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18 Chilis, 16 Desserts, 1 Good Cause

My Aunt Gayle and Uncle Tom go on an annual mission trip to Nicaragua organized through their church, the Lutheran Church of Martha & Mary. Leading up to the trip, they have their annual chili & dessert cook-off fundraiser raising money through admission, a silent auction and raffle.

This year there were 18 chili entries including entries from my Uncle Tom, Aunt Gayle and Cousin Chris in addition to 16 dessert entries. Basically you taste a small amount of each chili and each dessert and vote for your favorite in each category.

Supporting their mission trip, spending time with family and tasting some great (and some not-so-great) chilis/desserts? I’m in.

[Chili Table #1]

[Dessert Table]

[Silent Auction]

[Chili Winners – hooray Uncle Tom & Chris]

The only issue with the event? It was the day after my LASIK so I wasn’t able to enter my own chili recipe so in lieu of the cook-off, I’ll share my chili recipe here:



  • 1.5 lbs beef
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green onion, chopped
  • 16-oz jar of salsa
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes (sometimes I use 2 cans)
  • 2 cans chili beans
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 spoonful chili powder
  • 1 packet of chili seasoning (1.25 oz)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper


  1. Brown meat in skillet. Add in onions and simmer over low heat.
  2. Combine all ingredients in crock pot.
  3. Allow to cook for 6-8 hours, stirring occasionally.
  4. Enjoy!

About thetwentysixthyear

September 6, 2011: I turn twenty-six years old. I live and work in downtown Chicago and really can't complain about too much -- great family, great friends, great life. So this is my personal blog. Experiencing and living my twenty-sixth year. I have no idea what to expect or where I'll be one year from now ... but one thing is certain: I will enjoy the ride.

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