Tag Archives: cincinnati

It’s All About the Chili

I had no idea when we moved to Cincinnati that chili would be such a

big deal.

It always seemed western to me,  and  southern – southwestern southern, but never eastern.

So, imagine my surprise when we moved in and discovered that not only is chile a big deal, but that Cincinnati has it’s own

famous chili.

I even found a recipe for Cincinnati Chili in my Taste of Home Cookbook!  There are chili fast food restaurants – Skyline is probably the most famous, but there’s also Gold Star, Empress Chili, and Dixie Chili  not to mention all the smaller non-chain chili restaurants.

There is even an entry in Wikipedia devoted entirely to Cincinnati chili.

What makes it so UNIQUE?

Well, it usually includes cinnamon, cloves or allspice (on occasion), and most notably – CHOCOLATE.

Yup! Chocolate!

I make my Cincinnati chili with a good dose of cocoa powder. It gives it a unique rich flavor that you either love or hate. Or maybe you hate to love.

There are a few other unique aspects –

You haven’t truly had a Cincinnati chili experience until you eat your chili served over


with a HUGE  helping of grated

cheddar cheese

on top.

You can order it other ways, but you might be considered an outcast. Friends and Co-workers were absolutely scandalized when they found out we had never had chili served on spaghetti before.

When people are talking about having a two-way, three-wayfour-way, or a five-way here, it’s all about the


It’s like a secret code – if you don’t know the hidden meaning you can get into A LOT of trouble.  I’ll break it down for you:

First there’s a bowl – you can order just a bowl of chili – kinda boring – but you can do it.

Then you can order a two-way – that would be chili and spaghetti

Three-way = chili, spaghetti, & cheese

Four-way= chili, spaghetti, cheese, & onions

Five-way= chili, spaghetti, cheese, onions, and beans (Cincinnati chili is traditionally made without beans, unless you’re going for the four-way – or request them.  Beans, beans, the magical fruit, the more you eat, the more you…  hey! in my defense I have kids!)

Now if you come visit me in Cincinnati you won’t


when hearing such scandalous terms flung around.

Finally, there’s the ever so popular


That would be a hotdog in a bun topped with chili – and even more popular is the cheesy coney – with – you guessed it –

CHEESE beautiful CHEESE! 

So you realize just how important cheese is to chili out here I will include a picture….

See what I mean?


Wallace (from Wallace & Grommit) would be in heaven here!

A few other chili tidbits – oyster crackers are a MUST, hot sauce is ALWAYS served on the side, and regular coneys are served with mustard and onions too.

So, now that you’re prepared for a visit…


okay, well at least let me give you the Cincinnati chili recipe I use – don’t forget the spaghetti & cheese! They are VERY important. (though, you do know it won’t taste as good unless your eating it with me in Cincinnati, right?)

2 pounds of ground beef

4 chopped onions

6 minced garlic cloves – don’t be afraid to use powdered garlic should you be out of garlic cloves – it works just fine

2 cans of red beans, rinsed and drained (now, if you’re not a bean lover, then leave them out and up the beef)

1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes

1/4 cup white vinegar

1/4 cup baking cocoa powder

chili powder (however you like it)

2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce

4 tsp cinnamon (I don’t usually put measurements on the spices because I figure that’s what TASTING is for – measurements are really more like guidelines anyway (think Pirates) and adjust away)

3 tsp dried oregano

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp ground allspice

2 tsp hot sauce

3 bay leaves

1 tsp sugar

salt and pepper if you want it – but I usually never add it

Hot cooked spaghetti

Shredded cheddar cheese (and if you’re feeling daring, sour cream (yum!), chopped tomatoes, and chopped onion – green or white, whatever you’ve got)

1) cook the meat, onions, & garlic – dutch oven, pot, frying pan – whatever (I use a frying pan because I’m a crock pot girl)

2) Add everything else and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 1-1/2 hrs or until heated through OR fling everything in a crockpot and let it sit all day. (just don’t forget to turn the crockpot on – that would be BAD)

3)Loose the bay leaves (kids ALWAYS get SO stressed over leaves floating in their soup – ha ha).  Serve your marvelous chili over spaghetti and throw buckets of cheese on top. And the other stuff too, if you want.

This recipe only makes 8 servings – SO,  I – having a large family ALWAYS double it and sometimes triple it. HAVE FUN!!!

And why did I make this post today?

Why it’s the Trunk or Treat & Chili cook off tonight!

What was that?

Am I making Cincinnati chili?



Not this time. I decided on my favorite white chicken chili – I’ll give you the recipe for that one another time.


(or maybe I’ll just stick it in the comments if you REALLY want it)

p.s. I never actually made chili from scratch until I moved to Cincinnati! My first me made chili was Cincinnati Chili and now, I am a chili making fiend…. thought I’d warn y’all. (I have no idea how that accent slipped in there, honest)


Filed under Food

Our Summer in Pictures Part 1

Okay, well our summer plus a little extra. 🙂

Liz’s Birthday – She had a reverse, upside down, inside out party 🙂

Liz B-day

Dot’s Birthday

Dot Birthday

We worked on clearing a trail in the woods in our back yard. Here are the beginning stages.

Yard Fixing

Jacob joined Cub Scouts and got to attend Tiger Treks

Tiger Treks

We explored the Clifton Mill and went hiking in Clifton Gorge

Clifton Collage 1

Clifton Collage 2

Clifton Collage 3

Clifton Collage 4

We went hiking at Shawnee Lookout

Shawnee Lookout Collage 1

Shawnee Lookout Collage 2

And we explored the Gorman Family Farm

Gorman Farm 1

Gorman Farm 2

Gorman Farm 3

We hiked around Clifty Falls State Park in Indiana

Clifty Falls 1

Clifty Falls 2

Clifty Falls 3

Clifty Falls 4

Jacob got to go to Twilight Camp – cub scout day camp that meets in the evenings. 🙂

Twilight Cub Camp 1

Twilight Cub Camp 2

Emily had her 9th birthday

Emily B-day

and Paul and I got to go on a couple tours exploring Cincinnati

Cincinnati 1

Cincinnati 2

Cincinnati 3


Filed under Bobert, Dot, Em, Family, Jacob, James, Lizy, Nature

Who’d have thunk?

When we moved to Cincinnati I thought things would be a certain way.

For example, I figured that I would get even more eyebrows and “four-headed alien” looks from people as we marched our brood around – especially going from five to six! I mean good grief, I was at the Oregon zoo once with just four and people were looking at me as though we belonged in the exhibit.

It doesn’t bother me. I know that large families are becoming a rare species, but I LOVE the chaos and hubub (I love the word) that rolls along with large families. Sure, we have to work harder to make ends meet, (we eat lots and LOTS of soup and casseroles because they stretch best), our kids go without gameboys and ipods and cell phones and brand spanking new name brand clothes, and they’ll probably have to work and pay their own way through college (makes them appreciate it more, right?).

But they have built in friends. People that will say, when no one else will, I’ve got your back. They have their own cheer squad, no one cheers louder than the kids during soccer games and band concerts (yes, we cheer at band concerts, but only at appropriate times, I promise). There are tough times. Goodness knows at least twice a weak I’m ready to sell my kids on the street corner in exchange for my sanity, but sanity is highly over-rated. (Have you ever noticed how only the insane people have fun?).

I pray and fret over my kids and how I am doing as a mother. I plead with Heavenly Father about how to help them in their struggles. But admist all the struggles and pleading and crying there is nothing sweeter than a baby’s smile, a two/three-year-old’s sloppy kiss, the five-year-old’s giant hug and “help” with the dishes, the 8-year-old’s laughing face at her dad’s latest joke, the ten-year-old’s sweet smile as we snuggle down for a story, and the eleven-year-old’s grin as you flop on the bed to have a heart-to-heart. Every moment is WORTH it.

Anyway, I digress, I love my family and I’ve gotten used to coming up with clever jokes to answer questions like, “are they all yours? (in a disparaging tone), and “you’re done right?” (which by the way we are, but that’s not the point). And I was expecting that out here – in fact, I was expecting MORE of that out here. I was gearing up to feeling like the bizaar zoo exhibit with my crew of awesome kids and the dissaproving glances.

But you know what? Out here in grand ol’ Cincinnati I haven’t had a single alien-headed look, I haven’t had one disaproving glance, and I haven’t even had to use one of my clever jokes yet! Not once! In fact, most people think it’s awesome. They came from a big family too! They might not want to have that many kids, but they think it’s pretty awesome that I do. I love that.

And there’s something else I never expected. Just a cool little thing that is bizaar in the most WONDERFUL way. Just one little half hour every Sunday morning at 8:00. Who would have thought it, but a radio station out here plays Music and the Spoken Word  from 8-8:30 every Sunday morning. And not just any radio station but a rowdy rock radio station? (and not Christian Rock either, which would make a little more sense somehow) How awesome is that? We can put CDs in and listen to all the church music we want, but there is just something awesome about flipping on our radio way out here in Cincinnati and listening to a re-broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word. It makes my heart happy. It makes my hubby grin. It lightens our home and we think, WOW, this is SO cool.

And then we rush to the radio at 8:30 to snap it off before the rock music starts blasting away the spirit. Hee hee.

So those are two things I NEVER expected out here. Pretty awesome, huh?

By the way, after I wrote this I looked up Music and the Spoken Word – they actually have it broadcast all over the place! If you want to find a station that plays it near you, go to the link and look up your state! 🙂


Filed under Every Day Life, Music, Opinion