I currently live in Charlotte, NC and after spending 7 years as a personal chef and caterer, I am now happy to share my love of cooking with friends and family. My heart is in the kitchen, but my soul is in the stars!

Chilly Chili

Mother Nature is such a tease.

This time last week I was soaking up the sunshine vitamin and therapeutically weeding the garden.  We had temperatures in the mid-60's and the 'hood was buzzing with the sound of lawn mowers, roosters crowing and kids playing.  (Roosters??  And why has our ever-so-vigilant Home Moaners Association not yet called a meeting to discuss how foul running amuck will ruin our property value??)

Tonight the weatherman is using words like "windchill" and "Arctic blast" and the temperatures are nose-diving into the single digits.

So. Not. Cool. Mother Nature.

No, not cool - downright *BLEEPING* cold!

Chilly days and nights like this make me think of, you guessed it....chili.  I usually have everything on hand to pull this together and yes, I use this taco seasoning in my chili.  Tacos.  Chili.  It's all the same to me because I season both with pretty much the same spices.  Serve this topped with grated cheese, a dollop of sour cream and maybe some parsley, cilantro or chopped scallions and you've got yourself a warm, hearty meal in less than an hour.   

Snuggle up and stay warm where ever you are - if you are in the Northeast, heaven help you because I hear there is more snow coming your way. 

Chilly Nights Chili
Serves 4-6

1 medium onion, diced
1 pound ground beef
1 recipe make-your-own-taco-seasoning
4 ounces green chiles
15 ounces diced tomatoes
15 ounces kidney beans, rinsed and drained
15 ounces tomato sauce
1 cup water
for garnish: sour cream, grated cheese, chopped scallions

In a medium soup pot, brown onion and ground beef until beef is cooked through.  About 8-10 minutes.  Drain any grease.

Add seasoning mix, chiles, diced tomatoes, kidney beans and tomato sauce and stir until combined.  Add water to reach desired consistency (about 1 cup) and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer about thirty minutes, stirring occasionally.  

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