• Chili Party

    February 21, 2009

    How awesome are lazy Saturdays?!? I lounged around all morning in my PJ’s, did some baking, worked out, and spent the afternoon eating, drinking, and relaxing with friends.

    This afternoon, Mal and I hosted a chili party at our apartment to cheer on his alma mater’s basketball team, who were playing in a “bracket buster” game. I really enjoyed the afternoon! 😀

    Party Prep

    While I squeezed in a quick workout in our building’s gym (15 minutes lifting + 3.5 mile run), Mal started making the chili, using a recipe from Real Simple: Chili for a Crowd. We followed the recipe exactly, using all of the ingredients called for, including two bottles of Sam Adams Boston Lager.

    This chili recipe was so easy to make and didn’t require much prep time– only about 20 minutes. However, the cook time, which was supposed to be 20-25 minutes of simmering over medium heat, turned out to be more like 50-60 minutes. The juices took forever to boil-off, but honestly, this batch of chili was well worth the wait! 

    With the chili, I served homemade whole wheat bread that I baked this morning. I used Zesty’s Quick and Easy Whole Wheat Bread recipe. 

    Ever since a failed homemade pizza crust, I have been very intimidated about making bread from scratch. Zesty’s recipe made it really simple and the ingredients were healthy and all natural. The only substitution that I made to his recipe was adding ground flaxseed meal instead of wheat germ, which didn’t seem to negatively affect the recipe. The bread turned out excellent– thick and grainy with a crusty outside, soft inside, and a slightly sweet honey flavor. 

    For our gathering, Mal picked up a couple of growlers from John Harvard’s Brew House

    • JOHN HARVARD’S PALE ALE: A tribute to the great British brewers of Burton-upon-Trent, Pale Ales are copper colored and hoppy.
    • OLD WILLY INDIA PALE ALE: Originally made with extra hops and body for the long voyage to India from the U.K., this is an ale with a kick.

    Of course, we used our UVM Catamount pint glasses to drink our beer. 

    Pre-party spread… 


    When our guests arrived, I enjoyed a small pour of the Pale Ale. 

    While we waited for the chili to thicken, we snacked on appetizers that our guests brought. Our friend, Danielle, made two varieties of Pillsbury Crescents: pesto & cheese and pepperoni & marinara. I shared one of each with Mal– both were delish! I love those Pillsbury Crescents rolls, all buttery and flaky… mmmmm! :mrgreen:

    The Main Event

    When the chili was finally done cooking, I poured myself another small serving of the Pale Ale to drink with it. 

    Neither Mal or I had ever made chili from scratch, so we were both nervous about how this recipe would turn out. We were especially concerned that it would be flavorless or just way too spicy. But, EVERYONE loved it!!! It had a ton of flavor with a slight kick, but not too spicy. Mal doesn’t like spicy food all that much, and he thought it was just the right amount of spiciness. I topped my portion with shredded cheddar and a little hot sauce. 

    The whole wheat bread was the perfect compliment to the chili. I sopped-up every last bite of my portion with a second slice of bread. 

    The chili was beyond delicious! Seriously. This is a VERY, VERY good chili recipe! Definitely try it! 

    By the way, Mal’s team won the basketball game! :mrgreen:

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    { 34 comments… read them below or add one }

    VeggieGirl February 21, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    LOOOVE chili.

    Congratulations to Mal’s team!!


    Mara @ What's For Dinner? February 21, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    What a fantastic looking chili! There’s nothing like the chili/bread/beer combo!


    K February 21, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    What a fabulous gathering!! That bread?! YUM


    Shelby February 21, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    Why wasn’t I invited?!? 😉
    Chili is my favorite winter meal, and the bread is just fantastic!


    Amie February 21, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    That chili looks great! I’ve found that it takes longer to simmer off liquid than most recipes say as well. I think I’m going to try making that bread, it looks delicious and healthy!


    Amy February 21, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    What a comforting meal and it’s great that you enjoyed it with friends! Your bread looks honestly delicious–i’m sure you’ll get some great lunch usage with it this week. Have a great evening Tina 😀


    Betsy February 21, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    That bread looks great!


    Tyler (Raspberry Runner) February 21, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    wow that bread looks good! i’ve been looking for an easy recipe to make some homemade bread…i might have to try that one out!


    sue February 21, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    what a great way to spend a saturday!


    FoodsThatFit February 21, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    The chili and bread look so good! Perfect for a chilly night!


    Becca A February 21, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    Looks like a great meal! It always takes longer for my chilis to thicken then the recipe states as well.


    zestycook February 21, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    Tina, Thanks so much for the shout out!! I am glad the bread turned out. Both the chili and bread look amazing. That is a great way to spend a Saturday.



    HangryPants February 21, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    Bread looks great! Making bread is, in my opinion, easier than pizza dough because you don’t have to roll it out. Do you have a KitchenAid? If so, it’s even easier!


    Elizabeth (thelongweigh) February 21, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    How fun! that bread looks amazing!


    Brandi February 21, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    i love chili!! and that bread looks really good.


    Katrina February 21, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    My FAV chili is pumpkin chili. I know it sounds weird. But seriously, give it a try. I just replace the tomatoes with a can of pumpkin puree. It is sooooo A-MAZING!!! It has become my famous recipe that everyone begs for!


    Katrina February 21, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    I forgot to add, I serve it with pumpkin corn muffins… TO DIE FOR!!!!


    Meg February 21, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    Awesome chili and the bread looks perfect!


    Joe Hrdlicka February 21, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    Boy, sounds like a fun and relatively healthy meal. Nothing more fun than gathering friends on a cold day for a pot of chili (and maybe a sporting event to watch too!). When we do this, we like to make the chili the day prior, then reheat and serve. Seems to make for more flavor sensation or it’s our imagination at work!


    Michelle February 21, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    Chili is sooooo tasty, and yours looks great!
    And that bread is to die for!

    Nice job Tina! :)


    Emily February 22, 2009 at 12:22 am

    Lazy Saturdays are my favorite! The chili + Zesty’s bread = amazingly fantastic. Must try, asap!


    Sarah (lovINmytummy) February 22, 2009 at 12:58 am

    Your bread gives me hope that maybe I will make a loaf that isn’t a deflated brick.


    Caroline February 22, 2009 at 1:07 am

    That looks so professional–you are quite the baker!


    Sarah (Tales of Expansion) February 22, 2009 at 2:19 am

    mmmmm, the bread and the chili look so COZY. yet another comfort-food winner!


    Lee February 22, 2009 at 8:53 am

    Yay for UVM glasses! I always get excited when you post something about UVM. Living in the south, I don’t get to reminisce about my school very often.


    Andrea (Off Her Cork) February 22, 2009 at 9:19 am

    Mmmmm I love chili! I usually cook it in the crockpot and let it go all day long. Smells amazing as it cooks. Yay for a nice relaxing Saturday!


    Katrina February 22, 2009 at 9:30 am

    I love chili.
    I also love the look of that simple bread and will have to try it!
    And for the record, I like the new way you’re doing your blog. I can’t get on and read three times a day anyway, so this works for me. Have a great Sunday!


    Rose February 22, 2009 at 10:49 am

    Beer, bread and chili – I don’t know what’s better while watching a game surrounded by good friends! Looks like a nice afternoon.


    TorontoGirloutWest February 22, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    That looks awesome! And I’m DEFINITELY going to have to bake some of that bread. Thanks for posting it!


    Marianne February 23, 2009 at 12:07 am

    Glad your bread baking turned out this time. Looks excellent!


    Elyse February 23, 2009 at 9:21 am

    This chili party looks like such a great and yummy idea! Thanks for sharing!


    Rebekah November 10, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    I made this recipe after I saw it on your blog and it was a HUGE delicious hit!


    Julia Model July 18, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    I’m making this chili tonight! YUMM it looks amazing!


    Lyn - A foodie who learns about healthy living every day September 15, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    I’ve seen a variety of different chili recipes that are all so good. And they all seem to have a few different ingredients and a little different flavor. This chili is great because it’s quick and easy to make and it sounds like it would be really good. Loved the bread and the appetizers as well. They definitely all looked good to me.


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