It's that time of year again. My friends Audrey, Kelli and I have for years rotated responsibility for throwing a Halloween party for our neighbors, because we never want to have more than one and conflict with each other. Last Year Kelli and I teamed up and held it in her yard, which was wonderful for me --lots of room to maneuver over there. This year we invited the WHOLE neighborhood/church congregation (which are almost the same thing in our part of Utah), so all three of us were needed to pull it off!
Audrey baked enough of her famous cupcakes for everyone. 150 cupcakes y'all!
We had the party be a potluck chili and cornbread (or whatever bread) so we could feed everyone. I hosted a little contest for the best chili, with a clay covered baker for the prize --and Kelli threw in a potholder and spoon to go with it. I will give the prize winning recipe below. It is super yum, and Kira yes it does have cream in it of course. I'm doing my taste test above.
This is our bishop (congregation leader) and his wife. Hilarious.
I told everyone to look scary for their picture.
Wendy just looks like she really hates her chili.
This family won the cutest costume award --Audrey hosted the costume contest.
But this little sweetie was right up there for me. You should have seen her bounce up and down to the "Monster Mash"!
Tia was "She sells sea shells down by the sea shore"
We didn't outlaw weapons, so there were a lot of epic battles taking place around the yard.
But mostly eating and talking. That's what my people like.
Chili prize winner in the middle there.
Scariest winner right here!
A few of my favorite things. I already used this on facebook, but it's such a good line I have to say it again!
The mom and Dad here were missionaries in France years ago, so kind of an extra appropriate costume theme here: French painter, work of art, tourists. (The two on the right are deer and hunter).
Once it got cooler, the fire pit got extra popular.
Tia made a little friend.
Overall a really great night. Here's our prize winning chili recipe courtesy of our winner Hilary Cook! (there's a Dickensonian appropriate name for you.)
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2inch cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder or 2 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon oil
2 cans (15 1/2 ounces each) Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) chicken broth
2 cans (4 ounces each) chopped green chilies (if you like less kick, add just one can)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whipping cream
Fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)
1. In a large saucepan, saute chicken, onion and garlic powder (or fresh garlic, if using) in oil until chicken is no longer pink. Add beans, broth, chilies and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in sour cream and cream. Garnish with fresh cilantro, if desired. Serve immediately. This is especially good served with tortilla chips.
2. Slow Cooker Option: In a medium round slow cooker, place 1 pound chicken breasts (fresh or frozen) without cubing them. Add the chopped onion, garlic powder, beans, green chiles and all of the spices. Do not add the sour cream or whipping cream yet! Reduce the chicken broth to 12 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) and pour in over the other ingredients. Stir the mixture around a bit to incorporate the dry spices. Cook on low for 57 hours (if using frozen chicken you’ll cook on the longer end of that spectrum, fresh chicken will cook in less time). Remove the chicken to a cutting board and shred in bitesize pieces. Stir back into the slow cooker. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the sour cream and whipping cream until smooth. Whisk the cream mixture into the crockpot with the other ingredients. Let the soup cook until heated through. Serve.