Slow-Cooker Chunky Beef Chili

I wish I could get a picture that does justice to the amount of leaves, dirt and food left on my floor from our Halloween celebration. It's pretty impressive. I should be sweeping and mopping but I'd rather blog and ignore it.

Halloween this year swept thru like a raging storm. I volunteered to be in charge of my son's preschool party -- why? Because I'm insane. (wow, that was loud.) I will say, the snacks probably saved my life because that little platter of fruits, crackers, veggies and cheese was the healthiest thing my 3-year-old consumed all night. During set-up, the teacher didn't disguise very well how tough the day had been after classroom trick-or-treating and parades and costumes (can you imagine potty time for 20-some kids in costumes, omg). Whole new level of respect for teachers!

Then our party at home started and even before we could eat, the trick-or-treaters began knocking. Since my kid was already jacked to the max, we decided we'd let the chili sit on warm in the Crock Pot (slow-cooker bonus!) and go pound the pavement for a bit. So. Much. Fun! Our neighbors really get into the spirit of Halloween, which is merely a warm up for what Christmas brings.

When we returned, we dove into the chili right away. It rocked! It was chunky, meaty, hearty and spicy. And prep was so easy it's almost ridiculous it turned out so good. As the weather turns colder, I will be making this again 100%. This dish screams to be fed to hungry football fans...


The Chili Ingredients

2+ lbs ground beef, lightly browned and drained (I used fattier beef, c'mon it's Halloween, who cares.)
Kirkland no-salt seasoning
6 oz can of tomato paste
2- 16 oz cans of Bush's Chili Beans (I used medium spice)
16 oz can of black beans
2 Tbsps minced garlic
1 pkge chili seasoning
1 cup ketchup
1 onion, chopped
10 oz can of diced tomatoes (I used fire-roasted)

The Bar Ingredients

Shredded cheddar cheese
Chopped onion
Black olives
Corn kernels
Sour cream
Fritos corn chips

Directions

ln a skillet, lightly brown your ground beef and drain it. Add some very hefty shakes of the no-salt seasoning for added flavor. Stir well and simmer for a few minutes.
Add all chili ingredients to the slow cooker.
Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
Top with chili bar ingredients of choice.

Adapted from the Crockin' Girls Hearty Chili recipe.

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As a bonus, I'm going to post Emily's Pumpkin Dip which was a whipped creamy amazing little appetizer (or dessert) that I went to town on as soon as she put it out. With ginger snaps, it's like mini bites of pumpkin pie. Sooo good! I'm sorry I didn't get a pic so you'll just have to believe it's incredible without a photo -- for now.

Pumpkin Dip

1 block cream cheese
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup Cool Whip (or to taste)

Soften the cream cheese and blend everything together with a hand mixer.
Chill for 30 minutes.
Serve with apples, pears, graham crackers, or ginger snaps.


Slow-cooking to perfection.
Graham turned into Grahambo for his very first Halloween. Except he's far too sweet to play the part very well. 
Our trick-or-treaters, young and old, ready to go! You can see how jacked out of the gym my child is...
"Mom, I'm gonna need you to replace all of my pureed squash dinners with  this Milky Way bar from now on."
Big shout out to my sister-in-law Michelle for her candy corn Rice Krispie treats!
And just for fun, this spooky house rocked, complete with bubble and smoke-machines. Plus, they gave out full-sized candy bars so now Emily is going to stalk them every year.