Tuesday, August 30, 2016

ACFW Conference 2016 - A Taste Sensation

Hard to believe, but ACFW 2016 is now in the history books. And this time, we have to wait more than a year before we come together again, so savoring the memories is extra important. 

Of course, there was one conference highlight that will not be forgotten anytime soon.
I got to hang with Ruthy!!!! Not near as long as I would have liked to, but still. She is so sweet, so cute and definitely related to the Energizer Buddy.

Another highlight was the Love Inspired dinner on Friday evening. Thirty of us eating, talking, laughing, eating...
What a blast.
And the food? Amazing. Absolutely amazing and very Nashville.

Pimento Croustade.
Pulled Pork Red Potato Skins.
Shrimp and Grit Cakes.
Smoked Chicken Cheddar Biscuits.
Smoked Trout Salad with Fried Green Tomatoes.
Throw in some Catfish Tacos and we're talking down-home goodness with class.
Even the water was pretty.
And the desserts.
Oh, my stars. 
Banana Pudding with Smoked Salted Caramel and Marshmallow Meringue AND Music City Mud Pie with Warm Whisper Cream Caramel.

Of course, no one ever leaves an ACFW Conference hungry and Saturday night's gala is always the high point of our feeding frenzy.
We started with a Green Salad with baby tomato, cucumber, radish, goat cheese, carrot, toasted brioche croutons and an herbed buttermilk dressing.
Followed by an entree of Harissa Spiced Grilled Beef Tenderloin Medallion and Turmeric Roasted Chicken, Cauliflower puree, Baby Squash and Tomato, Toasted Barley Potato Hash and a Black Raisin Shiraz Reduction. 
But the dessert?
Be still my heart.
White Chocolate Bombe, Red Velvet Cake, Whisper Creek Tennessee Sipping Cream. I'm not sure what sipping cream is, but those crumbles are candied nuts, either pistachio or hazelnut. Regardless, they were delicious. And the combination of everything in one bite?
I mean, just look at the inside. 
So smooth and creamy.

Oh, I almost forgot this.
Even the butter took on a Music City flare.

So now it's back to reality. Back to smoothies and tuna. Back to laundry and dishes. But I've returned with a renewed vigor and a quenched spirit. And isn't that what conference is all about?

Were you at ACFW 2016? 
If so, we want to hear about your conference experience?

Mindy Obenhaus lives in Texas with her husband and kids. She's passionate about touching readers with Biblical truths in an entertaining, and sometimes adventurous, manner.

When she’s not writing, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her grandchildren. Learn more at www.MindyObenhaus.com.


  1. The food at conference was fabulous. Every meal was a treat!

    While you were schmoozing with the Love Inspired editors, I was dining with the Baker Publishing peeps at a fabulous restaurant on Music Row. Again, just wonderful!

    And I hate to brag, but I got to hang with Ruthy almost to my heart's delight. She's the perfect roomie!

    But I hear you about getting back to reality...tomorrow. ;)

    1. Rooming with Ruthy. Now that would have been a great gig. Was the Keurig running continuously, Jan? Did she ask for extra K cups? Coffee and small children. The secret behind Ruthy's amazing energy.

      Seriously, she is pretty lovable, isn't she?

      Music Row, huh? Those Baker people know how to do things right. I'm not sure I even saw Music Row. Still, my tummy was happy. Who knew Nashville had such amazing food? Now I really can't wait to go back.

    2. Aw, this is so nice... that's because you guys don't see the snarky New Yorker side as much as my family does, but then their misfortune is to have me around all the time! Yikes for them!!!

      JAN!!! Didn't we have so much fun? I loved being your roomie!!!

      And I didn't use the Keurig once... I'm doing that 12 hour fast thing overnight, so I'd wait for coffee until the coffee shop opened at six... and then we usually met up for coffee around 7:00... My food budget went mostly for coffee, though, I will admit that. The coffee shop had the BEST CARAMEL LATTES I've every had. Way better than Starbucks.

      Who needs food??? :)

    3. Ruthy, you know the Keurig would have been a free cup of coffee, right? Perhaps giving you a little extra money for FOOD. No wonder you're so skinny.

  2. Oh goodie -- I was hoping you'd do a food tour of the Conference. Love the presentation and those desserts....oh mercy! I loved seeing all the pictures on facebook as people posted. Trying to put names to faces. Sigh -- someday I'm going to get me to conference!

    1. Kav, I can't wait for that day! Oh, to get to hug your neck...

      And what's conference without food? A bunch of ornery, starving people, that's what.

      Name badges are out best friends at conference. Gazes always shift from the face to the name badge, then there's that moment of recognition that lights up their face. Simply precious.

  3. I'm sorry I missed all that! Looks like an amazing time. What a banquet spread for the LI dinner!

    1. It really was an incredible spread, Missy. Of course, I just wish you could have been there period, food or no food.

  4. Oh my stars, this all looks marvelous and you put me in this!! Mindo, it was so much fun to hang out with you and see your pretty face! WHY DO YOU NEVER AGE????


    But ageless beauty is a wonderful thing, and didn't we have so stinkin' much fun???? I loved the lobby lurkers, I loved the readers' retreat more than I can say, and I love, love, love Nashville. If it wasn't in the south, I'd move there tomorrow... because I'm such a big baby in the heat. BIG BABY RUTHY.

    It's an affliction of great proportions!

    The conference food looks amazing, and I did not find one thing about the Omni that wasn't wonderful.

    Not one thing.

    Great hotel, great experience, wonderful people!


    1. Never age. Pft. My mirror would beg to differ. But I live you even more for saying that.

      I'm with you on the heat. I am not a fan, but I've learned to deal with it. So long as I have A/C, it's bearable. I can do without those triple-digit temps, though. Those are the days you just stay inside.

      Yes, the Omni was indeed very wonderful. Nashville is a fun city. Did you hear that one lady ran into Blake Shelton and Randy Travis in the lobby Saturday morning? Very cool.

  5. how fun!! I loved seeing all the pics on facebook of everyone's food and all the authors lurking in lobbies. LOL. All these plates look delicious!

    1. Yes, it's a good thing we do so much walking at conference, MJ. Helps wear off all that food.