Sunday, November 15, 2009

the many faces of chili

Last week I found two packages of chili mix in my pantry and since I don't really have a good homemade chili recipe I decided to use up those little magic packs...and let me tell you something, there is NO shame in that! The chili was really, really good. Then over the course of three nights, I used the chili for three different meals: Chili & Cornbread, Frito Pie, and Loaded Baked Potatoes! What a great way to make your food and money stretch. Here is what I did:
  • used two chili packets since I wanted to make a lot [and of course, all the ingredients to go with]
  • added chopped onion & minced garlic [with the meat while it was browning]
  • added 2 cans red kidney beans to add bulk and fiber
  • used my crockpot to cook the chili slowly so that the meat gets tender and the spices get a chance to really set in

Here is the recipe for the best cornbread in the world! [The only kind I will eat!] It was passed down from my grandpa.

Sweet Cornbread

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup margarine 
1 egg
1 1/2 cup sour milk [buttermilk]
1 1/2 cup corn meal
1 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
3/4 cup flour

Cream sugar and margarine. Add egg and sour milk. Mix cornmeal, salt, and soda. Add to wet ingredients and stir. Add flour and mix well. Pour into 9" greased pan. Bake at 450 degrees for 25 minutes.

It really doesn't get any better than this, folks!

The Frito Pie and Loaded Baked Potato are fairly self-explanatory. You can pretty much add whichever ingredients suit your taste. To the Frito Pie, I simply opened a bag of Frito's, filled the bottom of the bowl with them, poured the chili over the top, added shredded cheddar [gotta have the cheese] and then added some shredded lettuce and tomato for a little extra nutritional value ;) but I'm not going to lie... most of the time I enjoy it with just the chips, chili & cheese! Now for the loaded baked potato, well, you can go crazy with this one! I baked the potato in the oven for about an hour and then added chili, cheese, chopped green onion, and sour cream. Hubby and I both drooled over this one!

I'm sure one day I'll land a chili recipe that is to die for and never go back to the spice packets...but until then, they will have to do. They really do make a good tasting chili and the great thing is you can whip it with practically no effort!

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