I love my friends. I love chili. I love dogs. So since Saturday night included all of these things, it was naturally a really awesome night.
For months now, me, Robb, Jess and Ryan have been talking about having a chili cookoff. This was after a series of dinners where we repeatedly tried to injure each other with hot peppers. (The last one involved a late-night "hot pepper tasting contest" at our house where I offered Jess a slice of cheese to cool the burn of a Thai pepper, and she grabbed the whole hunk of mozarella and put it in her mouth like a compress.) Alas, Jess and Ryan decided to host, and Ryan made the declaration that his chili would "make us see God." And boy, did it! Like a total jerk, his chili was hands-down the best. Pictured above, it ruled the chili universe with a smoky chipotle burn that hit you right in the middle of your forehead, and creamy cannellinis that were a textural odyssey in beanery.
Six people brought over their special blend of chili (only five shown here...Mo's crockpot had yet to arrive), and about 20 or 30 of us milled about tasting, talking, critiquing, and dodging the four dogs that ran about like banshees. Best of all, every single chili was totally unique. From Jess's green chili with chicken to Tom's pork-and-bacon chili with a nice garlicky kick, not a single chili was the least bit similar.
These two lovebirds tasted every chili together and jotted down the heat and flavor ranking for each one in order to accurately tally their results. I don't think "appearance" was judged here because, as you may have noticed, chili is not attractive. That is why there is only one photo of people eating chili...this is literally the only somewhat attractive photo I have from the night. So from here on out I'm going to stop showing pictures of chili.
Know what else isn't attractive?Close-up shots of Chris and I eating cornbread. Okay, enough of the gross food shots, let's move on to the main event: puppies!!
Everyone, this is Mister. He is Jess and Ryan's new puppy, and he is so small and wobbly with the biggest eyes ever. Absolutely irresistable!
He also moves very quickly, so it's hard to keep him in focus. But look at his big blurry eyes!
He's cute when people pet him.
And Mister even helped Jess tally the results of the chili cook-off. I guess I should mention that Ryan's chili won...by a mile! (Total jerk.) We tied Tom for second. Good for us!
Here's Sugar, who I interrupted mid-snooze.
And here's Sugar wondering how my camera will taste.
I can't remember the name of this dog, but he was so hilarious and moved so quickly, this is all of the documentation I have. With his bucking bronco antics, he was our entertainment for the evening, for sure. He, and all of the other dogs, and the chili, and the awesome friends that is.
Thanks for hosting, Jess and Ryan!