We spent last weekend in Tucson, AZ: the hottest place on the Earth. I wanted cold drinks, chilled food, and lots of A/C. Oh and TONS of water. We drove home only to find out that home boasted of cool fall weather. Windy, overcast and a little cooler then usual. All factors that lead me to want comfort food.

Comfort food to me isn’t necessarily fatty, fried, home cookin’. In fact, most of that kind of food isn’t my favorite. 1 exception: biscuits and gravy. I could eat that everyday if I wouldn’t gain 50 lbs from it. Comfort food to me is pasta, macaroni and cheese, chili, pumpkin bread, sweet potatoes, and chocolate cake. My husband doesn’t like homemade macaroni and cheese, I know, where did I find this guy? And we hadn’t had chili all summer since it was summer after all. So I went to the store to buy my chili ingredients, and also canned pumpkin. Trader’s didn’t have canned pumpkin, I almost cried. I have been desperately wanting some pumpkin bread swirled with cream cheese. So i bought some sweet potatoes instead. I’ll roast them and see what comes of it…

This chili isn’t spicy. We aren’t huge fans of spiciness in my house. So to compensate for the spice I like to add lots of flavor. And certain flavors really enhance and compliment all the flavor sin chili, like coco powder and cinnamon. No, this doesn’t taste like dessert because those are in it, it boosts the flavors of the meats and beans. Okay, a side note about the onions: I have to puree, yes, literally puree onions if I want to add them to this. Husband HATES onions and almost threw a fit when he saw me chopping them. He ever so slightly took out the food processor and said, “Please puree them so you don’t ruin the chili.” Oh his poor little face looked so pressed, like I was forcing him to chicken liver or something. Again, where did I find this guy? So for you normal folk, chopped onions are fine. If someone in your family hates onions, puree them, they will soon be HUGE chili fans!

I had 2 HUGE bowls of the chili. After each bite I think I made a comment or noise expressing my delight with the chili. This might be ‘the’ chili recipe I pass down to my kids, it’s that good!

Serves 3-4
1 lb lean ground beef (I used 4 % fat)
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, chopped (I used yellow, but white or red are good too)
2 cans (15 ounces) kidney beans, in their juices
2 cans (15 ounces) diced tomatoes, in their juices
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp coco powder
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp red wine vinegar

Shredded cheese
Sour Cream
Chopped Onion

in a dutch oven or large pan, brown the ground beef. Add the minced garlic and chopped onion to the browning beef. Cook until the beef is no longer pink and the onions are translucent.

Add the remaining ingredients to the pot. Give it a stir, cover it, and let it sit for about 45 minutes. Use a potato mashed and mash up the diced tomatoes in the pot for about 1 minute. Obviously the beans and meat with slightly mash too, but focus on mashing the tomatoes. I found this helped thicken the chili, which I love!

Serve it up with lots of the garnish on top :)