On the evening of Thursday, Oct. 20, in the quaint smallish to medium sized town of Albany, Or., 3 of the All Recipes Ambassadors representing the West Region got together for a very nice, very upscale dinner party. Our hostess for the evening is the gracious
and generous Candice.
Our out of state guest of honor, was the Grand Dame of AR,
And then there was me. My name is Avon for those of you that don't know me. The other guests in attendance were all AR members, however not Ambassadors. They are, Candice's husband,
and daughter Christine NICU-RN and my own daughter,
Ivon. It's here that I need to apologize to Christine, because I didn't realize until after I got home that I didn't have a picture of her, but I did take one of the gorgeous centerpiece that she provided. It is fall all
wrapped up in pretty flowers.
Marianne was in our beautiful state, and incidentally, the state of her birth to visit friends and family. She and Candice had met prior on several occasions, first in Las Vegas, and again in So. Cal. I had never met her, but like so many relationships that
develop on AR, I felt as though I knew her. When she contacted Candice about coming to visit, Candice went into hyper-overdrive to make everything just so. She called me and of course I was on board. Are you kidding??? Me not meet this beautiful woman??? No
way. Since we were looking to entertain her for one day what could we do to make this memorable? Well as luck would have it, I was unable to take the time off of work during the day to be a part of the afternoon festivities, but I was surely available for
the evening dinner. Candice and Christine put a lot of thought and effort into making the day time event a great and truly, Oregon experience. I won't divulge that part of the day, I'll let Candice tell you about that. But, I will gladly share with you the
Ivon and I arrived at Candice's home around 5:15 in the evening. I came bearing my contributions to dinner. After the initial hugs and more hugs, and the excited raised voices of people that truly like one another, we thought, daylight is burning here...lets
get on with it. The first order of business was to check out the hen house and the garden. How lucky she is to be the proud mama of 9...count them 9 beautiful hens that dutifully provide 9 eggs a day....IN THE CITY LIMITS!
There is just nothing like a fresh egg layed by chickens that have a nice easy life without living in cramped quarters and hand fed treats made especially for them! Orangezest is the gardner, and a master gardner at that. His small enclosed yard had the
most amazing bounty of vegetables started by seed last winter in his makeshift hothouse otherwise known as the garage. He is such a wealth of knowledge, it was fun to tour the grounds with him.
Candice and Orangezest decided that our main course was going to be Ina Garten's recipe for
She had asked me to contribute something to go with.....hmmm....well since buttered egg noodles are traditional, we could do that along with something else, but how boring. And how am I supposed to show off that yes, I deserve the title of Ambassador because
dang it...I can cook! So, after looking that recipe over, I thought that something a little bolder might just be the ticket. I scoured AR for just the right thing and low and behold, it was hiding out in my recipe box and had been for sometime.
Caramelized onion and horseradish smashed potatoes
Wowza....were these ever good! I also brought a Northwest inspired Salad that I must say was just plain delicious.
I used baby spring greens, toasted some hazelnuts (they are grown here you know), cherry infused, dried cranberries, sliced pears, and on the side, blue cheese for those that wanted it. It was dressed with another secret gem that was hiding out in my recipe
box and came out of hiding.
Pear Vinaigrette another keeper and boy, am I glad I found this one. A couple of baguettes, and some really different shortbread cookies (Candice's recipe), but with my own twist of an addition
of finely chopped pineapple mint, and we were set.
In honor of our guest, Candice also made Marianne's signature yummy cupcakes
Sweet Vanilla Cupcakes for dessert. Well not to be outdone, Marianne herself brought some dessert offerings because if you are going to have a formal dinner party, one can never have enough dessert. She brought a fabulous little cookie that has since been
saved to my Recipe box and will be made as part of my holiday offerings;
Drommar and another spectacular one for the chocolate lovers among us, was a chocolate almond biscotti. Sorry that I can't link the recipe because I have no idea which one she used.
A couple of bottles of wine, great food, great conversation, good music, good friends and memories to carry us through til the next time we meet. For Candice, Christine and I that was the 4 days later when we hosted yet another out of state guest. Magnolia
Blossom. More to come with another blog about that adventure, but I believe we have done what an Ambassador is supposed to do, represent an organization in the best possible light and enjoy ourselves in the meantime. I believe that this organization that we
have all come to love would be proud of us.