One of the foods I always crave around this time of year is chili.  During the freezing winters we have here in upstate New York it's great to come in from the cold and warm up with a nice big bowl of chili.

I know that sometimes people put some crazy things in their chili - I entered this recipe into a Chili Cook-Off this week at work and there were entries with beer, wine, and even chocolate!  The recipe that won had quite a few of those unusual ingredients. 

This is pretty much the same recipe that my mom has been making since before I was born, but of course I put a bit of my own twist on it.

2 lb ground beef
2 medium onions, sliced
3-15oz cans kidney beans
2-28oz cans crushed tomatoes
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4c sugar
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan combine tomatoes, beans, and spices  (everything but the beef and onions).  Rinse the bean and tomato cans with about ½ cup of water and add it to the saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and reduce to a simmer on low.  Brown the beef in a skillet.  Drain most of the fat, top with the circles of sliced onions, add ¼ cup water, cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes until the onions are limp.  Add beef and onions to the saucepan.  Continue simmering the chili on low heat as long as you can stand not to eat it, but at least two hours if you can last.

Hope this helps my fellow northerners to stay warm this season!


  1. Congrats on entering the contest! Your chili looks yummy and will have to try your version! Cinnamon, huh? that's a different ingredient, I often use nutmeg,,lol Becky

  2. It sounds unusual, but I'd say that at least half of the entrants used cinnamon. If you don't add so much that it overpowers everything else, the cinnamon is just another layer of flavor. I think that's the key to a good chili - layering flavors.

    It's clear that if I want to be a contender in next year's chili cook-off I'll have to come up with something with a little more smokiness to it, and perhaps some more heat.

  3. I love chili at this time of year too. I don't usually use Worcestershire in mine but I'll bet that would be good.

  4. sending fan love your way! great blog! thanks for sharing! i am now a follower!



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