Recipe: winter-spiced chili

I’ve got a basic but nearly foolproof chili formula: a pound of ground meat, one onion, a few garlic cloves, two 15 oz. cans of diced tomatoes (or a big 28 oz. one), a couple cans of beans, and hefty palmfuls of chili powder and cumin. After that, it’s all about improv, trying something new, and working with what you’ve got. I’ve been somewhat bent on cooking with beer recently, mostly because I have a 12-pack of Sam Adams Winter Lager that I’m trying to exhaust before I leave for the break. Turns out the stuff goes pretty well in a winter-themed chili that features a heady spice combination of chili, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, and allspice. I added some oregano for an herbaceous lift, and the beer provided some nice caramel and citrus notes. All in all, I’m quite pleased with this latest chili rendition — I hope some form of it graces your table soon.

Recipe: beef and beer chili

I’ll keep this post nice and tidy.  This “chocolate stout chili” rocks.  I’ll call mine a “beef and beer chili” since I used a can of Guinness, but it was still one kick-ass chili. Other than omitting the bouillon and substituting the beer, I left the recipe intact and followed it exactly. *This is me giving myself a pat on the back because I stink at following recipes.*  Nine times out of ten, the urge to improvise prevails.  In the effort to restrain, I discovered that elusive one time and my goodness, was it worth it.


Continue eating “beef and beer chili”


It’s a fact that chili tastes better in cold weather so I made some last night to give my stomach some holiday cheer. Wanting to make sure it tasted good, I marched into the kitchen with a solid recipe in hand. However, I quickly fell prey to my old habit of adding a dash of this and and splash of that and the next thing I know, my dish is just a shell of the recipe I fully intended to follow. The base was ground beef, onions, carrots, crushed tomatoes, and tomato paste; for seasoning I added some beer, dijon mustard, chili powder, and dried herbs. Against the recipe’s express instructions I added a can of beans, and I also threw in a can of pumpkin at the end, which provided an appealing viscous texture and imperceptible vitamin boost. So, no recipe but a few evenings worth of chili to show which makes me a happy camper.