Tag Archives | giveaway

Giveaway: Fabric Labels from Emily Press

emily-press-labels-packaging

I will confess right now that I’m something of a imperfect jar labeler. I am meticulous about getting labels on to my jars the moment they are cool and clean, but those labels often consist of a scrawl across the lid of the jar with a Sharpie. In my more careful moments, I cut lengths of green painters and scribble the name and date on the preserve.

These labels serve my purpose well enough, but they’re not nearly nice enough for those times when I want to share my preserves with neighbors or tuck a few jars into gift baskets or boxes.

emily-press-labels-food-in-jars

Recently, the nice folks from Emily Press Labels reached out to see if I might like to try their fabric canning labels on my mason jars. These beautifully printed, sturdy labels are exactly what I need to elevate my packaging game.

These sweet oval labels come in a variety of colors and designs. Each set comes with 36 labels and you can have them made so that they all the same thing, or you can designate two different names and styles.

emily-press-label-on-jar

I opted to have mine made so that they displayed the names of two my favorite preserves for gift giving. Thought I’m still out on the road right now, I’m hoping that I’ll be able to get a few more tomatoes when I get home, so that I can make up some more tomato jam and put these labels to work.

Thanks to the folks at Emily Press, three of my blog readers will get a chance to try out some labels as well. I’m giving away three $30 vouchers, good for anything on the Emily Press website (though I think you all should make sure to check out the fabric canning labels!). Use the widget below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Giveaway: Kefirko and Rocky Mountain Water Kefir Grains from Masontops

Looking to get started making your own fizzy, probiotic beverages at home? Try starting with water kefir, using the Kefirko and grains from Rocky Mountain Kefir. They make super easy!

rocky-mountain-kefir-grains

I was first introduced to water kefir three or four years ago, at one of our Philly Food Swaps. One of my fellow swappers included several sets of grains in their collection of swappable goods. She told me they were easy to use and produced a fizzy, pro-biotic beverage that she liked better than kombucha. At the end of the night, one of those jars of water kefir grains went home with me.

top-of-kefirko

I’d like to tell you that I still have grains from that food swap, but sadly, that would be false. I did end up making my own water kefir for a period of months after that initial introduction and liked it very much. Sadly, they ended up getting shoved to the back of the fridge and then thrown out during a no-holds-barred cleaning spree.

side-of-kefirko

Happily, thanks to my friends at Masontops, I’m back making my own water kefir and am delighted with it once again. Several weeks ago, they sent me a set of their Rocky Mountain Water Kefir grains. Using my trusty Kefirko (Masontops sells this useful devise, though I bought mine during the Kefirko Kickstarter nearly two years ago), it is incredibly easy to hydrate dried water kefir grains and then keep them happy and productive.

supplies-for-starting-water-kefir-in-kefirko

In order to start making water kefir, you need a set of grains, four cups of filtered water, 1/4 cup of sugar, and a vessel like a Kefirko in which to combine them all (if you don’t have a Kefirko, a quart-sized mason jar will also work).

dry-rocky-mountain-kefir-grains

First, you dissolve the sugar into the water. You can do this by heating it and then bringing it back down to room temperature. Or a couple hours before you want to start your kefir, add the sugar to the water and stir it vigorously. Come back and give it a good stir every half hour or so. The sugar will eventually dissolve into the water.

soaking-rocky-mountain-kefir-grains

Put the dried water kefir grains into the bottom of your vessel and add the sugar water. If you’re using a Kefirko, screw the lid down loosely, so that there’s still a bit of air flow. If you’re using a mason jar, put a small kitchen towel, paper towel, or coffee filter on top of the jar and use a rubber band to keep it in place.

Let the grains spend three or four days rehydrating before you try to use them.

rocky-mountain-kefir-grains-in-kefirko

Once the grains are nice and plump, they are ready to use. Drain off the initial liquid (this is super easy using a Kefirko. If you don’t have one, make sure to use a nylon mesh strainer rather than a metal one, as the grains aren’t fans of metal). Then mix up another batch of sugar water and add it to the grains.

draining-rocky-mountain-kefir-grains

I typically let my batches of water kefir ferment for two days (though I let it go for a little less during really hot weather) before straining the grains and starting another batch. Sometimes I drink it plain and chilled for a light, fizzy pro-biotic drink (and despite what you might think, it’s not super sweet. The sugar serves as a food source for the grains that is transformed into the bright, tangy element in the water).

Other times, I do a second ferment, in which I combine the water kefir with chopped fruit, or even a bit of plain fruit juice. Either way, it’s refreshing and good for the gut!

plump-drained-grains

This week, thanks to my friends at Masontops, I’m giving away a Kefirko Home Kefir Making Kit along with a set of Rocky Mountain Kefir Water Kefir Grains. Use the widget below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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freshTECH HarvestPro Sauce Maker Giveaway

Need a little help getting your tomatoes preserved this season? Check out the freshTECH HarvestPro Sauce Maker from Ball Canning!

freshTECH HarvestPro Sauce Maker

We are in the midst of tomato season here in the Philly area and I’ve been in something of a canning frenzy trying to get as many put up as I can before I hit the road again. I find that there is a huge flavor difference between home canned tomatoes and grocery store ones, and so I know that I’m going to be said come January if I don’t take action now.

I used to do most of my tomatoes whole and peeled, packed in water. However, these days I find that I like to do a fifty-fifty split of whole tomatoes and tomato puree. I started doing a lot more tomato puree a few years ago, in large part because an electric tomato press came into my life.

There are a few different brands of these handy machines on the market, and this year, our friends at Ball Canning added one called the HarvestPro to their freshTECH line of appliances.

running the freshTECH HarvestPro Sauce Maker

Having used a number of different tools for pressing tomatoes into sauce, this HarvestPro Sauce Maker is by far the easiest to set up, run, and clean up when you’re all done. It doesn’t splatter like my previous electric press, and the motor base plants itself solidly on your countertop. I’m a huge fan and will be making permanent space for this in my kitchen (or, more realistically, in my coat closet).

Right now, all the freshTECH appliances are 15% off on the Fresh Preserving website (I’m also a really big fan of the Electric Water Bath Canner). If you want to see it in action, I’ll be streaming on Facebook Live tomorrow night (Tuesday, August 23) at 9 pm eastern time for about a half hour to show you how it works.

I also have one of these handy machines to give away this week. Use the widget below for your chance to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: Ball Canning sent me the HarvestPro you see pictured here for review purposes and they are providing the giveaway unit. What’s more, I am also a paid brand partner. However, this post is outside our paid agreement. I just really liked this particular machine and so asked if I could share it with my readers. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Links: Wild Jams, Homemade Crackers, and a Winner

tomato jam and naturally sweet

I spent the weekend in New York and Western Mass, finding a really good balance between working and relaxing (it’s not always easy to do). I taught at Amber Waves Farm in Amagansett (we’re already talking about doing another class next season) on Friday afternoon, spent Saturday morning demoing at the Great Barrington Farmers Market, and taught again at Hillsdale Home Chef on Sunday afternoon.

Saturday afternoon and evening was spent hanging out with some dear friends. It was so good and was exactly what I needed to shake loose from the tension that’s been haunting me.

peach drizzle in orchard road jars

Thank you for all the enthusiastic entries into last week’s Orchard Road giveaway. I loved hearing about the things you’ve all been preserving lately. The winner of the giveaway is #500/Manda. Stay tuned, I’ll have another giveaway up shortly.

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Giveaway: Mason Jars from Orchard Road

Orchard Road pint jars

This week’s giveaway comes from our friends at Orchard Road. They are makers of lovely, simple mason jars in three sizes. The quarts and pints come in both regular and wide mouth versions, and the half pint jars come in just the regular mouth variety. Lids and rings are sold separately, and you can choose between traditional two-piece lids or decorative one-piece lids.

stack of Orchard Road jars

All the Orchard Road jars are sold in packs of six and come in sturdy boxes that fully contain the jars. For those of you who struggle to find closet space for your finished jars, having boxes that keep out the light is such a helpful thing.

Orchard Road lid patterns

I’ve had Orchard Road jars in my canning gear for the better part of two years now and I can report that they are as hardworking and durable as you want your jars to be. Additionally, I’m always happy when I run across an Orchard Road jar when pulling gear for various projects, because I find the minimal embossing and general hand-feel to be particularly pleasing.

peach drizzle in orchard road jars

This week, the Orchard Road giveaway consists of a six-pack of eight ounce jars, the same number of regular mouth pint jars, and sets of both regular lids and bands and decorative caps. Here’s how to enter.

  1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me about something you’ve canned recently.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm eastern time on Saturday, August 20, 2016. Winners will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog on Sunday, August 21, 2016.
  3. Giveaway open to United States residents only.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog at the bottom of this post.

Disclosure: Orchard Road is a site sponsor. In the past, they sent me some jars and lids for testing and photography purposes. They are also are providing the jars for the giveaway winners at no cost to me. Still, all opinions expressed are mine alone. 

You can buy Orchard Road jars at various retail locations, or from Fillmore Container or the Orchard Road online shop.

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Links: Nectarine Ketchup, Hot Fudge, and a Winner

produce from Homefields Farm

Summer is flying by. Earlier tonight, I canned up a batch of nectarine ketchup, pureed some white peaches for fruit leather, and cut up every last remaining piece of stonefruit in the the kitchen to make a final batch of jam. The coming week is going to be all about tomatoes and cucumbers, so I’ve got to clear the decks. I hope your kitchens have been equally active! Now, links!

And a couple things of mine…

Twelve ounce bbq sauce jars

The winner of last week’s Fillmore Container BBQ Sauce prize pack is Jennifer Garnette! I’ve got another terrific giveaway coming your way later this week, so stay tuned!

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