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Archive for August 24, 2013

FOOD FUN: Convert Canning Jars To Drinkware

If you’ve been to restaurants or parties where the drinks are served in canning jars, you can be just as trendy at home or on the go.

And you can do it with an improved approach: a spillproof drinking lid adapter.

The Cuppow is a new invention that lets you up-cycle a canning jar into an eco-friendly beverage travel mug or sippy cup—although since glass is breakable, even extra-thick Mason jar, you’ll have to judge the portability based on your own habits.

“The canning jar already makes an awesome platform for a travel mug,” say the manufacturers. “It’s easy to clean, made of heat-resistant glass, cheap, durable, and when sealed it doesn’t leak. The only problem is that with their large openings, canning jars are not great for spill-free sipping while on the move. So we adapted it [into] a simple, eco-friendly alternative to poor-performing and messy disposable hot cups, and over-built and expensive travel mugs.”


Turn your canning jars into drinkware. Photo courtesy Cuppow.


The plastic circles, that insert into the metal rim of the canning jar lid, are available in clear, blue and pink for regular jars and clear, mint green, and orange for wide mouth jars. The adapters enable you to drink sippy-cup-style or insert a straw.


Photo courtesy Cuppow.


At $7.99 each they are pretty expensive for the plastic inset only: You BYO jar and metal lid. For a one-off, the price is affordable; but if you want to use them for the whole family or for entertaining, you have to trade off cost versus fun. One hopes that the company will find a way to bring the price down.

The Cuppow is made in the U.S.A. from 100% recycled BPA/BPS-free rigid plastic. It is dishwasher safe (top rack only).

They are available at retailers nationwide and at

The manufacturer is committed to diverting as much waste as possible from landfills and contributes 5% of profits to domestic charities and social initiatives.



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TIP: Mango, A Year-Round Fruit

Mango is a fruit we think of as summery: tropical, juicy, yellow-orange and just heavenly as sorbet and in a frozen Mango Margarita.

But mango is a year-round fruit, with different varieties coming into season at different times. So it can be enjoyed in desserts, incorporated into dips and relishes, and enjoyed in hundreds of recipes year-round, alone or combined with seasonal fruits.

That’s good news for people who like flavorful food, because one simple mango can upgrade and transform everyday dishes and holiday specialties.

For the health-conscious, mangoes contain more than 20 vitamins and minerals and are an excellent source of the powerful antioxidant vitamins A and C.

We adore mango, and would consider it as a go-to fruit except for the frustration of slicing it. That long, flat pit—and the thick skin—used to frustrate us every time.


The easy technique is to slice the flesh into cubes. Photo courtesy National Mango Board.

We’d even purchased a specialty mango slicer—to find out that it only accommodated an “average” size mango. We don’t know what that is, except the mangoes we purchased didn’t fit.

So we reached out to the National Mango Board, which provides a video and photo stills to demystify the process of how to cut a mango.

Now all you need is a mango, a sharp vegetable peeler and a knife. (We’ve had the greatest success with a Y-shape peeler.)


Slicing a mango can be relatively easy. But peel the mango before you slice it. Photo courtesy National Mango Board.



Unripe mangoes (firm to the flesh) can be used in curry, chutney, relish, slaw and pickled. Unripe mangoes have a tart, green apple flavor and are crispy and crunchy.

A ripe mango gives slightly to the touch, and has a tropical floral scent. The juicy, flavorful, yellow-orange flesh can be used to give a “mangover” (that’s a mango makeover) to:

  • Beverages: liquado (pureed with orange juice), mango lemonade, sangria (non-alcoholic), smoothies
  • Breakfast: blintzes, crepes, mango bread (loaf cake), muffins, yogurt parfait
  • Cocktails: Egg nog, Margarita/Mango-rita, michelada, sangria
  • Desserts: bread pudding, custard, granita/sorbet, grilled with ice cream, mango ice cream, panna cotta, shortcake, tart, tiramisu
  • Fish & Seafood: in ceviche, shrimp cocktail
  • Salads: Caprese salad (mango instead of tomatoes), chicken salad, crab salad, fruit salad
  • Salsas and Sauces: for chicken wings, coconut shrimp, pork, tacos, quesadillas
    You’ll find hundreds of recipes at, including eye openers such as Mango and Bacon Barbecue Pizza and Sweet Caramel Mango Nachos.

    Make one of them this weekend!



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