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Favorite Fall Comfort Food

Updated: Sep 15, 2020

For my whole life I have lived in a place with four distinct seasons, so when people talk about having a crisp chill to the air when summer starts to make it’s exit, I understand that. With fall comes a lot of talk about food, apple picking, pumpkin spice, and the like are everywhere you turn. I think it is because like bears, what we all would like to do is settle in and hibernate through the cold unrelenting winter months. I know I do.

Today on Romance Writers Weekly blog hop we are talking about our favorite go to fall recipes. For many people, I know early Sept. is too soon to be thinking fall anything, but up here there are even signs of the foliage soon to grace the landscape, so my mind is definitely on comfort food.

I love the food of fall. Hearty soups, stews, and warm yummy casseroles, but since I must pick just one to share here today, I’m going to go with a bowl of chili and some yummy sweet cornbread.

Chili is a good meal any time of year, because it is festive and basically a happy meal. You can’t really be in a bad mood when you are someplace where they are offering you chili. However, on a crisp fall afternoon there is nothing like walking into the house and smelling the pot of chili that has been slowly bubbling away on the wood stove all afternoon.

I realize that last sentence may sound strange, but we still heat primarily

with wood all year long and to be a frugal Yankee, yes that is a thing, I often will cook soups, or other things on the wood stove. I brings me back to my roots, I guess. Anyway

, not that it tastes any different, but I like chili when it has simmered on the wood stove.

As a culinary aficionado I am also aware that some of what I am going to say is controversial on many levels. You can forgo the hate mail. You do you, I’ll do me. Here we go, number one: My chili has beans, both light and dark kidney beans. There I said it! To me chili needs to be a hearty meal that can keep you warm and full on those cold nights. Not having beans to me, makes it more of a condiment.

I also like my chili spicy, so if you don’t want so much spice, just cut it in half and you can always add a touch more, but it is deuced difficult to take it out if you add too much.

Now, we have an ongoing debate about what to have with chili. Really the options are endless. I’ve made baked potatoes before, in in the wood stove if you need to know. If you don’t forget them it works out well. Lol. I always make rice for a base, which my husband and kids often don’t bother to use,

but I like to pour my chili over some yummy rice. My husband always needs hot sauce and cheddar cheese to include as well. I think cheddar has a good flavor to go with the hearty chili. But, one thing my entire family can agree on, is cornbread.

Here is the second thing that may raise some controversy, we like our cornbread on the sweet side. There, I admit it. I am well aware that there is an entire group of people who do not like sweetened corn bread, but those are not my people. Since I am gluten free, I am not going to include a recipe here because I usually just buy a gluten free mix, but I usually add a teaspoon of sugar to whatever mix it is, just in case it isn’t “sweet”. My biggest hint with corn bread, is to cook it in a cast iron skillet. Put a tablespoon of butter or so, more is not bad, into the skillet and pop it in the oven as it heats up. When you take it out, the skillet will be nice and hot and the butter melted, swirl the butter around to coat, then add the batter to the hot pan. You will get a yummy crisp crust around the outside that way.

Fall Chili Recipe

1 can dark kidney beans drained and rinsed

1 can light kidney beans drained and rinsed

1 lb. ground turkey or beef, or whatever ground meat you prefer

2 14oz cans diced tomatoes

1 bottle bloody Mary mix

1 large onion diced

1 large green bell pepper diced

1 Tbsp minced garlic

1 Tbsp chili power

½ tsp. salt

Pepper to taste

1 tsp. cumin

1 ½ tsp. oregano

1 tsp cocoa powder (you can leave this out, but I think it adds a depth of flavor to the chili)


In a large pot, brown the ground meat, season with some salt and pepper as you do. Drain meat and set aside.

In same pot add some butter or oil and sweat the onions and peppers until the onions are translucent. Add garlic and stir until you smell the garlic.

Add meat back into pot with beans, tomatoes, bloody Mary mix, and spices stir. Let simmer on low until all the flavors blend and it is hot and bubbly. It will thicken as it cooks.

Test for spiciness and add more as needed.

Serve with cornbread, shredded cheddar, rice, or baked potato. Enjoy!

Now, I am craving a hot bowl of chili and some cornbread. I guess I know what I’m making for one dinner this week. Yum!

I hope you all enjoy, and I would love to hear how you liked it. Do you have a go to fall meal? Let me know in the comments.

Next up we have Phyllis Chubb

Her debut novel A Soul Knows will be out September 21!

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