Every Halloween, my mom cooked chili. Steaming hot chili with oyster crackers floating on top. It was served in red, orange, ochre and brown ceramic bowls. Even the colors of the dishes were warm. We would eat the chili to warm up before dressing in our costumes to go trick or treating in the crisp autumn air. Now, for me, chili is forever linked with cool fall evenings. I crave this chili when the nights get cold and the leaves start turning color. So, I thought I’d share the chili recipe.
COZY CHILI RECIPE
- 1 pound ground beef (as a vegetarian household, we substitute with MorningStar Grillers Crumbles or Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles for vegetarian chili)
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup water
- 1 can condensed tomato soup (sometimes we use fire roasted diced tomatoes)
- 2 16 oz. cans of red kidney beans
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
In a bit of oil in a deep skillet or big saucepan, brown the beef and cook the onion, garlic and chili powder until the onion is tender.
Add remaining ingredients. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Makes 4 servings.
We like to add fire roasted corn to the recipe. And serve it with sharp aged cheddar cheese grated on the top. I also love chili powder from Penzey’s or a flavorful chipotle chili. It has rich savory flavor without tongue-burning heat. But mostly, I try to keep the chili close to mom’s original recipe. There are a bazillion chili recipes out there, but there’s nothing like the original favorite food that you enjoyed as a child.
Setting a Cozy Table
Color can go a long way to creating a cozy feeling to go with cozy food. Darker warm colors like red, terra cotta, paprika, olive green, even navy, all work together to make meals feel like comfort food on chilly days.
I love to decorate my dining table with unexpected, different things like a table runner made from kimono fabric. I find kimono fabrics on eBay. They’re about 14″ wide — perfect for table runners! Here’s a silk kimono fabric with autumn leaves and colors that I shared in a blog post several years ago:
Wouldn’t the bowls and copper pieces shown above look great with this fabric as a table runner? Add candles, pumpkins and acorns, and you have a cozy autumn table.
Our dining room walls are also painted a warm cozy paprika color. I can tell you, sitting in there feels like a warm embrace, perfect on colder fall and winter days!