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.

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!
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Stef’s Homemade Chili Sauce

Photo - Homemade Chili by Nest Half FullI recently got bored with our regular chicken rotation and cold weather.  Which started me  thinking of warm climes.  Right in the middle of giving Southwestern Roast Chicken a try, I wanted to see what would happen if the bird were smeared with a little chili sauce.  The snag?  I’ve never ever had chili sauce in the house.

No worries!  After all, how hard can it be to make it myself?  Turns out, making a great chili sauce is not hard at all!

Some quick research.  A bit of tweaking. Time to give it a final taste test.

Wow! This is Some Good Stuff! 

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Sweet Spice Chicken Rub

Photo - Sweet Spice Chicken Rub Copyright All Rights Reserved NHF
When I was growng up, my mom often served savory roast chicken (using Bell’s Seasoning, of course!)  And I grew up to make chicken just like Mom’s.

But, you see,  I’ve developed a love of Ginger.  Cardamom.  Fenugreek.

Sweet spices are amazing on poultry.  The broth made afterward is rich and uniquely delicious.
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Homemade Vanilla Extract

Homemade Vanilla Extract NHFHave you ever used homemade vanilla extract?  If so, you’ll know why I had to figure out how to make my own.  Turns out, it is sooo easy, you’ll wonder why you’ve never made it before.

The first thing was to go online and order Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans (much better quality and way lower expense than buying at the grocery store!)  Then I went to work, if you can call it that.  This is just too quick, easy and straight forward for a lot of preamble.

So, let’s get started!

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