I made chili.

And while making chili, for some reason I found myself thinking about the movie The Favor.

Remember that classic hit starring Brad Pitt?

It is a fine piece of cinema.

When I was in 9th grade, I watched this movie basically on a loop with my friend Jill.

Jill loved the movie because she loved Brad Pitt.

Let’s be honest.

Who didn’t?

In the early nineties when he splashed onto the scene, he stole hearts of women everywhere.

Including mine.

He is a beautiful man.

Jill loved The Favor because there is a line in it where Brad says “Just Chill”.

She was convinced he was saying “Just Jill”.

I think we wore out that section of the VHS tape.

And lucky for you, I found this clip to share.

I told ya.

Cinematic masterpiece.

Believe it or not, it gets better when the lumberjack Tom enters the scene.

So, today in honor of Brad Pitt, I give you Just Chill Chili.

It is also in honor of the start of football season.

And the start of sleeping with the windows open season.

And the start of slippers in the morning season.

This is the easiest chili.

It is done in a crock pot.

The crock pot is God’s gift to the busy home cook, non?

I made this on a Sunday, but other times I have prepped everything and loaded up the crock pot the night before a work day. I stick it in the fridge, and then before leaving for work- pop it on the counter and turn it on.

Here is what you’ll need for 4 people (or 2 very hungry people):

1 lb ground sirloin (go for the lower fat stuff here, you can get away with it)

1 14 oz can chili beans

1 14 oz can crushed tomatoes

1 14 oz can diced tomatoes

1 onion

1 large green pepper (or 2 small)

1-2 jalapenos (depending on how hot ya like it)

2-3 cloves of garlic

chili powder

cayenne pepper powder

cumin

salt and pepper

Brown your beef.

And chop up your onion, green pepper, jalapeno/hot pepper, and garlic.

Dump that into your crock pot.

Now, for our chili beans.

Beans, Beans… the magical fruit.

The more you eat…

Well, you know the rest.

Add in your crushed and diced tomatoes.

Lets spice it up!

2-3 Tablespoons (my handful below is about a tablespoon).

Cumin. Mmmm. Smoky. Savory.

Lets do 1 1/2 teaspoons.

Ready for some heat?

How about some cayenne red pepper?

Yes, please!

About a teaspoon. It adds a little heat, but it is not overwhelming.

Finally, salt and pepper.

About 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and one teaspoon of pepper.

Stir it up, little darling.

Put a lid on it.

Put it on low for 8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.

If you have a super sonic crock pot like me, you may need to add in extra liquid.

I think my crock pot gets hotter than the average crock pot, so if I were making this on a week day I would add in a beer or 12 oz or water. That way, some of the liquid can cook down throughout the day.

There ya have it.

Just Chill Chili.

I would be remiss if I didn’t share with you what the main man and I always eat with our chili.

I first experienced this treasured treat when my mother-in-law made it for us.

Cheesy bread.

Oh, cheesy bread.

Cheesy bread unlike any cheesy bread you  have ever had.

And like everything else I make, this one is pretty simple too!

Here is what you’ll need:

A loaf of french bread

A stick of softened butter- did I mention this bread is extremely healthy?

One jar of Old English cheese- this is usually found near the processed, non-cheese cheese (think Velveeta) section

Put your butter and the cheese in a bowl.

Look at that cheese.

Doesn’t it just look like it is good for you?

It tastes good.

Promise.

Use a fork and start mashing the butter and cheese together.

Keep mashing and mixing until it is combined.

Now for the bread.

Slice it in half like this:

Slather it with your sauce.

Mmm hmm.

That’s right.

Just like that.

And put it back together again.

Now cut it in half again like this:

And now slather that with the cheese sauce.

Oh yes, you heard me right.

And put it back together again.

You may think that it can’t get any better than this.

But you are wrong.

Cause here we go.

Lets slice the bread:

You know what I think this bread needs?

Yep, you guessed it.

More cheese.

Pick up the first slice.

Yes.

Yes.

Yes.

Slather away.

Both sides, if you please.

Keep on going through all of the slices.

And then put the loaf all back together again.

Carefully transfer it to some foil.

Wrap it up, and put it in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.

While that is cooking, serve up your chili.

I like mine topped with some cheddar, sour cream, green onion, and avacado.

Pull that bread out of the oven.

Take a moment to marvel at your masterpiece.

Ooey, gooey, cheesy goodness.

Throw some of that bread on your chili, near your chili, in your mouth, on a plate… wherever!

Yum-Yum-Dang-Diggity.

Just Chill.

And eat chili.

And maybe think a little bit about B. Pitt.

Yep, he’s still got it.

Happy Monday!

XO,

Leah

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