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Giveaway: Assorted Goat Cheeses from Cypress Grove

Cypress Grove cheeses

When I was writing my last book, one of the comments my editor made on the draft was that she was afraid I was recommending pairing too many of the recipes with cheese. We worked to come up with some alternate suggestions for those headnotes, but many of the cheese pairing suggestions remained. The reason? Cheese and jam (or pickles, chutneys, jellies, etc) are downright delicious together.

truffle tremor

When run out of time to make a big salad or a pile of roasted vegetables for a potluck, I head for the pantry instead. I find a jar of of something homemade (tomato jam is always a good choice), buy a slab of creamy, crumbly goat cheese, and pick up a baguette. I set that out on the potluck table and watch as people eat up every crumb and drop.

bermuda triangle

A few years back, I did a very informal collaboration with the folks at Cypress Grove (they make the most glorious goat’s milk cheeses). Essentially, they sent me some cheeses and I dreamed up a tasty little jam to serve along with those cheeses. My recipe for Plum Star Anise Jam was one of the preserves that resulted.

bermuda triangle unwrapped

Sometime in the last year or so, I reconnected with one of the very nice people over at Cypress Grove and we decided it might be fun to do another round of recipes designed expressly for a few of their products. So they sent me some cheese and I got to work. So far, I’ve come up with two preserves that pair up brilliantly.

humboldt fog

The first recipe is a preserve that I’m calling a peach mostarda. It’s not a true mostarda, in the sense that it does not contain super concentrated mustard oil (which is quite difficulty to get in the US, because it an ingredient in mustard gas). I use generous amounts of mustard seeds, coupled with some sinus clearing cayenne to mimic the pungency of the mustard oil, and I think it works well. Whatever you call it, I like it eaten with a little wedge of Humboldt Fog.

purple haze

The second preserve are pickled plums that end up being a cross between a jam and chutney (recipe coming soon). I took slightly firm Italian prune plums and cut them into slivers. They sat with restrained dose of sugar, some apple cider vinegar, and a cheesecloth bundle of spices until they released their juices. Then I cooked it down until the syrup thickened but before the fruit lost its integrity. It’s delicious when you perch a bit of the pickled plums on top of a slice of Truffle Tremor.

sliced truffle tremor

The lovely folks at Cypress Grove a cheese prize pack to one lucky Food in Jars reader. It will contain a Humboldt Fog Mini, a wedge of Truffle Tremor, and a hunk of Midnight Moon in a snazzy Cypress Grove cooler pack. You’ll also get some other Cypress Grove-branded goodies, including a cheese wire for easy Midnight Moon slicing. Additionally, I’ll throw in small jars of these two preserves, so that the winner can try my pairings.

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Leave a comment on this post and share your favorite cheese and preserve pairing. Cheddar with caramelized onion jam? Apricot jam with chevre? Grilled cheese with tomato chutney? Let me know!
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm east coast time on Saturday, September 27, 2014. The winner will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog by the end of the day on Sunday, September 28, 2014.
  3. Giveaway is open to US residents.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left on the blog, I cannot accept submissions via email.

Disclosure: Cypress Grove sent me a package of cheeses for pairing and photography purposes. They are also providing the prize for the giveaway. No additional compensation was provided. 

Links: Plums, Tomatoes, Apples, and a Winner

What a lovely wall of pickles! I'm so impressed by Thomas Lavers!

Oops. I didn’t mean to drop out of sight last week, but I got home from Canada on Monday afternoon and just couldn’t find my way back to the blog. It happens sometimes.

That trip to Toronto though, it was pretty darn terrific. I met so many of my long-time internet canning friends, including Christine from Manning Canning (check out her just-launched commercial kitchen Kickstarter!), Sarah B. Hood (author of We Sure Can!), and Joel and Dana from Well Preserved. The Kitchen Party at the Harbourfront Centre was incredibly fun and I loved meeting all the dedicated food preservers who came out for it.

I also enjoyed getting to explore a little bit of Toronto and seeing the roof garden and bee hives at the Fairmont Royal York (as a Kitchen Party sponsor, they put me up in a gloriously comfy room).

This week, things will start to return to normal around these parts. Let’s get that started off with links!

assembled tomato strainer

When I fell off the grid last week, I failed to post the winner of the Roma Deluxe Electric Tomato Strainer Giveaway, sponsored by Blue Kitchen Canning. Oops. Now, without any further ado, the winner is #539/Rebekah Jones.

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Giveaway: Roma Deluxe Electric Tomato Strainer from Blue Kitchen Canning

assembled tomato strainer

The time has come for my annual tomato binge. I picked up 75 pounds of seconds and a flat of assorted grape tomatoes yesterday from Three Springs Fruit Farm and I’ve been sorting and stewing since then. The seconds are destined for a life as puree, whole peeled tomatoes, and salsa (both corn and standard tomato). Some of the small tomatoes will go into tomato jam and the rest will get dehydrated into tomato candy.

sauce chute

Because this is my tomato week, it is also the perfect time to offer up a Roma Deluxe Electric Tomato Strainer from Food in Jars sponsor Blue Kitchen Canning. I first got my hands on one of these electric tomato presses last summer and quickly succumbed to its charms. Instead of requiring constant cranking, the electric motor does all the work. All you have to do is cut the tomatoes into quarters and heap them in the hopper.

working tomato strainer

Before we get to the giveaway, let me tell you a little bit about Blue Kitchen Canning. It’s a online shop run by long-time Food in Jars reader Emma Bates. She opened up shop earlier this year and sells all manner of canning gear, dehydrators, juicers, slicers, and other tools to help make your work in the kitchen as easy and productive as possible.

finished jars of sauce

Emma also has a blog component to the shop and regularly posts recipes and tutorials. This one about how to make pressure canned baked beans looks particularly intriguing! She’s offering all FiJ readers a discount of 10% right now. Just use the code FIJ10 at check-out.

Here’s how to enter the giveaway.

  1. Leave a comment on this post and share your favorite tomato preserve. My favorite pantry filling basic is tomato puree. The most delicious is tomato jam.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm east coast time on Saturday, September 13, 2014. The winner will be chosen at random and will be posted on Sunday, September 14, 2014.
  3. Giveaway is open to US residents.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left on the blog, I cannot accept submissions via email.

Disclosure: Blue Kitchen Canning is a Food in Jars sponsor and is providing the electric tomato press for this giveaway. 

Links: Figs, Peaches, Tomatoes, and Winners

It's tomato week round these parts. I've got 75 pounds of seconds to work through!

This last week was something of a strange one for me. I got back from Fayetteville on Monday evening, planning to have an intensely productive week. But then, on Tuesday my computer took a glass of water to the logic board and all bets were off. My husband set me up on an old machine so that I could work some, but the whole thing threw me for a major loop.

I think there were some good lessons in there about slowing down (maybe that would have prevented the accident in the first place) and giving myself a break (I am notoriously bad at relaxing), but it was an uncomfortable way to learn. Happily, the computer is back from the Apple spa and I feel like I’m cooking with gas (technologically speaking, at least). Now, links!

blossom ucaps

The winners of last week’s Spice Ratchet Blossom uCap are…

Congratulations to all the winners! And for all of you who didn’t win, stay tuned. I’ll have another fun giveaway up tomorrow!

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Giveaway: Blossom uCap from Spice Ratchet

blossom ucaps

For the last few years, my favorite canning rack has been a flexible silicone trivet made by a company called Spice Ratchet. It has always been something of an off-label use though, as I’m fairly certain that they weren’t thinking canning when they made that trivet.

blossom ucap sip

However, the nice folks at Spice Ratchet have recently released a line of silicone lids that are designed specifically for mason jars. These lids come in three different styles, are sold in packs of four, and have a number of applications.

cap n sip

The first style is a sipping cap. The lid snaps snugly onto the top of the jar and allows you to slip a straw into whatever liquid the jar holds. The lid isn’t entirely water tight (because it does have a hole in the top), but would definitely slow the flow if you were to knock it over.

Having spent the weekend with my spill prone nephew, I can see this one coming in very handy for households with kids. This style comes in both regular and wide mouth.

cap n seal

Next is the storage lid. Like the sipping cap, this style snaps tightly onto the top of a mason jar without needing to be screwed down or tightened.

It is leakproof and airtight, which means it is a great solution for both liquids and dry goods, because it will prevent spills and keep moisture out. This one also comes in both regular and wide mouth.

cap n fun

The final style is the flower frog. This jar topper has holes in the lid so you can use it for flower arrangements, clusters of party flags, or even as a cup holder. This lid only comes in a wide mouth version.

top of ucap seal

Spice Ratchet is providing samples for this week’s giveaway. There will be four winners and each one will receive one of each style of Blossom uCap 4-packs in the wide mouth size. Here’s how to enter.

  1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me how you’d use these lids in your home.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm eastern time on Saturday, September 6, 2014. Winners will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog on Sunday, September 7, 2014.
  3. Giveaway open to United States residents only.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog at the bottom of this post.

Disclosure: Spice Ratchet is providing the lids for the giveaway. They sent me samples of their lids for review and photography purposes. They are also a Food in Jars sponsor and so do help contribute to the running of this site. And yet, all opinions remain entirely mine. 

Links: Pickles, Tomatoes, and a Mrs. Wages Winner

He just made his first jar of pickles! I am kvelling.

I’ve spent a lovely few days down in Fayetteville, AR at the Fayetteville Roots Festival. I rolled in on Thursday evening, just a bit later than anticipated, but intact and with my luggage in tow. Friday, I did a bit of work, hung out with my sister, nephew, and my brother-in-law’s parents, and got to shop for pickling supplies with Natalie (who is entirely delightful and maintains a gorgeous website).

On Saturday morning, I teamed up with Appleseeds to help farmers market shoppers make more than 75 pints of quick pickles (the picture above is my nephew Emmett, with the jar of pickles he made with just a little help). This morning, I taught a very fun class at the Williams-Sonoma in Rogers. And then tonight, I got to watch my sister play music with Rebecca Loebe and Smokey and the Mirror. Good times, all of it. Now, links!

A few things from my neck of the woods.

  • When I was out in Portland back in June, I made some canning videos with Rebecca from Cooking up a Story. The first one is live and you can watch it here.
  • While in Maine, I stopped by the University of Maine’s Cooperative Extension to teach a class (they have an amazing space). Kate put together a little recap of the night, which was fun to read.
  • You may know that my sister is a folk singer, but you might not know that my dad writes and performs as well. He’s currently in the midst of an Indiegogo campaign and I’d love it if you’d check out his video and, if you are so moved, consider supporting his efforts.

berry prize pack

The winner in last week’s Mrs. Wages berry basket giveaway is #109/Karen Carsley. So many thanks to everyone who entered! And stay tuned, I’ll have another fun giveaway up this week!