18 March 2013

Book Review: Meals In A Jar By Julie Languille

I recently received a copy of the new book Meals In A Jar: Quick And Easy, Just Add Water, Homemade Recipes by Julie Languille to review.


If you find yourself struggling to come up with quick and easy meals for dinner and reach for canned soup or a box of dinner helper, but you still want to taste home cooked from scratch, then this book is for you!

The book has an assortment of ready made meals, from dry packed (such as beans, pastas and seasonings) to pressure canned ready made meals, to some combined meals - where there's the pressure canned goods, with an attached packet of dry goods to add when the time comes. While you'll obviously need a pressure canner to make the pressure canned recipes or combined ones, anyone can make the dry packed choices - such as Wheat Berry Cereal, Cowboy Cookies, and Mexican Bean Soup. (I won't preach about the benefits of owning a pressure canner, because I realize it's not for everyone - but consider learning if you're even the tiniest bit interested! You'll love it!) For the dry packed recipes, you can simply use plastic baggies if you so desire. One note: the quick and easy part for some of the recipes come from preparing the FINISHED product, not the mixes/canning themselves. Look at it as spending an afternoon preparing a month or two's worth of meals - kind of like freezer cooking, except when you lose the power, you don't have to worry about throwing away expensive food!

It's also great for those who are into preparedness and looking for easy meals to make when the power is out. You get comfort style foods, with a minimal amount of work. It's all ready to go, so you just start boiling that water when you get back inside from shoveling snow/piling sandbags/zombies/insert emergency disaster choice here. If you really wanted to - especially if you live in earthquake prone areas like we do! - you can create these ingredients in a ziploc baggie, then vacuum seal them or place them in mylar bags, label and stack in a bucket for easy evacuation. If you camp a lot, you'll love some of these too!

I was super thrilled to get my hands on this book, because it's right up my alley! My DH teases me for my love of buying canning jars - a prepared housewife can never have too many! ;) While there wasn't really any pictures of the finished meals (something I love to see, just to be sure I am doing it right!), the directions are all easy to follow, with plenty of reminders to label each bag (!!! don't forget to do as you are going along!!) and the directions for creating the dish. If you're looking for gift ideas, some of these recipes are perfect for meals in a jar gifts for theme baskets or just to help along a new mom/someone who's moving/an elderly relative.

Most importantly: these are meals you'll enjoy eating!

Meals In A Jar: Quick And Easy, Just Add Water, Homemade Recipes by Julie Languille is a paperback cooking book published by Ulysses Press. It is 160 pages long. The suggested cover price is $15.95, but Amazon has it available for $8.91 as of this posting.

I received a copy of this book in order to read it and share my thoughts on it. All opinions are my own, and not that of the author(s) or publisher.

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