Links: Author Copies, June Taylor, and Winners

My author copies have arrived! It's getting real!

On Saturday, some of my author copies arrived. I went from having a single copy of the new book in the apartment to having a stack of 15. My email is exploding with logistics and my to-do list has run over to a second page in my notebook. I’m dealing with the stress of it all by continuing to knit simple scarves and walking to the dog park to watch the pups run wrestle and run after toys.

The quiet before the storm is always the hardest part for me. Once the book is out there and everything starts rolling, I’ll be good. It’s just this period of anticipation that’s making me ever so slightly crazy. Now, links!

Tulid stacked side

So many thanks to everyone who entered the Tulid giveaway last week. The winners are:

The giveaway is going on vacation for the next couple weeks, but will be back on March 24. Stay tuned!

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Cookbooks: Metropolitan Bakery 20 For 20

Metro bakery cookbooks

One of my favorite things about my neighborhood is the Metropolitan Bakery. They bake the most glorious breads and pastries (I’m a fool for their millet muffins and fennel soft pretzels), have a refrigerator case stocked with free range eggs, local dairy products, and produce, and serve as a pick-up location for a number of area CSA shares. I’m in there at least once a week (if not more).

focaccia

In 2003 after ten years in business, they published a really nice cookbook that featured a number of their greatest hits from the bakery, including those millet muffins (I wrote about them back in the first year of this site). Amazon has a number of used copies, or you can get a shiny new one directly from Metropolitan.

Panna Cotta

Recently, Metropolitan opened up a cafe next door to their Rittenhouse bakery that serves an array of sandwiches, soups, salads, coffee drinks, and desserts. In concert with that opening, they’ve put out a new collection of recipes. Called Metropolitan Bakery 20 For 20 (that means 20 new recipes for their 20th anniversary), it features recipes from the new cafe as well as a handful from the bakery.

Homemade Cream Cheese

The book has the feel of a high end quarterly magazine and is gorgeously photographed and designed. The recipe selection is eclectic and features such things as fermented dill pickles, bay leaf panna cotta with candied kumquats, homemade cream cheese, and pink peppercorn shortbread. Oh, and if you do get your hands on a copy of this book, don’t miss the salted chocolate cherry cookies in the very back. They are one of my very favorite things.

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Honey Sweetened Meyer Lemon Curd

honey sweetened lemon curd

After I posted the recipe for blood orange curd last week, my mom’s best friend Maria sent me a note asking whether if curds could be made with honey instead of sugar. She and her husband are on a limited diet right now, but honey, eggs, citrus, and dairy are allowed. If a batch of curd could be sweetened with honey, she though it would make a very nice treat in the face of a whole bunch of food restrictions.

I’d not tried making a citrus curd with honey before, but dove into the challenge. I used the same recipe framework that had worked so nicely for the blood oranges, but cut back on the egg yolks by one (to account for the extra liquid the honey would be adding) and swapped in honey for sugar by weight (3/4 cup of sugar weighs 6 ounces, so I used that much honey. Because honey weighs more than sugar, the volume measure is 1/2 cup).

It took a few minutes longer to set up, but it came together beautifully. I used Meyer lemons for this batch because they’re the citrus that most needed to be used in my kitchen. The flavor is gloriously tangy and the sweetness is nicely balanced. I may start sweetening all my curds with honey from now on.

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Preserves in Action: Whole Wheat Crepes

three rolled crepes

I taught myself to make crepes when I was in high school from a recipe in my mom’s fabric-bound copy of the Joy of Cooking. I was home sick from school (though truly, I wasn’t particularly ill) and needing something to do with my time, turned to the kitchen for entertainment.

crepe batter

The first crepe was terrible (I’ve since learned that the first one always is), but I soon found the right flame and amount of batter to pour and eventually made myself a satisfying stack of paper-thin pancakes. I don’t remember exactly how I ate them, but imagine that either peanut butter or maple syrup was involved.

second crepe

These days, I make crepes far less often than I’d like, but when I do remember to blend up a batch of batter, I am so very happy to have them on my plate. I’d like to make them a more regular part of my culinary rotation, because they make such a glorious vehicle for jams and fruit butters.

stack of crepes

I mostly still follow the Joy of Cooking recipe (they’re called French Pancakes in my edition), but do make a couple adjustments. I use whole wheat pastry flour in place of all purpose and blend the batter using my Vitamix to ensure a lump-free cake. When I want to make a batch that can be used in a savory situation, I omit the vanilla extract and powdered sugar.

crepe with lemon curd

Normally, I post these Preserves in Action recipes on Thursdays, but since today is known in some quarters as Pancake Day, I thought I’d move this one up a couple days for the sake of timeliness. I’m so rarely coordinated when it comes to holidays such as these, but there’s a first time for everything!

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Giveaway: Tulid Reusable Leak-Proof Lids

Tulid stacked from above

Traditional two piece canning jar lids are designed to seal easily and safely. That is what they’re best at and they do it well. However, those of us who use our mason jars for dry goods, leftovers, liquids, and other acts of storage and toting know that two piece lids often leave something to be desired.

Tulid stacked side

Ball does make some plastic one piece lids, but they are neither air or liquid tight, so their utility is limited. Happily, the folks at Simpler Products have stepped into the void with a product called the Tulid. It’s a one piece lid that is reusable, totally leak-proof, and has a removable gasket that makes it dead easy to clean.

Tulid gaskets

I first discovered Tulid last fall when they were running their Kickstarter campaign. I backed the effort and got a package containing lids for both regular and wide mouth jars in early February. I’ve been using these lids very happily on a daily basis since then and am contemplating ordering more (they sell for $25 for three lids).

Tulid gaskets removed

The Tulid lids are great because they give you a very secure seal. I know that when I put them on a jar holding teriyaki sauce or maple syrup (two things I find myself storing on a regular basis), if the jar tips over in the fridge, it is not going to leak.

I also appreciate how easy they are to clean. The silicone gaskets pop out so that you can clean them completely and then slip right back into the lid when they are dry. The tops of the lid also work with wet erase markers, which means that you can clearly mark what’s in the jars (so that no one confuses the teriyaki sauce with the maple syrup).

Tulid in action

Obviously, these lids are not designed for canning. They are for storage and transportation and do a fabulous job of it. And thanks to the nice folks at Tulid, I have five sets of these lids to give away to Food in Jars readers. Here’s how to enter.

  1. Leave a comment on this post and share how you’d use these jars.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm on Saturday, March 8, 2014. Winners will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog on Sunday, March 9, 2014.
  3. Giveaway open to US.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog at the bottom of this post.

Disclosure: Tulid has generously offered to provide the lids for this giveaway. No money has changed hands, I bought my own lids, and my opinions are, as always, my own. 

March Sponsors: Cuppow, Fillmore Container, New West KnifeWorks, Preserving Now, and The Clay Studio

jars of herbs

It’s the beginning of a brand new month and that means it’s time to thank the companies and businesses who help keep this site chugging along.

In the top spot is jar accessory maker Cuppow! They are the creator of the original mason jar travel mug topper and, more recently, of the BNTO, a cup that fits into a wide mouth mason jar and transforms it into a lunch box. Domestic shipping is free on all their products right now, too!

Second on the list is our friends at Fillmore Container. They sell all manner of canning jars and lids, as well as a handful of books and jar accessories. They’re a family-owned business based in Lancaster, PA and they happily work with home canners and commercial producers alike. And I hear that they’re going to have the new green jars in stock by next week!

Next up is  New West KnifeWorks. Based in Wyoming, they are makers of gorgeous, sturdy, crafted in the US kitchen knives. They are a joy to work with.

I’m also happy to welcome Preserving Now back! Operated by Lyn Deardorff, Preserving Now is both a website and school dedicated to helping people expand their canning and preserving skills. If you’re in the Atlanta area, make sure to check out her schedule of upcoming classes and events!

The Clay Studio is back with us again! This Philadelphia-based non-profit was founded in 1974 and is dedicated to affirming the importance of the ceramic arts. They work to make clay an accessible medium to a broad range of people. I regularly drool over the many gorgeous pieces in their shop.

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