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July is Culinary Arts Month with the Orange County Library System! Plus Interview with Chef Yamira


July is Culinary Arts Month, so what better time to enhance your cooking skills or introduce your young ones to the kitchen. As part of the Summer Reading Program, Orange County Library System is offering several culinary events for youth, adults and the whole family. All programs are being offered virtually – the adventure comes to you. For more information, visit


Rainbow Seafood Stir Fry
Wednesday, July 8, 6:30 p.m.
Ha Roda joins us again for another fantastic cooking event! This time she makes a delicious stir fry from shrimp, calamari, peppers and more!

Summer Pantry Snacks
Wednesday, July 15, 6 p.m.
Watch live as Yamira Lee Johnson, head chef and founder of Breaking Bread with Mira, shows you how to make satisfying summer snacks.

Let’s Do Lunch – Salt and Pepper Shrimp
Thursday, July 16, 12:15 p.m.
Library staff cook a quick lunch for the family. We will be cooking salt and pepper shrimp.

Farm-to-Cup Coffee
Thursday, July 23, 6:30 p.m.
Jarrett Johnson of Lineage Coffee shares with you how he and his team pick the perfect bean, carefully roast it to optimum color and select an ideal brewing method to bring you a delicious cup of coffee.


Cuisine Corner Junior: Pizza Planet Dip
Thursday, July 23, 2 p.m.
Tickle your taste buds with a unique twist on a family favorite as we turn pizza into a delicious dip! Recommended for upper elementary, tweens and teens.

Little Chef: Strawberry Yogurt Parfaits
Thursday, July 23, 1 p.m.
What can you make with strawberries, graham crackers and yogurt? Practice measuring and layering as you follow along with this healthy recipe. Recommended for preschoolers. Registration required.

Cuisine Corner Junior: Wizard Treats!
Friday, July 24, 3 p.m.
Learn to make wizard inspired treats that even muggles can enjoy! Recommended lower elementary.

Summer Snacks: Puppy Chow
Tuesday, July 28, 1 p.m.
Want an easy treat for a summer snack? Learn how to make this salty and sweet snack! Recommended for families.


by Marianne Vitale, Events & Programs Planner
* Originally printed in Books & Beyond magazine

Yamira Lee Johnson is head chef and founder of Breaking Bread with Mira, Inc. and a certified holistic life. Through a longstanding partnership with OCLS, she has conducted many Cuisine Corner programs. This month, customers will have the unique opportunity to learn from her via Instagram Live from her own kitchen. On Wednesday, July 15, 6 p.m watch live as Yamira Lee Johnson, head chef and founder of Breaking Bread with Mira, shows you how to make satisfying summer snacks.

Books & Beyond: What inspired you to start Breaking Bread with Mira?
Chef Yamira: I was inspired to build the while working with community organizations that help underserved individuals, families and veterans enduring life challenges. My vision was to research, prepare and provide resources to help people overcome life challenges and achieve overall health.

What makes you passionate about providing education on eating healthier?
I love sharing content that promotes wellbeing. My passion is fueled by the thought of helping solve a problem that can open the door to make someone’s life better.

You are also a Holistic Life Coach. How does this impact the way you see the role of food in an overall healthy lifestyle?
Since I became a certified holistic life coach to learn how to turn my health and life around, I’m able to understand how challenging it can be to take necessary actions to thrive while adopting wholesome and healthier habits. I believe that as a holistic life coach, I’m able to help others find the breach between their reality and their health and wellness goals.

What is your favorite go to summer snack?
There are plenty of favorite summer snacks for me, the top ones include a lime and chia ‘agua fresca’ and sea salt and honey roasted mixed nuts.

Any tips on how to avoid unhealthy snacking?
Anxiety, boredom and rushing through your day are all triggers that can lead to unhealthy snacking. In addition to not letting myself get so hungry I can’t think straight, here are some other steps I need to be intentional. They help to avoid falling for foods that might be pleasant to my palate, but not so good for my health and wellness goals include:

• Drink 8 ounces of water before having a snack.
• Never go to the grocery store hungry.
• Don’t bring unhealthy snacks in the house. If you are having a treat while out and about, don’t bring leftovers home.
• Choose wholesome, healthier options like dark chocolate, mixed nuts, marinated cherry tomatoes.
• Meal prep your snacks once or twice a week, so they are ready when you get hungry.
• Choose baked or air fried snacks over fried with trans fats.
• Keep a checklist of your health and wellness goals, so tempting snacks are in check. I limit foods and snacks that might trigger inflammation. Reminders of the pain and discomfort endured, keeps me from giving into the temptation.


Wholesome Roasted Mixed Nuts
This easy recipe from Chef Yamira promotes heart health, increases energy and is rich in antioxidants.

2 cups of mixed nuts (pecan, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews, Brazilian nuts, etc.)
1 tsp honey
1 tsp lime juice
1 tsp chia seeds
sea salt and pepper

1. Mix all ingredients and set to dry in the oven at 250 for 15 minutes.
2. Let cool and pack snack bags or containers.

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