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Mr. Elk

Photo courtesy of griffithimaging.com

For the last post of the week, I have another fun wildlife story to tell and Howard family photos to share. Plus a recipe for chicken tacos is thrown in for good measure. Rest assured, more wedding recipes will be posted next week along with beautiful photos of the gorgeous couple.

Late on Friday afternoon, while in the kitchen alone, another visitor came by. This majestic elk. He didn’t seem to care about the food, he was just walking by. No harm, no foul.

Paul and Kim’s fabulous four.  Photo courtesy of griffithimaging.com

Fast forward to Saturday. Kim had hired three servers for me for Saturday night, two women and a man. They were all in their late 20’s.

While the ceremony was happening on the hill above the kitchen, the four of us were busy loading my car to take down the hill to the reception site, which was in front of the three camping cabins on level ground.

First, we loaded up the signature cocktail mixtures, a huge stock pot full of boiling water that would be used to fill the seven chafing dishes, along with the nearly four-foot-long Harmony Board I created for the appetizer/cocktail start of the reception. As you might imagine, it was slow and steady driving down the hill with the boiling water in the front, between the male server’s feet, and the fully assembled Harmony Board in the back.

Photo courtesy of griffithimaging.com

Chanté had a long table set out in front of the “Bar Cabin” for me to place the board on.

It was on the far edge of that area and just behind it were two pine trees that had a curtain of twinkle lights strung between them. I was busy setting up the board while the servers unloaded the cocktail mixtures and filled the chafing dishes with boiling water.

Photo courtesy of griffithimaging.com

We were just about to hop back in my car and go up the hill to load all the taco bar food when one of the band members, who was on the porch of the cabin next to the Bar Cabin, alerted us to the elk.

The same elk that I had seen the day before was now standing on the other side of the curtain of twinkle lights between the two pine trees with his eyes dead set on my Harmony Board!

I instructed the male server to stay behind to guard the food and reception area. I was too busy to ask how that went or how he scared him off but it easily could have been one of those horrible wedding stories that get told over and over … “Yeah, remember that time when the huge elk destroyed the food at our wedding reception.”

Photo courtesy of griffithimaging.com

Grilled Chicken Tacos


  • 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 ½ tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 ½ tablespoons chipotle chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 pounds boneless chicken thighs (with skin on if you can find them, otherwise skinless is fine)
  • 24 small white corn tortillas, warmed on a skillet

Combine all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and transfer to a large Ziploc bag. Add the chicken thighs and seal the bag. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.

Preheat the grill over medium-high heat. Oil the grill grates. Remove chicken from marinade and place on hot grill.

Cook for about 8 minutes on each side, flipping once, or until the thickest part of the chicken thigh registers 165 degrees.

Transfer to a cutting board and allow to rest and cool for at least 10 minutes before removing and discarding the skin and then chopping thighs into small pieces. Fill warmed tortilla with chicken and serve.

Makes 24

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1 Betsy { 06.22.18 at 7:24 AM }

You are amazing

2 Anne { 06.22.18 at 8:38 AM }

Beautiful family photo!!

3 Shirley { 06.22.18 at 2:17 PM }

Beautiful family on a beautiful day! Congrats to all. Linda you did it!

4 Linda Hopkins { 06.22.18 at 5:47 PM }

Thank you all for your sweet and supportive words. It was my honor and joy to be apart of this wonderful weekend.

5 Patti { 06.22.18 at 6:10 PM }

I know I keep saying you are amazing, but you truly are! Wedding weekend sounds beautiful and delicious!

6 Marissa Sandell { 06.23.18 at 1:47 PM }

The Harmony Board is so beautiful!

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