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Oh Fall… The best time of the year. Cool weather, cozy food, and of course football! Those three things seem to go hand-in-hand, especially here in the south. If you’re not socializing before kickoff around a crowded tailgate, then you are probably watching the games at home with close friends and family. Either way, food is a big part of the fun.


The benefit of staying home to cheer on your team in front of the big screen? Food that doesn’t have to travel well and isn’t served in “bite-size” proportions. That’s when our new cookbook, Easy Meal Maker really saved the day. I was looking for a hearty dish that we could enjoy in front of the tv, a recipe that could feed a crowd, and one that was quick and easy. Then I flipped to White Lightning Chicken Chili. The name says it all. This dish is on the table lightning fast, in 30 minutes from start to finish. Chili is a favorite in our house especially with all the different variations out there - it never gets boring!


In the book, this chili recipe is paired with New-Fashioned Apple and Raisin Slaw as a side dish but we opted for the second option: cornbread. Easy Meal Maker really takes the guesswork out of creating a menu and even suggested the perfect dessert: White and Dark Chocolate Pudding Parfaits that I could make a few hours early and stash in the fridge. Hooray!


Final verdict? The chili had fabulous flavor, especially when topped with homemade avocado-mango salsa and Monterey Jack cheese. It was just enough to make the dish special without becoming too fancy. And whether you crumble it, dunk it or just eat it on the side, cornbread is always the perfect accompaniment to chili in my eyes. We spiced ours up with onions and jalapeños for the added kick. Then the dessert was there to cool us down, a rich yet refreshing treat that I served in cute little ramekins.

All in all, this was a great homemade meal that was easy to prepare, easy to clean up, and easy to eat. So when gameday rolls around next weekend, reach for our new cookbook instead of the pile of delivery menus and your guests will thank you.

Follow along as we make the meals using the 150 top-rated recipes featured in our newest cookbook, Easy Meal Maker. Want to get in on the fun? Get your copy of Easy Meal Maker, available now, and tweet us @My_Recipes using #MealMaker.