Ahh fall. Time to pack up the flip flops, pull out the sweatshirts, and gear up for winter while we watch the leaves change. In our flannel pj pants and fuzzy slippers of course. 😉 And nothing tops off our comfy attire better than a piping hot bowl of chili right? Except maybe a tall chunk of cornbread slathered in honey butter! Can’t you just picture yourself all snuggled up right now?…
In Northern California, it doesn’t typically feel like true fall weather until mid November. In fact as I’m writing this we’re still wearing t-shirts and shorts. So given our unpredictable weather, I decided about 10 years ago that I would just pick a date to start cooking fall comfort foods. And that date just happens to be Halloween. And the meal is always…ALWAYS chili and cornbread. 🙂
i usually have part of my makeup done while cooking. It gets me in the mood!
Wether you have children, or grandchildren to get ready or not, it just seems to be a very busy day and those trick or treaters will wait for no one as the sun starts to go down. So why not make something quick and easy to enjoy at your leisure rather than trying to do the impossible a mist the chaos? Even better, cook this the day before. It’ll taste better and thicken up after sitting and you’ll be done with it and have extra time for the festivities!
So who’s this Arthur I speak of and why do I call it kid friendly? Glad you asked. I was one of the pickiest eaters I’ve ever known still to this day. If it wasn’t PB & J, I didn’t really want much to do with it. In fact, food became the most stressful thing in my little life. Because I just didn’t like anything and growing up where the rule is “you eat what is put on your plate” well, let’s just say I spent some very long nights at the table alone. It was a different time. My Grandmother cooked for us often. She was always bringing our Father’s favorite dishes over. He would be so happy as she walked up the steps and I would be repeating to myself..”oh please not the cabbage rolls, not the cabbage rolls!” Don’t worry, I wasn’t scarred for life and have a wonderfully healthy appetite now. 🙂
Our Grandmother was known for her great southern style cooking and was indeed deemed the master cook within the family. Except…when it came to chili. That, was our Grandfather Arthur’s job. Now, I must say there is a long standing question on wether he really was the one behind the chili, but I can say without a doubt, i saw him cook it with my own two eyes on one of our camping trips so I believe it was his. Haha! I tell you it was the only dish that I NEVER had to worry about. When I knew the chili was a brewin’, I was a happy, happy kid. Why? Because it was kid friendly. Beef and beans with a little cheese on top and some crackers on the side. No big chunks of stewed tomatoes or onions or whatever else little kids might be affraid of. Plain, simple, best chili flavor ever with a tiny bit of kick. Bam! Go Arthur!! I spent 30 years of my adult life trying to duplicate his recipe. I believe this is as close is it’s going to ever get and for that reason I’ve named it……
Aurthur’s Kid Friendly Chili Recipe
2lb Lean Ground Beef
2 16oz containers Johnson’s Chili Starter
4 15oz Cans Chili Beans
3 15oz Can Pinto Beans (Drained)
1 15oz Can Red Kidney Beans (Drained)
4-5 Cups Water
1 Tsp Chili Powder
2 Tsp Garlic Powder
2 Tsp Onion Powder
1/4 Tsp Cayenne Powder
Salt & Pepper to Taste
In medium frying pan, brown ground beef. Drain, and set aside. In 8 QT or larger stockpot, combine chili starter and water. Cook on medium low heat, stirring often until starter is mostly broken down and combined. Add beans ( make sure to drain pinto and kidney), ground beef and spices and bring to just under a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for a minimum of one hour, (or until desired thickness) stirring often.
- If more heat is desired, let chili cook for at least 30 minutes prior to adding more cayenne. Chili heat will intensify over cooking time.
- If you don’t care for kidney beans, substitute for pinto – not chili beans.
Johnson’s Chili Starter will be found in the freezer section. Not all stores carry it, but in the Northwest you can find it at Raleys, Savemart, Winco, and Albertsons for sure.
You can use it frozen or thawed. If frozen just cut it into fourths inside the carton and it will combine just fine.
Stir frequently while combining or it will stick to the bottom. When it looks like this, combine all ingredients.
If you’re looking for a chili to wow the meet cheese bun eater in your home, or maybe even you yourself…this is the kid friendly chili recipe for you. It is knock your socks off fantastic but if you prefer what I like to call chunky style, that’s fine. Earn yourself some mega Mommy & Daddy points by whipping up a batch of the kid friendly chili, splitting it in half and doctoring your half up. <3
Happy Halloween ~
Life is short, crafting is fun. Go get loopy with it!