Well we had the first real snow of the season! I guess that means ski season is just around the corner, yippee! While freakin' cold, it was absolutely beautiful today. Perhaps it's the fact that we were in the 80's last week and a sudden 30 degree day feels like 30 below, but it was FREEZING! The early season snow collecting on leaves still changing with the autumn season made it colorful yet amazingly white. Perfect for trying my hand at taking pictures. We went to the Bobcat/Weber State game today only to watch them get sorely beaten. I love to watch football in chilly weather, bundled up and toasty, but today pushed the limits. At halftime we decided to head to Buffalo Wild Wings to watch the 2nd half in warmth while eating plenty of wings.

We also decided that the perfect way to end the first real cold day of the season was to have a chili cookoff, just the two of us. I'm pretty sure I won. Yep. Eric may argue, but in all reality you know I'm the champ. Ha! Seriously though, we both made very different but awesome batches of chili. Mine is more of a classic, thick meaty chili while his is more stew like and much more spicy. To counter a certain buddy of mine that thought I may only follow recipes, here is how I made mine (without looking at a single suggestion). :)

Main Ingredients:
2.5 lbs ground beef
1 Sweet Onion
3 cans stewed tomatoes (chopped)
2 cans chili beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can pinto beans
1-2 cups mushrooms
Olive Oil
One bottle Black Widow Oatmeal Stout

Add to taste:
Garlic Powder (around 2 tbls)
Chili Powder (around 3 tbls)
Cumin (around 2 tbls)
Oregano (around 1 tbls)
Cinnamon (yep!) (around 1 tsp)
Salt (around 1 tsp)

So I started with a tablespoon of olive oil in a cast iron pot, added some chopped garlic and let brown slightly. Add onions and saute until softened. Add the ground beef and toss around until browned and the beef really breaks down (I like it in really tiny pieces). Sprinkle in some of the spices to let absorb with the meat. Finally add in the rest of the main ingredients and add spices until the taste is what you like. The more it simmers, the more the flavors come out, so go light on the spices until it simmers for a bit. Let it simmer for awhile to reduce the beer and thicken.

I'm really satisfied with this recipe, but the joy of chili is that you can adjust to your taste. Between the batch I made and Eric's we'll be eatin' chili for weeks to come. It freezes great too, so store in medium containers so you can pull out just enough to last a day or two.

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