Kitchen Favorites: Canning Cookbooks

I’ve updated my list of favorite canning books with new editions plus newer releases worth adding to your canning bookshelf. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
It might not feel like canning season with garden beds buried in snow. Still, seed catalogs keep arriving. To my mind, the smart way to grow and preserve your own food is to follow the progression from buying seeds to planting to harvesting to canning. That means that now, as I choose varieties from seed catalogs, I’m noting the recipes that I hope to can in summer or fall.

If you think the same way, you’ll want to be leafing through some of the canning cookbooks in my recent piece for The Spruce Eats. I originally wrote this roundup in 2021 and shared more about sourcing safe canning recipes in a related blog post. I’ve updated the list with new editions of some of my favorite canning books plus a couple of newer releases worth adding to your canning shelves.
Learn about choosing and using canning cookbooks

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Kitchen Favorites: Snack Bowls

Testing kitchen products puts pieces in my hands that I never would have bought yet now find they fit perfectly into my tiny kitchen. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
Testing kitchen products for The Spruce Eats puts pieces in my hands that I never would have sought out, like the four Corelle Classic Winter Frost White Bowls I feature in my latest article for the website. These 12-ounce bowls were chosen by another writer as part of a cereal bowl roundup, but after they arrived at my house for testing, it was clear I wanted to bump up a size. Instead of immediately returning the bowls, I held onto them to judge their overall usefulness—and decided they were worth the shelf space to keep permanently.

I rarely eat cereal from these bowls, reserving that for a larger-capacity set that I tested and kept for sailing, picnicking, road tripping, and more. But Corelle’s smaller bowls travel just as well. I use them often at home, too, for snacks, small portions, meal prep, and serving.
Learn about choosing and using snack bowls

Slow Cooker vs. Instant Pot

Ever wondered whether you should use a slow cooker or an Instant Pot? Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
I’ve been focused on sourdough this month and my annual sourdough giveaway, but my recent piece for The Spruce Eats may offer you some ideas of things to eat with all of that bread you’re now baking—and the tools to prepare them in. If you’ve ever wondered whether you need a slow cooker or an Instant Pot, or which to use if both already live in your kitchen, this article aims to provide some answers.

In examining the best uses for these seemingly similar kitchen tools, I came up with ideas ranging from the typical, like braising meats and cooking dried beans, to the unexpected, like steaming custards and fermenting yogurt. I also found a few kitchen tasks that you might think would work in a slow cooker or an Instant Pot but that really should have you reaching for a different tool.
Learn about choosing and using slow cookers and Instant Pots

Choosing Chip and Dip Sets

With the chance to test nine chip and dip sets, I spread out homemade dippers, fresh dips, and home-canned salsas. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
I recently had the chance to test and photograph nine chip and dip bowls and platters for The Spruce Eats—much to the pleasure of munchie-loving friends who got to dig into the photo-shoot spread. I was surprised not just by the variety of sets and styles but also by the ways I could fill them. I’m not sure what my editor expected when she asked me to test whether the sets could hold “other finger food,” but I took the opportunity to spread out homemade pita wedges and crackers, home-smoked cheese, fermented pickles, and every type of salsa in my home-canned stash.

Each set had ideal uses, even if you just want to dump in a bag of chips and jar of queso. Some would be ideal for a fancy holiday spread, others can be taken to a bonfire party, and still others are made for curling up solo by a fire.
Learn about choosing and using chip and dip sets