{movita’s} chili

movita's chili | movita beaucoup

You’ve probably been wondering. Wondering about baking school. Weeks three and four of baking school kicked my ass, complete with a total breakdown in the kitchen last Thursday. My team fell apart – we crashed and burned. Everything that could go wrong, did. I wanted to crawl into the walk-in refrigerator. And when my chef instructor turned to me and said, “Smile,” I lost it. I cried. At school. And it was mortifying.

When I got home I crawled into bed, pulled the covers up over my head, had a good cry, and contemplated my odds of making it through the year at school. That’s what big change does to people. It makes you really stupid. It makes you watch your first ever episode of the Bachelorette. It makes you think that things can’t get any worse. And that’s what I thought: things can’t get any worse. 

Until a few hours later, when 2.0 walked in on me while I was peeing in the bathroom.

movita's chili | movita beaucoup

Here’s the thing about our en suite bathroom. The door doesn’t close for most of the year. The humidity of our Maritime climate makes the door swell, so during spring, summer and fall, the door doesn’t really close. This means that the door is basically useless. This also means that when using the facilities, I always shout, “I’m using the bathroom! Don’t come in! DON’T COME IN!” I yell it emphatically, so there can be no doubt. I yell it so 2.0 won’t come in. Because 2.0 seeing me on the toilet? That’s my worst case scenario, people. We are not one of THOSE couples. It has been agreed upon. No seeing each other on the toilet. EVER. 

When 2.0 arrived home from work on Thursday and found me in bed, he immediately swung into action. When he asked, “How was school today,” he hardly batted an eye when I sputtered, “Hard. Really, really hard,” and basically wiped my snot all over him. Pizza was ordered, encouraging words were shared, and the night was spent on the couch. By bedtime, I was feeling much better. (Pizza gives you perspective.) So, as we readied ourselves for bed, I called out, “I’m in the bathroom! Don’t come in,” as I do each and every night.

But moments later 2.0 came in. 2.0 came in and saw me on the toilet.

movita's chili | movita beaucoup

NOOOOOOOOO,” I screamed, “I’m peeing! I’m peeing! I’m PEEEEEEING!” 2.0 spun and ran from the bathroom.

What the hell,” I yelled. “Why, why, why would you come in when I’m in here? WHYYYYYY? We have an agreement! A SYSTEM!” 

My mind was racing. How would we recover from this? How could I erase the image of me… that way… from his brain? Rip off my pyjamas? Rip off my pyjamas seductively? Set myself on fire?

When I stomped out of the bathroom. 2.0 looked apologetic. He tried to explain that he thought I was… done in there, but it didn’t matter. It was too late. The damage had been done. And all of a sudden I was pretty excited to get to baking school the next day. I mean, no one walks in on you when you’re peeing at college.

movita's chili | movita beaucoup

I’ve blogged about this chili before, but I’ve made it better. I’ve made it more movita. I’ve upped the meat and beans – because 2.0 asked me too, and I don’t hold grudges. The celery and onions give the chili a little oomph – they make it hearty. The cumin in this chili is money – it gives it a smokey flavour. Start with 1 tablespoon as I’ve indicated, but add a little more if you want to. There are lots of beans, because 2.0 really likes them, and they are good for you. They will make you smarter. They will make you jump higher. They will make you run out of bathrooms fast – should you need to.

I get that you’re going to be upset that I’ve paired a story about bathrooms with a recipe for chili. But you’ll get over it. You’ll get over it just like I’ll get over a bad day or two at school. Because it will be worth it in the end. Just in case you’re worried – I still love baking school. And eventually? It’s going to love me right back.

. . .

Chili – print and make

Serves about 6-8 people, more or less depending on serving size.

  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil (for browning beef)
  • 1 pound extra lean ground beef
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 medium green pepper, diced
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 cans (19 oz.) dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • shredded cheddar cheese – for garnish, if desired

Heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking up the ground beef with your spoon/spatula. When the beef is halfway browned/cooked, add the celery, green pepper, onions and garlic. Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the beef has cooked through. (At this point, I like to drain off some of the excess fat.)

Once the beef has cooked through, add the tomatoes (juice and all), chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, mustard powder and red pepper flakes. Stir well to combine. Simmer over low to medium low heat for an hour, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the kidney beans during the last 15-20 minutes of cooking.

Serve garnished with shredded cheese if desired.



  1. Love Loulabel on October 2, 2012 at 5:55 am

    Who rocks chili with extra beans while talking peeing and crap (baking school crap)? Movita B does! And that is why she is back at school to learn more and I am cheering her on (from the sidelines at the bottom of the world – you’re welcome for now having a post about chili, peeing, crap and bottoms). I love you. You rock awesomeness! xox

    • movita beaucoup on October 6, 2012 at 7:43 am

      Thanks! I loves yah right back…

  2. juanitascocina on October 2, 2012 at 7:57 am

    Our bathroom doesn’t even have a door. Can you even IMAGINE the nightmare that that causes? Right.

    I think I need chili.

    • movita beaucoup on October 6, 2012 at 7:44 am

      No. I CANNOT imagine. This is most upsetting.

  3. Juls on October 2, 2012 at 8:14 am

    Movita, I’m all scared – I’m moving away from my quiet, local cooking college course with a bunch of silly teens that I could feel superior to, to a big, scary proper-proper, super serious ‘culinary academy’ in London this weekend and I’ll be away from all the kittens (and from the other half of course) and you have no idea how reassuring your posts and pictures are and even the stories of your troubles and difficulties are reassuring because hey, if movita can crash and burn and then put out the fire and get up and carry on cooking and show us all a nice chilli and joke about pee then I’d damn well better be able to live up to her inspiration (maybe minus the peeing bit).

    • movita beaucoup on October 6, 2012 at 7:58 am

      Dear Juls,

      You are going to rock culinary academy.

      And you probably won’t crash and burn, because I’ve seen your dance moves.

      movita beaucoup

  4. bellini on October 2, 2012 at 8:47 am

    It reminds me of the book The Sharper the Knife where she spent some time at the Cordon Blue in Paris. We have to remind ourselves that not everything works out in the kitchen. If only I had a dollar fro meals I have chucked or lacked appeal. As for the chili I get the comfort connection.

  5. emma on October 2, 2012 at 9:41 am

    I LOVE THE BACHELORETTE! It has become part of what defines me, this Bachelorette love. You can talk to me about The Bachelorette all you want, and it still won’t be enough.

    I also will say, this agreement not to be seen peeing is…… silly. In the words of your instructor, “SMILE.” I said that with a sharp-toothed twisted grin. Did it work? Are you smiling (and or crying)?

    • movita beaucoup on October 8, 2012 at 8:43 pm

      I… do not love The Bachelorette. I found it confusing and it made my head hurt a little. That said, I bet the Bachelorette would never let anyone see her pee…

      • emma on October 9, 2012 at 7:41 am

        Depends on which Bachelorette;)

  6. Carol Anne @ Rock Salt on October 2, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Miss Movita, you are our hero. Sometimes heroes get snotty, sometimes they get interrupted while they’re peeing. OK, not in the films (at least, not the kind of films I’ve been watching) but in real life. This stuff happens to heroes and they STILL go back to baking school and they are still the highlight of a lot of people’s days. Buy yourself a superhero tee, and wear it under your whites. Or superhero PANTS (by which I mean knickers. By which I mean underwear.) and then at least if 2.0 walks in on you peeing you’re guaranteed to be wearing good pants.

    • movita beaucoup on October 8, 2012 at 8:45 pm

      I have started a search for superhero underpants. Turns out they make them mostly for kids, and my arse is more… J-Lo sized…

  7. annewoodman on October 2, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Yum. Chili. Yum. Your recipe sounds very similar to mine except for the mustard powder and celery. I will try those!

    As far as the toilet, you can’t unsee things. But if he’s a good partner, he will pretend he has. ; )

  8. Joanne on October 2, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Ack I’m so sorry about your bathroom trauma! That’s pretty much my worst nightmare also. There are just some things couples shouldn’t do together. Ever. But I’m sure you made up for it with this chili!

  9. emmalina73 on October 2, 2012 at 9:57 am

    When I hit the bit about the Bachelorette (everyone knows that isn’t a real word right?) I became deeply concerned, really nothing is worth that. Change is hard, really hard, crying in front of people is actually cool compared to some of the hysteria I’ve displayed over the last year or so. But here’s thing. Nothing great is achieved without this kind of madness, if you just stayed in the world you know, always wondering you would never get to where you needed to be. That’s what makes you wonderful, because you are taking a risk, learning new things and you care enough about it all to cry and eat emergency pizza. I’m proud of you.

    Btw you don’t know bathroom shame until your beloved has had to hold you over a hole in the ground up a mountain because you have altitude sickness that has made you delirious, hallucinate and lose all sense of balance. That happened to a friend of mine, not me.

  10. Lan | angry asian on October 2, 2012 at 10:07 am

    how about this perspective:
    the rather innocent activity of showering together. i used to partake in this until a guy friend told me that in every boy-girl shower situation, the boy pees in the shower, every single time. dw swears on his life that he has never done this when i’m in the shower too, and yes, i trust him but you know what? i refuse to shower with him now. i may be tempted, due to time constraints and we gotta be somewhere quick and i may yell “YOU PROMISE NOT TO PEE ON ME? DO YOU SWEAR NOT TO GIVE ME A GOLDEN SHOWER?!” and he pinky swears and crosses his heart and i still refuse & i make him rush thru his shower before i can start mine.
    and that is my bathroom drama. now i feel like you, and your readers, know a little too much about me.

    your chili is perfect, especially with the weather cooling.
    hope your baking school situation evens out, darling!

  11. glutenfreezen on October 2, 2012 at 10:28 am

    I can only imagine how stressful cooking school can be. I bet lots of people think it’s all rainbows and unicorns all the time. Just like you said though, I KNOW it will love you back – soon. 🙂

    The pee thing is hilarious. YOU are hilarious! And your chili looks mighty tasty. ~ April

  12. mellissa@ibreatheimhungry on October 2, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Our old house had a bathroom door like that – no lock and it would swell in the summer so it barely closed. I lived in fear of Mr. Hungry walking in on me and would also yell “I’M IN HERE DO NOT COME IN” at the top of my lungs whenever I heard him walking upstairs towards our bedroom. The worst case scenario that you lived out never happened to me but I feel for you. The house we’re in now has a locking door and I’ve never been more grateful than when I read this post! So sorry for you about the PTSD that you both must be experiencing that I can’t even wrap my head around your delicious looking chili. Or the crying at school – but I guess the bright side is that 2.0 took your mind off of it by walking in on you. Maybe you should be thanking him for taking one for the team. And hey at least you were only peeing… What? Somebody had to say it!

  13. Emily @ She Makes and Bakes on October 2, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Look on the bright side…at least all you were doing was peeing!

  14. frugalfeeding on October 2, 2012 at 11:52 am

    You’re a bit of a mad one aren’t you?! Haha. Nothin’ wrong with peeing… it’s the other that no one should see you do… Anyway, crackin’ chilli :D. I’m sorry about your school tribulations, but you’re right; everything will come good 😀

    • emma on October 3, 2012 at 7:51 am

      Finally, someone who agrees with me. All these commenters are a bit cray cray and hyper private! 😉

      • frugalfeeding on October 3, 2012 at 11:36 am

        Haha! We are brethren…

        • movita beaucoup on October 8, 2012 at 8:46 pm

          Please stop encouraging Emma. Next she’ll have me stripping down to my knickers at the mall food court…

  15. Stephanie Barnhart on October 2, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Ah, the joys of being failing out loud in public. There, there. It’ll be all right. *patting Movita’s back* Look at it this way–everything you do is spectacular. Why would your “oops” moments be any different?

    I usually don’t shut the door when on the john, but if my DH is home, I usually push the door mostly closed. Until the cat, who apparently does not trust my bathroom-using skills, pushes it open in order to come in to assist me. In those cases, my code word is “Don’t look, Ethel!” Taken from the Ray Stevens song, “The Streak” from way back in the 70’s.

  16. Stephanie Barnhart on October 2, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    And for ally you people with no doors at all– that is pretty much my recurring nightmare. I’m out in public and can’t find any stalls with a door. *shudder*

  17. Isabelle @ Crumb on October 2, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Dear movita, as much as school is kicking your ass right now, I’m sure that by the time the first semester is over, you’ll be the one doing the ass kicking (using your spiffy clogs, bien sur). If it helps, I think I’ve bawled at least once in the first month of ever new job I’ve ever had. It’s cathartic, somehow.
    Also, I am very grateful that in all our years together, The Boy and I have yet to break the “no peeing in front of each other” rule, even accidentally. Because seriously, that is really just the worst thing EVER. It helps that our cats stand guard outside the bathroom whenever someone’s inside, which is just as as good as a “Do Not Disturb” sign.

  18. thekalechronicles on October 2, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    I agree. I don’t want to be seen peeing — this is a romance killer. Johnny and I even turn away from each other when we dress and undress: it gives us a little privacy in vulnerable moments. You young people may think this is nuts, but fifty and sixty-some year-old bodies can use a little privacy at times. We also light candles. Awww.

    Movita, I know you will recover from all of these challenges and enjoy your time behind the locked bathroom doors at school. Yay for cumin in chili!

  19. Clanmother on October 2, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    In my opinion, the best learning occurs when you cry. It is something about the brain cells being more receptive to knowledge acquisition. Love stopping by to read about your adventures…

  20. shannon on October 2, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    okay; i can’t believe you watched The Bachelorette. but enough about that.
    you know what sucks? That i don’t have a webcam in the kitchen right now. Because if i did, you could watch my screaming, wretched, massive, epic failures and feel so much better. Because we all do it; i know the bloggers among us tend to not write posts and share photos of these incredible disasters, but we all have them. yours, right now, are in public. That is much harder because you’re trying to learn, and be part of a team, and you feel so frustrated right now that you want to take those clogs and kick someone in the hoo-hoos.
    But i would bet good money on the fact that you are not the worst student ever. probably you’re one of the best, you just don’t know it yet. You’ve only been at school less than a month; don’t be so hard on yourself. And don’t let 2.0 see you pee again; we have the same deal, mr. table and i, and there have been some close calls. as long as you don’t let it become commonplace, it’s like it never happened.
    (bear hugs)

  21. Aimee@clevermuffin on October 3, 2012 at 12:07 am

    I was wondering if you were going to go *there* when you started talking about chili and the bathroom. Glad you didn’t, I had a good chuckle as it was :). And I agree, Pizza does give you perspective!

  22. Bonnie on October 3, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    I think it’s a riot that you paired chili with the bathroom story. Looking forward to hearing about how you have bounced back from your breakdown and are rocking the school with your obvious talent and smarts and good looks. 🙂

  23. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen on October 3, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    Oh, Movita.. you’ve really captured that moment when we break down and feel like we’ve taken on more than we are able to handle. What a courageous.. strong and beautiful person you are!! You’re going to take that Baking School by storm and you will be their most famous graduate, I can just bet on it!! Years later they will be saying.. Movita studied here once! And your clogs will be in a glass show case so everyone can see them and say “I ate at her bakery last week.. I was lined up for hours but it was sooo worth it!!” xxx

  24. bakerbynature on October 4, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    I totally want to hug you right now! You had a hard day 🙁 It will get better.

    But this chili looks ah-mazing! And I’d love a giant bowl of it right about now.

  25. Amy on October 4, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Aw, you’re allowed to make mistakes and all around suck in baking school…that’s why you’re in school, and not just working in the world as a baking professional! These things take time. Enjoy the learning process 🙂 I’m sure you’ll look back at this and laugh.

    I totally pee in front of Nate in the bathroom. I’m too lazy to close the door. I think Nate is immune to it now. Thankfully he still wants to marry me so far….

  26. Eggton on October 6, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    I *sometimes* pee without closing the door all the way. The problem is that I drink a barrel of water per day. Like, you could hydrate a circus on what I drink. So sometimes the need to pee comes fast and furious and I have to shout “ALERT ALERT! GET OUT OF THE WAY! I HAVE AN EMERGENCY PEE SITUATION. EVERYONE PLEASE CLEAR A PATH TO THE BATHROOM.” Usually I shout that at home, but sometimes on airplanes if there’s a long line. Anyway, by the time I get to the bathroom I’m just focusing on getting the job done so I can go back out there and drink more water. And sometimes I forget to close the door. Again, not a problem except for when this happens on an airplane.

  27. movita beaucoup on October 8, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Dear friends (each and every one of you),

    Your words of encouragement mean loads and loads to me. And guess what? Week 5 at baking school was the best yet. I didn’t even cry!

    So, thanks for your words of encouragement. I’m glad you’re all going to baking school with me…

    xox movita

  28. Sawsan@ Chef in disguise on October 9, 2012 at 3:02 am

    I love chili, it is a wonderful dish to prepare in the fall. I love to make extra and enjoy it the next day. It is even better when it stays over night
    I will try it with celery and tell you how it turns out

  29. albertocook on October 10, 2012 at 8:32 am

    I love chili and I love your recipe

  30. themessybakerblog on October 12, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    This chili looks so meaty and enticing. If I promise not to walk in on you while you’re using the facilities, will you have me over for chili? Pretty please!

  31. Kita (@passthesushi) on October 16, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    I am so sorry – but I am crying over here. I TOTALLY GET IT! Handsome has only once walked in on my in the bathroom and I was mortified. I just curled up in a ball and spent the night in there. I do not get those people that can have conversations or brush their teeth while the other is using the toilet. Totally ews me out.
    Ok, now, seriously, I’m sorry you had such an awful day…. I’m done laughing at the bathroom story, I swear.
    And as for this chili – Im holding you to it. We’re having a gathering in a few days and this is what I’m making. better be awesome.
    I hope we get to drink wine and I can tell you the stories I don’t put on my blog someday.

  32. movita beaucoup on December 27, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    Comments on this post are now closed as it was published in October 2012.