Head Start Chili & Cornbread

By popular request, I present you with my chili and cornbread recipes. I will make these on the first day of WildStar’s head start and will hopefully end up with plenty of food to carry us through the first few days. If we run out, well I guess I’ll just have to make a second batch!

I hope you enjoy, and have a wonderful head start weekend.

Slow Cooker Chili Recipe

The first time I made chili in my slow cooker, I used this recipe. I’ve modified it somewhat because it had no beans* and gave it a little more heat, but it is still predominantly a sweet chili. Choose whatever protein you prefer and top with sour cream if you want. If you have access to / want to use more fresh ingredients rather than canned for the chilies and tomatoes, absolutely go for it. I tend to go for canned veggies here simply because it saves time and 8 hours of heat is going to obliterate them anyway. We usually eat this with either tortilla chips or the cornbread recipe posted below (or both).


2.5 pounds of beef chuck OR ground turkey OR protein crumbles
2 tablespoons brown sugar
salt & pepper to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, smashed
2 small cans of chopped green chilies, drained
2 cans of black beans, drained*
2 cans of pinto beans, drained*
1 tablespoon ground cumin
3/4 cup chili powder
1  14-oz can diced tomatoes with chilies
2 tablespoons green hot sauce

1. Cut the beef/turkey/protein into small cubes and toss with brown sugar, salt and pepper. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook your protein in batches until browned on all sides, approximately 5 minutes. (Cook time will vary depending on what protein you choose.) Transfer to your slow cooker or crock pot.

2. Add drained black beans and pinto beans to the slow cooker.

3. Reduce heat to medium and add the chopped onion to the skillet. Cook until soft, approximately 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chilies, cumin and chili powder and cook 3 minutes. Add 1.5 cups of water and the tomatoes. Bring to a simmer, scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Transfer entire contents to the slow cooker.

4. Place the cover on the slow cooker and cook on low for a minimum of 7 hours. (I generally prefer to allow it to go 8-10.)

5. Stir in 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and the green hot sauce before serving.

*Apparently the choice of whether to put beans in chili is a deeply personal and controversial thing (thanks Twitter)! If you like them, use them. If you don’t, don’t.


Cornbread Recipe

This is really, really simple and really, really good. Make extra and eat it for breakfast with maple syrup.


1 cup flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3.5 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil

1. Preheat your oven to 400° F (200° C). Grease a medium round cake pan. (I usually use a 9×2 inch round.)

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, brown sugar, white sugar, salt and baking powder. Stir in egg, milk and vegetable oil until combined. Pour batter into greased pan.

3. Bake at 400° F / 200° C for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the pan comes out clean.


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