Simple, slow-cooker chili

If you are a chili connoisseur with your own special concoction, this recipe may not be for you. However, if you just like chili and are a fan of easy, slow-cooker recipes, give this one a try.

Easy, Slow-cooker Chili


1 to 1.5 lbs. ground beef

1 medium onion, finely chopped (coarsely chopped is ok if you don’t mind big pieces of onion)

2 cloves garlic minced

1 can (10.75 ounces) condensed tomato soup

1 can (12 ounces) V-8 juice (vegetable, not one of their fruit mixes)

1 can (14.5 ounces) petite diced tomatoes (do not drain)

2 tablespoons chopped jalapeno pepper (from can or jar) plus 2 tablespoons of the liquid

2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon of ground cumin (more or less to your taste)

2 tablespoons of chili powder (more or less to your taste)

1 beef bouillon cube

1 teaspoon salt (more or less to your taste)

1/2 teaspoon pepper (more or less to your taste)

Chop the onions and mince the garlic (can also use garlic press).

Brown the ground beef and drain the greasy liquid. (Tip: leave the ground beef in the pan, push it to one side. Tilt the pan slightly such that the grease flows to the side opposite the meat. Use folded paper towels to absorb the greasy liquid. Use tongs to put the paper towels into the hot greasy liquid. With the tongs, remove the greasy towels to a glass dish. Continue until all the grease is absorbed and discarded.)

While the meat cooks, chop the jalapeno peppers into small pieces.

Place the finely chopped onion and minced garlic in the pan with the ground beef. Cook the mixture on medium heat until the onion becomes translucent.

Pour the meat mixture into the slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until mixed.

Cook on low heat 4 to 6 hours. Midway through, taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Note: Add a can of beans if you like beans in your chili. (I do, I just didn’t have any when I made this.)


Easy Felt Crafts – Wine Gift Bag

The holidays arrive soon. If you give hostess gifts, perhaps a bottle of wine is on your list.

We just added a simple yet pretty wine gift bag to our Easy Felt Crafts.

Quite a few of us do not like to drink wine, however we do enjoy cooking with wine. The sauces taste great and not anything like the wine itself. In these days when we need to be more economical, perhaps your hostess gift can be a good cooking wine, not necessarily a wine connoisseur’s drinking wine.

The bottle used in our example is a nice marsala that makes a great sauce for either beef or chicken.

Here’s a recipe that we enjoy. Try it. If you like it, the recipe can be part of your hostess gift – a nice but not expensive bottle of Marsala wine in a pretty wine gift bag with the addition of a easy but good recipe – compliments of funEZcrafts!

funEZcrafts’ Beef or Chicken in Marsala Wine Sauce

Shopping list:
>>Beef chunks (not stew beef – too gristly and tough – chuck is good) or two or three chicken breast halves
>>Marsala wine
>>Extra virgin olive oil
>>Package of baby bella mushroom slices (can leave this out if you don’t like mushrooms)
>>Heavy whipping cream (small container is fine)
>>Dried, minced onion
Cut the meat into one inch cubes
Put a large, non-stick skillet on the stove on medium-high heat
Put two tablespoons of butter and one tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet
Put the meat into the skillet, spreading it across the bottom of the pan for even cooking
Let the meat cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring it a couple of times
If the pan is dry, add another tablespoon of butter and another tablespoon of olive oil
Add the mushrooms to the pan with the meat
Add a teaspoon of the dry, minced onion
Sprinkle salt and pepper over the mixture (a half teaspoon of salt and a quarter teaspoon of pepper)
Stir the mixture, allowing the mushrooms to absorb the butter and oil
Add one half cup of Marsala wine to the pan, stir briefly
Allow the wine to reduce by half (monitor your heat, you want the wine to bubble and evaporate but you don’t want the contents of the pan to burn)
Add one third cup of the heavy whipping cream, stir briefly to mix
Allow the liquid to reduce again (you’re looking for a thick sauce, almost as thick as gravy but not quite)
Remove from heat and place in serving dish.
Serves 4 to 6 people.
This is an easy week night recipe.