Who wants to have a cannonball competition right into this bowl of chili?!

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It might be a bit warm but we can sit on an avocado raft and eat tortilla chips until we make our way to the edge. I’m all for this idea. Chili swim.

Especially THIS chili swim. It is so freaking delicious.

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This chili comes from Ayesha Curry’s new cookbook, The Seasoned Life, and it is seriously FANTASTIC. Like, unexpectedly fantastic. We loved it so, so much.

It’s no secret that over the last seven years I’ve made (and shared) tons of chili. Really. A TON. And it’s also no secret that every single time I make chili, I never follow a recipe. Never. Not even with my own. (Okay wait I’m lying – always with this smoky chicken chili.) But I really love to make and taste and season as I go with chili. It depends on the day, my mood, what we’re making it for, what I have on hand and what we feel like using.

Yes, making chili in this house may just be a wildly dramatic event.

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So it came as a surprise to even me that I followed the recipe. I almost followed it to a T. Just a few easy changes (I used beef instead of lamb and decreased the amount of cinnamon) and guess what? I might be using this chili recipe for the rest of my life.


It was that good. Holy cow.

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Here’s what drew me to it:

I was looking through Ayesha’s book trying to decide on a recipe to make and I quickly scanned the chili. I loved that her version used tons of beans (especially pinto! major bean fan here), included sausage in the recipe (yes, I know, I don’t even like sausage!), included an entire bottle of beer (oh yes) and get this – included MAPLE SYRUP!!

Yep. Maple syrup. The moment I saw that, I was like… it’s happening. I have to make this right now. And that’s what I did.

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Eddie and I both loved that this chili is hearty and not very saucy or soupy. That makes it an excellent chili topping for things like burgers or hot dogs or nachos (I may have had the latter last night… oops) and makes it super easy to scoop up with a tortilla chip. Priorities, man.

Aside from those obvious wins, it tasted really freaking good. I’ll be honest. I was hesitant to use the maple syrup, even though I was excited and intrigued about the addition. I thought it might be way too sweet or take away from some of the smoky flavor.

It didn’t do that at all. It was the perfect accompaniment to the beef, sausage, beer and crushed tomatoes.

So that there is my chili story for your Monday morning. Ayesha calls this her Game Day Chili and I have to agree that it’s ideal for that given it’s dipping capabilities. It can totally be made in the crockpot too. I might call it life-

changing chili since it’s some of the best I’ve had AND the recipe that made me use a recipe. I don’t even know who I am anymore.

Not complaining one leeeeettle bit.

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Game Day Beer Chili

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  • Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the olive oil. Season the beef and sausage with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Add the beef and sausage and cook, stirring often, until browned and golden, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon and place it on a plate. Set aside.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the onions, peppers, and garlic, stirring well to coat. Add a pinch of salt. Cook until softened, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, cinnamon and chili flakes and stir and mash it into the pepper and onions. Cook, stirring often, as the tomato paste begins to get darker in color – about 5 minutes. Add the beef back into the mixture. Pour in the bottle of beer to deglaze the pan, using a wooden spoon to stir any browned bits off the bottom.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, fire roasted tomatoes, beans and maple syrup. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce it to a simmer and cook for at least one hour, or until it’s thickened to your liking and the flavor has developed.


[slightly adapted from The Seasoned Life]

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p.s. I like a bit of chili with my chips.