• katherine keller main chili slow cookerMy 14 year old daughter loves to throw parties at our house with her 4 closest girlfriends. In the past we have had our annual Christmas party, Easter party, and Abby’s Birthday party for these girls.

    My only requirement for having these parties is that Abby has to plan it….all of it.

    She picks out the menu, she makes grocery lists, she figures out what supplies she needs, and she decorates. She consults with me, but my biggest job is to go to the store to buy supplies and hand them over to her.

    This year, we decided to add on an Autumn Pumpkin Carving Party complete with an autumn themed menu. Over the years Abby has learned that anything we can cook, bake, put together in advance is a huge plus.

    There isn’t a better meal to put together ahead of time, than chili.

    Like me, chili gets better with age.

    This is a robust chili that we will throw in the slow cooker a day before the party and allow it to simmer for a minimum of 8 hours. We refrigerate it overnight, and then reheat it before the party. It’s simple enough to set up a chili station in the corner of our kitchen where the girls can add their own toppings.

    Because I usually make this for parties, tailgating, a battalion of my son’s JROTC team, etc. I keep it fairly mild. I just make sure that our chili station includes hot sauce and chile peppers for people to add more kick to their own bowl. We also include cheddar cheese, corn chips, sour cream, and diced raw onions at our chili station.

    Do not let the long list of ingredients deter you. For the most part you’ll just throw all of the ingredients together in the slow cooker. Best part….leftovers can be frozen and will taste even better!



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    Day Before Chili
    1. In a large skillet, brown the beef chuck and cubed steak on medium-high heat until evenly cooked. Drain grease and add meat to your slow cooker.
    2. Add all remaining ingredients to the slow cooker. Set slow cooker to low. Allow chili to simmer for at least 8 hours, stirring occasionally to mix the flavors.
    3. Place chili in refrigerator until a few hours before serving. Add chili back to crock pot or to large stock pot to reheat.
    4. Serve with cheddar cheese, corn chips, sour cream, diced onions, and hot sauce.
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