The Tuesday Take From a Functional Shopaholic

Tuesday is the day I spill my own little voice into the big crazy interweb vat of everyone else's opinions, sharing my favorite whatnots and whereabouts and why they are so dang awesome to me.

 Today's take: Wick Fowler's 2-Alarm Chili Kit

The weather has barely turned to spring in some parts of the country, but up here in the Antelope Valley we have already seen 100+ degree days.  103 to be exact.  Remind me later to tell you how excited I was to see these temperatures on the thermometer in April.
Since autumn is my favorite time of year, in my head I like to skip over summertime in the Mojave desert and think about the cool temperatures, falling leaves, and blatant lack of heat and 60 mile per hour winds.  With autumn comes yummy autumn foods - squash dishes, warm hearty meals in the crock pot, soups, and the best hot eats of them all - chili!!  

Way back in my youngster days, fresh out of college and forced to face cooking in a kitchen of my very own... my mom introduced me to Wick Fowler's 2-Alarm Chili Kit.  Tucked tightly into a care package of blankets, stuffed animals, snackin's and just general mommy love was this little red cardboard box with a yummy bowl of chili emblazoned across the front.  At this point, I was fully equipped to face my first fall and winter in the Motor City where I was living at the time.

Why is this chili kit amazing?  Because it is easy to prepare, it comes complete with a great seasoning assortment, and it is completely ready for consumption in under an hour.  Why does it continue to be a mainstay in my pantry?  Because if you toss out the masa packet (which is optional for chili preparations), it is completely Paleo!  FINALLY an old favorite that carries over as is and doesn't require tweaks and modifications.  
What I also love about this kit is that the required additional ingredients are freezer and pantry staples in most kitchens, which means zero grocery shopping required for a last minute belly-warming chili dinner. 

2 pounds of ground beef.  1 8-oz can of tomato sauce.  That's it.  Sometimes I use 1 pound beef and 1 pound ground pastured pork.  I tend to be a chili purist, so I'm not much into adding anything else.  If you like to get creative, this makes a great base chili if you want to add in onions, roasted diced tomatoes, or any other ingredient that gets your taste buds tingling.


How easy is the preparation for such delicious chili, you may ask?  

Brown the ground beef in a large pan, like a Le Creuset Cast-Iron Dutch Oven and drain off the excess liquid.  Add in each spice packet included with the kit: a perfect harmony of dried onion/garlic, cumin/oregano, chili pepper, paprika, and red pepper.  Want to tweak the heat for your personal spice tolerance?  Reduce the amount of chili pepper and red pepper you add from the packets.  Looking to set off 3 alarms?  Add in your own extra spices!  Stir the seasonings into the browned meat and add the tomato sauce and 2 sauce cans of water.  For thinner chili, add 2 additional cans.  Cover and simmer for an additional 30 minutes.

Whaa?  That's it??  Yup.  That's it.

I prefer to enjoy this chili over a roasted diced sweet potato with fresh chopped red onion sprinkled on top.  Hurry up, autumn!  I'm gettin' hungry!


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