John’s fall time chili (and a little update on the job search)

Before I get into the “meat and beans” of this post (literally), I wanted to update you on my job situation. To expand a little bit on my laments in this post several weeks ago, my current employer gave everyone in our department an ultimatum – Move to a different location within the company (both of which an hour or two from our home now) or find another job elsewhere. To say morale has been at an all-time low would be an understatement. So my immediate goal in the last couple of weeks has been to find something new, and to find it FAST.

I was unfortunately not chosen for the first job I interviewed for (a blow that hasn’t happened to me since interviewing for my very first job when I was fifteen years old), but my luck changed the day before yesterday. I has applied for one other position and graciously received an offer that I couldn’t turn down. I wouldn’t say that this is my “dream job,” but it is going to provide me with the security I so crave at this time in my life. I am just so thankful to have something new to look forward to at a company that I feel is a strong one.

That said and despite sticking it out with the corporate environment for another handful of years, I canNOT thank you all enough for your unwavering support, encouragement and suggestions. SO many of you commented and emailed with words that I so wanted to follow through on, words that encouraged me to take the leap now into full-time blogging, freelancing and designing. While I truly believe that that’s my direction, I think I need to give myself just a little more time to reach that ultimate goal. I am so excited to see what my future holds…And am so THANKFUL to have you guys along for the ride! It wouldn’t be the same without you. Truly.

BUT the title of this post is not “Carrie’s long-winded spiel on life, jobs and career goals.” Let’s get down to business – Today I’m sharing John’s famous (at least in OUR household) chili recipe. Every year, without fail, the boy celebrates the coming of fall with a big steaming pot of chili. Single, betrothed or married, it’s always been his “thing,” and I am more than happy to oblige now as his significant other. We had it for several nights in a row this past week (and a couple of packed lunches too) and I actually DIDN’T get sick of it, it was so good.

Few of us lack in chili recipes around this time of year, but I couldn’t help but share this one. Call me biased, but it’s one of the best I’ve ever eaten.

John’s Fall Time Chili

Ingredients:
2 15 oz. cans of tomato sauce
1 10 oz. can of diced tomatoes
1 15.5 oz. can of dark red kidney beans (light beans work too, of course)
chili powder to taste
1 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon olive oil

Instructions:
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Once hot, brown the ground beef until cooked through, about ten minutes. Meanwhile, in a large simmering pot, dump all liquid ingredients plus the chili powder in and stir to combine. Once the ground beef is ready, scoop that into the large pot as well. Stir to combine. Simmer on low for an hour or so until bubbling, stirring occasionally. NOTE: You can obviously achieve the same result in a crock pot if you’d rather not keep an eye on the stove.

As you can see, I like to garnish with shredded cheese and oyster crackers. A little sour cream doesn’t hurt either. As a brand new addition this year, we also cut a thin loaf of ciabatta bread in half and then into tiny triangles, baked the pile on a pan in a 350 degree oven for ten minutes and then used the slices as dippers in the chili. It. Was. So. Good.

All in all, this is one of those hearty, warm dishes that will make you close your eyes, breathe deep and relax knowing that fall is here and the holidays aren’t far behind.

What are YOUR favorite fall dishes? Recipes please!!

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