Chili when it’s Chilly

I don’t know about you, but the weather seems to dictate my mood and my meal time.  During the summer I seem to have a lot more energy and am an overall happier girl.  The warm breeze and the bright sunshine always adds a little extra pep in my step.  I also find myself craving foods such as grilled chicken, fruit salad, and fresh vegetables.  However, when the cooler temperatures start to set in, I find some mornings I wake up sluggish, extra tired and not feeling like a happy camper.  When the sky goes grey and there is no sunlight in sight, my mood can take a negative turn.  The cold wind and short days can be hard, but there are also many things about winter I enjoy.

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I love the sight of freshly fallen snow on the ground.

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I adore wearing cozy sweaters, leather riding boots, and warm winter coats.  I also enjoy snuggling up in front of a flickering fire and cuddling with a soft blanket, activities that don’t typically happen during the summer months. 

winter engagement pictures This was from a winter engagement session we had for our save-the-date!

I also start craving comfort foods and prefer meals that can warm me up from the inside out, like Chicken Pot Pie or Turkey Meatball Subs. Chili is one of those meals that remind me of home.  Whenever it was cold outside my mom would whip up a pot of chili and the smells from the kitchen would pull me in to the room.  We have actually had a pretty mild winter so far, lots of rain, a little ice, and just a touch of snow.  Some days feel more like the start of spring rather than the middle of winter.  I picked the chilliest day this week though and made a big pot of delicious and comforting chili.

 

Comfort Chili

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Ingredients

1 pound lean ground beef

1/2 chopped jalapeno, no seeds (I didn’t add since I used the frozen tomato mix)

1/2 medium onion, finely chopped (I didn’t add since I used the frozen tomato mix)

1 can chili beans in hot sauce

1 can chili beans in mild sauce

1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard (gives the chili an extra sharpness)

2 cans diced tomatoes (I used a bag of boiled, then frozen, tomatoes my mom had made from our garden this past summer instead.)006 In the frozen mix was chopped jalapeno, onion, and tomatoes.

1 cup water (I didn’t add since I used the frozen tomato mix)

3 tablepoons chili powder

Direction

In large pot cook over medium high heat the onion and jalapeno until onion is translucent

Brown ground beef in pot with onion and jalapeno.

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Remove any grease and add in beans and mustard.  Heat beans through 2-3 minutes and stir mixture.

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Add in tomatoes, water and chili powder.  Stir mixture again and bring to boil.

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When it comes to a boil, turn heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes until it thickens.  FYI – the longer it sits the better it tastes!

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Top with whatever you like.  I went with half an avocado and my husband used shredded cheese.  Other options I love are onion, sour cream, or chives.

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This chili is not incredibly spicy, so if you need more heat add in a whole jalapeno, the jalapeno seeds, or an extra tablespoon of chili powder.  This was the perfect spicy temperature for me, but I know people’s hot scales vary.  To cool down while drinking the chili, we drank our new obsession..

016 Sparkling seltzer water with ice and fresh squeezed lime.  An awesome thirst quencher with zero calories.  Refreshing and Delicious!

 

Questions:

What do you love about winter, if anything?! :-)

 

What are some of your ultimate winter comfort foods?

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16 thoughts on “Chili when it’s Chilly

  1. Chili is the best food during the winter! I’ve done lots this year, turkey chili, bean chili, beer chili (take a guess at the secret ingredient??) check out my blog for new chili ideas!

  2. I love the touch of mustard. I have never tried that before. The secret is the tomato mix. Just watch the batch that was labeled hot that included jalapeno, red and green chillies, and banana peppers.

  3. Oh I am the same way- I love lean protein, fruit, and veggies in the summer, and then in the winter I’m all about the pasta and comfort food! Your chili looks awesome! That’s nice that it isn’t too spicy because I’m not someone that can handle it haha. Your engagement pic is adorable :). I can’t wait til Chris and I do ours (who knows when that will be hehe).

  4. mmmm I adore chilli during the winter time! I also love a fresh snow fall – it covers everything and makes it look magical :D
    I like fresh baked muffins for comfort food…delish!

    p.s love that engagment pic

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