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.

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”

Foods We’re Eating These Days (and not)

Mr. Nest and I have become increasingly aware of what we’re eating these days.  We’ve learned first hand how the foods we eat hold power over the quality of our daily lives and health.

It’s been a gradual transition, and sometimes it has taken a bit of ingenuity.  Happily, every good choice has become another piece in the puzzle of a healthier, better, perhaps longer life.  And we’re loving the new decisions we’re making!

We  now live with less aches and pains, no bloat or fuzzy-headedness.  We’re more comfortable, slimmer and sharper.

“GLUTEN-FREE” FIRST SHOWED UP ON OUR RADAR a few Photo - Wheat - Image courtesy of dan at FreeDigitalPhotos dot net
years ago, but we were hesitant to try something so drastic. After all, who wants to sacrifice any of life’s great pleasures – like french toast, fried oysters (the breading) and the rare, deliriously enjoyed, apple cinnamon doughnut?

But, it wasn’t easy to stay away from the idea. Articles and recipes were popping up everywhere!  Information and questions percolated in the back of my mind.

We started out timidly.  Our first step was to put gluten-free to the test. Continue reading “Foods We’re Eating These Days (and not)”

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! 

Continue reading “Stef’s Homemade Chili Sauce”