2015 Can-It Forward Day

by Becky Elmuccio on August 1, 2015

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Jarden Home Brands. All opinions are my own, including my excitement over the fact that the jars are purple.

Ball Can It Forward DayIt’s been a busy summer here at our house. Work has kept me booked all day, but we still look to cook from scratch and make our own food as much as possible. It’s easy to pick up the phone and call for pizza or run up to Chipotle, but we’re working to incorporate the veggies we buy at the farmer’s market and the items we already have in the pantry. As we eat down our surplus, pantry space becomes more available and my mind drifts to wanting to learn how to can our food. I look forward to the Can-It Forward Day each year as we stream the feed on the computer while we go about our day. This year it is on August 1st from 11 am to 4 pm.

Ball Canning Sip & Straw Lids and Purple Heritage Collection Jars

Saturdays have become a little of my housekeeping day and I’d love to add a little canning of Jersey Fresh produce to those days. Having those items in the pantry come winter would certainly help us to not to reach for the phone for pizza and still have local produce on hand. This year, Jarden Home Brands sent us some new items to check out and use in anticipation of Can-It Forward Day 2015. First off, the jars are purple! I love that they have been playing with colors with their jars over the last few years. The Ball Purple Mason Jars are part of their Heritage Collection and the Design Series lids in red and purple will make my pantry even cuter. Our first use of the jars was to make smoothies and use them as a glass with the Sip & Straw lids. Tomato and I loved them and it was a great way to get her to hydrate with a smoothie on a hot day. The glass jar can be washed in the dishwasher and the Sip & Straw sets are top rack dishwasher safe. A win for mommy for cleaning up the kitchen! The Heritage Collection jars are in pint and quart size. This makes them great for trying out canning with the smaller sizes or you can use the larger ones to do longer items like beans and pickles. I’ll be using some of these to store dried pasta and rice too and intersperse them on our shelves for a little pantry spruce up.

Ball Canning Sip & Straw Lids Heritage Collection Purple Mason Jars

Jarden Home Brands has been kind enough to offer a coupon for a free case of jars, so leave a comment below telling me how you would use the jars and I will randomly draw a winner!

Now, I know what you are thinking. Can I really can my own food? This question goes through my head each summer and I have friends who have done it for years with confidence. I like to err on the safe side when trying something out for the first time. So, a reliable place to start for directions is the Jarden Home Brands site or grab a copy of their Ball Blue Book: Guide to Preserving. The cookbook has over 500 recipes to try out. Their safety and health rules are strict and I like that they have tested these recipes out over many years.

Another great resource is to check out today’s live stream from Jarden Home Brands headquarters in Fishers, Indiana. They have a brand new, state of the art facility and as the webcast streams, you can pop in and ask questions on the chat function. New this year too will be a celebrity mason jar auction, so set your laptop or tablet up at your dining room table today and listen and watch to learn more about canning your foods. It’s a great way to take advantage of and preserve your current local harvests. I’ve got the webcast set up to stream from here, so enjoy, have a great weekend and don’t forget to comment to enter to win a free case of jars!

{ 2 comments }

Top 2 Tips for Food Allergy Travel

by Becky Elmuccio on June 19, 2015

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Stonyfield and Tommee Tippee. All opinions are my own. Also, I am not a physician, so please consult your allergist for all suggestions for your particular allergy.

We are planning a lot of day trips this summer and as a food allergy family, we have to plan our meals and snacks carefully in order to keep Tomato safe. Whether we are running out to tour a new spot in the Philadelphia area or heading to the shore for the week, there are some things that we think of for taking food with us as we travel.

Top Tips for Food Allergy Travel

Tip #1: Pack what you know!

I always pack items that we have tried before and with which we have had success. With Tomato’s food allergy, we have a running list of companies that we know are safe for her particular peanut allergy. I always consult the list before I head to the supermarket and before I pack snacks and lunches or dinners for the day. One of the companies that works for us and is safe for us is Stonyfield, so I always have their YoToddler yogurts on hand. They are small, portable and for Tomato, they hit the spot. She loves the flavors and I know it’s something that she will eat and be full and ready for the next part of the trip.

Tip #2: Pack utensils and plates and bowls that you have from home.

The easiest way for me to know that the food we have is safe is to make sure Tomato is eating off of plates and bowls that we bring from home. When we got the new Tommee Tippee Easy Scoop Feeding Bowls, I was thrilled because it gives us two bowls to travel with and they fit into each other with ease. This helps to limit the bulkiness and makes packing things in our backpack simple. Plus, it lets us have a bowl for two meals or a snack and a meal. This is super important for food allergy travel for us! Tomato is in love with these bowls too. She likes that the spoon has a hiding place. She loves that there is pink. Plus, I love that the spoon is clean and coming from our house instead of grabbing a disposable one from a food spot while we are out. I never know what those have touched before, so this set gives me peace of mind.

Tomato is so used to taking her own food when we go places now. We know that it’s what is best for her allergy and she really goes with it. It helps when we have found foods that she likes and are easy to take on the road. Having portable plates, bowls and utensils add to it. These new ones in our collection are BPA free, so I am not worried about that either. They are also dishwasher safe, so when we land at home, clean up is easy too. That’s always good!

If you are a food allergy parent, how do you pack safe foods for your child?

{ 0 comments }

LikeThat Garden App: Planting the Right Garden for You

May 21, 2015

  Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for LikeThat. All opinions are my own. As I am sure other parents can identify with, “I need an app for that” seems to apply to every search for efficiency and time management around the home. As I said the other week, we are in a transition into […]

Read the full article →

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes!

May 5, 2015

Phew! The last year has been a great whirlwind of launching a new business, being a wife and mother and homeowner. It’s been a while since I’ve hopped into this space and I am going to be launching a lot of changes in the next few months. The first big change is that I have […]

Read the full article →

Hanna Andersson Marlton Store Opening

December 12, 2014

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. Last night, I had the pleasure of attending a preview of the new Hanna Andersson store in Marlton, NJ. Located in the Promenade at Sagemore, Hanna Andersson is surrounded by great stores in an outdoor mall setting that lets you enjoy the fresh air […]

Read the full article →

Gardening Confession

October 19, 2014

  It’s was a tough summer for our garden. Between me being back at work full time and the winter that we had, things were either blooming too much or not at all. I figured I’d give an honest recap of our garden as we set about developing a plan to have a working kitchen garden […]

Read the full article →

International Can-It-Forward Day

August 16, 2014

  We are canning newbies. For all the love of eating and living local, I have never canned before today. We’ll be cataloging our efforts today over on Instagram and following the live webcast from Jarden Home Brands for International Can-It-Forward Day. You can follow along here too by clicking on the video below. It starts […]

Read the full article →

Ball Brand #CanItForward Giveaway

August 13, 2014

  On Saturday August 16, Jarden Home Brands will host the first annual International Can-It-Forward Day with special guest renowned chef and Bravo’s Top Chef judge, Hugh Acheson! A day to celebrate home canning, International Can-It-Forward Day allows food enthusiasts to connect via a variety of online and in-person activities. New and experienced canners can […]

Read the full article →

The Spring that Sprung

May 26, 2014

  How has everyone been? It’s been about two months since my last post and I wanted to check in with everyone. It has been an exciting and busy spring here. I’m sorry that I haven’t been around as much, but posts will be emerging soon as we transition into June. So, where have I […]

Read the full article →

Why the quiet?

March 24, 2014

I just wanted to pop in and give a quick update on why it has been so quiet here as of late. I have recently begun a new job, still in social media, but my focus is on that at this time. I will be popping in from time to time with some product reviews […]

Read the full article →