Thursday, February 8, 2007

Chilly, Chili & Chili

It's been a bit chilly outside here the last few mornings and evenings (beautiful in the middle of the day though), which makes me crave some warm-you-up dinners from the crockpot. This is Cowboy Chili in the works, and how I came to have this recipe is actually sewing-related.

When I first became obsessed with sewing about 5-1/2 years ago, I bought a used Viking Rose. It was a great machine and certainly a huge step up from my very basic Kenmore mechanical. I loved that machine, but soon started coveting a Designer 1. (My dealer is very good at holding classes that make you want to spend money!) Soon after, I lucked into a side web design job that paid Big Bucks. Since it was bonus income, I spent the money on a luxury item — a new Designer 1. But that meant I needed to sell my Rose because, as some of you may remember, I was sewing in a closet at that time and had no room for another machine. (Yes, I did somehow manage to squeeze my coverstitch machine in later!)

I listed the Rose on Ebay and sold it to a very nice woman about my age. We had some email correspondence before, during and after the sale and at some point the conversation went in the direction of cooking for a house full of "men." She shared a recipe that has since become one of my guys' absolute favorite meals. Yep, the Cowboy Chili shown above. I've changed the ingredients around a bit, but the basics are pretty much the same. The original recipe (and how I've changed it) is below. I guarantee this will be a hit with any meat-eating male in the house. This current batch has been in the crockpot since 8 AM and the house is already smelling delicious. Later I'll be making some bread in the bread machine to go with it.

And, what's one Chili without the other? ;-) The poochies are still getting along great, although we need to make sure that Pepper gets her share of hugs and loves, since Chili wiggles his way to the front-and-center of any petting session! I'm taking them both to the vet this afternoon. Chili for a basic checkup and Pepper for a follow-up after her surgery. She's not looking so much like FrankenPuppy anymore as the shaved area on her forehead is filling back in. Her stitches are still intact though, so she does have a little more healing to go before she's 100% back to her usual cuteness.

Here they are, both eagerly waiting for … what else, but a Treat! (I had to bribe them so they'd both be looking at me for the photo.) Chili has made huge progress with his commands. He now knows Sit, Down, Shake, and Come. Next on the list is Roll Over. He'll be a natural for that one. Pepper used to Roll Over, but now she's so plump she gets stuck. ;-) I'm curious to see what she weighs at the vet today since her diet and exercise have improved a thousand-fold now that "Mr. Spoiling Dad" (a/k/a DH) isn't in charge anymore.

* * * * *

Cowboy Chili (original)

Brown 2 lb. ground beef. Add 1 chopped onion, 4 chopped green onions, 1/4 c. celery, 1/2 clove garlic, 1/4 bell pepper. Saute until soft.

Add salt and pepper to taste, 1 T chili powder, 1/4 tsp. sugar. Stir well. Add 1 can diced tomatoes, 1 16 oz can tomato juice, 2 cans drained whole kernel corn, 1 can Rotel Ranch Style chili beans, and 6 medium potatoes peeled and cubed. Add water if necessary to prevent scorching. Cook until potatoes are done (approx 30-40 minutes).

Cowboy Chili (my changes and for the crockpot)

Stir all of the following together in a large crockpot and cook on High all day (about 6-8 hours) or Auto Alternating (high/low) if you have that option on your crockpot. Makes 8-10 servings (good for lunch the next day!)

3-4 lbs. cubed stew beef (extra lean meat will end up too dry)
2 cans Rotel Ranch Style Beans
2 cans diced chili style tomatos
2 cans whole kernel corn (not drained)
1 can tomato paste
5-6 medium potatoes (not peeled), cubed
1-1/2 T chili powder
1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
2 tsp chopped garlic or 1 fresh clove, diced
1 whole green bell pepper, diced
1 large onion, diced
2-3 stalks of celery, diced (optional)
4-6 green onions, chopped (optional)

I stopped using the tomato juice because it's only available here in very large cans and we ended up tossing the rest. The extra can of diced tomatoes and tomato paste work just as well.

We also prefer stew beef over ground beef. Chicken is a good meat alternative for a different flavor.


  1. Debbie,

    This looks really scrumtious! I will definitely try this for the weekend. Our son is home from his first semester of college for the first weekend back home--want to make something special. As you say, this is great with the guys.

  2. I'm not a chili-eater, but my DH will love this! (And if it's as good as you say, it may end up in a chili cook-off at his office...)

  3. What time is dinner? I'll be right over with a hot basket of home made cornbread. YUMMMMMMMM.

    I will definitely try this recipe! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Thanks for the recipe. Looks wonderful. The dogs look so cute. Sounds like you are enjoying them.
    Your jacket project was so much fun to follow and the end result is so pretty. Well worth working your way through the "problems". It was a great lesson on not making something a "wadder" too soon. I look forward to your next project. Anne

  5. potatoes in chili? hmmm, I think I have to try this. Thanks for typing out the recipe and your variation.
    Hope the trip to the vet went well.

  6. Yummy. We love chili here (and it's cold here for a while yet!)

    I must have gotten my Stoff order in the mail about the same day as you! Great minds think alike :D I agree on the Modetrends...what a crappy issue. LOVE my Patrones. Wish I'd bought the KnipXL, looking at yours. Sigh.


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