Janet's Notebook
Blue Ribbon Chili Recipes

State Champion Chili Made Easy

Whether I'm preparing a meal for game day or I'm looking to put a comforting dinner on the table, when the weather gets cooler I start making batches of chili. Leftovers freeze wonderfully and there is something wonderful about sitting down to a nice bowl of chili.

"My husband and I love a good chili in the fall and winter that is easy to make on short notice," shares Sena Wilson (Lake Jackson, TX). "This recipe is not too hot for your taste buds but can be manipulated for those who want more of a punch."

Sena browns the meat for her Texas Chili in bacon drippings (along with onions and garlic) which begins the layers of flavor. Spices like basil, cumin, and oregano are prominent throughout the chili. If you like a little heat, definitely add some cayenne. Without it, though, the chili is not spicy and something your whole family can enjoy.

Kelly Williams' (Forked River, NJ) use to love to participate in chili cook-offs. She shared her Triple Cook-Off Winning Chili with us and I'm mighty glad she did. It's so good!

It's sweet, tangy and spicy.... everything chili should be. Lisa Hines Reyes' (Portland, OR) decided to make this recipe for her boyfriend and coworkers. The result? It was a big hit.

"It's so flavorful with just enough spice and zest and that touch of sweetness," said Lisa. "A couple of my coworkers almost had their eyes rolling to the back of their heads. One of the owners of our company tried it and requested the recipe. Maybe I should have bartered for a raise?!" With that type of review, this chili recipe definitely needs to be added to your recipe box.

"This chili has the makings of a champion, but it's so simple," thinks Martha Ray Deen (Charlotte, NC). "You can modify the peppers used to turn up the heat."

We loved the consistency of Martha Ray's State Champion Chili Made Easy. It's hearty with a slight kick and full of meat and beans. Reading the recipe we were a little skeptical about the amount of beans, but they create a nice, thick chili. Fresh veggies and seasoning are a great balance. Top with a little cheese and some cornbread. Mmmm mmmm good.

Be ready for lots of OMG's when you serve Mindy Sena's (Burlington, IA) Min's OMG Chili! It's hot and delicious.

"I don't care for chili beans so I adapted my own recipe," explains Mindy. "I always get rave reviews and requests for the recipe. It's a crowd-pleaser!"

Typically kidney beans are used in chili recipes. Mindy uses black and garbanzo beans and I loved the substitution. That's one of the best things about chili. You can customize the beans and seasonings based on your preference. This would be fantastic served in a hearty bread bowl with a big dollop of sour cream to cap it off.

Debbie Reid (Clearwater, FL) adds a lime scented sour cream to the top of her Spicy Southwestern Black Bean Chili. Debbie uses hot Italian sausage, jalapeno and poblano peppers so there is a lot of heat in this chili. But, the citrus sour cream really cools the delightful heat of the chili. It's the perfect combo.

I encourage you to try these fantastic Blue Ribbon chili recipes the next time you want to make chili. If you're looking for more ideas for your next batch of chili, check out this collection of easy chili recipes. Happy Pinching!

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