Playoff Chili {Mangia!Mangia! monday}

culinary resolution #2So the NFL playoff season is upon us.

I don’t even enjoy watching football half as much as I use to; but some habits stay around for the sake of the nostalgia.

Football after church is a prime example.  Football after church is the best sure fire way to get my seldom still body to actually rest on the Sabbath.

Where there is football, there is Chili.



And so here is our 2nd Mangia!Mangia! monday recipe:

I call it:

Playoff Chili



My kids are annoying and hate chili so I do not make it as half as much as I would like because I turn into a mean mom when my kids will not eat perfectly good home made food. I mean a really mean mom.

This weekend they did not complain that much…which means they are growing up or the meanness is starting to work.



Everyone makes “their” chili a certain way.

It is what makes preparing chili so nice…there is no wrong way and the recipe can variegate and adopt to your own tastes.

Whilst making my version of chili this is what I sipped on:


Best Brown Ale


Brewed and bottled by Bell’s Brewery in Comstock, MI

Brow Ale is my favorite craft beer. I can only drink one though or I am stuffed.


For music whilst I was sipping and cooking I had on my new Adele Cd that my husband bought me for Saint Nicolas Day…yeah I make my family celebrate obscure European holidays.  He now regrets buying it for me because according to him “she sings everything the same and it is always about some sad depressing break-up. She needs to get happier or stop dating, or stop making music”

But I love her music because I love singing about sad things dealing with relationships.

Unto the Mangia!

Playoff Chili

Starting with the ingredients:

a big pot

metal spoon or fork

wooden spoon

2 pounds of lean ground beef

1 pound of mild Italian sausage

tap water

1/2 an onion

1 shallot

3-4 cloves of garlic

some butter

some baking cocoa

some real maple syrup

2 jars of stewed tomatoes

1/2 can of red kidney beans {only because I don’t like a lot of beans}

a generous hand of salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and hot sauce


Step #1

dice up the 1/2 onion, the shallot, and mince the garlic cloves, adding them to your pot, then add a big pat of butter and cook on low stirring often until the onions start to soften and get translucent in color

Step #2

add both of your meats and about a cup of water, stir with a metal fork/spoon

Step #3

add your jars of stewed tomatoes; DO NOT drain the water but add it along with the tomatoes

IMG_0419{I used my canned jars we did up from the garden this summer. Every August I hate to can because it is annoying and hot and I have way too much back to school stuff dominating my life to care about preserving food that I can get for only a few bucks anyway…but come winter…I am SO happy with my complaining grumpy August self for being a wanna-be-Laura Ingalls-trooper and canning those stupid tomatoes in my hot dirty kitchen while I lament loudly, that the school year needs to start earlier}

anyway…back to the recipe

Step #4

add your kidney beans, whole can, half can, or no can; the power is in your hands…don’t you feel important

Step #5

this is the sneaking step…it is the baking cocoa & real maple syrup step… just a add a few spoon fulls…it gives your meaty concoction of goodness a surprising zip of sweet and scandalous undertones of smoking chocolate

Step #6

now add that generous hand of salt,pepper, Italian seasoning, hot sauce…again the power is in your hand

Step #7

Stir it all up with that same metal fork/spoon. If it looks thick add some more water until in looks really soupy.  You need a lot remember because it is going to simmer for hours. Set your burner to medium/low.

Step #8

After an hour of simmering check on your chili.  Switch to a wooden spoon at this point.  Stir.  Take out a bit of goodness.  Wait a moment so you don’t scorch your tongue instantly like I always do and taste.  I bet you will immediately say to yourself:

“This needs more_____self”

So go ahead and add it. Be it cocoa, syrup, salt, garlic, ect. Keep doing this for like another 1 or 2 or 3 hours…whatever…you can’t over cook…just keep adding a little bit of water as you see it start to thicken…until you and your mouth are happy!

Additional Side Recipe to Go With Your Chili

IMG_0426In our home chili aint chili without cornbread


So here, as an added bonus, is my cornbread recipe



{*please note*}

I am one of those weirdos who must put ingredients in perfectly good cardboard or plastic containers from the store into glass jars…therefore…the handy recipes printed on said grocery containers get chucked.  So I really do not know the proper corn bread recipe…I always throw it away and am too lazy to google it…you have been warned.

In a bowl mix together:

1 cup of whole ground corn meal

1 cup of flour

1 cup of milk

1/4 cup of oil

1/4 cup of sugar

1 egg

a bit of baking soda and baking powder.

Pre-heat your oven to 420 degrees.

Mix all the ingredients, starting with the dry ones first until gloppy, not runny…if runny add more flour…if too gloppy add more milk.

Grease a small square pan with butter and add just a bit of flour to coat bottom lightly.

Spoon in your cornmeal and put into the center of your pre-heated oven.

Cook for 20-25 mins.

Here is another sneaky step:

When bread is done take a butter knife and cut slices through it in a lattice pattern like this:



Now get a bottle of honey and squeeze the honey out into the the cracks, just let it drip in there…there is no real correct method.

Wait at least 10 minutes until serving.

Your sweet gooey corn bread can be eaten as a side, with extra butter slathered on it or course, or you can take a piece and add it directly to your chili.

Sour cream and/or shredded cheddar is also awesome.


Here is to making food your kids won’t eat and watching the NFL…which they don’t like either!









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