Tag Archives: Real Housewives

Waffling

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I waffle. I do. It’s Gemini nature and there’s no fighting it. I make no firm decisions, I take no firm stances. The firmest thing in my life is my tofu, and I’m okay with that. I consider myself “flexible” and “open-minded” and that’s the positive spin I place on this particular personality quirk o’ mine. My reason for bringing this to your attention is two-fold. The first reason is to explain my absence. I have been blogernating for 2 months because my calendar runneth over with a few little things like Disney World, holidays, birthday parties galore, and keeping up with bi-coastal Real Housewives. Although blogging remains high on the list of Stuff I’ll Get Around To, there is always a project with a quicker return that gets my attention first. That doesn’t mean I don’t start a post. I do start it, but then I remember that I need to organize the baby’s sock drawer and on the way there I notice our street is getting re-paved, then I chat with the neighbor about the weather and then I have to give serious thought to whether or not typing run-on sentences is more important than making dinner. Hmm… to write or to feed children? That is the question, but the small people always win. My weekly to-do list is, no lie, two pages long. Know why? Because rather than commit to three or four must-do items, I leave the options open by including everything I could possibly think of that ever needed to be done.  Then, I don’t have to make any false promises to myself and I can waffle around more. It’s not procrastination, just sweet indecision.  Self-aware much?

Time for a 180…the other reason to discuss waffling is for the most obvious. That fluffy, crunchy culinary delight that has been erroneously assigned to the breakfast time slot for far too long. The waffles I made yesterday were so good that I stuck Evan (sick, and at home again) in front of SuperWHY! so I could talk about them. They were that good.

I’m not including a picture because:

  • I didn’t plan to write about them until just now.
  • All waffles look the same, no matter what you do to them. It’s only the toppings that make the photo, and when you are making food for small children, “toppings” are best presented as “dips”, which they were.
  • If I go and stage a photo of the leftovers in the freezer, that process will derail my writing and you won’t hear from me for another 60 days.

Since the name of my blog is “Veggie Berger”, you were probably wondering when I would talk about food.  (No? Ok, well I was wondering when I was going to talk about food.) I think I’m done whining for a while and ready to talk food because I cook/bake/stir stuff every day and I enjoy the heck out of it, so I’d like to share. And, I’m sure you’re wondering how I keep such a “voluptuous” figure with such a veggie-centric diet. Cannolis, people, cannolis. Vegetarian ≠ skinny.

So, here goes with my first recipe post. I hope you’re enticed to step away from that meatloaf and serve up some of my flesh-free awesomeness for dinner. I present to you….

Carrot Cake Waffles

(adapted from “Carrot Muffins on a Grid” in Waffles from morning to midnight by Dorie Greenspan)

1/4 c raisins

2 containers (3-4 oz ea) carrot baby food  (or cooked & pureed carrots)

1/3  c chopped pecans or walnuts

3  T unsalted butter, melted

1 1/2  c  flour (whole wheat, duh!!)

1/2  c oat bran or ground flax seeds or more flour

1  T baking powder

pinch of salt

3/4  t  cinnamon

1/4  t ginger

1/3 c raw sugar

1 1/2  c  milk (vanilla non-dairy milk takes everything to a new level of yum)

2 eggs

1  t  vanilla

  1. Heat up the waffle iron. I use a Krups belgian waffle iron which I love. (side note: I discovered through trial-and-much error that you do not need to spray/grease/butter the grids. They are called “non-stick” for a reason.)
  2. Mix raisins, carrots and nuts. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, blend all the remaining dry ingredients.
  4. In yet another bowl, beat the eggs, milk and vanilla. (I never said it wouldn’t be a mess.)
  5. Pour the wet over the dry, blend. Add carrot mixture, blend. Add melted butter, blend.
  6. Pour just enough onto the hot grids of the waffle iron so that it doesn’t overflow and cook just until lightly browned and you can flip and cook another minute or two. Don’t overcook – you’re going for a very light crunch.

This made 11 hefty waffles. Now here’s where it gets good: Serve warm OR at room temp, because they are basically square, perforated muffins. For breakfast, top with agave syrup. For a snack, cut into strips and dip into applesauce or give them a cream cheese schmear. (This works in a lunchbox, too.) For dinner, (ready for this?) melt cheddar on top. Holy Moly. Add a slice of quiche and fresh fruit.

I normally hate recipes with a dozen ingredients, but I adapted it to fit the things I already had on hand. A dozen ingredients is only bad if you have to go buy a dozen ingredients. Instead of going out, just smash up a few lingering veggies and make yourself a waffle for lunch! Due to the lovely versatility of the waffle, I was able to cram myriad vegetables in my temporarily picky toddler a few years ago. I’m pulling the same move on Leo, so I can share those recipes with you soon and I half-promise not to link every recipe with a rambling soliloquy about moi. I leave you now to imagine the scent of your carrot cake-infused kitchen, and I’m off to work on that sock drawer.


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Pardon my Progress

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My life is a construction zone. I should wear yellow and black at all times to warn potential friends and acquaintances that work is being done and may or may not be completed. I generally only finish things to about 85%, and then there’s only a 50% chance of that. Problem is, I love to start new things, but finishing them doesn’t hold the same appeal, excitement and butterflies-in-my-stomach intensity. I trip over myself to get to Joann’s to buy needle nose pliers and 24 gauge silver wire, only to forget what exactly I was going to do with them. Polymer clay and jump rings? Same story. It also happens with chores around the house. A few days ago, I found myself with some unexpected free time and used it to finally start cleaning out the drawers in my room that wouldn’t shut to make room for Fall clothes. I was so delighted by my own ambition. Sure I could have watched the Real Housewives episode that was calling my name from the DVR, or I could have lost myself in Pinterest or I could have done one of my 500 projects-in-waiting. But no, I did the responsible thing and started the Big Seasonal Switch that has to happen when you live in a house with closets made for Smurf clothes. Our off-season clothes have to stay in the attic. Bringing them down at the same time as our in-season clothes makes us look like we are exceeding the occupancy limit for a single family home, so I have no choice but to first move the Summer stuff up, then bring the Fall stuff down if we want room to walk around here. IM-freaking-POSSIBLE. Because of a little something I like to call self-diagnosed ADD. My ability to stay on task is made possible only by existing in a white padded room. And even then, I would find myself examining the stitches on the padding to avoid finishing the work at hand. It’s almost like I don’t like achievement. If there were an award for most ambitions, then would I be a real winner!

This morning I had a lightbulb moment. It wasn’t a 100 watt bulb… more of a chandelier bulb, but a bulb all the same. When I woke up I picked up my phone and instead of checking the weather, email or my ebay auctions as usual, I went to Pinterest and checked the “Fitness” page. Why I was possessed to do that, I have no idea. Possessed is the only word to explain why that would have happened. I didn’t even know they had a Fitness page but something made me do it. Back story: As with everything, starting a workout routine has the same sparkle to it every time I pick it back up after a period of abandonment. New shoes! New sports bras! Find the yoga mat! Whee! And then I go down that roller coaster of endorphin-induced emotions and find that if I have to trudge back up the proverbial hill, I would be better off just starting a new hobby that doesn’t have any hills. There’s a “but” here, and it’s big enough to have an extra “t” in it. This time, I’ve decided it’s not just for me. It’s for my kids. And nothing makes me move my caboose more than needing to do something for my kids. I am their primary example. They spend more time face-to-face with me than anyone else and if anyone is going to show them how to live well, it has to start here. I am a huge advocate of living a healthy lifestyle, but pure exercise has not been a way of life around here, and I am ready for it to be. Evan still has the enthusiasm for the outdoors of a kid not yet affected by video games and I need to capitalize on that before it slips away. And I need to show him that my big ideas can be reality and that when you work for something, it can be done. Follow-through produces results. (Right?) If only I could convince myself first.

So here was the actual lightbulb moment: I saw a piece of jewelry on the Pinterest fitness page that was metal stamped with roman numerals and a tiny rhinestone. I checked out the picture more closely because I thought it was pretty, yet seemed to be mis-filed. It said “XXVI.II” Working through that, I read “26.2”. Since this is a fitness inspiration page  (lightbulb flickering here), I think that must be how long a marathon is! At Evan’s school recently, I’ve noticed several people have bumper stickers that say “26.2” and I thought it looked like a bible verse or something, which was odd because, well, you know. But now I see! Those people are runners! There are people (with kids who have to be at school at 9am just like mine) getting out of bed and putting one foot in front of the other and at the end of it, they can say they accomplished something totally insane. My own personal “total insanity” would be just moving that decimal point over a little and pushing through 2.62. A minithon we’ll say. Maybe I could do it 10 times and add them up.

So where do I start? Step 1: Log the eff off the computer. Step 2: Move your body. Step 3: Enjoy the reward. Sounds simple enough. Where are my new running shoes? In my mind (lit by a single environmentally-friendly chandelier bulb), they are starting to sparkle again.

To be continued…so pardon my progress…