First Snow Chili

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Fist Snow Chili


We have a tradition in our house.

Apparently, it is an unwritten, and unspoken tradition.

The other day we had snow flurries. Just flurries. Nothing stuck. The boys came home from school and asked where the chili was.

“What Chili?”, I replied.

“Mom, you always make chili on the first day it snows.”

And so I do. But, truth be told, I make chili on first snow days because I am lazy, and a terrible procrastinator. I am such a procrastinator that it takes actual snow flakes to fall from the sky to get me to organize our winter gear. This would be a perfectly acceptable practice if we lived in, say, Georgia. However, as my moniker alludes to, Dakota Pam lives in North Dakota. In case you are not sure where our little state is, look to the middle of Canada, then look slightly south. There we are! We get no hurricanes (yay!), but we are guaranteed winter weather. North Dakotans cannot escape winter. And yet, it takes snowflakes to get to to match up last years gloves and figure out if we have enough snow pants and boots.


So, usually, after a day of panicked matching, sorting, and inevitably shopping, I’m pooped. Too pooped to cook. And I’ve usually forgotten to plan ahead, so I have no real dinner options. Except Chili.

My “First Snow Chili” is no gourmet creation. The hardest thing for me  to do is opening all of the cans (thanks to the tendonitis brought on by hauling twin carseats for 18 months I now have an electric can opener. Yay me!).  I’m not going to win any chili cook-offs with this chili, and I doubt you will either. . .but if you do, slip me an email, my ego would LOVE that!

No, my friends, the best part of First Snow Chili, is that it takes about 10 minutes to whip up and only requires one pot.

I declared today our first snow day. It shouldn’t count, we have no measurable snowfall (yay), only flurries. BUT, I’m signed  up to bring dinner for the elementary school teachers today so they can snatch a bite between parent/teacher conferences. Plus, the boys have been BEGGING for chili and declaring every flurry a snowfall.

So, my friends, here is my lazy, snowy day gift to you.

First Snow Chili

This chili may not be fancy, but it is easy and tasty!

  • 1.5 pounds ground beef
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz) chili beans
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz) dark red kidney beans
  • 1 small can RoTel tomatoes

Brown the ground beef. Drain off grease.

Open all of the cans. Rinse and drain the kidney beans. Dump everything into your pot. Stir. Simmer for as long as you need.

Chime in! Do you have any First Snow Day traditions? What is YOUR go-to lazy mom meal? You know I’d love to hear from you!
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About the author : Dakotapam

I'm a Lutheran pastor's wife and mom to six kids, including toddler twin girls. My life is sometimes normal, and sometimes crazy; but through it all, I know that I am blessed! Some people say that I have my hands full, I prefer to call it living life with both hands full, and I love it!

18 comments to “First Snow Chili”

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  1. Emily Arnegard - November 15, 2011 Reply

    I seriously laughed at this one Pam. What were we doing last night? Trying on snow boots and pants. What did I do today? Yep! Go buy Alex new snow bibs and boots. :o) SO true!

    Wade is the Chili maker in our house. I tried a few times and he suggested I should just let that be his domain. Last night we had hashbrown casserole (Kristin’s recipe) because it was in the freezer and I needed that dish to take to MNO tonight. Tonight I am making meatball subs and taking half of it to the business meeting tomorrow!!!

    • Dakotapam - November 15, 2011 Reply

      The biggest kid needs a winter coat. Adult size. I need a sale:)

  2. Sue - November 15, 2011 Reply

    Looks good! Looks somewhat similar to the bean casserole I make – ground beef with pork and beans plus up to 3 other kinds of beans (lately I vary it). And after seeing it with crushed pineapple at a church potluck, I now dd that as well.

    When my boys were in scouts, the adult leaders were big on teaching them dutch oven cooking (and they ate really well on campouts!). Every August they would have a chili cook-off and try to out “hot” each other in the spicy department. The men were very serious about this. Their “mild” was “hot” to me!

    What a great idea on a snowy day, and a nice family tradition.

    • Dakotapam - November 15, 2011 Reply

      We love our Dutch ovens for camping!

      Your recipe reminds me the I used to doctor up canned baked beans with canned peaches, unlikely, but super tasty!

      • Sue - November 16, 2011 Reply

        Peaches sounds interesting – I’ll have to try that sometime!

  3. jill - November 15, 2011 Reply

    I made chili for the facilities team at our church last night (I make dinner for the men once a month) …chili…cornbread and cakeballs…Of course we had some extra for us…it was yummy! And mine is very simple too

    Ground beef, two large cans diced tomatoes, a large can of tomato puree, two cans of chili beans, an onion and chili powder to taste…


    • Dakotapam - November 15, 2011 Reply

      I should have made corn bread. I was too rushed, and out of corn meal. Bah.

  4. Angie - November 15, 2011 Reply

    Well, we were married in 1995 and have the same slow cooker. . .

    We had a panic when we had our first snow a couple weeks ago: we had no boots to fit the 6yo, and none of the local stores had anything that would work. Ack!

    • Dakotapam - November 15, 2011 Reply

      Ding, ding, ding! 6/11/95! Which just brings our parallel lives closer:)

  5. Nancy Dyk - November 15, 2011 Reply

    I have that slow cooker too-married in 1996! Sounds like a good recipe. I’ll have to try that, but first I need to get most of the ingredients. You’d think with my son working at a grocery store I’d be more stocked up since I have to drive him there and back.

  6. Essie - November 15, 2011 Reply

    Good tradition. I’ll have to do it next year. 😉

    • Dakotapam - November 15, 2011 Reply

      These are items I start to always stock this time of year. I have a rather seasonal pantry:)

  7. Dakotapam - November 15, 2011 Reply

    You are better at traditions than I am!

  8. Diana Stroe - November 17, 2011 Reply

    Mmmmmmmmmm…. YUMMY! It looks delicious, congratulations for the cooking and the post! It’s great and lovely to have family traditions, it seems that William really enjoys the chili and he really has reasons to do so. It looks so good that I am going to cook chili tomorrow. Thanks for the idea and for the recipe!

  9. Jerry Griffin - November 29, 2011 Reply

    You left out the main ingredient.onions- .chili powder & cumin…Yours is sure not Texas chili..oh well enjoy..different strokes ….

    • Dakotapam - November 29, 2011 Reply

      I know…it is mild, but I cook for six kids. The chili beans have chili powder and the ro-tel has jalepeno peppers. Plus, this is my super quick chili. When I cook for adults I have a more authentic recipe. This one is great for when you forgot what to make for dinner! thanks for stopping by!

  10. Jerry Griffin - November 29, 2011 Reply

    I am gonna try ur recipe…I am a 75 year old batchelor, set in my ways..I could be wrong once..ha-ha

    • Dakotapam - November 29, 2011 Reply

      Hey, it is a quick, easy jumping off point. enjoy, let me know how it turns out!

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