Tag Archives | food in jars

Single Quart Muesli for Breakfast

About six weeks ago I decided to become someone who exercised in the morning. I’d long been an evening gym goer, but was finding it increasingly hard to muster the motivation in those later hours. While it was hard to convince myself to get up, dressed, and out the door in those first couple weeks, it’s become a pretty dependable habit and it working nicely for me.

There has been one unanticipated outcome of this morning exercise routine is that is has totally changed what I want to eat for breakfast. Cooked oatmeal, one of my regular breakfast items, has become totally unappealing. Enter muesli!

It requires no cooking, can be set to soak with a little milk to soften before I head out to run (slowly and not all that far), and much like my beloved hot oatmeal, is tasty with a heap of fresh fruit. And did I mention that it is blessedly cool?

The thing about muesli is that there really aren’t a whole lot of rules. It’s really just a combination of oats, nuts, and seeds, in whatever proportions you want. I added some puffed brown rice cereal to lighten it a little, but you skip that if you don’t want to invest in a box of cereal to make more cereal. My recipe is below, but you can really mix it up any way you’d like.
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Food in Jars Stickers for Sale!

Back in 2014, when Preserving by the Pint was just coming out, I ordered a box of stickers with the orange Food in Jars logo on them. I handed out these stickers at libraries, farmers markets, and book shops and was delighted people put them on their water bottles, laptops, and car bumpers.

I’ve been out of that first batch of stickers for awhile now and have missed them. So when a coupon code from Sticker Mule landed in my inbox, I decided it was high time to order up a new batch. Die cut and made of weather and scratch-resistant vinyl, these stickers are kind of awesome.

If you want one of these stickers, I’m offering up 150 for sale here on the blog for $3 a piece. If you want one, use this link to send me $3 via Paypal (make sure that your mailing address is accessible via Paypal, so I know where to send the sticker). Once I get your order, I’ll drop the sticker into the mail for you! And let me know if you have any questions!

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The Cookbook Stall + Food in Jars = Signed Copies for the Holidays

Naturally Sweet Food in Jars spine

We are firmly in the season of wish lists, gift guides, and holiday shopping. If getting or giving a signed copy of one of my books is on your mind this year, I’ve got good news. I’ve teamed up with my friend Jill Ross at The Cookbook Stall (Philly’s only cookbook-only book shop) to offer a way for you all to buy signed copies of my books.

To get a signed copy, head over to The Cookbook Stall’s online shop and put a copy of Food in Jars, Preserving by the Pint, or Naturally Sweet Food in Jars into your cart and head to check-out.

In step five of the check-out process, there’s a field where you can add comments about your order. Use that space to tell us to whom you’d like the book to be signed and if there’s a specific message you’d like me to convey in my note (Happy Hanukkah! Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! Good Solstice! Happy Birthday!)

Deadline to order your signed book is December 9. I’ll head into the shop the following week to sign the books you all ordered and then she’ll get them into the mail for you guys, in plenty of time for holiday giving.

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Food in Jars on Facebook Live!

assorted jars with labels

We are smack dab in the middle of canning season and judging from the number of emails I’ve been getting lately, many of you are starting to have questions about adapting recipes, changing the sizes of your batches, and whether the preserves you’ve been making are safe and shelf stable.

Next Tuesday, July 12, I’m going to spend an hour on Facebook Live, making a small batch of honey sweetened jam and answering those canning questions that you’ve been sending me. As with all things like this that I do, this will be something of an experiment. I have no idea how many people will show up, or how well it will go. But I’m hopeful it will be useful and fun for all of us.

I’ll be streaming live starting at 9 pm eastern time (I’m starting kind of late my time, in the hopes that it will make it more accessible for those of you who live out west). It will live on the Food in Jars Facebook page, and if you can’t make it when I’m on live, you should be able to view it later.

I should be able to interact with everyone live during the stream, but I thought it would make sense to gather some questions with which to kick off the evening. So if you’ve got a burning canning question for which you’ve been unable to find an answer, ask it as a comment on this post. Or send it to me via Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

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Food in Jars is Seven Years Old Today!

Seven Years

Hard though it may be to believe, today is the seventh anniversary of the very first post on this blog (it feels like it’s been both much longer and far shorter than that). I started this site when I knew I would be leaving my job as the lead blogger of Slashfood. I wanted to create an online home for myself so that I could remain involved in the food blog community once that gig was up.

I had no idea then that I would be starting something that would evolve into a robust, fulfilling, and occasionally maddening career. I am grateful every day for this patch of internet and all that it has brought into my life.

I thought it might be fun to look back at some of the most popular posts I’ve published over the years. Do you spot your favorite among these ten? If not, what post did you love the best?

tomato sauce

1. Why You Can’t Can Your Family’s Tomato Sauce – Ever popular and ever contentious, this post tries to give people a basic understanding of how pH works in canning.

runny jam

2.How to Save Runny Jam – Canners everywhere struggle with this issue, and never is it more clear than in the comments section of this post!

small tomatoes

3. Five Ways to Preserve Small Tomatoes – These remain my favorite ways to put up grape, cherry, and Sungold tomatoes. The recipe for pickled grape tomatoes at the end of the post is both entirely fussy and truly delicious. I highly recommend it.

canning pot trivet rack

4. New to Canning? Start Here: Boiling Water Bath Canning – It took me years to get a post detailing the steps of boiling water bath canning up on this site, but the one I finally produced is something about which I continue to be proud. I still mean to pick that New to Canning series up someday.

tomato jam

5. Tomato Jam – It’s the first recipe to make the list and is truly the most deserving of all the recipes I’ve published here. If you still haven’t tried it, earmark it for this summer.

salt for canning

6. On Substituting Salt in Pickling – A useful post, but one that could probably use a revisit for clarity’s sake.

jam drips

7. How to Ensure That Your Jam Sets – Useful information, though sometimes jam just won’t set, no matter what you do!

curried zucchini pickles

8. Six Ways to Preserve Zucchini – Curried zucchini pickles! Chocolate zucchini bread! Zucchini butter with garlic and thyme! So delicious!

jalapenos in jars

9. Unfancy Pickled Jalapeno Peppers – Utilitarian canning at its best.

garlic dill pickles

10. Garlic Dill Pickles – They don’t hold their texture perfectly, but the flavors are spot on. I’ve taken to making these as refrigerator pickles, to retain their signature crunch.

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Butternut Squash Soup Concentrate

quart of butternut puree

Back in December, I roasted a butternut squash in order to make pasta sauce. I ended up with far more puree than I needed for the recipe and so stashed the remaining pint in the fridge. A day or two later, my mother-in-law was over and we were hungry for lunch. I went rummaging and found bread, cheese, and that puree.

butternut squash halves

I scraped the puree out into a small saucepan and added some chicken stock, a little lemon juice for brightness, and a some pepper (I use Better than Bouillon, so the chicken stock had plenty of salt). We ate the soup, toast, and cheese for lunch and both marveled at how good it was.

top of butternut puree

Since them, I’ve made a point of having a jar of butternut squash puree in the fridge for quick lunches. Over the weekend, I roast a butternut or two (the finished puree freezes nicely, so you can always make extra if you’ve got the space) until tender, and scrape off the skin. The warm squash goes into the blender (a food processor also works) with a little water and I puree it until it’s smooth. Then, I spoon the puree into a jar and pop it in the refrigerator.

butternut soup lunch

When I’m ready for lunch, I measure out a cup of the puree into my smallest pot, add a little bit of the chicken Better than Bouillon and about half a cup of water (there’s wiggle room here, depending on your desired soup consistency and how thick your puree was to start). Some days, I’ll add a little lemon zest and juice. Others, I’ll add freshly grated ginger and a little coconut milk. Yogurt, half and half, or sour cream also make really nice additions. As soon as it is warm, lunch is served.

little pot of butternut soup

Now, you might be wondering why I don’t just make a batch of butternut squash soup instead of this concentrate. It comes down to space, flexibility, and shelf life. I find it easier to make space in my fridge for a quart jar of concentrated puree than a larger jar of finished soup. I like that each day, I can make my soup taste a little different (I can also stir a little of the puree into other dishes, if the moment calls for it). And a puree made with nothing beyond squash and water lasts far longer than a soup that’s already been adjusted with dairy products.

Do you have any make-ahead staples that you’re particularly enjoying these days?

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