Laura’s Keep-Calm-and-Decorate-On Chili

You know that space of time between Thanksgiving and getting the tree up?  When the rest of the world seems to have it all together, even my husband who wowed me with his Christmas Spirit when he took it upon himself to film, learn and record the bass line to the music, and compile that which very evidently came to him like a vision.  Introducing, my favorite film to date that my talented man whipped together:

I texted him with a shopping list (this might be a handy visual for all the ladies out there- send this blog to your husbands!).  And, cameras in tote, he picked up the ingredients for chili- a dish I could depend on to span over three dinners and to fill my freezer for the nights when I might say, “While I did manage to address the 45 cards, I did not manage to make a single recipe from my pinterest board!”

Here you go husbands!  To bless your family with crazy amounts of nourishment, avoid the financial and health-devasting traps of quick restaurant fixes, and to love your wife… grab two of each:



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load ’em up:


And take a moment to savor the $15.26 grocery bill!

A pretty great dish to have on hand for the month of December:


Laura’s Keep Calm and Decorate On Chili

12 cloves minced garlic

2 T chili powder

2 tsp dried Italian seasoning

1 T ground cumin

1 tsp cayenne pepper

4 cans (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes in juice *(see notes below)

2 15 oz can of pinto beans, rinsed and drained

2 15 oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained

2 15 oz can of kidney beans, rinsed and drained

6 cups hot water

*3 cups dry TVP, ground meat, or nothing!

2 cans drained and rinsed whole kernel corn

2 large green bell peppers, dinced

1/2 c low sodium soy sauce

2 T hot pepper sauce

*1 T onion powder

2 T unsweetened cocoa powder

2 t sugar

1/4 c cornmeal

salt to taste

Add an inch of water to a large pot and bring to boil.  Add garlic and steam away for 2 minutes.  Add chili powder, Italian seasoning, cumin, and cayenne and stir it for 1 minute.  Add tomatoes, beans, hot water, TVP, corn, bell pepper, soy sauce, hot pepper sauce, onion powder, cocoa, and sugar.  Bring to boil, reduce to simmer.  Cover for 30 minutes.  During last minutes, stir cornmeal through chili.  Season with salt.

*Some notes:

*I almost didn’t add the TVP (textured vegetable protein) for the sake of the blog post.  I thought, “well, I didn’t buy it, forgot I had it… It will mess up the post.”  And then… I thought… “well, how often do I get a chance to clear 3 c of TVP out of my cupboard?  How did I end up with so much TVP?  The point of this post is: CHILI is FORGIVING!  So… I’ll just suggest that folks get liberal here.  Either: buy some, use a pound or two of ground meat of any kind, keep it three bean- and eliminate 2 c of water, add another 3 cans of beans… so many options!  Be free!”  So, I went ahead and threw it in there.  No need to do this.

*Also, because I did not have 4 cans of tomato, and only 2 (add $4 to cost of bill if buying suggested 4), I used up a jar of 365 tomato basil marinara sauce.  Delightful substitute!

*And, I strongly encourage you to use dried onion, not fresh.  Fresh gets moody, goes bad, and ruins a whole pot of any given soup so quickly.

*Lastly, the second it cools, load up the freezer, and enjoy a nice pot in the fridge- waiting to meet you at 5 pm for 3 nights in a row!

Giving you plenty of time to…

Deck the Halls!