When two events you’ve been looking forward to for a while (my birthday!! and hosting a chili cookoff) come together as one, it’s nothing but FUN!!
I had seen an article in the Magnolia Journal about hosting a chili cookoff and ever since reading it, I have not been able to get the idea out of my head. The timing just worked out perfectly when Peter was asking me for ideas as to what to do for my birthday. I thought combining the two would be perfect. I actually don’t like the attention on me, so moving the attention to the chili seemed like the perfect idea!
Then, it was off to the races with ideas…my favorite part!! Flowers – in peeled and diced tomato cans. Of course I went to Scarborough Farms for the gorgeous flowers and I just loved Kathy’s excitement when she saw the containers. How perfect are they for Fall?!?
Next, I lined the table up ready for each Crock Pot or Instant Pot. My girlfriend, Melissa, had told me to provide tasting cups and spoons for the competition part of the party. I purchased the tasting cups here and the adorable wooden spoons here. I found the Magee & Co looking dish towels at our local Marshall’s and used those to wrap each pot.
I purchased the chili cookoff scorecard, dish labels and prize cards here.
While preparing for Peter’s birthday dinner on the pier (that post here), I truly wanted to do everything in a way that could EASILY and QUICKLY be duplicated so we could entertain down there often. And, we did!! This particular evening, it was appetizers on the pier. There are so many moments that I loved about this part of the evening – the 5 foot charcuterie board (made by Mike), mulled wine (thank you Xella Wine), music from the boat, the weather, reusing the same fabric and just plain ole good friends and good times!!
Then it was on to the serious business – judging the chili. There were 9 pots of chili!!! And everyone was very serious about their judging. It was so fun and entertaining to sit back and watch as we did not do a pot since we knew how many were being made. Melissa’s suggestion of tasting size bowls was spot on!!
After a very precise and accurate calculation by Erin and Jen…the winners were announced!! Prizes were custom made wooden spoons in varying sizes based on place made by Mike. 3rd place was Tammy!!
2nd place was Les!!
And, 1st place went to Justin!!
Finally, to send the evening off, Peter and Nicole orchestrated a little Happy Birthday to me. I really have the best husband and friends!!
A treat in addition to cake were these chili cookoff themed cookies, done of course by Kathryn. Delicious and beautiful as always!!
And, finally, and maybe my favorite were the chili cookoff themed favors – poopourri and a couple Gas-X tablets. OMG, if you cannot have fun, then why have the party, right?!?!