Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween 2013

Halloween Carnival!! We went to the elementary school Halloween Carnival (now called the Fall Festival). This is the same Carnival that I grew up going to, and it was exactly as I remembered! Basically you buy tickets (5/$1) and use them to go around and play little games that are fun for kids. Benjamin liked Plinko, the Duck Pond (where you choose a duck out of the water and it has a number that determines that prize you get), and the Mailbox (where you put your tickets in a mailbox, wait a minute,  a bell rings, and you open the box and there is a prize). We won some books at the silent auction and generally enjoyed ourselves.

I had my annual Halloween party on Monday for my family. Its just a chance to get together, eat spooky food and wear costumes. Without it, myself and many family members would have no excuse to dress up.

I, as usual, procrastinated and needed help getting ready. My mom and little sis swooped in to decorate the house, and they did a fantastic job! They used moslty the decorations we used in my parents house growing up, along with these new creations by my sister:

For food, we wanted to do something fun and spooky, but I def wanted to avoid having TOO much food like we did last year (and have had at many family events). I think we succeeded! The menu included: a Veggie Tray, Chips&Dip, Pumpkin Spice Puppy Chow, Deviled "Goblin" Eggs, and Stuffed Jack-O-Peppers. We had a variety of "normal" drinks with the option to put wormy icecubes (gummy worms) in them. For dessert there was a delicious Pumpkin dump cake with vanilla ice cream.

I have had a request to "save"the recipe of the peppers. It was mostly made up! I got the idea from this blog post. The recipe there however is Polenta based, which I wasn't interested in. So I made my own recipe up for the filling. Here it is.

Stuffed Jack-O-Peppers
Ingredients:                                                                            \
2 pounds ground beef                                                    
Spanish Rice-A-Roni                                                    
1 Can Diced Tomatoes                                                  
1 Can Blacked Beans                                                    
6 oz Salsa (half a bottle)                                                
1 Envelope Taco Seasoning                                            
1 Egg                                                                              
16 Bell Peppers                                                              
Taco Toppings as Desired                                                

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees                                                                 
2. Prepare the Rice-a-Roni per the directions, which will require the tomatoes
3.  With hands, mix together raw ground beef, taco seasoning, salsa, and egg   
4. Fold in, with hands, rice and beans                                                               
5. Cut the entire top off each pepper with a small knife,  remove seeds and     
white ribbing. Carefully carve face into each pepper. Doesn't need to be    
perfect! And they all can be different.  Arrange the peppers in baking       
dishes as available (I used three 9 inch cake pans)                                      
6. Spoon the mixture into each pepper, distributing equally. Its ok if some are 
 overloaded. Press the tops down on to of meat mixture.                            
7.  Bake for 55-65 minutes at 350 degrees.                                           
8. Serve with toppings such as cheese, sour cream, and the extra salsa               

Everyone showed up! (The whole family). Everyone dressed up! 

Benjamin was supposed to be a fireman, but he would hardly let us put his hat on!! I was the Dalmatian and DH was a burning house.

My sister as Rosie the Riveter (Or Lucille Ball, depending on what face you make)

Scarecrow Mom!!!

Benjamin had so  much fun playing with his aunt and uncles! I had so much fun hanging with the 'rents and siblings. I hope a good time was had by all.

The ACTUAL Halloween. Since the Fire Fighter costume didn't go over great, we switched it up and borrowed a Panda Bear costume from my brother. I hear that Benjamin had a BALL doing trick or treating and a Halloween parade at day care. He sure came home with a big bag of goodies! In the evening, after a quick dinner, we went to the campus where DH works to Trick-OR-Treat in the dorms. DS thought it was great fun! He especially loved to take the candy from the person and put it in the bucket himself. Unfortunately, they ran out of candy after the first dorm. Fortunately, it was still early enough we could come home and go around our neighborhood a bit! Some of the neighbors we know loved to see him, and again he loved the whole process. 
It was a really fun Halloween. I didn't get to every little activity and craft I had originally planned, but we did the important thing - had fun with family (and ate good food).

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