Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Secret of the Cookoff Chili

What a perfectly lovely fall weekend!  So much fun best time ever.  It was exactly the kind of weekend I like to have. 

Friday night, we ordered taco pizza and stayed in.  We were supposed to go to a high school football game, but Oldest Daughter wasn't feeling well, and Youngest Daughter had a sleepover friend, and I had a People magazine and the GD dog and George the Superpet, so I was perfectly happy to park it on the couch in my comfy pants.  Throw in some Whitey's Moosetracks ice cream and call it a win.

Saturday, slept in.  Yee-effing-haw.  Took sleepover friend home, got some overdue cleaning done around the house, and tried a new Starbucks flavor - Salted Caramel Mocha.

It's crack in a cup, people.

Then I put some chicken in a pot and got my game face on - it was time to get to a chili cookoff.  I made my white chicken chili, got some Leinenkugels, and Current Husband and I went to meet the competition.  There were eight pots of chili, tons of corn bread, gallons of cold beverages, a bonfire, games of bags, and a houseful of really lovely people.  Back to the food:

My chili was #1 (in label only) and the other white chicken chili, which was delicious, was #2 and we were in crock pots.  Above is chili #3 on the right, which had no beans, amazing shredded beef straight off the bone, and was fire engine hot.  Chili #4 and chili #5 are the other pots pictured here, but were delicious as well.  The plot thickened.
Photo taken after second Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

Chili #6 is not pictured, and had a secret ingredient of peanut butter.  Yum.  Chili #7 was on the bottom, and had polish sausage in it, and was awesome. Chili #8 is on top, and got my vote for the winner.  It was so damn good.  But it was hard to vote for #8 because ALL of the chili was so damn good.  It was one of those times when you want to keep eating and eating and eating. With sour cream and shredded cheese and little mini corn muffins...

...and coolers of beer!

...and dessert!

The winners were happy (yes, there was a trophy, complete with flames).

The 8th place runners up were happy! 
(You're still a hot dish to me, #8)

It was a perfect fall night.  The bonfire was warm and smelled like fall, and we played bags, which I've never played before (and that was oh so obvious!) and everyone just hung out and talked into the night.  The hosts were terrific, and it made me realize how nice it would be to put a party like this together at my house sometime - just have everyone bring a dish around a theme and some beer.  I'm always so worried about not having enough room in my house, but people WANT to get together, and no one is afraid to sit on other people if the conversation is good.

On Sunday, I slept in again (yahoo!) and got some other things done, and then had my college roommate and her son over for dinner.  I took my cue from the party the night before and made potato soup, chicken tortilla soup, and had leftover white chicken chili and banana bread, and we had a great time.

Good, simple food, a few cold beverages, great fall weather, catching up with good friends and meeting some new ones.  There is no mystery to how to have a good time.  The mystery here, Nancy Drew, is how to get CH's gland expressed.  Because after all that chili, my house smells like The Secret of Where The Dead Animal Is Hidden.


Rhonda said...

i worry about the same thing with get togethers at my house...i need more seating...but when we have had them it's always gone fantastic!

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