Family...all because two people fell in love

family...all because two people fell in love

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween (what's cooking)

Tonight is Halloween and Sis was the cutest pink pig and Bub was a scary blood sucking vampire.  I used to make them wear coordinating costumes like Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Woof and Captain Hook and Tinkerbell.  Not anymore, they are just getting too old and too opinionated.  Still cute as can be though. 

Halloween is my holiday to host, self proclaimed.  So we have the plumber's family and my family over each year.  This way everyone can trick or treat together in our neighborhood and we don't have to drag our kids all over so the families can see them.  I really look forward to this event- it is the closest I'm going to get to a holiday at my house, for awhile anyway.  I plan it all out for weeks and try to pick something simple and tasty for all ages and palates.  It is not easy.  Maybe I should just cook a turkey...everyone loves Thanksgiving food!

So tonight's menu was nacho bar- black beans, Mexican corn, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, green onions, cheese sauce, seasoned ground beef, and chips of course.  I kept the cheese sauce warm in the crock pot and just spread everything else out like a buffet for everyone to fix their own.  Everyone ate this- dah!

We also had Buffalo Chicken Chili which the moms just walked by and said "oh that's too spicy".  Oh and my sister who doesn't eat anything with flavor.  I also made a Pumpkin Dessert, which everyone ate and a trail mix with peanut butter candies, pretzels, crunch and munch, cheeze its, and candy corn.  This, by the way, is the first time I have ever bought and/or served candy corn.  Yuck, yuck, yuck!  I served it because, apparently, my whole family loves them.  Not sure where they got the opportunity to love candy corn but I guess I'll be serving it more often.

Buffalo Chicken Chili
(serves 6)
2 T extra virgin olive oil
2 lbs ground chicken (I only used 1 lb because it was all I had)
2 large carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1 large onion, chopped
4 ribs celery with leafy tops, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 T smoked sweet paprika
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried (he he, I think someone ate this by mistake-ooops!)
salt and pepper to taste
2 C chicken stock
1/2 C hot sauce (yes, I know but don't let it scare you)
1  15 oz can tomato sauce (I used 2 cans of fire roasted tomatoes instead of tomato sauce and 1 15 oz can of regular stewed tomatoes)
1 15 oz can stewed, fire-roasted tomatoes
1 sack whole grain tortilla chips, lightly crushed
3/4 lb maytag blue cheese, crumbled

Place a large pot over medium-high heat with the EVOO.  Add the ground chicken and break it up, lightly browning it for 5 minutes.
Add carrots, onion, celery, garlic, paprika and bay leaf and season with salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring frequently, for about 7-8 minutes.  Add the chicken stock and scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pot. 
Add the hot sauce, tomato sauce and the stewed fire-roasted tomatoes to the chili and bring up to a bubble.  Simmer for 8-10 minutes more to let the flavors come together.
While the chili is simmering, pre-heat the broiler.
Spread the chips out on a cookie sheet.  Top with the crumbled blue cheese and transfer to the oven to melt the cheese, 2-3 minutes.  Remove from the oven.
Top each serving of the chili with a few blue cheese chips.  ---I actually skipped the chip part since we had the nacho bar but I did serve blue cheese crumbles for a topping to the chili.
This recipe is altered from Rachael Ray's Buffalo Chicken Chili.

Pumpkin Dessert
(serves 24)
1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
1 12 oz can evaporated milk
3 eggs
1 C white sugar
4 t pumpkin pie spice
1 18.25 oz package yellow cake mix
3/4 C butter, melted
1 1/2 C chopped walnuts (I didn't use all these nuts)

Preheat oven 350 degrees.  Grease 9x13 baking pan.  In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar and spice.  Mix well, and pour into a 9x13.  Sprinkle dry cake mix over the top, then drizzle with melted butter.  Top with walnuts.  Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until knife inserted near the center comes out clean.  Tastes great but even better with whipped cream on top! :)
This recipe came from, submitted by Nancy- thanks Nancy!

The chili is actually a low fat, low cal recipe but more than one serving of the dessert, the nachos, and handfuls of trick or treat candy set me over the edge.  Must work my tail off in the gym tomorrow!  In my next post I should tell you about Captain America, my trainer at the gym. 

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