Cincinnati “Skyline” Chili

This recipe has been in my family for almost 30 years! This spiced meat sauce is cooked for at least 4 hours and then served over spaghetti. Traditional toppings include cheddar cheese, diced onions, oyster crackers, and beans (we skip the beans).


It is absolutely gorgeous in Kansas right now. I took a drive the other day and had to pull over to capture this rainbow on a sunny day. So perfect!


I just love these hills.  Deep breath.


Despite the beautiful, understated view, I have not been feeling very inspired to post recently.

There are a couple of reasons for this:

1. I’m dieting. Sort of. The baby’s half birthday came and passed. Along with that came the realization that I won’t have the metabolism of a breastfeeding mother forever. My goal is to reach the healthy BMI range, and I still have about 12% of my body weight to lose. Ug.

2. Flu season started early, and I was the only person healthy in my house. Let me tell you about how much leisurely free time I had to cook and write. None. Yup.

3. I haven’t felt inspired. My produce service was temporarily stopped. I tried some new foods, but I wasn’t happy with the results. I’m in a creative rut.


Finally, I had an idea. A non diet friendly idea, but that’s ok once in a while.


Instead of a new recipe, why not turn to one of the oldest recipes in my possession?


I was born in Cincinnati. My parents lived there while my dad attended grad school and my mom taught inner city. Then they whisked me on a tour of the country that ended in a red brick house in Kansas.


But my story started in Cincinnati, and I LOVE this chili.

There’s nothing quite like Cincinnati’s Skyline Chili. Just take a look at the ingredient list, and that’s evident.

Just try it. You won’t be sorry!


  • 1 quart cold water
  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp allspice
  • 2 medium onions, minced
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 box spaghetti
  • Cheddar cheese, oyster crackers, diced onion for toppings


  1. In a large pot, crumble the  raw hammer into the water.
  2. Add everything else.
  3. Simmer for 4 hours, stirring occasionally.
  4. Drain/scoop off excess  water and grease. Cook spaghetti per package instructions.
  5. Serve  over spaghetti with desired toppings.

Fajita Tacos

A combination of fajita’d veggies and ground beef, this fun, single pan recipe is perfect for a weeknight dinner. Quick to make and quick to clean up!  The lightly seasoned meat allows the flavor of grassfed beef to shine through.  Top with any of your favorite taco or fajita ingredients!

Call this Kansas girl naive, but I still can’t believe that I bought this ground beef from an actual bow-legged cowboy.

I have been attempting to use local meats and produce, and the grass-fed beef tent at my local farmer’s market caught my eye.

I have been aware of the benefits of grassfed beef for a while. First off, it’s leaner. So lean, I ended up with a burned layer stuck to the bottom of the pan. Secondly, it’s nutritious! Who knew grass was the key to antioxidants and nutritious omega 3’s? Lastly, our family doesn’t eat much meat. In the end, we felt that it was worth the $6/lb price, since we only needed that one pound for the week.  That’s right, we typically only buy about a pound of meat or less a week, and we’re completely fine with that.

So we gave grassfed a try. I’m actually pleased with my $2 investment. This ground beef was an entirely different product!  I can’t wait to pat this stuff down into a burger patty someday. But for now, I settled on some simple one pot fajita tacos. Perfect solution to our Tuesday hunger pains.

Ok, honesty time, because I have a big confession. I don’t like grocery store taco seasoning. AT ALL. I find it a little overpowering in all the wrong ways and unnecessarily high in sodium.  I just sprinkled a bit of cumin and chili powder on the meat.  And I seasoned the heck out of the peppers while they sautéed. Even added a bit of this. Love this stuff!


The Chipotle Chile Pepper seasoning is an impulse buy gone right.  I picked it up when the store was completely out of cayenne once, and it has served me well for years (and is the secret ingredient in many a spicy dish).

When the peppers were almost cooked, I added a fresh clove if garlic, crushed. There is nothing sadder than burning the garlic, in my opinion. So wait until you think the peppers are about done.

Top with your favorite taco toppings. We went with romaine lettuce and salsa.  We’re experimenting with a dairy-free diet for now (oh the joys of breastfeeding). Otherwise, we may have added a few more toppings. Do not use the “C” word around us! We’re still going through withdrawal.


Honestly, the texture was perfect, and I didn’t miss those toppings.

Enjoy! Let me know what you think!


  • 1 lb hamburger
  • 3-4 small bell peppers
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp Chipotle spice


  1. Brown the hamburger. Slice the green peppers into strips.
  2. Set hamburger aside and dust with cumin.
  3. Add oil and peppers to the skillet. Cook over a medium to medium high heat. If you are using corn fed beef, you probably want to cook this in a separate pan. Or embrace the choleaterol-y goodness of cooking peppers in the ground beef grease. I would be tempted to.
  4. When the peppers are softer but not quite done, add garlic to the pan. Toss tortillas into the microwave to warm per package instructions.
  5. Fill tortillas with beef and peppers, top with your favorite things, and serve immediately. Recipe serves 3-4.