By Gabrielle.

I just received an email from my friend Laura, she used our Award Winning Chili Recipe for a chili cook-off last weekend — and she won! I told Ben Blair and the kids and we all cheered. I think we find this a bit humorous and surprising because we pretty much lucked into this recipe. (The long story is here.)

If it’s cold and stormy out where you live, this is the perfect no-fuss recipe for a cozy meal at home.

Do you have a winning recipe for chili or cookies or pie or jam or bread or potato casserole — or any other food that’s cook-off material? As I said, I feel like we lucked into ours. How did you find yours? I’d love to hear your stories!

Also, I posted the recipe years ago, but here it is again, in case you’d like to try it:

Three Bean Chili Deluxe

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 heaping tsp chopped garlic
3 8 oz. cans tomato sauce
2 16 oz. cans light kidney beans
2 16 oz. cans dark kidney beans
2 16 oz. cans black beans
1 entire packet of Ranch Dressing powdered mix
1 T cumin
1 T chili powder
1 t salt
2 spoonfuls of the secret ingredient (which is cream cheese)

Brown the ground beef with the onion and garlic. Drain the fat. Add the rest of the ingredients (don’t drain the beans) and simmer for 30 minutes. Or all day.

We like topping ours with sour cream, cheddar cheese, green onions, and bacon if we have some on hand. Yum! This chili is also the perfect thickness to use for chili-cheese hotdogs (if you’re in to that, which I totally am).

Lastly, I do not have a image of our chili, so I’m using this pretty image by Martha Stewart.

P.S. — When readers and friends use this recipe and win a chili cook-off, they send me an email. This recipe has now been a winner 6 times!