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I Once Won a Chili Cook-off

I didn’t win a prize, but bragging rights and the knowledge that my Chili is the bomb was enough at the moment.

We love Chili in the Starks household, during the Fall and Winter I make chili at least once a month. Maybe beef chili, maybe chicken chili. Cortez (my husband) makes this barbeque chili on the grill and it’s pretty amazing (maybe I’ll share his recipe one day). It’s one of two meals he makes really good (the other is stuffed bell peppers).

One of my favorite things about chili is that it’s quick to prepare. It may take a while to cook, but that’s what slow cookers are for. Cortez and I spent the weekend in East Lansing, at our alma mater, Michigan State University for homecoming weekend. After rushing back Sunday morning to take Kinedy to a makeup gymnastics practice at 12:30 PM, which ended at 3:30 PM, I had to prepare dinner prior to leaving for a friends first birthday party at 5:30 PM. You see my dilemma… The ever persistent dilemma. Time. There is never enough of it. Fortunately this chili recipe can be whipped up in a synch, and after all of the ingredients are combined, just through it in a slow cooker to finish.


2 lbs ground beef

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 Tbsp. tomato paste

1 can chili beans (Brooks is my favorite brand - you can use 2 cans if you like)

4 Tbsp. chili seasoning mix

3 cups water

Salt + Pepper

Pro-tip: Substitute chicken stock for the water to kick up the flavor


  1. Combine green bell pepper, onion and garlic over medium/high heat. Cook for 2 minutes

  2. Add ground beef, season with salt and pepper and cook until brown all over

  3. Add chili seasoning and mix

  4. Add tomato paste and mix

  5. Add chili beans and mix

  6. Add 3 cups of water, and stir

  7. Add salt and pepper to taste

  8. Cook on medium for 1 hour

Pro-tip: If you have to leave your home, as I did, put the chili in the slow cooker on low for 2-3 hours.

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