Regina Ellis is a woman driven daily by compassion and moxie. In 1995, Regina’s oldest daughter Alexandra died after a 2 ½ year battle with cancer. Out of those dark days a beacon of hope emerged. Alexandra’s family knew through experience that even the best medical care cannot provide for the many non-medical needs of families with seriously ill children. That same year, with the help of community leaders, the Children’s Cancer Association was born, giving families a compassionate resource for critical needs and innovative programs that bring joy to young hearts. Now in their 15th year, CCA is recognized as a national leader bringing “Joy Rx” to thousands of kids and their families.
What started around Regina’s kitchen table has evolved into an organization serving 11,000 kids, teens and family members in Portland, Oregon and SW Washington each year, while providing educational resources to every children’s hospital in the nation.
When Regina isn’t discovering new and innovative ways to deliver Joy Rx to seriously ill children and families, she can be found at home in her kitchen spending time with her large, boisterous Italian family. Having great-grandparents that immigrated to the United States from Sicily, Regina’s cuisine is strongly influenced by the flavorful spices of that region. Regina is famous for her ability to carry on the Italian heritage through homemade pizza, lasagna and other dishes she learned from her family. Regina is inspired daily by her work, family and food. We’re inspired by her good cooking, and hopefully you will be, too!
Pear Waldorf Salad
local pears, apples, celery, toasted almonds & cranberries tossed with lemon zest, candied ginger & house made mayonnaise
fresh spinach pasta layered with a classic meat ragù of veal and pork, béchamel (white sauce) and parmigiano-reggiano cheese
slow-cooked braised veal shank with aromatic vegetables, white wine & tomatoes, topped with gremolata (parsley, garlic & lemon zest), served on risotto milanese (slow-cooked arborio rice with saffron)
Citrus-Glazed Polenta Cake
cornmeal cake with lemon & orange glaze, served with house made lemon ice cream & berry sauce
Meyer Lemon Cosmopolitan
house-infused meyer lemon vodka, fresh meyer lemon juice, triple sec & cranberry juice, served up