52 - Twenty Two

Chili with a twist – serve it on pasta.  This recipe has been around a long time, although I first heard about it from my friend DiAnne.  So it’s DiAnne’s Cincinnati Chili. 


So good, great for cold weather during Bowl Season.



DiAnne’s Cincinnati Chili


1 ½ lb ground beef

2 cups onions, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2 – 15 oz cans tomato sauce

3 cups water

4 tsp unsweetened cocoa

3 tsp chili powder

1 tsp salt

½ tsp ground allspice

½ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp cumin

¼ tsp ground red pepper

3 tsp cider vinegar


12 oz cooked spaghetti


2 cans kidney beans


Red onion, chopped (garnish)

Cheddar cheese, grated (garnish)

Oyster crackers (garnish)


Crumble beef into a large non-stick skillet and cook over medium/high heat.  Add chopped onion.  Cook, mixing with a large spoon to break up meat, until beef is browned.  Add garlic, tomato sauce, water, cocoa, chili powder, salt, allspice, cinnamon, cumin, red pepper and vinegar.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer slowly, uncovered, one (1) hour.  Stir occasionally and add more water as necessary to make consistency of a meat sauce.


Spoon sauce over cooked spaghetti

2 way – add cheese

3 way – add cheese and onions

4 way – add cheese, onions and beans


Serve with Oyster crackers.




52 - Twenty One

It’s winter so it’s Bowl Season!  And what’s better in a bowl than chili?  This Spicy Buffalo Chili is a Diner favorite.


By the way, this is an award winning chili in at least two (2) counties!



Spicy Buffalo Chili


2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp butter

2 lbs ground turkey

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken chopped into bite sized pieces

3 cloves garlic, chopped

4 celery ribs, chopped

2 medium onions, chopped

2 carrots, grated

1 – 4 oz can chopped jalapenos

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp coriander

2 tsp chili powder

½ tsp cayenne powder

1 – 12 oz bottle pale ale beer

1 cup buffalo sauce (Frank’s Red Hot works well)

2 – 15 oz cans tomato sauce


Crumbled blue cheese (garnish)

Green onions finely chopped (garnish)


Heat a Dutch oven over high heat.  Add olive oil and butter, melt.  Add chicken and turkey, break up and cook meat until well done.  Add garlic, celery, onions, carrots and jalapenos.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, add cumin, coriander, chili powder, cayenne; cook vegetables until soft.  Add beer and scrape any brown bits off bottom of pan.  Cook over medium/high heat about five (5) minutes.  Stir in hot sauce and tomato sauce.  Reduce heat to low and simmer until chili is done, at least 30 minutes.  Makes one gallon.



52 - Twenty

Art’s Special Sauce.  When I make this sauce once or twice a year, the Diner smells amazing, my taste buds wait anxiously in anticipation, and I think of my friend Art all day long.  Art will live forever through is sauce.


Art’s Special Sauce
(as Art wrote it July 18, 1998)

3 - #2 cans tomato sauce

3 - #2 cans tomato puree

3 - #2 cans crushed tomatoes

3 onions, processed (chopped finely)

1 cup processed garlic (I don’t ever use this much, but still a healthy portion)

2 lbs good ground beef

1 lb ground pork (try ground Italian sausage)

10 mushrooms processed (I use a grated zucchini instead)

½ cup Italian parsley, minced

3 green onions, minced

1 carrot grated (for sugar)

1 tbsp oregano, dry or fresh

1 cup red wine

1 – 2 Basil leaves, fresh or dry

(Olive oil, salt, pepper)


1.    Fry beef and pork and drain, set aside.

2.    Mince onions and garlic.

3.    In pot, cover bottom with coast of olive oil, sauté onions and garlic ‘til limp.

4.    Add meat to onions and garlic, and add all liquids; stir and add all other ingredients; salt and pepper to taste; add up to one #2 can of hot water

5.    Stir often; cook on low heat just a bubble for five or six hours.


Note 1– the #2 cans are the 28 ounce cans

Note 2 – Art showed me that the way to get everything out of the #2 cans the tomatoes came in was to put the cup of wine in one and slosh around, pour the liquid in the next can, etc.  When you get done with the last can you will have a very thick wine, but have gathered the majority of the tomatoes left in the cans.



52 - Ninteen

This mac and cheese is featured at Holly’s Diner just once a year, always around the holidays.  This is the richest, creamiest, most decadent mac and cheese…although I think I may add bacon next time around.


Macaroni and Cheese 101, Martha Stewart style

Serves 12

8 tablespoons (l stick) unsalted butter, plus more for casserole

6 slices good white bread, crusts removed, torn into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces

5 1/2, cups milk

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons salt, plus more for water

¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg

¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

4 1/2 cups (about 18 ounces) grated sharp white cheddar cheese

2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated Gruyere or 1/4 cups (about 5 ounces) grated Pecorino Romano cheese

1 pound elbow macaroni


Preheat oven to 375˚. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish; set aside. Place bread in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Pour melted butter into the bowl with the bread; toss. Set the bread crumbs aside.


Warm milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Melt remaining butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.


While whisking, add hot milk a little at a time to keep mixture smooth. Continue
cooking, whisking constantly, until mixture bubbles and thickens, 8 to 12 minutes.


Remove pan from heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, peppers, 3 cups cheddar cheese,
and 1 1/2 cups Gruyere (or I cup Pecorino Romano); set the cheese sauce aside.


Cover a large pot of salted water, and bring to a boil. Cook the macaroni until
the outside of pasta is cooked and the inside is underdone,
2 to 3 minutes. Transfer macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well.  Stir the macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce.


Pour mixture into prepared dish. Sprinkle remaining cheddar and Gruyere (or
Pecorino) and bread crumbs over top. Bake until golden, about 30 minutes. Transfer dish to a wire rack for 5 minutes; serve.