Chelle P. asked about a recipe for the chili that I oh-so-humbly bragged about. That's what I get for opening my big mouth. I don't really have a recipe, per se, but I can walk you through what I do. I tend to change it up depending on who I'm cooking for. Al and I like our chili pretty spicy, but I'll give alternatives for you with delicate constitutions.
Here are the basics:
1 pound of ground beef and 1 pound of ground turkey (I think beef is too acidic and turkey is too bland, so I combine them. If I use just turkey, I add more spices. I've also used ground deer meat and it was really good, too.)
1 onion, chopped
Couple of cans of tomatoes (I usually use either Muir Glen Fire Roasted Tomatoes for less spice or Del Monte Petite Cut Zesty Tomatoes or Rotel tomatoes for spicy)
Can of tomato sauce
Couple of cans of Chili Beans--hot (For less spice, use kidney beans)
Spices--salt (I use kosher salt for cooking), pepper (red and black), cumin, chili powder, Tabasco sauce (I really like chipotle because of it's smokey flavor), and anything else you particularly like. Spice a little, taste, then add until you get the level of spiciness that you want.
And if I have a beer handy (hahahaha, like I wouldn't have a beer handy), I pour some in, but do that early so that it can cook out some.
And sometimes I add a can or two of diced green chiles.
Brown the beef or whatever meat you are using with the onions. Drain it to get some of the extra grease out then put everything in a big ol' pot. The longer you can let it simmer, the better it will be. Taste as you go to adjust the spices. I've told Al to stay away from the stove--he's been told to spice his own bowl, not the whole thing. He likes things spicier than I do.
I've also made vegetarian chili with bulgar instead of beef. Since it's the spices that make it chili, I liked it ok. It's a nice change from ground beef. You can also use black beans if you don't want the chili or kidney beans. Or you can leave the beans out all together--the chili that won best at the competition this last weekend didn't have any beans.
We top off our bowls with crackers, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, sour cream, and if we have them, Fritos. A friend of mine's stomach can't seem to handle just chili, so she puts it over cooked elbow macaroni, making it more of a chili mac. That's good, too.
Of course, you could always just brown some meat and add a package of chili seasoning and a can of tomato sauce, but what fun would that be?
Oh, and an iron skillet full of cornbread is a nice accompaniment, too! Enjoy!