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Chilly Days! Chili!

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Saturday was cold. Ok, it was like 62 degrees but it was breezy and I was freezing. We took the kids to the driving range for a bit, and then to the local ice cream stand that was closing for the season, so the combination of being outside and well, cold ice cream made me cold in my bones. I’d already had a hankering for chili, but after the cold afternoon, I was dead set on making it. The problem was that I had never made it before, and I wanted it to be really good, and to not suck. I read a ton of recipes on Saturday night, deemed them all just ok, and decided that I was just going to do my own thing.

I do this with recipes all the time and it drives my family bananas. My mother called me a few weeks ago to ask me for a good recipe to make with chicken thighs. I knew immediately what was good—oven fried chicken—the recipe is on the back of the Bisquick box. Except that I don’t really follow that recipe, only the concept and so, well, I told her just to use the recipe on the box. She found it to be delicious, so it worked out. What was my point? OH! That I can never give anyone a recipe.

So yesterday morning, after church, all 5 of us went to the grocery store. Hub and Bud went to get all of our weekly items, and the girls and I shopped for chili. All the canned tomato products were on sale, and so were organic beans. For a split second, I thought about buying a chili-o seasoning packet, but shook it off and went for spices instead. We came home and I got to work immediately, sautéing onion and garlic, crumbling in the ground beef, and chopping the last of the green pepper from the garden. I combined everything in my crock-pot, and seasoned, tasted and seasoned some more. I was surprised; it actually tasted like chili! I turned the pot on high, and let it go. I taste tested a few times, and each time I was just in awe because I really made chili! And it was good! Not the fooling myself in to thinking it is good because I made it kind of good, but really really good!

Hub is not a chili kind of guy and ate cream of potato soup instead, but he sampled it and deemed it delicious. If not for all the beans, he’d have eaten some too, he told me. And as we were eating he told me to write the recipe down. To remember this one because I’d be pissed if I couldn’t replicate it in the future. Write it down while it is still fresh in my mind. Indeed.

So, here is my chili recipe, of which I am eating seconds of for lunch today, and that I have even packed a container of for my parents because I am so proud of it.


2lbs of ground beef
2 medium sized onions (diced) (ish…I like A LOT of onion in my food)
1 large green pepper (diced)
2-3 cloves of garlic (chopped small)
2 tbsp oil
1 large can (29oz) crushed tomatoes
1 large can (29 oz) tomato sauce
1 can light red kidney beans (do not drain)
1 can dark red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
1 can of pinto beans (drained and rinsed)
2-3 Tbsp Chili Powder
2-3 Tbsp Cumin
A few shakes of paprika
A few shakes of Frank’s Red-hot

1. In a large frying pan sauté onions and garlic in oil until tender
2. Add ground beef to frying pan and crumble; cook until brown.
3. When the beef is nearly brown, stir in green pepper and continue cooking
4. Remove beef mixture from heat and drain
5. In Crockpot combine crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce and beans
6. Add beef and seasonings.
7. Stir very well and taste, adjust as necessary
8. Cook on high in the Crockpot for 3-4 hours
9. Enjoy it! Garnish with taco cheese if you want! Marvel at your greatness.

I think Hub was a bit annoyed with me as I ate my chili, and I kept proclaiming that WOW! I was really good! I really thought it would suck, but it doesn’t.

So yeah, now I have a chili recipe just in time for fall and winter.

8 responses »

  1. Yum, sounds delicious! I've made chili before just using a random Weight Watchers recipe and it turned out great. I guess chili isn't as hard to make as one might think! But your recipe sounds even better than the one I used before.

  2. I do the same thing with recipes. I read about 5-20 and then just do my own thing. lolThey usually turn out…

  3. You inspired me to make chili tonight!

  4. i love chili! i have to make two batches, a bean one and a non-bean one. and i miss you and loves you muchly!

  5. Good for you! Now that I'm grown up, I can finally handle beans in my chili, but I wouldn't touch it with beans as a kid–my mom always made it without beans.I do use a seasoning packet, but I'm not really sure why since I end up adding more random ingredients myself.

  6. 1. I love chili- in the fall and winter, we have it at least once a week, either the regular or the white bean/ground turkey version, which is a bit more complicated with ingredients but is DELICIOUS.2. I never ever use a recipe for chili. It's a little different every time, probably, but at this point I've made it so many times I can always start tasting it and figure out how to fix anything that's not quite right. I feel like I've finally become a real cook, now that there are several dishes I never need cookbooks or recipe cards for!

  7. YUMBO. I love me some chili. I have to say, the best way with leftover chili is to put it into a toasted sandwich with a little cheese. Let it go until it's golden and then top with a little salsa and sour cream. HOLY MOLY ROLY POLY! Love ya. Paprika xxx

  8. I use my mom's recipe. It's versatile and easy to keep the basics on hand.


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