Cheryl Norman Shares Her Hasty Tasty RV Meals


Cheryl NormanGood morning roosters and chicklets! Please welcome Cheryl Norman to the kitchen! If you dream of some day traveling across the U.S. in an RV, having Cheryl’s cookbook sure will make meal planning a breeze!

The Traveling Cook

I believe recreating dishes from other regions is the next best thing to travel. Tastes, aromas, and presentation of regional foods can transport diners to another time and place. This conviction drove me to write a cookbook with recipes I created or collected based on dishes from our travels. King Ranch chicken casserole takes us back to Texas. Grilled wild Alaska salmon reminds us of the salmon bake in Fairbanks, Alaska. Lamb with mint sauce reminds us of our diner meals in New Jersey. My Hasty Tasty RV Meals (Yes, all the dishes were prepared in my tiny motor home kitchen) offers readers a culinary tour of North America.

Recreating beloved dishes comes in handy when there’s no available substitute. For example, there is no Skyline Chili or Gold Star Chili where I live (Northeast Florida). In fact, most people around here don’t know what I’m talking about when I say I love Cincinnati-style chili. To enjoy a fix of this regional favorite, I spent two days in the laboratory—er, kitchen—recreating the dish. First efforts were labor-intensive. But in true “Hasty Tasty Meals” fashion, I developed shortcuts. The final version of my recipe is included in the Midwest section of Hasty Tasty RV Meals.

If you, too, are unfamiliar with Cincinnati-style chili, give my recipe a try.

Cincinnati Chili


1 pound lean ground beef or lean ground turkey

2 cups water or broth

1 cup frozen diced onion

1 Tbsp. minced garlic

2 Tbsp. garam masala*

1 tsp. allspice

1 tsp. chili powder

1 Tbsp. cocoa powder

1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1 15-oz can tomato sauce

2 cups cooked whole wheat spaghetti

1 can small red beans, rinsed and drained (Optional  for topping)

1 cup diced onion (Optional for topping)

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (Optional for topping)


Cook ground beef in the water or broth over medium heat in a large (4 quart) saucepan.

When the beef is cooked, add onion and garlic. Stir.

Add the spices, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, and tomato sauce. Stir and bring to a boil.

Lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Remove the sauce from heat. Serve over cooked whole wheat spaghetti and add optional toppings if desired.

Five-way chili is topped with cheese, onions, and beans. Four-way is topped with two of the three, etc.

Yield: Serves 4

Store leftover sauce (in an airtight container) in the freezer for up to four months.

*Garam masala is a spice blend. Or make your own as follows:


1 Tablespoon ground cumin

1 ½  teaspoons ground coriander

1 ½  teaspoons ground cardamom

1 ½  teaspoons ground pepper

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½  teaspoon ground cloves

½  teaspoon ground nutmeg


Combine all ingredients and mix well. Store in a cool, dry place in an airtight container


Hasty Tasty RV MealsBIO: Cheryl Norman loves to write, cook, and travel in an RV. She hit all three favorites when she wrote her new cookbook, HASTY TASTY RV MEALS. Her latest novel is RUNNING OUT OF TIME, a time travel romance soon to be released from Turquoise Morning Press. All her books are available from Amazon and other online bookstores. For more about Cheryl, visit and

Do you have any memorable meals from your travels? If so, what’s your favorite?


This entry was posted in Cookbook, Guests, Lis'Anne, Meat, Pasta, Recipes, Traditional Soups & Salads and tagged , , , , , , , , by conniecockrell. Bookmark the permalink.

About conniecockrell

A 20-year Air Force career, time as a manager at a computer operations company, wife, mother, sister and volunteer, provides a rich background for Connie Cockrell’s story-telling. Cockrell grew up in upstate NY, just outside of Gloversville, NY before she joined the military at age 18. Having lived in Europe, Great Britain, and several places around the United States, she now lives in Payson, AZ with her husband: hiking, gardening, and playing bunko. She writes about whatever comes into her head so her books could be in any genre. She's published sixteen books so far, has been included in five different anthologies and been published on and Connie's always on the lookout for a good story idea. Beware, you may be the next one. She can be found at or on Facebook at: or on Twitter at: @ConnieCockrell or on Amazon at

40 thoughts on “Cheryl Norman Shares Her Hasty Tasty RV Meals

  1. Hi, Cheryl. Welcome to our kitchen! I’ve heard of putting cocoa powder in chili, but I never would have thought to add garam masala. I guess it’s the easy way to get a depth of flavor, eh?

    Most of my truly memorable eats are desserts — I still remember the banana cream cheesecake I had from Cheesecake Factory at RWA Nationals in Anaheim last summer, and the carrot cake cheesecake from Junior’s across from our hotel in NYC in 2011. To be honest, I also remember the Reuben sandwich I got from a real NY deli around the corner, too.

    Since I’m Crock Pot Crazy, I have to ask: Do you ever use a slow cooker in the RV?

    • Arlene,
      I use a Crock Pot at home, but prefer the slow cooker for the RV. It’s lighter in weight and not breakable. The Gourmet Slo-cooker is a four-quart stainless steel pot that sets on an electric base. I get the same if not better results than from the Crock Pot because it forms a vapor seal (as long as I don’t lift the lid to peek and break the seal!). The added bonus to traveling with the slow cooker is I can take the smaller two-quart pot to use with it, too.

      As for desserts, I’m right there with you! I’ll never forget the awesome bread pudding with bourbon sauce I had in New Orleans at the 2001 RWA conference! Every time I visit Louisville, I try to find some Derby Pie®.

      • LOL Arlene and Lis’Anne. I learned the hard way (via an editor for one of my novels) that Crock Pot is a registered trademark of Rival. Not all crockery slow cookers are Crock Pots. And not all slow cookers are crockery.

      • Ah, yes. The dreaded registered trademark. That’s why, in the newspaper, we have to capitalize Dumpster (or call it “large metal trash container” — and that doesn’t fit well in a one-column headline. 😉

  2. WOW that chili has a lot of ingredients. … I think I have all of them at home. I may have to try them the next time I make chili.

    My favorite traveling food memories are of New Orleans. Shrimp etouffee, po’boys, muffuletta (even though I ABHOR olives), even the cafe au lait and beigents. I have yet been able to find suitable facsimiles.

    And what a fun cookbook!

    • I, too, enjoy New Orleans food, Abigail. As for all the ingredients, maybe I should’ve explained that this is not chili in the Tex-Mex sense. This is more like a pasta dish with Greek flavors. My husband isn’t fond of it at all and says it shouldn’t be called chili. LOL I love it, but I will admit Cincinatti style chili is a different animal.

  3. Darn, I was hoping your recipe would say, “Simmer for ten miles…” 😉 But anyone who’s traveled around the DC Beltway knows, depending on the time or day, 10 miles could take hours. 😉 Thanks for sharing the recipes! I’ll make a gift of your book for my dad. My parents had an RV to travel from NY to FL and they sold it recently and are considering another one. This would be great!

    My favorite road food of all time was Po’ Boys in South Carolina when I was a kid. I’m sure it was because the food was great but even more so, the company was so much fun. My grandparents lived there, and whenever we could, my family and my cousins’ family, plus our grandparents, would go there for dinner. We moaned in pleasure over the hush puppies and teased my dad endlessly about his love for chicken livers. They were “blech!” to us kids but my dad loved loved loved them. I’m not sure the place still exists. Next time I’m driving down south, I’ll have to check.

    There’s also In n’ Out Burger when I was in Las Vegas. I’m not much of a gambler but I swear I’d go back just for that. (Even though I’m a vegetarian. It’d be worth it.)

    • I know In an’ Out Burger! They are also in California. Maybe other western states. I am not a vegetarian but limit my red meat to one serving a week. (Why I make the chili with ground turkey) I’d gladly make my one weekly serving an In an’ Out Burger!

  4. I was just thinking of trying something new and your chili recipe sounds like a great one, Cheryl.

    My favorite travel food is pralines made fresh in Savannah. Nothing is as heavenly as strolling along the river, while eating the warm confection. 🙂

    Your cookbook sounds fabulous!

    • Yes, chili is sometimes served over spaghetti, but what Steak ‘n Shake serves isn’t Cincinnati Chili. For that you need a Skyline Chili (it’s sometimes called Greek Chili, too). The seasonings are quite different from Southwest chili dishes. Also, a Texan told me real cowboy chili NEVER has beans or spaghetti. LOL

      • As my newspaper’s food editor, I’ve judged the local Route 66 Chili Cookoff several times. Those International Chili Society folks are very specific: No fillers, which both beans and pasta are.

        Of course, as an Indiana girl, I grew up eating chili with both beans and elbow macaroni in it. That was my mom’s specialty: A pound of hamburger, a chopped onion, a can of Brooks brand chili beans and a store-bought packet of chili seasoning.

      • Arlene, I often use elbow macaroni to stretch leftover Tex Mex chili and call it Chili Mac.

        I’m a Route 66 junkie and would love to attend that festival sometime. My husband and I have been to various spots along Route 66, and I’ve written two novellas for the ROMANCE ON ROUTE 66 anthology, if you’re interested. I also have a couple of Route 66 cookbooks.

  5. Cheryl, thank you for hanging out with the Chicklets today! Your chili recipe sounds so good – I know my guys will love it!

    When we lived in Indiana, every summer we’d take the boys to Holiday World in Santa Claus, IN for a long weekend, hitting the amusement and water park two days in a row. We’d always time it just right so on the way home we could stop in Jasper, IN at the Schnitzelbank Restaurant. The food was amazing. I always got the German sampler platter with weiner schnitzel, goulash, and a bratwurst. We would share an order of their chicken livers. Oh my gosh, the German fries were awesome, too! We always had way too much food and had to ask for several doggie bags (as if I’d give it to our dog!).

    My favorite was the goulash and I did try to recreate it at home. Mine was good, but not nearly as good as theirs. I think I’ll give it another go. 🙂

    • I’ll check it out. My husband has a lot of family in the Henderson, KY / Evansville, IN area, and I do know where Jasper is. I love all those dishes, and sauerbraten, too.

      If you travel through the north Georgia mountains, check out Helen. It’s an adorable Alpine village rich with Bavarian cuisine. We’ve visited several times in September/October during their Oktoberfest. What fun!

      • I’ve never had sauerbraten. I looked it up on Bing and now I want it, too!

        I’ll check out Helen, GA – it sounds like a really cool place to make a detour through on our way back home one of these times. Thanks!

      • Lis’Anne, I have a recipe for a pressure cooker sauerbraten if you’re interested. Or maybe I should save that for an October post? 😉

      • An October post would be awesome! I’ll pencil you in for the first Monday. 😉

        I used to cook all the time with a pressure cooker until one unfortunate episode. The pressure plug blew. Roast and broth literally rained down all over my kitchen. I was slipping and sliding, trying to hang onto the counter! What a mess. I never did find that red plug. LOL

      • I have two pressure cookers (3 pots, 2 tops) and used them constantly, but then I bought a set of good quality cookware (that stainless-over-aluminum minimum-moisture made-in-USA stuff that costs a lot). I use it daily and my pressure cookers have fallen out of favor. I seem to get more flavor from “low and slow.” Your story is a scary one. Fortunately I had no such accidents.

    • I didn’t know you were from Indiana. Sounds like southern Indiana, if you hung out in Santa Claus. I went to college at University of Evansville, but grew up near Fort Wayne.

      • Arlene, I’m from Louisville, where I attended the University of Louisville. The men’s basketball team won the NCAA championship this week and the women’s team were runners up. I’m a mighty proud cardinal!

      • Wow! How did we not know this about each other? And I didn’t know you live in Arizona now!

        Actually, I grew up east of Indianapolis in a little town made famous by the Kopper Kettle Inn restaurant – . Santa Claus was about 3 hours or so away, but Holiday World is the best little amusement/water park we’ve ever been to, imho. 🙂 My step-mom’s family is from Evansville!

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