Bite This Book! Food in Jars (giveaway)

Welcome to Bite This Book! Each month, I feature a cookbook of my choosing that is hot off the press, host a Q & A with the author, and then give you a chance to win a copy or two. It’s Bite This Book! good reads on Simple Bites.

Marisa McClellan is a woman of many hats. She is a freelance writer, an expert at home canning, a blogger, a canning instructor, and a contributor here at Simple Bites, among other things. She can now add published author to her resume because her beautiful book Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round comes out on May 22!

Marisa’s popular canning blog, Food in Jars, begged to make the jump to book; as her devoted readers, we wanted a hard copy of her recipes right in the kitchen with us. Fortunately, a publisher at Running Press helped make it happen and Food in Jars, the cookbook, is a thing of beauty. I know my copy is destined to get sticky, very sticky.

Packed with full-page color photos, and engaging anecdotes from Marisa’s food-centric upbringing, the Food in Jars cookbook is a fresh approach to home preserving. It holds a wonderful assortment of over 100 recipes from pickles to jam, fruit butter to salsas and much more. The small batch recipes make them approachable for novice canners, and there is enough variety in the recipes to entice the more experienced home canner.

Read on for a short interview with Marisa and a chance to win a copy of Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round!

Q&A with Marisa of Food in Jars

1. How was the Food in Jars cookbook born?

I’d been writing the blog for about year when everything just fell into place for the book. Running Press was looking for someone to do a preserving book and had reached out to a friend of mine. She didn’t want to do it herself, but knew that I was interested in doing a book. She put me in touch with her agent and the editor from RP and it all came together. This is not the typical first book story. I got incredibly lucky.

2. How does Food in Jars differ from other canning books out there?

A large part of what sets my book apart from the others is my voice. I think one of the reasons so many people gravitate towards my blog is that they like how I talk about canning. I really try to make it feel approachable, accessible and not intimidating. The book takes the same tone. I’ve including lots of storytelling in the book as well, so that the readers of the book understand just how personal this is for me and how much I care about that they use and enjoy the recipes.

3. Did you learn anything about yourself during the cookbook publishing process?

I learned that I’m not nearly as organized as I thought I was. I rediscovered just how motivated I am by deadlines (I knew that about myself in college, but had somehow forgotten). I learned to discern the times when compromise was necessary and when I needed to stand tough about aspects of the book. Writing this book stretched me and made me grow up. I am incredibly grateful for the experience and hope I get to do it again someday.

4. You’ve got a nifty plan for your book tour. Tell us about it.

I have a busy summer in store! The book comes out on May 22. I’ll be traveling some around the northeast for a couple weeks and then on June 7, I’m heading to the west coast. I start in Seattle and then will spend most of June working my way south. July and August, I’m doing more day and weekend trips and then plan on capping off my summer of travel with a weekend in Chicago. I’m also hoping to get to the midwest sometime in the fall and down south to Florida come winter.


I first met Marisa at Big Summer Potluck last July, but I had been a fan of Food in Jars for years now. I’ve always considered Marisa the authority of all things home canning, and she has patiently answered all my queries on the subject. I’m so thrilled to be giving away her brand new book.

Thanks to the publishers at Running Press, I have a copy of Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round to give away to a lucky reader!

To enter:

To enter this giveaway just leave a comment on this post and answer the question:

“What is something you plan to can this summer?”

That’s it!

(If you are reading this post via email, please note that you must enter on the blog post, NOT by replying to the email. Thank you!)

Giveaway ends Saturday, May 12, at 11:59PM. Good luck to all!

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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  1. Heather K says

    Tomatoes, applesauce, lots of Jalapenos for the hubby. :0)

  2. Mango jalapeno jam! I’m so excited!

  3. I’m planning on canning Strawberry Rhubarb Ginger Jam. It’s fantastic in the winter!

  4. Mary Beth Loewen says

    Can’t wait to can more strawberry jam. I need to do at least twice as much as last year. It was gone way too soon.

  5. Andrea Howard says

    I always can a variety of peaches: spiced, spiked, or with garden herbs. But I do want a better pickle recipe, and to try the okra from the photos, so please, please send the cookbook!

  6. Berry sauce using the blackberries from our very own bushes:

  7. I haven’t canned anything before, so I would like to start with something simple, whatever that may be.

  8. Heather Moll says

    so many things i’d like to can this summer. at the top of the list are peaches, pears, tomatoes and pickles. 🙂

  9. Jessica M. says

    Pickled spicy garlic cauliflower- it tastes way better than it sounds! 🙂

  10. Christyn says


  11. Stephanie Chavez says

    Salsa! All types and real hot-cha-choo-cha!

  12. Rhubarb:) I’ve never canned before and it’s growing like mad in my backyard. I want to learn.

  13. I’m all about the strawberries! Jam and this year I want to try canning berries in syrup.

  14. Lynnette says

    Definitely zucchini relish

  15. Hopefully the extra bounty of tomatoes from my garden!