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Babka for Now, Sticky Buns for Later + OXO Glass Bakeware

Use this sweet, yeasted dough to make a batch of apricot walnut babka for now, and a batch of sticky buns that can be par-baked and popped into the freezer for another day. It’s perfect do-ahead baking for the upcoming holiday.

Back in November, I got an email from OXO looking for bloggers to participate in a campaign designed to feature their sturdy glass bakeware. The idea was to create something that could be made ahead, frozen, and then either baked off or reheated later. Their glassware is particularly good for these fridge or freezer to oven situations, because it’s made from sturdy resistant borosilicate glass.

They sent out a Glass 9″ Pie Plate, a Glass 1.6 Qt Loaf Baking Dish, one SteeL Pie Server, a nifty Double Pastry Wheel, and 1″ Pastry Brush. I spent a little time pondering what I might make that would fit the assignment, make good use of these tools, and would also allow for a liberal application of jam.

What I came up with was a single dough that allowed me to both have a relatively immediate treat, as well as one to freeze and finish baking on another day. I’m calling this concept babka for now, sticky buns for later. Because who wouldn’t want that?

I started by searching out recipes for a sweet, yeast-risen dough. After a bit of internet searching and book scanning, I found what I was looking for in Tammy Donroe Inman’s fabulous book Wintersweet (it’s a favorite of mine for holiday baking).

I made Tammy’s dough the day before I wanted to bake. After its first rise, I punched it down, tucked it into a glass storage container, and popped it into the fridge (a handy trick any time you need to make yeasted doughs work for your schedule). The next day, I divided it up into two balls and began to turn one into babka. I opted for a filling of apricot jam and toasted walnuts.

Once the dough was rolled out into a large rectangle (about 18 x 12 inches), I brushed it with melted butter, spread out a half pint of apricot jam, and sprinkled the whole things with those toasted and chopped walnuts.

As far as I can tell, the thing that makes a babka a babka is that it’s a slightly sweet, buttery, yeasted dought that’s filled, rolled, sliced and twisted. And so that’s what I did. Starting with the short side, I carefully rolled until I had a fat tube of filled dough. Then, taking a sharp knife, I cut the roll down the middle, taking care to leave the top inch (or so) intact.

After slicing the dough, I took a deep, steadying breath, firmly grasped the two ends and twisted them outward in opposite directions. There was some filling loss, but not enough to be particularly worrisome.

Once sliced and twisted, it was simply a matter of nestling the dough in the loaf pan and letting it rise in a warm place before baking.

While the babka took its time rising, I turned my attention to that second ball of dough. Much like the babka, it needed to be rolled out into a generous rectangle. I brushed the dough with melted butter. However, instead of applying jam, I dusted the dough with cinnamon and sugar (using OXO’s tea ball to ensure even distribution) and used the rest of the walnuts.

I rolled up the dough (starting with the long side, rather than the short one) and sliced it into rounds. I set them into the pie plate and let them rise (at this point, the babka was ready for the oven, since I actually ate dinner in between working with the two sets of dough).

When the babka was done (it should be around 200 degrees F inside when finished. If the exposed jam seems to be getting too done, perch a sheet of foil on top of the pan) and the sticky buns had risen, I popped that pan into the oven. However, instead of cooking them to completion like the babka, I only baked them for 12 minutes. This is just long enough to get a little color and set their shape. Once they are cool, pop the pan into a big ziptop bag and nestle it into the freezer.

The night before you want to eat your sticky buns (perhaps when the babka is all gone?), pull the pan out of the freezer and make room for it in the fridge so that they can defrost slowly. The next morning, heat the oven to 350 degrees and slide in your pan of sticky buns. They’ll only need a quick 15 minutes in the oven and they’ll be ready to eat.

Brush the finished sticky buns with a little melted butter to help them stay soft, and then drizzle them with a little glaze made from powdered sugar, milk, vanilla extract, and a dusting of cinnamon.

As we head into the frenzy of this week, wouldn’t it be nice to have a loaf of babka on the counter and a pan of sticky buns ready to go in the freezer?

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Jams from Three Springs Fruit Farm

Three Springs Fruit Farm November 7, 2016

Right around this time last year, I told you guys about a collaboration I was doing with Ben Wenk from Three Springs Fruit Farm. We were combining his fruit with my recipes in order to create a line of jams and fruit butters that were a little different from the others you find at the farmers market.

We’ve continued to expand our collaboration over the last year and we’re currently up to six different products. They are:

Today only, you can get 15% off your order from Three Springs Fruit Farm by using the code CANVOLUTION. And if you don’t see this until November 29, take heart! You can still get a discount. Use the code FoodInJars now through December 31, 2016 to get 10% off your order.

PS – In other discount news, our friends at Orchard Road are offering 50% off your online order through Tuesday, November 29. Use the code JARS50 for the deal.

 

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Black Friday Deals from FIJ Partners and Friends

assorted mason jar accessories 1 - Food in Jars

Good deals abound today and so I thought I’d round up some of the specials and sales that some of the Food in Jars friends and partners are offering for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. Happy shopping!

Cuppow: Use the code BLACKFRIDAY to get free shipping and 25% off all everyday reusable products. Good through Monday, 11/28/16.

Mason Jar Lifestyle: Use the code BF30 to get 30% off all orders. Buy on Saturday, 11/16 and they’ll donate $1 from every order to Americares. Good through Monday, 11/28/16.

Masontops: Use the code SAVE25 to get 25% off all orders. Free shipping on orders of $25 or more. Good through Monday, 11/28/16.

EcoJarz: Use the code FBFRIDAY2016 to get 40% off your order. Spend more than $40 and get a free silicone band gripper. Good through Monday, 11/28/16.

reCAP Mason Jars: Deals abound! The best buy is their 10 pack of regular mouth POUR lids. They’re currently 35% off!

New West Knifeworks: Knives and knife sets are discounted. Reduced prices good through Monday, 11/28/16.

Earlywood: Use the code EARLYFRIDAY15 for 15% off your order. Free shipping on orders over $100. Good through Friday, 11/25/16.

Mason-re: Use the code THANKS to get 20% off your order. Good through Monday, 11/28/16.

Kefirko: Use the code 20KEFIRKO to get 20% off kefir brewing jars. Good through Thursday, 12/15/16.

SipSnap: All products are 15% off site-wide. No code required. Good through Monday, 11/28/16.

Rough Linen: The makers of my favorite pinafore-style apron are offering free shipping on all orders. Good through Friday, 12/23/16.

Beanilla: Use the code BLACK15 for 15% off all orders. Good through Friday, 11/25/16.

And one last deal. Over at Amazon, the 6 quart Instant Pot is on sale for $68.95. This is the one I have and I’m a huge fan. If you’ve been on the fence about getting one, I highly recommend it.

 

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Baked Penne, Broccoli, and Ricotta + Lagostina Martellata Pasta Set Giveaway

A tasty pasta dish and a fabulous Lagostina Pasta Pot giveaway! Best National Pasta Day ever!

lagostina-pasta-pot

Happy National Pasta Day, friends! In honor of today’s holiday, I have a fabulous giveaway from the nice folks at Lagostina (you might remember them from this post last December, when I gave away this snazzy Risotto Pan).

broccoli-pasta-ingredients

One of you will win this truly gorgeous Lagostina Martellata Hammered Copper Pastaiola Set. I’ve had the one pictured above in my kitchen for about a month now, and I can’t say enough good things about it. It’s functional, conducts heat beautifully, and may well be the most beautiful piece of cookware in my kitchen.

chopped-broccoli

I’ve used it for all manner of blanching, steaming, and cooking by now (it also happens to work well as a canning pot for half pint jars!) and have taken to leaving it on the stove between uses, because I so enjoy seeing it there in all its gleaming glory.

blanching-broccoli

The recipe I’m sharing with you today puts this pot to work twice. First, I use it to blanch off a bunch of chopped broccoli. Once it’s cooked, I use the same water to cook the whole wheat penne.

cooked-broccoli

While the broccoli cooks, I browned some chicken sausage in a little olive oil and then drained it on a plate. Once the broccoli is bright green and tender, it gets drained and poured into the pan where the sausage had cooked.

From there, it’s a matter of building a sauce of pressed garlic and ricotta cheese. I wrap it up by adding the cooked sausage back in, along with the pasta, a healthy splash of pasta water, and a generous handful of grated parmesan cheese.

cooked-pasta

I love having a petite pasta pot like this one in my kitchen, because it allows me to stay at the stove, rather than dripping water between the sink and the stove. I’ve long had a larger pasta pot, but rarely pulled it out because it was just too much for my regular weeknight cooking. This one is just so much more functional for my household.

finished-broccoli-and-pasta

The Lagostina Martellata Hammered Copper Pastaiola Set can be found at Bed Bath & Beyond, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, and other specialty shops, and retails for $249.99. For more information about Lagostina, check out their social accounts and visit their website.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

lagostina-handle

Thanks to the kind folks at Lagostina, I have one of these glorious pasta pots to give away to you guys. Here’s how to enter.

  1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me how you’d use this pot.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm eastern time on Saturday, October 22, 2016. A winner will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog on Sunday, October 23, 2016.
  3. Giveaway open to United States residents only. 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: Lagostina sent me this pasta pot to use and write about. No additional compensation was provided. All opinions expressed are entirely my own. 

Baked Penne, Broccoli, and Ricotta

Yield: serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 pound broccoli florets and stems, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 pound chicken sausage
  • 12 ounces short whole wheat pasta
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Fill a pasta pot with water and bring it to a boil. Once it boils, salt the water well and add the broccoli. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until it turns a vivid green.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken sausage from its casing and brown in the pan, using a spatula to break it up into crumbles. Once it is brown, use a slotted spoon and transfer the cooked pasta onto a paper towel-lined plate.
  3. Tumble the cooked broccoli into the pan that had once held the sausage and reduce the heat to medium. Bring the water in the pasta pot back to a boil and add the pasta.
  4. Add the garlic to the broccoli, along with the ricotta cheese and the drained sausage. Stir to combine.
  5. When the pasta is finished cooking, drain it and pour it into the pan with the other ingredients. Stir to combine and add 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese, along with 1/2 cup of pasta cooking water.
  6. Season with salt and pepper, and add more pasta water, if it is too thick.
  7. Top with the remaining parmesan cheese. Slide the pan under the broiler to brown the top.
http://foodinjars.com/2016/10/baked-penne-broccoli-ricotta-lagostina-martellata-pasta-set-giveaway/

IMUSA, Goya, and Chicken, Bean, and Kale Stew

imusa-products

Years ago, when Scott and I were first married, we’d often go down to visit his mom in suburban Virginia for Thanksgiving. Near to her apartment was an international supermarket that I found impossibly tempting and so often on the night before the holiday, we’d find ourselves taking a recreational wander up and down the aisles.

imusa-calderos

I’d typically pick up a flat of fruit and an assortment of inexpensive spices as we zigzagged the the store. When we arrived at the section with Goya-branded beans, tomatoes, and other canned goods, my mother-in-law Joan would stop and say enthusiastically in her thick New York accent, “Goya makes a good product!”

goya-products

She made that comment frequently enough that it has become something Scott and I say every time we encounter Goya goods. Thing is, she was right. They do make a good product. Which is why, when I got an email asking if I would participate in a promotion with IMUSA and Goya Foods in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, I said yes without a second thought.

skillet-chicken-ingredients

They sent me a bunch of IMUSA gear and a box bursting with Goya products. After a day spent admiring all the goodies, I used the bulk of the ingredients to cook up dinner (this was before I left for this most recent trip). It ended up being an easy, highly satisfying, and tasty dinner that I will recreate someday in the future.

finished-chicken-and-quinoa

In addition to sending me an assortment of gear, the folks from IMUSA and Goya want to share some of the Hispanic Heritage Month goodness with one of my readers. One lucky person will get an IMUSA Tortilla Warmer and a Goya Cookbook. Here’s how to enter.

  1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me what you’ve been cooking recently.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm eastern time on Saturday, October 8, 2016. Winners will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog on Sunday, October 9, 2016.
  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: I received a box of ingredients and tools to use in the creation of this post. I did not receive any additional compensation. All opinions expressed are my own. 

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Spicy Peach Barbecue Sauce on Freshly Preserved Ideas

This Spicy Peach Barbecue Sauce is the perfect way to put up imperfect, end-of-season peaches (or use some of the ones you stashed in the freezer at the height of the season).

Ingredients for Spicy Peach Barbecue Sauce

Friends, it’s a bittersweet moment. It’s time to share the final recipe I made as part of my summer partnership with Ball Canning. Our goal was to spread the word about the many pleasures of home canning and I do think we managed to do it deliciously.

Finished Spicy Peach Barbecue Sauce in the pot

Today’s recipe is for Spicy Peach Barbecue Sauce and you’ll find the recipe over on Freshly Preserving Ideas, Ball Canning’s snazzy Tumblr. Now, I realize that peach season is over in many parts of the world and is rapidly hurtling to a close in other regions.

If you can still get peaches, you should make this sauce. If fresh peaches are but a memory, it will also work nicely with frozen peaches. Just make sure to start the cooking process with the frozen fruit, rather than letting them defrost first.

Row of jars of Spicy Peach Barbecue Sauce

If you missed them, the other recipes I cooked up for this partnership were Blackberry Lavender Jam, Garlicky Pickled Green BeansHeirloom Tomato Chutney, and Sweet Cherry Compote with Rosemary and Lemon.

Disclosure: I am a paid ambassador for Ball Canning. They compensated me for the development of this recipe! 

 

 

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