Is it a Chili Day?

It is, here. 

The sun is shining once again, filling me with hope. However, I've been feeling chilled since I cooled down from my morning run... so I resolved that it would have to be chili night tonight. 

I have a fantastic recipe for chili, initially shared by my bestie Jeannie and modified a little every time I make it. Hers wasn't specific on seasoning, sometimes she would throw in a concoction of her own, and sometimes just the Old El Paso Chili seasoning, and that works well when you're rushing to get 'er done. 

This chili has it all: hearty lean beef and lots of beans to fill you up and keep you full, the bursty flavour of tomatoes (I used my own canned ones which are even brighter than regular ones), and all the warmth of the spicy southern seasonings.

I wrote up the recipe for a cookbook, and that includes my own mixture for chili seasoning. Note that this recipe leaves you room to spice it up. We like ours a little bit spicier in this house.  

Want a bowl? 

TL's Top Chili

This recipe has evolved over the years. I usually pop it into the crockpot to simmer all day, but it can be completed on the stovetop in about an hour, depending on my schedule. Makes a big pot or large crockpot full - it gets even better the next day, and it freezes well.

2 lbs lean ground beef
1 T cumin
1 T coriander
1 T chili powder
1 tsp cayenne
1 T dried parsley
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, finely diced
3 ribs celery, chopped
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can each black beans, white beans, and kidney beans
1 can Heinz Chili Style beans
1 can pork & beans (optional)
2 T Worcestershire sauce
3 T molasses
2 T red wine vinegar

Brown the ground beef and drain it, adding garlic, onion, celery and all seasonings. (You may use a packet or two of Chili seasoning mix if you prefer, depending on your taste preference and time constraints.) Add to crock pot with the tomatoes and beans. Simmer on low for at least 6 hours - the longer, the better. In the last half hour, add the Wooster, molasses, and vinegar. 15 minutes before serving, turn off the crockpot and leave the lid off, to allow it to thicken. Serve with grated sharp cheddar cheese.