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Chili Cook-off Heats Up at Beacon

(L-R) Sheila Keiser, Systems Analyst; Mary Gibbons, Systems Analyst; April Daugherty, Applications Manager; and Craig Weldy, Senior Interface Analyst.

(L-R) Sheila Keiser, Systems Analyst; Mary Gibbons, Systems Analyst; April Daugherty, Applications Manager; and Craig Weldy, Senior Interface Analyst.

On the surface, Beacon’s Human Resources and Information Systems teams appear to work together in harmony in their downtown South Bend offices. But once a year, a simmering rivalry of epic proportions erupts! An annual chili cook-off — held on the Friday before a certain well-known NFL football game — brings new flavor to the term “friendly competition” between the two departments and high stakes: bragging rights for the rest of the year.

Congratulations to this year’s chili cook-off winners (at left, L-R): Sheila Keiser, Systems Analyst; Mary Gibbons, Systems Analyst; April Daugherty, Applications Manager; and Craig Weldy, Senior Interface Analyst. (Get the winners’ recipes below!)

After the heat of competition cooled off, the Human Resources and Information Systems associates were pleased to present guest judge and former Memorial Hospital President Steve Huffman with a check for over $220 toward Project WARM, a shelter program that provides services for those in need. The associates made donations in exchange for wearing their favorite team jerseys for the day.

Special thanks to all the judges who put their taste buds on the line for this fiery competition, including Steve Eller, Beacon’s Chief Human Resources Officer; and Scott Eshowsky, MD, Beacon’s Chief Medical Information Officer.

And now, the winning recipes!

Sheila’s Award-Winning Chili
Ingredients:
2 pounds ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1-2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
2 cans chili beans, mild
1 can chili beans, hot
1 can dark red kidney beans (drained)
1 can black beans (drained)
1 can tomatoes, chopped
1 large can tomato juice
Cumin – to taste
Chili powder – to taste
4 beef bouillon cubes
Salt
Pepper
Frank’s Hot Sauce
1 slice American cheese

Directions:
Brown ground beef, onion and garlic together. Drain. Stir in chili powder with the ground beef mixture. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer over low heat for at least one hour (the longer, the better).

Mary’s White Chicken Chili
Ingredients:
1 to 1-1/2 pounds boneless chicken breast, cooked and cut into ½-inch cubes
4 oz. cream cheese
1 cup cheddar cheese
2 (10 oz.) cans Ro-Tel tomatoes with green chilies (mild or hot)
2 fresh jalapenos, sliced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 (48 oz.) cans great northern beans (do not drain)
Add chicken broth to desired consistency

Directions:
Cook chicken and cut into chunks put in crockpot with all ingredients; cook on high for 3-4 hours. Serve with sour cream and shredded cheese.

Craig’s White Chicken Chili
Ingredients:
1 (16 oz.) block of pepper jack cheese, shredded
1 (48 oz.) jar of Randall Great Northern Beans (rinsed)
1 (16 oz.) jar Mrs. Renfro’s Green Salsa
1 (14.5 oz.) can chicken broth or 2 cups of water with 1 tablespoon chicken base
3-4 cups of chopped cooked chicken (we use a whole rotisserie chicken)
Optional: crushed tortilla chips

Directions:
Combine all the ingredients together in a crockpot and warm until heated through, or heat on stovetop in a heavy pot. Serve with crushed tortilla chips on top.

Variations: This recipe can get pretty spicy, so if you want to cool it down a little you can replace the pepper jack cheese with Monterrey jack cheese, or just use half of the jar of green salsa.

About Laura Bailey

Laura is a communications specialist at Beacon Health System. She enjoys sharing stories with the community about the talented team members at Beacon and winning against the computer in Scrabble.