Holidays & Traditions




I don’t actually have a picture of our Halloween Chili so I am using some drawings that I did on my iPad.  The first one is of an old paper mache’ pumpkin that traditionally sits on our mantle each year.  The second one is Mr. Freaky.  He is a spooky fellow who always sits on the top of our steps.

Jackie B
Jackie B
Mr. Freaky
Mr. Freaky

Halloween Chili

We like chili throughout the year but it is a tradition at our house to fix the big pot of chili on Halloween night.  We eat a little, trick or treat,  and eat a little more.  Friends stop by and have a bowl straight off the  stove top.  Carol is always looking for the candy eyeballs in Abe’s Pumpkin.  Lots of good memories and laughs shared over a hearty bowl of chili!!!  The recipe I’m giving you here is what I fix for my family.  If you’re cooking for a larger crowd you may want to double the recipe.

Ingredients list:

1 1/2 lbs. ground sirloin

1 1/2 lbs. ground sweet Italian sausage

1 – large onion finely chopped

1 –  large bell pepper finely chopped

3 –  large stalks of celery finely chopped

1 –  Whole clove of garlic finely chopped

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 –  dark beers.  I like to use Heineken dark

4  – 28 ounce cans whole tomatoes hand crushed.  Reserve the  liquid

2 – 15 ounce cans dark red kidney beans

2  -15 ounce cans black beans

2  -15 ounce cans white beans.  I like to use cannellini beans.

2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons coarse ground black pepper

4 –  chicken bouillon cubes

1 – tablespoon garlic powder

1 – tablespoon onion powder

1 – tablespoon dried oregano

1  -tablespoon dried thyme

4 – tablespoons chili powder

4 – tablespoons cumin

1 – tablespoon ground coriander

1  -tablespoon mustard powder

6 – bay leaves

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup Heinz 57 sauce

Spray a medium skillet with olive oil no stick.  Brown the sirloin and sausage until cooked through.  Drain and set aside until ready to use.   Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat.  Sauté the onions, bell peppers, and celery in the olive oil until soft and golden.  Add the garlic and cook for another minute or so.  Stir continually so the garlic does not burn.  Pour in both of the beers.  Add the sirloin, sausage, and tomatoes to the pot.  Add all of your seasonings and the beans.  If it needs a little liquid add some of the liquid from the tomatoes.  When you have added all of the seasonings, bring it to a slow boil.  Reduce the heat to low and cook uncovered for about an hour.  Taste it and adjust the seasonings if necessary.

Serve and Enjoy!!!


HALLOWEEN!!!!!…  Probably one of my MOST favorite holidays!!!  Just fun, reminds me of being a kid, no gifts, and  it truly kicks off the holiday season!!!   We will have some sort of decoration in our home beginning now and until Mardi Gras.  The mantle has been spooked up for a couple of weeks now with our Dan Akroyd vodka skulls (we don’t drink vodka often but we love these skulls for halloween)!!!  This past weekend, we FINALLY got our spooky ole Scarecrow out that you can see as you are approaching the end of street towards our driveway.  Then, we decided to get all crafty…  we bought three different sized styrofoam skulls from Michael’s and silver leafed them.  I think they turned out pretty neat looking.Spooky Halloween Scarecrow

Here is our Scarecrow that is in our front yard.  You can see him as you are driving towards our driveway!!!Silver Leafed Skulls





Dan Akroyd Vodka Skulls


Each year, we celebrate St. Joseph’s day on March 19th.  We started this about nine years ago and it has been a fun tradition to carry on with my family and friends.