For the Chimps!


This past Friday evening, Tim and I went to a four course benefit dinner for the Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest held at Sweetpea Baking Company. A lovely group of folks prepared and served about forty diners an amazing meal – perfect for the chillier autumn weather (although it was kinda warm in Portland on Friday!). I have always had a deep fondness for chimpanzees and couldn’t be happier to help support such a wonderful sanctuary. Please check out their website to learn more and to meet some very special chimps (I love Burrito!).

THE MENU (taken from here)

Bread Basket
Mushroom walnut pate, carrot ginger spread, baguette, matzoh, flatbreads

Root Vegetable & Caramelized Figs
Mixed greens, endive, creamy garlic dressing, cilantro pesto drizzle

Butternut Rissoto
Cashew creme, roasted brussel sprouts, toasted hazelnuts

Apple Pie with Peanut Butter Caramel
Homemade vanilla bean ice cream with a creamy coconut cashew almond base

Chimp Benefit 1

Chimp Benefit 2

Chimp Benefit 3

Chimp Benefit 5

Thanks to everybody who helped prepare and serve such a delicious, filling meal!!!

Expansion of Tummy

Communication between my stomach and brain ceased to exist on Friday evening. Or really, I chose to ignore everything except utensils, food, and Tim. We attended the third benefit dinner held at Sweetpea Bakery here in Portland (you can read about our experience at the previous two dinners here, and here). It was a cold, rainy, windy night and this meal provided solace. Thanks once again to Isa, and all the lovely folks who helped prepare, serve, and take care of all 40 diners. I always look forward to the next dinner!

Photos of our meal (descriptions for each course taken from the Apron Activists blog):

Plantain Rice Paper Rolls
Rice noodles, sweet plantains and toasted pumpkin seeds in a fresh rice paper roll with chili dipping sauce

These were amazingly yummy! I could have eaten about twenty or more. I am not usually a spicy savvy person, but the chili dipping sauce that these rolls came with was good enough to eat with a spoon. I didn’t do that, but I should have…

Jamaican Curry With Roti Bread
Sweet potatoes, kidney beans and baby limas in a rich Jamaican spiced coconut curry served with flat bread for dipping

Okay, I love beans, I love curry, and I love this soup. The flat bread was the perfect accompaniment. I nearly licked my bowl clean, but, sigh, I had to keep my manners in tact.

Jerk Tofu And Yucca
Marinated and grilled jerk tofu a green beans served over mashed yucca and topped with a fresh mango salsa

Gorgeous plating, no? This was my first time eating yucca. It was pretty good! I almost stole Tim’s serving of tofu, but he had somebody keeping watch over me:

Meet Creepy Doggy. We made him a fun hat and a paper airplane out of tea bag wrappers. He caused a lot of trouble. At the last benefit dinner, every table had a kitty figurine and we uh, accidentally left ours behind. This time, we were reprimanded (thank you, Jess), and now Creepy Doggy lives with us…

Pumpkin Rum Bread Pudding
A lush and spicy pumpkin bread pudding spiked with rum, served warm with vanilla ice cream

This was when I had to accept defeat with my stomach. I was insanely full after a few bites of this decadent dessert. I ate more than I should have because it was hard to stop (kind of like picking strawberries…). Wow this was yummy.

And if that wasn’t enough, diners left with homemade cookies wrapped up in takeout boxes. Despite a stomach nearly eighty times its normal size, I still ate a cookie when I got back to my apartment. So there. Addiction isn’t a bad thing if it revolves around cookies.

Benefit Dinner

Tonight my boyfriend and I will be attending the benefit dinner for the Let Live NW Animal Rights Conference being held here in Portland at the end of this month. Since we rarely take a night off from cooking, this will be an incredibly special treat, not to mention an opportunity to taste a delicious menu of food prepared by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and several others. I will be taking my camera with the hopes of photographing the food, so check back later! I have decided I will make attempts to swipe other diner’s desserts, but that may not go over very well and I could be asked to leave. We shall see! I will leave you with a photo of a super friendly dragonfly who wishes that he too, could go to the dinner. He’s vegan!