For years now, I have always prepared a big pot of chili or some other soup to have on Halloween. When we had kids to get ready for trick or treating, mine and usually somebody else's, it was just a convenient meal to have when we got back from festivities and the smell of a big pot of chili just made it seem like part of what Halloween smelled like to me along with dried, falling leaves and children with chocolate on their breath. The smells of a holiday always stick with us so much more than what we actually see or do. That's why I think food brings back the most memories for people.
This chili recipe is very kid friendly, because it's not terribly hot and spicy and it gets a touch of sweetness from a little brown sugar. You might think that's odd, but it makes it taste amazing. Try it and you won't make it again without it. This can be all thrown in the slow cooker and cooked all day or you can make it in a soup pot and have it ready in an hour. Either way works great and it just gets better as it sits. It's even better the next day. Also, if you like the heat and spice and you aren't cooking for children or those who are heat sensitive, like my husband, feel free to spice it up. I add hot sauce to mine in my own bowl because I like hot. Here is what you will need:
2 lbs. ground chuck
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced small
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilis, like Rotel or Pace (use mild if you don't want too much heat)
1 can Hunt's Chili Fixins
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
2 cans chili beans, undrained ( I like the Ranch beans)
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs. chili powder (may add more if you like spice)
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
dash of cayenne ( to your taste)
1/2 cup brown sugar (this makes it so much better)
3 cups water (use 2 if cooking this in the slow cooker)
Brown the ground chuck with the onion and green pepper. Drain the excess grease. If you are cooking in a slow cooker, add the brown ground beef to the slow cooker and proceed from there.
Add all of the other ingredients in the order listed. Bring to a low boil, then turn to low and simmer for about an hour. Stir this every now and then because it has a tendency to stick at first. After it cooks for 45 minutes or so, add a little more water if needed or depending on how thick you like your chili.
If preparing in the slow cooker, set to low and let it go for 6-8 hours. You won't need as much water added in the slow cooker.
Down Home Kid Friendly Chili!