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Top Recipes to Warm Your Taste Buds While Waiting for that Tax Refund

woman at a desk on a laptop


Winter is upon us, and what better way to combat the cold than by cozying up with some delicious homemade dishes? While you eagerly await your tax return, why not embark on a culinary adventure to keep yourself warm and entertained? We've compiled a list of the top recipes that will not only fill your belly but also add a dash of excitement to the winter months.



W-2 Slow Cooker Stew: Hearty Beef Stew

Nothing beats the winter chill like a steaming bowl of hearty beef stew. Throw in some carrots, potatoes, and your favorite seasonings into a slow cooker, and let it simmer away while you work on those tax forms. Coming home to the rich aroma of simmering stew will make tax season a little more bearable.



2 lbs beef stew meat, cubed

4 carrots, sliced

3 potatoes, diced

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups beef broth

1 cup red wine (optional)

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons thyme

Salt and pepper to taste


In a skillet over medium heat, brown the beef cubes in a bit of oil until all sides are seared.

Transfer the beef to a slow cooker and add carrots, potatoes, onion, and garlic.

In a bowl, mix together beef broth, red wine, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, salt, and pepper. Pour the mixture over the ingredients in the slow cooker.



Tax Break Tacos: Classic Chicken Tacos

In the Francis household we love good tacos!  Spice up your winter nights with a zesty chicken taco recipe that'll have your taste buds dancing.



1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup tomato sauce or salsa

1/4 cup chicken broth or water

Taco shells or tortillas

Toppings: shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, diced onions, sliced jalapeños, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, lime wedges



In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic, and cook for 2-3 minutes until softened.

Add the chicken pieces to the skillet and cook until browned on all sides, about 5-7 minutes.

Stir in the chili powder, cumin, paprika, dried oregano, salt, and pepper, and cook for another minute until fragrant.

Add the tomato sauce or salsa and chicken broth (or water) to the skillet, stirring to combine. Simmer for 10-12 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened slightly.

Meanwhile, heat the taco shells or tortillas according to package instructions.

To assemble the tacos, spoon the chicken mixture into the taco shells or tortillas. Top with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, diced onions, sliced jalapeños, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, and a squeeze of lime juice.

Serve immediately and enjoy your delicious homemade chicken tacos!



Refund-Ready Risotto: Creamy Mushroom Risotto

Turn your kitchen into a gourmet haven with a velvety mushroom risotto. Stirring in a warm, cheesy concoction while waiting for that tax refund is the perfect way to turn a potentially stressful time into a delicious experience. Bonus points for pretending you're a master chef on a cooking show.



1 1/2 cups Arborio rice

1/2 cup dry white wine

4 cups chicken or vegetable broth, heated

1 cup mushrooms, sliced

1 onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons butter

Fresh parsley for garnish


In a large pan, sauté onions and garlic in butter until translucent.

Add Arborio rice and stir until coated and slightly toasted.

Pour in the white wine and cook until mostly absorbed.

Gradually add the warm broth, one ladle at a time, stirring frequently until absorbed.

Stir in mushrooms and continue adding broth until rice is creamy and cooked to al dente.

Remove from heat, stir in Parmesan cheese, season with salt and pepper, and garnish with fresh parsley.



Sweet Returns: Double Chocolate Mint Cookies

Embrace the winter vibes with a batch of double chocolate mint cookies. The aroma of fresh-baked cookies wafting through your home will make crunching those numbers a little more bearable. Consider it a tasty incentive to wrap up your tax return sooner rather than later.




1 cup butter, softened

1 cup white sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup chocolate chips

1 cup mint chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Beat in eggs one at a time, then add vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until combined.

Fold in chocolate chips and mint chocolate chips.

Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto the prepared baking sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes.

Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack.


Tax Tangler Tonic: Sparkling Cranberry Spritzer

While you wait for your tax return to hit your bank account, treat yourself to a sparkling cranberry spritzer. It's the perfect winter beverage to sip on after you crunch numbers..



1 cup white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio)

1/2 cup cranberry juice

1/4 cup club soda or sparkling water

1 tablespoon simple syrup (adjust to taste)

Ice cubes

Fresh cranberries and a slice of lime for garnish (optional)


In a glass, combine white wine and cranberry juice.

Add simple syrup to sweeten the spritzer. Start with 1 tablespoon and adjust to your preferred sweetness.

Fill the glass with ice cubes.

Top off with club soda or sparkling water for a fizzy finish.

Gently stir the mixture to combine the ingredients.

Garnish with fresh cranberries and a slice of lime if desired.


As you navigate the road of tax documents, take solace in the fact that you're not alone in this winter tax saga. Let these delightful recipes be your companions on this journey, turning the waiting game into a delicious and enjoyable experience. Remember, your tax return may take its time, but these recipes are sure to arrive promptly at your taste buds' doorstep. 

Cheers to good food and the promise of a refund-filled future!


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