When it comes to entertaining a crowd during the winter months, potlucks are an easy fix….everyone brings something, so it helps take some of the stress off the hosts. Put a new spin on a potluck dinner party, and host a chili cook-off!
This invitation from Tiny Prints is perfect for our theme! First things first, find out how many couples/families wish to bring a chili. Once you have a few chili’s scheduled, ask the rest of your guests to bring some accompaniments, such as cornbread, a salad, and some desserts. (don’t forget to have toppings for the chili’s too….bowls of shredded cheese, sour cream, oyster crackers will be a welcome addition to the main course)
I went in search of some new chili recipes and found more than I can possibly try making this season. But for those of you that are looking for some delicious recipes…..try a beef and butternut squash chili, black bean chili, chunky two-bean and beef chili, chili en croute, white turkey chili, and my personal favorite, Barefoot Contessa’s chicken chili.
Keep your decorations simple….set up a large buffet table with lots of small bowls and spoons (so people can sample all of the different chili’s). Instead of a big centerpiece, float a bunch of votive candles down the table in between the pots of chili. Carve out peppers (red, yellow, orange and green would be very festive!) and use them to hold your votive candles. To make this cook-off a bit competitive, assign each chili a letter or number. Create a score card for your guests to rank each chili based on their color, texture, aroma, flavor and heat. Rachael Ray Magazine has made that part simple for you, and created a darling scorecard template for you to use. Click here for the download-able template.
A chili cook-off is the perfect activity to do with friends on a cold, Sunday afternoon…. Now, I have told you my favorite recipe, what’s yours?!
Images: party scene, score cards, and pepper votive candles (rachaelraymag.com), invitation (tinyprints.com)