First you want to pick/rinse/soak overnight 1/2 lb of dry black beans and 1/2 lb of pinto beans. The next morning, rinse them again and then put them in your crock pot.
Next you want to take 2-3 cups of sliced onions and peppers. I used frozen because it is what I had on hand, but fresh would work as well. I would say 1 medium/large size onion and 1 medium/large sized pepper if I was using fresh. Add it on top of the beans.
Next take 2 cups of frozen corn and add that to the crock pot.
For my chili I use my own canned tomatoes. I use one quart jar of crushed tomatoes (no salt added). It is definitely not the same texture of store bought crushed tomatoes, mine is much more chunky. If you are using canned tomatoes from the store I would either use whole tomatoes with their juices and smush them up, or diced tomatoes. Then I also use one pint jar of salsa. I used medium in this batch, and it wasn't nearly as spicy as I normally like it, but it was still very good, and I kind of like my mouth to be on fire...not everyone rolls that way :-)
Add the tomatoes right on top of everything else in the crock pot. At this point I put the all important chili powder in. I usually just eyeball it, but I measured out 1 Tablespoon for this batch. You can also add cumin and coriander for a little extra spice. Set it on high for 6 hours, or low for 8 hours. I typically try and stir it after the frozen veggies start to soften a bit, but if you are leaving the house in the morning, just kind of stir it all together as best as you can.
Typically I would serve this with a bunch of cheese and sour cream, but I have been trying to eat less cheese lately - and we were out of our allotted cheese for the month, so I just served it up with some hot salsa and nacho chips. It was delicious! I hope everyone tries it!
Do you have a favorite chili recipe? I'm always looking for new ideas!