Take the Chill off with Chili

Chili is a quick, easy, and inexpensive meal and can be made for a crowd or for a party of one. In honor of National Chili Day I thought I’d share my favorite recipe and a little chili trivia!

The history of chili or chili con carne, Spanish for “with meat”, is uncertain. The only thing we know about the origins of chili is that it did not originate in Mexico. Many of the spices we use when making chili did.

One Southwestern American Indian legend said that the first recipe for chili con carne was documented by a 17th century nun, Sister Mary of Agreda of Spain. She claimed the recipe came to her in a trance.

Another theory contributes a group of sixteen families who arrived from the Canary Islands on March 9, 1731, and settled in San Antonio. According to historians, the women made a spicy “Spanish” stew that is similar to chili.

Regardless of it’s creator, chili has been a popular dish for many well-known people including Will Rogers, Jesse James, and President Lyndon B. Johnson, a Texas native.

Will Rogers, a popular actor, cattleman, banker, and journalist, called chili a “bowl of blessedness” while the well-known outlaw Jesse James supposedly refused to rob a McKinney, Texas bank because his favorite chili parlor was located there.

President Johnson, when speaking of his favorite dish stated, “Chili concocted outside of Texas is usually a weak, apologetic imitation of the real thing. One of the first things I do when I get home to Texas is to have a bowl of red. There is simply nothing better.” Johnson’s favorite chili recipe did not include beans and many chili connoisseurs emphatically state beans are have no place in a proper pot of chili.

So if you’re a fan of beans include them, if not – don’t. Make my recipe your own by changing the items that suit you and your family. As the final days of winter come to a close, take the chill off with a bowl of chili.

Take off the Chill Chili Recipe


1 lb Shoulder Tender Beef *– Cut into bite size pieces

(1) 10 oz. can diced tomatoes or diced tomatoes & green chilies (if you like it hot!)

(2) 27 oz. cans Bush’s Chili Beans

2 Alarm Chili Kit $

(1) 16 oz. can Tomato Sauce

8 oz. Onion (Chopped)

Garlic Clove

Add beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, onion, and spices from Chili Kit* into crock pot. Note: Add red pepper to season to taste, for HOT chili use all red pepper packet, for medium chili use half of red pepper packet, for mild add NO red pepper. Set crock pot on low setting.

Saute’ garlic and beef in pan to brown. Once crock pot contents warms, add beef to crock pot.  Stir and cover. Chili will thicken as it simmers. Check periodically.


Sour Cream

Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Chopped scallions

Jalapeno slices

Tortilla scoops or strips

*An extensive study on meat was done by the University of Florida and University of Nebraska.They found shoulder tender and flat iron steak to be “value cuts” offering the leanest and most tender cuts for the best value. 

$ Money Saving Tip: The 2 Alarm Chili Kit contains 8 spices and corn flour and is sold for less than $2.00.  To purchase spices individually would greatly increase your cost for this meal. However, if you have a good supply of spices, you may substitute cumin, oregano, paprika, red pepper, onion, garlic, salt, ground chili peppers, and corn masa flour (used for thickening the chili).

  1. Linda G., 02 March, 2011

    No chill left now. Will wait to use recipe next Fall for sure–without beans and chili peppers-I have to take it mild, not wild. Are you going to conference this month in Anderson, SC? If so, will see you there, dear.


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