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Monday, December 16, 2019

Easy Holiday Dinner for Guests by @JoanReeves

No Sweets—Just Dinner on the Table
Had enough cookie recipes? Want something to feed the family or guests?

If you're like me, you have no time to spare during the holidays. Preparing elaborate meals for guests? Nope. That's not what I want to do.

I fall back on my Crock Pot, which is the brand of my slow cooker. Mine is decades old. It's big and heavy with a stoneware insert, and it's not programmable.

Today, Crock Pot makes programmable slow cookers and even a power pressure cooker that can also be used as a slow cooker. (Instant Pot also has a slow cooker function on it.)

After breakfast, I can throw all the recipe ingredients into my Crock Pot, and I don't have to do anything else until a half hour before dinner is to be served.

One of the easiest entrees to prepare and serve is Chimichanga, a Tex-Mex favorite that gets rave reviews. It's a meat filling that's easy to make and delicious. For a holiday meal, especially for those who don't get Tex-Mex food that often, it's a winner.

Just so you'll know, a "real" chimichanga is a meat filling, with or without beans, wrapped in a flour tortilla and fried.

The kind of chimchanga we'll be making is the meat filling that you'll wrap in a flour or corn tortilla to make a taco with all the trimmings.

Each guest "builds" his/her own chimichanga taco. Let's call it...

Christmas Chimichanga

  • 2 pounds of beef chuck roast cut in cubes (or 2 pounds of beef stew meat if you really want it to be even easier)
  • 2/3 cup beef broth
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dried leaf Mexican oregano
  • 1-2 teaspoons cumin (use more if you like a stronger flavor)
  • 2 teaspoons salt1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • If you have time, quickly brown the beef chunks. If not, don't worry about it.
  • Place all ingredients in your slow cooker. Cover with lid. Cook on Low for 10-12 hours, or on high for 5-6 hours.
  • When time is up, use 2 forks to shred the meat. The meat should be moist, but not have much more than a tablespoon or two of liquid remaining.
  • If there's liquid that didn't absorb into the shredded meat, either remove the meat with a slotted spoon, or pour everything into a saucepan and simmer until the liquid is nearly gone.
mexican-food-1561970_1920_by ALFONSO CHARLES, Pixabay
To Serve

You can prep all of this days before you plan to serve it. Just store well in the fridge and sprinkle lime juice on the avocado to keep it from turning brown.

Flour or corn tortillas
Shredded lettuce
Diced tomato
Sour cream
Shredded cheddar
Diced onion
Avocado chunks
Chopped fresh cilantro
Sliced jalapeno pepper
Pace's Picante or a similar salsa.

This will be the best taco you ever ate! If you have any chimichanga meat left, it freezes well. Place in a good freezer container for a delicious meal in the future.

Post Script

With all the time you save, why not read my new holiday romance short story Stuck on the Naughty List?

Cassie returns to Capitola, Texas, her small hometown, for Christmas and is immediately arrested on a trumped-up charge and taken downtown to be photographed and booked. 

That's where she meets the new Chief of Police. Could he be the perfect man to mend her broken heart?

Only 99 cents for a feel good story that will leave you with a smile!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


  1. Christmas Chimichanga looks delicious. I'm going to copy it to save and try. I love the title, "Stuck on the Naughty List." I'll put it on my quick read list. Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  2. They really are good, Judy Ann. Thanks. Glad you like my title. *g* It seemed appropriate. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you too!

  3. This chimichanga recipe looks delicious. I like that you can throw everything in a slow cooker and forget about it. Makes life a little easier. I've been seriously considering upgrading my crock pot. You probably won't believe this, Joan, but it is 42 years old. Yep. I bought it for myself for Christmas a couple months after my son was born. And it is still working. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Joan.

    1. Hey, Laurean. Yes, it really is delicious. I too love the "toss everything in and forget it until dinner time" ease of cooking. My Crock Pot is my second one. When Crock Pot started making one with a removable stoneware crock, I splurged and got one even though my old one still worked. The old one was the smaller one that was the original version. Merry Christmas!

    2. Joan, my first crock pot had a removable crock. I waited until those came out. It's 2 quarts. Sometimes I wish I had a larger one, but then, where would I store it? "Sigh."


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