The kick-off to the official football season has arrived and with it comes great food and even better times with friends and family

You might have heard of this dish, I discovered it while growing up in California but when I moved to Yakima, the baseball parks served it as well but called it something different. In my circle we call it Pepper Bellies to others it's referred to as Frito Banditos but whatever you call it those that come in contact with it, are floored with how delicious it is. Like mind-blowing, lick the bowl kind of goodness, that fills you up while making you frustrated you can't eat more. Perfect for game day!

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There is a method to this madness and I will not only break down the ingredients but also provide you with the proper placement of each item because if you do it just so, your bites will have your taste buds crying out for more!

What You'll Need to Construct Pepper Bellies

  • Your favorite chili
  • Fritos (you can go with regular or chili cheese Fritos, sometimes I do a mixture of both sometimes it's the big scoops. Trust me when I say you'll make this again, there's no wrong answer. You can even use your favorite tortilla chip, tested recently and works fantastic
  • Your favorite type of tomato, chopped up
  • Lettuce, I prefer a thick one like a green leaf however you use spinach or any type that you have on hand
  • pasilla pepper (roast that sucker on the open flame to get a char and then scrape off the black and chop
  • Sour Cream
  • Mexican Cheese, I think the thick-cut gives you the best gooey bite of them all
  • Tapatio
  • Onion (optional)

First, you'll want to cook your chili on low while you prep your toppings. Big bowls work fantastic and you are going to start by filling the bottom of your bowl with chips. Try not to go too big with your bowl because this food expands in your stomach, you can always come back for seconds.

Next, I like to sprinkle a bit of cheese, then pour a nice layer of chill on top, more cheese and then we start piling on the lettuce, tomatoes, pepper and give a nice pop of the sour cream, onion if you like and a few taps of Tapatio for good measure.

It's easiest to eat with a fork and you can thank me later for this delicious meal I discovered at a school carnival in California when I was just a little lady. My family has been enjoying it for decades. Over the years I've switched up toppings and feel like I've found just the right mix.

What say you?

The fixings for Pepper Belly's

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