Family Tradition: Halloween Chili Party

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Every Halloween, I cook a big pot of pumpkin chili and put a bunch of easy appetizers on the table. Most of them are simple and healthy, to counteract the candy: chips and salsa, carrots and a bowl of ranch dressing, maybe a bowl of grapes. We usually have cornbread, either homemade or from Lizard's Thicket, a local meat-and-three. This year, I may experiment with an all pumpkin menu.

Our Halloween drop-in is ridiculously casual, first come, first serve, and we may even ask you to hand out candy if we want to take a break. We are lucky enough to live in one of those neighborhoods where people love to come trick or treat. The other day, my 12-year-old son said, "If Yelp had trick or treating reviews of neighborhoods, we'd be number one." True. People drive from miles away to trick or treat here and we get the pleasure of seeing tons of cute kids in costume. I love it! But every now and then, I have to leave the porch to go grab another bowl of chili, so it's nice to have a crowd of helpers.

Now that everyone knows our pumpkin chili, I want to add some new dishes to the menu. And I'm totally including pumpkin, because I'm on a roll and I love a gimmick. Some recipes I'm considering...

What are your favorite pumpkin snacks? And what will you be doing on Halloween? Want to stop by for come chili?

(Image credits: Faith Durand)

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