Family-Style: Jack Frost Ski Patrol Chili Cookoff

I can’t believe in less than a week I went from chillaxin on the beaches of Hawai’i to snowboarding in the Poconos! This past weekend, we had a long-overdue reunion of the Lamberts. My parents, sister, & I met up with my Uncle Jay, Aunt Coleen, and cousins, Parker & Mason, for a day on the slopes of Jack Frost mountain. They’re on the ski patrol, we planned to end the  day at the patrol’s lodge for their annual Mexican Fiesta & Chili Cook-off. We all know I love to cook and have a killer chili recipe, so I certainly couldn’t resist entering the competition!

The Contenders - Front, Right, Stainless Steel = MINE!

In total, there were about 12 different chilis ranging from BBQ to all bean to chicken. My dad contributed a Sweet & Smokey Turkey Chili while I plugged in a crock-pot of my Chipotle Turkey Chili. I was pretty impressed with the perfect balance of flavor & late spice with its added texture from hunks of spicy smoked turkey sausage. It was fun to overhear people’s comments on it (too spicy, not spicy enough, Mmmmm!) as the challenge was somewhat anonymous, but I knew I had a fighting chance when I noticed quite a few people going back for seconds!

The Chili Aftermath

After endless taco dips, margaritas, & Negro Modelos, it was time to announce the winner. And I WON!! The prize was (2) tickets to the Ski Patrol’s end of year dinner, so I, of course, passed that token on to my aunt & uncle. Sunday, I woke up well-rested, beaming with chili pride, and surrounded by the love of family, the delicious smell of bacon & pancakes, & a winter wonderland. I truly couldn’t have asked for more…

Ice Princess

P.S. Beyond feeling accomplished by my chili WIN, I managed to not fall after a 2 year hiatus from snowboarding (sans ugly dismounts from the ski lift just about every time) AND I ice skated on the beautiful glassy lake in front of the house without falling either. Yay for unexpected balance!

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