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Recipe for family meals :

Christmas-Eve Chili

This recipe comes from The Rush Hour Cook - Brook Noel, the Queen of non-domesticity and incapable-cooking.

Brook Noel is the Chief Executive Officer at Champion Press, a seven year old publishing house specialising in cooking, education and lifestyle titles. Her work-to-date includes eight books covering family, parenting issues and self-help. The Rush Hour Cookseries marks her first timid footsteps into the world of cookbooks!

If you would like to find out more or purchase any of the books <click here>

The Five Rules of Rush HourRecipes

  1. All ingredients should be able to be pronounced accurately through the phonetic use of the English Language.
  2. Each ingredient can be located in the market without engaging in a full scale scavenger hunt.
  3. No list of ingredients shall be longer than the instructions.
  4. Each recipe has to be durable enough to survive me, the Queen-of-Incapable Cooking, and elicit a compliment at meal’s end.
  5. My finicky child will eat it—or some portion of it. I’ve learned not to be too picky on this one. I often break out part of the recipe and prepare it separately to her liking.

"Always a bit rebellious, my family started a tradition of making Chili on Christmas Eve when we realized that the thought of making a large meal with tons of dishes didn't seem appealing the day before the big event! We've tried many recipes over the years, all fighting for the title of 'Christmas Chili Captain'. Here is our favorite so far . . . "


2 pounds lean ground beef
2 cans (14.5 ounce) Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
1 tablespoon sugar
1 small can tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt

Choose as many as you like:
1 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
1 can corn
1 (14.5 ounce) can kidney beans
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
? cup jalapenos (include the juice if you like it really hot!)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon basil leaves
1 tablespoon Cajun spice mix

Choose one:
1 cup red wine
1 bottle of beer
1 cup of coffee
1 cup beef broth

Choose one 'secret' ingredient:
1 tablespoon brown sugar (instead of white)
3 Hershey Kisses™ (or substitute chocolate chips or 1 tablespoon cocoa)
1 teaspoon instant coffee
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Choose one (or none!):
instant white rice
elbow macaroni

  • Brown meat in a large skillet over medium heat until brown. Drain.
  • If you have chosen garlic or onion, add them to the meat and cook another minute or two.
  • Add all other ingredients you have chosen, stirring well. Cook on medium heat for 5 - 10 minutes and then reduce heat to low for at least 40 minutes.

Of course, as with most soups, stews and chili recipes the longer they cook, the more the flavors meld! For great tasting flavor, try putting this recipe together in the morning and then leaving it in a slow cooker on a low setting for a great dinner meal.

  • If desired, prepare rice or macaroni in a separate pan.
  • Mix into chili prior to serving, or place in bottom of individual bowls and pour chili over the top.
  • Garnish with shredded cheese and sour cream.

Serves 8

Brook Noel
The Rush Hour Cook

© Brook Noel, The Rush Hour Cook