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Sponsored Post: Give the Gift of the MightyFix from MightyNest

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During my visit with my parents earlier this week, we spent some time talking about the coming holidays. Mostly, the conversation was strategic. We mapped out transportation, thought through menu ideas, and traded thoughts on what to get my sister’s two young boys. We also talked about gifts for one another, but kept coming back around to the reality that we all have pretty much everything we need.

And so we struck a deal. This year, we’re only giving gifts that serve a purpose. Bars of good soap are great, but useless appliances are not. Edible gifts are a-okay, but no one needs another sweater. And anything that helps keep our kitchens clean and running smoothly are always welcome.

If you find that your family feels the same as mine, may I suggest the MightyFix from my friends at MightyNest? It’s a monthly subscription service that sends full sized non-toxic products for the kitchen and home. It costs $10 a month and ships for free. What’s more, anything your recipient wants to add to their monthly order from MightyNest will also ship for free.

It’s a gift that continues to give all year long, which means that your favorite cousin or your best friend will get monthly reminders that you’re thinking about them. When the MightyFix was first launched, I bought a subscription for my sister, and she’s really appreciated the various shipments she’s gotten. It’s included things like Bee’s Wrap, a set of reusable Produce Bags, a stack of six Tidy Dish Cloths, and lunchbox-ready leakproof Stainless Steel Containers.

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Because of the popularity of the MightyFix, the folks at MightyNest are only able to offer a limited number of subscriptions. If it’s something you’re interested in getting for a friend, I’d suggest you subscribe sooner rather than later. They are offering 6 month, 9 month and 12 month subscriptions. And, if you’re one of the first 250 people to use the widget below to sign up, you’ll get a holiday bonus in the form of credit that you can use for your own MightyNest purchase.

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All-Clad NS1 Nonstick Induction Chef’s Pan + Kabocha Squash, Coconut, and Wild Rice Stew

finished all-clad dish - Food in Jars

About a month ago, I got an email asking if I might want to participate in a blogger promotion that All-Clad was running in order to spread the word about their new line of NS1 Nonstick Induction cookware. They would send me the NS1 Chef’s Pan so that I could play with it, develop a dish in it, and then share both my thoughts and the recipe with my readers. Of course I said yes. Who says no to All-Clad?

All-Clad pot - Food in Jars

This line of All-Clad is made from anodized aluminum, has a sturdy three-layer PFOA-free nonstick interior, and is induction-compatible thanks to steel base that also helps prevent warping. The chef’s pan has high sides and broad cooking surface that makes it great for simmering, sautéing, and steaming. Currently, the NS1 Nonstick Induction line is available exclusively at Williams-Sonoma and the pan they sent me sells for $99.95.

All-Clad handle - Food in Jars

In the month that I’ve had it, the NS1 chef’s pan has become my favorite for wilting and braising greens (something I do A LOT in the winter), because it has a bit more vertical real estate than a frying pan, and the tight-fitting lid keeps the moisture in the pan. I also like it for one of my favorite weird breakfasts – sauteed cabbage with a couple of eggs scrambled in once the cabbage wilts and browns (a simple version of the dish Joy explains here).

interior of All-Clad pot - Food in Jars

The nonstick surface has proved itself to be among the most sturdy and easy to clean that I’ve tried in my cooking career, It still looks pristine after a month of regular use. I haven’t taken particular care to baby it, either. I wash it and set it in my dish drainer, same as all my other cookware (this pan is dishwasher safe, but it just doesn’t seem necessary, given how easily it cleans up with a quick swipe of the sponge).

greens and squash cubes - Food in Jars

Now, let’s chat about the dish I created. It’s a stew of kabocha squash (though any sweet, dense winter squash would do), braised greens (a combination of kale and baby spinach), wild rice, red lentils, and coconut milk. It’s loosely based on a recipe in Liana Krisoff’s brillian book Whole Grains for a New Generation, and is delicious, filling, and entirely vegan.

All-Clad dish close - Food in Jars

I love making easy stews like this one in this chef’s pan, because the flared shape helps the moisture evaporate out, concentrating the flavors in the pan. It also has plenty of room for the eight cups of chopped greens that finishes the dish.

Thanks to the kind folks at All-Clad, I have one of these All-Clad NS1 Nonstick Induction Chef’s Pan to give away. Here’s how to enter.

  1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me what you’d cook in this pan.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm eastern time on Saturday, November 14, 2015. Winners will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog on Sunday, November 15, 2015.
  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: All-Clad sent me the pan you see pictured above and they’re provided the giveaway unit, both at no cost to me. No additional compensation was provided.

For more about these fabulous pans, follow All-Clad and Williams-Sonoma on social media!
All-Clad: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram
Williams-Sonoma: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

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Thoughts on Potlucks + Baby Arugula and Oregon Berry Salad

baby arugula and berries

This post is sponsored by the folks at the Oregon Raspberry & Blackberry Commission. Nobody grows berries like Oregon does!

All week now, I’ve had potlucks on the brain. It’s in part because I’ve been reading potluck-centric comments all week on that The Homemade Kitchen giveaway (have you entered yet?). However, it’s also because with fall-like weather finally here, it just feels like the time to make a shareable dish, and gather with friends to eat.

Stahlbush Island Farms berries

Whenever I plan a dish to bring for a potluck, there are a few things I keep in mind. First in my mind is to make something flexible, that could make up the bulk of a meal (if offerings are sparse) but that can also be comfortably eaten alongside a wide array of other items. To me, that means that I want to make something that includes both a vegetable and a protein, but that isn’t too strongly flavored.

Oregon berries

I also want to plan something that can travel well, needs minimal assembly, holds up well at room temperature, doesn’t take up too much space on the table, and can be eaten with a fork (there’s also a subset of things I consider when taking food allergies into account).

What this typically means is that I often opt for either sturdy salads, a whole grain bake, or if I’m rushed for time, a multigrain baguette, a log of goat cheese, and a jar of jam or chutney (what good is a homemade pantry if you don’t use it?).

berries to defrost

When it comes to building a salad to take to a potluck, I have a steadfast formula. First, I pick a tasty green base (young kale, baby arugula, chopped romaine hearts, or a combination of all three). Then I choose something sweet (berries, apple slices, slivers of pear, or roasted beets are some favorites).

Finally, I choose a protein source (cheese, nuts, tofu, or chicken), something creamy (cheese or avocado, mostly), something crunchy (slivered onions, nuts or seeds, cucumbers, or carrots) and a dressing (homemade vinaigrettes made with fruit shrubs are the best).

defrosted berries

This time of year, most of us think that we have to wave goodbye to berries on our salads, but thanks to the clever folks at the Oregon Raspberry and Blackberry Commission, I’ve learned a trick for defrosting frozen berries that keeps them whole and perfect for tossing into salads.

Essentially, you spread the berries out on a lined plate (paper towel or clean kitchen rag), and the use the defrost setting on your microwave in short spurts, until the berries lose their frostiness. It’s impressively effective and the berries keep their shape beautifully.

tossed berry salad

I wasn’t on top of things enough this summer to freeze local berries, but have been employing this microwave trick to prep frozen Stahlbush Island Farms berries for my salads. As a former Oregonian, I love knowing that I’m eating berries from my beloved home state.

The salad you see above included baby arugula, slivered almonds, sliced shallots, raspberries and Marionberries, crumbled feta, and a dressing of blueberry shrub, olive oil, salt, and pepper. While it was big enough to take to a potluck, this was one I didn’t share. I ate the whole thing for lunch instead.

For more information about Oregon raspberries and blackberries, look for the commission on Facebook, Twitter, or by searching the hashtag #ORberries.

Disclosure: The Oregon Raspberry & Blackberry Commission is the sponsor of this post. They provided the berries, the OXO salad dressing shaker, and covered ingredient costs. All my opinions are my own and I’m honored to shine a spotlight on the berries grown in Oregon. 

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Sponsored Post: Adopt a Beehive with Cox’s Honey

Cox honey bear

Honey is magical stuff. Made by bees from nectar, enzymes, and hard work, it is wonderfully sweet, tastes of its time and place, almost never goes bad, and is even said to have healing properties. I always have a few varieties in my kitchen and use them daily to sweet preserves, enhance my tea, or mellow the sharpness of a homemade vinaigrette.

Cox creamed honey

I have always longed to have my own hive, but as an adult, have never lived in a place where it was possible (darned high rise living). As a consolation, I make a point to support the bees by buying honey raised and gathered by conscientious humans and being educated about the honey bee situation in our country.

honey from Cox

Back in the spring, I got an email from someone at Cox’s Honey, asking me if I’d like a beehive of my very own. Intrigued, I wrote back. Sadly, they hasn’t invented a hive I could attach to my 20th story window. Instead, they were inviting me to join their Beehive Adoption program.

Cox clover honey

There are four levels of beehive adoption (bronze, silver, gold, and platinum), with various price points to match. No matter what level you choose, you get a welcome kit that includes a Certificate of Adoption, the GPS location of your hive, glossy pictures of your hive and the bees, a 12 ounce honey bear and 20 ounce container of creamed honey, and 10% off all online purchase at Cox’s Honey will also donate 10% of your payment to The American Bee Federation.

bee hive pictures

You also get regular shipments of honey with your adoption. The amount depends on the level you select (bronze level memberships get 9 pounds over the course of the year, silver gets 15, gold gets 20, and platinum gets 30). You can pay in either monthly installments or in a single, monthly payment. So many options!

adoption certificate

Being the honey lover I am, I said yes to Beehive Adoption and soon after, received my first shipment of Cox’s Honey. I love using their clover honey in my preserving projects because it has a mild flavor that complements fruit incredibly well. I recently made a batch of this Pear Vanilla Drizzle sweetened with honey and it is ridiculously good.

buzzing bee pictures

I realize that for some of you, it might be too early to start thinking about this, but if you’re beginning to ponder holiday gifts, a Beehive Adoption might be just the thing for someone on your list. Bee fans and home canners alike will appreciate both the thought as well as the quarterly shipments of honey!

Disclosure: In exchange for writing this post, the folks at Cox’s Honey enrolled me in their Beehive Adoption program at the platinum level, which has a value of $270. However, my thoughts and opinions remain my own.

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Sponsored Post: An Alternative to Plastic Wrap from MightyNest’s MightyFix

Bee's Wrap pair

Last month, I wrote about the new subscription service, called MightyFix, from our friends at MightyNest. For $10 a month, they’ll send you full sized product that is actually worth at least $10 (and often, will have a far higher price point) and they’ll ship it for free. What’s more, anything else you want to add to your FIX from their site also ships for free.

Bee's Wrap side by side

For the September FIX, MightyNest is featuring a product called Bee’s Wrap. I first wrote about this nifty food storage solution two years ago and it remains one of my favorite tools for reducing plastic waste in the kitchen. And, as an added bonus, they’ve also included a recipe card featuring my Honey Sweetened Blueberry Jam with this FIX!

beeswrap radishes

photo courtesy of MightyNest/Bee’s Wrap

It is made in Vermont from organic cotton muslin that has been imbued with beeswax, jojoba oil, and tree resin. You wrap a sheet around a block of cheese, a loaf of bread, or a dish, and then use the heat of your hands to mold the fabric into place. It keeps food fresh and when your sheet of Bee’s Wrap does wear out, you can put it in the compost instead of the landfill (can’t say that about plastic bags).


photo courtesy of MightyNest/Bee’s Wrap

I find that these wrappers are quite easy to care for. For crumbs and condensation, a quick rinse will do it. For sticky residue, a wipe of gentle dish soap and a rinse in lukewarm water (you want to avoid the hottest water your tap can produce, in order to prevent the wax from melting off the fabric) is all you need. Let them air dry and then they’re ready to reuse again.

photo courtesy of MightyNest/Bee's Wrap

photo courtesy of MightyNest/Bee’s Wrap

If this sounds intriguing, here’s the MightyFix deal for this month. If you haven’t already been a MightyFix subscriber and you sign up using the widget below, you’ll get your first month of the FIX for free.

The retail cost for the two wraps that this month’s FIX includes costs $13.10 + $5.95 for shipping. Without the FIX, you’d pay $19.05. And remember, if you want to order anything else from MightyNest, you won’t pay a cent in shipping. It’s a darned good deal!

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Making Mozzarella with Hobby Hill Farm’s Kit

Hobby Hill Farm cheese making kit

Did I say that I was going to write about my experience using the Hobby Hill Farm cheese making kit on Tuesday? It appears that I actually meant Thursday. Oops!


Step one with any new food endeavor is to read the instructions carefully and make sure you have all ingredients and gear. The kit comes with every necessary ingredient except for the milk. As far as gear goes, you need a big pot, a slotted spoon, a microwave-safe bowl, and a thermometer to track the temperature of the milk.


While the milk heats, you dissolve citric acid in water and a bit of rennet in another small portion of water.

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