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.

DIY “Jolly Jack-o-Lantern” Halloween Wreath … by Trenda

“A Halloween of Memory Past” by Trenda  In just a little over a “fortnight” we will have a host of little ghosts and goblins coming to our doorstep.  Once, not really so very long ago, I was one of those happy “trick or treater’s” … traipsing down the streets, I peered to see out of my plastic mask that was always askew, had eye slots that were cut too small to properly see and was held in place by a thin rubber band that pulled my hair and I was always afraid would snap and pop me in the face!  I made sure I stayed close to my strong, broad shouldered father and seeing his comforting silhouette outlined in the shadows was particularly assuring on a night called All Hallows’ Eve!  My father carried a railroad lantern to lead his little band and family of mix-matched character’s … a hobo, a skeleton, 2 gypsies, and a clown … and I remember the red glow cast by his lantern, added to the mystique of the evening. (to be continued)piccollage


Remembering that feeling, I love to make our home as welcoming as possible on Halloween and enjoy creating an expectant atmosphere, befitting the night, that the children can sense as they climb up each step to our door.

Now with all that in mind … today I am writing the DIY instructions for this Jolly Jack-o-Lantern Halloween wreath that you can make and hang on your front door to welcome each of your little visitors!  The “jewel and sparkle” a wreath adds to your door, is like adding a necklace to your outfit! (: 


Below, is a list of supplies you will need to make your wreath.

Materials needed:

  •  metal wreath form
  • up to 3 rolls of mesh in your choice of Halloween colors
  • pipe cleaners
  • glue gun and glue sticks
  • assorted Halloween decorations
  • scissors & wire cutters


First, make a simple loop hanger using a pipe cleaner and wrap it around the back of the wire wreath form.  This is the hanger you will use to display your wreath on your door, but it is also convenient to use while constructing your wreath.  TipI always use  pipe cleaners that match the colors I am using in my wreath.  Then, when I am finished they aren’t easily seen and “blend” right into the decorations and colors of the wreath.   Take your first color of mesh and go around the form of your wreath, bunching the mesh loosely.  To form a “poof” or segment, wrap a pipe cleaner around the mesh and wire wreath form to secure the mesh to the form.  I trim my pipe cleaners off at this point to keep things neat and so they won’t get “in the way” and snag my material.  Continue bunching and securing mesh around the perimeter of your wreath form.  Don’t be timid!  There’s no wrong way to do this! (:   


Then, do the same thing again with the next color you have chosen for your wreath.  Gather and bunch your mesh and secure it with pipe cleaners to your wreath form.  Be sure and “stagger” where you bunch and secure your mesh, not conforming with the same pattern you used with the first color.  This will make your wreath fuller.  See picture below.


Repeat the same procedure again, using your last color of mesh and making sure to weave and bunch your mesh in areas you see that need more fullness.  Note:  It is up to you how many colors of mesh you use.  Sometimes, I use only 2 fabrics or even one color of mesh or burlap.  Just make sure when you are using fewer colors that you bunch your fabric tighter, so you have a full wreath.


Now, the fun part begins!  Take your decorations and just hot glue them to your wreath.  I add my biggest items first … next, any smaller items I have.



Then … I add my “filler” last.  Filler is added to your entire wreath and “pulls” the look of your wreath together, unifying and blending all your colors and decorations on the wreath.  Filler can be any material – it adds texture and conformity.   In the photo below … see how I’ve used my neon green curly twigs as filler.


Then, I added a few “bursts” of accent with a ribbon that incorporated all the colors of my 3 different mesh … a purple, orange and black plaid.  Wherever I wanted a little more color, I cut some random lengths of my plaid ribbon and “wove it” into the mesh ribbon, and hot glued the ends to hold.  The final step was gluing some sparkly wrapped paper candies … table confetti, that I found at Hobby Lobby for only $1.50 … in just my colors of purple, orange, and neon green! 


Now when …

“Silent phantoms

of the night

In their robes

of ghostly white.

They are always to be seen

On the night of Halloween.”

come to your door, they will be delighted to see the wreath you made welcoming them to your haunt! 



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 a comment, below.  Don’t be alarmed when your comment doesn’t post, immediately.  Word Press makes sure each post I send or that I receive hasn’t any SPAM attached … “it’s a good thing!” (: 

From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda





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