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Giveaway: Will It Skillet by Daniel Shumski

My grandma Bunny was devoted to her cast iron skillets. They sat in a graduated stack on her stovetop, always ready to be pressed into service. She kept them seasoned through regular use and claimed that nothing was better for restoring their glossy black finish than cooking up a batch of bacon.

Bunny’s collection of cast iron remains in her hillside California home, where my aunt, uncle, and cousins now live. I’ve had to amass my own heap of skillets, and have done so through thrifting, eBay (my beloved square skillet, used almost exclusively for eggs), Kickstarter, and inheritance.

Despite having a hearty collection, I confess that I rarely do anything truly exciting with my skillets. However, thanks to Dan Shumski’s new book, Will It Skillet, that all changes now. He’s got me seeing my cast iron skillet as the ideal vessel for so much more than just eggs, bacon, burgers, flat broiled chicken, and the world’s most perfectly burnished roasted potato cubes.

There is so much in this book that speaks to me, but here are a few that are on my immediate wish list. Giant Cinnamon Bun (page 37). Spinach and Feta Dip (page 64). Mac and Cheese – you make the whole thing in the skillet! (page 106). Giant Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie (page 153). Are you hungry yet?

I have one copy of this tasty book to give away this week and we’re doing it the old fashioned way (I know that there are those among you who hate Rafflecopter, so this is for you!).

The winner of the giveaway is #196/Barb. Many thanks to all who took the time to enter! 

  1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me about your favorite thing to make in a cast iron skillet.
  2. Comments will close at 12 noon eastern time on Sunday, May 21, 2017. A winner will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog later that day.
  3. Giveaway open to all. Void where prohibited.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog at the bottom of this post.

Disclosure: Workman Press sent me two copies of this book at no cost to me. One was for review and photography purposes and the other was to give away. 

Giveaway: Jar Storage from JarBOX

When you start doing a lot of canning, one of the biggest challenges becomes how to store both your processed jars and the empties waiting for your next project. I’ve spent a goodly amount of time over the years, pondering how to best shoehorn my canning habit into the storage space available in my 1,000 square foot apartment.

I keep jars under my couch, deep in my coat closet, and under my bed (and, if we’re being entirely honest, there is also currently a tower of boxes in the corner of my bedroom. Needs must). One tool that I use to help keep these storage spots useable and organized are the trays made by JarBOX. These clear, plastic boxes come sized for both pints and quarts and are a genius solution for stashing jars safely and securely.

They’re designed to work in pairs, so that you can lock your jars into individual pods. Then, those locked trays can be stacked and locked together, to create a tower of jars that behaves as a single unit, further reducing the chance of breakage. I call on a pair of JarBOX trays any time I need to transport sealed jars to family gatherings and food swaps, because I know they’ll get my jars to their destination intact.

I use a goodly number of my JarBOX sets to store the empties I keep under our bed. I arrange them upside down (to keep the worst of the dust out) and then slide the trays in and out as canning season ramps up. It’s a far better solution than fragile cardboard boxes I’d used previously.

This month, the good folks from JarBOX are sponsoring weekly giveaways on a series of blogs. I’m kicking things off by giving away two sets of JarBOX trays (a pint and a quart). What’s more, everyone who enters the individual giveaways will also be entered to win a Grand Prize of four more JarBOX sets. To keep up to date with all the JarBOX giveaways, make sure to follow them on Facebook!

This giveaway is closed. The winner is #151 – Lei Kaniumoe. Congratulations Lei!

Disclosure: JarBOX sent me a pair of JarBOX trays for photography and review purposes. They’re also provided a second set for the giveaway. No additional compensation was provided. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. 

 

Giveaway: “Make Your Own” Cleaning Kits from The Optimist Co.

Homemade cleaning products, compiled in my kitchen using the kit from The Optimist Co. have been in regular use in my kitchen for nearly two years now. They are effective and, thanks to the clear instructions on the bottles, incredibly easy to make. Plus, I love the fact that instead of carting home new spray bottles from Target or CVS, I’m reusing the ones I’ve already got.

Recently, The Optimist Co. founder Devin Donaldson (who started the company after conventional cleaning products left her with a nasty asthma attack) got in touch and asked if I might like to try a second kit. At first, I was confused because I’ve been entirely pleased with the first kit and the two products they make.

But Devin reminded me that it’s possible to do more than just make Time to Shine and Bright Side with the goodies in the box. And so I started thinking about other cleaning products that might be useful in the kitchen.

The first thing that popped to mind was a bottle of pre-made produce rinse. With farmers market and CSA season rapidly approaching, I know that very soon I will have a lot of pretty dirty produce on my hands. Instead of regularly filling the sink with a little white vinegar and water, having something that I can spritz over lettuces, zucchini, and strawberries sounds pretty darned appealing.

For this one, I used 12 ounces of water, three tablespoons of white vinegar and ten drops of the lemon essential oil from the kit (for both the sunny scent and the extra boost of antiseptic that it provides). A quick shake before using and my produce has never been cleaner.

The second thing that occurred to me was something that would help out with cleaning the kitchen floor. As many of you know, my kitchen is pretty tiny. Because there’s so little floor real estate, I rarely pull out a mop to get the job done (to be honest, I don’t think I even have a mop anymore). Instead, I do a lot of after-dinner spot cleaning (supplemented by the occasional, all-out, hands and knees scrub with a sponge and bucket of soapy water).

For that cleaner, I used 14 ounces of water, 2 teaspoons of castile soap, and 7 drops of the eucalyptus essential oil. It’s powerful enough to help cut through splatters of cooking grease, but not so soapy that I have to follow up with several rounds of rinsing. And I love the earthiness of the eucalyptus (we had eucalyptus trees in our back yard when I was very young and as a result, their scent forever feels comforting and home-like to me).

In order to encourage the Food in Jars community to think DIY and explore what The Optimist Co. kit can do in your homes, Devin is offering up three of her Make Your Own Cleaning Products Kit for this week’s giveaway. Please use the widget below to enter!

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Giveaway: Cuppow & BNTO Jar Adapters

Want to up your packed lunch, picnic, and snack game? This week, Cuppow is offering five $20 gift codes up to the Food in Jars community! Use the widget at the bottom of the post to enter!

During the winter months, I can happily spend week after week working away at my dining room table or perched at my desk (located behind the television), without feeling even a little bit restless. Many a day has passed when I haven’t so much as stepped toe outside my apartment building. But as soon as the weather begins to warm and the days lengthen, I start to feel squirrelly.

Lately, staying inside has made me feel fidgety, as if the walls of my apartment are a particularly itchy and confining wool sweater. And so, I’ve been changing my patterns and heading outside.

Some days, I only go as far as my neighborhood coffee shop or the covered concrete patio that juts off on the west side of my apartment building. Other days (far more infrequent than I’d like), I blow off work entirely and visit a friend who moved about an hour away this time last year and had a sweet baby boy back in December.

The one thing that all these outings have in common is my devotion to always packing a snack. As someone who tries to eat well most of the time but is highly susceptible to bakery cases and bags of chips at the check-out counter, being prepared is hugely helpful in avoiding temptation.

Lately, I’ve been reaching for my stash of BNTO jar adapters from Cuppow to help me pack up portable and waste-free snacks (because even when you do find a relatively virtuous snack in the world, the amount of packaging is enough to drive an environmentally minded person a little bit crazy).

On the particularly day pictured here, I filled jars with carrot sticks, apple slices, and yogurt with a dollop of quince jam. Into the BNTO adapters, I put peanut butter, hummus, and a bit of granola (embarrassingly, it was not homemade). Some homemade cold brew went into a wide mouth pint, with one of my original Cuppow lids secured on top for easy sipping.

With picnic season upon us, I encourage you all to spend a few minutes thinking about how you pack up your sandwiches, snacks, and treats. Perhaps a new BNTO or two would make the process more streamlined and less wasteful!

To that end, for this week’s giveaway, our friends at Cuppow are up five gift codes worth $20 a piece. Five lucky Food in Jars readers will each win one code to redeem over at the Cuppow website. You can choose from Cuppow lids, BNTO jar adaptors, Mason Taps, and CoffeeSocks! Use the widget below to enter.

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Disclosure: Cuppow is a Food in Jars sponsor and are providing the codes for this giveaway at no cost to me. Products pictured were sent for review purposes. However, all opinions expressed here are mine alone.

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Giveaway: Pint & Half Jars from Fillmore Container

Of all the Ball jars out there, the Pint & Half has always been my favorite. It holds 24 ounces, has straight sides, and always feels like just the right amount. I reach for one whenever I’m putting away leftovers, pouring a smoothie, stashing pantry staples, and making extra-long pickles.

When I first started canning, the Pint & Half was not currently in production and so I haunted thrift stores, antique shops, and eBay in order to amass a small collection. Then, in early 2012 Jarden Home Brands announced that they were bringing the Pint & Half back. I cheered! I wrote blog posts! I bought several boxes.

Today, I come bearing sad news. I’ve learned that the Pint & Half is going to become a collector’s item once more. Ball Canning has discontinued this useful vessel (cue the weeping). I am heartbroken that my favorite jar is soon going to become scarce.

I’ve teamed up with my friends at Fillmore Container to send this noble jar out with a bang. They still have a goodly supply in stock, but it won’t last forever. So this week, they’re sponsoring a celebratory giveaway featuring the Pint & Half.

One lucky winner will get $100 credit* at Fillmore Container, one case of the Pint & Half jars, and
two wide mouth iLids for easy access to your smoothies, quick pickles, and dry good (winner will choose lid color). What’s more, Fillmore Container is also giving away two more cases of the Pint & Half jars over on their blog. You have so many chances to win!

Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter! And when you’re done with that, head over to Fillmore Container’s blog to enter their giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Store credit can be used for product or shipping, but once the $100 is used the winner is responsible for anything more than $100 including shipping.

Disclosure: Fillmore Container is a Food in Jars sponsor and so does pay a monthly fee to display a banner ad on this site. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed within this blog post remain entirely my own. 

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Giveaway: Stainless Steel Storage + Sprouting Lids from Mason Jar Lifestyle

I’ve been a regular mason jar user for nearly two decades now. In addition to canning and fermenting food in them, I fill them with dry goods. I use them to pack lunches. I macerate fruit for jam in the big ones. They are filled with dinner leftovers, sourdough starters, smoothies, brewing kombucha, and more. Somewhere in our apartment, there’s a even a jar filled to the brim with LEGO minifigures.

Though there has been a steady increase in jar accessories and adapters over the last four or five years, to my mind there has always been a void in the marketplace. A one-piece storage lid that didn’t rust, was easy to clean, didn’t leak, and wasn’t prohibitively expensive.

Happily, the folks at Mason Jar Lifestyle have arrived to fill that void. They recently started selling one-piece stainless steel lids that are fitted with silicone seals that are easily removable for cleaning. They are leakproof, non-reactive, dishwasher safe, and so much more affordable than anything else I’ve seen.

They are ideal for salad dressings and vinaigrettes because the lids don’t leak when you give them a good shake. I don’t mind using them on my jars of dry goods because they’re affordable enough that I don’t feel like I need to save them for special things. And they’re easy to put on and off the jars.

The storage lids come in both regular and wide mouth, and are sold in packs of five. And if that’s not enough to meet your needs, Ryan and Maggie at Mason Jar Lifestyle offer discounts on higher volume purchases (buy 100 or more and you’ll get 40% off your order!).

You can also use the code “fij10” now through March 31 to get 10% off any order at Mason Jar Lifestyle. Right now, my favorite thing they sell is the silicone sleeve designed to fit the 24 ounce Pint & Half jars. Paired with a drink lid and a stainless steel straw and I am ready for iced coffee season!

For our giveaway this week, two lucky readers will each receive a five pack of the regular mouth stainless steel storage lids with silicone seals, a five pack of the wide mouth stainless steel storage lids with silicone seals, and one stainless steel sprouting lid and band like you see pictured above (because sprouting is fun! Look for a blog post on the topic in the near future).

Please use the widget below to enter.

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Disclosure: Mason Jar Lifestyle is a Food in Jars sponsor. Their ad dollars helps keep this blog running. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.

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