Easy Back to School Lunch Recipes

Fellow Moms, As much as we don’t want to admit it, we are getting dangerously close to the start of the school year, return to the daily grind, and the busy schedules that we have almost forgotten about.

This year, one of my goals is to spruce up lunchtime.  Lunchtime is the one time a day that we all get to relax a little, to think & reflect a little, to enjoy a moment of peace.  This year, join me in making this personal time as nourishing mentally and physically as possible.  Here are a few ideas of lunches for kids & adults, feel free to share your ideas as well on our Facebook page or in the comments section.

For your kids….

1. Wendolonia blog gives us some amazing ideas for kids lunch boxes.  You probably already use many of these simple ingredients in your kids lunch boxes, but think about how a simple change in presentation could turn regular old carrots into an exciting lunchtime treat!  Imagine the smile on their face when opening their lunchbox up to find such a surprise.  Look at each individual ingredient in these two pictures, you probably have most of them in your refrigerator right now.

 

 

 

2. Mix it up with the much loved breakfast for lunch.  Who doesn’t love pancakes??  Mini Pumpkin pancakes (or really..any kind of pancakes), yogurt, and fruit makes a delicious and unusual lunch.  Visit Momables blog for the recipe.

 

 

For you….

1. Green Chicken Salad.  This delicious lunch from Pink Parsley recipes is the perfect lunch at home, or on the go.  Adding a little flair and crunch to traditional chicken salad, my mouth already is watering.  With simple fresh ingredients, for a lunch in the park or at work, just pack the salad separately and bring pita to stuff.  Yum!  Find the recipe here.

 

 

 

 

2. Make your own lunchables, here are a few fabulous and easy lunch ideas from Benneficial-Bento.  It scares me on a daily basis how many preservatives are in the foods we have been trained to grab for.  Making lunches from scratch, with fresh ingredients is not only much healthier, but much more delicious.  This website in particular shows side by side, the contrast of these simple home made lunches vs the world of pre-made foods such as the “Lunchable”.

3.  Do you ever feel tired and unable to concentrate after lunch?  I usually do because I eat too heavily at lunch or eat foods that my body needs all of its resources to process.  I fell in love with these easy to create Lettuce & Hummus wraps.  Not only are they delicious, but they keep me awake and my mind stays sharp for the rest of the day.

Now for the preparation stage

Here are a few of my favorite lunch prep tools:

1.  My octagon wood cutting board from Proteak Renewable Forestry.  This helpful beauty is easy to move and clean, great for morning lunch prep.  Though I have their larger chopping blocks as well, this board in particular I use for lunch.  Only $33 as well.  Make preparation easier with Proteak Teak Cutting Boards.

2.  Bento Box from Planet Box.  Planet Box has tons of neat containers for lunch packing.  Not only for kids, these easy to clean boxes make after school clean up super easy and fast.

3. Tupperware.  I don’t have a particular brand in mind, but this is an essential lunch prep tool.  Helps to store leftovers, and allows you to chop up veggies for the whole week.

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Proteak at the Chefs Table

Proteak at the Chefs Table

All of our cutting boards are chef inspired and tested.  Here are just a few of the chef bloggers who use Proteak cutting boards for all of their work.  Why do they like Proteak so much?  Not only are our wood cutting boards long lasting and durable, they are photogenic, lending themselves to beautiful food photography and presentation.

Smashed Garlic.  On this beautifully photographed blog you will find “real food, and real thoughts from a small New England kitchen.”  In the image to the left Smashed Garlic is baking up some delicious marshmallows.  Boards of choice?  The 611 and 601.

 

 

The Ranting Chef.  You can tell the Ranting Chef loves to cook from the moment you click onto his website, there are so many tasty recipes to browse through. His cutting board of choice is the 609 square end grain.  Lots of room, for lots of ingredients.

 

 

Coseppi Kitchen.  Delightfully fresh and totally Austin, when these two chefs can’t be found at the Barton Creek Farmers Market they can be found in their kitchen experimenting with fresh local ingredients. Visit their blog.  Their favorite board?  The 317 end grain chopping block.

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Wedding Season Gift Guide 2013

Wedding Season Gift Guide

Our top picks for the wedding season.

Summer is full of relaxing beach days and backyard barbecues. Full of weddings and parties. For your summer events this year, give the perfect gift…a gift that will be used for years and years. A gift that is both beautiful, and functional. A gift that, like the food they cook with it, will be a symbol of connection, communication, and joy. This summer, choose from our sustainable, organic Teak cutting boards for your gifts. Our top 5 Wedding Gift picks below showcase functional, sturdy blocks that will be a part of the family for years.

 

1. Our End Grain 16 x 12 x 2 Chopping Block is truly the perfect sized chopping block for any kitchen. Your newly weds will be thrilled with this beautiful addition to their home.

$79.99

 

 

2. Our latest addition to the traditional collection, this 20 x 15 x 1.5 edge grain is part of the series called “the last cutting board you’ll ever need” by Cooks Illustrated.

$79.99

 

3. Rectangle Edge Grain cutting board 18 x 14 x .75 is lightweight and versatile. A great gift for an apartment style kitchen because its easy to move, easy to clean, and easy to store yet still has the ample surface area of one our larger butcher blocks.

$29.99

 

4. We call this the newly wed gift set…..three beautiful, lightweight boards to complete a new kitchen. This stunning gift set rings in at only:

$56.99

 

 

5. Circular End Grain Chopping Block with Juice Canal 18 x 2 A sturdy, and beautiful chopping block that will last the new couple a lifetime. This professional grade block is great for the home chef.

$134.99

 

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New 109 Rectangle Edge Grain Teak Wood Chopping Board In Stock

Our latest addition to the Traditional Collection, this Rectangle Edge Grain, 20 x 15 x 1.5 wood chopping block is our first midsize carving board with a juice canal and hand grips! This latest take on the cutting board Cooks Illustrated called “The Last Cutting Board You Will Ever Need will not only keep your counters clean, but is a great size for any kitchen, large or small.

 Get it today for only

$79.99

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Different between end and edge grain cutting boards – FAQ from Proteak

How well do you know your chopping block?

answering our frequently asked questions.

We want you to know your board.  Teak wood contains many properties that are perfect for culinary applications. Its very moisture resistant, its high oil content make it naturally antibacterial, and its hard wood will keep your knives sharper than other popular cutting board material such as bamboo. Here are a few more answers to our most frequently asked questions.

-What is the difference between edge and end grain? Edge grain follows the edge of the tree, which is why you see long horizontal lines.  End Grain is a cross section of the tree, cut right through the middle.  There are benefits to each.  Edge grain can be cut thinner, making these boards lightweight and mobile.  End grain is a harder portion of the wood, making them more durable over time and very resistant to knife marks.

Edge Grain

End Grain


 

 

 

 

 

-Juice canal or no juice canal? The juice canal is a great way to catch run away vegetables and juices.  It is also very handy when carving or cutting meats.  I personally like the juice canal boards with no feet,because then I can flip them over and have a plain side as well.

-Feet or no feet?  Feet help to elevate your chopping surface off of your counter, making clean up quick and easy and preventing the board from sitting in water.  No feet allows you to utilize both sides of the board.
-How do I take care of my board?  Maintaining our boards is quick and easy!  Just season your board 2-3 times when it firsts arrives with mineral oil, coconut oil, or beeswax and then again monthly.  See more complete instructions here.


-Where does your wood come from?  It comes from our own plantations.  We grow all of our own wood from seedlings, that way we can be assured of its sustainability, and organic qualities.

Do you have a question we did not answer?  
Ask it on our Facebook page.

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Create your own gift set!

Create your own gift sets with Proteak’s Marine Collection!

Looking for the perfect host or hostess gift?  Nothing says “thank you” to your hosts like a sustainable teak cutting board.  Mix and match our Marine collection chopping blocks to find a set perfect for any individual.

 

These three Marine Collection boards are lightweight and versatile.  Great for serving, chopping, and hiding away when not in use.  Three easy to grip handles will help you maneuver these boards around the kitchen and the dining room.

 

 

These three boards make the perfect gift set.  Each one larger than the next, they all have juice canals on one side to keep your kitchen clean.  Not in the mood for a juicy meal?  Flip each board over to use the flat underside.  Beautiful stored and used together, don’t forget about these when you are serving cheese and crackers!

 

 

Need to do some heavy duty chopping? Try mixing a larger end grain chopping block and a smaller lightweight board from our marine collection.  This duo will make cooking and cleaning fun and easy.

 

 

Need some inspiration? Check out our gift set page to help you put together the perfect gift.

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Coseppi Kitchen teaches us to make Spring Rolls

When they aren’t working at farmers markets and traveling the world, local chefs Taylor Cook and James Seppi run their own cooking blog called Coseppi Kitchen.  This week they are showing us how to cook up some vegetarian spring rolls using one our most popular square end grain chopping blocks.  Visit their blog to see the recipe.  Make some spring rolls on aboard of your own, they use our 12 x 12 x 2 Square End Grain chopping block.

Veggie Spring Rolls by Coseppi Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 6 – 8 spring roll wrappers
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage (we prefer Savoy cabbage)
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded
  • 1 large cucumber, shredded or cut into matchsticks
  • 4 ounces firm tofu
  • 1 large avocado, peeled, cut in half, and thinly sliced
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Fresh mint
  • Salt
  • Peanut Dipping Sauce to accompany
  1. Submerge a spring roll wrapper in warm water until it is pliable, about 20 seconds.
  2. Lay the wrapper on a flat surface, then layer cabbage, carrots, cucumber, tofu, avocado,  cilantro leaves, and a few small pieces of mint along the center of the wrapper.  Sprinkle on a little salt if desired.
  3. Now roll it all up – Start by folding one side of the wrapper over the filling, fold the short edges over, and finally, fold the last side over the top of the whole roll (see photo for visuals on this process).  This will probably take some trial and error, so don’t give up!

Visit Coseppi Kitchen!

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5 Romantic Recipes for Valentines Day

1. Mediteranian Stuffed Tomatos with Quinoa from Cookie and Kate. 

Easy, delicious, and light… this beautiful recipe is the perfect Valentines treat for you and your sweetie.  Use one of Proteak’s small Marine Collection chopping boards with a juice canal to catch your tomato juice.

Visit Cookie and Kate for their full recipe.

 

 

 

2. Spaghetti in Garlic Gravy with Herbs and Lemon Marinated Chicken and Cherry Tomatoes from Goddess of Scrumptiousness

This dish is so good, you won’t have any leftovers.  Make sure to have this 321 end grain cutting board to slice and dice all of the herbs and seasonings.

Visit the Goddess of Scrumptiousness for the full recipe.

 

 

 

 3. Strawberry Stuffed French Toast from Pennies on a Platter

My favorite meal of the day, breakfast.  Surprise the love of your life in bed with this scruptions breakfast from Pennies on a Platter.  Serve this up on our 105 Rectangle Cutting/Serving Board in the morning.

Visit Pennies on a Platter for the full recipe.

 

 

 

4. Stuffed Acorn Squash from Whole Living

A delightful dish with minimal clean up.  This Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe from whole living will impress your mate, who may just clean the dishes for you.  Another dish perfect for serving on our beautiful serving boards.

Visit Whole Living for the full recipe.

5. Red Velvet Crepes from Duhlicious

Of course we didn’t forget desert.  Check out this tasty looking red velvet crepes from Duhlicious.  Perfect end to a Valentines meal.

Visit Duhlicious for the full recipe.  

See the whole list on our Pinterest page.

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10 Perfect Holiday Gifts for the Home Chef

1. Thai Spice Sampler from Craig’s Market $29.95  A great stocking stuffer for the home chef, these hand blended spices will brighten up your winter cooking.

2.  Sustainable Teak Cutting Board Gift Set from Proteak Renewable Forestry  $28.99+  Give the gift of sustainability in the kitchen with Proteak’s sustainable teak wood cutting boards.  These boards make the perfect gift for your holiday hosts, or the special chefs in your life.  From small cutting boards, to large chopping blocks, Proteak has a cutting board for every chef.

3.  Microplane Herb Mill $19.95 Prepping herbs by hand with a knife can be a tedious and difficult task. Microplane’s easy to use Herb Mill cuts fresh herbs like parsley, dill, cilantro, sage and mint with hundreds of tiny scissors without bruising or blemishing. Dishwasher safe.

4.  Live Edge Walnut Magnetic Knife Rack from Driftedge $55 This beautiful handmade knife rack from Drift edge showcases the natural beauty of walnut, combining both aesthetics and functionality.

5.  Kitchen apron by Creative Chics $38.00  Who doesnt love to cook in style?  Handmade aprons come in many shapes and sizes and make great gifts for both children and adults.  I like this particular apron from Creative Chics because of its handy cooking utensil pockets and durable fabric.

Need a little extra help remembering those cooking conversions?

 Here is another great apron for the home chef.  

6.  Handmade Cast Iron Skillets from FeLion Studios $125+ These beautiful handmade cast iron skillets make the perfect holiday gift for the grower and chef.  What local foods would you cook up in your state?  Every state-shaped skillet is labeled with the FeLion Studios logo, and stamped with a production number. They are shipped raw, ( un-seasoned ) unless pre-ordered to have seasoning done ( $30 additionally). Each skillet comes with a custom made magnetic hanger that displays the pans neatly on the wall. This allows you to easily install the piece as wall art, use it, and re-hang your skillet simply by plunking it back onto the magnet for a clean and easy exhibition.

7.  Grown your own herbs with Aerogarden 7 from Aerogarden $126.95 The aerogarden herb grower is the perfect gift for the chef looking to become more sustainable.  Grow your own organic culinary herbs right from your own kitchen!  The AeroGarden is a self-contained, indoor aeroponic (form of hydroponics) gardening appliance. You can use it to grow contiuous herbs, vegetables, flowers, salad greens and even your own seeds with using “blank” pods.

8. Musical Wine Glasses from Uncommon Goods Music and food lovers unite!  These musical wine glasses illustrate the different notes you can create from a glass half empty (or full?).  Wine and dine in perfect time! Get your next dinner party humming when you turn your sips into a symphony with these gilded glasses turned musical instruments designed by Douglas Potts and Jasmine Lau of Nostalgics design studio. The etchings on the glasses are musical notations that correspond to the level of the liquid. When the user drinks to D for example, he or she may run a finger along the rim of the glass to create its lush, sonorous note. Or, for the more percussive partier, the same note will ring out with a gentle rap of his or her utensil on the side of the glass. From rounds of “Row, row, row your boat” to more ambitious orchestrations, you’re sure to strike a chord with the guests at your next soiree with this pair that covers a full 12 note octave from A flat to G. Made in Austria from lead-free crystal with gold luster.

9.  Guy Fieri Knife Set from Mr. G Products-If there is one thing any good kitchen needs, its a good knife set. This gift set is the ideal gift for anyone, chef or not.  This is the premier Guy Fieri 4 piece Knife Collection! This set of 4 knives includes the Guy Fieri 8″ Chef Knife, the Guy Fieri 5.5″ Santoku Knife, the Guy Fieri 8″ Off-set Bread Knife and the Guy Fieri 4″ Paring Knife. These blades are precision sharp and specially heat treated to keep a long lasting edge. Each handle is crafted from durable composite material (POM) and has slots in the sides to enhance grip. The handles also have Guy’s signature stainless steel polished star and end cap.

10. I could eat a horse-Reykjavik Corner Store $15.90  I admit, there are just some kitchen gadgets that you just don’t need.  One of those, for example, is this hot dog cooking machine.  The “I could eat a horse” spaghetti measuring tool is not one of those!  I cant tell you how many times I have accidentally made too much or too little pasta!  This measuring device helps you cook the correct amount every time.  This is the perfect gift for a busy mom or dad, the youngster learning how to cook, or really anyone who enjoys a good laugh.

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Top 10 Thanksgiving Must-Haves

You’ve got the guest list, shopping list, and Thanksgiving wines ready. But before preparing your Thanksgiving feast, we would like to recommend a few tools to make the stressful experience easier. Our list of Top 10 Thanksgiving Must-Haves ranges from inexpensive utensils that cost a few dollars to high-end appliances, all designed to ease your workload and avoid Thanksgiving disasters, like a baster rolling off the table, an unevenly cooked bird, lumpy gravy, and even turkey hitting the floor. If only there were a tool to stop relatives from bickering!

All-Clad Tools Poultry Lifters  
Price: $27
A twenty-pound bird is unwieldy in the store, but is even tougher to maneuver when piping hot. All-Clad Stainless Steel Poultry Lifters make it easy to move your turkey from the roaster to the carving board to the serving platter, and their tines are well-spaced and sturdy for easy balance. They’re dishwasher-safe so they’re easy to clean, and they come with a lifetime warranty. Additionally, they’re a good-looking match for your stainless roasting pan.

Black & Decker 9-Inch Electric Carving Knife
Price: $10
A good carving knife can make the difference between clean sliced meat and a bird that’s been hacked to pieces. The Black & Decker 9-Inch Electric Carving Knife has a serrated stainless steel blade that can produce both thick cuts and thin deli slices. Its nonslip handle will give you comfort and security while you carve, and the safety lock prevents possible injury from accidental starts. If your Thanksgiving spread includes hard cheeses or freshly baked bread, this knife will provide a good cut for those as well. It also makes a good gift to bring to a holiday party.

Calphalon Stainless 16-Inch Roaster
Price: $110
Did Grandma love the drumstick, but Uncle Carl complain that the wing was overdone? Then it’s time you tried the Calphalon Stainless Roaster. The 16-inch roasting pan is made of stainless steel with an aluminum core designed for high-quality conductivity, allowing your bird to roast evenly. It will make your turkey tender, even though it’s so tough it can handle temperatures up to 700 degrees Fahrenheit. This kitchen aid comes with a V-shaped nonstick roasting rack and stay-cool handles that are extended high for easy transport in and out of your oven. Clean-up is easy – just put it in the dishwasher when you’re finished. Or let Uncle Carl do it while you’re accepting praise for your well-prepared bird.

Char-Broil Oil-Less Infrared Turkey Fryer
Price: $99
The Big Easy Infrared Oil-Less Turkey Fryer by Char-Broil cooks your holiday turkey to the same delectable moistness as a standard deep-fryer, but without the dangerous and unhealthy oil. The efficient 16,000 BTU infrared heat cooks your bird (up to sixteen pounds) evenly and quickly, taking only eight to ten minutes per pound. Since there is no oil used in the fryer, turkeys can be prepared not only with marinades under the skin, but also with rubs on the outside. This offers a new twist to achieving turkey’s crispy skin. The outdoor Big Easy Turkey Fryer’s infrared cooking technology offers a healthy, safe and clean alternative to the traditional oil deep-fryer.

Cuisinart Pro Classic Food Processor
Price: $100
We’re not sure when Cuisinart became synonymous with food processors, but we certainly are fans of the brand as well. The Cuisinart Classic 7-Cup Food Processor comes with attachments that allow you to knead dough, slice and chop vegetables, mince herbs and mix batter. Are you a food processor rookie? A 30-minute how-to DVD will put you on the right track, and a 50-page cookbook can provide inspiration for new recipes. All parts of the processor are dishwasher-safe, and it comes with a five-year warranty.

Fiesta Deep Dish Pie Baker
Price: $25
Fiesta is one of the most beloved and most collected dinnerware brands in the U.S.  The festively colored products have been an all-American staple since 1936. Fiesta’s Deep Dish Pie Baker is lead and cadmium free and made from fully vitrified china. It is dishwasher, oven and microwave safe and — best of all — your pie dish comes with a five-year chip warranty.

KRUPS Immersion Blender
Price: $72
Lumpy gravy, be gone! A little precision German engineering can go a long way when it comes to the shelf life of your kitchen appliances. The brand KRUPS has been around since 1846. The KRUPS Immersion Blender can chop, puree and blend most foods using six variable speeds. The durable stainless steel shaft removes easily to store, or to switch to any of the accessories that come with this blender, which include a whisk, a beaker and a mini chopper. The soft grip ergonomic handle can give you a more comfortable blending experience, and it comes with a wall mount for quick storage. This blender also features an LCD screen so you can monitor your speeds as you prep.

Kuhn Rikon Potato Masher
Price: $18
If you’ve ever tried to mash hot potatoes with a big fork, you’re appreciate the Kuhn Rikon Potato Masher. This heavy-duty stainless steel kitchen tool has a thin-steel, zigzag design to crush potatoes efficiently, as well as a waterproof steel barrel handle and hanging loop for easy storage. You can even use this dishwasher-safe tool to mash avocados for guacamole, or sweet potatoes for a casserole.

Norpro Glass Baster
Price: $6
Basic plastic basters are available in pretty much any grocery store, but if you’re not a fan of BPA, check out a glass version. This tempered glass baster can handle heat as high as 450 degrees Fahrenheit without cracking or melting, and — this is very cool —  its square edges will keep it from rolling off your counter. It holds two ounces, and you won’t have any trouble reading the neatly printed measurements on it. It’s less than a foot long and about five ounces, making storage easy. It’s an inexpensive way to get a good start on a juicy turkey.

Proteak Teak Cutting Board
Price: $90
If you’re shopping for a solid, reliable cutting board to hold your holiday bird, consider Proteak. The company uses wood grown on conflict-free, sustainable plantations. We also like that no two boards look alike. Also, teak’s distinct texture makes cutting efficient; the wood is hard enough to withstand knife blades and soft enough to keep knives sharp. The Proteak Teak Cutting Board is not only large enough to hold a 20-pound turkey, it also has a juice canal built into all four sides.  Get this 108 here for only $90!

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