January Sponsors: Cuppow, Fillmore Container, MightyNest, Hobby Hill Farm Fresh, and Mason Jar Lifestyle

Food in Jars at the Farm Show

Happy New Year, dear readers! I hope you’ve had a lovely holiday season and that you’re ready to leap into this fresh new year! As is the way of things around here, it’s the beginning of the month and so I’m shining a spotlight on the businesses that help make this blog possible.

Our friends at Cuppow are back in the top spot once again. They are the creator of the original mason jar travel mug topper and the BNTO, a small plastic cup that transforms a canning jar into a snack or lunch box. Back in December, they launched a number of new lid colors and I’ve got my eye on the chartreuse one.

Next up are our friends at Fillmore Container. They are a family-owned business based in Lancaster, PA that sells all manner of canning jars, lids, and other preservation gear. Next week (and for the third year in a row), I’ll be joining them at the Pennsylvania Farm Show. Come say hi on January 11 and 12!

MightyNest is an amazing resource for non-toxic, natural, and organic products for homes and families. Right now, new members can join their monthly product subscription program (called the MightyFix) for just $5 (half off the regularly monthly fee of $10). Subscribers get a green, reusable product and free shipping on everything else you add to your order! Subscribe using the form in this post to get the deal.

Hobby Hill Farm is with us again this month. Based in Powhatan, Virginia, they sell locally made jams and preserves, homemade pretzels, candies, and cheese making kits (including the mozzarella kit I demoed here). What’s more, if you’re in the area, owner Sharon regularly teaches cheese making classes around central Virginia.

Mason Jar Lifestyle is a one-stop shopping site for all the jar lovers out there! They’ve gotsilicone drink lids, fruit infusers, silicone jar seals (great for those times when you want to ensure that your jars aren’t going to leak), copper regular mouth lids (fun for gifts!), and even pin cushion toppers.

If your company or small business is interested in becoming a sponsor, you can find more details here. I offer discounts for multiple month purchases and am always happy to work with your budget. Leave a comment on this post or drop me a note to learn more!

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Sponsored Post: Resolve to Ditch Disposables with the MightyFix from MightyNest

Lifefactory water bottle on window sill - Food in Jars

With just hours to go until the new year arrives, the time is ripe to set some resolutions for the new year. I’m still working on the bulk of mine, but there’s one I can announce with confidence. This is the year that I stop buying bottled water.

It’s not an issue when I’m at home, but often enough, I head out into the world to run a few errands and find myself desperately thirsty. Often the most ready and accessible solution is to buy a bottle of water. Sixteen ounces later, my thirst is quenched and I’m in possession of a plastic bottle to add to the refuse flow.

Lifefactory water bottle in bag - Food in Jars

The solution to the problem? A small reusable water bottle that seals tightly and can be kept in my purse, like this 12 ounce one from Lifefactory (it’s dishwasher safe and so sturdy). Right now, you can get this bottle for just $5, by signing up for the MightyFix from MightyNest. They’re offering this discount to all new users who sign up through the widget below.

Lifefactory water bottle measurements - Food in Jars

If you’ve missed my previous posts about the MightyFix, 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 you want to add to your monthly order from MightyNest will also ship for free.

Without the FIX, this Lifefactory bottle costs $18 + $5.95 in shipping. When you sign up, you’ll get it for just $5. Then, for just $10 a month going forward, you’ll get regular shipments of items that help you make small but rewarding changes throughout the year. It’s a great way to start the year off right!

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Rye Crepes and Apple Cardamom Compote + Anolon Advanced Umber Crepe Pan Giveaway

overhead crepe scene

One of my resolutions for 2016 is to make more crepes. They work for any meal of the day, disguise leftovers beautifully, and can be made in advance and reheated just before serving. They’re also a great vehicle for all manner of homemade jams, preserves, and compotes. Truly, they’re a dream for home cooks.

Recently, my friends at Anolon asked me to develop a crepe recipe using their Anolon Advanced Umber 9.5-inch Crepe Pan. After doing a bit of playing around, I made these Rye Crepes with Buttery Apple Compote.

rye crepe ingredients

I’ve been making crepes for more than 20 years now and have learned a few things in the process. I find that using a blender eliminates any pesky lumps in the batter. Don’t fear the crepe, if one crumples or tears when you flip it, just do your best and keep moving forward. And finally, it helps to have a good pan (like this one from Anolon).

This particular crepe batter is one of my favorites, as the rye flour keeps it tender, and the minimal amount of sugar means you can use it to wrap both sweet and savory fillings. I’m sure you’ll find a way to make it work for you!

finished apple compote

Thanks to the kind folks at Anolon, I have one of these Anolon Advanced Umber 9.5-inch Crepe Pans to give away. Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter!

For more from Anolon and their Holiday Hosting Campaign, make sure to follow them on social media.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Holidays and Giveaway Winners

decorating cookies

Happy holidays, friends! So sorry that I’ve disappeared for the last week. I’ve been in Austin, TX with my family a little over a week now. I meant to get a couple more holiday-centric recipes up to share with you all, but I got lost in the hubbub of small children and the inevitable cold they gave me.

I did want to drop in and announce the winners of the Old Blue Raw Honey and Lagostina Risotto Pot giveaways I hosted before things got crazy.

The Old Blue Raw Honey winners are #14/Lizzie, #72/keapdx, and #159/Lynn.

The Lagostina Risotto Pot winner is #237/Daryl Shawn.

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Holiday Giving: Jan Hagel Cookies

Jan Hagel Ingredients - Food in Jars

As much as I appreciate a plate of beautifully cut-out cookies, I have limited patience for such things (which is funny, since some years back, I became the keeper of the family cookie cutters. I have at least 75 different ones). I prefer a cookie that can be sliced, dropped, or pressed into a pan and cut into bars.

Jan Hagel Dough - Food in Jars

This cookie belongs to the category of things that can be pressed or poured into a rimmed pan, baked and sliced. Called a Jan Hagel, it’s traditional Dutch Christmas cookie that tastes a bit like an almond shortbread. I do love the flavor, but I also appreciate the fact that it takes no more than 10 minutes to construction and only needs 8 pantry-staple ingredients, two bowls, and a hand mixer.

Jan Hagel Dough Pressed Out - Food in Jars

This cookie entered my cookie lexicon back in the winter of 2007, during the time when I was the newly minted head blogger over at Slashfood (AOL’s long-gone food blog). We had a tradition of posting a Cookie-A-Day during the month of December and so the pressure was on to find new and novel cookies. I enlisted my mom to search through her recipe binder, to see if she had any usable suggestions tucked away.

Beaten Egg White - Food in Jars

And she did. She had a Christmas cookie recipe pull-out from a mid-1980s issue of Family Circle. I made four or five of the recipes from that publication and shared them on Slashfood. However, the only recipe that took root in my heart was this one, for the Jan Hagels. I’ve made them just about every year since.

Jan Hagels Pre-baked - Food in Jars

I like to make a fairly thick cookie. I find that you end up with a really flaky top, and a base that tastes and feels like a combination of shortbread and marzipan. If you want a flakier texture throughout, use a larger pan, spread the dough a bit more thinly, and shorten the cooking time.

Jan Hagels Baked and Scored - Food in Jars

Make sure to store these in an airtight container, away from other cookies, so that you don’t loose the crispness of the top.

Jan Hagel Cookies


  • 8 ounces butter (that's two sticks)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for the topping
  • 1 egg, white and yolk separated
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purposed flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine the butter and 1 cup of sugar in a large bowl, and beat with a hand mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolk and almond extract.
  3. Add the flour and salt and beat until the dough comes together.
  4. Press the dough into an even layer in the bottom of a quarter sheet pan. For a thinner, flakier cookie, use a half sheet, but don't press the dough all the way to the edges. There's no need to grease the baking sheet, the dough has enough butter to prevent sticking.
  5. Beat the egg white with your hand mixer (make sure to wash the beater!) until it is light and fluffy, but not to the point of stiff peaks.
  6. Using an off-set spatula, spread the beaten egg white out on top of the cookie dough.
  7. Sprinkle the almond slices evenly over the egg white-painted dough.
  8. Finally, mix the remaining tablespoon of sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle it evenly over the top of the cookie dough.
  9. Bake the cookies for 30-35 minutes (shorter if you're going the thinner cookie route).
  10. As soon as you take the cookies out of the oven, slice them into diamond shapes, by making overlapping diagonal cuts.
  11. Let the cookies cool completely before you remove them from the pan. Break them into diamond shapes and store in an airtight container.

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Three Springs Fruit Farm + Food in Jars

Three Springs Fruit Farm + Food in Jars Preserves

As so many good things in life do, it started with a conversation at the Headhouse Square Farmers Market. Ben Wenk from Three Springs Fruit Farm was looking for ways to make their line of preserves more interesting and wondered if I had any ideas. I suggested some recipes that I thought might work for large scale production. And thus, a partnership was born.

Food in Jars logo on Tart Cherry Jam

Right now, there are just three preserves that are made with Ben’s fruit and my recipes, but hopefully there will be more. There’s the Salted Brown Sugar Peach Jam, the Tart Cherry Jam, and my classic, beloved, much-celebrated Tomato Jam. You can buy them online as a set of three, or if you’re in the mid-Atlantic region, in person at a farmers market.

These preserves don’t mean you should stop making your own. But it does mean that if you run out of tomato jam in March, you can now get your hands on a few jars to tide you over until tomato season returns.

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