Live Online Class on Tuesday, September 22!

plums in a colander

A quick note to say that I’ll be teaching my last live online class of the season on Tuesday, September 22. We’ll start things off at 8 pm eastern time and will go for about an hour.

I’ll make a batch of low sugar plum jam and will talk about how to reduce sugar without compromising set, how to use Pomona’s Pectin (my low sugar pectin of choice), and ways to ensure good flavor when you’re reducing the sweetener.

The recipe I’ll be making is below the jump, just in case you want to can along or have something to reference while I cook.

Continue Reading →

Comments { 5 }

Giveaway: T-fal Clipso Pressure Cooker

T-fal Clipso pressure cooker box

Update: There’s been a bit of confusion and so to clarify, this is a pressure cooker, not a pressure canner. This is not a device in which you can pressure can. It is only good for pressure cooking.

In the early days of this blog, I was a pressure cooking and canning neophyte. Because of a family legacy of pressure cooking disasters, I was just weeks shy of my 30th birthday before I gathered my courage and tried cooking under pressure for the first time.

T-fal Clipso pressure cooker box top

After that maiden voyage with my pressure cooker (documented here), I was a quick convert to its many uses. I often use my pot for quickly cooking dried beans, braising chicken thighs, or making small batches of highly concentrated chicken stock.

T-fal Clipso pressure cooker

Earlier in the summer, I got an email asking if I might be interesting in trying the new Clipso Pressure Cooker from T-fal. Its defining feature is that instead of having a lid that turns to lock into place, you place the lid on the pot (no need to line it up with the handles) and press the button on the top of the pot. One-handed closure magic!

T-fal Clipso lid lock button

Once you’ve locked the lid in place, you toggle the valve to the cook setting (the other setting is the steam release, which we’ll talk about in just a second), set the pot on the heat and start building up a head of steam. The safety button will wiggle into place (making it impossible to open the pot while the contents are under pressure) and eventually some steam will start to escape through the valve.

T-fal Clipso mechanism

Once the steam starts to escape, you reduce the heat to a medium level. I’m always amazing by how relatively little heat you need to maintain pressure for cooking and canning.

When the cooking time is up, you pull the pot off the heat. Because the valve is built in, this doesn’t produce the same amount of uncertain jiggling that you get with a more traditional pot (which I really appreciate).

Locked T-fal pot

To release the pressure, you can either let it cool slowly and drop naturally, or you carefully turn the control valve to allow the steam to escape. I highly prefer this method to rapidly cooling a pot by running it under cool running water. Finally, to remove the lid, you press the button on the side of the lid handle to release the locking mechanism. So easy.

chickpeas in cooker

The first thing I made in my very sturdy Clipso was a batch of garlicky garbanzo beans. I went from dry beans to soft, tender ones in just half an hour (and if your beans were fresher than mine, it might take even less time!). I combined 2 cups of garbanzo beans in the pot with 8 cups of water, 1 teaspoon of salt and 5 smashed garlic cloves. It’s hummus time!

T-fal max fill line

Because the folks at T-fal want to share the pressure cooker love with you guys, they’ve given me one Clipso Pressure Cooker to give away! Here’s how to enter.

  1. Leave a comment on this post and share a pressure cooking tale. Have you done it and love it? Or are you scared? Perhaps you’re somewhere in between.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm east coast time on Saturday, September 26, 2015. The winner will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog on Sunday, September 27, 2015.
  3. Giveaway is open to US residents only (and is void where prohibited).
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left on the blog, I cannot accept submissions via email.

Disclosure: T-fal sent me the Clipso you see pictured here and are providing a second unit for this giveaway. No additional compensation was provided and all opinions remain my own. 

Brit + Co Online Jam Making and Canning Class


Back in late July, I spent a couple fast-paced days in San Francisco, filming a jam making and canning how-to video with a collection of delightful folks from Brit + Co. Their goal is to spark and inspire creativity and they offer an extraordinarily wide range of how-to videos, tutorials, and products designed to do just that.

The canning class we filmed is now available for purchase! In it, I’ll walk you through the steps of prepping a canning pot, choosing fruit, cooking the jam (we used plum jam as an example, but the skills apply to any fruit), filling up the jars, and processing it into shelf stable deliciousness. If you’ve ever wanted to take a class with me but haven’t been able to, now’s your chance to do it, no matter where you are.

Buy Marisa’s Canning Class!

Once you buy the class (it costs a very affordable $9.99), you can watch it again and again (which is great, because it means you can always go back for clarification).  I’ll also be checking in and answering any questions that pop up.

For those of you who buy it, I’d love to know what you think once you’ve taken the class!

Comments { 5 }

Links: Plums, Tomatoes, and Stovetop Granola

kraut toast

Autumn is nearly here and while I’ll miss the long days, the warmth, and the produce (oh, the produce!), I am so very happy for things to be slowing down a bit. I have just a couple more classes on the schedule before settle myself back into a regular routine, catch up on email, and start plotting out the tour for my next book. While I gather myself, may I offer you some links?

There’s no winner to report this week because there was no giveaway last week! However, I’ll have a nice one up tomorrow, so stay tuned!


Comments { 3 }

CSA Cooking: A Trio of Salads and Dips

tomato salad

This month’s Philly Foodworks share arrived during an intensely busy week. My mom was in town, we were prepping for the family wedding, and soon after, I was on my way out of town. I did my best to make quick work of the most perishable things and these three little dishes were the results.

First up is this tomato mint salad. We typically pair tomatoes with basil, but they go awfully well with mint as too. This particular salad contained one large heirloom tomato, half a finely chopped white onion, and a generous fistful of torn mint. The dressing was a big pinch of kosher salt, four turns of the pepper grinder, and a few lashings of olive oil (about two tablespoons, if I had to guess). Add some homemade croutons and it would be a tasty panzanella.

corn salad

Next up is this quick corn salad. It consisted of six lightly cooked ears of corn (five minutes in a pot with an inch of simmering water). After a rinse of cold water, I hacked the kernels off the cob (saving them for stock), and combined them with half a minced red onion (you could also use the other half of the white one from the tomato salad above), and a couple handfuls of roughly chopped mustard greens.

The dressing was 2 tablespoons olive oil, 3 tablespoons champagne vinegar, a teaspoon of kosher salt, and a whole bunch of freshly ground black pepper.

eggplant dip

Last one is a roasted eggplant dip. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking dish with parchment. Cut a big eggplant in half, drizzle it with a little olive oil and throw five or six garlic cloves (still in their wrappers) in the pan as well. Roast the eggplant, cut side up, until it is brown (maybe 15 to 20 minutes). When the eggplant is tender, it is done.

Let the roasted halves cool until you are able to handle them. Scoop out the flesh and put it in a bowl or container. Squeeze the garlic out of their peels and add them to the eggplant. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil, the juice of one lemon, and a pinch of salt. For a chunky dip, mash it with a fork. For something smoother, zap it with an immersion blender (that’s what I did).

salad trio dinner

We actually ate all three of these dishes together with Joy’s chicken ricotta meatballs for dinner, but any one would make a nice addition to a meal.

Comments { 4 }

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!

Comments { 8 }