Today I am making my cousin Katie’s chili recipe. This deliciousness is made in the slow-cooker, which makes it easy-peasy to prepare. One of the best things about slow-cooker recipes is the aroma it gives off in the house all day while it is cooking away. My house smells like home cooking right now and I love it!
I have made this dish many times before, but today, it brings up all sorts of tough emotions for me…unfortunately Katie passed away last summer. She was only 43 years old—much too young to be gone from this world. Wasn’t she beautiful? I always thought so. She struggled with alcoholism throughout her adulthood, which progressed until it finally took her life. I know I will share more about Kate in future blogs, what she meant to me and her struggles with addiction. Today though, I just want to focus on the love of her delectable recipe and her talent for cooking.
It was when Katie first moved out of her parent’s house that we saw her love for cooking come to life. She was a natural! Food Network was her favorite television station, and it was almost always on in the background in her house. She loved to discuss food and experiment with new recipes. Katie loved entertaining and was often busy having groups of family and friends over for big meals. Some people just have “IT” when it comes to cooking and she was definitely one of those people. Katie had “IT”.
One thing I admired about her cooking, was her ability to come up with original recipes. I love to cook as well, and have always fancied myself a “good chef”, but I typically follow recipes. I am more of a rule follower. Katie, on the other hand…not so much. Her free spirit and fun-loving ways gave her a freedom with cooking that I really had not found up until recently.
Katie was really proud of her chili recipe. She made this often and people always loved it. She even entered a local chili making contest and guess what—she won First Place. I was there with her that day, and when I found out she was the Crowd Favorite, I was thrilled for her.
Now I hope I didn’t hype it up too much, that you think this is some “new, fancy, unheard-of way to make chili.” It isn’t that. It is just a list of ingredients she put together, that will get you saying all of the “yum-yum’s”😊.
I am certain that Katie would love to know that people are still making her “Famous Chili”. It makes my heart happy to share her recipe with you. I hope I have inspired you to give it a try too!
Katie’s Famous Chili Recipe
2 pounds ground chuck (I often use ground turkey instead and still delicious)
1 (46 oz) can of tomato juice (I buy low-sodium)
1 green bell pepper (diced)
1 medium yellow onion (diced)
2 stalks celery (diced)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more to taste if you like it spicy)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup barbecue sauce (I use Sweet Baby Ray’s)
1/2 cup ketchup
Shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, chives, and/or bacon for topping. (You pick your favorite toppings!)
Brown ground chuck or ground turkey whichever you are using. Drain the grease from the meat. Add meat to the crockpot along with all other ingredients. Cook on high for 4-5 hours. Serve with your choice of toppings.
Note: Katie did not like beans in her chili. I prefer beans, so I add a can of red beans in the last hour of cooking. I also used to make elbow noodles and pour the chili over a bit of pasta, but I don’t anymore because you know…carbs. Oh, how I miss the days of not worrying about too many carbs! 😉