**Intro**Everyone has their favorite chili recipe, and I was unfortunate enough to lose mine. Anything I've found since then, including by ways of googling, hasn't come close. Before I found my own recipe, though, I was making my chili with Carroll Shelby's Chili Fixin's, a definite step above to the normal seasoning packet way of making chili. Seeing it at the store reentry I decide to give this old way another try.**Preparation**Making chili with Carroll Shelby's Chili Kit is just as easy as doing so with a packet of seasoning, but it provides you choices to set the degrees of sodium, spiciness, etc. Plus, you always have the option to add your own special items into it, so in some ways to me it's like a happy medium between making it from scratch with a favorite recipe and throwing something together quickly from package of seasoning.After you brown your ground beef and drain it, you add the packet of season, along with as much or little of two different option. The first is salt. Watching your sodium, no problem, skip it. Like your things salty and heavy a healthy heart, no problem, add it all. The second is cayenne pepper. They tell you if you're brave to add it all. I add about 1/3 to 1/2 of the packet of cayenne. Make of that what you will. All you need is to simmer it for 15 minutes, but I like to do it for longer if I have the time. Add whatever you like, be it a can of beans, green peppers, etc. During the last 5 minutes, there's another optional packet of mesa flour. Mix it with water and add it at the end to thicken it up, if you wish.**Taste**It's obviously not chili made from scratch, but it still seems better than the normal packages of seasoning, and to me that partially comes from not having to add all the salt. There's nothing more than tells you this was made out of a package than something tasting heavily of sodium. Adding the mesa flour, too, is another thing that just seems to make it a little different, again, more than just a normal seasoning packet. **Conclusion**If I was ever lucky enough to find that favorite recipe of mine, I would always prefer that (anyone seen it? It has cocoa powder in it ...); however, if I'm going to be making it quickly, without a recipe, and without simmering it half the day, I much prefer making chili with Carroll Shelby's Chili Kit, allowing me to set my own degrees of salt and cayenne.
South Elgin, IL