Cornbread & Chili

Dinner tonight was chili made with Wyebrook ground beef and bacon. It is my favorite product. The bacon and cured and hot smoked right on the farm. After the guys slice it, any scraps and ends are ground in with the beef so you get bacon-y goodness with every bite. Any recipe that calls for ground beef is vastly improved by substituting ground beef and bacon. You really can’t go wrong.

My original plan was to cook a roast, but Manda and Joel are out of town so I was only cooking for three instead of five. A roast seemed like overkill and I knew I could make a big batch of chili and freeze it. Plus it was cold last week and I was craving chili. I am still pretty new to the culinary world so I didn’t have a good go-to chili recipe. Better Homes and Gardens is almost always my starting point when looking for a recipe and I found this one for beef and bean chili. I added some bell pepper (from my dad’s garden) and mushrooms that I had on hand and needed to use up. That’s the beauty of chili. You can just kind of throw stuff in and it tends to work out alright.

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And who wants chili without a side of cornbread? For all things baking I turn to King Arthur. They haven’t failed me yet. I like sweet cornbread, but try to avoid refined sugars. When baking, I like to use honey or maple syrup when I can. This maple cornbread fit the bill. Next time I think I will try it with whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose to make it slightly healthier.

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The chili was good, but not spectacular. It was too mild for my tastes, but my mom thought the spice was perfect. (She thought the meal was perfect simply because she didn’t have to cook so I wouldn’t rely on her opinion.) My dad agreed with me. Thankfully (not really) we have a long, cold winter ahead of us so there will be plenty of opportunities for me to try other chili recipes. If you have a good one, send it my way!

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