We’ve been celebrating

The past few months have been a blur, but definitely not short on fun! Someone in our house turned thirty (I’m not telling who) so we threw a party, and one of my best friends is getting married, so of course a shower was in order! And you’ve got to love a southern California winter because,  both parties were outside in our backyard! We thought we’d share some fun party photos for your enjoyment.

// Rustic Gold Glitter Bridal Shower //

rustic gold bridal shower - gold dipped mason jars - loveinamasonjar.com

I love the theme of rustic but fancy gold glitter and so I’m so excited to see what this wedding looks like! And of course, if you’re looking for some gold glitter dipped mason jars, you can find them in my ETSY shop HERE

rustic bridal shower - manicure kit favors - loveinamasonjar.com

Don’t you just love the sweet shower favors that my friend made? They are manicure kits in a mason jar. They have cotton balls, nail polish remover, file, clippers, and of course gold glitter nail polish. Good idea, huh!

rustic gold bridal shower - loveinamasonjar.com rustic bridal shower burlap banner - loveinamasonjar.com

Another hosting staple in our home are the mason jar drink dispensers from potterybarn. So glad we registered for them for our wedding! I can’t tell you how often we’ve used them! We also purchased the galvanized drink dispenser stands from there too. Oh and yes – that banner can be made CUSTOM in our ETSY shop HERE

rustic bridal shower - loveinamasonjar.com

// Backyard 30th Birthday Party //

We decided to put the drinks in a wheelbarrow.

Backyard BBQ wheel barrow drinks - loveinamasonjar.com

Even the chickens wanted to join the party!

backyard chickens - loveinamasonjar.com backyard BBQ - loveinamasonjar.com

 

For dessert, we had to have chocolate cake and chocolate chip cookies. My very favorite chocolate cake recipe can be found here and the cookies…well that’s a family secret 🙂

favorite chocolate cake - loveinamasonjar.com best chocolate chip cookies - loveinamasonjar.com

And of course, my husband figured out a way to hang these globe market lights we purchased for our rustic outdoor wedding 2 years ago, and I’m so happy that we can still use them for lighting in the backyard!

backyard BBQ party - globe lights - loveinamasonjar.com

outdoor globe market lights - loveinamasonjar.com

And thanks to my sister-in-law for taking these lovely pictures of the party!

Happy Spring everyone!!

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Big news…

Well, we have been MIA lately, and I’m sorry! But we do have some big news to share! Can you tell what it is by this photo??
pregnancy announcement photos - cowboy boots - loveinamasonjar.com
We are going to have a baby! Our very first! We found out over the holidays and enjoyed being able to share the news with our family and friends. My amazing sister-in-law was kind enough to take some announcement photos for us so I wanted to share with you. Didn’t she do a great job!?
burlap banner pregnancy announcement photos - loveinamasonjar.com
Ps – if you want an burlap banner like the one above, it is for sale in our ETSY store!
pregnancy announcement photos - cowboy boots - loveinamasonjar.compregnancy announcement photos - cowboy boots - loveinamasonjar.com

We used these photos to send out an announcement card and we loved how it turned out! We used Zazzle for the design.

pregnancy announcement card - loveinamasonjar.com

So… hopefully you don’t mind if the blog starts to include a few baby/pregnancy related things in the future! I’ve already decided I think I want to make the crib bedding (bedding is soooo expensive!!) and curtains for the nursery, so you may see some posts of my sewing trials in the near future!

Photo review of the Holidays!

Well, I finally logged back into this blog and realized, it’s been awhile! We had a lot of fun over the holidays, visiting family and even taking a 2 week vacation somewhere in between! Even though we did lots of baking, decorating, crafts and projects, I never had time to write about it! So, I though I’d do a quick recap of our last few months through photos!!

Our lovely rustic Christmas Tree.

Rustic Christmas Tree - loveinamasonjar.com

Jam Christmas gifts – a detailed post of these gifts coming soon!

DIY edible Christmas gifts - homemade jam - loveinamasonjar.com

DIY edible Christmas gift – Cookies in a Jar. We made 150 chocolate chip cookies!

DIY edible Christmas gift - cookies in a jar - loveinamasonjar.com

Homemade buttermilk biscuits – another DIY edible gift!! Aren’t these boxes the cutest!

biscuits and jam - DIY edible gifts - loveinamasonjar.com

12 days of Christmas. I’ve been doing his for my husband the last two years and its really fun!

12 days of Christmas - loveinamasonjar.com

Oh and we got chickens!! Red and Wynona. They are 7 months old and already laying eggs!

Backyard Chickens! loveinamasonjar.com

And I have to share their chicken coop that my husband made! Isn’t it great!?

Homemade Chicken Coop - loveinamasonjar.com

And that wasn’t the only thing he built over the holidays – he also made me a raised garden bed! We planted some lettuce, kale, and broccoli so we will see how it goes!

Raised Garden Bed - loveinamasonjar.com

Hope you had a wonderful holiday season and are enjoying your New Year!

DIY edible gift – Canning Applesauce

apple picking and canning applesauce - loveinamasonjar.com

What to do with all these apples?! Why, make apple sauce of course! We have a started a fall tradition of going apple picking and while we always get what we call fancy apples (for eating),  we also learned that getting “seconds” or the less perfect apples that go for cheaper are PERFECT for making apple sauce! While you have to pick through lots of apples to find the best, and you always end up with a random mixture, they work awesome for a really well rounded apple sauce.

Here’s what we used (although we ended up doing this several times) 🙂

…about 12 pounds of apples..

… 2 cups apple cider…

That’s it! It’s so easy and so tasty! It ended up making 7 pints of apple sauce. And no sugar added! The apples were perfect by them selves. We had a mix of jonagolds, pippin, braeburn, fugi, and others that I can’t even remember! It helps to have a mix of sweet and sour.

You can also add cinnamon if you like that flavor (we did for one or our batches) about 1 tbl was perfect!

It also helps if you have an apple peeler/corer and of course if you are canning it, you will need a canning pot and jars.

canning applesauce - old scale - loveinamasonjar.com

All we did was peel, core, and slide the apples…

apple picking and canning applesauce - loveinamasonjar.com

IMG_3773

And then put them in a giant pot!

apple picking and canning applesauce - loveinamasonjar.com

We added 2 cups of cider and just let them cook down! It think it probably took about 30 minutes to cook down. We continued to stir and then when it looked like a smooth consistency and there weren’t many chunks left we scooped it into the sanitized jars to can!

We filed the jars with 1/2 inch head space and processed for 15 minutes.

So tasty!!

apple picking and canning applesauce - loveinamasonjar.com

This also makes a great hostess gift or holiday party favor!  Happy canning oh and Happy Halloween!!!

Fall project: Polka dot Glitter Painted Pumpkins DIY

I have a fun, easy fall project with you! Polka dot glitter painted pumpkins!  Fun fall home decor! I’ve seen a lot of photos lately on pinterest and in magazines of pretty painted pumpkins, so I thought I’d try to make my own! And I’m so happy with how they turned out, I thought I’d share!

fall painted polka dot glitter pumpkins - loveinamasonjar.com

All you need is…

..paint..

..mod podge or glue..

..glitter..

..paint brush..

..paper plate.. (to catch all the extra glitter)

..and it helps to have these foam pouncers like these… but you could do with out too…

OH! and PUMPKINS!!

pumpkin painting supplies - loveinamasonjar.com

Just use the glue and pouncer for your dots, and then (over a plate) pour on the glitter! Then fold the plate in half to pour the glitter back in the jar. Or use the paint brush and paint to paint designs on the pumpkin!

fall painted polka dot glitter pumpkins - loveinamasonjar.comfall painted polka dot glitter pumpkins - loveinamasonjar.comfall painted polka dot glitter pumpkins - loveinamasonjar.comfall painted polka dot glitter pumpkins - loveinamasonjar.comfall painted polka dot glitter pumpkins - loveinamasonjar.com

PS – the glitter dipped mason jars will be available on my ETSY shop soon!!!

Fall baking fun!

I love fresh fruit and berries (hence all the jam I make) but I also love to bake with them! I don’t know about you, but I LOVE baking in the fall. Just something about the smells of cinnamon and sugar and the warmth of the oven… and though I’m not usually a cooking blog, these all turned out pretty good so I thought I’d share. Most of the recipes I found on Pinterest or cookbooks I have, so I don’t take credit for them! Enjoy!

fall baking fun - loveinamasonjar.com

Blackberry Scones (recipe is for blueberry, but I used blackberries)

blackberry scones - loveinamasonjar.com

Peach Cobbler

peach cobbler - loveinamasonjar.com

Apple Crisp (sorry we ate it before I got a photo!)

Pomegranate Muffins

pomegranate muffins - fall baking - loveinamasonjar.com

Blueberry Crumble Muffins  (recipe below)

blueberry muffins - loveinamasonjar.com

This recipe is adapted from a recipe in a cookbook I have called Food For Family and Friends by Ryland, Peters and Small which can be purchased here.  Makes 12 muffins.

Muffins:

2 1/4 cup flour

3 Tbl baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs, beaten

1 stick unsalted butter melted

3/4 cup sour cream

1/4 cup whole milk

1 1/4 cup  raspberries (I used blueberries)

Crumble:

3/4 cup flour

5 Tbl butter, chilled and cut into pieces

2 Tbl sugar

3 Tbl slivered almonds

Preheat the oven to 375. Line the muffin pan and grease the surface of the pan where the muffins will rise and stick.

For the crumble, putting the flour and butter in a food processor and pulse briefly. Put in a bowl and add sugar and almonds and crumble it together.

For the muffins, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt into a mixing bowl. In another bowl mix the eggs, melted butter, sour cream, and milk. Wisk. Pour the wet into the dry and and add the blueberries and fold until combined.

Pour into the prepared muffin pan and fill to the top and then add the crumble. Bake 25 minutes at 375 and then Enjoy!!

Canning 101: basics of water bath canning for homemade jam! – Part 2

canning homemade jam tutorial - loveinamasonjar.com

Ok – so in the last post we left off with preparing the jam based on your recipe. I like to do this while you are waiting for your pot to boil, and continue after you put the empty jars inside and they are getting all hot and sanitized in the water bath canner.

canning 101: homemade jam

So, we have mashed our fruit, put it in a pot, added the sugar and set it on a boil. I also often add lemon juice and zest for added acidity. Each fruit acts different, and so with some you will want to strain the juice and reduce it to thicken it, and others you won’t need to do that. With some you can also add in green apple slices to add pectin and get the jam to thicken. Whatever you do, you’ll end up boiling and stirring the fruit for awhile (probably up to 30 minutes). The longer you boil, the thicker it will eventually get. And you’ll start to notice some foam on top. You’ll want to remove this with a spoon as much as you can.

canning 101: homemade jam

By this time your canning pot should be boiling and you can put your empty clean jars inside to sanitize them until your jam is finished.

canning basics: homemade jam - loveinamasonjar.com

When you’ve tasted your jam and you think your ready to fill your jars, use the tongs to pull your jars out of the boiling water. Remember you have your rings and lids in a bowl waiting and they need some hot water to prepare for sealing. You can pour the water from a few of the jars into the bowl for that. Then get your funnel and place it in the top.

canning jam - loveinamasonjar.com

Then scoop the jam out of the out and fill your jars! You’ll want to leave “head space” in each of the jars based on the recipe, usually 1/4 inch. This just refers to the amount of space you leave from the top of the jar. Use the tool to measure, as this also helps to ensure your jars seal properly.

canning jam - loveinamasonjar.com

The next thing you need to do is get a damp towel or paper towel to wipe the top and side of the jar clean. You don’t want any jam on the outside or around the rim as it may not seal and then your jam could go bad.  Once the jar is clean use your magnet to pick up a lid and ring from the bowl of hot water and put in on the jar!

canning homemade jam - loveinamasonjar.com
Secure the ring to “finger tight” so its secure, but you can still unscrew it easy with you fingers. You want it to seal, but you don’t want it to be on there too tight. Next, put your jars on the rack in the boiling pot!

canning homemade jam tutorial - loveinamasonjar.com

Once all your jars are filled, cleaned, closed and in the pot, lower the rack down and make sure you water is 1 inch about the tops of your jars. If all looks good, then put on the lid and let it boil to process your jars! This usually takes about 10-15 minutes, depending on your recipe, but after 15 minutes of being in a boil, they should be good! Then you can lift up the rack and take out your jars one by one.

canning homemade jam tutorial - loveinamasonjar.com

Place all the jars on a towel and let them sit for 12 hours undisturbed. You will begin to hear a little ‘pop’ as each jar is sealing. You may even hear it right as you pull them out of the pot. Check after an hour by feeling the lid to make sure they have sealed. If any of the jars haven’t sealed, put them in the refrigerator and use them first. But hopefully you will have none! And that’s it! You’ve successfully canned homemade jam!

canning homemade jam - loveinamasonjar.com

There are so many great things you can do with homemade jam! Eat it of course, but you can also use it for hostess gifts, christmas gifts, and even wedding favors!!

HAPPY CANNING!

Canning 101: basics of water bath canning for homemade jam! – Part 1

This post has been a long time coming. I have started this so many times and it has taken me FOREVER to get it finished! But today is the day… get ready for the basics of water bath canning – Part 1! Wahoo!

Let’s begin with the supplies needed. You will need a large water bath canning pot with a rack like this one here. The pot is pictured below, with the rack inside.

canning homemade jam - loveinamasonjar.com
The rack helps to lift the hot jars in and out of the large pot. They often come together in a set, and you can get them lots of places (Target, Ace Hardware, etc.)

You will also need the supplies pictured below. You can get the blue canning utensils in a set from Ball here or at the stores listed above.
canning homemade jam - loveinamasonjar.com
The blue thing that looks like a zig zag is for measuring headspace when you fill the jars. The tongs are for lifting the hot jars out of the pot. The lid lifter has a magnet on the end so it’s easy to get the lids out of the water to seal the jars. And the funnel is for pouring in your hot jammy goodness into the mason jars!

I also like the measuring cups with the pour spout to scoop the jam out of the pot and fill the jars (these were given to me by my friend who first taught me to can jam!) Oh and don’t forget the mason jars!! I prefer the 1/2 pint jars for jam.

canning basics: homemade jam - loveinamasonjar.com

You’ll need to wash these lids and jars in warm soapy water before canning so you can keep things clean!

And let’s not forget the fruit and your recipes. I love the book Canning for a New Generation, by Liana Krissoff because it has recipes with low sugar and uses other methods for natural pectin in fruits, so you don’t have to have pectin on hand.

canning homemade jam - loveinamasonjar.com

Now that we’ve got all the supplies, let’s get to making jam!!!

First, wash your lids and jars in hot soapy water, and fill your canning pot with water! You’ll want your jars to have 1 inch of water above them when they are processing, so you’ll need to fill it that much. Once its full, put it on the stove bring it to a boil.

canning basics: homemade jam - loveinamasonjar.com

Put your jars aside on a towel and your lids and rings in a bowl while you prepare your jam and wait for the water to boil in the pot.  Then get out your fruit! Follow the recipe for making the jam, but for the most part, it will look a little like this…

Hull the strawberries | chop the fruit | mash the fruit | put in a pot and add sugar | bring to a boil

canning 101: homemade jam canning 101: homemade jam

And that’s where I’ll leave us for today. I’m sorry for stopping mid process, but if I don’t I will never get this out! Stay tuned on how to fill the jars and process in the water bath canner in Part 2!

We finally did it. We are now on facebook!

Aren’t you proud?! Took us long enough, but we now have a facebook page for loveinamasonjar. Yay! We will use this page to post customer product photos, highlight new items, events, and maybe even some promotion codes now and then! So if you like – “like” us on facebook! 🙂

Click the image below or see the link on the right. We appreciate your support!

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