Nothing can cut through the chill of a fall day like a warm bowl of chili. Just the smell of the ingredients bubbling together on the stove-top makes me feel toasty. For me, it always conjures up images of kicking back for the day, watching football, and hanging out with family and friends. It seems that every family has its own "world famous" chili recipe. A recipe that simply can't be beat. Well, since many of our friends are always talking up their chili, Ted and I decided to put the recipes to the test. Last weekend, we hosted our 1st annual Uelk's lodge chili cook-off.
As my hubby and close friends will tell you, I have a bit of a competitive side when it comes to games and sports. So, even though we were hosting the event, I was ready to kick some serious butt with our chili recipe. We invited several couples over and told them to bring their best pot of chili. I definitely had fun getting my "Giada" on for the party. I made corn bread muffins, bite-size peanut butter cheesecakes and hot apple cider with rum to go along with our little feast. Red, yellow, and orange cored-out peppers stuffed with votive candles and chili toppings were also used to brighten up the kitchen. Once all our guests had arrived, we handed out slips of paper for voting and dished out the chili in small cups with numbers. The blind taste test was fun and generated plenty of great, humorous feedback during the voting!
In the end, our recipe did not win the top prize. Our chili was a little too spicy for folks. (Described as "face-melting"!) The trophy (that was made especially for the event) went to a couple whose chili was a crowd-pleasing mix of all the right ingredients. Still, we had a blast having some adult time with friends and trying all their amazing family recipes. This will definitely be an annual event for us in the future. So, if you're looking for a fun, fall idea....start cooking! I always love to try new recipes. If any of you moms or dads out there have any good recipes (chili included), send them my way!