Cardboard Mom's Chili Recipe

I've been making chili since I got married almost 13 years ago and we make it every fall-winter. There's just something so warm and ...


I've been making chili since I got married almost 13 years ago and we make it every fall-winter. There's just something so warm and comforting about it! If I had chosen a date for National Chili Day, I definitely would have chosen a day during football season - football and chili have just always gone together for us! It's a little warmer than it's been, but there's still snow on the ground outside so I think today is a perfect day for chili, even though football season is long gone.

I'm going to share my chili recipe but, to me, there is no perfect chili recipe. It's a very versatile personal kind of dish so feel free to use this as inspiration to create your own signature chili recipe! I don't even make it exactly the same every time!


Cardboard Mom's Chili

Ingredients:

  • 1lb ground beef (or a mix of ground beef and Italian sausage with casings removed)
  • 1 1/2 onions, chopped
  • 2 bell peppers, choppped
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
  • 14-15oz can of diced tomatoes, no salt added
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8oz can tomato sauce, no salt added
  • 1/2 cup ketchup (or plain BBQ sauce)
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • Seasonings of choice - I usually include garlic, onion, and chili powders, cumin, paprika, oregano, and salt and don't measure :-)

Special Equipment: 
6-quart slow cooker
Directions:
1. Cook ground meat in a skillet. Once it's cooked through, add it to the slow cooker.
2. Add in the onions, peppers, corn, diced tomatoes, and garlic.
3. Pour the tomato sauce, ketchup, and apple cider vinegar over the meat and veggies. Sprinkle brown sugar, cocoa powder, and seasonings over the top. Give everything a gentle stir.
4. Cover the slow cooker and cook on HIGH for at least 3-5 hours, stirring well after an hour or two. After that, leave the slow cooker on LOW or KEEP WARM until you're ready to eat (or just eat right then if you can't wait!)
5. We like it best served with a sprinkle of shredded cheddar, a dollop of sour cream, and a pile of Fritos for scooping.

Notes
- Sometimes I add about a cup of refried beans or a can of black beans, but my family prefers it without beans.  
- The kids don't really like spicy stuff so I leave it out now, but before they came along I used to add 1 1/2 tablespoons of pureed chipotles in adobo (it may not seem like a lot but a little really does go a long way and it adds a nice smoky spicy flavor). Now, if we want it a little spicy we just add a little hot sauce or chili sauce to our bowls after it's cooked.
- You could experiment with other ground meats - I've used venison before when we had friends go hunting and share some meat with us. I've also used veggie crumbles when making it for vegetarian friends and it's been delicious every time! 

I hope you're inspired to create your own chili recipe that your family will love!


'Let the Children March' - Read and Rise February 2021

I felt like I couldn't celebrate Black History Month without remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was such a powerful voice in the...


I felt like I couldn't celebrate Black History Month without remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was such a powerful voice in the Civil Right Movement and I greatly admire his resolve to remain peaceful no matter what was thrown at him. It can be SO hard to remain level-headed, calm, and non-violent when people are constantly attacking you, but he stuck to his values and beliefs. I know nothing positive will come from yelling at or fighting with someone and I try very hard - and sometimes don't succeed - to remain kind and calm when dealing with problems or addressing disagreements. 


What I think is really cool about the book I chose for this week is that instead of focusing on Dr. King, it focuses on the children who made a difference in the Civil Rights Movement. The CHILDREN. It's so easy to write children off as being too young to make a real difference in the world but they are so much more powerful than we give them credit for! It fills my heart every time I come across a child doing something amazing to make the world a better place. 


Featured story: "Let the Children March" by Monica-Clark Robinson


Activity: Our activity today is inspired by an amazing and inspiring young man, Michael Platt of Michaels Desserts. Michael is a teen from Maryland who in 2017 - at the age of 11 - started a baking business with a 1-for-1 model in 2017. For every dessert purchased, he donates one to someone in need. I love that it's such a novel idea that most adults would never think of! We think of donating vegetables and fruits and pasta and bread and meats to the food bank, we don't think of donating treats. But really, who hasn't felt a little happier celebrating or easing some stress with a sweet treat? Why not let everyone have the opportunity for that? 


So today, I'm giving you two activity ideas. The first is to create a Martin Luthor King inspired cupcake created by Michael Platt and continue the discussion of Dr. King, civil rights, and African Americans while sharing a sweet treat with your family! You could even deliver some extra cupcakes to friends or family that you can't get together with right now.

Sweet Potato Pie Cupcakes Article and Recipe 

Sweet Potato Pie Cupcakes Video


As an alternative, you could create a birthday kit to donate to a local food pantry. Chances are, if a family doesn't have enough money for food, their children are not having birthday parties or birthday cakes. Find out how to put together a birthday kit at Doing Good Together: Birthday Giving Project.


Some more links to inspire you:

Michaels Desserts Facebook Page

Operation Awesome - show premieres March 10 on BYUtv and follows a group of kids who hit the road to make the world a better place


'Mae Among the Stars' - Read and Rise

I have a bonus story this week, about another inspiring woman - the first Black woman to go to space, Mae Jemison! I love her so much becaus...


I have a bonus story this week, about another inspiring woman - the first Black woman to go to space, Mae Jemison! I love her so much because when she was little she wanted to travel into space and she made it happen, no matter what anyone else said! If you have a dream, I hope you find someone who will support you and help make your dream come true. As for the naysayers, just don't listen to them! This little interview with Mae where young girls get to ask her questions is so sweet and definitely worth a watch. 




Here's our bonus story:
"Mae Among the Stars" by Roda Ahmed



Activity: I thought since Mae got to blast off on a rocket up into space, it would fun to make our own rockets. But once I started searching for ideas, I found so many that I couldn't choose just one! So here are a few for you to choose from:


Last, but certainly not least, I had to include the link for NASA's 2020 Mission Perseverance Rover Landing Information because the Perseverance Rover is landing on Mars TOMORROW! Live show starts at 11:15AM PST/2:15PM EST. I have already set my alarm so we don't forget to tune in!

'Counting on Katherine' and 'Hidden Figures' - Read and Rise

Since we just celebrated International Day of Women and Girls in Science , I thought it would be fitting to tie women in science into our Re...

Since we just celebrated International Day of Women and Girls in Science, I thought it would be fitting to tie women in science into our Read and Rise theme of black history. Our focus today is on Katherine Johnson - technically she was a mathematician but given her work with NASA and invaluable contributions to getting rockets and men in orbit and onto the moon, I think she was a female STEM pioneer long before STEM was even a thing! Katherine actually passed away just about a year ago, at the age of 101! What an amazing life she lived, breaking down all kinds of barriers, for women and for people of color. She is and always will be an amazing role model and inspiration!


Featured story: "Counting on Katherine" by Helaine Becker


I'm including a second story which introduces children to Dorothy Vaughn, Mary Jackson, and Christine Darden who also worked for NASA. This story is much longer than the first, so it may be suited for slightly older children. 


"Hidden Figures" by Margot Lee Shetterly


Activity: Just like Katherine, you can help get the rocket to the moon with this simple printable coding game! Click the link below to get your free printable.

Cardboard Mom Moon Mission Coding Game


If you want to explore coding a little further with your child, Research Parent has instructions on how to code a Lego maze with free printable coding cards. Or check out these websites with free coding lessons and games.

CSFirst

code.org

Tynker