Jan 13, 2013

Clever Chicks Blog Hop #17 AND Secret Chili Recipe

With the Superbowl right around the corner, I'm sharing my fast & fabulous secret chili recipe! The secret to making it quickly is to chop, cook and freeze the three main ingredients in advance.
Frozen onions & peppers make this dish a snap to whip up
Many of my dinner recipes include sauteed onions, peppers and/or ground beef and I have found that cooking and freezing large batches ahead (when they are on sale) saves me at least 10-12 minutes per meal. After cooking each ingredient, I portion them into ice cube trays, cover with plastic wrap & freeze. When hardened, I remove them from the ice cube trays and store in zip top bags in the freezer. When ready to use, I place a few cubes in a microwave safe dish and zap on high for one minute.
Freeze bell peppers in ice cube trays and store in ziplock bag until ready to use.
The trick to quickly thawing ground beef is to freeze it FLAT. I store it in one pound packages. To thaw, place bag in a bowl of water while making the rest of the dish.
Brown large quantities of ground beef, drain off fat and freeze FLAT in individual zip bags.
1 lb ground beef (or one bag pre-cooked/frozen)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped (or 4 frozen cubes)
1 large red bell pepper, chopped (or 5 frozen cubes)
2 garlic cloves, chopped or pressed
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less to the heat you desire)
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1, 14 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
2-3 tablespoons tomato paste
1, 15.5 ounce can, small white beans, rinsed and drained
½ kielbasa link, ground in a food processor to the consistency of ground beef
1 bottle of beer
Optional: leftover beef, cut into small pieces. (I freeze leftover, cooked steak for this dish in particular)

In a large pot or dutch oven on medium high heat, either add frozen beef, onions, peppers & raw garlic, heating until garlic is softened
brown ground beef & skim off excess fat. Remove from pan and set aside. Add olive oil to pan and over medium heat, add onions and peppers. Saute until onions are translucent.
Mix ground beef with thawed onions & red peppers.
Add all remaining ingredients to ground beef mixture. Simmer on low, stirring occasionally until ready to serve. The longer it cooks, the better, but simmer for a minimum of 1 hour.

This Week's Featured Blogs
I really enjoy the diverse scope of topics that you all bring to this blog hop and thank you for your creative and interesting contributions to it weekly! Featured bloggers, you're welcome to grab the Clever Chicks Featured button!
The Chick n' Coop- Barn Wood Sign 
Finely Ground- Store Bacon Smarter (this tip is SO clever!)
Our Side of the Mountain- Snowbirds, Chickens & Ducks
About Featured Blogs
My favorite posts will be FEATURED on Clever Chicks next week! I will also pin them to my “Clever Chicks” Pinterest board. The featured bloggers are invited to brag about how clever they are by posting the Clever Chicks "Featured” button on their blogs!
The Chicken Chick
The Chicken Chick


  1. Oh, gosh, thanks for featuring me, Kathy! What a great surprise! And that children's book looks so cuite!

  2. Nancy Roberts1/13/13, 8:43 PM

    Great idea to freeze the onions and peppers ahead of time...the chili sounds delicious and what a great meal to throw together when you're short on time.  Thanks for the post and hosting the blog hop! :)

  3. Salome honeycutt1/13/13, 8:45 PM

    Everyone loves chili at our house. Thanks for the tip. Those are great ideas.

  4. Marissa Sobaskie1/13/13, 8:47 PM

    Aw, thanks for featuring my blog! :D

  5. Denise Klibert1/13/13, 8:49 PM

    Thanks! Kathy, The chili looks amazing. I can't wait to try it. Have a great week!

  6. Hi Kathy! Thank you for featuring our sign! Love the tips on prepping dinner meals. That rubiks cake looks sooo neat! My son would love it!

  7. would love to be entered! thanks
    I linked this post http://pleasegivepeasachance.blogspot.com/2013/01/gpac-warming-sugar-scrub.html

  8. Jessica White1/13/13, 9:05 PM

    Thanks for hosting and for the opportunity for the giveaway.  My kids would love that book!  I'm already a follower via email. 
    Jessica @ ahumblecreation.com

  9. I linked up my yummy spicy shrimp this week. I would love it if you'd link this post featuring your chili recipe to my Super Bowl Party @ http://seasidesimplicity.blogspot.com/2013/01/tailgating-time-super-bowl-2013.html
    Your link up will probably bring more traffic over here too! :)

  10. Ron Gravitt1/13/13, 9:29 PM

    Thanks for hosting!  I'm
    your newest follower.    Love your blog hop.   I follow you on Networked blogs, google connect and via email.  Hope you'll return the favor and follow my blog and/or FB fan page!




  11. Debbie Barna1/13/13, 9:32 PM

    Thanks so much for hosting!!


  12. I love chili, and will have to try your recipe soon.  I thought it might have been made with chicken (the white beans threw me off in the picture), and I bought ground turkey on sale tonight.  I should have read your recipe first!!  :)  Oh well, time to google a white chili recipe, and try yours when I have beef. 
    I have been cooking and freezing ground beef for a while. I like keeping down the number of dishes I need to wash at a meal.  I always chop multiple onions (buy vidalias when in season) and froze in snack bags inside a large freezer bag.  I like your idea of using ice cube trays instead and keeping it "green".

  13. Thanks for hosting Kathy!   I've written upan easy to make sauerkraut recipe.  Also, a few thoughts on why thinking about food thru your Grandma's eyes is good for your health.  Have a great week!

  14. Hi Kathy, I am in with a quiche!  Your chili looks wonderful and what a clever way to freeze and save time!!  Thanks for including me!

  15. Roxana White1/13/13, 10:28 PM

    Great features and links! Thanks for hosting!

  16. DianaRambles1/13/13, 10:29 PM

    Thanks for the party!

  17. Tonia Jeffery1/13/13, 11:27 PM

    This looks like such a darling book!

  18. Kristy @ Shona Skye Creations1/13/13, 11:53 PM

    Hi, Kathy! Thanks for hosting! I hope you had a fantastic weekend!

    Kristy @ Shona Skye Creations

  19. I have added Root Beer but not Beer. Need to try

  20. Kathy,
    Thank you for hosting, have a great week. Hope to see you Tuesday at My link party @ memoriesbythemile.com
    Wanda Ann

  21. winnie rottem1/14/13, 2:24 AM

    Hi Kathy
    THANKS SOOOOOOOO MUCH  for featuring my Rubik's Cube Cake - what a great surprise, I'm honored!!

    As I'm a vegetarian I'm gonna show our cook your recipe. I think my family would love it.Thanks for another party and have a great week

  22. that looks so yummy :) thanx for hosting! 

  23. Jenna LaFevor1/14/13, 5:56 AM

    Thanks for hosting!!
    Jenna @ rainonatinroof.com

  24. Lynn Wheeler1/14/13, 6:43 AM

    thank you for hosting and I am delighted to be here today.  I have to go check out how that rubik cake is made.  Wouldn't the kids get a kick out of that?  Have a fabulous week ~ Lynn

  25. Nancy Wolff1/14/13, 6:57 AM

    I follow you and I would love this book. My grand daughter not only loves to read but she LOVES our chickens, what a great book for me to read to her!

  26. Jenn Sprouse1/14/13, 8:58 AM

    That chili looks yummy!!! Thanks for hosting!!!

  27. Love a good chili recipe. Thanks!

  28. That chili recipe looks good! I'll have to check it out.

    I'm hoping I win that book. I lost my entire flock a year ago because those wily racoons found a small hole in my enclosure. I have a new flock and an improved enclosure, but it still smarts a little.

  29. Jen Hutchinson1/14/13, 11:31 AM

    Following via GFC as frazzled mom of five

  30. Jen Hutchinson1/14/13, 11:32 AM

    This chili recipe looks great- my hubby is the new youth pastor at a local church and we are having a super bowl party.  I guess I better start cooking for all these teens!

  31. Thanks for the chili recipe. I'm always on the look out for tweaks of that dish.

  32. My son would love this book. Please enter me.

  33. chili looks and sounds good. never used white beans before. gonna try this for the bowl. thanks much....

  34. Heidi Carlson1/14/13, 12:30 PM

    My granddaughters love to visit our chickens & dogs at our farm! This book sounds like it would be a great addition to Oma & Opa's library! (Oma & Opa are Grandma and Grandpa in German.)

  35. 69brushstrokes1/14/13, 12:55 PM

    Thanks for hosting the weekly party, Kathy!   I totally am going to use your freezing ground beef tip.  It never dawned on me how much easier it would be to thaw if I froze my GB flat.  Thanks!  I linked up my Cottage Chair makeover.  Heading off to check out some other links now.  Have a terrific week. :)

  36. My children would love that book!  :-)  Thanks so much for hosting.  Feel free to stop by my blog tomorrow and linkup your recipe at "Try a New Recipe Tuesday." I'd love to have you join us!  Many blessings, Lisa

  37. Bruce Carpenter1/14/13, 5:33 PM

    VERY nicely done website, so glad I found it from BYC.  Thank You for the chicken-care trips, and the giveaways!  (Hope to read the book to grandkids).

  38. I don't know much about raising chickens, but I do love chili and look forward to trying your recipe. I am now happily following you!

  39. Thanks for your visit and comment on my blog. :)

  40. coupon Greene1/14/13, 11:21 PM

    I am a network blog follower. Stop by Pounds4Pennies for a follow back!

  41. Michelle Meche1/15/13, 12:32 PM

    Thank you for hosting, Kathy.  Love the time saving tips!

  42. TheChickenChick1/15/13, 11:11 PM

    I'm following you on G+, thanks for joining me!

  43. TheChickenChick1/15/13, 11:23 PM

    Thank you for letting me know about your party, Lisa! I have linked up two of my recipes. Have a great week!

  44. TheChickenChick1/15/13, 11:25 PM

    Thanks so much for linking up, it's nice to have you with us!

  45. TheChickenChick1/15/13, 11:28 PM

    Happy cooking, Jen! If you try the chili, let me know how you like it!

  46. Shelley Stokes1/16/13, 5:06 AM

    Hi Kathy! Loving the blog and all of these clever creations in your link party! I just wanted to say that unfortunately I couldn't get the button to work this time! I did last time, so perhaps next time! Thanks for being a base for inspiration to shine

  47. Debbie Barna1/16/13, 8:51 AM

    Thanks so much for hsoting each week!!


  48. Thank you for inviting me to link up.  I am now  following you via Google Friend Connect.

  49. I'm new to the blog and thee is soooo much information. I can't get enough!

  50. bethany dearden1/16/13, 4:12 PM

    Thanks so much for sharing at Wednesday's Adorned From Above Blog Hop. 
    Debi and Charly @ Adorned From Above
    Bethany @ Whistle and Ivy

  51. myric andreasen1/16/13, 11:38 PM

    Great party!! Thanks for inviting me. I am a new follower :)

    Myric @ PetitesPassions

  52. What a fun blog. thx for the invitation to link up! Have a great weekend~

  53. I am following your blog via GFC now! :o) 

  54. TheChickenChick1/17/13, 10:25 PM

    Thanks for the invitation and for linking up, Martha!

  55. TheChickenChick1/17/13, 10:42 PM

    Thanks for joining me, Donna!

  56. Divine Aleligay-Tan1/18/13, 1:34 AM

    Hi! Thanks for inviting me.
    I happily joined your blog hop. 
    I'm also your new follower! :-)

  57. Alexis Peloquin1/18/13, 1:30 PM

    Wow the chili looks amazing!  I LOVE the idea to freeze the tomatoes, that is brilliant!

    I'm following by RSS Feed now :)

  58. Newest follower, thanks for stopping by my blog!  I linked up a chicken pie recipe- is that not appropriate on a chicken themed blog????  I would love to win the book you're giving away!

  59. Thanks for hosting!  I linked up how to make over a regular bra into a nursing bra.

    Kathryn @ Farming My Backyard

  60. Hi, I'm following you!  Thanks for hosting!  - pennyring.blogspot.com

  61. Theresa Benoit1/19/13, 2:25 PM

    Hi, Kathy!  Thank you for checking out my blog.  I am now following you too.  I love the idea of putting food in ice trays.  How clever!  I am going to do this!  Have a great weekend!

  62. Darlene Nudy1/19/13, 3:17 PM

    I added my Piano Pillow and am now a follower!!

    Gonna try this chili recipe!  Sounds delicious!!

    ~ Darlene

  63. Thanks for checking out my blog, following back and can't wait to get to know you, you look like a very fun and adorable person!
    Real McCoy(s)

  64. TheChickenChick1/19/13, 9:06 PM

    Thanks for linking up, Kathryn! I wish I had your post a few years ago, it would have come in very handy!

  65. TheChickenChick1/19/13, 9:39 PM

    LOL! It is perfectly appropriate, JW. Thanks for linking up with us! :)

  66. TheChickenChick1/19/13, 9:57 PM

    Thanks for linking up Melissa! I hope you'll join us again!

  67. TheChickenChick1/19/13, 9:57 PM

    Thanks for linking up your pillow, Darlene! It's nice to have you with us!

  68. TheChickenChick1/19/13, 9:58 PM

    Thanks for linking up, Theresa!

  69. Jennifer Obyrne1/20/13, 12:16 AM

    Thanks Kathy for visiting my blog...In return, I am here and love your blog!  I will be back often!
    Jen @TheChickenChick:disqus  http://throughmycreativemind.blogspot.com

  70. thanks for hopping  by my blog, love the  chili recipe thanks for sharing!

  71. Andi Winslow1/20/13, 10:19 AM

    Hi Thank you for having your party.  I just joined a couple weeks ago and Love your blog.  enjoy looking at the chicken and telling us about the little guys.  I posted Individual Salsa cups.   Have a great week     andi the wednesday baker

  72. Hi, just linked up, thanks so much for the invite!

    following through GFC now and looking forward to reading more of your posts :)

    Shel @ Sweet Petite

  73. TheChickenChick1/20/13, 5:49 PM

    Thanks for linking up, Andi! It's nice to have you here!

  74. TheChickenChick1/20/13, 5:58 PM

    Thanks for joining me, Jennifer!

  75. Thank you for visiting my blog! Your newest follower via GFC, Facebook, Twitter, and Networked Blogs.  

  76. Hi Kathy, I decided to take you up on your offer to join your Blog Hop.
    I got in just under the wireLOL
    I also have chickens and I do love my girls!
    Girl your gonna need a secretary to help ya! 70 comments!
    Well any hoot... Blessings, and Thanks for the invite! Roxy

  77. Cassidy Bradshaw1/20/13, 11:29 PM

    Hi, thanks for the invite to link up.  I'm following you and hope I made my comment in time before the cut off for the book drawing :)  my little boy would love it.  I'll be back for more chicken info.

  78. Thanks so much for linking up with "Try a New Recipe Tuesday!"  This looks such a good and hearty meal for these cold days.  Hope you will join us again!  :-)

  79. TheChickenChick1/23/13, 12:54 AM

    Don't I know it, Roxy! LOL Thanks for linking up!

  80. Love your blog!!

  81. I loved your review on Reinventing the Chicken Coop!! I've just started my research  on coops and chickens in hopes that next year I will have made my choices, built my coop, and geared up to start my own flock of lovely ladies for my backyard! I've already got a couple of chicken and coop books, but this one really looks interesting and I would love to win a copy! 

  82. Robin Brooksby1/24/13, 6:12 PM

    Thanks for visiting my blog or I never would have found yours!  I am a new follower and look forward to joining your blog hop parties.  I wish we could do some rural farming in our area but, although I lived in the midst of hundreds of orchards growing up and have still never left my hometown, we are now "the big city" and can't do that.  I love that you are promoting children's books as well since I've never stopped reading them!  What day do we need to post for your linky?  

  83. The Man of the House cooked this up for Super Bowl.  SOOOO good!  I hope you don't mind if I blog about our experience with it (including full credit to you, including links back to your blog)

  84. TheChickenChick2/16/13, 10:01 AM

    Cool! By all means, share the link to my recipe and I'd love to read your blog when you post it!

  85. Thanks so much for linking up with "Try a New Recipe Tuesday." My husband loves chili. I am going to try this one. I hope you will be able to link up again this week! :-) God bless, Lisa