One of my favorite parts about the Christmas season is the treat-giving and goodie-exchanging. I love tasting new things, I love being surprised with unexpected gifts (who doesn’t?!), and I love enjoying something a bit sinful that I didn’t have to trash my own kitchen making. However, it seems like every year close to Christmas I get to a point where I’m just sugared out! Last year, right about that time one of my husband’s co-workers gave us a cute little jar of Chili Seasoning and it was seriously one of my favorite things ever. Not only was it a nice change from the cookies and candy, it was something that I got to use all winter long. This is a great mix to give away, but it’s also great to just keep in your spice cupboard. I keep a supply constantly on hand and use it for not only chili, but seasoning chicken and beef, fajitas, veggies on the grill, etc. It’s a handy thing to have around!

You can probably tell from the picture that the adorable packaging is not my handy-work; it has Lolly (pretty much the best crafter ever) written all over it! Isn’t she amazing? I don’t know what I would do without her. She created these amazing labels for us so you can whip these up at home and give them out as gifts! Stuff like this is great because unlike cookies and baked goods, you can make these way ahead of time and just have them on hand when you need a little gift for someone. Don’t worry, I’ll give you all of the details on that cute packaging in just a minute.

First, here’s the seasoning mix. Spices can get expensive, but if you buy them in bulk it’s quite economical. A giant jar of chili powder at Costco and Sam’s club costs nearly the same price as the little tiny one at the grocery store! So buy in bulk in order to make multiple bags. The only thing I haven’t found in a big ol‘ bottle for a cheap-o price is the coriander. However it only calls for a small amount in coriander, so go ahead and splurge on that one.

Chili Seasoning Mix
this makes one gift serving, so multiply by however many you’d like to package up.

1/2 C chili powder
1/4 C ground cumin
2 T garlic salt
2 T dried oregano leaves
1 T ground coriander
1 t cayenne pepper or chipotle chili powder (add more if you like spicy chili)

All you have to do is mix it up, absolutely no brain power involved :) If you are making a big batch, make sure to mix it very well so all of the spices get evenly distributed.

* * * * * * * * * *

Okay, check these awesome labels out! This is the front- and Lolly being the overachiever she is designed not one, but three different designs to choose from!

The other side of the label has a perfect little tag to write in the lucky person’s name and yours too so whenever they grab it to make chili they can be reminded of the coolest gift-giver ever who gave it to them.

Underneath the label you’ll find the recipe instructions on how to make the chili.

In addition to those cute packages, Lolly also designed an option for putting the spice mix in a mason jar. It will fit into a half-pint jar, either the short and squatty type we used for the Pie in a Jar, or the taller style usually used for jams and jellies. The cute label to the left can be put on top of the lid of a wide-mouth jar, and then there’s another sheet to attach the recipe card to the jar. Tie a pretty ribbon around the rim and you are good to go! Again, what would we do without Lolly?!

CLICK HERE to go visit Lolly and grab all of the cute packaging, for free! Make sure to leave her a big thank you in her comment section too! She’ll have all of the directions there on how to attach the tags and what kind of baggie you need.

If you’d like to cook this up for yourself, here’s the recipe. It’s purposely quick and easy and made mostly from stuff you can stockpile in your pantry. I figure if you’re going to have a pre-made spice mix to save time and effort, then the rest of the recipe should be super easy as well! I keep most of this stuff on hand all of the time so this is one of my go-to “oh crap” meals when I realize I have nothing to eat! You can even leave out the fresh bell pepper if you need to. And the bonus is, it tastes really really yummy!

Hearty Chili

1 lb ground beef, turkey or sausage
1 onion, diced
1 red or green bell pepper, diced
4 T chili seasoning mix
2 16oz cans pinto beans (I sometimes even use black beans)
2 16 oz cans kidney beans
1 28oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 14oz can beef broth

Drain and rinse beans and set aside. Combine meat and onion in large pot over med-high heat and cook until browned. Drain and discard fat. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

We top our chili with cheddar cheese, sour cream, avocado, and lime wedges for squeezing!

And I have a picture of this chili, really I do. Somewhere. In my millions of pictures of food. And when I locate it I will add it to this post!

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