The best chili con carne ever… and a giveaway!

Like the look of that ^^

Yeah, me too!  It’s that time of year again when every Sunday Neil and I sit down at the kitchen table (since, you know, we don’t actually have a dedicated dining room, we can’t sit at our dining table) and menu plan for the week. We like to make large batches of things like chili con carne and portion it for dinners or Neil’s lunches later in the week. I especially like chili because it’s one of those things that tastes better after a day or so.

I recently made it in my first ever Le Creuset item:

The Le Creuset 6 quart stock pot in cobalt, generously supplied to me by the kind folks at CSN stores (you can find the stock pot here at Cookware.com).  So, what did I think?

I like that it heated rapidly and uniformly, great for the slow simmering the chili requires. The lid sealed nice and tightly and the stainless steel rim on the base and lid look like they won’t chip or crack easily.   It’s perfect for a pungent dish like a curry because the enameled interior won’t absorb odors or flavours.  I loved that it was super easy to clean. The enamel on steel construction makes it easy to lift and pour, although I found I needed to use pot holders to lift it after it had been simmering away for nearly an hour.  According to the product description, it performs exceptionally well on all heat sources, including induction.  If we had a dishwasher, we would be happy to know that it’s dishwasher safe, though it cleaned up very easily with handwashing too.

Want your own Le Creuset stock pot?  Well you’re in luck!  CSN Stores have offered a $75.00 one-time use gift code to use in any of their (200+) sites.

To enter, simply leave me a comment telling me what you favourite make ahead dish is.

For a bonus entry, you can tweet the following message and come back and comment to let me know you did:

I just entered to win a $75 gift card with CSN stores from @eatlivtravwrite. You can too Enter here:  http://bit.ly/98kYyl

Contest closes on Sunday, September 26th at 6pm EST and I will announce the winner on Tuesday September 28th.  Oh and that recipe?  I’ll share it when I announce the winner…Good luck!

Did you check out my first entry for Project Food Blog yet?

98 Responses to The best chili con carne ever… and a giveaway!

  1. Brian @ A Thought For Food September 18, 2010 at 06:44 #

    Won’t be making any chili with meat any time soon… but that Le Creuset pot looks mighty nice! 🙂 This is definitely starting to feel like chili/soup season… might have to make a pot of it myself this weekend! Great post!

    My favorite make ahead dish has to be soup. I usually have a couple of quarts in the freezer just in case we need some.

  2. Jenn September 18, 2010 at 06:47 #

    Oh I love chili con carne! Can’t wait til you share the recipe! A make-ahead dish I like is bolognese sauce – it takes a long time, but I make a huge batch and then we can freeze it (now that our freezer works) and use it in so many things…. One question about the giveaway…. are there geographical restrictions?

  3. Michael September 18, 2010 at 07:11 #

    One favorite make ahead dish is Kalua Pork from La Fuji Mama: http://www.lafujimama.com/2009/12/slow-cooker-kalua-pig/

    It is easy, really tasty, and a real make-ahead. And since pork butt is relatively cheap, this is an all around winner.

  4. Belinda @zomppa September 18, 2010 at 07:14 #

    Ooo – I want a big Le Creuset like that. Mine is wonderful, but small! I love doing big pots of good stuff to freeze for the week and this one will just have to go on that list.

  5. Bunkycooks September 18, 2010 at 08:55 #

    Chili is better made a day or two ahead. So is Chicken Noodle Soup! Le Creuset products are terrific! Nice giveaway. 🙂

  6. Casey Angelova September 18, 2010 at 08:59 #

    Love the pot! I have the same one in 13 qt, which would be great if I could find edible lobster in Bulgaria, but I use it for canning. My favorite make ahead dish is either ratatouille/hummus or guacamole.

  7. Fiona September 18, 2010 at 09:14 #

    Nice looking pot!! It would be GREAT for one of my favourite do ahead dishes which is butternut squash and chickpea stew.

  8. Carla September 18, 2010 at 09:45 #

    always lasagna 🙂

  9. Daydreamer Desserts September 18, 2010 at 09:48 #

    Fancy stock pot you’ve got there Mardi! My favorite thing to make ahead is ice cream… Oh wait, you were referring to savory, in that case it’s got to be chicken noodle soup. 🙂

  10. Evan Thomas September 18, 2010 at 09:50 #

    My favorite make-ahead meal is baked beans

  11. mami2jcn September 18, 2010 at 10:21 #

    Pot roast!

  12. Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels September 18, 2010 at 10:24 #

    The chili con carne looks amazing and I love the color of the stockpot.

    My favorite make ahead dish is definitely soup. YUM!

  13. Lauren @ Healthy Delicious September 18, 2010 at 10:28 #

    Soup! Especially crab chowder. I always make a huge batch and have it for lunch all week.

  14. Whineaux September 18, 2010 at 10:37 #

    I love the pot — and want your chili recipe!

  15. Shea M. @ Blissfully Unrefined September 18, 2010 at 11:15 #

    My favorite cook ahead meal is Chicken Paprikash or Tyler Florence’s Ultimate chili (with brisket and like, 4 different kinds of chili, including DIY chili powder). It’s not cheap to make, but it has so many layers of flavor, it actually tops my mom’s chili!!!! And it would be SO nice done in a Le Creuset pot… 😉

  16. Evelyne@CheapEthnicEatz September 18, 2010 at 12:21 #

    Nice chili indeed. I have 1 creuset dish, the old big orange ones. Paid 15$ in a flea market but the enamel in the inside is gone. Still works but a nice new one would be awesome.

    Lasagna is a good make ahead, or a nice curry where the spices can really do there magic over a rest period.

  17. Evelyne@CheapEthnicEatz September 18, 2010 at 12:23 #


  18. meeyeehere September 18, 2010 at 12:41 #

    My favorite is my grand dads Italian rice soup.Even though he has passed on,his recipe lives on in our family and we make it often.That chili looks so good,makes my tummy growl.

  19. meeyeehere September 18, 2010 at 12:42 #

    I tweeted

  20. Barbara | VinoLuciStyle September 18, 2010 at 13:27 #

    French Onion Soup is the one thing I make ahead; it is just so much better if eaten a day or more later. Hard to do yes…but well worth the wait.

  21. healthy mamma September 18, 2010 at 15:41 #

    Well it certainly looks tasty!
    I would have to say my fav make ahead dish is vegetable stock or beans.

  22. Barbara Bakes September 18, 2010 at 19:10 #

    I make my Spicy Chicken Soup in the crockpot in the morning and let it simmer all day, then I freeze what we don’t eat in individual servings. So good!

  23. Barbara Bakes September 18, 2010 at 19:11 #

    I tweeted your giveaway. I’d love to win, but I also want the chili recipe. It really does look fabulous.

  24. Amanda September 18, 2010 at 19:13 #

    My favorite make ahead dish is probably my lasagna. Easy to freeze and bake!

  25. Amanda September 18, 2010 at 19:13 #

    I tweeted! @amandascookin 🙂

  26. Soma September 18, 2010 at 19:33 #

    That is a gorgeous looking recipe and equally beautiful pot! Came here via twitter and u have a lovely space here.

    My make ahead recipe would be the kind of sauce/curry sauce which I can freeze and take it out when needed to cook a fresh tasting dish with little effort.

  27. Megan September 18, 2010 at 20:51 #

    Well…. We make Ina’s Corn Chowder… it makes a HUGE batch.. the trouble is… we end up eating 3 bowl full, so it never lasts as love as we wish. It is one of those soups that tastes better as it sits….

  28. penny aka jeroxie September 18, 2010 at 21:33 #

    gosh! LOVE this! I have to make it at some point before it gets too warm again

  29. Krissie September 18, 2010 at 23:08 #

    I have a good recipe I like to make ahead for Chicken Lasagna
    CalifKitties (AT) aol.com

  30. Lynne September 18, 2010 at 23:16 #

    My favorite make ahead dish is probably nikujaga..aka Japanese meat and potatoes. It’s super easy to make in a slow cooker, and tastes delicious!

  31. Kocinera September 19, 2010 at 00:04 #

    My favorite make-ahead dish is definitely chili, as well as any sort of hearty soup or stew. It’s so great to have a full meal in a single bowl.

  32. Tim September 19, 2010 at 06:41 #

    Favorite make ahead dish is lasagna.

    tahearn at roadrunner dot com

  33. Tim September 19, 2010 at 06:43 #

    I tweeted at


  34. A Canadian Foodie September 19, 2010 at 08:39 #

    I am looking forward to your recipe. Last year Slow Food Edmonton put on the Grilled Cheese Olympics. This year, it will be Chili, I believe, so I am doing my research early… 🙂
    My favourite make ahead is my homemade tomato sauce. I make a massive batch (as it needs to simmer on the back burner for hours) and then freeze portions that I use in pastas and on pizzas. I also teach my students how to make this recipe and we do the same thing in class: make homemade pizza (dough and all) and then pasta (not homemade, but learn to cook it properly) with their homemade sauce. I see such happy smiles and they are amazed at how delicious the simple ingredients are. They are also shocked that carrots and celery are in the recipe.

  35. A Canadian Foodie September 19, 2010 at 08:40 #

    I also tweeted your promotion – and will say that I have three of their cast iron pots: a braiser which I adore, a Dutch oven which I adore, and an oval roaster type stove top huge pot which is great for coc-au-vin.

  36. Joel (@foodie411) September 19, 2010 at 09:34 #

    Hands down my favourite one pot meal is chicken in a pot. This is a great dish when the weather is cooling, and reminds me of my Bubbie (grandmother). Throw in a chicken, cover with water, add carrot, parsnip, lots of dill and parsley, S&P, any other spices, some kreplach (meat dumplings) and cook. At the end add some matzo balls. The best!

  37. Carrie Oliver September 19, 2010 at 10:03 #

    We’d love a crock pot! My favorite make ahead food is manicotti with lemon tomato sauce. It’s a major pain to make (tons of fresh herbs and cheeses) so it doesn’t fit my style, which is to whip up whatever’s in the refrigerator.

  38. Grace September 19, 2010 at 10:11 #

    Hey Mardi this looks absolutely delicious! I have made chili exactly once in my lifetime and I didn’t do a very good job with it. My kids don’t like beans and I have tried to find a really good recipe for a bean-less chili and have not had any luck. I have one of these pots and I think they are great! My make-ahead would have to be Chicken Stracciatella Soup (family fav). Btw I also tweeted your promo – great giveaway!

  39. Cookin' Canuck September 19, 2010 at 10:26 #

    That chili is making me salivate – I am so ready for fall! My favorite make-ahead dish is soup – any kind. We like to stock our freezer full of different kinds so that we can use them for quick weeknight meals.

  40. Sarah @ Budgeted Life September 19, 2010 at 10:46 #

    Macaroni and Cheese is my favorite make ahead dish. Thanks for the giveaway.

  41. kristin @ delishliving September 19, 2010 at 11:46 #

    Great giveaway! I retweeted it bc I like it so much 🙂 I LOVE that you and your other half do the meal planning together!!! I’ve tried to incorporate that into our house, but then suddently hotdogs get put on the menu (not that there’s anything wrong with that once in awhile!!!). Love your blog, looking forward to checking you out more (this is my first visit)!.

  42. Rose in Ohio September 19, 2010 at 13:04 #

    Cincinnati chili is so easy to make and freeze. When it’s time to serve I just cook some spaghetti and heat up the chili. It’s a real favorite with my DH and two teens, especially during fall and winter.

    rosemills (at) bex (dot) net

  43. Michelle jadaa September 19, 2010 at 13:05 #

    Home made meatballs,made in bulk and frozen.We use them in spagetti sauce,meatball subs,teriyaki sauce with rice,sweet and sour sauce.
    I tweeted…

  44. Lynda Del September 19, 2010 at 13:47 #

    My favorite make ahead meal is a pot roast in my slow cooker that I turn into a Stoup or serve on a hoagie bun or on pasta or rice. It’s a family favorite.

  45. Lynda Del September 19, 2010 at 13:49 #

    I tweeted

  46. Anu September 19, 2010 at 14:31 #

    I just made some baked ziti as a make ahead dish for some family that was on a trip. Thanks for having the giveaway.

  47. Lucie September 19, 2010 at 16:09 #

    My favourite make ahead dish would be soup, any kind of soup!

  48. Joshua Burgin - New Day, New Way September 19, 2010 at 16:12 #

    Oh, how I miss chili! I am a Tennesseean living in France for a year, study abroad. Right now is the start of chili season and I am missing it all! Going to have to educate the French, haha!

    My favorite dish to make ahead is beef stew with potatoes and carrots!

  49. RavieNomNoms September 19, 2010 at 16:45 #

    Looks so great! Chili is such a comfort food for me!

  50. Michelle September 19, 2010 at 18:25 #

    This chili looks delicious! My favorite make-ahed dish is definitely my tomato lentil chicken sausage soup in the slow cooker!

  51. saltyseattle September 19, 2010 at 19:04 #

    Make-ahead meals? Cassoulet is my #1. Mostly because it takes so damn long that you better be eating it for days to get your money’s worth. Love this post, Mardi.

  52. susitravl September 19, 2010 at 19:29 #

    I make Cheeseburger Soup Ole! that a friend of mine created. She won $500 for it from Pace Picante. It is so good made a couple of days ahead and finished with the cheese the day you serve it.


  53. susitravl September 19, 2010 at 19:30 #

    Follow you on Twitter and Tweeted – http://twitter.com/susitravl/status/24975889173


  54. Nutpi September 19, 2010 at 19:51 #

    I am a big fan of made ahead dishes and it is not because I don´t like cooking, I just like to be able to eat as soon as i get home after a long day at work and before I need to take my doggy out for a walk. When you release your recipe I will be sure to share it with my husband…

    The Creuset pot looks stunning and I would love to add that to my costco pot set….. My favorite make a head dish is japanese curry! The dish shares the character of your chili, it tastes better the next day!

  55. Christine @ Fresh Local and Best September 19, 2010 at 20:37 #

    Given the busier and busier days we’re experiencing, I’d be very interested in hearing everyone’s ideas on this topic. When I think of make ahead meals, what instantly comes to mind is lasagna, which can be made the evening before and popped into the oven the next day.

  56. christine @ Fresh Local and Best September 19, 2010 at 20:40 #


  57. Fuji Mama September 19, 2010 at 20:58 #

    My favorite make-ahead-dish is kalua pork made in the crockpot! I love it because I start it the day before and it makes a ton, so I always have enough left over to use to make sandwiches or tacos, or even freeze for a later date!

  58. 5 Star Foodie September 19, 2010 at 21:08 #

    That is one gorgeous chili con carne! Believe it or not I never ever make any meals ahead 🙂

  59. amber September 19, 2010 at 22:45 #

    Oh wow, this would be great to win. That chilli looks fab, too. I love making roast and corned beef and cabbage, yum! Thanks so much for the chance to win.

  60. amber September 19, 2010 at 22:45 #

    I tweeted on Twitter for a second entry:http://twitter.com/lipstickncandy/status/24990235555

  61. ClassicKitchenTwist September 20, 2010 at 00:12 #

    I love making any type of soup ahead and being able to eat it all week for my lunch!

  62. Jalila September 20, 2010 at 03:00 #

    I tweeted…and would die for my first creuset! My favorite dish to make ahead of time is soup, it always seems to taste better after it has a couple of days to sit, and this time of your butternut squash with apple is amazing! I’ll share the recipe and picture of the soup in my new creuset if I win!

  63. fooddreamer September 20, 2010 at 07:21 #

    My favourite, FAVOURITE make-ahead meal is a chili as well…a turkey chili verde, made with tomatillos, so good! And we make it in our Le Creuset pot (I could always use another one!).

  64. Jennifer @ keepitsimplefoods September 20, 2010 at 11:04 #

    Have been dreaming of owning anything Le Creuset. Would love to win this! xoxo

  65. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction September 20, 2010 at 15:23 #

    Love, love, love Le Creuset! That chili looks mighty delicious, too. One of my favorite make aheads is chicken tortilla soup. I’m also a big fan of buffalo chicken chili. I make it ahead, but it all gets eaten up by my kitchen gremlins (aka most likely the hubby) before I have a chance to use it for the intended purpose 🙂

  66. Cheryl W. September 20, 2010 at 18:27 #

    Wow, that pot looks even better in your picture, than the photo on CSN. I didn’t realize how nice it was until I saw your photo. Anyway, my favorite make ahead dish is Chicken stock. I know that isn’t really a dish but I love making large batches of it.

  67. Cheryl W. September 20, 2010 at 18:54 #



  68. JessicaO September 20, 2010 at 19:25 #

    Lasagna is one of my faves to make ahead! Also I’m a huge fan of soup, year-round, so of course that’s high on my list, too.

  69. JessicaO September 20, 2010 at 19:27 #

    I sent the tweet!

  70. Doris September 21, 2010 at 07:58 #

    My favorite make ahead meal is Senate bean soup. As with most soups, it improves with age.

  71. Jason's BBQ Adventures September 21, 2010 at 12:05 #

    My favorite make ahead meal is Pulled Pork. Anytime I have a large crowd coming over, this is my goto dish. Now a lot of my friends is having me smoke pulled pork for them too when they are having a get together. The greatest par t of it is, I can make it a month in a head of time and freeze it. All I have to do to get it going is heat it up in a roaster with an apple juice/cider vinegar mixture with a bunch of spices and we are set.

  72. Heidi September 21, 2010 at 13:11 #

    Yum, that chili looks so good! I have to say my favorite is Turkey pot pie(probably because I just had it last night, lol). After I cook a turkey I make a huge batch of individual turkey pot pies and then freeze them without cooking the pastry or anything, then I take them out of the freezer that morning and then I throw them in the oven and wait till the filling starts bubbling and then it’s dinner time 😀

  73. Drew September 21, 2010 at 17:04 #

    I make spaghetti and it lasts for a few days! Good just made, cold for lunch and spaghetti pie for another dinner!

  74. Jennai September 21, 2010 at 18:54 #

    I like to make a big pot of Beef Burgandy and have lots for leftovers.
    HobartsMama {AT} AOL.COM

  75. Schmidty September 22, 2010 at 02:21 #

    It’s about that time of year to have a huge pot of simmering chicken and noodle soup on the stove!

  76. Mary Cressler September 22, 2010 at 12:37 #

    My two favorite make ahead dishes are turkey chili and marinara sauce (so I have them prepped for the week). Both would be perfect for the Le Creuset stock pot!

    This Saturday is also my birthday, so this would be the best birthday gift ever since I’ve been yearning for one of these pots for what seems like forever! … not to let that sway your selection 😉

    PS, I’ve also just tweeted the message on twitter!

  77. Andrea@High/Low September 22, 2010 at 16:47 #

    I make a vegetarian red lentil dahl that always tastes better the next day!

  78. Deeba September 24, 2010 at 06:57 #

    Lasagna Lasagna Lasagna … count me in Mardi girl. I failed my macs too, but am still trying to win ’em over!!

  79. Suzanne September 24, 2010 at 07:17 #

    I love Le Creuset! That’s my dream cookware (you know, when I win the lottery!).

    Chili looks delicious! I need to make a meat free version soon. The weather is too hot at the moment to think chili / comfort foods.

    I do a LOT of OAMC (Once a month cooking) and make hubbies lunches for the freezer and provide meals for a guy in our building who is currently going through a hard time.

    My favourites are Veggie Sausage and Peppers, shepherd’s pie, and veggie stew.

    Have a great weekend!

  80. art and lemons September 24, 2010 at 08:44 #

    Soup. Especially in Fall and Winter. This week it was Spinach, Squash and Ginger and Corn Chowder.


  81. Rebecca September 24, 2010 at 13:34 #

    My favorite make ahead dish is BBQ baby back ribs. My hubby and I usually make them on a sunday and do several racks for the week. Just like Chili, they are better as the days go by. They are really easy to reheat without worry of overcooking, and very satisfying!

  82. JAK September 24, 2010 at 13:54 #

    Any kind of soup! It’s always better the next day, anyways!

  83. Karla September 24, 2010 at 17:04 #

    Best make ahead dish: beans and rice. Gotta love the rice cooker.

    Love your blog…and voted for it (of course!)

  84. nancy September 24, 2010 at 17:07 #

    My favorite make-ahead dish is Cheese Enchiladas.

    nblexp at gmail dot com

  85. nancy September 24, 2010 at 17:10 #



    nblexp at gmail dot com

  86. Lara September 24, 2010 at 21:30 #

    I love to make brisket in the slow cooker! Also roast chicken in the crock pot.

  87. Deanna G. September 25, 2010 at 08:39 #

    I’m not much of a cook. Hmm…How about rice? With cheese and peppers. Yummy 🙂

  88. Deanna G. September 25, 2010 at 08:40 #

    Tweeted the message:


  89. debbie September 25, 2010 at 09:59 #

    I do love lasagna. And really almost any soup!

  90. debbie September 25, 2010 at 10:01 #

    Tweeted: http://twitter.com/suburbsanity/status/25500141782

  91. tina September 25, 2010 at 17:01 #

    My favorite make ahead dish is TrapperGeorge’s Garbanzo Bean Soup…quick, simple and awesomely good!
    And if I won that gift card, I could buy a decent stock pot to make it in 🙂

  92. tina September 25, 2010 at 17:05 #

    Ok..I am new to tweeting but I figured out how to leave your ‘message’ on it 🙂

  93. Rebecca Graham September 25, 2010 at 17:43 #

    My fav make ahead meal is lasagna.

  94. Rebecca Graham September 25, 2010 at 17:43 #

    Tweeted: http://twitter.com/rhoneygee/status/25533180811


  95. RJ Flamingo September 25, 2010 at 22:54 #

    One of my favorite make-aheads is also chili. You’re absolutely right – it always tastes better a day or two later.

    I tweeted! http://twitter.com/RJFlamingo/status/25553554647

  96. My Restaurants Melbourne September 26, 2010 at 06:47 #

    my favourtie make ahead dish has got to be bolognese sauce. it’s great to keep in the fridge for a few days, and also to store in portions in the freezer for a lazy dinner one night. You don’t just have to use bolognese sauce with spaghetti, it’s great over cannelloni, or even in bread toasted under the grill. You can also put a small spoon of cold bolognese sauce over crackers topped with a slice of cheese for a quick snack. you can pour the sauce over baked potatoes too. yum!!


  1. Tweets that mention The best chili con carne ever… and a giveaway! -- Topsy.com - September 20, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Amanda Formaro, Cheap Ethnic Eatz, A, Jalila Bouchareb, Christie and others. Christie said: I just entered to win a $75 gift card with CSN stores from @eatlivtravwrite. You can too Enter here: http://bit.ly/98kYyl […]