“Chilly” for Dinner.

photo-27photo-28We used to have a dog named Chilly; a brown, huge, faithful Labrador who was my baby sister’s best friend. They spent hours together. The very big dog and my very little sister were a very cute combination. Every time my mother would say we were having chili for dinner, her eyes became wide and teary. She was terrified we were going to eat the dog. Being the older sister I milked her terror, teasing until she was nearly on the verge of tears. I guess that was a bit mean, but I promise you it was also really funny and the joke never got old.

Of course our dog was never an ingredient but a bowl of homemade chili is so similar to our once faithful pet. So simple but so heart warming at the same time. Chili is one of those one-pot wonders that packs a punch. With cornbread on a chilly (ha-ha) fall evening there is nothing better. In honor of my sister’s birthday on October 21st, my first installment of MAKE THIS MONTH, is dedicated to her and our once beloved dog.

My blog is designed to provide inspiration, not instruction but MAKE THIS MONTH will feature recipes with step-by-step instructions for those who need a bit more guidance. So for October here is a simple tutorial on chili. Sorry for the torture sister.


What you Need:

Ground meat- you can use turkey, beef, lamb

½ onion

2 cloves of garlic

Spices-if you have a fancy pantry an individual spices make your own spice blend, if you don’t buy a pre-made packet

onion, chili, and garlic powder, oregano and cumin

pre-made packets give you no excuse not to cook

Canned diced tomatoes

Assorted canned beans- I normally used kidney, black, cannellini

clearly i’m not a brand whore, a can of beans is a can of beans

1 zucchini, yellow squash

2 carrots


What You Do:

Brown the meat in a bit of olive oil with a good amount of spices. While the meat is browning chop the onion and garlic finely and the veggies into small chunks. Also bring a pot of water to a boil.


Remove the meat from the pan, add in chopped onion and garlic and let cook on low heat for ten minutes. Really let the flavors develop here, the softer and more brown they look the more delicious they will be. While the onions and garlic are cooking, blanch* your veggies. This will keep them bright and vibrant inside the chili.

*blanching- bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Throw in veggies, one variety at a time, for a minute or too. Remove from water and run cold water over them immediately.


Next add in drained beans and canned diced tomatoes, and meat to the onions and garlic. Stir let cook for another ten minutes. After ten minutes taste the mixture and see if you need to add more seasoning. The way you can tell if you need more seasoning is if you like it or not.


The longer you let the mixture simmer the more complex the flavors will become. If the liquid is evaporating too fast add some chicken stock. When you are satisfied with the taste of your chili add in the blanched veggies.


Serve with blanched broccoli and honey cornbread. Tastes like home right?




*Tips n Tricks*

 *When making cornbread always add in extra honey. Also brush the cornbread with a mixture of honey and melted butter for the last five minutes of cooking. 

*Chili always makes so many servings so unless you like eating the same thing for days freeze portions in Ziploc bags to take out next time you need a quick snack.

*Toppings are everything, try cheese, green onions, sour cream, avocado.


So go ahead and MAKE CHILI THIS MONTH! If you try out this recipe post it on instagram and tag me @alilmixedup! I’ll repost your photo on all my social media so you can be a chef star!

Happy 21st birthday Carolyn and long live Chilly!


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my life has been a very interesting journey thus far. in my quarter century crisis im and not certain of much except that i love cooking and entertaining, and pleasing people is my passion. (wait that sounded a little funny) i am goofy eccentric, and love to laugh, in fact i often laugh at the most inappropriate times. i place high value in honesty and working hard. i don’t really believe in faking it until you make it, without some base knowledge or some sort of depth to your cause. i believe in making mistakes and trying everything once as long as you bring yourself no harm and no harm to others. i am a new age hippy, my words to live by are freedom, serenity, and love. i look for signs of the world and listen. i do judge, anyone who says they do not is a liar, but i use my judgements against you to reflect back on me to see how i can better myself. i hate constraints of our society, including grammar, punctuation, and recipes. i think fast except when it comes to numbers. the culinary world has always been and shall be my safe haven and outlet. i want to inspire, teach, and learn.

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