Tag Archives: jam

Jar Lunch: PB & J

The Jar Lunch: It’s like a bag lunch or a bento lunch, but the next big thing is lunch packed in a good ol’ mason jar. I have to microwave my lunch at work, so metal containers won’t work and heating up plastic has me worried. We often simply fill mason jars with leftovers, but sometimes it is fun to come up with a clever jar lunch and make a big batch. Lunch for the whole family is already packed.

Instead of the standby lunch sandwich, how about a peanut butter and jelly yogurt parfait? If you are skeptical about peanut butter in yogurt, I understand. I’ve tried it before to not-so-great results. This lunch was inspired by Levi, who taught me that peanut butter and jam yogurt really works. We eat plain yogurt with homemade jam just about every single day, and he decided to add some peanut butter. I went with his discovery and just added fruit.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Yogurt Parfait

Ingredients per lunch:
3/4 cup fresh fruit (sliced strawberries, blackberries, blueberries)
1 tablespoon jam
one cup plain yogurt
1 heaping tablespoon creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon sweetener (sugar, cane syrup, agave, honey)

Directions:
In one bowl, combine fruit and jam until evenly coated. In another bowl, whisk together yogurt, peanut butter, and sweetener. Layer fruit and yogurt into pint-sized mason jars.

All that is missing here is a sprinkling of granola.

Next time I’m going to have to try Elvis-style, with bananas and honey.

Please add your photos to the Jar Lunch Flickr pool for this or any other jar lunches you make!

See our other Jar Lunches here.

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tomato jam is the jam

We finally got around to making homemade tomato jam, and I think we are in love. I can’t recommend this recipe from Food in Jars enough. Sticky, sweet tomato goodness with a hint of cinnamon and clove. It takes an hour + a half to cook down, but simple to throw together. No blanching, peeling or deseeding required!

My new favorite thing is cheese and crackers with a dab of tomato jam. A tomato jam grilled cheese sandwich ain’t bad, either. And I see some tomato jam glazed tofu experiments in our future. I think we need to make another batch ASAP.

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Her name is Cherry, we’ve just met

Jess, along with our good friend Jordan, worked some sort of miracle and scored local organic cherries for $2.50 a pound, with a couple bonus pounds thrown in for free. Last night we all convened at the Bearded Lady Food Company’s (literally) sweet commercial kitchen for a cherry processing pizza party.

In case you’re wondering, yes it was amazing to be in a commercial kitchen with a six burner gas range and a wall of deep sinks to wash everything. Jess could not stop talking about those sinks.

We all donned Bearded Lady aprons, even Levi, and went to town on 22 pounds of cherries. Levi looks grumpy here, but I assure you that is just intense focus. Together he & I stemmed and pitted all the cherries in record time. That kid can be a workhorse when we get him on board a project.

Okay, for the sake of complete accuracy we pitted all of the cherries except the two pounds that became Drunken Cherries.

We used the recipe from Sherri Brooks Vinton’s Put ’em Up but threw in a little vanilla bean. Sweet cherries, bourbon, brown sugar and vanilla bean? How can this go wrong? We also made her Classic Cherry Preserves from the same book, one batch with vanilla bean and the other with black pepper. BLACK PEPPER CHERRY PRESERVES? Tell me you don’t want to invite yourself over for scones.

We always joke about cooking all the way through a book, but Jess doesn’t know yet that I hope we can actually achieve that with this book.

I’ve also got cherries and sugar macerating in an attempt to make this cherry shrub recipe happen. You may recall we enjoyed cherry shrub cocktails for our anniversary recently. Learn more about shrubs here from serious eats. We are well on our way to our dreams of a house filled with all sorts of jams and jellies and syrups and shrubs, hooray!

In case you’re wondering what we ended up with from our 11 pounds:

3 half-pint jars cherry preserves
4 pint jars cherries preserved in simple syrup
1 quart jar of drunken cherries
1 gigantic batch of cherry shrub

and one leftover pound in the fridge – I’m leaning toward a fresh salad with cherries and cheese for dinner tonight.

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raspberry porn

We are so lucky to have organic raspberries that grow 8 minutes from our house.

We splurged on a flat and a half.

Of course we had to get some gold.

Since they sold out before we got to the farm stand AND the market over the weekend, we got up early Monday and bought these. We wanted to make jam and syrup together, so after Jess got home from work we all went out for a slice of pizza and a salad and then “jammed” until 2 am. Turns out one and a half flats is A LOT. I have to make some cute labels, and then you can take a peek.

Now Facebook is telling us Johnson Berry Farms has tayberries for the next four days. We might just have to go back for more.

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marmalade!

You can add marmalade to the list of “things I didn’t like as a kid but turns out they are pretty great.” Eh, maybe that list needs a better title, but you get the point. Although, I’m pretty sure that when I was a kid nobody ever gave me marmalade quite like this. Jess found a recipe from Tea & Cookies for Meyer Lemon Vanilla Bean Marmalade, and she knew I would be on board based on the two main ingredients.

Oh my god, look at those lemons!

Preserves this fancy deserve handmade labels, I’m thinking.

And the tiny flecks of vanilla, oh yes. This stuff is as good as it looks.

Since we try not to eat a ton of bread, our favorite use for jams, jellies, and now marmalades is to sweeten up plain yogurt. Although I’m thinking we may have to make some biscuits or scones ASAP.

We learned a valuable lesson while making this. Use old pectin at your own risk. After the first run through we had to open them all up, dump them back in the pot and try, try again. It was kind of a pain, but as they say:

I’m in love with this print from Bold & Noble on Etsy, but before I can buy it I have to buy another print I’ve been coveting for several months.

If you want to try this without the canning, try the recipe it is based on from Bon Appétit. And if you do, please report back!

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