One of the favorite events of the year, is the Orinda Juniors annual Mug Exchange and holiday party.  This year, the Orinda Juniors got together and not only exchanged mugs, enjoyed a decadent holiday spread of soups, salads and seasonal treat—we also donated holiday gifts for over 25 children from the Bay Area Crisis Nursery and kicked off a new holiday fundraiser!  Inspired by our November meeting at Amphora, we bottled 142 bottles of specialty olive oils and vinegars, including Basil Olive Oil/White Peach Balsamic Vinegar, Herb Olive Oil/Fig Balsamic Vinegar, and Gold Medal Arbequina Olive Oil.  Once bottled, we labelled and packaged them along with some great recipes and then sold them for holiday gift giving.  Our best fundraiser to date!

Our November meeting was held at Amphora Olive Oil in Lafayette.  We had a fantastic turnout learned more about what makes a great olive oil! We sampled a variety of great salad dressing combos, spicy olives, and decadent blood orange brownies!  We also put the finishing touches on our Youth Ink writing contest!

img_3853

Our October new member meeting was a huge success, with many new faces joining us to learn more about the Orinda Juniors and working to decorate pumpkins for the seniors living at the Orinda Senior Village. If you didn’t get a chance to meet them last month, be sure to introduce yourself at our November meeting!

Candi Brooks-William
Chrei Arellano
Jennifer Balducci
Melissa Willingham
Nazia Sheriff
Orsi Teodorovic
Rene Erdem
Sharon Girdlestone
Shihyi Hong

img_4028

Over 20 little goblins came in costume to help deliver pumpkin to the Orinda Senior Village.

 

The Orinda Juniors kicked off our 2016-2017 year in September, with our first meeting with our new board:

President

 Amy Stuffmann

Vice President / Dean

 Katie Walsh

Membership

Leslie Volk

Communications

 Michelle Bea

Treasurer

 Maura Aars

Secretary

 Lisa Siddall

Community Liaison

 Cindy Powell

Social

 Corrie Raphael

Hospitality 

 Leigh Colburn

Helping Hands

 Ignacia Guzman

Youth Ink

 Chantal Valentine

This February, one of our own, Cindy Powell, celebrated her 25th anniversary with the Orinda Juniors.  In honor of this wonderful milestone, a house-full of current and former Orinda Juniors gathered for an evening of delicious wine, tasty treats, and reminiscing with friends old and new.

Jan2016_social

We had our best turn out ever for our January social event at the new Fourth Bore Tap Room and Grill in Orinda. Everyone had a wonderful time getting together to eat, drink and socialize!

Our April meeting featured a night of food and fun. We had a wonderful cooking demonstration with local chef Dan Petek and did some blind taste testing of some of our favorite wines. Dan demonstrated how to make an amazing ahi tuna appetizer, delicious herb-crusted goat cheese salad, a fava bean risotto with lemon and mint pesto, and topped it all off with decadent dark chocolate and sea salt topped bread – it was spectacular!

We ended the evening with laughter, full stomachs, delicious recipes, and great cooking tips (cut goat cheese with dental floss!). What a wonderful way to spend a beautiful Spring evening!

Download the delicious recipes!

Our April meeting featured a night of food and fun. We had a wonderful cooking demonstration with local chef Dan Petek and did some blind taste testing of some of our favorite wines. Dan demonstrated how to make an amazing ahi tuna appetizer, delicious herb-crusted goat cheese salad, a fava bean risotto with lemon and mint pesto, and topped it all off with decadent dark chocolate and sea salt topped bread – it was spectacular! We ended the evening with laughter, full stomachs, delicious recipes, and great cooking tips (cut goat cheese with dental floss!). What a wonderful way to spend a beautiful Spring evening!

For our fundraiser this year, we gathered at Maura’s house to make Cookies in a Jar and Chocolate Sauce. We made about 72 jars of chocolate sauce and 48 jars of cookie mix! We spent our next group meeting decorating the treats and will be selling them at our next meeting. They are wonderful holiday and hostess gifts.

thumb_IMG_5975_1024

The Orinda Juniors had a great time decorating pumpkins at our October meeting. Once we were all done, a small group (along with their children all decked out in their spookiest garb) delivered the pumpkins to an enthusiastic crowd of seniors at the Orinda Senior Village.