Elk Chipotle Chocolate Chili

Let's talk about today because it was good. I got to sleep in. Meaning I didn't have to wake up at 4:30am so I was already in a fantastic mood by 7am. Then I got Kaladi americano with heavy cream AND a bag of it to make at home. Then I woded and coached. Then the best part of the day came. Friends time. I got to hang out with Rj and Tom, listen to dubstep, and chat about life. I just love them. Good people. THEN, Laura shopping time came. Ok, this could have gotten ugly real fast. Well it kinda did when I tried on some dresses. Damn that sh*t is tight on my hips. Just not attractive. I almost cried. I'm such an emotional crap shoot at times. So annoying. Thank god Laura hates shopping too so it only lasted about 20 minutes, then we spent faaaaar too much time at Bath and Body Works....smelling candles. We didn't even smell the lotion that much. We literally spent about 20 minutes smelling every candle. They pretty much all smelt like sh*t. Either cupcake frosting or pine cones. I'd rather not have my room smell like either of the two. I'm trying to meet a guy for gosh sakes...and I don't shower regularly....I need all the help I can get.

After breaking out in song randomly in perfect unison, unannounced, we decided it was time for a Whole Foods run. What a surprise. We only do that about 6 times per week. It's not an addiction. YOU DON'T KNOW US. But we were craving some apple cider to sip on while we cuddled up in the comfiest blanket and watched Christmas shows, so WF was a must (....and by Christmas shows, I mean Cupcake Wars: Holiday Edition). We hit the bulk isle, spent another smelling sesh in the cheese isle, then I eye flirted with a guy in the deli section. He was just such a cute guy. He was so smiley. I love smiley men. It rarely happens. I should have chatted with him! Grow some balls Juli!!! Instead I ate a wheel of goat gouda. Effin A.

Anywho, I have made the adult decision to make as many chili recipes as possible in the next week. Why? Because chili is really really good. And easy. And it's stupid cold here in Colorado. It's like the sun teases us. It's out, but it's doing nothing. Oh no wait, it's slightly melting the ice to make it really convenient to walk on. I scream every time I almost fall. Scream meaning squeal. Well Jason, Tom, and Rj all tried this chili AND all of them liked it!!! Jason gave it a 10!! That's unheard of from Jason. I wouldn't exactly agree with him but I am PUMPED he said that! And Tom and Rj both said they thought it was super good. My life is complete.

What you need:

  • 1.5-2lbs ground elk (beef is just as great! I don't discriminate!)
  • 1 small/medium mini pumpkin, peeled and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (14) oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14) oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup chicken/beef/vegetable broth
  • 3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped (found in can in the Ethnic section at store)*
  • 2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips or dark chocolate chips (optional-but smart)
  • 2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon honey or agave (optional)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fat, I used olive oil
What you do:
  1. Pull out a large soup pot or saucepan and place under medium-high heat. Add olive oil and minced garlic. Once the garlic becomes fragrant, add your bell pepper and onion. Mix to combine and let cook down.
  2. Now add your venison to begin to cook down.
  3. Once the beef is halfway cooked (only about 3-4 minutes) add your tomatoes, tomato sauce, chipotle peppers, broth, spices, and diced pumpkin. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Cover and let simmer for about 10 minutes or until pumpkin is cooked through. When the beef is cooked, taste to see if the spices are how you like them. This is when I added just a bit of honey to offset the chipotle peppers, but it's totally up to you!!

*Just so you know, if you use this many chipotle peppers, it's going to have some kick to it. A good kick, but definitely have some water near by. But I'm a baby when it comes to spices so maybe you shouldn't even be reading this sentence....you were warned though.
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