#CookingWithKids: Chili Weather!

I love to cook, bake, and just be in the kitchen in general. I bake at least a few sweet treats every week, and promptly send them to work with my husband 24 hours after they come out of the oven (or else I make that my breakfast, lunch and dinner for the next few days).

My Little Man mashing bananas for cinnamon banana bread…and making faces, of course.

When I had kids, I had a tough time adjusting to cooking/baking when my kids were around. I was terrified they would touch the oven, grab a pot off the stove or manage to snag a paring knife. I realized that there are a few ways to make the kitchen safer for kids, and adapt your kitchen routines to accommodate them. Yes, they might make a (HUGE) mess, yes, it might take at least double the time, but you are teaching them something, being productive and avoiding screen time all in one fell swoop. One major tip- Put everything on the back burner. Literally. Don’t use the front burners of your stove to cook. Those little hands tend to sneak up from nowhere!

One of my absolute fall favorites to cook is chili. From tailgating to cozy nights inside, this dish just gets better the longer it cooks. I tried to figure out how to incorporate my 4 year old into helping with this year’s batch of chili, because handing him a knife and expecting him to dice onions really isn’t feasible or safe.

I was sent this adorable product to test out- The TouCan Can Opener– and like magic, my son opened all of my beans, diced tomatoes, paste and every other can in my pantry including multiple cans of tuna fish (yuck). You just pop the gadget on the lid of any can, press a button, and it maneuvers its way around the lid. The top of the can isn’t sharp after it is cut, and you can actually put it back on the can!

Here is my award-winning, no-fail chili recipe that everyone in my family loves, adapted from the Boilermaker Tailgate Chili recipe from Allrecipes.com. If you can brown meat and cut veggies, you can make this!


2 lbs. ground turkey (or ground beef)
1 lb. bulk Italian sausage
5-8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
3 cans (15 oz each) chili beans, drained
1 can (15 oz) chili beans in spicy sauce
2 cans (28 oz each) diced tomatoes
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 green and 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 green chili peppers, seeded and diced
4 cubes beef bouillon
1/2 cup beer (I love to use a rich ale or even IPA)
1/4 cup chili powder
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. minced garlic
1 T. dried oregano
2 t. ground cumin
2 t. hot pepper sauce
1 t. dried basil
1 t. salt
1 t. ground black pepper
1 t. cayenne pepper
1 t. paprika
1 t. white sugar


  • Heat a large stock pot over medium high heat and crumble the ground turkey and sausage into the pan. Cook until browned and drain off grease.
  • Pour in everything else, stir to blend, simmer on low for at least 2 hours stirring occasionally. 
  • Enjoy!

I love to serve this with shredded sharp cheddar cheese and sour cream for topping. This would be adorable in mini cups for a tailgate- think chili shots!

What is your favorite fall dish? Any that you cook with your kiddos?

Disclosure: Thank you to TELEBrands for sending the cute TouCan my way! All opinions are honest and my own, as always.