Saturday, October 29, 2011

This is Halloween

I love this time of year. The air turns cold, the leaves add color to the landscape, and the yard work ends! I also love Halloween. I enjoy haunted houses, scary movies, frightening stories, and yummy food. With five children, our candy supply never seems to disappear after October 31st.

This year, our neighborhood held a chili cook off and costume contest. Let's talk about chili first. I love chili, but it's hard to find a perfect bowl sometimes. So a few years ago, I made my own recipe and have been tweaking it ever since. I decided this would be the year to introduce my creation to the neighbors. I'm glad I did. I won! In honor of my achievement, I'm sharing my recipe with the world. Take it, enjoy it, share it. I won't mind a bit. If you make money off it, give me credit.

Jamie's (Award Winning!) Chili

1 Pound          Bacon                    chop into 1/2" pieces and fry
1 Pound          Ground Sausage           
2 Each            Onion, chopped          
7 Clove           Garlic, minced          
1 Each            Green Pepper, chopped    coarsely chopped
1 Each            Red Pepper               coarsely chopped
1 Pound          Tri Tip Steak            smoked and cubed
1 Pound          Turkey Breast                smoked and cubed
2 Tablespoon  Brown Sugar             
2 Squirt           Honey                    or 3
30 Ounce        Tomato Sauce            
30 Ounce        Tomatoes, diced          do not drain
2 1/2 Tablespoon      Cumin Seed, ground      
2 Tablespoon   Chili Powder            
1/2 Teaspoon   Cayenne Pepper          
1 Teaspoon      Oregano                 
15 Ounce          Black Beans              drain and rinse
15 Ounce         Chili Beans              DO NOT DRAIN

Combine first 6 ingredients in Crock pot and set to "low" until sausage is cooked, then set to "keep warm."
Add smoked meat and set for "keep warm" overnight.
Add rest of ingredients and simmer on stove (unless it fits in the Crock pot) so ingredients can infuse into each other.

There it is. It's that easy. I also made some dutch oven cornbread as a side dish. That recipe isn't my own, so I won't share it here. This is how everything looked:

Yes, it was tasty. I won a cool apron and a golden bowl of chili for my efforts. Yay!

Now, for the really cool part. Our family went to see Tron: Legacy this past winter on IMAX 3D. It was the first 3d movie I had seen in the theatre, and it was a lot of fun. My kids enjoyed it so much, they asked if they could be Tron characters for Halloween. They designed their costumes, my wife did the sewing, and I added a few final touches(including the technical headache work of all the lights).
They won the costume contest! I'm sorry the photos aren't great. The costumes look so much cooler in the dark, so that's where we took them. We also added some light to our Suburban window, to complete the effect.

However you celebrate Halloween, I hope that you enjoy it. We are so far.


  1. Thanks. The credit goes to my wife, who spent the last month sewing away her Saturdays.


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