The Perfect Chili?

“Chili is not so much food as a state of mind. Addictions to it are formed early in life and the victims never recover. On blue days in October, I get this passionate yearning for a bowl of chili, and I nearly lose my mind,” said writer Margaret Cousins. I cannot say that the chili I served at our first Chili Cook-off moved our guests to lose their minds (that I know of, anyway), but I can say that our friends (and a few random strangers) had a good time and left our party with full stomachs and a healthy buzz (thanks to our homebrewed Anchor Steam beer and Pumpkin Spice Martinis).

Matt and I waited until the week before our university’s Friday night pre-Homecoming game’s “Walkaround” to plan our chili cook-off. I solicited recipes from friends and family who were great cooks, selected a few recipes of my own, and then–like Margaret Cousins–lost my mind when I made not one, not two, but FIVE different chilis in one day. I know, I know–that’s not the way to have a chili cook-off. But we all had a fun time anyway.

Below you’ll find our Chili Cook-off menu. Just click on the links I’ve provided for you to get copies of the recipes.

The Chilis





The side dish

The beer

The cocktail

The winner?

We had our guests vote on their favorite chili. Maybe it was too much Anchor Steam, but the voting process was a little sketchy. The two chilis that guests ate the most of were the Three Meat Chili and the White Chicken Chili. The chili that received the most votes, however, was the No Meat, No problem Chili.

According to my hubby, at least one vote (for his chili–the Three Meat) disappeared in the counting. He also told me that he believed “marketing influenced the outcome”–whatever that means. Was someone stealing votes? Was the chili election rigged? We’ll never know…


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