But how about dinner?
Halloween falls on a Saturday this year, leaving more time to prepare dinner before trick-or-treating begins — and the kids dive into their candy.
Chef Aaron Wynn of Whole Foods Market at Cranbrook Village, Ann Arbor, Mich., offered this easy meal: a bowl of hearty buffalo chili served with moist cornbread and topped off with some festive lemon cookies.
Buffalo meat can be pricey compared with ground beef, but it's lower in fat and cholesterol.
"I like the ground buffalo because it is leaner and hearty," says Wynn, who cautioned that "because it has little fat, you have to be ready for it. If you overcook it, the meat will be dry."
And, he said, it's even better when prepared a day ahead—a bonus for busy families.
A blend of mild peppers makes it kid-friendly. "The adobo gives the chili the smokiness," says Wynn. "But I tend to go mild when serving the masses."
You can't serve chili without cornbread. Wynn's recipe uses buttermilk instead of milk, which makes it super moist.
Finish the meal with lemony sugar monster cookies. Decorated with dried fruit and nuts, these cookies are ideal for kids who will have their fill of candy later.
You can make the dough for these cookies the day before and chill it. Once chilled, slice, decorate and bake.
"These cookies crisp up really nice," says Wynn.
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup unbleached pastry flour or sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon honey
4 tablespoons melted butter, more for the baking dish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch-square baking pan.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cornmeal; set aside. In a small bowl, whisk buttermilk with eggs and honey. Whisk in the melted butter. Mix the wet ingredients with the dry until just combined. Pour batter into the pan. Bake 30 minutes until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
From Aaron Wynn, chef of Whole Foods Market at Cranbrook Village, Ann Arbor.
Per serving: 190 calories (38 percent from fat ), 8 grams fat (4.5 grams sat. fat ), 23 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams protein, 450 mg sodium, 65 mg cholesterol, 1 gram fiber.
The Wichita Eagle—10/28/09
You can also roll out this lemony dough and cut out different Halloween shapes.
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened 3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
10 drops orange (or combine red and yellow) food coloring (optional)
Assorted dried fruit and nuts for decorating
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
In a second large bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 30 seconds, then beat in 1 egg. Add the lemon juice, zest and vanilla and beat again until smooth, about 30 seconds more. Add the flour mixture and beat to combine. Add food coloring (if using) and beat again, or knead by hand, just until color is evenly distributed. Shape dough into two logs then wrap each snugly in parchment paper, twisting the ends in opposite directions like a piece of candy to tighten each roll and make it uniformly round and about 6 inches long. Chill for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Whisk remaining egg and 1 tablespoon water together in a small bowl to make an egg wash; set aside.
Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut dough crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices and transfer to prepared baking sheets, arranging cookies about 1 inch apart. Working with a few cookies at a time, brush tops with egg wash then decorate with dried fruit and nuts to make monster faces on each. Bake until light golden brown at the edges, 12 to 13 minutes. Cool completely. Makes 3 dozen cookies.
From chef Aaron Wynn, Whole Foods Market at Cranbrook Village, Ann Arbor.
Analysis per 1 cookie: 120 calories (45 percent from fat ), 6 grams fat (2.5 grams sat. fat ), 15 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams protein, 35 mg sodium, 20 mg cholesterol, 1 gram fiber.
The Wichita Eagle—10/28/09
Buffalo Bill Chili
This recipe has a long list of ingredients but it comes together quickly.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 lbs. ground buffalo meat
1/2medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 poblano or Anaheim pepper, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
1/4teaspoon ground cumin
1/2teaspoon dried oregano
1/4teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
Sea salt, to taste
Ground pepper, to taste
1 can (14.5 oz.) crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
2/3cup low-sodium beef broth
1/2tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons adobo sauce from a can of chipotles in adobo
1 bay leaf
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 oz.) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/3bunch green onions, green parts only, sliced in rounds, for garnish
Chopped cilantro, for garnish
In a large pot (about 4-quart capacity) with a lid, heat oil over medium heat and add ground buffalo meat. Brown meat, breaking it up as it cooks. Cook for about 5 minutes or until all meat is browned. Remove from pot and discard excess fat, leaving about 1 tablespoon in the pot.
Add the onion, red and green bell peppers and poblano pepper and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, scraping bottom from time to time to get all the browned bits of meat folded in with the vegetables. Add the jalapeno pepper and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring from time to time. Add the garlic, cook for another minute and then add cumin, oregano, coriander, ancho chile powder, salt and pepper. Let spices cook for another minute, stirring.
Return browned meat to the pot. Stir in tomatoes and beef broth, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, adobo sauce and bay leaf, stir and bring to a boil. Once boiling, taste sauce and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to a slow simmer, cover with a lid and cook for about 30 minutes. Add beans and continue simmering, covered, for another 10 minutes or until beans are warmed through. Remove and discard bay leaf.
Serve in bowls and garnish with green onions and chopped cilantro. Makes 8 servings.
From Aaron Wynn, chef, Whole Foods Market at Cranbrook Village, Ann Arbor, Mich.
340 calories (19 percent from fat ), 7 grams fat (2 grams sat. fat ), 35 grams carbohydrates, 35 grams protein, 900 mg sodium, 55 mg cholesterol, 10 grams fiber.
The Wichita Eagle—10/28/09