Archive for 2015

DIY Gifts For Everyone on Your List

December 9, 2015

Whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, or you’re just in the giving spirit this season, we’ve got some great ideas for gifts you can make yourself.

Washable Sharpie Mug

Use oil-based sharpie paint pens to decorate a mug for the coffee or tea drinker in your life. It’s a simple process, and a great way to personalize a gift. All you need is your mug (or plate, bowl, cup, etc.), paint markers, masking tape, and a pen or pencil to trace your pattern. Check out the full instructions here: http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/2014/02/10/sharpie-mug/#BA1VA40rix8XXPzS.32

Sugar Scrub

A DIY gift classic, we couldn’t leave this one out. It’s all natural and only contains a few ingredients, and the best part is you can customize it to be any scent and color you (or the recipient of your gift) want! Most of what you’ll need can be found in your kitchen, like sugar, coconut oil, and food coloring. You will also need some essential oils and a mason jar to store it in. The possibilities for scent and color combinations are endless, but we love this holiday peppermint version! http://www.mommymusings.com/diy-peppermint-sugar-scrub/

Homemade Treats

Perfect for those with a sweet tooth, you can’t go wrong with homemade treats! You can make something you know they love, or try a new recipe that will knock their socks off! We love the idea of homemade turtles, a chewy, chocolaty, crunchy candy that no one will be able to resist.  http://www.averiecooks.com/2014/08/homemade-turtles.html

Mason Jar Recipe

Mason Jars are a staple for many DIY projects because they are functional, inexpensive, and easy to decorate. Try putting a special hot chocolate or cookie mix in a mason jar and dressing it up with ribbons, glitter, a homemade note, and anything else you can think of! Some great ideas here: http://thefrugalgirls.com/gifts-in-jars-recipes

DIY Picture Frames

A framed picture can be a meaningful gift, and decorating the frame yourself can make it even more special. Pick up an inexpensive frame anywhere you choose and get creative! Here are a few ideas we love. http://diyjoy.com/craft-ideas-diy-picture-frames

 

5 Things to Do on Black Friday (Besides Shopping)

November 23, 2015

Thanksgiving is a great time to reflect on what you are thankful for in life, and to share good food with your loved ones. Spending the whole day making a meal, eating it, and then cleaning it up can be exhausting. If you would rather not spend the whole next day in a frantic crowd of Black Friday shoppers, check out some of our alternative day-after-Thanksgiving ideas!

Spend the Day in Pajamas

We know we don’t have to tell you twice! You and your family will likely be wiped out from the activities of the day before, so why not take a day to recover and sleep in late. Cartoons and leftover mashed potatoes taste better in pajamas anyway!

Get Outdoors

If you’re lucky and the weather holds, get out and play! We suggest you try a family football or kickball game, leaf pile party, or even a leftover picnic out in the front yard. If it’s too cold to spend lots of time outdoors, try taking a short walk followed by a cup of hot cocoa.

Start a Book

You can do this on your own or with the whole family! We suggest you pick out a book a few days or week before so you have something to look forward to.

Have a Family Game Day

Let each member of your family pick out one game and spend the day playing them all together. Some of our favorites include charades, Go Fish, Clue, and Pictionary. The more interactive the game, the more fun it will be for all the players.

Leftover Feast

The day after Thanksgiving is the perfect time to separate and store all your leftovers. You can freeze some things like gravy or mashed potatoes and they will save for weeks, while other dishes are meant to be enjoyed pronto. One of our favorite ways to eat leftovers is between two slices of Rudi’s Organic Bakery Pumpkin Bread 😉

DIY Air Fresheners

November 10, 2015

In the winter months we tend to spend most of our time inside, without a lot of fresh air coming in through the windows. The essential-oil based formulas are all natural, and completely customizable. If you want to keep your home smelling nice and fresh without any artificial chemicals, then keep reading!

Spray

If you are looking to swap spray air freshener for a cleaner version, this is your best option. It’s simple, inexpensive, and you can make any scent you want! You will need ¾ cup distilled water, 2 tablespoons witch hazel or vanilla extract, and 1 tablespoon essential oils of your choice.  Mix your favorite scents for a truly customized air freshener! Some of our favorites are:

  • White fir + Cyprus + wintergreen
  • Lavender + sage
  • Ylang ylang + cedar + orange
  • Rosemary + lavender + peppermint

Potpourri

Put dried out flowers to use with homemade potpourri. This pretty, fragrant blend of flowers, spices, and essential oils is a great way to freshen up a room continuously, plus it doubles as decoration in a Mason jar or glass bowl! You will need flowers, essential oils of your choice, and any herbs or spices that you’d like to add. Start by preheating your oven to 200 degrees F. Cut the stems off the flowers and remove the individual petals, then spread them evenly over a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. This is where you can add herbs or spices like cloves, cinnamon sticks, lavender, etc. to your potpourri mixture. Blend 1 tablespoons of essential oil with 1 tablespoon of water, and then drizzle evenly over the flowers. Bake in the oven for two to three hours, until the flower petals are dry.

Baking Soda

This one is fairly simple. Just combine 1 cup of baking soda with 15 or 16 drops of your favorite essential oils and store in a Mason jar or bowl. This air freshener will need to be replaced every few weeks, but it’s so easy and inexpensive that we don’t mind.

Gel

This is a fun one to do with kids! Add 4 packages of unflavored gelatin into 1 cup of boiling water until it’s dissolved. Remove from heat and add a second cup of water. Add 15 drops of your favorite essential oils, and 1 teaspoon of salt. You can also add food coloring or glitter to the gel. Pour into a clean jar and place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes set.

Source: http://chemistry.about.com/cs/howtos/ht/gelairfresh.htm

The Many Uses of Muffin Tins

October 16, 2015

Muffin tins are can do so much more than just bake muffins. Here are just some of the many uses, in and out of the kitchen.

Mini Frittatas

Muffin tin frittatas are a great make-ahead breakfast that can easily be reheated when you’re on the go. They are also a perfect appetizer before brunch! All you need is eggs, milk, cheese, vegetables and meat of your choice, and some seasoning, Bake in a lightly greased muffin tin for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees F and you will have a little cup of fluffy, baked heaven!

Deep Dish Mini Pizzas

We love anything mini, especially mini pizzas! These are a great snack for kiddos (and for you too!) Preparation is simple; all you need is tomato sauce, cheese, a refrigerated pizza crust, and toppings of your choice. Press small squares of the crust into the muffin tin and spoon in your toppings. Bake at 400 degrees F for 10-15 minutes. Try these at your next birthday party or bake sale and watch them disappear!

Taco Cups

One of our favorite ways to make tacos is in a muffin tin.  Use a cookie cutter to cut circles out of a Rudi’s Organic Bakery Spelt Tortilla and steam inside a damp paper towel in the microwave for about 10 seconds. Press the circles into the muffin tin, and layer with cheese, veggies, and meat of your choice! Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, and then top with lettuce and sauces for a crunchy new take on a classic.

Specialty Ice Cubes

Get jumbo ice cubes by freezing water in a muffin tin! This works great for large pitchers, especially when making iced tea. You can also customize your ice cubes by freezing in fruit, like lemons or strawberries, or herbs for a DIY infused drink.

Single Servings

Muffin tins are great for prolonging the life of your favorite homemade soups and sauces. Pour them in and put in the freezer for easy, single-serving reheating! You can also use muffin tins to serve snacks or lunch to those kiddos who HATE when their food is touching (you know who we’re talking about.)

Organization

It turns out muffin tins are useful both in and outside the kitchen! You can use them to store and separate jewelry, craft supplies, small hardware like nails and screws, and anything else you can think of! It’s a great way to keep things organized and easily put them back when you are finished.

Five Foods That Are Better Served Cold

September 16, 2015

Today we are talking food that is traditionally served hot, but that we like just as much (or more) served cold. Don’t get us wrong, we love steaming meal straight out of the oven as much as the next guy, but there are some foods we’d rather eat straight out of the refrigerator. Forgoing re-heating is an energy saver, time saver, and can yield unique flavors and textures you didn’t know you loved!

Pizza

There is just something about cold pizza that is almost better that it’s warm counterpart (pizza for breakfast anyone?) Next time you have leftover pizza, try eating it straight out of the fridge rather than heating it up and see if you agree.

Bread pudding

Here at Rudi’s, we are big fans of bread pudding. We’ve tried it every way you can think of, and one of our favorite ways to eat it is fresh out of the fridge with some warm caramel or chocolate sauce drizzled on top! It’s a super simple way to mix up a classic dessert.

Chocolate

If you’re not a fan of melty, messy chocolate, then this one is for you. We’re talking chocolate bars, truffles, cookies; anything that is made of hard chocolate is delicious when it’s cold. We love to pop a candy bar in the refrigerator or freezer for a few hours and enjoy the sweet, crunchy result!

Tea

There is nothing like a nice, hot cup of tea, except maybe a tall, cool glass of iced tea! While we love tea both ways, ice tea is more refreshing and easier to take on the go. Try a cool brew iced tea that’s ready in just 5 minutes!

Fried Chicken

This one may sound a little extreme, but trust us, the texture and taste of cold fried chicken is something you have to try. Some have even said cold fried chicken is better than traditional, hot fried chicken. There are even specific recipes for cold fried chicken out there! We suggest this lighter baked “fried” chicken recipe refrigerated overnight and served with a side of (cold) mashed potatoes!

 

Guide to Fall Produce

September 8, 2015

The season of summer berries has come to an end, and now we’re excited to jump into fall with lots of fresh, yummy fruits and vegetables that are in season! According to the USDA, buying local, seasonal produce has lots of benefits, like the potential to reduce the amount of energy and resources we use, or the possibility of yielding more nutritious produce. We’ve rounded up some of our fall favorites below!

Pumpkins

From classic pumpkin pie to tasty roasted pumpkin seeds, it’s hard to imagine fall without pumpkins. Luckily for us, pumpkins are known to be full of nutrients like fiber, calcium, and iron! Get creative with fall’s signature squash and try out a new recipe like a pumpkin smoothie or pumpkin chili!

Apples

Crisp, sweet apples are perfect for a crisp, sweet fall day! Even though apples are available year round, they are considered “in season” in the fall. Eat one to get a dose of antioxidants and to keep the doctor away ;

Beets

Beets are in season from early fall to late spring. Eating beets can be a great way to get dietary fiber, vitamin C, and potassium. Roast them with a little balsamic vinegar or try this yummy beet burger!

Carrots

Fresh, crunchy carrots are another seasonal vegetable on our radar this fall. Not only are they nutritious, but they are also extremely versatile. If you have a sweet tooth, try a homemade carrot cake! If you’re looking for something more savory, try roasting them with a bit of garlic and butter.

Pears

Pear season begins in late summer and lasts through fall (and even winter for some varieties.) Pears can be a great source of fiber and Vitamins like B, C, and E.  Spiced pear chips, pear butter, and pear prosciutto pizza are just a few of the recipes you can create!

Back To School Sweepstakes with Tea Collection

August 19, 2015

With summer drawing to a close, it’s almost time to send your little ones back to school. It’s exciting to load up their backpack with brand new school supplies and a freshly packed lunch and send them off to a new year full of adventures. To make this season even more special Rock the Lunch Box has teamed up with Tea Collection, Yoobi, Minted and other great brands to  give away a bundle of goodies to get your kids excited to get back to the books!

Three lucky winners will receive a $300 Tea Collection gift card, bright and vibrant back to school essentials from Yoobi (including a backpack and lunchbox!), one month of lunch supplies courtesy of Rock the Lunch Box (and Rudi’s!), an autographed copy of Weelicious Lunches cookbook, $200 worth of portable glass food storage and water bottles from Lifefactory, and last but not least a $400 Minted gift card!

We’re so excited to be part of this Back to School Sweepstakes, and we wanted to share it with all our wonderful fans! Entering is easy; just click on the below link, fill out the entry form, and you’re good to go! Contest ends Sunday 8/23. Good luck!

http://bit.ly/1E0VatJ

 

Join #RockTheLunchbox Twitter Party 8/18!

August 17, 2015

Summer is in its homestretch and the school season just around the corner. That means kids everywhere are already thinking about buying the newest, coolest backpacks, pencils, and notebooks. While kids dream of the fun stuff, parents are thinking of how to make simple school lunches. We know it’s a challenge to keep ideas fresh and serve better options your kids will enjoy—so we’re here to help renew your lunchbox inspiration! Join us and our friends Annie’s Homegrown, Applegate, Rudi’s Organic Bakery, LaLa Lunchbox, and MommyFactor  for the #rockthelunchbox Twitter Party August 18th! We’ll be sharing lunch tips, recipes, delicious giveaways from all our brands, and we also have some questions for you! Come hungry for ideas and get ready for a fun-packed hour. Spread the word!

 

Who: You, Rudi’s Organic Bakery, Honest Tea, Annie’s Homegrown, Applegate, , LaLa Lunchbox & MommyFactor

What: The #rockthelunchbox Twitter Party

When: August 18th 1-2pm ET

Where: Twitter, simply follow the #rockthelunchbox hashtag

 

For more information on Rock the Lunch Box, visit: bit.ly/Ul8WkI

Clean Green

August 10, 2015

If you like keeping your house clean and fresh but don’t like the chemicals in many household cleaning products, then keep reading below.

It’s easy to make your own natural cleaners with items in your pantry. There are a few common ingredients that you will use over and over again, like baking soda, lemon juice, vinegar, and olive oil. You can also add castile soap, a soap made of natural plant oils that will help cut through grease. On top of helping you save money and being gentle on the environment, these cleaning solutions actually work!

We’re going to start off with an easy all-purpose cleaner that is on two ingredients. That’s right, TWO! Mix one part vinegar to two parts water in a spray bottle and use for almost anything, including countertops, wood floors, soap scum, and so much more. This is a good base cleaner that you can add other ingredients to for more specific results.

When cleaning your bathroom, combine your vinegar mixture with some baking soda for scrubbing power. The best way to do this is to sprinkle some baking soda in your toilet or shower and spray the vinegar cleaner on top. Scrub with a sponge or cloth, and voila! Your surfaces are good as new.

Baking soda works well for scrubbing, but it’s also great for deodorizing. You can use it in your fridge or trash can, or mix it with some essential oils to freshen the air around your house naturally.

If you’re looking to replace dish soap and detergent, castile soap mixed with water makes a great substitute. For maximum disinfecting, mix 2 teaspoons castile soap with 1 cup baking soda and 1 teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide. This mixture works best if you scrub it into a wet surface and rinse thoroughly when done.

Olive oil and vinegar work well together as a polish for wood surfaces and furniture. The vinegar helps disinfect while the olive oil conditions and keeps your surfaces soft and supple.

We hope you enjoyed these tips!