There's something deeply satisfying about eating chili on cold days. Between the richness of the fat (which provides thermogenic calories), the heat of the bowl in your hands or the heat of the spice as you savor it, for me it's one of the most perfect things to eat on a cold, damp day.

I taught a class at Merchants Bank a couple of weeks ago, and found myself talking about chili. One of the participants said she always makes her chili with McCormick spices, to which I said, "No!" Using pre-packaged spices is a sure way to get MSG in your food.