According to weather forecasts, the strongest snowstorm of the season is on track to move into the Sierra today and we could see the highest snow accumulations for the entire year. Word on the ski lift is that the Farmer’s Almanac predicts 17 feet of snow in Tahoe for February alone.
Snow bunnies, bundle up and get those chains on the car – it’s a ski weekend!
For Lauren’s 25th birthday, we rented a house in Tahoe. Since we had a great kitchen at our disposal, we decided to cook up some hearty make-ahead dishes so we’d be set to enjoy a stress free weekend without eating out at overpriced resort restaurants.
We made the chili the night before so we could just heat it up at the house. Quesadillas were easy peasy – just tortilla wraps with shredded cheddar melted inside. I made them in a skillet (didn’t even have any oil or butter and they came out fine) – you could also pop them on the grill if you have one fired up already.
My chili recipe is a version of Major Cojone’s Chili, courtesy of Steve Conn and Colerain Firefighters Local 3915. After some enthusiastic encouragement, I’m strongly considering joining the California Chili Cookoff Circuit so unfortunately, I cannot divulge some of my secret ingredients.
I will reveal though, for my special Big Ass Pot of Chili (we started using this gigundo pot because if I make any less than epic proportions Hua gets a sad face) I use 2 pounds of applewood smoked bacon, 4 pounds of sausage, and 6 pounds of ground beef. Mmmmm mmmmeat. Also, the longer it simmers, the better it tastes!
Breakfast: Before hitting the slopes we filled our tummies with cheesy scrambled eggs, crispy bacon, fresh fruit, and Baked French Toast.
Baked French Toast is one of my staple dishes for big group brunches. It’s an easy, make-ahead dish that requires little work and few ingredients. *winner*. You can use any type of bread really (Challah, cinnamon-raisin, baguette), but I think I found my new favorite with Texas Toast.
Thick and fluffy, everyone will love this morning treat.
Dessert: On a ski trip, some gooey, chocolatey s’mores action is a must.
This S’mores Brownie Cake was the perfect sweet ending to celebate the birthday girl’s quarter century milestone.
And then of course, after a day of skiing and a cozy home-cooked meal, nothing hits the spot more than enjoying some cold beers in the hot tub under a starry sky.