Recipe: Stone Mountain Chili

In December, I had the opportunity to go to Atlanta for new manager training with all the other new managers in the U.S. firm. Along with meeting a bunch of my colleagues from the States and getting some valuable management tips, I was pretty excited to be in a big city for several days. Delicious food, holiday shopping, and exploring a new city were at the forefront of my mind. What could be better?!

But as it turns out, I wasn't actually staying in Atlanta. I was only flying there, and then getting picked up and dropped off about 45 minutes outside the city in a place called Stone Mountain, Georgia. 

Had I ever planned on visiting Stone Mountain, Georgia? 


Were there any malls or outlets for buying personal Christmas gifts in Stone Mountain, Georgia? 


Was I disappointed to be missing out on the sights and sounds of Atlanta?


But fortunately for me, Stone Mountain was as picturesque as it sounds.

Captured with the iPod Touch 5

I found most of the training sessions to be worthwhile, but one of my favorite activities during the trip took place outside the conference rooms: A hike around Stone Mountain Lake, enjoying the crisp December air and the views of Stone Mountain.

Captured with the iPod Touch 5

Most of the time, I do not regret leaving the cold weather behind when we moved to Grand Cayman. But a good, lung-clearing hike, crunching through dry leaves, taking photos of the scenery under humidity-free blue skies... well, even the Caribbean can't beat that. I loved it. (And as an aside, I loved my hair - unaffected by humidity for the first time in about five months. It's the little things.)

For the most part, though, we spent time indoors attending a bunch of sessions on management and firm policies and such. All good material, none of which I'll bother to blog about. What I will blog about was our Chili Cook-off.

Captured with the iPod Touch 5

All meals were provided by the conference resort, save for one, when we had to cook our own dinner. We were randomly placed into teams and charged with creating a chili recipe from the provided ingredients in the center of the room. Most of the ingredients were pretty standard, but there were few non-traditional options, which led to our chili inspiration.

Out of something like a dozen teams, I'm pleased to say... our team took first place! And so to let you enjoy our chili creation, I present you with:

- Stone Mountain Chili -

Captured with the iPod Touch 5

Here's what we chose from the selection of ingredients and what you'll need to make your own pot of chili: 

1 lb. ground beef
1 Italian sausage, casing removed
2 T. olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
15 oz. can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
15 oz. can white northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 green pepper, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1 jalepeño, diced
2 (14.5 oz) cans stewed tomatoes
2 T. tomato paste
1 bottle Samuel Adams beer
1/4 c. honey
11.5 oz. can tomato juice
1/2 t. paprika
1 T. chili powder
1/2 t. cumin
salt & pepper to taste

Heat a sauté pan over high heat. Add meat and cook, breaking up until cooked through. Set aside.

The meat will start out looking like this...

...and end up looking like this.

In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, and sauté until soft.

Add meat mixture to the pot. I chose not to drain the meat first, opting for fuller flavor.

Add the remaining ingredients except for the spices.

Keeping it traditional with plenty of tomatoes.

Three types of beans makes for a colorful result.

Stir well.

Add spices and adjust to taste.

Simmer on medium heat for 1 hour. Serve hot with any favorite garnishes, like sour cream, avocado, or chips. Or just enjoy this uniquely sweet chili plain, like I do!

Here's the recipe with no photo interruptions (click the Download button at the bottom to download and print):


  1. Looks delicious! I Love a good chili. Just pinned it!

    1. This one goes down easy - we scarfed it up in no time!

  2. oh and i've been to stone mountain! probably when i was about 13 (i had a tamagotchi) at the time. i loved the place - very beautiful!