ground beef

National Chili Day

It’s Friday! It’s cold outside. It’s National Chili Day. Make some chili!

Check out our Soups/Stews/Chilis section for recipes.

Chili Cookoff Recipe

Chili Cookoff Winner

This is my famous Chili Cookoff winning recipe!  The key ingredient is the Italian sausage which adds the extra flavor that can’t be matched.  On a few occasions, I have used ground beef instead of sausage, but it only yielded a 2nd or 3rd place ranking.  If you do decide to use ground beef, I recommend using 1 1/2 or 2 chili seasoning packets.


2 lbs. ground Italian sausage

1 chili seasoning packet

1 sweet onion, chopped

28 ozs. crushed tomatoes

8 ozs. tomato sauce

10 ozs. diced tomatoes with green chiles

2 – 15 oz. cans kidney beans, drained

Chili powder, to taste

Brown the sausage and onion in a skillet.  Drain off excess fat.  Put all of the ingredients in your crockpot and stir well.  I prefer to make this the night before and store the crock in the refrigerator (it gives the chili a thicker consistency), but you can do it either way.

The next morning, I put the crock back into the base, turn it on low, and cook for 7 to 8 hours.  Add extra chili powder, to taste during cooking, if needed.

Serve with mini corn muffins, sour cream, and grated cheese on the side.  Whether you’re entering a chili cookoff or bringing this to a potluck, you’ll be a winner either way!


My friend and neighbor, Katie, shared her meatloaf recipe that she got from her Mom, Donna.  It’s a crowd pleaser!  The swiss cheese in this recipe is divine. Katie said that it’s the “best meatloaf ever” and it is one of the best that I have ever had!


2 lbs. hamburger (I use turkey and it’s good as well)

1 1/2 cups diced swiss cheese

2 beaten eggs

1/2 cup chopped yellow onion

1/2 cup chopped green pepper

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 tsp celery salt

1/2 tsp paprika

2 1/2 cups milk

1 cup dried bread crumbs

Mix all ingredients together in the appropriate order they are given, then press it into 1 (or 2- I split it in half) big loaf pan. Bake uncovered at 350 for about an hour and a half. Serves 6-8.

Meatball Appetizers

Meatball Appetizers


This is another family recipe that we often had for New Year’s Eve Parties.  I’ve revised the recipe to use pre-made frozen meatballs.  Buy two bags and double the recipe for a big crowd because they will go fast!


1 bag frozen meatballs

3 T. dark molasses

3 T. prepared mustard

3 T. apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup ketchup

1/4 tsp. thyme

Brown the meatballs in a skillet until heated through.  Mix all remaining ingredients in a separate bowl.  Add sauce to meatballs and simmer until bubbling.  Serve meatballs right away.  They won’t have time to get cold!