of food and spices can heal or provide specific nutrients, and how they grow or earned a peculiar name. Creating and sharing a nutritious meal with friends and family is, in my opinion, a great act of love.
Q. How so?
A. Humankind has been gathering to eat since the dawn of time, and it is a ritual that honors and nourishes everyone at the table. When we can make something that tastes good, fuels the body and is pleasing to the senses, we have in essence, created art. This may seem a lofty perspective on something as routine as eating, but when you stand back and study the process of preparing food and feeding others, there is a lucid beauty to the task.
Q. Why do you think volunteering is important?
A. We all know in our hearts how important social programs are to those in need. Living in close proximity to the ocean, we also are reminded to be good stewards of our environment. However, studies prove volunteering benefits the volunteer the most. When we give, we truly receive. A community can only be as healthy, vibrant and active as its members are willing to make it. As Dr. Albert Schweitzer remarked, “The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.”
“Orange County Fare” is available at http://www.orangecountyfare.com ($29.95), as well as Friday through Sunday at The Christmas Co. at the OC Fair & Event Center (fairgrounds), 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa. For more information, visit http://www.jlocc.org.
ABOUT REBECCA LACKO
Born and raised: Ontario, Canada
Food heroes: chefs Bobby Flay, Alice Waters and Tanya Petrovna
Family: husband, Joseph; two sons, Joseph, 4, and Noah, 2
Favorite quote: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” – Marianne Williamson
Hobbies/spare time: reading, going for walks or hikes, traveling, cooking, painting, yoga and dance, playing with her kids
Motto: “When you look at your troubles from God’s point of view, you realize that everything is working together for good. Meet every circumstance with forgiveness and joy.”
Working on: a fiction book about an Orange County-based family, and beginning the outline for a nonfiction book that will be a series of essays about living by design