Adventures in Wonderlab

Adventures in Wonderlab

Fun science adventures for all ages!

KonMari in the Kitchen: Spice Cabinet Clean Out, plus a Cincinnati-Style Chili

KonMari in the Kitchen: Spice Cabinet Clean Out

My KonMari decluttering has now moved into the kitchen! (Master closet and beauty products have already been KonMari’d).

I remember when we first moved into our house, marveling at the entire cabinet with a built-in lazy susan just for spices! Both my husband and I cook a lot, and we love to try all different types of cuisines, flavors, and dishes. Hence, all the spices! Surely we would never fill this space and let it get cluttered? 10 years later…

Do we have any oregano? Who knows…

The first thing I did was to remove everything from the cabinet. Then, I wiped it out with a cloth, and even vacuumed under the lazy susan.

I found several duplicate and expired spices. This made the decluttering step much easier!

Hello, spices of the world

When I put the spices back in, I made sure to organize them in a way that made sense to me – all the “salts” and “peppers” in one spot. Italian spices, Greek spices, Indian spices, etc, were all placed in groups. Alphabetical order would work, too, but I know that would not last.

Clean and organized!

While we are looking at all of these lovely spices, how about a spice-filled Cincinnati-style chili?

Cincinnati-Style Chili

First, some Cincinnati-style chili facts for those who have yet to experience this delightful dish!

Cincinnati-style chili is a Mediterranean-spiced meat sauce used as a topping for spaghetti (a “two-way”) or hot dogs (“coneys”), both dishes developed by Greek-Macedonian immigrant restaurateurs in the 1920s. Ingredients include ground beef, stock, tomato paste, cinnamon, other Mediterranean spices.
Ordering Cincinnati chili is based on a specific ingredient series: chili, spaghetti, grated cheddar cheese, diced onions, and kidney beans. The number before the “way” of the chili determines which ingredients are included in each chili order. Customers order a:
       Two-way: spaghetti topped with chili (also called “chili spaghetti”)
       Three-way: spaghetti, chili, and cheese
       Four-way: spaghetti, chili, cheese, and onions
       Five-way: spaghetti, chili, cheese, onions, and beans

Our Recipe (Adapted from Cooking Light)

Our recipe comes from a 2007 Cooking Light magazine. We have enjoyed this recipe for many years, and even my extremely picky “this sourdough bread is spicy” daughter LOVES this chili. She requests it every week. Our recipe is different from the traditional Cincinnati chili in that it incorporates some Indian spices, and it includes beans.

Cincinnati Style Chili Ingredients:

1 pound ground beef

1 onion (chopped)

3 cloves of garlic (minced)

1 Tb olive oil

1 28-oz can crushed tomato

2 Tb tomato paste

2 Tb red wine vinegar

3 cans of beans (kidney, red, pinto, whatever you like!)

1 cup water

Spices: 2 Tb garam masala, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper, 1/8 tsp nutmeg, 1/8 tsp cloves, salt & pepper to taste

Place chopped onion and garlic in large pot over med-low heat with 1 Tb olive oil, and cook until onions are translucent. Add ground beef, and brown the meat. Drain off grease. Add the rest of the ingredients and spices, and simmer on low for at least an hour or two. We let it simmer all day! This chili is even tastier the next day, after the flavors have time to mellow and meld.

Ingredients assembled

The following photos are taken from “the next day” chili! This Cincinnati chili is obviously delicious served on spaghetti, on a hot dog, as a 2-way, 3-way,… you get the idea. But, it is also very versatile! Here it is served up as nachos, with avocado, and with cheese and avocado.



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