Weekend Update: Labor… er… Memorial Day!

Whoa, summer! Slow your roll! I can’t believe it’s already Labor Day and I’m just now getting around to posting about Memorial Day. Dre + I aren’t up to much this holiday weekend so I’m happy to throwback to one of the best BBQs I attended all summer – Jenny C’s White Trash BBQ! I was sort of in “introvert mode” that day so I just laid back, shot some photos, and enjoyed the delicious food into the suburban Jersey night. Of course, I showed up with some solid BBQ staples and was thrilled they were such crowd pleasers. How can you go wrong with deviled eggs and rice krispie treats? You can’t… and I did them oh-so-right!

Chipotle Deviled Eggs FTW

Now let’s take a hot minute to talk about my rice krispie treats. I discovered a super simple way to make them Snap, Krackle, and mother-effing POP like no other rice krispie treat before it. Melt some butter in a sauce pan, melt it some more w. a few swirls of the pan, melt it until it starts to brown but careful enough that it doesn’t burn… and proceed with your usual back-of-the-cereal-box recipe. Brown butter instills a distinct nuttiness that no one can deny. Extra marshmallows are a no brainer, as well, and a sprinkle of sea salt to finish them like a salted caramel doesn’t hurt either. Steal my secrets. Do it. Everyone will love you!

Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats 

See the rest of my Memorial Day photos on my Flickr photostream….
including Gilly Jo’s Grilled Cinnamon Pineapple and the 100ft Slip + Slide!

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!

To Taste: Chipotle Turkey Chili

The weather is getting cold and it couldn’t be a better time for my bi-annual batch of Turkey Chili. Each time, it’s delicious in its own way, but this round may be my best to date! It was smoky & spicy with a hearty texture from the mix of Ground Turkey & Turkey Kielbasa. I topped it with shredded Cheddar and Sour Cream and paired it with Egg Noodles for leftovers.

Chipotle Turkey Chili w/ Cheddar & Sour Cream

Chipotle Turkey Chili

  • Turkey Kielbasa – (1) package cut into half moons
  • 85/15 Ground Turkey – (2)lbs, browned & drained
  • Chili Mix – 1/2 packet of Hot, Medium, 0r Mild
  • Sriracha – a few squirts
  • White Onion – (2) medium, chopped
  • Garlic – (2) T, minced
  • Crushed Tomatoes – (1) large can
  • Chicken Stock – (1) can, low-sodium
  • Black Beans – (1) small can
  • Chipotles in Adobo Sauce – (2) peppers from can, chopped
  • Worcestershire Sauce – (4) heavy dashes
  • Dried Parsley – (1) T
  1. Brown the Ground Turkey in an oiled pan and transfer to Crock-Pot or Dutch Oven.
  2. Saute Onion & Garlic in same pan with a tablespoon of butter until aromatic & translucent.
  3. Combine Onions, Garlic, & remaining ingredients in Crock-Pot or Dutch Oven.
  4. Cook on HIGH 3-5hours or LOW 6-8 hours, stirring occasionally until you can’t resist a bowl!