coffee

My Life in Jars

I have to come clean about something.

I, Christina, am obsessed with mason jars.

It’s not a new concept to store food in these cylindrical, glass beauties. In fact, if my mommom saw this she’d slap me over the head because she (as with most older, wiser people) has used mason jars in her kitchen for a century, and has also been jarring gravy for the same amount of time, in a massive collection of her own masons.

But it must have hit me when I started working, cooking, and storing food for myself just how great these are, and how the uses for them are practically innumerable. No longer do I have to worry about whether or not my soup, smoothie, coffee, dressing, sauce or any other liquid I might carry somewhere has spilled all over the inside of my bag. No longer am I thinking about the BPA seeping into my food when I microwave it later. No longer am I thinking about how quickly I have to eat what’s in there before it goes bad.

Well that last one is a little presumptuous – food can still go bad. But when its sealed that tight IN GLASS?? It definitely lasts longer than any other kind of container you might be using.

DSC01495 copy

Either way, the pack I bought at Target for $8.00 (!) have more than paid for themselves in the probably-a-year I’ve had them. Here are some of my favorite uses for maybe mankind’s greatest invention:

  • Overnight oats: the easiest = rolled oats, almond milk, blueberries, cinnamon, peanut butter… awesome and perfect breakfast! (pictured)
  • Storing my cold brew coffee (pictured)
  • Storing my favorite homemade soups for easy grabbing when making lunch (work well freezing too!)
  • Mason Jar salads (pictured) also for easy grabbing when making lunch
  • Smoothies – I’ll make a few early in the week, label the ingredients, and take them with me for breakfasts, lunches etc. The fruit and contents doesn’t go bad or taste any different!
  • Baking soda air freshners – DYI, all natural, no chemicals in the air and REALLY, HONESTLY work!
  • Vase for short, bundles of flowers I get at a farmer’s market
  • Storing and keeping fresh various grains – quinoa, farro, rice stay fresh for months in seal tight mason jars
  • Chia detox water: chia seeds purified water, fruits like frozen blueberries and strawberries, and lemons!
  • Chia pudding

The list could go on and on. What are your favorite uses for mason jars??

Thanks for reading!

– x

Advertisements

Cold Brew Coffee – my summer savior

When I wake up every morning dreading the slow crawl from my bed, to the gym, to the job I hate, there is one thing that reminds me “YOU CAN DO THIS, DON’T BE A WUSS.” And no, it’s not the fear of disappointing my family and friends, and it’s not the alternative of no longer having a steady paycheck. No my readers, the thing that’s getting me out of bed and reminding me to seize the day no matter the circumstances – my own cold brewed coffee.

I know you’re thinking “coffee is coffee, there’s not coffee so good that it’s reminding you you want to live,” and to that I say NAY. If you love iced coffee like I do, the ability to have it already made and in my veins before getting to my desk makes all the difference in the morning. And making the iced coffee just like your favorite coffee shop does is so much easier than you think, not to mention so much more flavorful and stronger, when it’s not heated.

There are two ways to separate the grounds in cold brewing, either with a french press (which I use) or with a large tea bag like material that can soak grounds in water. So far I prefer the french press, so here are all the other VERY simple details to wake up your summer mornings.

– You can use completely normal grounds that you would buy in any store for any coffee you would make. Try to find course grounds. These have always worked better for me in the quality of the final product, as well as in the least amount of grounds that are left over in what I am drinking.

– Use 2 cups of grounds to every 4 cups water, in a large pitcher. Use 3 : 4 if you want a REALLY strong brew. Sometimes I will also add some spices like cinnamon or nutmeg to the grounds beforehand.

– Stir the grounds and water around a bit, and let sit overnight in the fridge. I like to have it sit for anywhere from 9 – 11 hours.

– Use the french press to separate the grounds from the coffee – pour the mix in into the press, and push the plunger down. The pour what is separated into a separate container or my preference, mason jar.

– Add your regular coffee accoutrements and enjoy! You’ll notice how much less bitter your coffee is, how many more subtle flavors you can taste, and how you might need less of what you’d normally use to mix (milk, creamer..) because the flavor will be stronger.

 

Let me know how this goes, or how you make your cold brew coffee! Thanks for reading!