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Sponsored Post: Give the Gift of the MightyFix from MightyNest

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During my visit with my parents earlier this week, we spent some time talking about the coming holidays. Mostly, the conversation was strategic. We mapped out transportation, thought through menu ideas, and traded thoughts on what to get my sister’s two young boys. We also talked about gifts for one another, but kept coming back around to the reality that we all have pretty much everything we need.

And so we struck a deal. This year, we’re only giving gifts that serve a purpose. Bars of good soap are great, but useless appliances are not. Edible gifts are a-okay, but no one needs another sweater. And anything that helps keep our kitchens clean and running smoothly are always welcome.

If you find that your family feels the same as mine, may I suggest the MightyFix from my friends at MightyNest? It’s a monthly subscription service that sends full sized non-toxic products for the kitchen and home. It costs $10 a month and ships for free. What’s more, anything your recipient wants to add to their monthly order from MightyNest will also ship for free.

It’s a gift that continues to give all year long, which means that your favorite cousin or your best friend will get monthly reminders that you’re thinking about them. When the MightyFix was first launched, I bought a subscription for my sister, and she’s really appreciated the various shipments she’s gotten. It’s included things like Bee’s Wrap, a set of reusable Produce Bags, a stack of six Tidy Dish Cloths, and lunchbox-ready leakproof Stainless Steel Containers.

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Because of the popularity of the MightyFix, the folks at MightyNest are only able to offer a limited number of subscriptions. If it’s something you’re interested in getting for a friend, I’d suggest you subscribe sooner rather than later. They are offering 6 month, 9 month and 12 month subscriptions. And, if you’re one of the first 250 people to use the widget below to sign up, you’ll get a holiday bonus in the form of credit that you can use for your own MightyNest purchase.

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Sponsored Post: Adopt a Beehive with Cox’s Honey

Cox honey bear

Honey is magical stuff. Made by bees from nectar, enzymes, and hard work, it is wonderfully sweet, tastes of its time and place, almost never goes bad, and is even said to have healing properties. I always have a few varieties in my kitchen and use them daily to sweet preserves, enhance my tea, or mellow the sharpness of a homemade vinaigrette.

Cox creamed honey

I have always longed to have my own hive, but as an adult, have never lived in a place where it was possible (darned high rise living). As a consolation, I make a point to support the bees by buying honey raised and gathered by conscientious humans and being educated about the honey bee situation in our country.

honey from Cox

Back in the spring, I got an email from someone at Cox’s Honey, asking me if I’d like a beehive of my very own. Intrigued, I wrote back. Sadly, they hasn’t invented a hive I could attach to my 20th story window. Instead, they were inviting me to join their Beehive Adoption program.

Cox clover honey

There are four levels of beehive adoption (bronze, silver, gold, and platinum), with various price points to match. No matter what level you choose, you get a welcome kit that includes a Certificate of Adoption, the GPS location of your hive, glossy pictures of your hive and the bees, a 12 ounce honey bear and 20 ounce container of creamed honey, and 10% off all online purchase at coxshoney.com. Cox’s Honey will also donate 10% of your payment to The American Bee Federation.

bee hive pictures

You also get regular shipments of honey with your adoption. The amount depends on the level you select (bronze level memberships get 9 pounds over the course of the year, silver gets 15, gold gets 20, and platinum gets 30). You can pay in either monthly installments or in a single, monthly payment. So many options!

adoption certificate

Being the honey lover I am, I said yes to Beehive Adoption and soon after, received my first shipment of Cox’s Honey. I love using their clover honey in my preserving projects because it has a mild flavor that complements fruit incredibly well. I recently made a batch of this Pear Vanilla Drizzle sweetened with honey and it is ridiculously good.

buzzing bee pictures

I realize that for some of you, it might be too early to start thinking about this, but if you’re beginning to ponder holiday gifts, a Beehive Adoption might be just the thing for someone on your list. Bee fans and home canners alike will appreciate both the thought as well as the quarterly shipments of honey!

Disclosure: In exchange for writing this post, the folks at Cox’s Honey enrolled me in their Beehive Adoption program at the platinum level, which has a value of $270. However, my thoughts and opinions remain my own.

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Giveaway: Bake Your Bundt Off with MightyNest

warm glass bundt pan

This blog post is sponsored by MightyNest. They are an online retailer with a mission to provide the natural, organic, and non-toxic products that parents seek for their home while also giving back to schools.

offset bundt

I like glassware. Truly, this should come as no surprise to anyone who has read this blog for longer than five minutes. I love a good jar like nobody’s business. I’m a big fan of vintage glass Pyrex bowls and bakers, as well as the newer glass food storage containers. I’m even a sucker for a well-made drinking glass (oh Duralex Picardie, you will always have my heart).

buttered bundt

So, when the non-toxic avengers over at MightyNest asked if I might be interested in replacing my ancient avocado green, Teflon-coated bundt pan with one made of glass, I was helpless to resist. I said yes and signed on to participate in their “Bake Your Bundt Off” promotion.

chopped walnuts

The bundt pan arrived late last week and it sat on my coffee table for most of the weekend, looking more like modern art than bakeware. I had an itch to bake, but wanted to make sure that I chose just the right thing for the maiden voyage of this glamorous pan. Needing to use a recipe from a cookbook I owned (Scott and I have been purging books lately, and so if it’s not getting used, it can’t stay), I turned to Eat Your Books and searched for bundt recipes.

filled bundt

The search turned up a number of options, but wanting to incorporate the flavors of fall, nothing sounded more perfectly on the nose than Dorie Greenspan’s recipe for Double Apple Bundt Cake (it’s from her fabulous book, Baking). I made just a few small changes, it is essentially still hers.

I swapped out some of the AP flour for whole wheat, reduced the sugar a tiny bit, and used my own homemade apple butter for the store bought version for which she calls (and any time I can shoehorn homemade preserves into a baked good, I am a happy girl).

baked bundt

I also skipped any kind of frosting, because I want to be able to justify eating a slice of this cake for breakfast, and I just can’t make the rationalization work if it’s got a powdered sugar glaze drizzled over the top.

And just a note about the slight bits of char on my cake. This is not the pan’s fault. I forgot to set a timer after deciding that it needed a few more minutes. I got distracted and let five minutes turn into more than ten (and I am not the type to remake a cake for pictures). Happily, thanks to the apple butter and grated apple, the cake was still entirely moist inside. I just use a serrated edge knife to scrape away the worst of the burnt bits before eating.

unmolded bundt

Another reason this particular cake spoke to me was that Dorie mentions that it improves in both taste and texture when you let it rest for a bit. I keep a mental list of baked goods that just get better over time, because they allow me to take advantage of a sliver of free time mid-week to bake for parties and gatherings scheduled for the weekend.

bundt giveaway gear

So, on to the giveaway portion of this post. MightyNest is offering one lucky Food in Jars reader a chance to win a 10 inch glass bundt pan, a Cakebox (from the makers of Piebox), a sweet tea towel, and a sturdy stainless brownie spatula (also good for cake!).

open cakebox

The prize pack has a retail value of $100, and to sweeten the deal, MightyNest is also going to donate $100 to the winner’s school of choice. It’s a mighty good deal. Use the widget below to enter.

A little more about MightyNest, the sponsor of this post:

Everything they sell is selected with the highest standards for safety and quality. Glass and stainless baking gear and food storage. Green cleaning supplies. Natural bath products, and other home essentials. And everything is selected to be free from known toxic ingredients such as: BPA, PVC, Phthalates, Lead, Formaldehyde, flame retardants, Parabens and more.

Anytime you order from MightyNest, they’ll give 15% back to the school of your choice. It’s a great way to be healthier and support your local school.

sliced bundt in box

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. MightyNest sent me a set of the gear that we’re giving away and is also an occasional Food in Jars sponsor.

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Sponsored Post: Vegetable Gardening Class Giveaway from Craftsy

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This post is the next installment in my sponsored content partnership with Craftsy. This time, I took Doug Green’s Vegetable Gardening class. It has left me determined to find a community garden plot next year! Read on for more!

Though backyard gardens all across the country are still pumping out tomatoes and zucchini, a smart gardener knows that now is actually the best time to spend a few minutes evaluating this summer’s gardening effort and begin thinking about next year (of course, I’m one to speak. I have no gardening space whatsoever).

One way to help prepare for next year’s abundance is to take a class to help you sharpen your skills. Craftsy’s Vegetable Gardening is one such class (and can be taken right from your own computer!).

Click here to enter for a chance to win Vegetable Gardening!

veg gardening potting plant

Taught by long time gardener Doug Green, this course starts with information about how to build raised beds (or improve the ones you’ve already got). Once your foundation is set, he walks you through the sets of starting seeds, transplanting those seeds, and the fine art of keeping those seedlings alive and kicking.

He also touches on various composting systems, soil improvements, sowing seeds, methods to keep your plants protected, crop rotation, ways to plant multiple varieties together for best results, and even tips for keeping the pests away.

This class is a valuable resource for both new gardeners and those with a handful of seasons under their belt.

plastic wrapped tomato cage

Because they want to help spread the word about this most excellent gardening class, the folks at Craftsy are offering up one registration for giveaway to a Food in Jars reader. Just click the link below to enter (it will take you over to Craftsy, where you’ll create an account with them in order to toss your hat in the ring).

Click here to enter for a chance to win Vegetable Gardening!

All photos in this post are printed here courtesy of Craftsy.

For more about this series of sponsored posts and my year-long partnership with Craftsy, please visit this post.

Official disclosure statement: This is sponsored post from Craftsy. I was compensated for this post. However, all opinions remain my own.

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Sponsored Post: Craftsy’s Free Class Creative Ways with Whole Grains

quinoa and kale salad

This post is the next installment in my sponsored content partnership with Craftsy. This time, I took Anna Bullett’s Creative Ways with Whole Grains. It was an entertaining and highly useful class that reminded me of how wonderful and easy whole grain cooking can be. Read on for more!

I believe that every home cook should have at least one hearty grain salad in his or her culinary repertoire. They keep well, are customizable to nearly every food allergy and preference, travel well, and they make really excellent leftovers.

barley, cucumber and feta salad

Back in the days when I was working in an office full time, I would often make a big batch of barley, cucumber, red onion, parsley, and feta salad, and eat it for lunch all week. In addition to being a tasty and simple way to eat a good lunch, those bowls of grain salad really helped keep my grocery budget in check.

The only trouble I have with my beloved grain salads and side dishes is that I easily fall into a rut and make the same three dishes on repeat. To combat my tendency to combine the same flavors over and over again, my eyes are always peeled for fresh grain inspiration.

brown jasmine rice

A few days ago, while on the road and far away from my kitchen, I took Craftsy’s free class, Creative Ways with Whole Grains. It offered up a wealth of fresh ideas and had me itching to get back home and into the kitchen to try some of Anna Bullett’s recipes.

She starts the class with an introduction to a variety of whole grains, offers tips on how to cook them, and then makes a wheatberry salad with goat cheese that looks positively delicious. Later, she shows how to make a wild rice pilaf that would work wonderfully on a potluck or holiday table, cooks up quinoa porridge for breakfast, and turns onions, mushrooms, and farro into a creamy risotto.

quinoa in a jar

As we head into autumn (deny it all you want, it is coming), consider adding a couple of warm grain dishes to your regular rotation to help keep bellies full and satisfied.

If you want to take the Creative Ways with Whole Grains class, click here to register!

For more on my year-long partnership with Craftsy, head over to the first post in the series, all about my experience taking their free Knife Skills course.

Official disclosure statement: This post was sponsored by Craftsy. I was compensated for my time. However, all opinions remain entirely my own.

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Plum Cardamom Jam and a Anolon Advanced 11-Piece Cookware Set Giveaway [sponsored]

finished plum cardamom jam

The first homemade jam I ever tasted was made with homegrown plums. I was just four or five years old and the trees in our backyard were having a bumper year. My mom picked enough to fill her yellow enamel colander, gave them a good rinse under the tap, and turned them in sweet, slightly drippy preserves. We ate those plums over pancakes and with oatmeal every chance we got.

syrupy plums

Though I will often tell people that blueberries are my foundational fruit (and they were the star in my very first solo batch of jam), there is something about the flavor of plum jam that makes my brain go, “ah yes, THIS is what homemade jam should taste like.”

finished plum jam

I recently made my first batch of plum jam for this season (I was asked by Anolon gourmet cookware to develop this particular recipe), from the same kind of sturdy black plums that used to grow in our southern California yard. I added a little ground cardamom for extra depth and I cooked the whole thing in the 7.5 quart wide stock pot from the Anolon Advanced line. Though I don’t normally gravitate towards non-stick cookware for jam making, the width and low walls of the pan made it irresistible.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post (hopefully that was clear before you got to this disclosure statement). Anolon has compensated me for the creation of the plum jam recipe. They sent me the stockpot in which I made the jam (I did really like it, though), and they’re providing the cookware set for the giveaway. The thoughts and words are still all entire mine. 

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