Caffeine and Booze Halloween Chili

A gnawing hunger stifled my nuptial enthusiasm as I stumbled in the bright lights of the 11:30pm convenience shore. Looking up from his Kerrang magazine, disinterested but at the same time self-consciously engrossed, the clerk, noting the tuxedo and miscellaneous finery, started in on me, “Hey, you come from a wedding or something?”

These moments come but once in a lifetime- the opportunity to fire off a sparkling retort in the direction of plodding cretin who could have easily have passed for a fat Dave Mustaine. (AND, of modest importance, I had just gotten married.) In a fit of now-panicked hunger I was hopelessly distracted by the myriad of poor food choices and all I could come up with was. “Yes.”

There are times when my eloquence and verbosity would shock even Phyllis Diller. Aching hunger pangs ripped through my guts like bottle rockets. How the hell had I forgotten to eat at my own wedding? I just needed to grab some form of sustenance and get going. There was still obligatory work to undertake tonight. Still, the clerk persisted, pushing his inquiry even further. “Today’s Halloween.” (Okay he got points for his ability to read a calendar.) “Who was the idiot that got married on Halloween?”

Again my ability to weave a deliciously ornate web of discourse faltered, “Uh, that’d be me.” I quickly grabbed a roller dog and one, no two, packets of ketchup, then headed for the checkout.

The expression on clerk’s face betrayed a modicum of regret for the seasoning his inquiry with insult. I could sense his cerebral machinations as I laid the hot dog down on the counter.  ‘Should I give this guy the hot dog gratis or not?’

There was an uncomfortably long pause and finally, “Aww, that’ll be a buck five.”

I finished the wiener as I walked to the car. I did not even break stride.  I did not, in fact, use the two packets of ketchup.

Tonight we celebrate an anniversary. On October 31st, 2013 I took top prize in a neighborhood chili cook-off.  Best-Day-Ever.  I’ll try to defend the crown with this humble little number.


1 T olive oil

2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, chopped

4 cloves garlic smashed

1 C diced sweet red pepper

1 C chopped diced green pepper

1 C diced yellow pepper

¼ C diced jalapeno

2 T chili powder

1 t cumin

1 t coriander

1 t paprika

4 dried chipotles, rehydrated

2 dried guajilla peppers, rehydrated

1 C prepared coffee

¼ C bourbon

2 T brown sugar

1 ½ C tomato sauce

¼ C ketchup

¼ C barbecue sauce


  1. Fry chicken and garlic in oil until chicken is nearly cooked through.
  2. Add the peppers and saute for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the chili powder, cumin, coriander, paprika and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Blend the remaining ingredients in a blender until smooth.
  5. Add the blended mix to the pot and simmer for one hour.
Caffeine and Booze Halloween Chili

Caffeine and Booze Halloween Chili

Tasting Notes:

I dropped the chili off and took the kids trick-or-treating, thus skipping out on judging. Ah, priorities.  I am now back home and nursing frost bite. F- it is cold outside. I will need to thaw my hands and meander down the road to see how the judging went.  Regardless of the outcome of the contest.  I win.  Thanks for sharing a whole hell of a lot of chili with me, Mrs. Chili365.

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