Tip of the week: Take your chili to the next level for tailgate season

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By: Danielle Waldron
dwaldron@flavor574.com

Steven Depolo/Flickr

Labor Day is over, days are getting shorter and football season has arrived. 

Crisp fall afternoons are best spent with a big bowl of chili. It’s one of those foods that warms you from within and is suitable for whatever diet people stick with. 

Whether you’re tailgating or getting dinner together, make chili work for you in these colder months ahead with these five tips anyone can do:

1. Heat things up. Chili should have a little kick to it, if you can handle it. If the recipe calls for chiles or jalapeños, you can leave some or all of the seeds in to add some spice. It’s not a bad idea to handle jalapeños with rubber gloves, since the capsaicin can make the skin uncomfortably hot or, heaven forbid, if you rub your eyes after cutting up a spicy pepper. 

2. Add honey. Spicy and sweet go together really well. About one-third of a cup of honey can provided a sweet balance to chili or tone down the heat if it’s a little too spicy for your taste. 

3. Break out the slow cooker. Let your slow cooker do the work for you. A few minutes of preparation and chopping vegetables is all it really takes to make a delicious chili. Set the slow cooker on medium and be sure to stir and check in ever few hours. Plus, your house will smell amazing. 

4. Dress it up. Sour cream, crackers, shredded cheese, you name it. Toppings and garnishes bring it all together with chili, according to The Kitchn. Don’t forget to add the extras or let friends build their own bowls. 

5. Try different ingredients. Swapping black beans for chickpeas or plain tomatoes with canned tomatoes and chiles can make a world of difference to a tried-and-true recipe. You might just find something you love even more. 

What tips do you have for cooking chili? Let us know in the comments below! 

Follow editor Danielle Waldron on Twitter @DanielleWaldron
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