Monday, April 18, 2011

Chili and the 2011 Chicago Blizzard...

Even though it's mid-April, I decided to post my go-to chili recipe because it's so freaking cold in Chicago today!  When I woke up this morning, there was actually a tiny bit of snow on the ground :(  WTF!  Why won't spring just come already?

Here's a look back at a few pictures I took around our condo during "The 2011 Chicago Blizzard."  I'm so glad that it's (hopefully) going to be warm soon!   Here's a picture of all of the snow accumulating on our deck mid-way through the blizzard:

It took a couple of days before the city even plowed our side street.....I was student teaching at the time (which I drove to in the suburbs), and I was so glad that school was cancelled for two days because there's no way I could have gotten my car out!  Luckily we have an enclosed garage spot, but there was no way I would have been able to get through our alley. 

The sidewalks were too deep to walk through at first, so we took Windy down the tire tracks in the middle of the street for her walks.

I had to take a picture of the car below because I couldn't believe how high the snow drift was!  I feel bad for whoever had to dig this car out....

There were gigantic piles of snow everywhere after our sidewalks got plowed.....

Windy's loving the snow :)

Anyway, back to the chili.....if it's cold where you are, and you want one last pot of chili before it gets warm for good, give this recipe a try.  This is my favorite basic chili recipe (with no beans, but you could certainly add some if you like that).  As always, make sure to taste while you cook and season with plenty of salt and pepper!  I love making this on a Sunday so that we can eat up leftovers during the week.  I have also frozen leftovers to eat later, and this freezes very well.


2 pounds ground beef
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. chili powder
1 T. cumin
1 T. dried Italian Seasoning
3 (14.5 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes
1 (28 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 bottle or can of good beer (IPA's are my personal favorite for drinking and cooking)
salt and pepper, to taste
shredded sharp cheddar cheese, saltine crackers, and cilantro (for serving)


1.  Drink half of your bottle of beer.....yummy....then set the other half aside.  Combine ground beef, onion, and garlic in large stockpot. Cook and stir over medium heat until beef is brown. Drain.

2.  Stir in chili powder,cumin, italian seasoning, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and the remaining half of your bottle of beer; break up tomatoes while stirring. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste (sometimes I'll also add more chili powder and cumin if it needs it).  Heat to boiling, reduce heat to simmer, and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.  Taste again and re-season as needed.

3.  Serve with shredded cheddar cheese, saltine crackers, and cilantro.

Source:  Adapted from Allrecipes

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