Champion Chili

You are in for it: my all-time unbeatable chili recipe. This is beloved by friends, coveted by those who know its secrets. It won the 'Department of Biological Sciences Chili Cook-off in 2012'.  It's taken home top prize at my work's 'Chili Friday'. It EVEN stole top title as 'Potluck Champion, 2015'. The accolades are impressive, I know. TENs of people have told me how much they enjoy this recipe. 

Champion Chili Recipe
Champion Chili Recipe

And now, it's part of your repertoire. 

The winning combination for this chili recipe (in my opinion) is its deep beef flavour (from simmering down beef broth), a mixture of beans for a variety of textures and a sweet kick from molasses and brown sugar. Added to the mix: coco gives a deep, rich flavour.

This recipe has been adapted over time from a recipe I got from my dear Aunt Dorothy. She was one of the people who sparked my interest in cooking and I owe her a lot. But not as much as I owe her for this recipe. It really is a champ. 

Chili Recipe

This recipe feeds a crowd and can be easily doubled, or even tripled.  I recently did just that for a ski trip with friends - and as always the chili was a hit. Those faces don't lie! 

The best part? This is a part of our (kinda) healthy recipe series.  You can kick-up trimming your waist line with some simple substitutions. Knock out the bacon to cut calories. You can also substitute ground turkey or TVP for the beef (careful, you'll also be cutting taste). Even in it's current form, it's all together a healthy option - high protein, high fiber and chalk full of nutrients.The bonus? Damn tasty. 

Chili Recipe with Friends
Kinda Healthy Recipe Series

Champion Chili


  • 6 slices of thick-cut bacon, sliced

  • 1 lb of lean ground beef

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 2 sticks of celery, diced 

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • 1 L beef broth

  • 1 can of diced tomato 

  • 1 can of mixed bean medley

  • 1 can of white beans

  • 1 can of pork and beans

  • 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar

  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

  • 2 tbsp fancy molasses

  • 1 tsp dry mustard powder

  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/4 tsp cumin

  • 1/2 tsp onion powder

  • 1 bay leaf 

  • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce 

  • 1/2 tsp coco powder

  • chili powder to taste

  • 1/4 tsp tobasco sauce 

  • salt to taste

  • pepper to taste


  1. In a large soup pot or dutch oven, cook the sliced bacon until crispy over medium heat.

  2. Remove the bacon and set aside.  Add beed to the pot, half a pound a time and cook until browned. Season each half pound with a half tbsp chili powder (or your preference) and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set browned beef aside.

  3. In the bacon and beef fat, add the diced onion and cover with a lid.  Turn heat to medium-low and cook onion until caramelized, 15-20 minutes, stirring every 3-4 minutes.  The onions should be a deep, dark, sweet brown. Add the garlic and celery and cook 2-3 minutes longer. 

  4. Add the beef broth to the pot and turn heat to medium-high. When the broth boils, turn heat to medium and simmer until reduced by 2/3rds.

  5. Add the diced tomato's, beans, vinegar, sugar, molasses, mustard powder, worcestershire, tabasco, coco powder, garlic powder, cumin, onion powder, bay leaf and any additional chili powder to taste. Stir. Return the beef and bacon to the pot. Taste the chili and season with salt and pepper. Add water to cover the chili. 

  6. Cover the chili and place in a 350 F oven for 1 hour.  Uncover and cook for a further 1 hour or until thickened to desired consistency. Revel in the miraculous chili perfume that envelops your home. 

  7. Serve with your favourite sides: cheddar cheese, sour cream, limes, cilantro, tortilla chips.

Chili Recipe


James Ede

My Grand-ma-ma's Scuffles (aka Mini Cinnamon Bun Cookies)

Scuffles Recipe Picture

I took a long trip down memory lane today. My grandmother was an amazing baker - she had a repertoire of goods that could make us all run/kick/bite at one another to be the first to sample the latest and greatest coming out of the oven. And these were her cornerstone. We all asked for them every Christmas and she, without exception, delivered every year...

By. The. Bucket.  

SCUFFLES. They're like a mini-cinnamon bun cookie and they're irresistible. Light but buttery and packed with cinnamon and sugar they're best eaten 2-20 at a time.  

Scuffles Recipe Cinnamon Sugar
Scuffles Recipe
Scuffles Recipe
Scuffles Recipe Picture

It's amazing the nostalgia that can be summoned from a familiar taste. Something so intertwined with your childhood it conjures up a multitude of memories. While I can't promise you such reminiscence, I can promise they are delicious. They're also a baked good I don't see on Christmas plates or in cookie exchanges. Bake these up and they just might make you famous with your family and friends. Just a word of warning though, be sure to share. There is a lot of guilt connected with looking down and realizing you ate an entire cookie sheet before they could cool.  



  • 3 cups flour

  • 3 tbsp sugar

  • 0.5 tsp salt

  • 1 cup butter, cubed

  • 0.75 cup milk

  • 2 eggs

  • 2.25 tsp instant yeast 


  1. Mix flour, sugar and salt in stand mixed with paddle attachment. Add butter and mix until small pebbles form (or cut in with pastry cutter). 

  2. Add 0.75 cup milk, eggs, and yeast to bowl. Attach the dough hook attachment and knead until ball has formed and pulled away from the bowl (or combine with spoon and knead dough).

  3. Place in bowl, cover with saran wrap and let stand in refrigerator overnight.

  4. The next day, divide dough into 6 equal parts. Roll dough as you would for pie crust until ~1/8 inch thick.

  5.  In a cup, mix one cup of sugar with 2 tbsp cinnamon. LIBERALLY sprinkle this on BOTH side of your rolled out dough. 

  6. Cut-up dough into 8 wedges using a dough scrapper or knife. 

  7. Roll the wedges, starting from the wide end towards the narrow end. Use your finger to pinch the dough point into the dough and place, face down on cookie sheet. 

  8. Bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees until browned and cooked through. 



Happy baking! 

James Ede Signature