Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What's Old is New Again

By Tammy Pelstring
Obentec Co-Founder

My book group just celebrated our 10 year anniversary with a trip to the City (as we Northern Californians like to call San Francisco).  On our drive up the coast we stopped in the sleepy little town of Pescadero for some of their famous artichoke bread and artichoke and green chili soup.   My “sisters of the page” and I spied a little thrift shop and decided to get our treasure hunting on.  I love fashion but hate to shop so I was glad that my friend Stacy was along.  Stacy has a successful eBay business where she sells name brand clothes that she finds at yard sales. She has a good eye and can quickly sort the wheat from the chaff.  She also knows my style so she is quick to point out things for me to consider.  We all found some great finds for around $6.00 per item and the proceeds all went to a wonderful children’s charity.  I call this a win-win.

My friend Lori found these wonderful button front sailor pants that fit her perfectly. She paired them with stylish pointy-toe heels and was ready for a night out on the town. 

My friend Bonnie rocks a hippy-chic look and found a fun flirty skirt and fitted H&M blazer for under $10.00.

I found the perfect holiday skirt, a silver metallic A-line dress from Banana Republic. This set me back a whopping $4.50.   I paired this with a fun necklace made out of vintage crystal buttons from the 1940’s.

I love giving new life to things that people have tossed out. For some reason the search and the find make it more rewarding.  Next time you need to spruce up your wardrobe, consider purchasing second hand or re-fashioned clothing items. 

Laptop Lunches on Martha Stewart!

Cool lunch packing ideas in the Laptop Lunches Bento Sets will be featured on today's Martha Stewart Show!

Be sure to check it out at 10am on the Hallmark Channel! 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Leftovers

By: Marcus Boardman, Shipping Manager

In my opinion there is no better packed lunch then the ones that are packed in the week following Thanksgiving. Not only do we get to indulge in our favorite comfort foods for a night, but typically there are also PLENTY of leftovers. Normally in my family we would cover leftover dishes in foil at the end of the night and refrigerate. This works fine with turkey and potatoes, but gravy gets weird, fruit salad goes soggy, and stuffing can dry up. For these foods, I recommend lidded salad bowls, or our extra large containers (it doesn’t add much time to fruit salad, but you get a day extra, at least). Freezing gravy keeps it perfect for re-use. Just heat in a sauce pan, or hot water. If you are having fruit salad (that is just fresh fruit, no marshmallows!) freeze the left overs as well to make awesome ready-to- go smoothies. Just add water, milk or yogurt and pop it all in the blender.

My favorite thanksgiving lunches to pack are "Thanksgiving sandwiches" which consist of everything you've got left over piled on biscuits or your favorite bread, and "Thanksgiving sundaes" which consist of all your leftovers layered in a big bowl.

While some of us get to indulge in this holiday, many people out there don’t (especially with times as tough as they are). Take time to think about people you may know that may need a little something extra this season, and see what you can do. A packed meal, or invitation to join your family for a meal can be a huge step in making someone’s holiday season a little brighter. Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Dessert for Breakfast? Yes, Please!

Figuring out what to make for breakfast is always a challenge for me. I can always think of so many lunch and dinner ideas but when it comes to breakfast.....my mind goes blank.  I was excited to see this breakfast recipe from the people at Meatout Mondays (meatoutmondays.org). Meatout Mondays sends out a colorful weekly e-mail newsletter that delivers a delicious vegetarian recipe every....you guessed it, Mondays.  It was an easy to make twist on something familiar and my boys loved that they were getting to eat "cake" for breakfast! 

Carrot Cake Oatmeal
(Meatout Mondays archive recipes)

If you love the idea of cake for breakfast and working some veggies in too, this recipe is a must. It's really easy to make, and gives you the indulgence of carrot cake (complete with icing!) without the hassle or heavy feeling. It's the perfect start to your day.


1 cup almond milk (or any other non-dairy milk)
1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbs. coconut milk cream* (optional) I didn't have any coconut cream on hand but it tasted fine without
1/2-1 tsp. ground cinnamon (to taste)
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
1 large carrot, finely grated (1 heaping cup)
1/2 cup regular oats
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 Tbs. pure maple syrup
1 Tbs. crushed walnuts

Topping (optional): 1 Tbs. crushed walnuts, 1 Tbs. coconut milk cream* + 1/2 tsp. maple syrup (to drizzle on top), shredded coconut, cinnamon, and raisins

*Use just the cream off the top of a can of coconut milk or mix coconut butter with a bit of almond milk.


    In a small pot, heat the almond milk, lemon juice, and coconut cream on medium heat.
    Stir in spices and salt until they're dissolved into the liquid.
    Stir in grated carrot and oats; cook for about 8 minutes or until oats are soft.
    Remove pot from heat, and stir in vanilla, maple syrup, and walnuts.
    Serve with the topping ingredients and/or whatever else you want to make your carrot cake oatmeal amazing.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Wrap and Run

This week's bento lunch

Wrap and Run

This week's lunch is great for those busy mornings when you're on the run but don't want to skimp on a nutritious lunch. Just grab your favorite ingredients, wrap them up, drop in some fruit, and you're on your way!