Saturday, August 1, 2015

Today is International Can-It-Forward Day! -- Watch LIVE From 11am-4pm EST To Celebrate The Joys of Fresh Preserving + Enter to #WIN @BallCanning Supplies and More #canitforward

Disclosure:  I was sent a review copy from the vendor in order to write up an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.


Can-It-Forward Day - LIVE broadcast


With summer in full swing and families heading out to go blueberry and even peach picking, now is the perfect time to pick up your copy of the new  37th edition of the Ball Blue Book canning recipe book, to help you with all your canning needs. I have been busy canning blueberry jams from blueberries the girls and I have picked during the week, to surprise family and friends with, as well as enjoy at breakfast on toast. Yum!  

And, like in years past, I will be streaming the annual International Can-It-Foward Day, which is TODAY!!!! from 11AM - 4PM EST.  Here is more about this fun event, including schedule...


Fruits


"Jarden Home Brands will host this year’s fifth annual Can-It-Forward Day, broadcast live online at FreshPreserving.com from 11AM – 4PM EST TODAY from the new state-of-the-art Jarden Home Brands headquarters in Fishers, Indiana. An event celebrating the joys of fresh preserving, Can-It-Forward Day encourages gardeners & food enthusiasts across the country to celebrate what “Made From Here” means to them by fresh preserving their favorite local ingredients in peak season. The webcast will have an integrated chat function where viewers can submit their home canning questions to be answered in real time. New this year, there will also be an exciting celebrity mason jar auction unveiled during the webcast!

Check out the line up for this year's event, with LIVE broadcast starting at 11am EST (8a PST) - Special guests include:




Share what you make with #canitforward and #madefromhere on any social network.Click here to download recipes from the Ball Canning Ambassadors!

Watch the live stream here starting at 11AM EST Today - 4PM EST...


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While you wait for the LIVE streaming broadcast to start at 11AM EST, here is more about my thoughts on the new Ball Blue Book canning recipe book. And, make sure you read it to the end, as I will be offering one lucky reader the chance to win an amazing canning prize pack to get them ready to start canning and serving up fresh cold lemonade in mason jars at your upcoming cookouts and more...

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I waited until Savannah was out of school for the summer to go strawberry picking with her and Bella, as well as a friend from her preschool and his mom.  We set out for a local farm, which has what seems like miles and miles of strawberry and blueberry plants.  With our buckets and containers we spent the AM last Tuesday picking vibrant red colored strawberries.  I think Savannah and Bella ate more strawberries than they put in the bucket. I can't blame them, as I sampled a few (well, OK, more than a few) and they were so juicy and delicious.  It was hard to stop at just one.  But, I knew that these ripe strawberries would make for great smoothies, homemade frozen fruit bars and jams for canning, so I made a point to stick with picking the strawberries to fill my containers with them. :-)
I was smart when it came to picking as I brought along an extra container that I filled, which sole purpose was to satisfy our strawberry cravings for the drive home.  By the time we got home, the container was empty, and the girls had red lips and fingers and smiles on their faces. :-) After cleaning and prepping the strawberries for snacking, freezing and canning, I pulled out the new 37th edition of the Ball Blue Book canning recipe book.   



"The most trusted resource in home canning for over 100 years, the 2015 release of the Ball Blue Book is its largest update since the first edition in 1909."

The new 37th edition, which hit book shelves earlier this month, is a must have for canners, both novice and expert.  With over 200 pages, this canning cookbooks has expanded 56% from the previous edition, and includes 75 new recipes, pictorial step by step canning guides for beginners, and a special special section for Meal Creations and recommendations with tips for creating your own signature food.

Can you belive that the (AKA the Canning Bible for canners) was first published back in 1909?  For over 100 years, the Ball Blue Book has become the most trusted resource for home canning.  I remember when my grandmother and great aunts were going through their cookbooks when downsizing, they gave me their editions they had collected and used.  This was my first experience with canning and from that point on I was hooked, and love to make jams, pickles, salsas, etc. with fresh fruits and vegetables I grow in my own garden or pick at local farms with my family. There is just something about being able to can fruits and vegetables to enjoy throughout the year, as well as share as gifts everyone loves to receive, that puts a smile on my face.  And, whenever I find myself looking at freshly picked berries like the amazing strawberries the girls and I picked the other day, I am quick to grab my latest edition of the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving for family favorite recipes and new recipes to try. 

Here is a quick and easy strawberry jam recipe that is posted on the Jarden Home Brands' Fresh Preserving website, which is filled with tons of canning recipes you will find in this and past Ball Blue Book editions.  


picture of prepared recipe
Makes about 8 (8 oz) half pints
Strawberries, lemon juice, Ball® RealFruit™ Classic Pectin and sugar combine to create this homemade strawberry jam. Try out this recipe, then make it your own as you discover new twists to this favorite canning recipes.

YOU WILL NEED:

DIRECTIONS:

  1. PREPARE boiling water canner. Heat jars in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil.  Wash lids in warm soapy water and set bands aside.
  2. COMBINE strawberries and lemon juice in a 6- or 8-quart saucepan. Gradually stir in pectin. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil that can not be stirred down, over high heat, stirring constantly.
  3. ADD entire measure of sugar, stirring to dissolve. Return mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary.
  4. LADLE hot jam into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight.
  5. PROCESS in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

DELICIOUS HOMEMADE STRAWBERRY JAM VARIATIONS

Vanilla Strawberry Jam:
Add half a vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise, to the crushed strawberries. Cook as directed and remove vanilla bean before ladling jam into jars. The resulting jam will be enhanced with subtle yet distinct vanilla overtones.
Strawberry Balsamic Jam:
Reduce the lemon juice to 1 tbsp and add 3 tbsp good-quality balsamic vinegar. Balsamic vinegar accents the strawberry flavor and gives the jam a robust taste.
Lemony Strawberry Jam:
Add the grated zest of 1 large lemon to the crushed strawberries.
Peppered Strawberry Jam:
Stir 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper into the cooked jam just before ladling it into the jars. Pepper accents and compliments strawberries' sweet flavor. Be sure to use freshly ground pepper, which delivers a fresher-quality flavor.
    In addition to making the homemade strawberry jam recipe, a recipe I have used for the past few years, I did try out a few of the suggested variations including the Lemony Strawberry Jam and the Strawberry Balsamic Jam.  I shared a few jars of the Lemony Strawberry Jam with some of my close friends, who were quick to ask for the recipe, as they family devoured the jam in record time, as did my family. :-)
    Photo courtesy of Jarden Home Brands
    There are so many great canning recipes that I want to try this summer once the vegetables start coming in, including the many relish recipes, an apricot preserves recipes that you can use as a chicken glaze, as well as a strawberry-kiwi jam that I will be making this weekend when we pick more strawberries. :-)
    Upon receiving this new edition cookbook a couple of weeks ago, I was quick to pick it up and read it cover to cover like a book, and marked up practically half the book with sticky notes on pages to recipes I want to try.  My family and friends will be in for a treat when I start turning out jars and jars of homemade tomato sauce, salsas, jams and so much more, thanks to oh so easy to follow along recipes found in the new  37th Edition of the Ball Blue Book® Guide to Preserving cookbook, available for purchase now in stores and through online retailers.  I can't wait to hear about and see the canning that you do after you check out this new edition cookbook.  The hard part will be keeping the jars on the pantry shelf. :-)
    ---
    Here are some great preserving tips for both novice and experienced canners which the folks at Jarden Corporation shared in a recent press release announcing the release of the  37th Edition of the Ball Blue Book® Guide to Preserving cookbook, that I thought would be interest to you as you start your summer canning....
    Photo courtesy of Jarden Home Brands
    "While there are many exciting updates throughout the 200-page guide, below are tips about fresh preserving that may even surprise experienced canners: 
    Tip #1: Safety is just as important as taste. A recipe needs more than good flavor to be considered safe for home canning, that's why it's absolutely imperative to choose recipes that are tested and approved in accordance with USDA guidelines. Rest assured that all recipes in the Ball Blue Book have gone through vigorous testing and are deemed safe for home canning. Process and recipe validation is always the highest priority to ensure the best results consistently for consumers.
    Tip #2: Fresh preserving is just three steps. If you can boil water, you can can! Simply prep your equipment, prepare your tested and approved recipe, and follow the proper corresponding preserving instructions to ensure the perfect batch every time. We know with 100% confidence that when these three steps are done properly, home canning is undoubtedly safe and very rewarding.
    Tip #3: Size matters.  Fresh preserving is equal parts art and science. Each recipe is tailored for a specific Ball canning jar size, so it's important to use the jar indicated in the recipe. Experts at Jarden Home Brands have tested all Ball Blue Book recipes to determine the most appropriate jar size, which is listed alongside each recipe.  You can also reference this helpful jar selector guide on FreshPreserving.com if you're unsure.
    Tip #4: Jam isn't just for toast. Fruit spreads are some of the most versatile preserved foods and can be used for so much more than topping scones or toast! The newly-added Meal Creations guide in the Ball Blue Book showcases how to transform a jar of delicious Apricot Preserves into recipes like chicken glaze, or Strawberry-Kiwi Jam into salad dressing!
    Tip #5: Tomatoes are a top pick. Out of all fruits and vegetables, tomatoes are the most popular ingredient to preserve because they're so simple to prepare—and delicious. Tomatoes Packed in Juice is an easy way to begin preserving the season's best tomatoes from your farmers market, home garden, CSA or local grocery store.
    The 37th Edition of the Ball Blue Book® Guide to Preserving is available to purchase now at www.FreshPreservingStore.com and can be found at select grocery, hardware and mass retailers nationwide, as well as online. For more information on all Ball brand canning products and safe home canning practices, visit www.FreshPreserving.com or the brand's social media channels including Facebook (www.Facebook.com/BallCanning), Twitter (www.Twitter.com/BallCanning) and Pinterest (www.Pinterest.com/BallCanning)."

    --

    And, as promised my giveaway...

    --GIVEAWAY--

    Ball® Heritage Collection Pint Jars Set of 6

    Thanks to the kind folks at Jarden Home Brands, in addition to new canning products and cookbook sent to me for review, they also included a FREE coupon for a case of Ball Brand canning jars for me to offer as a reader giveaway.  You never can have enough canning jars, right?  

    Want to win this FREE coupon for a case of canning jars?  Then, complete the entries on the Rafflecopter form below.  Good luck!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway
    Disclosure:  I was sent a review copy from the vendor in order to write up an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

    Thursday, July 23, 2015

    Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth Without Adding Inches to Your Waistline with the NEW Dannon® Light & Fit® Tiramisu Yogurt - Only 80 Calories Per Serving! #IHeartTiramisu #IC #ad

    Disclosure: I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Dannon. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation. All views and opinions are my own, and do not necessarily represent those of Dannon.




    Being a busy mom on the go, I am always rushing around getting the girls stuff together, their shoes on, and making sure they have gone potty, then getting them to the car and secured in their car seats.  All this rushing around, i oftentimes forget about grabbing a snack to munch on while out and about, as I start to feel hungry from missing a meal or simply picking.  A good day is when I can drink my coffee HOT in the AM, right from the pot, without having to warm in the microwave,and sitting down at the table with the girls enjoying a hearty breakfast.  But, if you have little ones, you know that this doesn't happen that often.  And, if you are trying to keep your mommy figure :-) and not reach for junk food when you are in need of a snack or pick me up, you have to make sure you only fill your pantry with healthy options.  

    We all know snacks should be healthy, but when you are running around all day and just want a quick snack to satisfy your sweet tooth or feel like you are cheating on a diet, what can you reach for?  How about the new Dannon® Light & Fit® Tiramisu yogurt.  

     Dannon(R) Light & Fit(R) Tiramisu Flavored Greek Nonfat Yogurt (Photo: Business Wire)

    At only 80 calories and 0% fat per 5.3 oz serving, this Greek nonfat yogurt will definitely satisfy your taste buds and sweet tooth, without adding inches to your waistline.  And, knowing that it is only 80 calories per serving, you will not feeling guilty afterwards, even though it tastes so good you would expect it to be full of sugars, fats and high in calories. 
    #IHeartTiramisu #Ad #IC

    Being of Italian decent and originally from Boston, I grew up having tiramisu served at all family gatherings, especially around the holidays.  This was the first dessert my Italian grandmother taught me, while also teaching me how to make and drink coffee and espresso. :-)  While there is nothing like Grandma's tiramisu recipe, this new flavor from Dannon® sure does remind me of her mouth watering dessert.  



    It is rich and creamy in consistency and so smooth with each and every bite.  It is hard not to think of Boston's North End or being in my grandma's kitchen baking up tiramisu, as you peel back the top of the Dannon® Light & Fit® Tiramisu yogurt cup and smell the sweetness of this craveworthy Greek Tiramisu. 

    My parents came to visit the other day and saw the Dannon® Light & Fit® Tiramisu yogurt in my refrigerator...how could they miss, I ended up stocking up at Stop & Shop and filled a whole shelf with my new guilty pleasure, which is also good for you and offer 12 grams of protein per serving.  I let her try a cup and she was in heaven, smiling after each spoonful.  When I told her that the Dannon® Light & Fit® Tiramisu yogurt was only 80 calories, she couldn't believe it, as it tasted so good, and healthy and bland like some other flavored Greek yogurts.  My dad even snuck a spoonful and said it tasted like "butter" meaning it was smooth, creamy and delicious. :-)  It is hard to get my dad to try something new, especially healthy snacks including Greek yogurt.  But, when he saw that it was tiramisu, his sweet tooth kicked in and he started to crave it.  It was so delicious and really does fill you up.  Since my parents visit last week, they have told me that they, too, have stocked a shelf in the refrigerator with the Dannon® Light & Fit® Tiramisu yogurt, and can't stop raving about it with friends.  

    Like me, my parents are also enjoying Dannon® Light & Fit® Tiramisu yogurt for breakfast, as a mid-day snack or late night treat.  My husband has been sneaking a few and enjoying as his dessert after lunch.  



    There is no right or wrong time to reach for and enjoy Dannon® Light & Fit® Tiramisu Flavored Greek nonfat yogurt.  It will satisfy your sweet tooth, while also helping you manage your diet, weight loss goals, or simply steering clear of junk food and unhealthy snacks, to maintain a healthier lifestyle.


    If you are a fan of Greek yogurt, and love flavored ones, you will want to pick up a few Dannon® Light & Fit® Tiramisu yogurt cups the next time you go food shopping.  Once you take a spoonful, you will see why I, my family and so many others are now talking about their new guilty pleasure, thanks to Dannon®.  This is on treat I can't resist, and look forward to enjoying, morning, noon and night! :-)

    For some of us, our guilty pleasure or comfort food we turn to after a long day comes in the form of sweets. These indulgences are delicious and satisfying, but can often lead to consuming empty calories that we regret later. Dannon® Light & Fit® Tiramisu yogurt provides the sweetness we crave, without the guilt! This creamy breakfast, snack or dessert option is a treat that helps with managing diet, weight loss, or simply maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

    Tell your readers about your experience giving Dannon® Light & Fit® Tiramisu Flavored Greek nonfat yogurt a try and how it helps you to maintain a healthy lifestyle, without missing out on the flavor you crave from your go-to treats.

     Stay up-to-date on all things Dannon®, including new flavor additions, special offers and more by following them on their social media pages and website...


    Disclosure: I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Dannon. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation. All views and opinions are my own, and do not necessarily represent those of Dannon.

    Tuesday, July 21, 2015

    Connect with Amwell's Board Certified Doctors 24/7 From the Comfort of Your Home -- No Appointment Necessary! #momsloveamwell #ad

    DISCLOSURE:  This post was sponsored by the Role Mommy Writer's Network.  However, all opinions are 100% my own.






    Busy a busy mom on the go with two little ones in tow, it is hard to just stop everything and run an errand, let alone go to the doctors.  Have you tried to sit in a doctor's waiting room with a 3 and 5 year old, especially when it is packed and they are not feeling well?  Not fun at all.  What if you really needed to see the doctor for your child or even yourself, but didn't want to deal with the hassle of getting the kids ready, making sure they go potty, getting them to the car, and then waiting in a waiting room for 30+ minutes?  Have you heard of Amwell?  If not, this is the answer to your prayers when it comes to seeing the doctor and not having to rearrange your schedule and life to do so.

    So, what is Amwell anyway?  It is the nation's largest telehealth company, which connects patients with board-certified, licensed doctors (most with an average of 15 years in practice), for an immediate one-on-on live online chat, no matter the time of day -- day or night.  You can access Amwell either with your mobile device (iPhone or iPad) or desktop computer.  Now how is that for convenience?  I don't know about you, but I couldn't help but smile thinking about how convenient Amwell is, in that I just have to reach for my iPhone or iPad and within minutes can be connected and talking with a doctor, and on my way to having the girls or myself feeling better.  Who knew going to the doctor's could be so simply and painless?  


    "Amwell is also the first telehealth service awarded accreditation by The American Telemedicine Association"

    Thanks to Amwell, this telehealth company created by doctors, is making doctor's visits more appealing, not just because of the live, online visits, but also because of what this company has to offer users.  I have tried out other telehealth services in the past, but have been disappointed with their features.  I don't know about you, but I like to know who the doctor is that I am speaking to, including their educational background, and if they are board-certified or not.  With the others telehealth services I have used, you are connected with a doctor through a live online chat, but you can't choose the doctor..you get who is available at the moment in time.  And, on a few occasions, I have felt rushed when talking to the doctor, as you are usually only given 15 minutes for a call -- anything over and you have to pay again in 15 minute intervals, which can get pricey, especially when you have a little one you are trying to have explain their symptoms or respond to the doctor, for a proper diagnosis.  With Amwell, you are able to see a list of board-certified, licensed doctors available to you, and their background, including specialty, years practicing, etc.  I really like this option, as it still lets me feel like I am in control of my health and choosing the doctor I want to see and have treat me or my family.



    Creating an account with Amwell is also easy.  Within a matter of minutes you can create an account, enter your medical history and current symptoms and then connect with a doctor.  Each and every time you log on to Amwell, you don't have to worry about having to re-enter the information, as it is stored securely for you the first time, which saves a lot of time, and gets you face to face with a doctor quickly.



    So, what types of health concerns or conditions can Amwell's doctor treat or diagnose?  Amwell doctors see patients with minor illness and injuries, general health and wellness concerns those needing a prescription refill and even patients needing chronic condition management.  Based upon your medical condition, you can choose to talk with primary care and specialist physicians, as well as licensed behavioral therapists and registered dietitians, to meet your health and wellness needs.

    Have a question to ask a doctor? Get the care you need quickly - typical issues include:
    •             Bronchitis
    •             Cough
    •             Sinus infection
    •             Sore throat
    •             Urinary tract infection
    •             Vomiting
    •             Diarrhea
    •             Fever
    •             Pinkeye
    •             Flu
    •             Sprains and strains
    •             Cold
    •             Respiratory infection
    •             Headache
    •             Depression
    •             Anxiety
    •             Weight concerns
    •             Smoking cessation

    "Just choose the type of visit you are looking for and select a provider.  Depending on the issue at hand, the doctor can diagnose, suggest follow up, and prescribe, when appropriate.  Amwell takes your privacy very seriously. Your visit with the doctor is secure and HIPAA compliant." 


    I know what you are asking?  This online service must cost an arm and leg, right?  Not at all -- "Amwell is accepted by many major insurers, with more added every day.  Enter your health insurance information for a lower cost visit.  Amwell's on-demand doctor visits are now available in 46 states."  Even if you don't have health insurance you can still use Amwell's service and receive a low-cost consult with one of their doctors, without breaking the bank.   Amwell offers $49 physician visits -- yes $49!!! :-)

    "Consumers expect online visits to be cost-savers; with in-office visits costing, on average, $82 for first-time patients according to the Healthcare Blue Book, Amwell offers a $49 physician visit – a savings of $33.  Great option for students in college looking for cost-effective healthcare or those between jobs and without insurance."

    Here are some of the reasons why people continue to use Amwell, instead of going to see a doctor in person...



    • "Lower cost. Consumers expect online visits to be cost-savers; with in-office visits costing, on average, $82 for first-time patients according to the Healthcare Blue Book, Amwell offers a $49 physician visit – a savings of $33.  Great option for students in college looking for cost-effective healthcare or those between jobs and without insurance.
    • Accessibility.  After hours, on weekends and in the middle of the night (24/7/365) availability.  Great for those who do have transportation or when you don’t feel well enough to drive and those who are newly relocated and don’t have providers yet.
    • Convenience.  Consumers are looking for a faster appointment.  Now they don’t need to schedule an appointment nor do they need to wait to be seen, especially if on vacation or business travel.  The doctor can be seen from the comfort and convenience of their own home.
    • Quick prescriptions. Consumers would rather have an online video visit than an in-office visit to obtain common primary care prescriptions. 
    • Peace of mind. Rather than self-diagnosing or visiting a social forum for medical advice, users can obtain second opinions directly from board certified, licensed doctors."

    Since first being introduced to Amwell a few weeks ago, I have used this service a handful of times.  It seems like my girls always get sick more during the summer months.  From sinus infections to head colds and even conjunctivitis, we have been battling illness for the past few months.  It seems like once the girls are starting to feel better, they pick up another bug and are out of commission for another week or so.  And, because of all this illness, my own immune system becomes comprised from lack of sleep, and I end up picking up whatever the girls have, and we pass it back and forth.  Not fun at all.  But, at least being diagnosed and getting a prescription filled is fast and easily down from the comfort of your home -- in our case, our living room couch. :-)



    Want to give Amwell a try?  How about getting your first visit FREE.  Yes, I said FREE! Thanks to the folks at Amwell, they are offering all Inspired by Savannah readers the opportunity to have a FREE visit with an Amwell provider.  Simply use coupon code ROLEMOMMY to receive this exclusive deal.  Act fast, as the coupon code will not last forever.  So, what are you waiting for?  Download the most popular consumer telehealth app worldwide (in 2014 according to App Annie) and within a matter of minutes have a doctor on the line with you.  The doctor will see you now!  :-)  




    Can't wait to hear what you think of Amwell.  I know that once you try this consumer telehealth service, you will never worry about dealing with the hassle of going to the doctor in person.  No more waiting rooms filled with sick people, where you will wait longer than your rushed visit with the doctor.  At the end of your visit, you will be send an electronic record of everything discussed for your records and so you can share with your primary care physician, to keep them in the loop.

    Stay up-to-date on all things Amwell, including special discount visits, news and more....



    DISCLOSURE:  This post was sponsored by the Role Mommy Writer's Network.  However, all opinions are 100% my own.