My mom doesn't get nearly enough credit; she finds the best way to make something and sticks with it. Take her chili, for example. It's evolved over the years. Now she uses:
3 14-oz cans tomatoes (one with green chilies, one salt-free and one Mexican-style blend)
3 14 to 16-oz cans of beans (any kind of white bean, one can kidney beans and either seasoned black beans or seasoned chili beans works well. (Don't use more than one can of seasoned beans, unless you like really hot chili.)
1 1/4 pounds ground sirloin
1/2 onion, chopped fine
Saute onions, add meat and freshly ground black pepper in a large saucepan; saute until meat is no longer pink. Add tomatoes and beans, cook until thoroughly heated. (Usually, 20 minutes will do it, unless it's a double batch.)
This is a mild chili, depending on the brand of tomatoes used. Add more chili powder to season if it's not hot enough.