Cashew Butter with Honey and Cinnamon

jar of cashews - Food in Jars

Back in late March, before I left for three weeks away, I tumbled into a flurry of making. I find that this often happens to me just before I leave for a trip, for so many reasons. I’m a procrastinator by nature and so often have a few ingredients that must be used or preserved before I leave town.

roasted cashews - Food in Jars

I always need things to write about on this site and so I scramble to get a few things in the can (jar, really) to share while I’m gone. And knowing that I probably won’t be doing much cooking beyond demos and classes during my travels, like to cook up until the last minute, to fill up that creative tank until I return to my little kitchen.

cashew butter ingredients - Food in Jars

I’ve been thinking a lot about homemade nut butters lately. I’ve long had a weakness for interestingly flavored and spiced peanut, almond, and seed butters, but hate spending $10 or $12 for a nine-ounce jar (not that I haven’t done it on occasion). Several years back, I went through a phase when I often made my own, but hit a point where the elderly food processor I used for all things began to struggle with nuts.

cashew butter halfway - Food in Jars

Last summer, things changed in my nut butter making world. I got a new food processor. A former canning student got in touch to say that he and family were moving out of the country, and would I be interested in buying his barely used 14 cup Magimix processor for a very good price? We made a deal that day.

finished cashew butter - Food in Jars

This isn’t to say that you need a fancy new processor to make nut butters, but I won’t deny that this new, zippy beast has sped up the process. I also no longer worry that my machine is going to die halfway through the making ritual, which is comforting.

cashew butter jar - Food in Jars

Now, a bit about the actual cashew butter. I flavored mine with honey and cinnamon, but variations using maple with vanilla, or golden syrup with cardamom would also be nice. I also use a little coconut oil to help aid the transition from nut flour to nut butter. However, if you can’t stand the slight taste of coconut that it imparts, try using a neutral oil like grapeseed or canola.

Continue Reading →

Comments { 3 }

Curious Feast Postcard Box from Princeton Architectural Press

Curious Feast box - Food in Jars

I have always loved the convergence of food and art. Whether it’s a carefully arranged platter of cut vegetables designed to please the eye, or a more enduring still life rendered in oils or water color, I am always drawn in. Which is why I found the new box of postcards from Princeton Architectural Press so appealing.

Curious Feast open box - Food in Jars

Called Curious Feast: 100 Postcards by 10 Artists, this compact box features cards from artists who specialize in food-related art. The pieces are wide-ranging and include a realistic bowl of ramen, close-ups of food that look more like the surface of the moon than something edible, hand-written recipes, food sculpted out of fabric, and lots more.

Curious Feast strawberries - Food in Jars

The artists featured in Curious Feast are Naz Sahin Ozcan (curator), Alex Proba, Brest Brest Brest, Caren Alpert, Melinda Josie, Patricia Curtan, Michele Humes, Mimi O Chun, Wijnand Warendorf, and Joel Penkman. It should come to no surprise that my two favorite cards in the box are Mimi O Chun’s canning and pickling-themed ones. I want that plush jar!

Curious Feast jars - Food in Jars


The box would make a good gift for food lovers, those who like to send (or just collect) postcards, or anyone who wants to brighten up their workspace, kitchen, or dining room with whimsical pictures of food. The Curious Feast box is available from Amazon, or directly from Princeton Architectural Press.

Disclosure: The PR folks at Princeton Architectural Press sent me the Curious Feast box in the hopes that I might be charmed by it and be moved to share it here on the blog. I was entirely delighted by it and so wrote this post. No additional compensation was provided and all opinions expressed in this blog post are my own. 

Comments { 2 }

Giveaway: Mason Jar Lifestyle Mother’s Day Coffee Gift Set

Mason Jar Lifestyle Mother's Day Mother's Day Coffee Gift Set - Food in Jars

I’ve been excited about this week’s giveaway since Maggie from Mason Jar Lifestyle (a Food in Jars sponsor!) first reached out about it. Her Mother’s Day Coffee Gift Set pairs up two of my favorite things (jars and coffee) and gives people the opportunity to celebrate their favorite maternal individual. It’s a very winning combination!

Mason Jar Coffee Co. - Food in Jars

The gift set costs $39.99 (including shipping!) and includes a bounty of jar-related coffee goodness. First thing you’ll spot when your recipient (or you!) open the box is a 12 ounce bag of medium roast coffee from the Mason Jar Coffee Company (best name ever!), based in Linden, MI. You can get either whole beans or opt to have them ground.

Mason Jar Lifestyle handle sleeve - Food in Jars

In addition to the bag of coffee, your recipient will get a wide mouth mason jar and a faux leather sleeve handle, designed to protect your fingers and make manageable a jar of piping hot coffee. The handle sleeve feels sturdy, fits the jar securely, and does a great job of absorbing heat.

Mason Jar Lifestyle silicone drink lids - Food in Jars

Also included in the set are a pair of Mason Jar Lifestyle-branded silicone drink lids. Maggie included two in the kit because she understands that dishes can sometimes sit in the sink for a day or two and wanted to make sure that busy moms could always find at least one clean drink lid!

Jarware Coffee Spoon Clip - Food in Jars

The last thing your mama will find in her box of coffee and jar goodness is a clip-on coffee spoon, made by Jarware. It fits snugly on both regular and wide mouth mason jar, so that you always have the perfect portioning scoop on hand (excellent for groggy mornings).

Maggie will also tuck one of the mason jar “Happy Mother’s Day” notecards you see at the top into every box. If you want a special message written on yours, just make sure to indicate that at check out!

Milky Coffee in Handled Jar Sleeve - Food in Jars

To enter the Mason Jar Lifestyle Mother’s Day Coffee Gift Set giveaway, complete at least one of the tasks in the widget below! If you can’t bear to leave things to chance, you can order your very own set right here. Just know that they’ll be closing orders on this deal on May 1, to ensure that all sets arrive in time for May 8.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: Maggie from Mason Jar Lifestyle sent me the Coffee Gift Set you see pictured above so that I could take pictures of it and share my experiences with it. She is also providing the giveaway unit. Both sets are being provided at no cost to me. What’s more, Mason Jar Lifestyle is a Food in Jars sponsor and so provides monetary support to this website. However, all opinions expressed here are entirely my own and uninfluenced by our partnership. 

Sponsored Post: Revol Dutch Oven and Braised Chicken and Potatoes

Revol pot top - Food in Jars

I have long considered myself something of an enthusiastic amateur cookware expert. I can discuss the pros and cons of enameled cast iron, tri-ply stainless steel, non-stick, and anodized aluminum with the best of them. However, until recently, there was one cookware category about which I had no first-hand knowledge. Ceramic cookware.

Revol pot open - Food in Jars

I’d had my eye on an array of ceramic Dutch ovens for years now, but never managed to pull the trigger and add one to my collection of pots and pans. So when the folks from Revol got in touch and asked if I might want to try out something from their collection, I said yes.

Revol pot side - Food in Jars

I spent hours studying the Revol website before settling on 3.75 quart round ceramic Dutch oven in white. When it arrived, I pulled it out of the packaging and was pleasantly surprised to discover that it was both incredibly sturdy and yet far lighter than similarly sized enameled cast iron pieces.

sliced onions for Revol - Food in Jars

I found myself choosing the Revol Dutch oven over other pots and braisers in my collection, particularly during the time when my mother-in-law was so sick, because it was perfect for the simple, stovetop to oven dishes that I made for ease and comfort during that time.

potatoes for Revol - Food in Jars

I discovered that the Revol Dutch oven worked beautifully on my electric range and cleaned up with less scrubbing than the other cookware I often used. I also appreciated the fact that the lid had braising spikes to help the moisture circulate within the pot during cooking. They just make for more delicious food.

browning chicken Revol - Food in Jars

One of the dishes I made several times before leaving on my recent book tour was a one-pot braise of chicken, cabbage, onions, and potatoes. You brown the chicken in a little olive oil and then pull it out of the pot. Then you sauté the onions and cabbage in the remaining fat, deglaze with a little white wine or chicken stock, tuck the chicken back in, and arrange some quartered potatoes on top.

chicken dish for Revol - Food in Jars

The lid goes back on the pot and you slide it into a moderate oven to cook. It stays there for about an hour, until the chicken is falling apart and the potatoes are tender.

braised chicken Revol - Food in Jars

I always make enough for two meals and we eat it with steamed broccoli or sautéed kale (though since there’s cabbage in the pot, you could also skip the side and call it a complete meal).

plated Revol chicken - Food in Jars

For more information about Revol cookware, visit their site. The recipe for the braised chicken and potatoes is after the jump!

Continue Reading →

Comments { 6 }

Updates from the West Coast Book Tour

Cart of Naturally Sweet Food in Jars at Powell's

This is it. The last day of my west coast book tour. It has certainly been one for my personal record books. I taught six hands-on classes, spent nearly 16 hours demonstrating how to make Strawberry Cocoa Jam, went to ten different cities (in two different countries!), did a TV spot, a radio interview, and spoke at Powell’s Books (huge thanks to Ivy Manning for helping with that event).

I logged countless hours in cars (both a rented Passat and my parents’ trusty Outlander wagon) and managed to recover from a case of the flu in a relatively short amount of time. And best of all, I met so many wonderful people and signed lots of books.

I’ve got a demo and book signing tonight at the Book Larder in Seattle. After that, I drive back to my parents’ house in Portland, give them back their car, and fly home to Philadelphia on Thursday (just in time to make brisket for our Saturday Seder).

I’ll have a recipe up for you guys tomorrow, but in the mean time, I’ve got a few links I want to share.

First up is the clip of me making jam and pickles on AM Northwest last Friday. I only had six minutes, so I couldn’t do anything completely, but I think you get the idea behind those two recipes.

A few weeks ago, I did an interview with Margaret Roach for her radio show, A Way to Garden. If you haven’t heard it yet, you can find it here.

The interview I did for the Food Show on KBOO (Portland’s Community Radio Station) aired earlier today. The archived version isn’t up yet, but when it is, you’ll find it here. Running Press has also donated two copies of Naturally Sweet Food in Jars to KBOO for their fundraising drive. It’s a great way to support a small radio station AND get a copy of my new book.

Over at the Fillmore Container blog, you’ll find a really great post in which a number of preserving writers offer up their thoughts on what preserving means to them. I wrote a few paragraphs for them, as did Theresa Loe, Joel and Dana from Well Preserved, Amanda Feifer, Linda Ziedrich, Sean Timberlake, Sharon Peterson, and Nancy Wilker.

And finally, it’s Wednesday, which means that there’s a brand new episode of Local Mouthful available for your listening pleasure. This week, Joy and I chatted about potatoes, Passover, stinging nettles, and more!

Comments { 4 }

Giveaway: $150 of Freeze-Dried Food from Harvest Right

HarvestRight jars

Photo courtesy of Harvest Right

When I was a kid, freeze dried foods seemed magical. They looked like their fresh counterparts, but when you bit into them they were typically crisp and a bit crumbly. The one my sister and I liked the best was the freeze dried ice cream (aka astronaut’s ice cream), because it was such a sweet treat.

Harvest Right freeze dryers

Photo courtesy of Harvest Right

When I started preserving food and was researching all the various ways to do it, I looked into what it took to freeze dry food and discovered at that time, it just wasn’t something that could be done at home. The machines cost tens of thousands of dollars and were far bigger than anything I could fit into my apartment-sized kitchen.

Harvest Right packaging

However, in recent years, a company called Harvest Right has entered the market with a freeze dryer that’s scaled and priced for home use. While not cheap, it allows home users to preserve food in a way that makes it light, easily storable, and still delicious.

Harvest Right apple slices

I’ve not had a chance to try a Harvest Right Home Freeze Dryer myself (sadly, this machine is still a bit too big for my little apartment), reading this post over on Our Best Bites made me itch to take one for a spin. However, I have had a chance to try some food dried in one of these magical freeze dryers and I’ve found them to be flavorful, texturally interesting, and really fun to eat.

Harvest Right freeze-dried bananas

For today’s giveaway, Harvest Right wants to give one lucky Food in Jars reader a chance to try some food preserved in their Home Freeze Dryer. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter to win $150 worth of food dried in a Harvest Right machine (to maximize your chances, make sure to enter using all the different options)!

a Rafflecopter giveaway