It seems as though the past few months have gone by SO quickly. Ever since the girls’ birthday party in September it has been one big blur. The fall is jam-packed with everything back-to-school and then birthdays and then we roll right into the holidays. And somewhere along the way, the weather turns chilly and grey and summer seems as though it’s a lifetime away.
We were fortunate to return from Punta Cana to (very temporary) weather in the 50’s. It made the long, long, LONG wait for our shuttle standing outside at O’Hare, sans coat, slightly more bearable. We knew that after a few Thanksgiving get togethers and travel, we would be in dire need of a weekend at home to recover and do all the things before it was back to the grind come Monday.
What topped the to-do list? LAUNDRY. After unpacking, of course. Grocery shopping. Christmas decorating. Christmas card stuffing and addressing. Podcast prep, blogging. All. The. Things. But also, FOOTBALL.
Ohio State played their big rivals, Michigan, yesterday. And following that Michigan win (HUGE for Michigan and all the OSU haters out there – me being one of them!), Illinois put on a Northwestern beat down. Go Illini! In years past, we’ve attended the last game of the season, even though it’s typically FREEZING cold. There’s something bittersweet about the end of football season and the start to playoffs (you know, for some teams).
It probably helps that the football season rolls right into basketball and come the end of basketball season, spring is approaching. Sometimes I feel as though I live my life based around college sports seasons, but hey, anything to make the cold, dark months go by faster. Plus, we always have and play ice hockey which most certainly helps.
Yesterday, however…we tabled nearly all of the to-do’s and for the first time this season, we vegged out in the basement in front of the big screen and watched football ALL DAY LONG. The kids ran around, we ate snackies and drank beer, it was perfect! I was going to pull out leftover chili for dinner – this chili – until my kids groaned that they’d just had chili while we were away. All good! I’m looking forward to pulling out these traditional chili leftovers another day soon. It was a solid recipe that any chili lover can appreciate!
My Best Chili
A traditional meat and bean chili that everyone will love!
- 2 lbs 95% lean ground beef
- 1 lb mild Italian sausage, casings removed (if needed)
- ½ lb bacon
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 2 (15 oz) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 (28 oz) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
- 2 cups low-sodium beef stock
- 3 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce*
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and sausage. Cook until browned and cooked through, breaking up into a crumble as it cooks, about 8-10 minutes. Drain excess grease and return to heat.
- Meanwhile, cook bacon in a frying pan over medium heat until crispy. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
- To the bacon grease, add the onion and bell pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the onion mixture to the stock pot with the cooked beef and sausage.
- To the stock pot, add in the drained beans, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and beef stock. Season with chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, oregano, cumin, basil, salt, pepper, and paprika. Stir to blend and bring to a simmer.
- Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Serve with your favorite chili toppings!
Recipe from Bakerita, submitted by Kelsey B.
*use gluten-free version, if gluten-free recipe desired
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 2 cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 547Total Fat: 19.9gCholesterol: 117mgSodium: 1354mgCarbohydrates: 41.6gFiber: 10.1gSugar: 9.4gProtein: 48.8g
Looking for more GREAT chili? These have been some killer chili contest submissions of the past!
- 2020 Winner: Captain’s Chili
- 2015 Winner: Liz’s Chili
- 2019 Winner: Vegan Red Chili
- 2010 Winner: Turkey and Black Bean Chili
- 2016 Winner: Short Rib Boeuf Bourguignon Chili
- 2018 Winner: Beef, Chorizo, and Bean Taco Chili
- From 2021: Four Chile Chili
Weekly Menu: November 27th – December 2nd
- Saturday: Instant Pot Pork Carnitas
- Sunday: leftovers
- Monday: Turkey Taco Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
- Tuesday: Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Pasta with salad
- Wednesday: Instant Pot Sausage and Chicken Jambalaya (+ shrimp and okra)
- Thursday or Friday: Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings