Monday, August 29, 2011

11 Uses for Empty Food Jars + An Appetizer Recipe

Send a pretty food gift home with a loved one, or pack one in your child's lunch bag. Decorate the lid or glass as you like.

I have a penchant for World Market's sundried tomatoes packed in oil. It's heavenly I tell you. I can empty a small jar in a matter of two days. Naturally, I have a few of those glass jars stored in my cabinets, and I know more will eventually pile up, so I gathered some ideas to make use of them. More on that later. But first, here is a quick and delicious light lunch/ appetizer.

Whole fat cream cheese
Whole-grain sesame crackers
Sundried tomatoes packed in oil (Couldn't find the exact name brand. Will update soon.)
Fresh avocado
Garlic stuffed olives

Spread whole-fat cream cheese liberally over whole-grain sesame crackers. Place a whole sundried tomato on top, and add a dollop of fresh avocado. If you'd like, mince garlic stuffed olives and sprinkle sparingly. 

Now, let's talk about how we can use those empty food jars. These ideas are good for any jar with a wide mouth. I'm interested to see what you all do with your empty food jars. There are innumerable shapes, sizes and colors that might enhance a collection or serve as pretty storage.

Uses for empty jars:

  1. Vase – Place wildflowers or a few flower stems in a window for a casual-pretty look.
  2. Disposal – Pour grease into a jar and dispose of it to avoid a clogged drain or melting holes in your garbage bag.
  3. Craft storage – Buttons, color pencils, paint brushes, spools of thread and whatnot look like collections when displayed in various jars.
  4. Decorations – Display seashells, sea glass, polished stones or decorative potpourri.
  5. Candy jar – Pour colorful gumballs in, or create a color wheel of candy by displaying one hue representative of each color of the rainbow. Arrange the jars from purple to blue, green, yellow, orange and red.
  6. Vanity storage – Cull your assortment of lip glosses, eyeliners and makeup brushes. You can also store rubber bands, bobby pins and hair clips each in a separate jar as needed.
  7. Paint wash jar – If you paint with acrylics, watercolor or gouache, empty jars come in handy for wetting and cleaning your paintbrushes.
  8. Leftover food – Store your leftovers prettily. Glass jars are easier to clean than most plastic containers, because you can pop them into the dishwasher without worrying about chemicals leaching onto your dishes.
  9. Time capsule – Have your child gather items for a time capsule, place them in a large jar and bury them in the back yard to unearth in years to come.
  10. Votive holder -- A tea light in a small jar radiates a soft glow at the dinner table or in the bath.
What do you do with your empty food jars? Feel free to leave a comment and/or a link to a photo on your blog.

Ciao bella!

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