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.

Pollo Verde ~ Chicken with Tomatillo Sauce

Pollo Verde

Let’s start by saying that this Pollo Verde is delicious. It’s a classic dish that’s easy to make and relatively inexpensive.  But it bears saying again, “It is oh so delicious!”
Photo - Husked Tomatillos NHF watermark - Pollo Verde - Chicken with Tomatillo SauceWhen friends come out of hibernation and start gathering together to celebrate the beginning of the warm season, it’s the perfect time for a party.  Last night, we joined our fantastically wonderful group friends for a pot luck dinner.

Theme …  Mexican!

I like authentic Mexican food. When I say “Mexican food,” I mean real food made with healthy, lively ingredients.  Distinctly fresh, light and classically delicious.

Also, many of these dishes are easy to execute as gluten-free and dairy-free meals.  Since a few of us in our group are also corn-free, Pollo Verde makes for a perfect meal!
Continue readingPollo Verde ~ Chicken with Tomatillo Sauce

Pecan Bread ~ Deliciously Gluten-Free Dairy-Free

Let’s make a gorgeous loaf of Pecan Bread!

With weather getting warmer in the Northern Hemisphere, not everyone would think first thing of baking.  However, I believe there’s never a bad time for Pecan Bread!  It’s delicious and I make ours in a bread machine!  Not a hot job!  . . .

Photo - Pecan Bread - NHF Homemade Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free

It’s Spring!  YAY!!!

While I earnestly believe that change can start at anytime (see my return article,  Time to Jump Back In!), Spring is the perfect time to ramp oneself back up, again.

Fresh air!  Birds singing!  Daffodils blooming!  Spring always gives me a fresh burst of energy.

The last couple of years have been a crazy run of one medical problem after another – actually all tied together. The whole thing seriously wore me down.

What this ordeal taught us is that most of our medical ills, including my lifelong struggle with Crohn’s Disease, have been caused by, or, at the very least, kerfuffled by diet.

Continue reading “Pecan Bread ~ Deliciously Gluten-Free Dairy-Free”

Southwestern Chicken with Chili Sauce

photo - Southwestern Chicken - TitleWe’ve been eating in a lot lately, returning to simple, homemade meals.  Certified organic chicken has become part of our weekly menu.

We look forward to it and all the good things that come from leftovers, including healthy, flavorful, homemade chicken stock.  And soup.

Over the last few months, most often we’ve had herbed chicken, sweet spice chicken (see Sweet Spice Chicken Rub), and sweet and savory chicken.

With the warmth of Summer coming in, our taste buds are looking for something fresh.

Enter Southwestern Chicken!

Bell pepper! Poblano Pepper! Onion!  Plus two  ingredients that create its deep flavor and set it apart; my own Chili Powder Blend and a healthy slathering of Homemade Chili Sauce.

It  Is  Goo-oo-ood!

Continue reading “Southwestern Chicken with Chili Sauce”

Stef’s Chili Powder Blend

Photo - Homemade Chili Powder - NHFIf you’ve read any of my recipes, you know I like to control what goes into our food. Spice mixes are high up on my list of Make-It-Yourself’s

Years (decades) ago, it occurred to me that I’d doctored store-bought chili powder so many times, I finally started mixing it from scratch.

Give it a try.  There’s nothing to it. And, you’ll always have your favorite flavor mix right in the cupboard!  Obviously, you might want to make your own adjustments 🙂

That’s okay!  That’s the point!
Continue reading “Stef’s Chili Powder Blend”