Chocolate chili?

Over the summer, Frank and I visited several cities; including Tulsa, Indianapolis, Detroit and Cleveland. In 3:4 of those cities, we had a local chili dog! Now, Frank is really more of the sausage person…oh the irony of that sentence. I enjoy a good hot dog every now and again though, so I was along for the ride. The “other” hot dog stories are for another time though or might get rambly.

During our stay in Indianapolis, Frank insisted that we visit his favorite wiener joint, Skyline Chili. The chain originates in Cincinnati and at this place, the chilli is the star of the show! What makes this place unique (besides CHOCOLATE and CINNAMON in the chili) is the vehicle they use to get it in your mouth. You can get the standard dog, fries or pasta! That’s right, Italy’s favorite carb and mine, spaghetti! The chili is also bean-less which is pretty standard when it is put on a sausage.

On this trip, I opted for the dog and Frank got his requisite five.

Mmmm chocolate and cinnamon-y

Frank’s friend Bob always gets the three-way (no really, that’s what it is called on the menu): chili, cheese and spaghetti. I was skeptical, but before I left Indiana I bought a canned-version of Skyline’s chili at a Meijer and tried this method at home. Omygosh!

That is what inspired last night’s dinner. I cooked up a version of the chili from a recipe I found online an altered a little bit. The original recipe that I used can be found here and here is what I did:

Gather LOTS of ingredients

Dust this guy off


  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 cup chopped onion + 1 cup grated onion
  • 3 cups beef stock + 1 Cup water
  • 2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 2 -3 tablespoons chili powder + a little dash extra
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 ounce grated bittersweet chocolate (I used Ghiradelli baking chocolate)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder + a dash extra
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon + a dash extra (1 tsp didn’t seem like enough and it has a distinct cinnamon flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 bay leaves


1. Combine everything into a crock pot. Set it and forget it! Cook for about 4 hours on high heat.

2. Use chili to top hot dog, sausage, pasta, Fritos, baked potato… etc.

3. Add lots of cheese (I used a cheddar/colby jack mix) and onions.

3. Try to stop yourself from going back for seconds!!

Things I might do differently next time 

1. Brown the meat first and drain off the fat. I used 80/20 ground beef and I didn’t think about all the extra fat until it was done cooking.

2. Use less liquid. Even though Skyline’s Chili is kind of runny, I ended up removing about 1/2 the liquid half way through the cooking time because there was too much.

3. Order a can of Skyline Chili to compare it to. The chili isn’t available here so I’m hoping it can be special ordered! The flavor was similar, but the texture was off. I’d like to have a Pepsi v Coke style challenge to see what else could be altered.

Bottom line: this dinner was Delicious! Even though it wasn’t exactly Skyline, I’d still say it was a hit and I definitely plan to make it again!


I Smell Ham!

I was a little relieved when I found out the Lions game was not being broadcast here in Denver today. I had my work schedule changed and ended up working today, so at least I knew I wasn’t missing out on anything. (Incase you were wondering, they won, Finally!) Wonder how Ndomokong felt sitting on the sidelines thanks to this little Thanksgiving Day tantrum.


On the way home from work I stopped by the store to pick up some fixins for tonight and tomorrow’s dinners as well as some treats I will likely bake tomorrow. Pictures to come! Walmart was JAM packed!! I generally do not care for Walmart for that very reason, damn their low, low prices.


Tonight’s dinner was a little festive and inspired by a Guy Fieri special on the Food Network last night: Baked ham with a Cranberry Curry glaze, served with mashed potatoes and corn.

Since I don’t bother with recipes most of the time, I gathered the likely ingredients and set to work. The ham was pre-cooked so that just went in the oven. Frank was sweet enough to peel and chop potatoes while I was driving home so those were set to boil.

The cranberry glaze was the most complicated (if you can call it that) part of this meal. I had purchased fresh cranberries so I could control the sugar added. I plopped those in a sauce pan with some water, covered them up and let them get to a rolling boil. Stirring occasionally was all it took to end up with a thick sauce. I added a few dashes of curry powder for a little spice. Here is what we ended up with!


I’m hoping tomorrow is a cooking and baking day! I’m really excited to take a first stab at recreating one of our favorite midwest restaurant’s specialties. I’ll give you a hint, the dish may be common, but this city’s chocolate and cinnamon twist make it unique!