Getting Ready for Halloween…DIY “Not So Spooky” Halloween Wreath

It’s almost Halloween, and this week I’m getting ready for our family’s traditional chili fest…always a fun, pumpkin filled evening with lots to eat, and festive treats. Our dinner menu for this special evening is always the same…steamy bowls filled with Chili con Carne served alongside a topping bar, a large salad, and a crockpot filled with delicious Pumpkin Spice Latte. No tricks are allowed, but it’s, “all about the treats” for the grandchildren. There will be Candy Corn Sugar Cookies and Harvest Moon Pies. For the adults, there’s cheesecake covered in a caramel and toffee drizzle, and for toasting, later, there’s Ghost Peep S’mores…all treats worthy of a night reserved for goosebumps and thrills.

Continue reading “Getting Ready for Halloween…DIY “Not So Spooky” Halloween Wreath”

Halloween Epilogue … recipes for Chili con Carne and “Cake Mix” Cookies with Candy Corn

Epilogue to Halloween collage.pngFor us … yesterday was a carefully orchestrated frenzy of driving to different places in 4 different cities and spending time with all of our family.  Adding to the enjoyment of all our Halloween activities, it was also Grandparent Day at our granddaughter’s school! (:  We were finally able to relax a while when our son, daughter-in-law and little grandson came over, that evening, and we all sat down together for our traditional Halloween family dinner, getting ready and “fueled” for the rest of the evening’s activities.

piccollage  Now … before we close the “book” to October, here’s the epilogue with 2 recipes I told you I would include in a subsequent post.  Both of these recipes were a part of our “traditional Halloween dinner.”   The Chile con Carne recipe below is from Better Homes & Garden; I have been making this same chili recipe for my husband and family for 39 years! (:

BHG chili.png

Better Homes & Gardens Chili con carne


  • 1 lb. ground beef or stew meat
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1 16-oz. can Petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 16 oz. can Dark Red Kidney Beans (drained)
  • 1 8 oz. can Tomato sauce
  • 1-2 teaspoons chili powder (I used only 1 teaspoon, since I wanted our 2 year old to be able to eat it!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  •  salt, to taste (I used 1 teaspoon Morton’s Light Salt)


In a large skillet or Dutch oven, cook ground beef or stew meat, onion, bell pepper, and garlic until meat is browned.  Drain fat.  Stir in tomatoes, drained dark red kidney beans, tomato sauce, chili powder, basil, and salt. (to taste)  Heat to boiling.  Reduce heat.  Cover and simmer about 20 minutes.  Makes 4- 6 servings.  Ladle into bowls.  Garnish w/add’l onion, jalapenos, grated cheese, sour cream, avocado, cilantro, and Fritos.  Tip:  If using stew meat in your recipe, cook until meat is tender.

Cake-Mix Cookies with Candy Corn (pictured on right)


These “cake mix” cookies are so easy and delicious and … the variety of cookies you can make using different cake mixes and add-ins, is only limited by your imagination! (:

“Cake Mix” Cookies with Candy Corn


  • 1 box of yellow cake mix (I used Duncan Hines Yellow Cake Mix)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • orange, white and yellow candy corn

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix ingredients together and roll into 1-2″ balls.  Tip:  Candy Corn will dissolve into liquid if it comes into contact with the metal of your cookie sheet.  I added my candy corn, 2-3 per cookie, after the dough was already on the cookie sheet so I could place my candy into the batter.  Bake for 9 minutes.

 For different variety’s of cookies, just pick the flavor of cake mix you want and choose whatever you’d like to add-in.  Devil’s Food “Cake-Mix” Cookies with white chocolate morsels are “delish” … as our granddaughter would say! (:

Our little grandson eating his cupcake.  After the first bite, he broke into a huge smile! (:


A busy, tiring, fun Halloween; October is over!  Scarecrows and spider webs are already being taken off of porches and wreaths and are being replaced with harvest decorations and pilgrims.  Because, as hard as it is to believe, in only 3 short weeks and 2 days … it will be Thanksgiving! (:

But for now …


 From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

Thank you so much for spending some time with me today!  I’d love to hear from you and I am truly delighted, reading what you have to say.  Please leave any questions you may have or comments, below.  Don’t be dismayed if you don’t see your comment “appear” right away.  Word Press checks everything I receive for SPAM and all have to be approved, before posting.

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