For our Halloween Party tonight, we made mini caramel apples. They were absolutely darling. And yummy.

Here's how we did it.

Fine a large glass, microwavable bowl. Add 2 cups of sugar, 1/2 cup corn syrup, 1 cup butter and 1 can of Sweet and Condensed Milk. Microwave for 2 minutes, or until the butter is melted. Stir. Microwave for 3 minutes and stir again. (stopping to stir is IMPORTANT to evenly distribute the heat). Repeat the 3 minute microwave and stir. Repeat again. Repeat again. Voila! Homemade Caramel.

Next get the assembly line ready. You will need some apples...preferably tart ones. You will also need a melon baller, some bamboo skewers, and some fun sprinkles and nuts and other decorations.'s also very helpful if you have little candy paper things. (see picture above)

Use the melon baller to scoop out balls of apple. Skewer the apple on the part that shows the skin. dip in the caramel. roll in the sprinkles. Put on your beautiful platter in the papers. Serve at your party. Watch the guests admire and enjoy!

Today I made Alan and Becca's "Ghost Chili". Isn't it pretty? It was yummy too! And, yes, I will admit, I did NOT win the chili cook-off. It was a bit of a disappointment, but let's be honest here....Who were the judges anyway? They picked a chili that had bacon in it. Bacon? in chili? I'm sure it was tasty in a traditional chili type of way?? But my chili had character and STYLE. It's was Ghost Chili! I mean, that's FESTIVE! I'm not bitter.

Anyway, on to the recipe! :)

Start by chopping up one onion and three jalepeno chili peppers. Remove the seeds and ribs of the jalepenos, unless you want a lot of kick! Then go ahead and toss the seeds and ribs in! Throw caution to the wind! Put the onions and jalepenos into the pan with some olive oil and sautee til the onions are translucent. Oh...and do not take any deep wiffs over the pan during this process unless you have a death wish for your eyes. The jalepenos can be kind-of potent! Oh...I almost forgot...I also diced up 3 large garlic cloves and added them to the sautee half-way through the process. (they sautee faster than the onions and you don't want the garlic to burn!)

I should mention...if you prefer, you can add 1/2 tsp of garlic powder instead of the fresh garlic, and you could add canned chili peppers instead of fresh.

**(I did not get any photos of the next step as I was solo in this cooking operation and was touching raw chicken, and well, raw chicken does NOT mix with my camera!)

Next add 1 pound of diced chicken to the pan and brown it on all sides. Once the chicken is browned, add chicken stock to the pan. It will look like this:
Truthfully, it doesn't look like much at this point...but it does smell good!

Next, open your 2 cans of Cannelli (or Great Northern) white beans, drain them and add them to the pot.

Now bring it to a simmer and allow it to simmer for 20 minutes or so....

Lastly add 1/2 cup of cream & 1 cup of sour cream to the mix. (no photos...sorry!)

And then add some seasonings. I added 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper to the mix. Oh, and as a last minute effort at winning the cook-off (futile!) I also threw in 4 oz of cream cheese. . . .

It was yummy!

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