Stef’s Cincinnati Chili Seasoning Mix

Stef’s Cincinnati Chili Seasoning Mix

Photo - 's Cincinnati Chili Seasoning Blend
… was first tried this fall after one of our besties and her partner invited us to enjoy a  bowl of homemade Cincinnati Chili.  My girlfriend loves a well-known seasoning blend, named after a restaurant chain, that is a bit hard to find hereabouts.  It’s also rather pricey to purchase online.

Being a woman who likes to mix her own, I decided to look it up.  And came across what seems to be the “first” version of Cincinnati Chili!  Along with a bit of it’s history.  (Check it out yourself.)

Oh the excitement!

So I made a batch, tweaked it to fit and voila!  A very satisfying portion of happiness.

However! The seasonings are many, so today, while pulling together a double batch to dine on tonight and freeze, in portions, for later, I decided to measure out a second portion of the dry seasonings to save for next time.

(I love cooking ONCE for multiple meals!)

In other words, I “packaged” my own Cincinnati Chili Seasoning Mix to keep handy in the cupbord!  🙂

Hope you like it!

Stef’s Cincinnati Chili Seasoning Mix

YIELD: Add to 1 double pot of Cincinnati Chili

What you’ll need …

2-3 bay leaves, set aside until the end
• 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) chili powder (use Stef’s Chili Powder Blend)
• 2 teaspoons (10 ml) ground allspice
• 2 teaspoons (10 ml) ground cinnamon
• 4 teaspoons (20 ml) ground cumin*
• 1 teaspoon (5 ml) red (cayenne) pepper
• 1 teaspoon (5 ml) coarse, unrefined salt (this is what I use)
• 2 to 3 Tablespoons (30 to 45 ml) unsweetened cocoa
• 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) organic brown sugar (Optional. To cut the acidity of the tomatoes in the chili recipe)

* I like cumin to be a major note in my chilis.  However, that might not be to everyone’s taste.  Since my Chili Powder Blend also has cumin in it, use my blend and leave out the additional cumin called for here if you prefer. 

How to “package” it …

1. Except for the bay leaves, mix together all.
2. Funnel into a glass container that holds just over 1/2 cup and that has a tight lid.
3. Push the bay leaves partially down into the seasoning blend, leaving the tops free to grab out later when you’re ready to make your chili.
4. Cover tightly if not using immediately.

Use with Stef’s Cincinnati Chili recipe.

Next time you make chili, you’ll find this as tasty as any commercial blend.  And much fresher!

Stef’s Notes:

If you wish to make single batches of chili, split your mix into 2 containers and store the unused portion(s) as described.

 It’s best to store your dried spices and herbs in a cabinet or drawer to protect them from direct light. Their natural oils will break down more slowly which helps keep them stay fresh and  flavorful for longer.

 How long it lasts depends on how fresh your spice ingredients are to begin with. If they are new, this should keep for about 6 months to a year if stored in an airtight, glass container out of direct light.

 To avoid ingesting pesticides and other questionable things, I always purchase organic herbs and spices when they are available.

Blood Stains ~ Out Darn Spot!

Getting rid of blood stains has always stumped me.  

They’d almost come out, but there would always be that rusty spot staring at me.  

Photo - NHF Get out Blood Stains - “Crime Scenario” with blood by Simon Howden at FreeDigitalPhotos dot net

Photo: “Crime Scenario” Simon Howden at FreeDigitalPhotos dot net

Hi, All!  How is your Summer going?  We’ve been having a wonderful time!

This Summer, we’ve gotten about!  Visiting friends and family.  Having grandchildren visit us for extended overnights.  Keeping busy with normal business, get-togethers with best buds, and daily living.  Pleased with each other’s company.

There are some ways we continue to enjoy our state of Empty Nestiness!

The house is the same when we walk in the door as when we left it.

There’s less wear and tear on all appliances.

Especially on the washing machine and refrigerator!

Our water bills have lowered noticeably.

So have the electric bills!

Bathrooms are easier to clean.  And they stay clean!

Yet, we make enough of our own dirt that we still find cleaning tricks to be handy.

I discovered this cheat when Mr. Nest scratched the tip of his ear and left blood on his pillow case.

Photo - Getting Rid of Blood Stains by Nest Half Full - Photo by Simon Howden at FreeDigitalPhotos dot netDid you know that straight vinegar is the bomb for getting blood stains out of fabric?  I didn’t either, but it is!

We’re talking plain ol’ household white vinegar that you can find at your grocery store.

Simply, place the affected garment or stained section in a large bowl or blocked sink …

Pour white vinegar directly over the stain.  Let sit for a couple of hours or overnight .  Rinse and take a look.  If there’s a little stain left, repeat the process.

Now toss that article into the next load of like colors and you’re good to go!

Voila! Blood stain is GONE!

The trick is to get to the stain as quickly as possible!  If you can’t hop on it right away, keep the material wet/damp and then come back to it as soon as possible.

If you’re working with blood stains on colored material …

do a test batch, let dry and see if it fades the color.  If there’s no fade or color change, proceed.

If there are blood stains on something that cannot be finished by tossing in the washing machine …

do a color test somewhere inconspicuous (just in case). If it looks good on the test spot, then spray the stain with vinegar, and blot with damp, white washcloth.  Check the washcloth to make sure fabric color is not being removed.  Repeat until you’ve gotten the stain out.

That’s it!  Blood gone and no nasty, artificial chemicals!

Photo Credits:
 “Crime Scenario” Simon Howden at FreeDigitalPhotos dotnet
 “Blood Splatters” Simon Howden at FreeDigitalPhotos dotnet

What is Memorial Day All About?

Memorial Day is a day set apart …

Photo - What is Memorial Day All About? Arlington National Cemetery - Nest Half Full… when we in the United States of America remember the military men and women who have died while serving their country in a time of conflict.

“Today I am pleased to sign S. 3181, the “National Moment of Remembrance Act,” which designates 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day each year as the National Moment of Remembrance, in honor of the men and women of the United States who died in the pursuit of freedom and peace.”
President Bill Clinton – December 28, 2000

The idea of a unified day of remembrance for fallen warriors started just after the Civil War ended.  From 1861 to 1865 (some say 1866), family members and friends fought against each other in the bloodiest war in all of American history.

Continue reading “What is Memorial Day All About?”

Days of Remembrance Around the World

While researching my article “What is Memorial Day All About“, I started wondering about other countries’ days of remembrance around the world.
Photo - Days of Remembrance Around the World by NestHalfFull.com. History Photo by Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos dot net
Days of Remembrance Around the World by NestHalfFull.com. History Photo by Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos dot net
Here are just a few days of remembrance I found …

Australia, New Zealand and some South Pacific Islands …
Anzac DayAnzac Day.   April 25.  The anniversary of of the first major military action fought by these two countries during WWI.

Armenia …
Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day.  April 24.  A national holiday for Armenians around the world to commemorate the victims of the Armenian Genocide of 1915.

Belgium, France, New Zealand, Serbia and many other countries …
Armistice Day. November 11.  Celebrating the signing of the armistice that ended hostilities on the Western Front of WWI.
Continue reading “Days of Remembrance Around the World”

Paloma Cocktail Goes to a Party!

Photo - Paloma Cocktail Goes to a Party! - NHFA couple of years ago, some friends turned us on to the Paloma Cocktail.  It is a light drink with an edge of citrus.  Not too sweet.  Not too sour.  See The Perfect Summer Drink if you’d like to read my original post on making one glass at a time.

This drink has become popular with many of our friends.  It’s tasty, so you look forward to it.  A good size to hold onto for awhile.  And the alcohol content is low enough to (hopefully!) allow you to stay within the boundaries of good decisions.

One evening last summer, we were invited to a White Party and asked to bring a batch of our favorite party cocktail.

Have you ever been to a White Party?  It’s pretty simple.  Everything is predominantly white, from clothing and decorations to food.  It’s just one of those goofy things that takes a small bit of imagination and turns out to be a lot of fun.

This pale-colored cocktail fit right in.

The challenge was pre-mixing a jug of chilly goodness without losing it’s refreshing sparkle.  Here’s how we pulled off a large enough batch for 10 … or so!
Continue reading “Paloma Cocktail Goes to a Party!”