Chili. It’s what’s for dinner.

Hey y’all! Its been a long time. But now I’m back. And I have something special for you!

A few years ago, I had a thought. Let me warn you in advance. I can be a pretty deep-thinker. You ready for it??

What if you could have chili with the cornbread baked into it? :::drops microphone, exits stage:::

I know, right? I tried to warn you!

I love eating cornbread with my chili. It brings a little bit of sweetness to the savory chili. But I’m lazy. And I don’t like making a mess. You would think having 3 kids and another on the way, messes wouldn’t bother me. THEY DO. So I became a “problem-solver”. It’s kind of a dramatic title for such a miniscule problem (is it even really a problem?) What can I say. I’m a deep-thinking, problem-solver who has a flair for the dramatic! Wow that was a lot of hyphens. Moving on…….

Out of all the meals I’ve made for people over the years, my chili is one of the most requested and most loved. Now I’m going to share my recipe with you. Reluctantly, I might add. But giving is better than receiving. So take good care of it and use it wisely. By the way, you’re going to be SHOCKED at how easy it is. I’m almost embarassed by it. Ok not really. But it does taste like it’s been simmering all day, when in fact, I just threw it together. There, My secret is out!! I hope you enjoy!

Jessica’s Lazy Chili

2 cans tomato sauce (I use organic)

2 cans dark red kidney beans (again, I use organic)

2 cans chili beans in mild sauce (if you like hot, go for it, you crazy person!)

1 pound grass fed ground beef

1 1/2 Tablespoon chili seasoning (recipe to follow)

1 box Jiffy cornbread mix

Chili Seasoning

3 Tablespoons chili powder

3 teaspoons cumin

3/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

3 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon pepper

Mix all together in a airtight container. I use a mason jar.

For every pound of ground beef, use 1 1/2 Tablespoons of chili seasoning

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*Disclaimer* I tried to make this once with homemade cornbread from scratch. It never made it to the execution stage. My husband said “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. So I didn’t! But if your little sweet heart desires to make it with homemade cornbread, go for it. And let me know how it turns out!

Preheat  your oven to 400 degrees

Brown the ground beef in a dutch oven. This beauty is one my mother-in-law gave me for Christmas several years ago. It gets used more than any other pan in my kitchen. I love it!!

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While this is browning and making your kitchen smell amazing, go ahead and make your cornbread according to the box instructions.

After your beef is mostly brown (don’t worry about getting it all done. It will go into the oven later), add your 2 cans of tomato sauce.

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Now for the chili seasoning. If you ask me, this is the star of the show. But you might think it’s the cornbread. That’s fair.

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Let this simmer for about 5 minutes. There’s no real logic here. I’m just giving you time to complete your next task. Which is an important one. RINSE YOUR KIDNEY BEANS. See all the bubbles? Those end up in your belly, causing you-know-what. Rinsing your beans will cut down on the oligosaccharides (oligo is a prefix meaning “a few” and saccharides is just a fancy name for sugar. Don’t you feel smarter??), which cause the music that escapes your butt. Don’t skip this part. You’re family will love you for it!

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Add them to your beef and tomato sauce mixture. Now add your chili beans. Stir well to incorporate.

This is the part where we get a little crazy. Remember your cornbread that you already mixed? Now you want to spoon it onto the top of your chili. Don’t be scared. Just go for it!

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It should look similar to this when you’re done. Or if you’re the creative type, you can do a heart or something else. No judgement here. You’re in a safe place.

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Now pop this bad boy into the oven for 35 minutes and walk away. Feel free to marvel at your amazingness for making such a delicious meal that everyone will be wowed by. :::Miss America wave:::

After 35 minutes is up, take it out of the oven and insert a butter knife through the middle. If it comes out clean, it’s done. If not, put it back in the oven for 5 minutes at a time and recheck. The cornbread can be a little sneaky (as you can see here). It looks “done” at the top but it can still be runny underneath. No one likes runny, undone cornbread.

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You’re done! Congratulations! Feel free to top your chili with shredded cheese, sour cream, jalapeños or anything else you like. See! I can be flexible!

I hope this warms you belly and your heart on this cold and rainy day. Cheers!

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