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How to Make Tart Red Cherry Jelly

Itching to make cherry jelly but don’t want to wait months? Try making a small batch of low sugar Tart Red Cherry Jelly using a bottle of juice from the store!

Last Thursday night, I did an hour-long live broadcast on Facebook Live. A bunch of you tuned in, I showed you how to make Tart Red Cherry Jelly using store bought juice, we talked about the various ways to make shrubs, and I answered a whole bunch of questions.

During the broadcast, I promised to post the recipe I used to make the jelly. It’s taken me a little longer than anticipated, but here it is. I demonstrated how to do it using a bottle of tart cherry juice from Trader Joe’s, but you can use any bottle of 100% fruit juice that you’d like. In the past, I’ve done this with Concord grape juice and blueberry juice, both to good effect.

This recipe also works with honey. If you go in that direction, reduce the amount by approximately one-third. Oh, and before you put the jelly into jars, taste it. Some batches of juice are sweeter than others, and so occasionally a bit of fresh lemon juice is needed to help balance the flavors.

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Giveaway: New Ball Canning Products for 2017

Despite the fact that most of the Eastern seaboard is hunkering down for a massive storm (they’re predicting 11-17 inches for Philadelphia!), spring is really just around the corner. And in anticipation of the coming canning season, I thought today would be the perfect time to feature all the new goodies the folks from Ball Canning are rolling out this year.

First up are the new Spiral Jars. I’d seen a sneak peek of these a month or two ago on Facebook, but was uncertain whether I liked them or not (my initial thought was, why do we need our jars to spiral? What’s wrong with the classic shape?).

However, having now seen them in person, I’ve changed my tune. These are really great jars. The twisting shape feels good in the hand and I like how simple the branding is. The sizing on these jars is a little different from what we’re used to. The smaller jar is a traditional 16 ounce pint, but the larger jar clocks in at just 28 ounces rather than a full quart.

I can already tell that place where these jars are really going to shine is when it comes to to canning slightly taller things. I can’t wait to can up a batch of dilly beans or pickled carrot spears in these jars, knowing that there won’t be as much trimming involved.

I took a picture of the spiral jars side by side with a regular pint and quart so that you can get a better idea of the new height. And if you do plan on canning in the taller spirals, make sure to measure your canning pot to ensure that you’ll be able to keep them fully submerged during the canning process.

Next up are the new Sharing Jars. I’d not seen any previews of these jars before I opened up the box for this post and so they were a really fun surprise. These eight-sided jars are a charming addition to the Ball Canning line-up and they have a charitable component. Newell Brands (the new Ball Canning parent company) will donated four meals to Feeding America for every package of these jars purchased.

The sharing jars are only available in a regular mouth 16 ounce pint size and come with a little Feeding America ribbon tied around the neck of the jar.

Last up are the new Sure Seal Bail Storage Jars. Designed to hold dry goods, these jars seal tightly with a lid that locks into place. They come in two sizes, 14 ounce and 38 ounce. I must confess that in comparison to the rest of the new jars, these feel a little clunky. Jars from Ball normally have a certain elegance that these two are just missing.

Finally, the spices and accessories. The drink lids are one piece devises that screw onto jars without the aid of a ring (they’re more like those made by iLids and less like the ones from Cuppow) and allow you to use mason jars as travel mugs. A package comes with two lids and two straws and you can get them to fit either regular or wide mouth jars.

The spices are particularly fun. Made in partnership with McCormick, they are designed to make it easy for home canners to make and preserve things like tomato salsa, bread and butter pickles, fruit salsa, and pasta sauce.

Now, for the giveaway! One lucky winner will get a set of everything featured in today’s blog post! Please use the widget below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Links: Citrus, Taproot Mag, and the Yohann iPad Stand

I hope you all had a really lovely weekend. It’s been so fun to see all the pictures the March Mastery Challenge folks have been posting on Facebook and Instagram of their jellies and shrubs. And thanks to everyone who tuned in for the live broadcast on Facebook last Thursday. If you missed it, you can still watch it here. Now, links!

In other news, the latest issue of Taproot Mag hit newsstands and mailboxes in the last week. The theme of this issue is Weave and I contributed a piece on woven baked goods. The cinnamon braids included in the story was one of the very first things I ever made and it is dear to me because it’s something I would make with my Aunt Doris.

If you spot a copy in the wild, please do pick it up. In addition to my story, you’ll find other recipes, a pattern for a lovely knitted hat, and much, much more.

And finally, let me tell you about the best iPad stand I’ve ever used. I often bring an iPad into the kitchen when I need to reference an online recipe. In the past, I’ve used little tripods or the folding cover that attaches via magnets to prop up the iPad in order to read the recipe. However, they’ve never felt particularly secure and they didn’t really keep the iPad out of the fray of my workspace.

Then, a couple months ago, the folks from a Swiss company asked if they could send me one of their stands. Because this was an area where I have been looking for a better solution, I said yes and I’m so glad I did. I love this stand. It holds my iPad Air securely and is able to display the screen in three different orientations. Though I yearned for their wooden stand, I opted for the black plastic one because I knew that it would clean up better (and that’s always a concern in the kitchen). I have nothing but good things to say about this sleek and useful stand. If you’re in the market for something similar, I suggest you take a look at the Yohann.

(The unit you see above was sent to me at no cost. I was not obligated to write about it, but have chosen to do so because I really like it and thought some of you would find a similar item useful. I was not compensated for this post beyond the sample unit.)

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A Late Winter Cooking Reset with Blue Apron

Today’s post is sponsored by Blue Apron

In the fall, when the days first begin to turn cold and crisp, I am elated. I cannot wait to pull out my biggest soup pots and braising pans to start making hearty, weather-appropriate food.

However, by the end of the winter season, I am weary of my regular dinners and am hungry for fresh inspiration. Often I turn to cookbooks to help break up the routine. When that doesn’t work, I call on Blue Apron and their chef-designed meal kits.

My first encounter with Blue Apron came last year, when Scott got a 2-person box as part of his podcast’s sponsorship. Thanks to the photo-filled recipe cards, he was able to make a trio of tasty dinners without a lick of help from me.

I wrote about my second go-round with Blue Apron back in September. That time, I had the family-sized box sent to my sister’s house while I would be there visiting. I cooked dinner for them and scored some major houseguest points.

This time, I planned the box for the week before I was leaving town for a four-day conference. Busy and lacking inspiration is almost always the perfect formula for a week of takeout, but not this time. Blue Apron to the rescue!

Another reason why getting Blue Apron just before leaving town was such a good idea is that is prevented food waste. Scott isn’t one to do a lot of cooking for himself, so if I’d left a fridge full of ingredients for him to use, they would have withered and wilted while I was away. The perfectly portioned Blue Apron meals meant that there was nothing to throw out.

We had Chicken Yakinuki (I particularly loved the simple shredded carrot salad), Tangelo & Honey Glazed Salmon (remind me to use cooked apples in savory applications more often), and Smokey Pork Burgers (why aren’t pork burgers more of a thing? They were so delicious!).

One of the things I like most about Blue Apron is the fact that the I always take away some new culinary tidbit when I cook my way through a box. Going forward, I’ll be cooking my farro like pasta and will always roast broccoli at 475F (my typical temperature had been a lazy 400F, but no more!). I also appreciate that you can access all their recipes online.

One of the worries that people often have about Blue Apron is the amount of packaging involved. I was pleased to see that there was less packaging this time than in past orders, and that all users can now return the packing materials through the mail for reuse and recycling.

The fried rosemary garnish in this salmon dish was another tidbit I will take with me. I always thought that frying herbs was a fussy step, best reserved for restaurant meals, but I am converted. Quickly pan-fried in a shallow puddle of olive oil, the rosemary became fragrant and crisp.

The aforementioned farro! When you cook it in ample water, you don’t have to worry about the pot boiling dry. When the farro is tender, you just drain and dress.

If you’re intrigued by my experience with Blue Apron, they’ve got an offer for you, too! The first fifty readers to use this link to sign up for the service will get three meals for free on their first Blue Apron order.

Oh, and if you want to take a peek at more of the possible meals you’ll get from Blue Apron, check out their recipe page.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Blue Apron. They sent me a 2-Person box, containing three meals for two people. They’ve also compensated me for my time and attention. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed are entirely mine.

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Facebook Live Jelly Demo this Thursday

Friends! Join me on Thursday, March 9 at 9 pm eastern/ 6 pm pacific for an hour-long Facebook livestream over on the Food in Jars Facebook page. I’ll show you how to make a batch of tart cherry jelly using store bought juice, we’ll talk about shrubs, AND I’ll answer all your questions about this month’s Mastery Challenge.

Also, as we move further into the canning season, I plan on doing more of these livestreams and hope to get on a regular schedule with them. I’m hoping that you guys will give me a little insight as to what you’d most like to see from these broadcasts. If you have a minute or two, please do fill out the questionnaire below. Thank you!

Updated!

If you missed the live broadcast, all is not lost! Thanks to the magic of Facebook, you can also watch the broadcast right here.

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Cookbooks: Composing the Cheese Plate

I love cheese plate books, because in many cases, they’re really preserving books in disguise. Because what goes better with all manner of cheese that interesting jams, spreads, chutneys, mostardas, and jellies? Nothing, that’s what!

Published last fall, Composing the Cheese Plate is a perfect example of preserving-centric cheese book. Written by cheese evangelist Brian Keyser and pastry chef and condiment maker Leigh Friend, this book is bursting with an array of bright, creative, and unusual things to spread, smear, and dollop on cheese.

I have markers sticking out of this book in every direction. In addition to the recipes I’ve shared via photography here, I’m hoping to make the Balsamic Rosemary Cherry Mustard (page 63), Cardamom Poached Butternut Squash (page 89), Spiced Carrot Chutney (page 131), and the Pineapple Mostarda (page 198).

There is one downside to working with a book like this and that’s that none of the recipes are designed for boiling water bath canning. However, the batch sizes are small enough that you can easily tuck them into the fridge and use them up. I confess that I will probably borrow flavor elements from this book and will marry them with recipes I know to be safe for the canning pot.

One final note. This book comes to us from the same publisher that produces my books and as a result, this book shares the same size and binding as those in the Food in Jars series. It would fit quite nicely on a shelf next to my trio of books!

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