Sunday, November 1, 2009

Quiet Halloween and a Recipe

It was perfect weather for Halloween. The air was warm - unseasonably warm - but the sky was a ominous white/grey with dark clouds racing from one horizon to the other. The wind was tossing its hair petulantly and yellow, red, and burgundy maple leaves wove a Persian carpet on the streets and sidewalks.

At about 4, my bf and I took the dogs out to walk. It was just barely spitting rain - a few light drops as though the wind was lifting beads of water from the park fountain and breezing them into our faces. We saw several high-schoolers in costume and in couples. They seemed to be walking to a party downtown.

By the time we got home, the first trick-or-treaters were out. The first wave is always the babies, whose parents bring them out before it gets full dark. We saw a ladybug, and a green lizard in a stroller. One of my favorites was a tiny tiger - less than a year old. When they came up the steps to our door, the Mom whispered, "What do you say?" and the tiny tiger said: "Grrrrr! Grrrr!". It was mega cute.

My boyfriend had gone really overboard with the Halloween candy-buying. We had a huge basket full. I was sure we would be stuck with a million calories to hide on our thighs because last year we had only 2 or 3 costumed kids. But this year, everyone was out! The wind picked up, the porch lights went on, and crowds of ghouls roamed the streets. We were saved from the weight-gaining leftovers - hurray! Our basket was almost empty in an hour!

I made Chili and cornbread for our Halloween dinner. We had mulled cider with Courvoisier and pumpkin doughnuts. I gave the dogs doggie yogurt - apple & cheddar. We watched past episodes of The Vampire Diaries. It was great.

My Chili Recipe:


One Sweet Red, Yellow, or Orange Pepper (or all three)
One sweet Vidalia Onion
Fresh Mushrooms
2 cans dark red kidney beans
1 large can diced tomatoes (no spices pre-added)
Vegetarian meat subtitute or 85% ground beef or ground turkey or chopped chicken
1 package McCormack Original Chili Spices (if you don't have this you can use garlic powder, onion flakes, parsely, papprika, ground chili pepper, salt, pepper)
Olive Oil
Worcestershire Sauce

Saute the chopped peppers, onions, and sliced mushrooms in olive oil. Add ground meat (or substitute) and cook until done. Sprinkle with Worcestershire Sauce (about 1 teaspoon). (if you're Jule, add Grammie's Salt. If not - you can skip this step). In a large pot, mix beans, tomatoes, and Chili Spice mix. stir gently to mix. Add vegetables and meat to this. (I add one small can of tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes to this because I like Chili with lots of broth, but most people like it dryer, so you can leave out this step). Simmer gently for a while so the flavours blend. (if you're hungry you can eat as soon as its hot. If not, you can keep it on low heat for an hour. I cooked mine in the Slow Cooker for an hour on high and an hour on low).

Serve with a spoonful of sour cream on top and with Cornbread that has Parmesan cheese added to the mix. Or serve with grated cheese on top and Blue Corn Tortilla Chips.

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