I have a confession to make. And while I realize it may alienate a lot of my readers, I cannot hold it in any longer.
I hate Texas weather.
There. I said it.
Sorry. Not sorry.
I’ve lived here 8 years, people. That’s a long time, especially for someone who has bounced across the country every few years for the majority of her adult life. And it’s definitely long enough to form an educated opinion about the climate of a geographical area. And my opinion is that Texas weather is the pits.
In full disclaimer, I am an East Coast girl through and through. I grew up with seasons. With leaves that changed in the fall. With the breath and silence of the first snowfall. With spring dogwoods and summer fireflies. There were 4 very distinct parts of the year. They each were beautiful in their own way and even as a child growing up, I recognized the value in the renewal each brought to our lives.
But for as long as I can remember, fall as been my jam. I am the girl who craves flannels and boots and jeans all day, every day. I believe life is better when lived with the windows open and a crisp breeze blowing through the curtains. Fall has a smell, and that smell is clean and fresh and new. If it were a candle scent I would buy it in bulk. Clouds on a fall day seem bigger, whiter and happier against the deep blue of the sky. And cold weather food is better to cook, better to eat, and somehow more soul soothing than summer fare.
Yes, fall brings out the best in us. There’s a reason we all go bananas over pumpkin spice. And while it’s undeniably yummy, I think it’s deeper than that. It represents something. It feels like home, for all of us. It’s a distant memory of comfort and good cheer. It’s grandmas house. It’s childhood. It’s, quite simply put, warmth from the inside.
And we all want that.
And I just don’t get enough of that here. Sure, there are so many reasons to love this place. The people, the opportunity, the cost of living. I love them all. But I just don’t get the weather. It’s October and I should be feeling the warm fuzzies of fall all around, but I don’t. At least not consistently. I want to be way past bathing suit season and the pains and inconveniences that it brings. I don’t want to take my kids to the pool on Columbus Day unless we’re on vacation. I don’t want to sweat at the pumpkin patch. I don’t even like PSL’s but if I get one, I want it hot. Not iced.
I want fall. I want it badly. Maybe I need the comfort. Maybe I need the warmth from the inside.
At this point, I don’t know and I don’t care. I want fall.
And thankfully, it came. Maybe a small answer to prayer. Maybe a truce called or a sign to show that seasons do change and a new better one is being ushered in. I don’t know.
But today in Texas it feels like fall. We woke up to a chill. We woke up to big fluffy white clouds in a deep blue sky. Our coffee steamed in our hands as we sat on the porch before church in quiet gratefulness for the break in the weather. The air is crisp. My heart is happy.
So here, friends, you will start to get the best of me. My cooking in fall becomes more inspired. I love to create that which soothes, that warms, the comforts. And that’s where this recipe comes from. It’s probably the easiest chili you’ll ever make. It’s a dump and run recipe that allows you to live while your dinner is cooking. There isn’t much better than coming in from a full day of life and having a warm home cooked dinner ready for you. I threw this in the crock pot prior to leaving for church and we had great family “linner” (you know, lunch and dinner?) afterwards. The kids (minus my child who eats nothing) love it and it’s great for busy weeknights and weekend football games all the same.
So enjoy your weather, wherever you are. I hope you feel the excitement of the changing season. When it’s cold, hold your loved ones closer. Cuddle up. It’s fall. And enjoy this chili.
Easy Slow Cooker Chili
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (optional)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
In a skillet, cook beef over medium heat until browned. Drain.
Transfer to slow cooker and add the remaining ingredients.
Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4.
Serve with shredded cheese, chopped onions and cilantro and whatever other garnishes make your little heart happy!
- Because I live in Texas, it is necessary for me to omit beans in all chili recipes. If you like beans, adding 2 cans of kidney or pinto beans makes a nice addition.
- I don't always add the jalapeno. It doesn't add too much heat, but if I know my kids are going to be eating it I tend to tone down the spice and use only half at most. For more heat, do not remove the seeds.
My slow cooker recommendation:
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