cincinnati chili

I’ve never had Cincinnati Chili before and it hasn’t been until recently that I’ve even been tempted to try.

But when Bon Appétit featured a story about different regional chili recipes, it wasn’t the Squash and Black Bean California-inspired Chili that caught my eye, it was the thinner Cincy Chili, customarily served over spaghetti that had me add chili to next weeks menu. Proud? Not exactly. But totally honest.

It was delicious. And although you may scoff at the idea of adding cocoa and cinnamon (like the Taster), I promise it doesn’t taste sweet. :) I wasn’t initially crazy about serving it over spaghetti, but with all of the appropriate toppings it was an amazingly filling meal. Best served with a salad.

Cincinnati Chili - 4 hearty servings - inspired by Bon Appétit

  • 2 white onions, chopped (reserve 1/2 – 1 cup for topping)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1.5 lbs ground beef (I used 90% lean)
  • 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp hot chili powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 4 servings spaghetti (I used a quinoa/corn pasta)
  • shredded cheese for topping
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Chop onions and garlic. Don’t forget to reserve some onions for topping the chili.

Heat olive oil in large pot…… add onions; saute until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Add garlic; stir for about 1 minute.

Add ground beef; cook until brown, breaking into pieces, about 10 minutes.

Add all spices, apple cider vinegar and tomato paste. Stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for about an hour.

Serving Options:

In Cincinnati, there are 5 different options for serving.

  1. Plain
  2. Two Way: Chili and Spaghetti
  3. Three Way: Chili, Spaghetti and Cheddar Cheese
  4. Four Way: Chili, Spaghetti, Cheddar Cheese and Onions
  5. Five Way: Chili, Spaghetti, Cheddar Cheese, Onions and Kidney Beans

But in my house, the Five Way is the only way to go. I just can’t imagine it any other way.

The real question is fork or spoon? We went with forks but any Cincy people know what it is served with? Or does it depend on how you order it?

celestial seasonings tea time tweetup

I can’t imagine life without tea.

Thankfully I have no need to, but it really is something that I enjoy every single day. I drink tea throughout the morning, day and evening. And for so many reasons. I drink tea because it’s comforting, it’s full of antioxidants, to relax, for caffeine, to help me feel better, to keep me warm, to stop mindless munching and because I just plain like it!

Which is why I’m excited to announce that I’ll be moderating a Celestial Seasonings Tea Time Tweetup next week and I would love for you to join!

RSVP to the Tweetup and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a case of Gen Mai Cha Green Tea! The Gen Mai Cha Green Tea is a special one – and I just love the story behind it. It has a very distinct toasted rice flavor, which sounds a little odd, but is actually very satisfying.

“Green tea was scarce in postwar Japan, so peasant farmers added toasted brown rice to extend their supplies. Today, Gen Mai Cha (or “brown rice tea”) is enjoyed around the world. Our version combines antioxidant-rich green tea, nutty toasted rice and a traditional powdered green tea called matcha to create a delicious blend suitable for everyone – rich or poor.” —Charlie Baden, Celestial Seasonings Blendmaster Since 1975

Tweetup Details:

February 22nd

9:00 pm EST

RSVP today!



Celestial Seasonings has also offered one reader the opportunity to win a sample of Decaf Sleepytime Lemon Jasmine Green Tea, Celestial Seasonings Honey Sticks, Lip Balm and a Tea Caddy. Simply “Like” them on Facebook or “Follow” them on Twitter and leave me a comment letting me know you did so! I’ll choose the winner next Tuesday after the Tweetup!


Edited to Add: Congratulations #3, Holly! picked you!


in my cupboard: seeds of change rice & beans

Some inventions are just plain smart.

Like fully seasoned rice and beans, that take just 90 seconds in the microwave. That are organic. And tasty.

Sure, I love homemade brown rice, but I don’t always have the 40 minutes it takes to make it. Part of my slowing down efforts are not spending so much time making lunches (it was getting a bit ridiculous) so I’m turning to quick meals like these to get me through the week.

This long grain brown rice is ready in minutes, and when paired with some chicken sausage and veggies I’ve got an easy meal that is perfect to take to work. The flavor is great, but this truly is all about convenience.

What are your thoughts on microwavable products like these? Love? Hate? Do you use them?

hawaiian breakfast

Have some leftover brown rice? I’ve got the breakfast for you.

It combines protein, fiber, whole grains and most importantly in my book, has wonderful flavor.

I wish I could tell you that I had this breakfast on a sunny trip to Hawaii, complete with a picture of the Taster and I on the beach.

In actuality, I had this breakfast at my Aunt & Uncle’s cabin, up North. :)

But no matter what kind of beach you’re near – it will be delicious.

Hawaiian Breakfast - 2 servings

  • 2 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 cup leftover brown rice
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 eggs

Heat large pan over medium heat. Add bacon to pan and cook until bacon is brown. Add rice, onion and soy and sesame oil to pan and toss.

Prepare eggs to preference and serve over rice.