This thick, slow-cooked chili is special to me because it "cooks itself" while I'm at work. My family and friends love it. It's really nice served with corn bread. —Patricia Nieh, Portola Valley, California
Meet the Cook: I started making my chili back when we lived near a huge farmers' market that sold all sorts of vegetables. Be as creative as you like with ingredients.
My husband loves chili, and this is a nice change from the traditional type. I've always enjoyed cooking - I grew up in a family with five girls. These days, I can count on our own youngsters (they're 4 and 2) to help me out!
-Judy Sloter, Charles City, Iowa
Meet the Cook: Anytime you're looking for a way to use up your zucchini and squash, this recipe gives a different taste sensation. My husband really enjoys it -and, except for the zucchini, our two daughters, ages 7 and 3, do as well!
-Debbie Cosford, Bayfield, Ontario
I got the basics of this recipe from a friend at a Super Bowl party and tweaked it from there. I do have to tone it down a bit for my wife...and my mom once asked if I was trying to get my inheritance early! People who like spicy food really go for it.—Rob Via, Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte, North Carolina
Meet the Cook: Now that my husband has retired - we have two grown sons - we eat out a lot. If we stay home, though, he asks if we are going to have this chili! I've been making it, with a few ingredients added or changed , most of my married life.
-Shirley Marshall, Michigantown, Indiana
In addition to eating this chili the traditional way (with a spoon!), my family likes to scoop bites onto tortilla chips. The leftovers are great rolled in tortillas and reheated, too. It's so comforting to have a pot simmering when cold Kansas winds are blowing.
Many friends and relatives have requested my chili recipe, which I've been using for 25 years. It actually won first place in a local contest, chosen from among 10 other entries. It always comes out delicious. Try it and enjoy!
Meet the Cook: Down here in Texas, we've always enjoyed Southwestern cooking. This chili is a special favorite - I've prepared it for a crowd and just the two of us, too.
My husband and I have three sons and three grandchildren.
-Shirley Logan, Houston, Texas
Meet the Cook: Frankly, I never cared much for chili. But my husband, Pat, likes it. So I just played around with ingredients until I came up with one I enjoyed - this one!
Pat and I are the parents of a pair of sons and the grandparents of five.
-Sue O'Connor, Lucan, Ontario
Meet the Cook: Because it is so hearty, no one misses the meat in this chili. Both family - my husband and I have three daughters and one grandchild - and friends ask for it.
-Rene Fry, Hampstead, Maryland
Some say you can have your cake and eat it, too...I say eat your chili and the bowl, too! I work the "graveyard shift" at the post office in Portland. During those hours, there is no place to buy meals, so I often bring in dishes like this chili to share with co-workers.
I thought the original version of this dish was fine. But my son can't get enough spice, so I added green chilies and other seasonings until it created a quick and easy chili he's wild about. —Carlene Bailey, Bradenton, Florida