Here's a full-flavored chili with just a touch of heat. If your kids don't like theirs too spicy, use only about three-quarters of the Southwest Seasoning Mix and save the rest to season other Tex-Mex dishes. The Buttermilk Skillet Corn Bread makes a subtly sweet complement to the chili.
In a small bowl, blend all of the ingredients for the Southwest Seasoning Mix, then set the bowl aside.
Heat a medium-size casserole or Dutch oven. Add the ground beef and brown over medium heat for several minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a small bowl and set it aside.
If there's very little fat left in the pan, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add the onion and green pepper and saute over moderate heat for 8 to 9 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and seasoning mix, stirring constantly for 30 seconds.
Stir in the remaining ingredients and the reserved meat, using enough stock to achieve a consistency that is neither too thin nor too thick. Bring the mixture to a simmer gently for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring often. Thin the chili with a little more stock if necessary. Serve hot with the garnishes. Makes 6 servings.