Friday, December 28, 2012


This year we hosted Christmas at our house. It was the first time in our five year marriage that we have spent Christmas in our own home. It was so nice not to travel and have everyone come see us instead. Of course, I am sure an adorable toddler was enough to entice everyone to make the trip!

We had my sister, her husband, and their two sweet dogs, one of which is a St. Bernard named Freckles (isn't he adorable?) from Colorado and my grandparents and parents from Texas.

Because it was my first time hosting, I have a small kitchen, and I like spending time with my family rather than cooking, I tried to plan a holiday menu that would be simple and easy to prepare much of it ahead of time.

Everyone drove in late Sunday afternoon, so I decided to make chili because I could make it just before everyone arrived and let it simmer on the stove until we were all ready to eat. I chose a great chili recipe from Cooking Light, which you can find here. We had eight adults, so I tripled the recipe to ensure there would be enough and give us extra for leftovers. I split it between two pots and in one added a can of rinsed and drained black beans. Some of my family likes beans, and others do not, so this way everyone would be happy. The only other changes I made were adding one small can of tomato sauce to each pot to thicken the broth and using 85/15 ground beef instead of ground sirloin because I already had it in the freezer. I used mild diced tomatoes and green chiles so that it wouldn't be too spicy for those that don't like it spicy (although when I make it for just us I use medium). I set out fritos, cornbread, shredded Mexican cheese, sour cream, sliced jalapenos (from a jar), and tabasco sauce so that everyone could make their bowl the way they liked.

This is a great recipe. It's easy, healthy, and inexpensive. Everyone loved it too! I will post more of our Christmas meals soon...

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