I *love* this time of year!
Seriously, I can start dinner ANY time of day, then just let it simmer on the stove until Dean gets home. Talk about working into my schedule - this is awesome!!
And you NEED to try this chili recipe. Yes, I know, everyone has their own chili recipe and they are all FABULOUS. But really, *try this one* - just for a change of pace, if nothing else. It's a bit sweet, a bit spicy and it tastes so amazing you don't even need all those "normal" chili extras (i.e. crackers, shredded cheese, sour cream, etc.). Although I have been known to take leftovers and pour it over some corn chips. Or maybe over some spaghetti noodles...mmmm, that would be delish!! Or mac-n-cheese - hey, CHILI-MAC. Oh. my. goodness. Make a big ol' batch of this and you'll have delicious, interesting leftovers the kids will actually eat!
Ok, here's the recipe:
3 lbs. (I use 2) hamburger (I have used bulk sausage too)
1 gr. pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced (I've used yellow/orange)
1 med. onion
salt & pepper to taste
garlic powder (I use minced garlic sometimes, whatever)
Dump into large pot and add:
5-6 Tbl. chili powder (this scared me at first, but it's good)
1 3/4 c. ketchup
3 Tbl. lime juice *a must*
4-6 Tbl. brown sugar (I go with 6)
1 Tbl. worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. mustard (I've used honey mustard before)
1 1/2 Tbl. cumin
3 c. tomato juice (I usually use tom. sauce - today I used some tomato soup as well)
1 (16oz) can kidney beans; drained (today I used a can of red & a can of white)
1 (14oz) can stewed tomatoes (today I used diced tomatoes w/ jalepenos in them)
1 c. beef bouillon (I use 1 c. hot water w/ 1 tsp. beef base mixed in)
salt & pepper & garlic to taste, if needed (I never do)
Stir altogether ~ bring *just* to a low simmer. Reduce to very low, cook for 1-2 hours.
As long as you keep the sweet & spicy, the vinegar, the mustard, the ketchup, the basics the same - you can play around with this recipe to use what you have on hand. Any kind of tomato products will work. Only have a big ol' jar of diced tomatoes? Fine. Squish 'em up a bit and you're set - maybe just add some water. Use whatever ground meat you want to - there's enough spices and taste in here for turkey...hey, maybe some venison!?! Yum. Don't have enough meat - stretch it out with more beans, more tomatoes, more veggies...