14 August, 2015  |   Comment

It’s Chili Cook-off Time

A whirlywind week with a chili cookoff to host.
It’s pretty straightforward now.
Just the beans, ma’am.

We do it yearly, nine years to be exact.
Can you believe we’ve been hanging out so long?

Let’s hear it for this year’s all-lady cast of winners!

2015 Chili and Corbread Cook-off Winners!

They each won themselves a sweet hand-painted (thankyouverymuch) safari hat.


If you brought something to enter the competition, you’ll have to sign in. We’ll give you a small cup for voting. You’ll set that up next to your chili. We put out jars of Sharpies on the table so entrants could label their chili right on the table.


Drawing a big circle around your chili can help you clear a little space for your creation. If you brought sides, you can put the sides and the voting cup within your chili circle.

Just here to taste?

Grab a bowl, a spoon and two beans to vote for your favorites.
Get to tasting!


Make your way through the chilis bowl by bowl. This year, we had about 18.


I taste by putting different chilis in one bowl. One year we tried individual tasting cups, but the ladles didn’t work so well with the small opening. By the end of that year’s competition, everyone had chili-hands. The bowl below has 4 different chilis in it.


Then taste, taste, taste.





When you’ve decided on your favorite, leave a bean in the cup and get back to your bocce team! You still have a game to play!
(Sadly, we lost the match to the Paisans.)


When most of the chilis are empty, it’s time to count the beans!


Our awards ceremony is totally solemn and terrible.


Just kidding. It takes 5 minutes and everyone gets back to their game as quick as can be.

Chili up!

29 March, 2015  |   Comment

Meal plan, this week


This week, we were lucky to grill out yesterday. We vastly overestimated how much meat we would eat. We’ll be meating it up over the next few days. We are meatily grateful.

Come meat us for dinner!

8 March, 2015  |   3 Comments

Meal plans, 2 weeks of ’em

Coming up soon, James is taking some time to hang out with his family. I’ll be alone with the girls for many days in a row. I planned our dinners for two weeks at a time instead of one week at a time.

When I write something like the above sentences on the internet, I hear the following clucking concerns in my head after I publish,

“She shouldn’t be telling the internet that.”
“Who in their right mind would be interested in some middle aged mom’s meal plan?”
“Who does she even think she is?”Meal plan, next two weeks

“She shouldn’t be telling the internet that.”
I’ve shared a lot of things on the internet, it has given me deeper friendships than I’ve had in real life. Up until the current iteration of the internet, the benefits of sharing my life online have far outweighed the risks. I’m not sure about today’s internet. I’m still taking the risk.

“Who in their right mind would be interested in some middle aged mom’s meal plan?”
Thankfully, I don’t care much about the second one. I like having a collection of our dinners. Looking back on them reminds me of where we were in our lives when we were eating those dinners (Smug Marrieds! Insuffrable Infant Parents!). And now, while we muddle through the Season of Our Beef Stroganoff.

But Who Do I Think I Am?

Meal plan, next two weeks

That’s the big one.
I’m closing in on the second half of my life and I’m still not sure.
How do you know who you are?

These are the questions I’m trying to answer this week — to get just a little closer to answering Who Do I Think I Am?

1. How do I envision my ideal day? Not with today’s current constraints (kids, pets, debt, fear) but what activities will I be doing from minute to minute?

2. Where does the “ideal me” spend her money and time?

3. How do my current insecurities affect my current relationships?

4.If God is a woman, and she is on my side, what would I ask of Her? What is she asking of me?

5. What brought me joy at eight years old?

Where were we? Oh right, meal plans.
This weekend’s Shamrock Shakes are going to ROCK.


1 March, 2015  |   Comment

Meal Plan, March 1

Meal plan, March 1

What we are eating this most Tahoe week.

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