Weatherford Living

With celebrations near, Dee Dee preps meals

Chocolate fudge.
Chocolate fudge. Getty Images

It won't be long before our home, once again, will be open to family and friends for celebrations. One idea for a casual dinner that everyone seems to enjoy is Crock-pot chili. I noticed that chili grind meat is now in most market meat cases, which is a grind I prefer for chili.

My yard helpers cleared out flower beds of the weeds, and I moved my potted daylilies to a protected sunny area to over winter them. When I look outside from our den, I can see the pots and they remind me that spring will be here and I'll be so happy to incorporate new colors and forms of daylilies into my perennial flower beds.

Want to meet new friends, have fun, enjoy a good dinner and learn about daylilies? Please feel VERY welcome to attend the next North Texas Daylily Society meeting, Jan. 15, at 7 p.m., in the Camellia Room of the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. Follow us on Facebook: http://www.northtexasdaylilysociety.org/

I hope many of you will receive a new Crock-pot for Christmas, as you'll really love both the convenience and ease of use. I started appreciating these slow cookers well before retirement. Think you won't need one after you retire? Think again! We use ours even more because we don't stay home all day, and we feel free to start dinner in the morning and return later in the day with this question answered, "What's for dinner?”

Dee Dee's Very Good Crock-Pot Chili

▪ 1 pound chili grind or ground beef

▪ 1 cup chopped onion

▪ 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper

▪ 1/4 cup red wine

▪ 1 Tablespoon chili powder

▪ 1 teaspoon sugar

▪ 1 teaspoon Cumin

▪ 1/4 teaspoon salt

▪ 2 garlic cloves-minced

▪ 1 (15 ounce) can kidney OR pinto beans (We like Bush's brand.) Undrained

▪ 1 (14 and 1/2 ounce) spiced stew tomatoes, like Ro-tel Undrained

▪ 6 Tablespoons cheddar cheese

1. Brown meat in skillet.

2. Add onions, bell pepper, wine, chili powder, sugar, cumin, salt, and garlic.

3. Continue to cook until the onion is tender.

4. Place mixture in slow-cooker and add beans and tomatoes, and stir well.

5. Cover and cook on LOW heat for 4 hours. We like to spoon the chili into bowls and then sprinkle shredded cheese over the top.

*Serve with crackers or cornbread.

* If you are serving this dish, one can double or triple the recipe. Your guests might like to add to the chili theme by bringing liquid refreshments, salads, Italian bread or cornbread muffins.

Add in a couple of desserts and the group can really have a wonderful meal together!

Thompsons‘ Easy Fudge

▪ 3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

▪ 1 can sweetened condensed milk

▪ Dash of salt

▪ 1 cup chopped pecans

▪ 2 teaspoons vanilla

1. Melt together in microwave all ingredients except nuts and vanilla.

2. Remove from microwave and stir in nuts and vanilla.

3. Spread into an 8x8 inch baking pan or dish that has been buttered.

4. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until firm. Store at room temperature.

This fudge can be cut into small squares, making about 16 pieces.

It's easy and always works.

We wish each of you a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

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