Perfect Pairings - Chai Red Grape Jam + Chai Spice Nut Butter

A couple of years ago I was shopping in this cute little store over in Dunedin, which has unfortunately closed, and that's the first time I came across Big Spoon Roaster's nut butters. At that time the nut butters were packaged in simple 1/2 pint mason jars and the aesthetic really appealed to me having just started The Urban Canning Company. I perused the flavors available and I was so inspired by the profiles! I made my first Big Spoon purchase that day, Chai Spice, and I fell in love with it quickly! This nut butter is actually what inspired me to make Chai Red Grape jam! The two pair so well together for a modern spin on the classic PB&J. 

Not only were the aesthetics and flavors appealing, Big Spoon Roasters shared like minded sensibilities with me and where I was going with food. Mark, the founder, is inspired by his heritage and sustainability. All the nuts used in his butters are carefully selected and blended with raw wildflower honey. They utilize local ingredients produced by true craftsman. Each and every jar is made by hand, and filled by hand. I've seen his business grow over the years and I know what hard work goes into hand making and filling every jar! 

Over the next few weeks we are going to share some perfect pairings in collaboration with Big Spoon! Here we've paired the chai jam and nut butter with walnuts and gluten free bread from local bakery, Sami's.

Their Chai Spice nut butter is created with a traditional Masala Chai blend of cardamom, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, vanilla and black pepper combined with American peanuts, almonds and wildflower honey. You can find the nut butter online or locally at Locale Gourmet Market, Artisan Cheese Company and A Savory Palate (both of which also carry Urban Canning!) If you get a chance you should definitely pick up a jar and taste the difference their hand crafted nut butter offers.

At Home with Dawn Konofaos from Alevri Marketplace


A few Indie Flea's ago I had the pleasure of coming across this amazing local vegan bakery, Alevri Marketplace. After walking past a table piled with beautifully decorative cookies and donuts that were adorned with rose petals, fresh lavender buds and nuts, I had to stop and investigate. My first purchase from Dawn was a doughssant, which is her version of a donut croissant hybrid, and after eating it I literally felt my life change. One of biggest questions I had after eating it was how in the world could it have possibly been vegan? It was just too buttery, fluffy and edible to be vegan! But, that is the magic of Dawn's baking. Soon after the Tampa Bay area started to really take notice. I began finding her goods popping up all around, including in the bakery case at my favorite local coffee shop, Bandit Coffee. It was there that our collaborations were born.

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting Dawn at her home where she made me a batch of southern biscuits while her husband steeped us tea. I have to admit that I love visiting other makers in their home. I get to take a peek into their life, see what they collect and get a window into the roots of their art. It also really makes me happy to see creators who are able to sustain themselves doing what they love to do. 

By hand she measured out flour, cut in butter from the freezer and rolled out a small batch of biscuit dough. I am a terrible baker, I don't have the precision for it, so it was really nice to watch her throw this dough together with such ease. I got to ask her questions about herself; She's from Baltimore originally and her Aunt taught her how to bake growing up. Her mom wasn't a big cook and she ate a lot of mac n' cheese. After moving down to Tampa she worked as the baker for Cafe Hey

I peeked around her kitchen while the biscuits were in the oven and there were lots of cute vintage kitchen utensils for me to get heart eyes over. 

We spread the finished biscuits with jam and they were just as good as they look here! 

For the last several years I have wanted a great place to eat biscuits in St. Pete, but we really don't have anywhere that serves true home style southern biscuits. Whenever I travel I always run across a biscuit joint! Unable to make good biscuits myself I've been searching for a bakery to collaborate with on this. I'm very excited to announce that once a month Dawn will be baking biscuits for The Urban Canning Company and we will also have coffee from Bandit Coffee in our tasting room. We'll have a full on jam bar, compound "butters" and a "Biscuit Brunch Picnic Box". Bonus; These biscuits are delicious for EVERYONE to eat and are VEGAN.

The first Biscuit Brunch is happening Saturday, February 25th from 11-1. More details will follow! Check our events page often for updates!


You can also find doughssants that we created together at Bandit Coffee for the next few weekends! The doughssants are filled with Strawberry Balsamic + Cracked Pepper Jam!

Available Saturdays and Sundays for the next few weeks of Winter at Bandit Coffee.  2662 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL 33712  

Available Saturdays and Sundays for the next few weeks of Winter at Bandit Coffee. 

2662 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL 33712


Warm Mustard Lentil Salad with Roasted Vegetables + Jammy Pork Tenderloin

I love this warm salad during the winter. It's rich and filling, but the preserved lemon in the dressing give it a sunny vibrant flavor additionally! It's also another recipe that makes great left overs for through out the week.

I also learned a lentil cooking technique while attempting to make this salad. For whatever reason I've always had the hardest time cooking lentils! They always end up turning to mush on me whenever I follow any online instructions. 

My trick is this; I took 2 cups of water and brought it to a boil in a sauce pan. After it came up to a boil I added 1 cup of lentils into the pot and I blanched them basically! I checked them about once a minute until they became just soft. It took about 5-8 minutes only. Then I drained them away from any excess water. 

To build the salad you need:

  • 1 head of cauliflower cut into florets
  • 6 carrots peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 cup of cooked lentils (see previous paragraph)
  • 6 cups of mustard greens roughly chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Mustard Dressing to taste
PS I accidentally spelled Moroccon wrong on my jar of preserved lemons at home. Whoops!

PS I accidentally spelled Moroccon wrong on my jar of preserved lemons at home. Whoops!

For the mustard dressing:

Whisk Together.


  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. On a roasting pan add cauliflower and carrots, drizzle with olive oil, salt + pepper.
  3. Roast for about 20 minutes or until brown and cooked through.
  4. Meanwhile in a bowl add collards and some mustard dressing and massage together.
  5. Next add the cooked lentils to the mustards.
  6. Once the vegetables are roasted let them cool off just a hair and add them to the bowl with the collards and lentils.
  7. Add additional mustard dressing to coat.
  8. Stir well and serve warm! 

To add a little protein to our plate for dinner (after eating the salad solo for lunch a few days in a row) I made a pork tenderloin using our Apple Garlic + Jalapeno Jam as a glaze! It was delicious and it's actually the initial reason I ever created this jam. Apple pairs so well with pork. No recipe really necessary. I just browned up the tenderloin with oil in my cast iron skillet, about 5 minutes each side, then I let it cook for about 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven until medium. Then I pulled it out, topped it with jam and put it back in the oven for another 10 minutes. 

I hope you all enjoy this recipe! Let me know if you have any questions!

If you've had a chance to use our preserves in a dish or want to share a canning recipe with us use hashtag #theurbancanningco and find us on Instagram @theurbancanningco. To see a list of our markets and events head over to our Market's + Events page or Shop Online! Cheers!

Korean BBQ Bowl with Pickled Broccoli

One of my favorite ways to eat recently, which I've said before, is in "buddha bowl" style. I'll cook 5 or 6 different vegetables up at the beginning of the week and 1 or 2 proteins along with a grain and just build different bowls all week if I know my family is going to be busy.

This is the bowl we made this week and it's delicious! In our cast iron grill we made pineapple, red peppers and Korean bbq steak. Then we sautéed sesame kale, fluffed up quinoa and used a unique pickle we canned up in the kitchen as a topper as well! The pickle is a Korean style broccoli with soy, rice wine and ginger! To top it all off we also made a sweet and sour sauce using our Apple Garlic + Jalapeno Jam!

So I'll break it all down for you if you'd like to try it at home! 

To build the bowl you need:

  • 1 package of protein, we used sirloin steak cut into fajita strips
  • Cooked quinoa, follow package instructions
  • 1 medium red pepper
  • 1/2 pineapple cut into fat wedges
  • 1 head of kale or purple cabbage
  • Scallions
  • Sesame oil
  • Sesame seeds
  • Olive oil
  • Salt + pepper to taste

For the sweet and sour sauce:

Blended all together in a small sauce pan and heat until melted together.

For the Korean BBQ sauce:

  • 1/2 C Ketchup, we used home made ketchup (we'll share the recipe soon!)
  • 5 TB Soy sauce
  • 2 TB Miso
  • 1 TS Sriracha, we used our house fermented Sriracha available in our tasting room

Blended all together with a whisk.

The pickled broccoli is absolutely yummy! We made it at the beginning of this week and we'll be bringing it out to the farmer's markets with us this weekend! It is a refrigerator pickle and we used organic broccoli that we procured from Little Pond Farm last weekend during the storm. It's pickled in a brine with soy, rice wine vinegar, ginger, garlic and chili. Because we didn't process it in the canner it's super crunchy! 

To cook the kale, protein, pineapple and red peppers here's what we did. The quinoa we cooked following the instructions on the bag.

  1. First I cooked quinoa following instructions on bag. I also at that time made the bbq sauce recipe above and the sweet and sauce sauce recipe listed above. 
  2. Then I heated up my grill pan on medium. After it  heated up I brushed it with olive oil to coat it.
  3. While I was waiting for the pan to heat up I coated my protein in the bbq sauce I had whisked together and set it aside.
  4. After the pan was heated and brushed with oil I grilled up the pineapple wedges and red peppers until they had a nice grill mark on either side. After they were done I set them aside.
  5. Next I grilled the steak the same way. 
  6. In a larger skillet while the steak was grilling I added 1 TS sesame oil, 1 TB olive oil and the kale, then I sautéed it with salt and pepper until it lightly wilted. Then I added sesame seeds and stirred.
  7. I also diced up some scallions during that time.
  8. After the steak was done it was all ready!

I always like to transfer everything into smaller bowls across our table so that we can all build the bowl the way we want to. It's fun to do it that way also, and it gives my kid the illusion that she's the boss of her dinner! Wink wink. Let me know if you guys have any questions! Enjoy!

If you've had a chance to use our preserves in a dish or want to share a canning recipe with us use hashtag #theurbancanningco and find us on Instagram @theurbancanningco. To see a list of our markets and events head over to our Market's + Events page or Shop Online! Cheers!

Blue Cheese, Bacon + Strawberry Balsamic Cracked Pepper Burger

Monday we made this bomb ass burger for our staff lunch! All of our bellies were super happy and we've all decided that it's one of our favorite ways to utilize this jam! 

To build the burger you'll need:

  • 1 package of ground protein
  • Blue Cheese crumbles
  • 1 medium red onion
  • Washed lettuce
  • Strawberry Balsamic + Cracked Pepper Jam
  • Bacon
  • Brioche or pretzel buns (optional grilled with butter)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt + Pepper to taste
  1. Start by frying up the bacon on both sides.
  2. While the bacon is frying up, season your ground protein with salt and pepper to taste and form them into 4 chunky burger patties.
  3. After the bacon is fried up put it aside.
  4. Slice your red onion, drizzle with olive oil, salt + pepper.
  5. Grill up your red onion and burgers to your taste.
  6. We buttered the top of our buns and grilled it as well.
  7. Build the burger and top with bacon, grilled red onions, blue cheese, lettuce and a generous spoonful of Strawberry Balsamic + Cracked Pepper Jam!

If you've had a chance to use our preserves in a dish or want to share a canning recipe with us use hashtag #theurbancanningco and find us on Instagram @theurbancanningco. To see a list of our markets and events head over to our Market's + Events page or Shop Online! Cheers!

Florida Strawberry Balsamic + Cracked Pepper Jam!

The kitchen smells like January in Florida! The strawberries have arrived! For the season, our first strawberry jam flavor to launch is Strawberry Balsamic + Cracked Pepper! It's a perfect balance of ripe strawberries, crisp balsamic, and the cracked pepper leaves your tongue tingling! It tastes really nice with a variety of dishes- whether it's ice cream, a charcuterie board, or a sinfully rich burger with bacon and blue cheese (Keep an eye out for that on our blog!).

If you've had a chance to use our preserves in a dish or want to share a canning recipe with us use hashtag #theurbancanningco and find us on Instagram @theurbancanningco. To see a list of our markets and events head over to our Market's + Events page or Shop Online! Cheers!

Fried Tofu with Peanut Sriracha Sauce

Fried Tofu with Peanut Sriracha Sauce

I have to admit, I'm not the biggest tofu fan. I think that is, however, because of how it's prepared a lot of times. Fried though? I can get down with some fried anything. This recipe was really easy to make and the flavors were a little different than what we usually cook in our home, so it was a welcome change. This is also a great way to use our house fermented sriracha.