Romance Cooks

Eight Minute Chili – Piper Trace

Final chili

In Fueling Her Fire, Kip makes her grandmother’s chili and shares it with her ex-lover, Dillon, on Christmas Eve when they’re trapped together, snowed-in at her family’s cabin in the woods. I’m sharing Kip’s grandmother’s recipe here, but with some alterations to make it SUPER fast and convenient for busy ladies with a TBR pile that’s out of control.

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First off, make your own chili seasoning. This part can be skipped, but it’s so easy and makes a big batch that can last you through multiple recipes–so why not?


4 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons paprika
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 1/2 tablespoons sea salt
4 teaspoons black pepper

Mix all the ingredients and keep in a sealed container for whenever you need it! The general serving size is 1 1/2 tablespoons of this seasoning per pound of meat in the recipe.

EIGHT-MINUTE CHILI or, "Just a quickie", in the culinary sense.

I timed myself and it took me only eight minutes to "make" this dinner, and that included taking the pictures! I tried to limit the ingredients to "nothing too special" so that hopefully, when you have ground beef in your fridge, you’re never more than eight minutes from a good, home-cooked meal. Well, technically it’s 8 minutes and 3-4 hours… 🙂

1 pound ground beef (preferably a lower fat type)
1 can diced tomatoes, 28 oz
1 can kidney beans, 15 oz
1 can tomato paste, 6 oz
2 shakes of hot sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons of your homemade chili seasoning or one packet of chili seasoning from the store



Open your cans (tomatoes, beans, tomato paste). Dump them into the slow-cooker. If you have time, you can drain the beans, if you don’t, then don’t worry about it–the chili will be great either way. Add the hot sauce and chili seasoning and stir mixture up well.

Now, here’s the trick. I love meat in my chili, but browning ground beef always takes a while and adds significantly to the cleanup, so I wanted to figure out how to cook the ground beef in the slow-cooker. There’s no good method to do it, but I may have found a solution. Meatballs are often cooked in a slow-cooker, so I’ll just make the meat for my chili in a similar way.

Grab your pound container of ground beef and a small cookie scoop (you can use an ice cream scoop, but if you do, be sure to use a longer cooking time for bigger meatballs). Scoop meatballs right out of the meat package, layering over the chili mixture like a top layer. These don’t need to be perfect, but don’t attempt to mix them up into the other ingredients, because at this point they’ll just squish around. Don’t crush the balls, ladies!


Meatball layer


Put the lid on the slow-cooker and cook for 3-4 hours on high. You can stir the meatballs down into the mixture after it’s cooked for an hour, then replace the lid to keep cooking for the remaining time.

When complete, break up the meat balls that stick together and spoon the chili into serving bowls. Top with your favorite condiments. As you eat the chili, break up the meatballs into pieces. The meat isn’t meant to be eaten as meatballs, but rather ground beef (if you had browned it at the beginning of the recipe instead….).

Finally, go treat yourself to a sexy lumberjack who knows how to please his woman–Fueling Her Fire!

fuelingherfire_HiRes COMPRESSED to 220KB


Kip, a former small-town geek, is now all grown up and living in Chicago as a successful lawyer. She may have moved on from that small town, but she’s never really gotten over Dylan, the handsome and popular football player who took her virginity and then broke her heart and humiliated her eight years ago.

Kip makes a last-minute decision to return to Dalton Run, her small West Virginia hometown, and spend Christmas alone in her grandmother’s mountain cabin, packing only wine, comfort food and her hot-pink vibrator. Her plan is to hole-up in the woods, reassess her love life and rediscover her sensuality…alone.

But a last-minute firewood delivery brings her face-to-face again with Dylan, whom she’d cut out of her life eight years earlier, and they end up snowed in together on Christmas Eve. Neither can deny the passion that still smolders between them, but can they overcome the past and let the flames ignite?

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