Simple, Perfect Chili

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I read cookbooks like other people read romance novels — cover to cover, absorbing every delicious measurement and instruction as if it were the feud between Edward and Jacob (sorry, I had to throw in the Twilight reference).

As soon as I received my copy of The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond (thank you, Mr. UPS guy), it was no different.  As soon as my son was in bed, I settled down on the couch with a cup of tea to read my new book.  Bliss.

As I was reading through P-Dub’s (cute, huh?!) recipes, artfully intertwined with great stories of her transition from big-city girl to a pioneer woman who works a ranch, I came across her recipe for Simple, Perfect Chili.  Ding! Ding! Ding!  I just found my recipe for the cookbook review!

Is It a Keeper?

This recipe was pretty good!  As you can see, I did a bit of tweaking (sorry, it’s my nature).  I just couldn’t bring myself to only use 2 cloves of garlic.  I think it’s against my religion or something.  It also didn’t feel right to not add onions right from the start.  And, since I like my chili to be saucy (pronounce: saw-say), I added some extra tomato sauce.  Maybe it’s because I’m saw-say?!?

I also couldn’t find masa in the grocery stores where I live.  I guess there’s not much demand for such a product in northeastern PA.  So I did a little research and found that corn meal could be substituted in equal quantities.  I have to admit, I found this step of the recipe a bit odd (remember, I’m from the north).  But, I really do think it added a nice dimension to the recipe.

The finished product was pretty good.  My family liked it (even my 5 year old), but we agreed that we needed to kick up the heat a bit.  Now, that could be (probably is) my fault.  I was very cautious with the various peppers.  I was burned once before (that pun was totally intended) in my Chili Test that I did.  I nearly burned my lips off!  So I took it easy this time.   Better safe than sorry.

I really liked the texture of this chili.  I think the corn meal actually gave it some heft and made it really hearty and filling.  Overall, I’m going to give this recipe a big thumbs up!  Definitely a keeper!



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    11 thoughts on “Simple, Perfect Chili”

    1. I plan on trying this recipe out this week.I hope it taste better than the pioneer woman’s recipe.I tried her chili recipe no one in my house liked it.It lacked chili flavor. I wound up having to eat the remainder of her chili recipe because my family refused to eat any more of it. I do not like to waste any food.On her show everything looks good. But the chili recipe was the only thing of hers we have made so far.My youngest daughter who is 13 is planning 3 of her recipes next week,I hope my family likes those recipes. Thank you for taking the time to tweak this recipe.I usually try the recipe as it comes before It weak it or toss it. Mom of 8 in Texas.

    2. Yeah, I put my cookbooks into goodreads just like my novels. 🙂 I tend to like my chili saucy, too. Love the review.

    3. Sounds fantastic. Yea, I’m usually partial to a little more sauce and little more spice. Sounds like I’d made similar tweaks as you did!

    4. This recipe sounds so yummy! I am your newest member from the Alexa blog hop. I hope to see you soon over at, and I can’t wait to see more recipes!

    5. Enjoyed your review! I read cookbooks the same way, and have no room for more but somehow keep adding more! Love your tweaks to the chili!


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