By the time Halloween comes around, the kids have already had around two other trick-or-treating sessions. Many times the weather also has not cooperated with us. So quite a few times, the kids have gone to several of the neighbors' houses, and they are done for the night. I am pretty sure this year will be the same. Although there may be some novelty of being in a new neighborhood. How much candy do we really need anyway?
One thing we started to do a few years ago was have Grandma and Grandpa, my brother and family, Aunt Chris, and Aunt Lexie over on Halloween to see the kiddos in their costumes. It is also nice because there is always someone at the house to hand out candy. We always have the same thing for dinner: chili. I LOVE chili, so any excuse to make chili is good enough for me. I like it because it is something I can make ahead of time. In Oshkosh, it doesn't matter what day of the week upon which Halloween falls, trick-or-treating is always on Halloween. It's nice to have a very easy and comfy meal prepared ahead of time, especially if it's a week night. We have also had a few wet Halloweens in recent years, so it's wonderful to come back to the warm chili. I can just enjoy the time with the kids, and I don't worry about cooking dinner.
I have to admit that I cheat when I make chili... I will tell you what I do. I start by browning up one pound of ground beef. Then I remove that from a pan and saute one onion. Pretty typical, I know. But while this is cooking, I prepare this:
as directed. All you need to add is water and tomato paste. This is a solid chili mix. After the 30 minutes of cook time for the mix, I add the cooked beef and onion to the mix. Then I add a can of kidney beans (or chili or black beans), a can of chili-ready diced tomatoes, and (here's the weird part) one can of Spanish rice:
I know this sounds gross. I know...but it is awesome! The ingredients are all things I can pronounce, too! There are no weird additives that you would hate to eat. The ingredients are:
- tomato paste
- green bell peppers
- red bell peppers
- soybean oil
- chile pepper
- garlic powder
- citric acid
You have to trust me. It adds a little kick (not too strong that the kids can't eat it) to the chili, and rice in chili is AMAZING! I always get compliments when I make this. The best part? It is soooo easy to make. Even the kids like it :) Win!
Do you have any Halloween traditions?