Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Halloween!

This Halloween we are so excited to take our little green dragon trick-or-treating to a couple of our neighbors' houses before posting up with some friends and opening the door all evening long.  Since he is still just a little one (15 months now!!), he's not really into the candy, but more into just watching the kids and the decorations, and tossing pumpkins!! 

It has become somewhat of a tradition in our house to have chili and cornbread on Halloween.  Something about chili is just so good on what is usually a cold evening, before diving into the candy bowl one mini snickers at a time!

 I will be making two different kinds of chili this year- one vegetarian, and one with elk(!) since we have a freezer full as of two weeks ago.  

The vegetarian one sounds delicious and is a fairly standard recipe from queen Martha Stewart.  I usually like to add in some soy crumbles for a little extra oomph... 
VEGETARIAN CHILI

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced medium
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent and garlic is soft, about 4 minutes. Add cumin and chile powder, season with salt and pepper, and cook until spices are fragrant, 1 minute. Add zucchini and tomato paste; cook, stirring frequently, until tomato paste is deep brick red, 3 minutes. Stir in black beans, pinto beans, and both cans diced tomatoes. Add 2 cups water and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce to a medium simmer and cook until zucchini is tender and liquid reduces slightly, 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.


The cornbread is a recipe that I have been making for years and I couldn't even begin to tell you where it is from.  I do prefer to make mine in a skillet because I just like the way it gets  crusty in there.  Give it a try! 

SOUTHERN CORNBREAD

2 cups yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons sugar (optional)
3 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, for skillet
2 cups milk
1/4 cup melted butter
melted butter for brushing top
(I add fresh (or frozen) corn kernels and a can of diced jalapenos)

1. Preheat oven to 425. Put oil or shortening in a 10-inch iron skillet and place in the oven to preheat while making batter
2. In a mixing bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar, if using.
3. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and butter.  Combine with dry ingredients, add in the corn and jalapenos, and stir until all ingredients are moistened.  Batter will be like a thick pancake batter. 
4.  Carefully, lift skillet out and turn to coat all of the inside surface with oil.  Pour in batter and return to oven.  Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until browned.  A toothpick inserted in center should come out clean.


I like for everyone to serve themselves right off the stovetop- so I will set out the fixings to go with it- shredded cheddar cheese, tortilla chips, and maybe some sour cream and chives.  
Mmmm.  Now I'm hungry!!

I hope you and yours has a very happy and safe Halloween.  
I would love to hear what you and your littles are dressing up as this year!  
Have a fun one!  

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