from gatherings to everyday life: liz’s cozy day chili

now, let’s get one thing straight here. i am no cook. not into fancy recipes. and don’t really have a desire to become a chef of any sorts. you will not find me baking or basting or broiling very often.

but, i do like food. and i looooove gatherings.

so, cooking for a group of people and hosting a dinner party is major motivation for me to get in the kitchen and make some magic. and it is something that my love + i have enjoyed doing throughout the years…  planning + making a tasty meal, setting a table, creating a cozy + relaxed atmosphere, hosting and serving others.

for me, getting together with friends + family, whether a small group or a big one, is always an intimate, celebratory occasion. in fact, i believe that sitting around a table with loved ones and friends is one of the most fun and important things that we can do as people. eating together creates community. it fosters connections. and it is just so enjoyable. sipping on wine, eating yummy food, and laughing + talking for hours. what is more meaningful than that?

yeah, i can get all excited and crazy about creating a meal for others. because, let’s be honest, it’s like a little intimate party.

of course, we don’t have dinner parties that often (thanksgiving’s coming up though!) – which is  often my reason and motivation for cooking. however, sometimes, even on regular days, i find myself in the mood to create and cook. and i especially love making warm, simple comfort food during the autumn and winter seasons. well those days are upon us now, and i’ve been on pinterest pinning away soups and warm one-dish meals that i want to try. and i’ve even found myself  in the kitchen a little bit.

now, just as a disclaimer: in no way am i going to be featuring awesome recipes on this blog. but, i am challenging myself to share a few foodie favorites every now + then. they will not be complicated, professional, gourmet meals in any way, shape, or form.

but, they will be another example of how i am seeking to live intentionally. to embrace a life of slow living, of authenticity and simplicity.

plus, saying that i am going to post a recipes/tips/ideas also pushes me to get out of my comfort zone some and holds me accountable. i really do want to want to cook more. and i want to take the time to savor the process, feeling excited and inspired about it as a regular part of my everyday life, and not just on special occasions.

liz's cozy day chili

so, here’s my first little post + recipe.

as i said, autumn brings out the nesting, cozy nature in me. and one of the most perfect meals to make on any autumn day is chili. my chili is simple. like super simple. it’s also vegetarian, but can be adapted for meal-lovers too, of course.

now, i know that everyone probably already has their own chili recipe, but i’m sharing mine anyway. remember, this is helping me to get started with this new little challenge i am giving my self.

chili is a perfect one dish meal. it’s so easy to prepare, doesn’t take a lot of time, and can easily be frozen and eaten for a number of days, depending on how big of a batch you make. i usually make enough for 3 meals for two people. and i don’t measure anything. it’s just all of the ingredients in a pot. simmering for a while. getting all of the spices and flavors to fuse together. and sipping on a glass of whisky while i wait.

what to serve with chili? well, bread is one thing, of course. or nacho chips, as my brother suggests. perfect for dipping. my all time favorite… baked french fries (anther recipe coming soon one day). then again, i could eat french fries with every single meal. they are my favorite food in the whole wide world.

so, are you ready for the “recipe”? here we go!

liz’s cozy day chili

the ingredients:
  • one yellow onion
  • 1-2 tomatoes
  • 1 can/box of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can kidney beans or mixed beans
  • 2 garlic cloves (finely diced or pressed/crushed)
  • meat options: vegetarian soy ground meat, ground meat, or black beans
  • 2 tablespoons of oil (i use olive oil) – ish. i really just pour a little in. you know how much you usually use.
  • garlic power, chili flakes/powder, salt, pepper
  • shredded cheese for garnish (cheddar is what i use)

chili ingredients

the process:

finely chop the onion and crush the garlic cloves. dice the tomato.

pour a little oil into a pot and fry the onion and garlic together for just a minute or two, stirring continuously so they do not burn. add the diced and crushed tomatoes. continue stirring and turn to low.

onion tomato garlicusing 1 tablespoon of oil, fry the vegetarian meat or ground meat in a skillet until browned. if i decide to forgo the veggie meat/ground meat and use black beans instead (or in addition to), then i also fry them in the skillet and, using my spatula, mash them somewhat so that they help to bring a thicker consistency to the chili.

add the “meat” to the pot and stir until blended well with the other ingredients.

add spices to suit your taste. i recommend garlic power (one can bet have enough garlic in my world!), chili power + chili flakes(a little heat is always good), and salt and pepper

chili spices

let the chili sit and heat on low for about 15 minutes. if you have a crock pot, you can let it sit for much longer. adjust the time to whatever fits your needs most.


as the chili simmers, prepare your side dish or sip on some whisky (remember it’s chilly outside and cozy inside)

whisky window autumn

serve in a bowl with a little (or a lot!) of cheese on top. and, of course, i made mine with fries this week. wink wink. light a candle and enjoy and savor the warmth, giving thanks for the food and shelter that you are so blessed to have. i know, that’s what i do.

chili and fries

happy autumn evenings, friends!  xoxo

9 thoughts on “from gatherings to everyday life: liz’s cozy day chili

  1. What even?!? Fries with your chili? You rebel you! Does indeed look cozy. I LOVE making chili, it’s what I’m known for in my family, very soothing. Looking forward to see more of your Fall inspired recipes. As for me, I am craving some Butternut Squash Soup, and I’ll have the whole pot all to myself 🙂

    1. Haha! I mean, in my world, fries go with everything. Mmmm… your soul sounds fabulous! I’ve got a cauliflower chowder coming up soon that I’ll share. 🙂

      1. Yesterday we went to a new Brewery in Asheville (Sierra Nevada) and we had DUCK FAT FRIES. I am forever ruined for ‘normal’ fries for life. 🙂 Look forward to your chowder – sounds great!

        1. OMG. I can’t WAIT to visit and eat them fries when I back next summer! Perhaps we should make it a date?! 🙂

  2. Mmmm, chili. Your fries look delicious too! Please do share that recipe!! I most frequently make cornbread with my chili, and am also a huge fan of baked sweet potato fries if I’m making it really spicy. But always with nachos when having a beer.

    1. I will most definitely share my fries recipe soon! Cornbread is what I grew up eating with chili. My grandma made the best. 🙂 And nachos, beer, and chili… my mouth is watering, Meghan! 🙂

    1. yes, vegetarian is a must. Lina’s a true, die hard vegetarian, and I am at home. I’ll eat beef (rarely), chicken (sometimes) and fish when we go out. But, for the most part I am a vegetarian too. Glad you like it!

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