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Chef Tom Talks Turkey to Athletes

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I had the honor today of being a guest chef for the U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Snowboarding’s monthly Olympic athlete cooking demo at the USSA Center of Excellence in Park City. I joined noted USOC chef Adam Korzun and USOC dietician Susie Parker-Simmons for a fabulous session cooking soups and chilis. These sessions the last few months have been very popular with athletes who want to learn more about cooking and doing it from a healthy perspective for their respective sport. Adam cooked up some great chicken stock, then had the athletes use it to make a chicken soup, butternut squash with curry soup and a potato soup. I made my cooking debut with a great new smoky chipotle turkey chili.

Chili comes in many exotic forms, with every conceivable type of meat at its core. Carole has long made a wonderfully simple turkey chili. And skiers savor Deer Valley Resort’s famous turkey chili. It’s a hearty meal often topped with grated cheeses, sour cream and more. But my challenge in presenting a cooking class to athletes of the U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Snowboarding was to be a bit more healthful. So, with a little research and tweaking, I came up with this version of a traditional Food Network recipe to create a healthy, yet hearty, turkey chili. And, it’s extremely simple to make.

Checkout Tom’s Turkey Chili today!

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Karley Ray

We had a wonderful time with granddaughter Karley Ray and son Michael. It was Karley’s first airplane ride and visit to Utah. Check out the video!

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Albion Basin

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Wildflowers wave in the breeze in Albion Basin. (c) 2009 Tom Kelly

We are blessed with stunningly diverse mountain scenery here in Utah. But as powerful as the mountain peaks are at the head of Little Cottonwood Canyon, peace and serenity abound every summer in Albion Basin. Each July as the Alta snowpack melts into rapidly flowing streams, a majestic carpet of color emerges from the ground creating a sea of wildflowers of every conceivable color. The purple lupin stands like fields of lavender, with the blaze red of Indian paint bruch popping through. As you scan the green mountain meadows, you often see a tint of blue maybelle or bright yellow bands of mountain sunflowers. As you hike the single track trail in lower Albion, you are surrounded with a rainbow of color just waving in the breeze. It’s wildflower time in the Wasatch.


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Hollyhock Season

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While it’s always sad when late July rolls around and you start thinking summer is over. It does signal one of our favorite times of year in our yard – hollyhock season. Our first seeds came some years ago from our dear late friend Linda, and my mom. Each was a different color and it was a thrill that first year to see the plants grow and the flowers blossom. Today, we have myriad colors and it changes every year. Our favorite this year is a deep merlot red, plus an assortment of cream, peach, pink and others. Enjoy the slide show of hollyhock season in Silver Creek.


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It’s the Cowboy Way

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It’s the cowboy way! Riders in the Sky perform on Pioneer Day in Layton, UT (Tom Kelly)

We have always loved cowboy bands, and no one does it better than Riders in the Sky. What a wonderful evening it was, under the stars and stormy skies, in the Ed Kenley Ampitheater in Layton, Utah, celebrating Pioneer Days.

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Lavender in the Desert

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Lavender fields stretch on for acres in the shadow of Utah’s Mt. Nebo. (c) 2009 Tom Kelly

It started as a perfectly productive Saturday morning, up early and getting ready for a hike. But a Facebook alert just before departure sent us in another direction – to Mona and a lavender festival. Yes, a festival of the violet herb on a farm south of Provo.

It was just strange enough to try. We didn’t know what to expect. And we had only a vague understanding of where it was. But as we approached the small village north of Nephi on I-15, we were struck with awe. In the midst of the Utah desert were brilliant fields of green set against the lavender hue of millions of small plants. You could almost smell the freshness from the highway.

The sea of lavender stretched to the horizon, with plants all lined up in rows. Children reached down to pick a personal bouquet.

Lavender is a color you would least expect in a desert landscape. And certainly not acres and acres. It was a sight to behold, and a scene we will take in again.

If you get a chance, visit Young Living Lavender Farms.

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Carole picks out a bouquet of lavender. (c) 2009 Tom Kelly

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A young girl sits alone in a field of lavender. (c) 2009 Tom Kelly

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First Car

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Zach is proud of his first car, a 2001 Saturn with 135,000 miles. It runs like a champ. Thanks, Katie!

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Girls Do Moab

The Orange Jeep hit the road – packed to the hilt – as Tumbleweed and Cactus took granddaughters Madeline and Hanna (a.k.a. Sassy 5 and Flying Ninja Bunny) to Moab for a weekend of hiking, Jeeping, Geocaching and swimming. It was the first redrock adventure for the young 12-year-olds.
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