Time creeps up on us quickly and suddenly the holiday season is in full swing. Ladies, we know that, magically, in the wee small hours of the morning the day after Thanksgiving the chaos and madness are suddenly unleashed. There are gifts to buy, children’s programs to attend, goodies to bake, cards to write and address, social events to attend, trees to be trimmed, halls to be decked and carols to be sung, as well as many other things that cause mayhem this time of the year. In addition to all of the extra activity going on, we still have our usual daily duties of running our homes.
As a youth I was always in awe of my mother and the way she could multitask and use her super powers to make this time of year so magical. She worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make everything appear that it was run as smoothly as whipped cream. She was in charge of the church Christmas pageant. She was the Girl Scout leader, the Community Outreach Liaison and an E.R. nurse as well as running a cake decorating business out of our house; no matter what the calendar said, it was always wedding season in Victoria’s Kitchen. She was the go-to “Happy Hostess” of our small town, and during the holiday season her duties and energy increased tenfold. By education and example she taught me to follow in her footsteps.
Now that she is gone I have been emblazoned with her Super Woman logo on my chest to carry out her legacy and follow in her footsteps in my own life and with my own family. I look forward to this time of year with great anticipation and embrace it with the same enthusiasm she had. Her advice to me was always “Remember though, darling, you still need to find time for you.”
This is my advice to you ladies. Take an afternoon off, go to the spa and get a mani/pedi, massage and facial. Don’t worry—dinner will be ready in plenty of time with the recipe we’re going to share with you today. This taco chili is truly a crowd-pleaser; just throw it in the slow cooker and go. Its spicy flavorful goodness pairs nicely with the semi-sweet, fruity deliciousness of a perfectly chilled bottle of red moscato. When you arrive home dinner will be ready. Collect your red moscato from the refrigerator and ladle up a bowl of this Tex-Mex masterpiece. Turn on some festive holiday music, kick back, relax and enjoy the season.
For optimal flavor and results uncork your red moscato and let it sit on the counter and breathe for about 30 minutes before you pour and enjoy responsibly.
2 C mixed dried beans with black-eyed peas
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 medium white onion, diced
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 T salt and pepper
1 packet ranch dressing mix
1 packet taco seasoning mix
1 can (12-14 oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (4-6 oz) diced green chilies
1 can (12-14 oz) yellow corn or hominy
1 TBS chili garlic paste
2 C water
Note about the dried beans: I keep a large canister of dry beads on hand. I make my own mixture consisting of a 15 bean soup mix and black eyed peas. These two are usually housed next to each other in the bulk section or packaged separately on the shelf in the beans and canned vegetable aisle.
Soak beans overnight. Drain and rinse well and add to the crock of the slow cooker.
In a sauté pan heat olive oil and sauté onion until it is translucent. Add ground beef with the salt and pepper and cook until it is browned. If you use a high fat content or lower grade beef, drain. We do, however, recommend spending the extra money and getting it fresh from the meat counter.
Next add the ranch dressing and taco seasoning mix packets, tomatoes, green chilies, corn, chili garlic paste and beans to the slow cooker along with the meat mixture and water.
Turn the slow cooker on to low and let it simmer all day.
Serve this with shredded cheese, a dollop of sour cream and tortilla chips.
Image via Pardon The Dog Hair