Melissa Kaylene: Comfort Zones and Cool Dinners

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Comfort Zones and Cool Dinners

When I began blogging a couple of years ago I had no idea what I was doing, I simply found out that half of all of the websites I frequented were actually blogs - and I thought that was pretty cool. Fast forward to today and I really still couldn't tell you exactly what I'm doing here on my little slice of the online pie, but I can tell you that I must be doing something right because I've never been so excited about life. 

I think that coming from a healthcare background, I'd seen way too much sickness and sadness over the past decade, and it really made me take a step back and think about how precious life truly is - how much I want to actively live my life in as many ways possible and to not let my own insecurities get in the way of it. 

One thing that has happened since I began blogging is the number of amazing opportunities that allows me to try new things - see new places, and taste new foods that I would normally had never of ordered for myself. It has also forced me to jump out of my comfort zone by traveling solo in the unknown, attending events without knowing anyone there, having to talk about myself (which I know seems silly since I write about myself all of the time, but words flow so much easier for me when typed up with images that I choose to share). 

It's been extremely rewarding for me both professionally and personally. I've made several good acquaintances and friends. 

I've had the opportunity to attend several events at Whole Foods Market lately. They do an amazing job here to get community involvement together and really have some fun things going on! Thursday evening I was invited to a Brew Dinner with Fort George Brewery and all of the stars aligned and I was able to attend. I live about 30 miles from Portland, so mileage wise it's not that bad, but the traffic can be nasty at times, and unfortunately Thursday was one of them. It took a total of an hour and forty minutes to travel those 30 miles, and I was stressed out because I was going to be late, and I hate being late. It's like I get a flashback to my childhood, when I had to stand up in front of the class or something and all eyes were on me.

For a moment I thought about not going. I knew I was going to be at least 15 minutes late for the dinner, but I swallowed my anxiety and plunged forward. I couldn't just not show up after I had RSVP'd. 

I was so glad I went

I arrived during the first course and everyone was seated at a community table and I quickly spotted another blogger that I knew - but there were no seats next to her so I snagged one of the three available ones left. I was greeted with an Artisan Cheese Plate and their Quick Wit beer which turned out to be one of the best beers I have ever had. 

As I sat there and introduced myself to a couple of people, two others came in and sat down beside me and I was so relieved that I wasn't the only one late. I was glad that everyone else seemed to be chatting and I happily listened to their stories.

I like hearing others speak.

The second course was a 3-Way IPA with Scallops, greens and beets in a pea puree sauce. I was a little nervous about it (even though the colors were gorgeous!) but I was pleasantly surprised at the flavors when it was all combined.

Next up was Halibut with tomatoes, potatoes, and sherry bacon vinaigrette paired with a glass of Tripel Au Poivre. I am not much of a seafood or fish eater with the exception of smoked salmon, but the halibut was great because it didn't have a fishy flavor and the sherry bacon vinaigrette with the vegetables was delicious.

Lastly for dessert was a Walnut Stout Float. A vegan chocolate cherry ice cream was served and we poured the stout on top of the ice cream to create a grown up treat. It sounded a little odd to me at first, but when they were mixed together I really couldn't even tell I was drinking a beer float.

When the dinner was over we did a little chatting before heading home.

Sometimes by stepping out of our comfort zones we open up a whole new world of opportunities, like cool dinners. It's rumored that the Whole Foods in Portland will be hosting a dinner event every month with a different company to do food and drink pairings. It's open to whomever wants to come, and it was only $25 total. If you live in the Portland area you should check into it. Who knows, maybe we'll both be chatting over a meal someday.


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