Chilly Chili

It’s 32 degrees today in Columbia and the weather turbulence is giving us all some SERIOUS whiplash. For reference, two weeks ago I power washed the driveway in a tank top and got so sunburnt, I’m still peeling. When we moved to South Carolina 10 years ago, my Florida-born and raised husband said, “I love that we actually have seasons here.” And boy, do we. All of them. Daily. And if you’re really lucky, you can get a respiratory virus from the capricious climate while you aloe-up your blistered shoulders under your warmest sweatshirt. It’s fine, we’re all fine.

So, if we’re doing winter again in March, we’re going all in. Earlier this week, we lit up the fireplace and broke out the crockpot for our family-fan-favorite bean-less chili from Pumpkin ‘N Spice to beat the fake-spring chill. It’s so easy to make, seven-year-old Piper can do it. There’s a good chance most everyone in your house will enjoy it. And if you have a Nash in your house (whose food palate prefers dinosaur shaped nuggets from the freezer and other processed meat options), serve up a chili cheese dog, minus the chili and the cheese (it’s just a hot dog, folks).

Pasting ‘Ingredients and Instructions’ below for quick reference if you live in ‘rush-mode’ like me and call on the crockpot to save time. If you’re killing it at time management and have time to scroll (and scroll), here’s the direct link to the Pumpkin ‘N Spice post.

1 pound lean ground beef
1 pound ground chuck
2 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce see note below
2 (15 ounce) cans diced tomatoes drained
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 small white onion diced (Life Hack: I put mine in a food processor so the flavor is there, but my husband can’t spot them with the naked eye)
1 green bell pepper diced
5-6 tablespoons chili powder
1½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon minced garlic (or 2 teaspoons garlic powder)
¾ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon granulated sugar
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper (We skip this because my kids can spot spicy spices in seconds even if they can’t spot the shoes on their feet)
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet, brown and crumble ground beef and ground chuck until cooked through. Drain and add to slow cooker.
Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, onion, pepper, minced garlic, cayenne pepper, ground cumin, chili powder, white sugar, oregano, salt and pepper to slow cooker. Stir to combine.
Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream, if desired.

Bon Appétit!

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