Hibernating sounds warm and cozy at the moment.
I do have a great chili recipe. What's great about it (if you ask me) is that it's VERY basic and can EASILY be played around with. You will want to play around with it and you will find that whatever you do, it's pretty much fail proof. Except maybe if you added marshmallows. :) But once I was making chili and discovered I didn't even have chili powder. It was still delicious!
1 pound hamburger meat, crumbled and browned
1 onion, diced
2 cans kidney beans, rinsed
2 pounds pinto beans, rinsed
2 29 oz. cans of tomatoes (details to come)
salt and pepper, to taste
Here is the playing around that I mean.... First off, the canned tomatoes. You can use pureed, crushed, diced, one of each, you decide. Sometimes I am in the mood for bigger chunks of tomato, sometimes not. I usually do one crushed and one diced (with liquid) but not every time.
I've also played around with the beans, using black beans, or maybe throwing in a can of hominy. I usually stick with kidney and pinto beans but it's so worth playing around with.
Chili powder is to taste, but you would want to start with 3 tablespoons at least, and add to there as you wish.
You could easily use dehydrated onions, and nobody will know the difference. But sometimes I am in the mood to dice onions. That's usually my decision maker.
Also, play with the seasoning. I often add a splash of hot sauce, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, cumin. Be brave and play. That's my chili motto. :-)
I also play around with the side. Sometime we have tortilla chips and sometimes cornbread. I almost always top mine with some cheese and sour cream but occasionally I don't and I realize that it's really great on it's very own.
Well..... there is a letter all about chili, eh?!
I can't wait for your visit in the next month or two.
With love and best Chili dishes,
p.s. I stole that from Paula Dean
p.s.s. Be brave and play! :)