No doubt most of you have your menu planned for your Christmas dinner and perhaps even the grocery list made. But what about those other meals? At my house, I will have children and grandchildren who have traveled many miles, and they tend to stay several days. With extended-stay houseguests, I like to plan some things that are simple but good. One of my mainstays is a big pot of chili. On a cold winter day, a bowl of red is perfect fare for a quick lunch or supper.
Although this chili is made quickly, the flavor will be better if allowed to simmer for a longer period of time. Sometimes I pour it into the slow cooker and let it simmer for a few hours. Or you can make it in advance, cool it down quickly in a cold water bath and refrigerate it overnight.
The next day, I often will put it in the slow cooker for a slow simmer for serving later in the day.
You will notice this recipe has cocoa, a common ingredient in Mexican cooking. It is an optional ingredient, but it does render a rich, dark color and deepens the flavor.
Also it has a can of tomato soup that gives the chili a beautiful consistency.
Some people like a really spicy chili. To make it spicier, add cayenne pepper to taste.
Also, if you like more beans, feel free to add more. Sometimes, for variety, I add different kinds of beans, such as black beans, kidney beans and occasionally even some corn.
It can be highly versatile — make it how you like it!