We thank you for taking the time to visit our blog.

My husband and I are a young, growing, Christian, military family. My husband is a Captain in The United States Marine Corps. I am a former Elementary school teacher. We are first time parents to a beautiful little two year old boy, with twin boys on the way! I am a stay at home Marine wife, who loves to bake, cook, sew and craft! I enjoy being a Domestic Engineer. The purpose of this blog is to document the story of our life and adventures as they take place.

We are honored to be serving our country and ask for prayer in our upcoming adventures. We have been blessed tremendously, and thank God everyday for all he has given us!




Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Must-Try Mason Jar Meals

Everyone that knows me, knows about my love for Mason Jars! I think Mason Jars make food, beverages, snacks, jams and preserves look appetizing and cozy! I love that you can look through a clear Mason Jar and see the rich color and texture of it's contents.

In fact, my Mom and I are both "Mason Jar Hoarders" ha! We save our old spaghetti sauce jars, I re-purpose my leftover  preserve jars for craft ideas around the house. My hubby thinks I'm a bit eccentric and a little bit crazy when it comes to the topic of Jars! Whenever we  pass an antique store, consignment shop or thrift store, I have to pop in and see what kind of cool, old eclectic jars await!

This year, I am planning to make and can homemade salsa and marinara sauce from the vegetables in my garden.

The TRUTH is, Mason Jars are just so darn useful!

Decorating, canning, storage . . . there are endless possibilities and uses for these adorable little containers!

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For example, how adorable are these homemade candles?

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Or perhaps .  .  .

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The use of tiny Mason Jars as sippy cups for your little one's birthday party!

Note to self : Perfect for Robbie's Second Birthday!

While we're on the subject of parties, how about this cute idea?
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I mean, who doesn't love a refreshing ,cool glass of lemonade!
You could even use the Chick-Fil-A Lemonade recipe from my blog to fill these jars. Just click here: Easy Peasy Lemonade !
So much better than soda pop!

Or maybe this .  .  .
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I seriously love this lighting idea for a patio!

and finally . . . my favorite!
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It is my hope to one day have a house with a butler's pantry that I can turn into a canning room! When/If that day comes, these scones will definitely grace my wall and provide the light for my little canning room!

Okay, so I'm not sure that I will ever be this good!
But, I do love to can!

 I have had experience canning jams and sauces. so you can imagine my excitement while browsing through Pinterest during Cricket's nap time today and stumbling across these fabulous recipes for  Mason Jar meals!

So bring out those recipe cards, get comfy, perhaps pour a cup of tea for yourself and get to copying down these recipes! I know I am! :)
 Sweet and Spicy Cornbread-Topped Chili

Sweet and Spicy Cornbread-Topped Chili
465 calories, 13.8 grams sugar, 6.3 grams fat, 61 grams carbohydrates, 40 grams protein

For the ultimate comfort food, dig into this warm cornbread-topped chili made with lean ground beef. Not only are these savory treats straightforward to make (simply cook the chili, ladle into individual mason jars, and top with cornbread batter), but they’re fun to eat and a surefire crowd pleaser!


1/2 small onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb. 90/10 ground beef

Salt and pepper

1 29-oz. can tomato sauce

1 15-oz. can black beans, drained & rinsed

1 16-oz. can baked Bush’s Vegetarian Baked Beans

Chili powder

Cayenne pepper

Onion powder

Garlic powder


Brown sugar (optional)

1 recipe cornbread batter (boxed or homemade)


Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, and ground beef to the pot, season with salt & pepper, then cook, breaking up the ground beef, until no longer pink. Drain well and return to the pan. Turn the heat down to medium-low and add in tomato sauce, black beans, and baked beans. Season with chili powder and cayenne pepper to your tastes, then add in dashes of onion powder, garlic powder, and cumin. Let the chili simmer for 5-10 minutes, then taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Ladle chili into mason jars, then top with cornbread batter, leaving at least 2 in. clear at the top of the jar. Bake on a cookie sheet for 17-22 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Makes 4-5 servings.

Mini Peanut Butter Cups
Mini Peanut Butter Cups


280 calories, 22.5 grams sugar, 14.8 grams fat, 31.5 grams carbohydrates, 8.3 grams protein

These vegan peanut butter cups owe their silky smooth texture to a secret healthy ingredient: organic tofu! Blended with peanut butter, the tofu adds creamy thickness without any extra calories or fat.


For the crust:

Heaping 1/2 c. + 2 tbsp. graham cracker crumbs (10 squares)

1 1/2 tbsp. pure maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener)

1 tbsp. coconut oil (or Earth Balance)

2 1/2 tsp. cocoa powder

For the filling:

200 g. soft/silken organic tofu, roughly chopped

1/4 c. natural peanut butter

1/2 c. Sucanat or brown sugar, processed into powder (or 3-5 tbsp. icing sugar)

1 tbsp. almond milk

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Salt to taste

For the chocolate shell:

2 1/2 tbsp. dark chocolate chips

1 1/2 tsp. coconut oil (or Earth Balance)


If making homemade powdered sugar, add 1/2 c. Sucanat (or brown sugar) into a high-speed blender and blend until a powder forms. Set aside, but leave the lid on as it needs to settle. In a food processor, process the crust ingredients until crumbs are a bit damp. Add 2 tbsp. of the crust into each jar. Spread out evenly and flatten with fingers. Quickly wipe out the processor bowl. Now add the filling ingredients and process until silky smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. Add 3 tbsp. filling into each jar and spread gently with a spoon. Place jars into freezer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes to firm up a bit. Remove jars from freezer and melt the chocolate on the stove-top or microwave. Spoon 1 tsp. melted chocolate on top of the filling. Quickly, twist the jar around to coat all sides. Repeat for the rest. Chill in the fridge or freezer to firm up the chocolate or just dig in as is!

Makes 5 servings.

Strawberry Banana Oats

Strawberry Banana Overnight Oats

562 calories, 26.1 grams sugar, 8.8 grams fat, 105.5 grams carbohydrates, 20 grams protein

A jar of chewy oats is the perfect breakfast food; not only does a mason jar make your morning nosh look more appealing, it’s also a convenient way to transport your meal to work or school! While this fiber and protein-rich version is flavored with strawberry jam and banana, feel free to add different ingredients for your own healthy twist.


1/2 c. rolled oats (not quick cooking)

1/2 c. plain Greek yogurt

2/3 c. milk

1 tbsp. chia seeds

2-2 1/2 tbsp. strawberry jam

1 small banana, mashed


Mix all the ingredients in a bowl or jar, cover with a lid or plastic wrap, and allow the mixture to sit in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, stir in the desired mix-ins and enjoy.

Makes 1 large serving.

Layered Maple Oat n’ Apple Dessert

Layered Maple Oat n’ Apple Dessert Jars

404 calories, 21.9 grams sugar, 27.3 grams fat, 36.7 grams carbohydrates, 7.8 grams protein

These vegan dessert jars are so scrumptious you’d never guess they’re free of gluten, dairy, and refined sugar. The treats are made with decadent layers of maple and toasted walnut cookie, dates, maple almond butter, and shelled flax, so even though they’re sweet, they’re also packed with heart-healthy fiber!


For maple flax:

1/2 c. flax seed

1 tbsp. maple syrup

For apple crumble cookie:

1/2 c. rolled oats

1/2 c. almond flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. salt

1/3 c. coconut oil

1/4 c. coconut/palm sugar

1 chia egg (2 tsp. ground chia seed + 3 tbsp. water)

1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 pinch white stevia powder

1/2 Granny Smith apple, diced fine

1/2 c. walnuts, roasted

For dates:

8 medjool dates, pitted and halved (2 dates/jar)

For maple mystery butter:

1/4 c. maple mystery butter

4 random jars

1 tbsp. coconut oil for greasing jars


For maple flax:

Place flax seed in a Ziploc bag and place on the cutting board. Take a flat object (the bottom of a saucepan works nicely) and hit the bag a couple of times until the germ separates from the shell for many of the seeds. Place shelled flax seeds in a small bowl and combine with maple syrup. Set aside.

For apple crumble cookie:

Preheat oven to 170 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicon baking mat. Place walnuts on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes, stirring once half way through. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Then combine ground flax + water in a small bowl. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside. In a small bowl, beat coconut oil and sugar. Add flax egg, vanilla extract, and stevia and mix well. Pour wet into dry and stir to combine before adding apple and chopped walnuts. Set aside.

To make dessert:

preheat oven to 350 degrees and fill a 9 × 9 square in. pan with 1 in. of water. Set aside. Place a dab of coconut oil in each of your jars and place them in the microwave for 30 seconds (or until oil is melted). Remove from microwave and use fingers to oil the inside of the jar. Place 2-3 tbsp. cookie mixture at the bottom, followed by 2 dates, then 1 tbsp. mystery butter, followed by another 2-3 tbsp. cookie mixture. Top it all off with your maple flax and place in prepared pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until you see the cookie layer pull away from the glass. Remove from oven and take jars out of water bath. Allow to cool for 30 minutes.

Makes about 4 jars, depending on what size jars you use.

OR what about these two wonderful Mason Jar Meals ?

Enjoy, and start saving those spaghetti sauce jars !


Michael said...

A few days ago you posted a statement -- " Jesus had fun ." What did you mean by that ? - Thanks

letty said...

I've never canned before and I love all your ideas

Rich and Sarah Christensen said...

Hi Letty!
Thank you for your kind comments! You really should give canning a try! It is easy and so much fun! William Sonoma has classes on canning at the store and much informatin on their website. :)