For seventy years the women of the Junior League of Waco have been serving their community through outreach programs. In their latest cookbook, Simply Serving, the editors show readers ways they too can serve—through great food and good fellowship. The cookbook features menus (“Bright & Early Brunch,” “Let’s Do Lunch,” “Game Day Goodies,” “Backyard Barbecue,” “Enjoy a Little Italy,” “Viva de Mexico,” “Serving Up Supper Club,” and “Dinner Divine”) before launching into its chapters, for the most part divided by courses (“Appetizers & Beverages,” “Main Dishes,” “Desserts”).
Dilly Artichoke Cheese Spread, Quail in Mushroom Sauce, Asparagus Risotto, and Rolled Brisket Pot Roast—these are just a few of the many varied recipes highlighted in Simply Serving. A special heart icon next to some of the recipes denotes those that appeared in the League’s first cookbook, Hearts and Flours, published in 1988. And at the end of the book, there’s a chapter featuring a handful of the best chefs in Central Texas and one or two of their specialties—Camarones à la Mexicana by Sergio Garcia, the owner of El Siete Mares; Bourbon-Cured Pork Chop With Grain Mustard Butter by Soren Pedersen, the executive chef at Ridgewood Country Club; Stacked Shrimp Enchiladas in Roasted Tomatilla Salsa by Vicky and Randall Parker, the owners of Bestyet Catering; and Molasses Sugar Cookies by Loren Lee, the chef-owner of Mirth. In other words, eating out is fun too.
Of note are the blurbs interspersed throughout the cookbook that highlight the many programs and volunteer services that the Junior League of Waco has been involved with, including the Drug Puppets Troup, which presents puppet shows about the dangers of drugs to first graders in McLennan County. Now that’s from the heart.