When people ask me for tips on keeping warm during the winter, I always give them the same answer – move to Texas. I specifically recommend the Gulf Coast area of Texas because the northern part of the state can get chilly. Sure you may have to contend with a periodic hurricane, but that’s a fair trade-off for being able to wear shorts during the winter.
As a native Houstonian, I hate to be cold. I’d rather spend a summer in Saudi Arabia than a winter in Chicago. I’ve grown accustomed to my hometown’s temperate weather. I especially loved the weather when I was a kid. I could ride my new bike or toss around my new football on Christmas day whereas kids in other parts of the country had to wait until spring to play with their Christmas bounty.
I’m not trying to mislead you into believing that Texas is a year-round tropical paradise. It does get cold and it even snows periodically. And by periodically, I mean once every decade.
During those times when the temperature dips below 70, I’ve learned to be prepared. As a child, my mother encouraged me to bundle up on those frigid days. I’m sure that I looked like Randy from “A Christmas Story” (I’ve tried to get my kids to wear coats, but it seems as if it’s cool to be cold nowadays).
In addition to making sure I dressed warmly, my mother always prepared some delicious meals. Her go-to winter dishes were Gumbo, Beef Stew, Chicken Noodle Soup, and Chili. Now, I share these meals with my kids.
Although I can make a decent pot of gumbo, it doesn’t compare with my mother’s. She’s from Louisiana after all. However, as a native Texan, I’ve been schooled by some of the best chili makers in the world. Over the years, I’ve honed my chili recipe to the point of perfection (in my humble opinion). I’m not sure it will win a Chili Cook-off, but it’s won a place on my children’s list of favorite winter meals.
Mocha Dad’s Texas Chili
- 1 Large onion diced
- 1 Clove of garlic diced
- 1/2 Bell pepper diced
- 1 Large tomato diced
- 1 Jalapeño pepper diced
- 1-1/2 lb of chili meat or ground beef
- 2 cans of dark red kidney beans
- 2 cans of Campbell’s Condensed Tomato soup
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- Chili powder
- Garlic powder
- Cajun seasoning
- Olive Oil
1. Sauté the vegetables in olive oil and transfer to large pot.
2. Season the meat with cajun seasoning and brown a skillet. Drain excess fat and add meat to pot.
3. Add the beans, soup, and tomatoes to pot.
4. Season to taste with spices
5. Simmer on medium heat for at least 40 minutes.
6. Serve with Pepperidge Farms Goldfish, crackers, or Texas Toast. Top with additional diced onions or peppers for added flavor.
For more delicious winter recipes, visit The Wisest Kid in the Whole World.
And if the winter is giving you the blues, consider moving to Texas. We’ll be glad to have you.
Join the conversation: How do you keep warm during the winter?
Disclosure: I’m a paid Campbell’s Ambassador. All opinions are my own.