{Teflon-free} Pumpkin Whole Grain Waffles with Pumpkin Syrup



I Found a Teflon-free Waffle Maker!


Given my deep and abiding love for breakfast foods, some might find it surprising that homemade waffles were not in my regular breakfast rotation. After all, they freeze and toast up so well! Problem is, I ditched Teflon many years ago and I couldn't find a Teflon-free waffle maker anywhere. I had seen cast iron waffle makers, but they were unseasoned, and came with parrafin wax on them (to prevent rusting). In order to use it, you had to melt off the parrafin wax and season it yourself. Sorry, but that's a little too much effort for me. [Now a pre-seasoned cast iron waffle maker, that I would buy in a heartbeat. Are you listening, Lodge Logic???]

At any rate, I had resigned myself to living without waffles. That is, until recently, when my son's umpteenth request for waffles compelled me to half-heartedly google (again) "Teflon-free waffle maker." And, lo and behold, there it was: the Oster DuraCeramic Stainless Steel Flip Waffle Maker. Now, really, I should have done my due diligence and tried to find out more about what the nonstick coating of my waffle maker is made of before purchasing it, but I was just so excited to see a PTFE-free and PFOA-free ceramic-based coating on a waffle maker that I just went ahead and purchased it. (Read Debra Lynn Dodd's take on the coating here.)

Enjoy Superfood Pumpkin Year-round


Since then I have been keeping my freezer well-stocked with my sister Jeanette's Pumpkin Whole Grain Waffles. My 6yo son loves to have these for breakfast, and I love sending him to school with a tummy full of whole grains and pumpkin goodness. We most often eat these with maple syrup, but for even more pumpkin deliciousness, try with pumpkin syrup (recipe follows).


My 2-year-old is Potty Trained! (Early Potty Training Reprise)



My 2yo is potty trained! She is consistently dry night and day and wears underwear during the day. She announces every time she needs to use the bathroom and always wants company. She still has occasional accidents (only at home, usually outside) and is sometimes reluctant to use the potty if she needs to poop.

I've been putting my third child on the potty since she was 5 months old. By 9 months she rarely pooped in a diaper and by 15 months she was also peeing in the potty more often than she was in her diaper. A couple of months ago, she was reliable enough that I packed up all the cloth training pants and all but a few cloth diapers (I still put a prefold and cover on her at night, just in case).

Early Potty Training Reprise

For those who like to see the end from the beginning, here is a summary of my experience potty training my third child. You can find additional details about each stage in the process by clicking on the links to go to the individual posts. You can also find links to all my potty training posts on my Early Potty Training page.

4 Months
Baby spends some time diaper-free most days. I make cue sounds when she pees and poops and change wet diapers immediately.

Better than Cake: Homemade White Sandwich Bread (or Rolls)



We usually make and eat 100% whole wheat bread, but occasionally I make white bread for a special treat. We use it for French toast, for "buns" for black bean burgers, for grilled cheese and other sandwiches. Straight out of the oven with butter it is better than a slice of cake. I'm also including how to make rolls. Who knew it was so easy to make fresh rolls using a bread recipe? Probably everyone but me.

I got this recipe from a friend at church. She brought me dinner and a fresh loaf of bread after my third baby. I think it is just wonderful to bring new moms or anyone who needs a little extra TLC homemade bread. I have made a few alterations to her recipe (cut the sugar) and also filled in a few details (kneading time, etc.) by consulting my tried-and-true America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook.

After making 100% whole wheat bread for years, I have to say, white bread is downright easy. So forgiving and no need to worry about getting a decent rise. If you find the thought of baking your own bread a little daunting, try making the rolls. They're quite forgiving.

White Sandwich Bread (or Rolls)


How to Turn Your Bread Loaf Recipe into a Roll Recipe: 100% Whole Wheat Honey Rolls



I recently made an important discovery: it is super easy to turn a bread loaf recipe into a roll recipe. I volunteered to bring rolls to a friend's house for dinner, forgot to buy them, and not wanting to run to the store just for rolls, decided I'd just go ahead and try making some from my favorite recipe for white bread (which I'll post next week). They were super easy and a huge success. We had to ration them out to the hungry wolves children at dinner. Why are rolls so much more appealing than a slice of bread? Is it the texture of the exterior and interior, the just-the-right-size portion, the compact shape? I don't know, but I know kids and adults alike love them.


How Did I Do? Ten Green Goals for 2013 Reprise

I bought some houseplants, but now they're all dead.


Happy New Year!


My 2013 green goals were designed to help my family reduce waste and energy use, reduce exposure to toxins, and improve our connection to nature.  See the original post here.

Unfortunately, like thousands of other well-meaning resolution makers, I have barely referred to my 2013 list of resolutions in the last many months, although some of them were nonetheless always clear in my memory and have been nagging at me from the back of my mind pretty consistently (composting, for example). I always like to review the goals of the previous year before making any new resolutions (helps to clamp down on any unrealistic ambitions), so here we go.

1. Expand my homemade snack repertoire.
I'm doing OK in this category. I still wish I were making more homemade snacks and buying fewer pckaged chips and crackers. I have added a few items to my repertoire (in addition to my healthy whole grain "cookies" and chewy granola bars). I now frequently make my tried-and-true honey whole wheat bread into rolls. They freeze really well and, as far as I can tell, everyone loves rolls. I've also been experimenting with healthy muffins, another kid-friendly-sized food. What I really want to make is homemade cheesy crackers, because my children are obsessed with goldfish crackers (which we rarely buy, but everyone else always seems to have and give them). I want to master a homemade whole grain with real cheddar cheese mini cracker. I'm always on the lookout for any snacks that are easy to make in bulk, kid-friendly, good for on-the-go, and, of course, healthy. Any suggestions?

2. Transition from cloth diapers to training pants/ underwear by 15 months. 
I have been practicing early potty training with my third child since she was four months old. I had to look back through my early potty training posts to figure out if I actually did this. It looks like we transitioned to training pants almost all the time around 18 months. Actually, we are all done with potty training now with this one. We're down to one accident (day or night) every couple of weeks. Stay tuned for an early potty training reprise post coming soon!