Spicy Two Meat Slow Cooker Chili (And A Giveaway!)

Spicy Two Meat Slow Cooker Chili

Spicy Two Meat Slow Cooker Chili

We’re well into the school year and I don’t know about you, but it seems like half the time, I’m so busy with chauffeuring here and there, plus doctors appointments for physicals and vaccinations, etc, etc, that I end up saying “it’s snack night!” to my kids when they ask whats for dinner. Then I feel guilty because what happens is they eat cereal (they’re thrilled with that; me, not so much) for dinner and everyone ends up spread out chowing down on foods that I normally prefer not be served. One will be in his room, eating sandwiches. Two will be parked in front of the TV, watching Uncle Grandpa (Lord, I loathe that show) while my husband and I will be sitting in front of our computers. NOT exactly a family friendly eating experience and NOT how I want my kids childhoods to be. My husband working third shift exacerbates the problem because half the time, after getting the kids to school, I’ll come back and lay down with him and before I know it, half the day is gone and no dinner prep was made.

So what do I do more often now? Yep; you guessed it. The trusty slow cooker comes out. I own about 5 of them. The problem is, most of them are either too small or too limited on their usages (high or low, that’s it for settings) , so I let them sit and gather dust. So when I was contacted again as a Hamilton Beach Ambassador and asked if I wanted to try out their Set ‘n Forget® 6 Qt. Programmable Slow Cooker With Spoon/Lid I was thrilled. Finally, I would have a slow cooker that I didn’t have to babysit.

This cooker is pretty awesome. You can either manually set it for how many hours you want the food to cook and set for high or low. Then once it has timed out, it automatically clicks over to warm. That way the food doesn’t overcook or get too cold to serve. Another option is, if you’re cooking, say, a roast or a whole chicken or maybe a turkey breast, you can use the included temperature probe. You insert it through a hole in the top of the lid right down into the meat, set the cooker for the temp you want the meat to come to and when it reaches that temp, it shuts off. Again, no overcooked dry chicken breast meat or stringy pork roasts because you forgot them.

I can honestly say I love this slow cooker. Yes, they sent me one for free, but my opinion is still honest. So much so that I’ll mention the ONE thing I didn’t like about it. The outside tends to get really hot, so you need to make sure this isn’t in reach of little ones.But other than that, I love it and have used it multiple times already.

Guess what else? Hamilton Beach has graciously offered to let me give one of these slow cookers to one of you. This is a $59.99 value and it’s just in time for colder weather (or as a great Christmas gift to someone, maybe?)  Plus, as the holidays get closer, we’re all going to be busier and you know darn well that having dinner on the table every night can be a hassle. So this is the perfect time to win this.

All you need to do is enter down below by commenting and using the optional methods in the rafflecopter box. Tell me what would be the first thing you’d make if you won this and there is one entry!

If you need an idea, I have a fantastic chili recipe for you. This is spicy, but not so spicy the kiddos can’t eat it. My six year old loved it. It uses chorizo sausage as well as the typical ground beef and some other ingredients that all add up to a warming, comforting, soothing bowl of chili. Serve this with some sides of fresh onions, cheese, sour cream and maybe crackers or tortillas and you’ve got a wonderful meal as well as some leftovers for lunch or dinner tomorrow. You know the drill… 🙂

Spicy Two Meat Slow Cooker Chili




  • 2 lbs ground chuck
  • 1 lb chorizo (removed from casings and crumbled if link style)
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped green pepper
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 14 to 16 ounce can of chili beans (your preference on heat)
  • 2 16 ounce cans kidney beans, well drained
  • 1 16 ounce can pinto beans, well drained
  • 1 16 ounce can diced tomatoes (regular or chili style; your choice. I prefer the chili style)
  • 2 whole jalapenos in adobo sauce, finely chopped (store the rest in a container in the fridge) (use more or less as desired)
  • 1 4 ounce can chopped green chiles
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce (I use franks because I like that is has flavor along with the heat)
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 to 2 ounces chili powder (I use Bloemers)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  1. In a large pan, crumble and saute the ground chuck until brown. Drain and toss into the slow cooker. Brown the chorizo. Don’t drain this when done; just scoop it out and put it in the slow cooker.
  2.  Toss the onions, green pepper and celery into the drippings form the chorizo. Stir to mix, cover and cook over medium heat until the onions and celery are soft and limp, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir once or twice during the cooking.
  3. Add the veggies to the crock pot; stir to combine.
  4. Add all the other ingredients, in order given (makes stirring easier), then stir to combine.
  5. Set your slow cooker for 4 hours on low.. Halfway through cooking, open it up (make sure you’re quick; slow cookers lose heat quickly and can take quite a while to reheat back up) and give it a good stir. Re-cover it and let it finish cooking.
  6. When done, stir it well and serve. This is excellent served with sides such as cheese, sour cream, green or red onions and cilantro. I also love mine wrapped up in a tortilla. My family, on the other hand are firmly in the cracker camp. Do what makes you happy. 😀
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I was provided with a slow cooker as compensation, but all opinions in this post are 100% my own!

To enter the giveaway, just scroll down to the raffle copter giveaway form!

Hamilton Beach Set & Forget® 6 Qt. Programmable Slow Cooker With Spoon/Lid

Hamilton Beach Set & Forget® 6 Qt. Programmable Slow Cooker With Spoon/Lid


Product Features



    • Three (3) choices for easy, automatic cooking: program, probe and manual


  • Probe mode is perfect for cooking large cuts of meat or for recipes that require food to reach a certain temperature
  • Thermometer probe reads the actual temperature of food as it cooks; the temperature is displayed on the slow cooker control panel
  • Travel-friendly design secures contents en route to parties, potlucks, family gatherings and tailgating
  • The lid securely seals in place with sturdy wire clips on each handle
  • 6 quart removable stoneware crock fits a 6 lb. chicken or a 4 lb. roast
  • Wraparound, even heat cooks food evenly and consistently
  • Full-grip handles make carrying heavy meals easier
  • Power interrupt protection keeps slow cooker on during a brief power outage
  • Questions are supported by a toll-free call center located in the U.S.
  • Backed with a one-year warranty


  a Rafflecopter giveaway


Call Them Delicious But Don’t Call Them Sliders

I’m not sure if I have mentioned before that I was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago (yes, that gets capital letters… 😛 ). I have been here in Kentucky since 1988 (Sobs as I realize I have lived here longer than some of my readers have been alive) but I am originally a city girl.

Everyone has heard of White Castle right? If you haven’t you either live outside the United States or have been here but need to periodically move away from the rock you live under. 😀 They originated right in the Midwest so I hold a rather possessive interest in them :-P. I loved them as a kid and I still love them. I was thrilled beyond sanity (not that doing something to take me past the point of sanity is difficult) when they finally opened a store not far from me. Ok, so it’s 30 miles but when you live in the sticks, near and far become very relative terms. I don’t get them often but oh my do I love those greasy little bite sized pieces of oniony heaven.

Being from the Midwest (Chicago in case I didn’t say that loud enough earlier and no, I’ve never been involved in a drive by. You have no idea how many times I’ve been asked that), I find myself getting mildly annoyed when I hear every sort of mini burger one could think of (most quite yummy but that’s neither here nor there) being called sliders. THEY AREN’T SLIDERS! THEY AREN’T THEY AREN’T THEY AREN’T!!! Ok, that’s out of my system now. However,  “Sliders” can only be bought at White Castle and even then, one doesn’t go in and place an order saying “I want 315 sliders”. Do that and the employees and other customers will know you spend far too much time paying attention to weird media sources. They are just hamburgers… or maybe “White Castles” if you are in the middle of Chicago ordering them. But the mini, small, tiny, minute, teenie, call them what you will, burgers that get made at home are not sliders. Shhh…don’t argue. They aren’t. Just trust me.

That doesn’t mean they aren’t delicious and fun as hell to eat though. So make a big batch of these mini burgers ( Did you notice I didn’t call them sliders? Did ya see? Huh huh huh?) cover them with the tangy sweet onion relish and slather some extra cheese and the Cajun mayo and eat until you burst. Since these are mini, they have no calories. You knew that right? Small means no calories. The calories dissolve before they get to your stomach. Just a little FYI for you there.




  • For the burgers-
  • 3 pounds ground chuck
  • 1/2 of a 7 ounce can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped
  • 12 ounces shredded Colby jack cheese (sub your favorite if Colby jack doesn’t do it for you)
  • 2 cloves minced garlic or 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 12 packs of mini burger buns
  • For the onion relish-
  • 3 large onions, sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • For the spicy Cajun mayo
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 2 tablespoons salt free cajun seasoning (if you only have salted, be more careful on amounts and taste as you go so it doesn’t end up over salted)
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • salt to taste if using the salt free seasoning
  1. For the mayo, mix all the ingredients together and then refrigerate until serving time. See how easy that was? 😛
  2. For the relish, add the olive oil and sliced onions to a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir frequently. Turn heat down to low (about 3 on an electric stove) and cover the pan, Stirring occasionally, cook the onions until they are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar, salt and brown sugar. Stir well and cook over medium heat until the vinegar is totally absorbed, about five minutes. Set aside until ready to serve.
  3. For the burgers, mix all the burger ingredients together. Don’t over work it; just mix until combined. Shape the meat into 24 small burgers. Cook via your favorite method. I used my George Foreman grill. If you’re going to use a regular grill, I highly suggest using one of those wire grill pans that holds small things unless you LIKE digging through the coals for your food 😛

I Want A Cow Named Herman


Or maybe I can name him Stanley. Or Shakespeare. Or I could just name him Dinner and be honest about it.

One of my many pipe dreams is to own a good amount of land and be self sufficient. Live off the grid so to speak. I want a solar paneled house, generators just in case, a large (I mean like half an acre or more) garden, many many fruit and nut trees (and vines and bushes), a clean well, a fully stocked pond and animals. Many many animals. I want pigs (yes I would name them too… possibly Wilbur. Or Lunch.) chickens, ducks, geese, goats and cows. Also cats, dogs, hamsters and monkeys. Many monkeys.

Why you ask? Because our economy is sinking ever downwards for one and I like to plan ahead but also because, even though I know it would be hard work, I have always loved the idea of having a working farm. One that enables us to be utterly NOT dependent on anyone but ourselves. That and because meat is so darn expensive!

I know myself and my family though. Here is what would really happen. We would cultivate the land, have many many fruits and veggies. We would care for these named animules (sorry, they are animules. My dad always used that as the word and I continue it in his name 😀 ). They would grow and be healthy and happy. Joshie would ride on their backs and pet them. Jordan would lovingly brush them. Zachie would have to be stopped from putting saddles on them to prove to the world that he is macho and capable of riding a two ton bull named Don Corleone.

They would then take over the house because not a one of us would ever be able to kill them and eat them. They would sleep in our beds, hogging the covers and turning the heat too high, steal the remote for the TV and only watch The Simpsons and Animal Planet. They would eat my Twinkies and Cheetos which I’m pretty sure is a mortal sin, burp a lot, wear wife beaters around the house and tell me to go make them a sammich. Within a year, we would be the ones sleeping in the barn waiting for the final execution date and our lives would be a vivid remix and remake of both Soylent Green with a large gun toting cow playing Charlton Hestons part and Planet of the Apes with us in old Charlies role of running from the animals so that they didn’t cage us. Hmmm, did you ever notice that Charlton Heston played in some really strange depressing movies?

In the meantime however, I will continue to get my meat from the grocery store wrapped in plastic on a nice Styrofoam tray. I will do my best to NOT name my fried chicken and steaks just as I didn’t name the pot roast I made. Somehow, it’s ok to eat it if I didn’t cuddle it and name it first and scoot over on the couch so that it could watch The Simpsons..

This isn’t a quick dish here. The way I make it it takes two days because I partially cook it then refrigerate it to let the grease harden then scoop that off. If you’re not as grease averse as I am however (makes me sick as can be) you can forgo the refrigerating step and go straight to the transferring from the stove top to the oven stage. It’s still not a dish to plan on making when you get home from work however. This is a great weekend “I’m actually able to get the whole family to the table” type of dinner. This is homey and comforting and perfect for a Winters night or just a cool rainy night any time of the year.

  • Red Wine Braised Pot Roast
  • 1 3 to 5 pound chuck roast (usually will have a label on it saying “good for braising or pot roasts”. Get any roast that says that.)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cans beef broth
  • 2 cups dry red wine (I used a Pinot Noir)
  • 2 large onions, each cut into 8 wedges
  • 3 cloves chopped garlic
  • 2 shallots, sliced thin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried Rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried Thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt or celery seed
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 pounds small red (or Yukon gold) potatoes
  • 1 pound carrots, topped and cut into three pieces (two if it’s a particularly small carrot)
  1. In a large pan (I use a 12 inch deep chicken frying pan), add your olive oil. Heat for about 90 seconds over medium high heat then carefully add your roast. Cover the pan and let sear until nicely browned, about five minutes. Turn to the other side and repeat.
  2. When it is browned, take it out and set aside. Add the onions, garlic and shallots to the pan. Cook until they are soft and the onions are lightly browned. Add the red wine and deglaze the pan, scraping to get up all the little browned bits.  Add in the herbs, celery seed and Worcestershire sauce.
  3. Add the roast back to the pan. Add the 2 cans of beef broth. Cover tightly and turn the heat down to a simmer (about 3 on an electric stove)
  4. Let cook for 90 minutes, keeping it covered.
  5. Turn off heat. Transfer the roast to a large foil lined baking pan or LARGE Dutch Oven. You need room for the veggies you’ll be putting in there. Add in the carrots and potatoes around the roast. CAREFULLY pour the hot braising liquid all over the meat and vegetables.
  6. Now you can either let this cool enough to be easy to carry with no fear of burning the crap out of yourself and refrigerate it until the next day or continue with the oven cooking. If you want to put it in the fridge, cover it tightly with foil, then the next day, uncover it, scoop off any hardened grease and discard that.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  8. Cover tightly with foil again and cook at 350 for about 2 hours. By then the meat will be falling apart tender and the vegetables fully cooked and nicely flavored with the pan juices.
  9. If you want to make a gravy out of this (I usually just serve it with the pan sauces as is) strain out the pan juices through a mesh strainer into a medium pot. Put those onions back in that pan with the other veggies though. They are by this time practically melted down to nothing and very sweet and taste delicious. Don’t waste them! 😛
  10. Take the strained liquid and heat to boiling. Take 1/3 cup flour and slowly (do it quickly and you will have more lumps than you can ever get out) add 1 cup of the liquid to it to make a soupy paste. Slowly pour this back into the pot of boiling liquid, whisking all the time. Turn the heat down to about 4 or 5 and stirring constantly, cook until nice and thickened. Season this to taste with salt and pepper.

Herman The Cannibal Cow waiting for his share. He's NOT getting mine.



Chili Today Hot Tamale




I remember when I was a kid there was a huge joke that went around everywhere, popular with kids and adults alike (hey, it was a more innocent time then; or at least that’s what I tell myself to cover up for the fact that we were all way too easily amused back in the day). Someone would walk up to you and say something to the effect of “hey; have you heard the weather report?” When you said no, they would reply “It’s chili today and hot tamale!”. They would then proceed to laugh hysterically and wait for you to join in. Being the sophisticated intelligent delusional child that I was, I would of course stick my nose in the air and reply with something pithy like “that’s so funny, I forgot to laugh” or the oldie but goodie that proved what a humor god you were, “last time I heard that one, I laughed so hard I fell off my dinosaur.” (No really… we did; Stegosaurus I think.). I was so ahead of my time when it came to witty comebacks. Still am… or something.

Bur regardless of my sparkling wit or lack thereof, I have been told I make one hell of a pot of chili. So that’s what you’re getting today; my chili recipe. I haven’t even given this to my grown kids yet. Well, I suppose I have now.  There goes their inheritance. I planned this yesterday when it was rainy, cold and windy. So what happens? It’s 67 degrees out now. Go figure.

Four Bean Chili

  • This sounds like a lot of ingredients but it goes together quickly and makes one  huge pot of chili; about eight nice sized servings. It can be cut in half or doubled easily. This is a somewhat spicy chili though in its defense my kids eat it and haven’t started breathing fire yet. But if you are spice biased, feel free to omit the chopped jalapeno. Leave the Chipotle though; it adds flavor, not just heat.
  1. 3 pounds ground chuck
  2. 1 1/2 cups chopped onions (about 2 medium)
  3. 1/2 cup chopped celery
  4. 1 1/4 cups chopped mixed peppers (I use a combo of red, green, orange and yellow. You can use your favorites)
  5. 1 large jalapeno pepper, finely minced
  6. 1/4 cup minced garlic (I used the kind from a jar;  so shoot me.)
  7. 2 15.5 ounce cans kidney beans
  8. 2 15.25 ounce cans black beans
  9. 1 15.5 ounce can pinto beans
  10. 1 15.5 ounce can chili beans (I vary spice level depending on mood; today’s was “medium”)
  11. 1 14.5 ounce can chili style diced tomatoes (I use Del Monte or Hunts)
  12. 1 10 ounce can Rotel diced tomatoes with lime and cilantro or the kind with green chiles (if they don’t have that in your area, just use another can of any style diced tomatoes you like.)
  13. 1/3 to 1/2 cup chili powder (yes; half a cup)
  14. 1 teaspoon chipotle chile pepper powder (I use McCormicks brand)
  15. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  16. 1/4 cup Franks Red Hot hot sauce
  17. 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate (you can sub 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder)
  18. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  19. 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  20. salt to taste ( I actually rarely use salt in it because the spices and canned products add enough salty flavor)

Garnishes- cheddar or jack cheese, red or green onions, finely chopped cilantro, sour cream.

  • Chop up your celery, onions and all the various peppers. Mix them with the ground chuck in a large (preferably heavy bottomed) pot. Over medium high heat (on my electric stove, I have it at about 7)  cook until the beef is browned and the veggies have begun to soften, stirring frequently. Drain well and put back into the pot.
  • Add the rest of your ingredients except for the vinegar and the garnishes. Mix well and put your heat on medium. I start out at about 5  (stirring frequently) until it comes to a simmer then I turn it down to 3. You need to watch it carefully and stir often or it will stick to the bottom of your pot.
  • See how easy this was so far? Now just bring it up to to a simmer, turn your heat down to medium low and let it cook. It can be eaten in about an hour if you prefer your chili soupier but we like it thicker and more stew like so mine simmers for about 3 hours. About 20 minutes before you’re ready to serve it, add the vinegar, stir it thoroughly then give it a taste. If it needs more of something, add it now. Too tart? Add a touch more brown sugar. Too sweet? Add some salt and maybe some more chili powder. Too spicy? Send it to me.
  • Ladle into bowls and serve with tons of garnishes. My favorites are a lot of cheese, either green or red onions, some sour cream and a bit of cilantro. We serve this with either cornbread, tortillas or the yummy and typical saltine crackers.

Herman the cow wanted to be in the picture. He loves chili... evil cannibal cow.