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Kindred Gifts' Blog

Archive listing for November 2011

Leftover Halloween pumpkins? No problem - make muffins!

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on November 1, 2011, 11:31 am

Pumpkin and Feta Savoury MuffinsMartha Goes Green - a vegetarian cookbook

Looking for a way to use up all that leftover Halloween pumpkin? How about making some healthy, vegetarian Pumpkin and Feta Savoury Muffins, as seen in fabulous handmade Australian cookbook, Martha Goes Green: A Vegetarian Cookbook?

The recipe makes 12, and contains simple ingredients that are easily found at your local shops or markets.


Martha Goes Green: Pumpkin & Feta Savoury Muffins



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Guest Blog: EcoMilf's Meagan Genovese Shares Eco Friendly Tips For Packing a Waste-Free Lunch

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on November 2, 2011, 2:03 pm

We asked wonderful EcoMILF founder and blogger Meagan Genovese to share her wisdom onwww.ecoMILF.comrunning a green household, and will be featuring a series of blogs with her handy tips and ideas over the next few months.

Meagan is first and foremost a mama to two gorgeous little ones, a wife, a green cleaner and vegetarian chef, a writer, a yoga teacher, an animal rights activist and creator of all things homemade. She enjoys shopping, vegan baking and her newfound hobbies- sewing, knitting and photography. You can find her playing hide and seek at the park, drawing with crayons, reading a book or feeding her newborn while sipping soy chai lattes and nibbling on fairtrade chocolate. 

Today Meagan shares: Tips for Packing a Waste-Free Lunch

 

Thankfully, "waste-free lunch days” are becoming more and more prevalent in schools and workplaces, although at first the task can seem a bit daunting. But, with a bit of planning and the right tools and ingredients, packing a waste free lunch can become a part of your daily rhythm. 

Here are some tips to get your started:

 

SandwichesMeagan from EcoMilf - sliced vegies and handmade sandwiches - tips for a waste-free lunch

Sandwich wraps can be made easily with just a few supplies. If you’re brave enough, try this tutorial. Otherwise you can always purchase them to be used over and over again. If you’re worried your sandwich might get soggy and you think your child will be up for making their own, pack the sliced tomato and any dressings in a little container for them to put together at lunchtime. 

 

Left-overs

Left-over soups and stews can be reheated in the morning and put into a thermos with a lid that also acts as a bowl. If you’re doing this for a small child make sure the soup isn’t too hot when you put it in. A thermos can hold heat very well and the soup will come out steaming even hours later. Don’t forget to pack a spoon!

 Meagan from EcoMilf

Salads

Pasta salads, green salads, quinoa salads and alike can be put in a container with loads of veggies, cubed cheese or chopped egg. Store the dressing on the side. We love re-using mini vegemite containers for dressings and sauces because they don’t leak.

 

DrinksOne Bottle Reusable Water Bottles - gifts for kids; gifts for women and men

Our stainless steel water bottles go with us everywhere. Kindred Gifts carries gorgeous styles by One Bottle to choose from. If you want to pack some tea or a warm broth on a cold day warm it up in the morning and pour it into a thermos to enjoy later.

 

Snacks

A lot of waste in lunches can come from pre-packaged snacks. These are easy to imitate and much more healthy when you are selecting the ingredients yourself:

 

Whole bananas, apples, pears and mandarins make for excellent finger food. For a special treat cut some fruit up and put it in a container with a bit of orange or apple juice for homemade fruit salad.

 

Sliced veggies, pita and crackers all go nicely with homemade hummus, cream cheese or baba ganoush. Use a small vegemite jar or a small BPA-free plastic container to store dips in. 

Fluf Organic Cotton Snack Packs - eco friendly gifts for kids 

Hard boiled eggs are a regular packed snack in our household: full of protein, delicious and completely waste-free. You can choose to remove the shell at home or out and about. Just depending on who it is who will be doing the peeling. 

 

Cheese blocks can be cut into cubes or sticks and kept in a small container. 

 

You can make your own ‘snack bag’ or buy fun ready-made options, like these Fluf organic cotton Snack Packs (above) to put cookies, squares, biscuits, popcorn, sultanas, or dried fruit in. 

 

Napkins and Cutlery

Manor12 hemp & organic cotton napkins - handmade and eco friendly gifts for women

 

Cloth napkins made from natural materials like organic cotton, hemp or bamboo fabrics are readily available online or in stores, or if you’re feeling creative you can make your own napkins and placemats easily.

 

 

A Lunchbag

Finally, no waste-free lunch would be complete without a lunchbag to carry it in.

Fluf Organic Cotton Lunch Bags - gifts for kids; gifts for men and women

The Fluf Organic Cotton Lunchbags are adorable and come in a huge range of designs to suit a variety of ages and personalities. 

Packing a waste-free lunch can be stress free and enjoyable. Cutting out packaging often means cutting out the preservatives, flavourings and colourings that come with it. Homemade food will always be more delicious and nutritious. And above all else, waste-free lunches make for a healthier, happier planet.


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Top Tips for Choosing the Perfect Gift: An 8 Part Guide to Getting It Right - Part 5

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on November 4, 2011, 5:31 pm

Man Up!

Buying for your typical twentysomething is not easy: he manscapes, Vers Audio 1E Earphones - Bamboo & Walnut; perfect gifts for menstraightens his hair and cares for the environment and has a solid knowledge about what makes a good Pinot Noir.

 It’s his birthday, and you’re flummoxed as to what to get him. How about Vers Audio 1E Earphones?  Stylish, suave and much far superior to their plastic counterparts, they’re designed to be noise cancelling, which is perfect for when you want to ramble about your latest shoe purchase: he can just plug in and drift off....


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Quote of the week - Nathaniel Hawthorne

Posted in 'Quote of the week' on November 5, 2011, 9:50 am

-     Every individual has a place to fill in the world and is important, in some respect, whether he chooses to be so or notNathaniel Hawthorne



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Top Tips for Choosing the Perfect Gift: An 8 Part Guide to Getting It Right - Part 6

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on November 10, 2011, 6:37 pm

Remember, remember...Dusty Boy & Dusty Girl chalkboards by Actual - Josh Jakus

Anywhere past year 12, writing notes to yourself on the back of your hand becomes less and less acceptable. After all, a client of yours doesn’t need to know that you need nappies and tomatoes when you’re on your way home tonight.

So why not invest in the Fuz by Josh Jakus - Dusty Woman Chalkboard, $39.95? It’s cute, functional and much easier than trying to decipher the notes on the back of your hand after a day of wash and wear!



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Quote of the week - Robert Louis Stevenson

Posted in 'Unassigned' on November 19, 2011, 12:14 pm

 "Everyone who got where he is had has to begin where he was" – Robert Louis Stevenson



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Sustainability At Home: an 8 part guide to living green - Part 6

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on November 20, 2011, 10:53 am

Ever dragged a surly child around the supermarket?Kids learning to shop sustainably

It’s difficult to motivate kids to enjoy the weekly food shop, but the "sustainability challenge” is sure to boost their interest.  Each child gets a list of the items you need at home and it’s their challenge is to find the most environmentally friendly products.  It could be the "greenest” washing up liquid or the loo roll with the highest recycled paper content.  Getting them involved and making the trip more entertaining for them will teach them and save you the chore of doing it all yourself!




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Quote of the week - John F. Kennedy

Posted in 'Unassigned' on November 26, 2011, 9:30 am
"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." - John F. Kennedy




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Guest Blog Post - Kati Williams from One Bottle Talks the Benefits of Reusable Water Bottles

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on November 26, 2011, 11:13 am
Kati Williams from One Bottle Talks the Benefits of Reusable Water Bottles
One Bottle water bottle founders Rory and Kati
Thousands of plastic water bottles are wasted daily which is why we like to offer alternative, stylish, reusable water bottles. We proudly added a great Australian brand to our range recently. One Bottle, designed on the beautiful Sunshine Coast in Queensland by Kati Williams and Rory Morgan, offers fun, colourful designs that are sure to draw attention. We asked co-founder Kati to share some background on their business and the benefits of using reusable stainless steel water bottles.

Kati:

We started our stainless steel water bottle business in early 2010 and I, subconsciously, became a huge advocate for all sorts of reusable products.

I was always somewhat aware of sustainability issues. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a community that was very pro-organic and eco conscientious, which made being ecologically responsible seem like a no brainer to me. Believe it or not, at my high school it was actually cool to have a reusable, BPA-free water bottle.

In August of 2010, we began selling our stainless steel bottles and believe me - my serious research was about to pay off. It marked the beginning of me being questioned why stainless steel? Why reusable?
So, why should people choose reusable water bottles over plastic ones?

One Bottle stainless steel, reusable water bottlesWell, there are lots of reasons. In Australia, we are fortunate enough to have widespread (and free) access to clean drinking water. The mark up on single-use bottled water is huge; sometimes people end up spending $20 a week on water without even realising it. Plastic water bottles are not designed to be re-used and over time the plastic breaks down and starts to leach into the water.
Stainless steel is great because it doesn’t hold onto bacteria and is very durable. It’s also easy to clean and doesn’t rust —making it ideal for a water bottle.One Bottle 'Umbrella' stainless steel, reusable water bottle

We’ve also designed our bottles so they are fresh and (hopefully) exciting. We often have people buy our bottles purely because of the designs, or because they feel like they are spending way too much money on water all the time. I think sometimes they don’t even notice they are taking a small step in living more sustainably.


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Top Tips for Choosing the Perfect Gift: An 8 Part Guide to Getting It Right - Part 7

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home' on November 26, 2011, 11:35 am

Battling the computer games..Fun in the Sack 'Egg & Spoon Race' - great gift for kids

Are you fighting the battle to seduce your kids away from technology and out into the bright sunshine of summer? Why not try introducing them to some old school favourites like the traditional Egg & Spoon Race?

The Fun In The Sack Egg and Spoon Race kit gives you everything you need without running the risk of broken eggs all over the back yard. It keeps the kids outside in the fresh air, moving, having fun, and staying away from nasty, chemical laden plastic toys at the same time! 

 


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Guest Blog Post - Catherine McCord Gives Us 4 Summer Recipes for a Cool Summer Down Under

Posted in 'Tips and Helpful Hints for Life, Work and the Home, Health and happiness' on November 29, 2011, 7:00 pm
Guest Blog Post - 4 Summer Recipes For a Cool Summer Down Under
Catherine McCord from Weelicious.com shares 4 Summer Recipes for Families
Catherine McCord is a Mum and model who now channels her biggest passion - cooking easy, healthy food - into a popular website for parents, www.weelicious.com. Since it launched in October 2007, Catherine’s website, Weelicious.com, has been changing the family kitchen dynamic – parents are being more conscious of what they feed their families and by involving kids at an early age, Weelicious is getting youngsters excited about eating nutritional food.  Catherine posts a new recipe or tip daily as well as how-to cooking videos every Friday. She doesn't promote "tricking" kids into eating healthy food, so no sneaking pureed veggies into the usual kid-fare like mac and cheese. Her philosophy is to be honest, while including and engaging kids in the kitchen.

Catherine generously provided us with 4 fantastic (yet healthy) recipes that everyone will love.

Catherine says:


1) My inspirations for weelicious recipes come from a lot of different places. For some, they’re simply based on a food I see at our farmers’ market, for others it can be a dish I love from a restaurant or a food memory I had as a kid that I now find myself craving (and possibly want to make a bit healthier). In the case of this Summer Fruit Gazpacho, my muses were the mint growing wild in our garden and all of the naturally sweet fruits sitting on our kitchen counter that I was afraid would spoil. Traditional gazpacho is a cold soup made with tomatoes and other vegetables. This version is completely different, but I wanted to call it a gazpacho because I love the idea of a cold soup during these hot summer months and truthfully…I just dig the word "gazpacho”!
Summer Fruit Gazpacho recipe - healthy eating for kids and the whole family

Summer Fruit Gazpacho (Serves 4)
6 Cups Cantaloupe, peeled & seeded, cut into chunks
1 Tbsp Fresh Mint, chiffonade
1 Cup Strawberries, stemmed & quartered
1 Peach, seeded & diced
1/2 Cup Blueberries
1/2 Cup Yogurt
1 Tbsp Honey

1. Place cantaloupe chunks into a food processor and puree.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the mint, strawberries, peach, and blueberries.
3. In a separate small bowl, combine the yogurt and honey.
4. Evenly divide the cantaloupe puree into small bowls, top with mixed fruit and add a dollop of the honey yogurt sauce on top.
5. Serve.
* If you want to make this dish vegan, replace the yogurt and honey with soy yogurt and agave

2) Many nights, I serve sliced cucumbers and cubes of avocado as individual side dishes at dinner, so I thought, why not mix them together, add a few fresh herbs and turn them into a bright salsa! It’s a cool, refreshing side dish that you can also serve alongside chips or even on top of fish or chicken on those warm nights when you want something nutritious and light but that also takes little time or effort to prepare.
Cucumber Avocado Salsa - healthy summer recipe from Weelicious.com

Cucumber Avocado Salsa (serves 4)
1 Large Cucumber, seeded and chopped
2 Avocados, peeled, pitted, & cubed
2 Tbsp Fresh Cilantro, chopped
1 Tbsp Fresh Mint, chopped
Juice of 1 Lime
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt

1. Place all of the ingredients in a bowl and combine.
2. Serve.

3) With all the fun things my kids have going on during the summer, the last thing I want to do is be in the kitchen. So, on Sundays I grill a few pieces of chicken and several ears of corn to keep in the fridge and turn into different meals over the next few days. Since my kids love chicken and corn and quesadillas, this unbelievably delicious and simple to prepare dish couldn’t make them any happier. With just a few additional ingredients to make it even more of a complete meal, this is a great recipe to keep in your file when you want to make the most out of the leftovers in your fridge!
Grilled chicken and corn quesadilla recipe - easy, healthy, quick recipe for the family

Grilled Chicken & Corn Quesadilla (Serves 6)
1 Tsp Kosher Salt
1 Lb Chicken Breast, boneless & skinless
2 Ears Fresh Corn
1/2 Tsp Ground Cumin
1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt
2 Tbsp Fresh Cilantro, chopped
2 Green Onions, sliced
1 1/2 Cups Jack Cheese, grated
6 Flour Tortillas

1. Preheat grill.
2. Season chicken breasts with 1 tsp of salt, brush grill with oil and grill corn and chicken breasts for a total of 8 minutes until juicy and cooked through.
3. Allow chicken and corn to cool, then remove the kernels from the corn and dice the chicken into small cubes.
4. Place the chicken and corn into a bowl along with the remaining ingredients and toss to combine.
5. Lower the heat on your grill and place a 1/2 cup of the chicken mixture onto one side of the tortilla and fold over.
6. Grill the stuffed tortilla for 2 minutes on each side, being careful not to burn the tortilla.
7. Continue to make the remaining quesadillas.
8. Slice into triangles and serve.

4) Especially when it gets hot, I like to take really ripe fruit and make popsicles. Between the luscious strawberries and succulent peaches available at this time of year, you probably only need a dash of honey to brighten the flavor of these pops. Why spend a bunch of money on packaged icy poles made with artificial coloring and all sorts of additives when you and your kids can make these super easy, truly all-natural, refreshing pops that are the perfect treat on a warm summer’s day!
Peach and strawberry icy poles - healthy desserts and treats for kids and the whole family

Peach & Strawberry Popsicles (Makes 6 Popsicles)
2 Ripe Peaches, pitted
1 Cup Strawberries, stems removed
2 Tbsp Honey
1/2 Cup Milk (any variety works)
1. Place all of the ingredients in a blender and puree.
2. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze for at least 3 hours.
3. Serve.


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