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Get toasty with a chili party

Observer Scene | Monday, November 15, 2004

As the South Bend temperature begins to dip and that walk to DeBartolo seems to take just a little longer than usual, a bowl of steaming chili may be just what you need to warm up as winter creeps onto campus. The thing about this southwestern treat is there are usually endless amounts of leftovers. You might as well just invite some friends over and have a chili party. Everyone has their own favorite style of chili, so be sure to have small bowls filled with toppings such as grated cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses, chopped onions, sour cream, hot sauces, diced tomatoes and minced cilantro. Also have lots of warm, tasty bread on hand to sop up the zesty goodness and serve some sides like tortilla chips and guacamole to balance out the heat of the chili. For a more festive touch, encourage everyone to wear cowboy hats and break out your favorite country music playlist. Most importantly, have lots of drinks on hand to wash down your spicy meal. Enjoy this chili recipe from Tabasco brand pepper sauce’s PepperFest or experiment with one of your own favorites.

Red-Chili Con Carne2 pounds lean coarsely ground beef or venison1 medium onion, chopped3 large cloves garlic, minced1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce2 cups water or beer2 tablespoons chili powder1 tablespoon cumin seeds or ground cumin1 teaspoon salt1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed1 tablespoon TABASCO brand Habanero Pepper Sauce2 tablespoons TABASCO brand Green Pepper SauceCook meat in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until brown, about 10 minutes, stirring to break up chunks. Pour off excess drippings, if any. Add onion and garlic and cook 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in tomato sauce, water, seasonings, TABASCO® brand Habanero Sauce, and TABASCO® brand Green Pepper Sauce. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 1 hour or until meat is tender and flavorings are blended, stirring occasionally and adding more water, if needed.Makes 6 to 8 servings.Recipe courtesy of Tabasco brand pepper sauce’s Pepper Fest.

Impress your friends with homemade tortilla chips. Divide tortillas into eight wedges and coat with olive oil spray. Sprinkle to taste with salt and spices (like Essence of Emeril) and some limejuice if you prefer. Bake at 325 degrees for 12-15 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden brown and crispy. Serve hot with guacamole or any of your other favorite dips. Mexican Ice Cream Sundaes are a great way to round off the meal. Serve warm cinnamon sauce over chocolate ice cream and garnish with a cinnamon stick. For the sauce, melt 3/4 cup butter in a small saucepan. Add 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.Cinnamon Sauce recipe courtesy of www.sweetbabymedia.com