Monday, October 25, 2010

First Annual Chili Cook-off

Doug and I hosted our first annual chili cook-off this past weekend.
The weather was perfect, the company was awesome,
and the chili was yummy!

We spent Saturday prepping our backyard for that night's event. This always includes washing off the extra chairs we have, cleaning up the red tubs that will hold ice and beverages, and moving tables around to my satisfaction ~ Doug is a patient and accommodating husband. :o)
I had these jars and had the idea to make them into candle holders for the tables. I figured if it was a little breezy the candles would be deep enough that the wind wouldn't blow out the flame. I was going to use candy corn, but Carrie had the idea to use beans instead. LOVED the idea! When she got to the party that night and saw the little phrase I'd put on the outside of the jars she was not impressed. "Oh. My. Gosh. Mother. You didn't." Hehe. Yeah. I did.

A friend brought a few ornamental chili plants over early in the day and I tied them up with a piece of burlap to use as centerpieces.

The beverage table. I have an eclectic collection of wine glasses that I've picked up at my local thrift store. I like it that way.

{The lull before the action}

There ended up being 21 of us, and only four pots of chili ~ some of them small pots of chili at that. It was the first time {and it will be the last!} that I felt like my guests may not have had enough to eat. I hadn't made chili myself because I figured there would be a lot of it. Also, I didn't want to be in competition with my guests. {Not that I'm assuming that I would have won, I'm just still not over the embarrassment of having won the black-jack tournament at Doug's 50th birthday party last year. Not cool as the hostess, I thought.} I did provide pans of homemade cornbread, and all the fixings to eat with chili - cheese, onions, sour cream, crackers, and tortilla chips.
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Anyway! The winning chili was really good and the chef reveled after the voting that he had used chorizo and chocolate in the mix. Interesting.
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And a proud mom moment I want to share: Carrie made a really delicious white chili with chicken and white kidney beans. When she dished it up she placed a couple of tortilla chips on top in each of the cups. I had the honor of serving it to our guests and the joy of hearing, "Oh what nice presentation." :o) I wanted to say, "MY KID MADE THAT!" but had to keep my mouth shut. {Yes, I voted for her chili!}
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So, this was our first experience with hosting a chili cook-off and we did have a great time, but there are things we will do differently next year for sure. For sure I'll make a big batch of chili as a back up ~ or we'll order a couple of pizzas if we have to!
>
All in all a great night with some of the wonderful
people we have the honor to call friends and family.

16 comments:

Ruth said...

It looks and sounds like you had the best time! It's one of the things I love most about Blog Land ~ the sharing of each other's lives: the highs and the lows. x

Kirsti said...

Oh My Word....looks like you had a fantabulous time...and you have a pool (jealous or what?!?)...I love chilli...one of my fav things to make!!!...xxx

Mom said...

Love, love, love the centerpieces and decorations! Using beans around the candles--how appropriate is that?!?! Put us down for next year! xo

Sian said...

It sounds like a lot of fun. Your photos are fabulous and yes, I can see how lovely your weather was. Sigh..

Carrie Rosalind said...

My chili totally should have won! :) It was a fun time - can't wait for next year!

debs14 said...

Look how pretty your garden is! Sounds like you had a great evening, and you do know that next year you will all make so much chili that you will be able to feed the whole neighbourhood don't you?! I'm a bit of a newcomer to chili, so if you fancied sharing your recipe, I'd love to hear it!

humel said...

Oh Deb, it sounds fabulous - the presentation is amazing - and I reckon I'd have voted for Carrie's, too xx

tainted with a positive view said...

What a great idea! Makes me want to do my own. My "secret ingredient" for my chili is chocolate chips - everyone raves about it. Now the cat is out of the bag. Your evening looked like a whole lot of fun!

Karen said...

Love your garden and how could Carrie serve anything up that wasn't visually pleasing - she takes after her mum

Amy said...

I can just see myself in your garden by the pool - it is absolutely lovely Deb! The cook off sounds as though it went very well - I am perpetually worried that I don't have enough food ... hence I always seem to over cater. I am sure everyone was well fed and thoroughly enjoyed themselves :-)

Maria Ontiveros said...

Your table is absolutely beautiful!
Rinda

Margaret said...

Sounds like a good time was had by all. And, of course, Carrie's must have been the prettiest by far. And, of course, it should have won.

Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita said...

Sounds like fun! And of course you voted for your girl!! I would have too!

Beverly said...

We hosted one for about five years and had so much fun. I had a red beaded necklace with a huge chili on it that went to the first place winner and a chili bracelet that went to second. They kept them for the year. Love your decorating ideas, it looks glorious :)

Liberty :) said...

wahoo go carrie!! TOTALLY jealous of your pool and your house looks so fab!! Never heard of this idea but sounds like fun!!

Rhona said...

What a fantastic idea, I bet it was a lot of fun! The chorizzo and chocolate addition sounds like an interesting twist! Thanks for sharing your fun evening (and well done to Carrie for a different take on the usual chilli) - now I just wish we lived in your part of the world ;o)

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