Cincinnati Chili, well kind of

Tony and I had to leave at the same time yesterday.  As soon as we walked out the door, this cold wind smacked us in our faces.  I actually wore a coat yesterday!  You know why?  It was 13 degrees, but because of the wind, the radio said the wind chill was –6.  ON THE FIRST DAY OF SPRING!

Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be an end of our arctic air in sight – I don’t think we’ll even reach the 40’s until April.  I am so over winter!

I’ve written this before, but I usually bake 2-3 baked potatoes over the weekend just to have on hand.  They keep for a week in the fridge, if not longer.  Yesterday I made a breakfast potato boat.  Half a potato, scoop out the insides and then cook the potato with 1 egg, a slice of ham and baby spinach.  I put the potato skin in a separate bag and the egg mixture in a container.

When I got to work, I heated up the toaster oven to broil.  Stuffed the potato with the egg mixture, microwaved that for 1 minute, then topped with a sprinkle of cheese and broiled until the cheese melted.  Delish!

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I went to work out with my co-worker and he drove.  About 16 minutes into the workout he asked when I was going to be done.  His heel was hurting and he was just done.  So it was a quick workout – I did 30 minutes of 1:1 intervals – 1 minute at 6.0 mph and 1 minute of 3.0 and ended up doing 2.1 miles in 30 minutes.

Back when Tony and I were first married I could not make chili for shit.  We even had a party before we got married and had all of Tony’s friends over to meet me.  I made this giant pot of beef chili, spent all day on it, but it was super watery and didn’t resemble chili at all.

I believe I have come a long way in chili making!  My Buffalo Chicken Chili is one of the highest recipes on this blog, getting about 100 hits a day.   But Tony? He likes Cincinnati chili, simply for the fact that it doesn’t have beans in it!  So first time around, I serve it without beans, and since he doesn’t eat leftovers (much!), I added a can of black beans and kidney beans to the leftovers.  I haven’t figured out the calories for this one, but will update it soon.  This makes A LOT!

Cincinnati Chili


  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 cups of water
  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 5 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 can black beans, drained (about 2 cups)
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained (about 2 cups)

In a stock pot, put the meat and water in the bottom.  Let the water come to a boil, and using a wooden spoon, break up the ground beef.  Cook this down for about 15 minutes, adding any more water if it starts to evaporate, up to an additional cup.

Add remaining ingredients, stir and cook for 1 hour.  It thickens as it cooks.  Serve with cilantro, shredded cheese, sliced jalapenos and tortilla chips for dipping.

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The combination of flavors is really complex, you can taste the hint of cocoa powder, with the cinnamon and cloves, then a touch of sweetness with the honey.

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We had this for dinner over the weekend, I had a bowl and gave it to two of my co-workers yesterday and I probably still have 3 servings left to freeze!  #winning!

Remember the roast I marinated for Sunday Dinner?  Well, there was a lot leftover.  I am shocked as shit that Tony has actually been eating sliced roast beef sandwiches with the leftovers this week.   I ended up using the leftovers to make beef stroganoff, one of Tony’s favorite dishes. 

I had to redeem myself, because a couple weeks ago when I made sauerbraten, I told him I was making stroganoff.  Oops!  So I told him last night I was actually making stroganoff, and he said “well, I am cautiously optimistic that I’ll get that.”

I used the sauce from this blog since I was using leftover beef.  I really like the mustard paste called for in the recipe.

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After the sauce was made, I tossed in the beef just to heat through – about 2 minutes.  My dinner pictures turned out like ass – I had the completely wrong setting, so I am stealing Joelen’s picture – thank you!


The verdict?  Tony loved it!  Exactly the taste he was missing with the sauerbraten dish! Open-mouthed smile

I forgot to tell you guys the birthday loot I got!  My PIL gave me a Bed, Bath & Beyond gift certificate.  My boss gave me a Visa card, and Tony gave me all this loot – the big gift was the Modern Wave gift card to the local hair salon/spa by our house.  I need a hair cut desperately.  Now that I am middle aged, I can’t have hair longer than my shoulders – maybe I’ll get it cut short?!

bday 002

That Coppola wine?  It’s called Claret, and if you ever need to bring a nice bottle of wine to someone, get that one – its delicious and super affordable at $15 a bottle.

The best though was the card Tony got me!  Lyle the Squirrel!!

bday 003

It looks just like him!


Alright – I have to take Chobani banana muffins out of the oven, shower, get dressed, make coffee and leave the house in 15 minutes – totally doable! 

Make it a great day!


33 thoughts on “Cincinnati Chili, well kind of

  1. Well if you’re going to be freezing, that chili looks like the perfect meal. And I am impressed with your speediness, I thought I was a fast one out the door, I think you have me beat.

  2. myjourneytofit

    Lyle is SO posing for you in that picture – what a ham!

    Just curious…why can’t you have hair longer than your shoulders now that your middle-aged? (says the one who is older than you with hair way past her shoulders…)

    • Well Shelley, if I had thick hair like you I would keep it longer, but mine is so thin, it just doesn’t look good long at my age. You are beautiful my dear – no worries! 😀

  3. Yayy chili. I think it may be one of my most favorite foods. Tony would be sad to learn that I like the veg version…very heavy in beans :). The squirrel card is totally perfect. I am amazed how fast you get read!

  4. The squirrels, real and card are both adorable! I’ve never had Cincinnati chili before but it sounds good. I always make the one that’s a knock off of Wendys’.

  5. Love the flavor in that chili. Your 15 minutes must last longer than mine or you are really a superwoman. we’ll go with that!

  6. LOL that card is too cute! It was snowing this morning and I all I kept thinking was…isn’t it supposed to be Spring? WTF?

  7. Weighting For 50

    OMG, Lyle and the card?? So funny. Bring on spring!!! Hear that Mother Nature??? (aren’t I threatening??) Have a wonderful Thursday Vat.

  8. That Coppola Claret is yummy! So does Cincinnati Chili simply mean without beans. I love beans in chili! I like the idea of some of the other ingredients you listed: worcestershire sauce and balsamic! That’s got to add some great flavor.

  9. My husband doesn’t do beans either. So when you make the chili sans beans do you just omit the beans, or do you need to proportion out the other ingredients? Thanks, Biz!

  10. I will give that wine a try! I bought a can of ‘skyline’ chili and Tom even tried it, because it had no beans. The cinnamon-y flavor sort of threw him off but I really liked it.

  11. I agree with Tony, NO BEANS 🙂 I have had Cincinnati Chili on the brain…bought ground beef today to have it next week!

  12. Chili with cocoa powder? Sounds interesting and good. Tonight for dinner I am making those rolled up chicken parm balls that were on your blog yesterday along with roasted vegetables. So I better get cutting before “Idol” comes on. 🙂

    • Let me know how you like it! I am just about to watch Idol from the DVR – I haven’t heard them sing yet and so far I haven’t stumbled across anything that tells me who got voted off. 😀

      • Ummmm…..those rolled up chicken parm balls were delicious, a keeper for sure. Most certainly will make them again. Didn’t put them on a bun, just ate them as is along with a salad. Good meal tonight for me. Now I have to figure out what will go along with JP’s dinner when he gets home at 1:00am.

        Thought for sure Laraso was going to be voted off tonight, but I am glad he is on for another week…….looks like to me the girls have it this year.

  13. Ummmm why has it taken me so long to hear about this buffalo chicken chili!? This will be on my upcoming weeks meal plan.

    And I’m SO sorry about the cold. At this point I firmly believe it’s inhumane.

    • I guess I’ve been holding out Courtney! Its a recipe for 2010, which is probably why you haven’t seen it! Hope you are enjoying the WARM weather where you are!

  14. Loving the squirrel card!!! I think you’d look great with a super short cut! Can’t wait to see it!

  15. This is a page full of deliciousness, Biz! I’ve got to try those potato boats.

  16. Your Cincinnati chili sounds awesome. I have seen that many times on Diner’s, Drive-in’s and Dives. They serve it like 5 different ways! Covered with cheese, over spaghetti and I forget what else. It always looks and sounds so good though 🙂

  17. Haha, the card is super cute! I’m also loving this chili. I made chili the other day, but it turned out kind of..meh. I should have seen this earlier!

  18. So … since Hannah left the house, didn’t you have a spare room?
    I want to come and live with you because I love, love your meals. You are such an inspiring cook to me.

    I hear you on Winter, I’m totally done with it too. This weekend wil be one of our coldest ever round this time of year. This has been such a long and cold winter, it is really getting to my mood by now. I don’t want to do anything anymore, one of the reasons I don’t blog that much, don’t want to be negative all the time.

  19. Mmmm, I love Cincinnati chili…it was always a treat when we went to visit my Aunt and Uncle in Cincy as a kid! 🙂

  20. Who says you can’t have longer hair when you are middle aged? I refuse to ever give up my length!!

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