Archive | partnerships RSS feed for this section

New Amber Jars from Ball Canning + Discount Code from Fillmore Container

Curious about the new amber Ball jars? Use the code “BALL5%OFF” on Fillmore Container to get 5% off all Ball jars.

Spring is here! The birds are chirping. Daffodils are blooming. New-born lambs are gamboling. And this year’s line-up of specialty mason jars from Ball Canning are now available.

This year, these specialty jars come in three sizes (pint, quart, and half gallon) and are made of sturdy amber glass. Unlike previous colored jars, these amber ones are designed to block 99% of harmful UV rays, which can help maintain quality, color, and fragrance in preserves, dried herbs, and tinctures.

One thing I like about these jars is that they glass is so opaque that it doesn’t appear to discolor the contents of the jar, it simply conceals (unlike previous generations of colored jars, which left your preserves looking a little sickly).

I also appreciate how thick and sturdy the glass feels (while I haven’t pulled out a measuring device, I believe that the walls might be a bit thicker than in other Ball jars). The only downside to their opacity is that if you use them for canning, you really need to label the jars well, because you’re not going to be able to intuit the contents without opening the jar.

This week, I’ve teamed up with Fillmore Container, to show you how these jars perform in a canning situation and offer a discount code (read on!), in case you want to get some of your own. I cooked up a batch of this strawberry ginger jam and processed two of the three pints the recipe made in these new amber jars.

The reason I chose to use these jars for strawberry jam is that it’s a preserve that is notorious for its tendency to discolor, particularly if made with lower amounts of sugar. My hope is that six months from now, these jars will still be vividly bright.

Now, you might be wondering why I’ve teamed up with Fillmore Container to tell you about these new jars, rather than with Ball Canning. The reason is this. Ball isn’t selling jars or appliances directly to consumers anymore. If you’ve been over to Fresh Preserving lately, you might have noticed this.

However, Fillmore Container has one of the largest selections of Ball jars available online (and they are a family-owned company based right here in Pennsylvania), making it easy for you guys to get your hands on these jars.

This week, you can use the code “BALL5%OFF” to get 5% off all the Ball Jars that Fillmore Container sells. This coupon is valid April 23, 2018 through April 30, 2018. You do need to be logged into a user account on the Fillmore Container site for the coupon code to work (an account is free to set up) and the discount does not apply to shipping.

I definitely feel like these amber jars have a place in my kitchen and pantry and I’m happy to have them as an option. What are your thoughts?

Disclosure: Fillmore Container is a Food in Jars sponsor and provided the jars pictured in this post at no cost to me. 

Comments { 5 }

Loaded Baked Potato and Cauliflower Soup from Healthyish and OXO

Back in January, before I entered the “all work, all the time” stage of my book writing process, I said that I would participate in a blogging challenge with OXO. This one featured the new cookbook Healthyish by Lindsay Maitland Hunt and an array of OXO tools. I opted to make the Loaded Potato and Cauliflower Soup and soon after, received a copy of the book and some of the tools necessary to make a batch.

I unpacked the book and the tools, took some pretty pictures, and then got swept away in my own book frenzy. However, with the post deadline approaching, I did the hard mental work of switching gears (I’ve been so singularly focused that I’m fairly certain that my brain made a loud, screeching sound as I opened the book) and planned to make some soup.

I read the through the recipe, made a grocery list, and walked to pick up the ingredients I needed. Back home, I chopped, stirred, and pureed. As I worked, I realized that making someone else’s recipe was exactly what I needed. I didn’t have to take notes, measure the size of my dice, or pay close attention to the exact duration of the cooking time (when I develop recipes, I often run a stop watch to ensure that I exactly capture the timing).

It was also a pleasure to have some new OXO tools to use. I’m been in such a rut with my gear that the new equipment brought a really pleasurable lift to the act of cooking.

Here’s what they sent:

  • The Pro 8 inch Chef’s Knife – Wickedly sharp right out of the package and the perfect weight for flying through vegetables.
  • The Swivel Peeler – Grippy, sharp, and put my stained Y-model to shame.
  • The Wooden Corner Spoon – Made of solid wood and carved to the perfect angle for getting into the corner of the pot.
  • The Kitchen and Herb Scissors – Perfect for slicing the bacon into slivers for garnish, and the blades come apart for easy cleaning.
  • The Coarse Grater – This grater laughed at my hard cheddar and reduced it to shreds with ease. It’s also far simpler to clean than my ancient box grater.
  • The 12 inch Tongs – They are now the longest reaching tongs in my kitchen. They’re good for flipping bacon, retrieving toast, and grabbing boxes of crackers from on top of the fridge.

We ate this twice for dinner and each time I was reminded of the importance of taking time to eat good food and relax a little, even during the most action packed times. I look forward to cooking more of the recipes from Healthyish (though probably not until the book is turned in).

Continue Reading →

Comments { 1 }

Coconut and Cracked Brown Rice Pudding

Earlier in the fall, I got an email from the folks at Goya. They were writing to tell me about one of the ways that they’re working to reduce hunger and asked if I’d be interested in helping spread the word. You see, every time someone has bought a can of Goya Coconut Milk in November and December, Goya has been donating products to Feeding America.

The donated food is then distributed to hungry families through local food banks across the country. This ‘Can Do’ campaign is part of Goya Gives, a national initiative committed to supporting local communities through social and environmental causes. By the end of the year, Goya will donate at least 600,000 pounds of food (the more you buy, the more they give).

They asked if they could send me a few ingredients with which I would develop a recipe featuring coconut milk. Of course I said yes (anything to help feed more people). The only problem is that I missed one word in the email. Savory. They wanted me to create a savory dish that could be served for dinner (makes sense, since Meatless Mondays was also part of the partnership). I blame the amount of space my new book is currently taking up in my head.

I made rice pudding before I reread the email and realized my mistake. And I just didn’t have time to create something new. So I’m here with a recipe that’s only in partial keeping with the campaign. But if it encourages you to head out and buy some Goya coconut milk, then I will still have done my job. And if savory is what you want, here are some other recipes to try.

I still encourage you to try this recipe. It’s lush, not-too-sweet, and is the perfect foil to bright, tangy jams. It’s cooked in the oven and only stirred occasionally, so it’s wonderfully hands off. The only trick is that you need to blitz the rice in a blender or food processor before combining it with the rest of the ingredients, to ensure a truly creamy texture.

This oven cooked technique borrows from recipes published by Laurie Colwin, Jane Grigson, and others. I use lengths of lemon peel to help balance the richness of the coconut milk, but you could also try lime or even cardamom pods. This time of year, a few cloves and some clementine peel would also be nice.

Continue Reading →

Comments { 4 }

Folk Potions for the Holidays

One of the things that runs in my family is the drive to etch a fresh path and create something that is uniquely ours. At various times in their lives, my parents have made films, opened toy stores, published volumes of poetry, recorded albums, and run music-centric businesses.

My own career path over the last nine years has been one of writing, teaching, making, and inventing the roadway with each step. And my sister is much the same. She’s been a working folk singer and song writer for over 15 years. She spent the bulk of her twenties traveling, playing music, and collaborating with fellow musicians.

Since having her babies (now three and six!), Raina hasn’t been able to travel as much. While she’s still playing music, last year she started up a little business that allows her to satisfy her need to make and engage with others while staying closer to home. It’s called Folk Potions and she sells an array of handmade, organic body butters, salves, balms, and deodorants.

Everything Raina sells is made by hand in small batches in her kitchen in Austin, Texas. I use her Lavanilla Body Butter on my hands and feet nearly every day and swear by her Melty Minty Lip Balm.

If you’re still on the hunt for holiday gifts, you have until December 20th to place a Folk Potions order! I highly recommend the five piece Natural Skincare Gift Pack for an easy, sure-to-be-appreciated present! Oh, and make sure to follow Folk Potions on Instagram. She often posts about new products and announces when beloved items come back into stock!

Disclosure: Folk Potions is a business created and run by my baby sister. She did not pay me to post this (though occasionally she will drop her new products into the mail for me to try). Her stuff is simply so good that I had to share. 

Comments { 1 }

Triple Bean and Rice Soup Mix

This recipe is part of my Secret Santa partnership with Newell Brands, makers of Ball® Fresh Preserving Products.

Continue Reading →

Comments { 0 }

Red Lentil and Orzo Soup Mix

This recipe is part of my Secret Santa partnership with Newell Brands, makers of Ball® Fresh Preserving Products.

Continue Reading →

Comments { 1 }