Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Halloween Supper-Upper-Upper

Growing up, my generous parents would host an open-to-all front lawn Halloween party, complete with grilled hamburgers and hotdogs, chili, cinnamon rolls and the like. Trick or treaters would march up in hordes to our house on the hill for a savory break from their sacks of candy. It didn't matter if they knew my family are not. There were some people that we only knew because of the Halloween party. Everyone, strangers and kin alike, was welcome. (You can read more about our Halloween party here on my Rachael Ray blog project. Click on Timely Traditions.) When I grew up and had a house of my own, we hosted a Halloween party too. But now that we live across the street from my parents, well, I'll just do what comes naturally and let mom and dad take charge. Actually, this year's will be a bit bigger than usual, since the Halloween night party is being combined with a church trunk or treat activity, all right across the street from my house and right in front of my parent's home. My dad is still going to grill his burgers, but this year they are stepping up to popcorn and cotton candy machines as well. I'm not even sure what to pass out to trick-or-treaters, since I'm pretty sure they will be getting all that they could possibly want across the street. King Sized Candy Bars? Quarters? Fruit Roll Ups? Nintendo DS for all? Maybe I should just give up and pass out chewable vitamins and toothbrushes.

I'll be conjuring up a few different versions of chili for the party, like this yummy chicken and green chile slow-cooker version. I credit a Martha Stewart recipe for the idea of using dried beans and a little flour for thickening in the slow cooker. It works like a charm. Since the kids are not even remotely interested in eating dinner before trick or treating, an easy crock pot recipe is ideal, since dinner is hot and ready now or later.
Chicken and Green Chile Slow Cooker Chili
Estimated Cost: $6.00 for 4 servings
Money Saving Tips: This one relies on dried pinto beans so it's budget friendly already, especially if you've got chicken and canned green chilies on hand. Green salsa is also called salsa verde, but you can also use canned green enchilada sauce.
1 and 1/2 cup dried pinto beans
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup chopped green chilies, or 1 (7 ounce) can
1 cup green salsa (Herdez is my favorite) or green enchilada sauce
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried cumin
3/4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken
if desired sour cream, chopped cilantro, tabasco for serving
Coat the inside of your slow cooker with cooking spray. Combine beans, broth, flour, chilies, salsa, onion, and cumin. Place chicken on top. Cover and cook on high for 4-6 hours, or low for 8-10 hours. Remove lid and reach in to the crock pot and shred chicken with fork. Stir into chili taste for seasonings and add salt and pepper if needed and serve.
Give the kids some tortillas and scissor and let them cut Halloween shapes. Sprinkle with a little chili powder and bake until crispy.
And one more kid friendly lunch idea.: Let your bigger kids cut the shape of a Jack-O lantern out of a slice of cheddar cheese. Place it on a toasted English muffin and smear it with a smidge or barbecue sauce. Broil until cheese is melted and add a little green onion stem.
And a little peek at last night's activities: Here's my little cowboy and his goblin pumpkin...
And here's my Sailor-girl. She's dressed in a very old Snow White costume (not her Halloween costume-just an old dress-up number) and holding a Snow White Minnie-doll to carve her Snow White pumpkin....
Disney pumpkin carving kits give you little translucent eye and lip inserts. They look eerie in the day time, but at night they really work. You can see them a little better below....
Coming Tomorrow:
More Halloween Dinner: My Favorite Vegetarian Chili

53 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

Sounds like you had such fun Halloween parties!! And still do :0)

Maria said...

You really know how to celebrate Halloween! So many fun things going on! Your kids are adorable!!!

Bunny Trails said...

What a fantastic tradition! You make me want to live in your neighborhood :) Adorable kids, by the way!!

Aggie said...

Oh what a fun thing to do on Halloween! Love it!

Your chili looks delish! And your kiddies and their pumpkins are too cute!

Aggie said...

Oh and those little english muffin pumpkins are so adorable! What a great idea! My kids will get a kick out of those!

Lisa said...

Love your idea! We are going to do a scaled down version of yours:)
Cute pictures!

The Blonde Duck said...

Love this chili! It's going on my list. Sailor looks adorable in her little outfit! She's too cute!

Going to Shreveport today....so if my comments are slow to come, don't be offended...

gigi said...

Oh how handsome and beautiful the Cowboy and Snow White are! And I am so impressed with their 'punkums', great job!! What a busy neighborhood your's is going to be and how much fun for all ages. I love your family stories and traditions. Just can't ever get to many of those. Where is Quiet Man in all of this?

Thanks for this crock pot chili, I've been looking for more easy recipes for the C.P. I think we'll love it!

Lucy said...

What a fun time to be had on your street!! My son, since he was a 6th grader has been part of a "Haunted Halloween" project for many years now and to this day I'm still making costumes for an adult!

You're little ones are so adorable and loving that chili!

Rosie said...

Sounds like a very fun time you all had! Lovely pics of the kids they are adorable!!!

Everything looks wonderful :)

Rosie x

Mary said...

The chili sounds wonderful. You outdid yourself with the children's costumes --- they look terrific and those little faces ay it all.

Catherine said...

Oh I wish I was there for Halloween, if it wasn't for Europe, I would be, so I guess I really have no right to complain. Maybe next year. This chili looks delicious. And I love the Halloween treat for the kids. Annabelle and Paul will go crazy for the jack o lantern english muffin. Your pumpkins and your lil' pun'kins look adorable. Maybe you should pass out frozen otter pops to your trick or treaters! Haha!
Can't wait for tommorow's vegetarian chili.

HoneyB said...

We always had hayrides, bonfires, and lots of food!

Your chili sounds delicious! Glad you are able to leave comments now!

Emily said...

What a great tradition!!! My family does this for the 4th of July and we love it!(We may just have to stop by on your party! We are heading south for halloween to warm up a bit and chow down with family! We'll at least be a stones throw away at my parents house, so if you hear any wild partying from the east . . . it probably isn't us!) Have a Happy Halloween!

Tanji said...

Prudy - you're the best. It is getting down right chilly here and your yummy chili is just what we need. I think I'll let the kids help make pretzels in spooky shapes that day since dinner will be so easy. I LOVE hearing all about your family traditions.

Bridgett said...

Sounds like a fantastic Halloween party, and here I thought the guy next door giving me money each year was awesome. This blows that away. Your kids are darling! I bet they are so excited as mine are.
Ah, the chili looks so inviting that I could easily enjoy a bowl right now. Fantastic as usual, Prudy.

Marjie said...

What adorable kids, and such a great Halloween tradition your parents started! I like your daughter's costume; good thing she doesn't have to go out here in the snow!

Di said...

I love the cheesy jack o' lantern. =) And great pictures of your kiddos with their pumpkins. Brianna was Snow White last year. This year she finally settled on Sleeping Beauty. Fortunately, Gillian is quite happy to wear Brianna's old Cinderella dress, which now fits her. She's starting to be able to tell the princesses apart--for a while, they were all Cinderella.

Allie said...

What a great tradition I'm sure your kids will have a blast and remember these times forever. Love the idea for dinner now or later and kept warm in the crockpot.

Tami said...

How lucky your kids are to have a Mom like you! You are WAY fun!! The chili looks delicious.

Patsyk said...

Your kids are adorable! Your idea of passing out toothbrushes instead of candy made me laugh! My father-in-law is an orthodontist, and they used to give out sugar-free gum every year... can you imagine how thrilled the kids were with that?

Patrick said...

Love that chili! Halloween parties are always fun, unfortunately this year my night will be spent in the hockey rink...

Mary Ann said...

I will bring my kids to your house for trick or treating if you PROMISE me that you will hand out vitamins and toothbrushes! It seems like holidays are all about candy, candy, and more candy! Your party sure sounds like fun. I love this chili and can't wait to see what is coming tomorrow. btw, I didn't win the pizza contest and I might be heading down your way this weekend. My husband has to work a game in Hurricane and I might tag along. I haven't made up my mind yet!

Mary Ann said...

Prudy, the problem with me commenting is that I always have so much to say and I forget half of it while I am writing! I love your jack-o-lantern cheese faces and the tortilla cut-outs. Love it!

Natashya said...

I want to live where you live.
It seems so magical. At least teleport there for Halloween. And if I accidently leave my kids there.... I am sure they will be well taken care of!
Kidding! Sort of. Great dish, I especially love the pumpkin cheese tortilla.

Sharon said...

Sounds like an amazing tradition. I wish I lived in your neighborhood! No one is quite that friendly here...

Beautiful children and yummy chili! I'm always looking for some new slow cooker recipes.

Pam said...

Your chili looks delicious. I love the cheese sandwiches too. Your kids and their pumpkins are darling.

Beth said...

I wish we could pop around to your Mum and Dads. Halloween this year is not going to be celebrated as usual as my father in law is getting married the very next day so lots of wedding prep instead!! I may not be round for a few days but I'll catch up with you soon!!!!

Michal said...

we loved your parents halloween open house so much that we decided to copy the tradition when we moved away. besides the neighborhood and anyone who trick-or-treats here, we invite all of our friends to stop by to warm up and have dinner that night. we are expecting about 125 people this year, our fourth year in a row. i usually serve a chili recipe that i got from you years ago, as well as hot dogs and corn dogs. our guests who are planning on stopping in bring a treat to share, but everyone is welcome to come empty handed.
this recipe looks so delicious that i really wish i'd read it this morning--we'd be having it for dinner tonight. instead, i'm off to soak some pintos for tomorrow night.

Dawn said...

Boy I'm jealous, I never had a Halloween like the one you are throwing. What great memories for your gorgeous looking children.
How do you do it all? You must be exhausted at night.

JJ said...

Um, can I move in next door and join in the festivities?

Leslie said...

It sounds like Mom and Dad are throwing another Party Of The Year! How fun. I wish I was coming, but then we'll really be having The Ultimate Party of The Year in Europe.
We are busy getting ready, and I am sure you are, too.
Your charges look so cute, and it looks like you're having so much fun. We made more Haunted Gingerbread (graham cracker) houses last night, and may not even get to the pumpkin carving.
Oh well, we have a ton of plug in pumpkins.
I love seeing all the pictures, and I can't help but agree with Mike, "West! West, is beautiful."
Sailor is, too, but West is a boy! A beautiful boy!

Cathy said...

What a wonderful Halloween tradition! And how great that you now get to join forces with your parents! The chili looks fab, and the tortilla cutouts - great idea! I'd skip the candy for sure if you were cooking, Prudy! I love the pictures of your little sweeties -- hey, Elizabeth has that Snow White costume! I always head to Target on the day after Halloween to get some 75% off costumes for the dressup bin -- Snow White came home with us one year. Elizabeth likes to wear it with the Target red sparkly shoes, you know, to fancy it up a bit.

Esi said...

You really go all out! Can't wait to see what you do with the other holidays this year.

Jacque said...

You are one creative baker! What great ideas and so nice that they involve the kids.

Your chili looks would be perfect with this cold weather that's descended on us.

Jenn-Lee said...

Such a cute blog. I found you through Molly's "Gingerbread and candy canes" blog. I cannot wait to scroll through your archives!

Darius T. Williams said...

I'm in love with that cheese idea...I may just do that and I'm 26 years old - lol...there's still a little kid left in me!

-DTW
www.everydaycookin.blogspot.com

Veronica said...

What a great tradition. I love Halloween-but if I lived in your neighborhood I think I would REALLY love it!

Emily Rose said...

what a great tradition- that sounds like something out of a book! and your kids are so beautiful- I cannot wait for Halloween!

Prudy said...

Cat:
Yep! You crack me up. I still can't get over the frozen otter pops trying to pass themselves off as trick or treat candy.

Prudy said...

Thanks Tanji! Spooky pretzels would be so much fun!

Prudy said...

Patrick:
For some reason, Halloween at the hockey rink sounds really fun. Let me know how it goes!

Prudy said...

Michal:
I wish you could come to our party with your famous caramel corn. Or better yet, I wish I could come to YOUR party. I'm sure the food will be outstanding! I miss you!

Liz said...

Your kids are too cute, the pumpkins are adorable, and the food's lookin pretty good too!

jenjen said...

What great traditions! It sounds like you will be having the greatest time! Your kids look adorable.

The chili looks wonderful and perfect for a cold Halloween night!

Grace said...

a party with different types of chili is my kind of party! your starting off with a bang too--chili with chicken and green chiles is a personal favorite.
and although it obviously goes without saying, your kiddos are cutie-patooties. :)

Content in a Cottage said...

Prudy...I posted about your wonderful Jack 'O Lantern grilled cheese on my blog today.
Happy Halloween. Great costumes you whipped up too. ♥Rosemary

http://contentinacottage.blogspot.com/2008/10/jack-o-lantern-grilled-cheese-halloween.html

Stacey Snacks said...

Prudy,
This is such a cute idea!
I don't buy American cheese slices, but will make these w/ cheddar! Terrific!
Stacey Snacks

Em and Ty said...

Just made this chili tonight and boy is it good! And so easy too! I made the pumpkin chili on Halloween, and it was a hit too. Many thanks.

Kevin said...

Green salsa chilies are so tasty!

Rich'n'Rach said...

This recipe was a big hit! Thanks for blogging--your recipes are awesome, and they make me look really good!

Warm Bunny said...

The slow cooker beans and chicken sound GREAT!

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