Thursday, November 29, 2007

Starting Solids

A friend just asked for my opinions and advise on starting a baby on solid foods while maintaining a strong nursing relationship. Other friends have asked for the same information in the past, so rather than digging up the links again for the next time, here it is for all posterity:

There are two fantastic websites for such information ( and the La Leche League International) -- both are research based and nursing-supportive, as opposed to the majority of what is in parenting websites, books and magazines. Here are the best links from those sites on the topic:

My best advice is to read these sites and listen to them.

Also, throw away the rice cereal :) -- it's really devoid of real nutrition and is more difficult to digest for a baby just starting to eat solids than vegetables like cooked squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, mashed up bananas, etc. And if you want to give her grains, just give her whole grain cereal like oatmeal or overcooked brown rice. There's really no need for special "baby" foods.

And don't worry about the whole process. Solids in the first year are just for the taste and feel and experience of it, not as a primary means of nutrition. Your milk has everything she needs, so as long as she's getting it several times a day, there's no need to worry that she's not getting enough solids. For example: J went on a solids strike for 3 months when E was born. He was 16 - 19 months old then, and I worried like crazy, but he GAINED weight, all from my milk. Granted, I had more milk at that time because of having a newborn -- but the whole milk system is demand and supply.

You can also just wait until Baby picks up the food by herself. There's no real need to do the strained vegetables/mushy cereal phase of baby feeding. Truly it's a little fun, but mainly messy, and not necessary for their nutritive needs. We did that with E -- she had the tongue thrust reflex until her 8th or 9th month. So, we would try it periodically, but she didn't really start until then. And when she did, it was with gusto!

So, lot's of opinions! :) Really though, I very highly recommend the above links. Always nurse first, and just follow Baby's lead.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

How we eat, lately

In response to Sara's revealing of their mealtime adventure:

How we eat changes pretty often, all depending on what works at that moment. I'm no stickler for schedules or table-sitting or anything, and I graze all day rather than eating three easily identifiable meals. I think this works great for my toddlers too, since they would much rather be playing than sitting and eating for long stretches. We do eat a lot of the same things every day, but my attempt to keep almost everything that I buy be healthful, means that no matter what J wants to eat, he can have it (except for a few days last week when he asked to make and eat corn cookies at every meal -- I don't even know what they are). I think my basic idea is that I will make something that J likes, using his ideas to shape the menu, when he seems to be hungry, and if he only eats part of it, we save it for later. I ask him to eat a few bites, but if that's all he's interested in, no big deal, he can have it for a snack a little later. (I don't do the short-order-cook-thing -- I'll make one or two things and if he refuses to eat it after I make it and asks for something else instead, he just doesn't eat until he decides he does want what I made after all. We only have this sort of conflict on very rare occasions.) It also helps to put his leftovers on the counter or bottom shelf of the refrigerator where he can reach it himself. In addition, I will make a bowl of nuts and dried fruit, cereal and crackers, and just keep it near where he's playing and usually he'll polish it off in an hour or so. He's also big into pouring himself milk these days, so I try to keep the jug in the front so he can reach it.

Typical daytime foods around here:
egg and cheese in a tortilla, hot oat bran (or oatmeal) with raisins and apples, banana with peanut butter, bread or bagels, yogurt with berries, muffins, quesadillas, soup, rice and veggies, fresh fruit or raw veggies, cheese

I doubt we've eaten anything off that list for a couple months. He likes it, I like it, it works. For now. E will eat or not eat, and nothing I do can change it, so I just let her be, and we're all happy. She's nursing a lot and growing fast, so I'm not worried.

Dinner varies a lot more, and I plan it by week, so J doesn't get much say, but he also isn't super picky these days. He loves to cook with me, and although he often doesn't eat much of the end product, he is free to eat as much of the ingredients as he wants. So, on pizza night (Friday, of course) he will eat bread dough, grated cheese, slices of tomatoes, and so forth while I'm making it, and then will only nibble at the pizza when it's cooked. As long as he's eating good food, it doesn't really matter when it happens. Some nights (like tonight) he's particularly distracted and will just play while we eat and take bites from our plates as he goes by, but he ate a lot of good stuff earlier.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Chard Quiche

We have a farm share through Cromwell Valley CSA and have an amazing amount of Swiss Chard to consume each week. Adam is a star pupil in the greens-eating class, but for my own sake, I like finding ways to disguise it.
This was a fantastic meal. By baking it in a 9x13 pan rather than 9x9, it was thin enough to cook through and be crisp on top and bottom. Good looking full of dark green flecks and tasty too.
(My adaptation from Simply in Season by Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert)

1.5 pound Swiss Chard (chopped very finely)
Cook and thoroughly drain.

4 eggs (beaten)
1 cup milk
1 cup Swiss cheese
1 potato (diced in 1/2 inch cubes)
1 onion (diced)
1/4 cup Ramano cheese (grated)
Combine with cooked greens. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake in preheated oven at 375F until set, 30 - 35 min.

Served 2 hungry adults with enough left over for lunch for one the next day.

Adam's boss's boss is quoted as saying, "I should start eating at your house," upon seeing Adam reheat this for lunch. Are you impressed yet?

Friday, September 7, 2007

Frozen Meal Swaps

Several friends and I have been swapping meals semi-regularly. Here is how we do it:

The basic idea:

Each participant prepares a single meal in bulk, freezes it in two-person portions, and then swaps the frozen meals for everyone else's, so each participant ends up with a wide variety of frozen meals for the month.
For example, if there are 5 of us participating with 2 people in each family who eat much, we would each cook one meal that served 20 people, freeze it in 10 containers, and then come with our coolers full of meals and swap with the other 4 people on a designated day, ending up with 10 frozen dinners (2 of each).

The benefits:

Easy preparation at dinner time
Easier than bulk cooking a variety of meals by yourself
Healthier and cheaper than eating convenience foods
Fun to eat other people's cooking

The details:

We make complete, simple, healthful (low-fat, low-sodium, low-sugar) meals. Complete, so that if your meal is all someone ate one night for dinner, it would be sufficient. Simple, so that one person isn't making Stuffed Crab Soufflé, while someone else makes beans and rice. And healthful, well, to maintain our womanly (and manly) figures. ;)
We designate one person to a main ingredient (beans, potatoes, pasta, etc.) so we don't end up eating 10 lasagnas.
We can do this on a monthly (or semi-monthly) basis, rotating hosts for the swap party, and varying the type of foods we prepare.

Monday, September 3, 2007

How to live without Shampoo (a.k.a. no-poo)

Confession: I have not bought or used shampoo for a year. (Except for the once at a salon back in December 2006 when I couldn't bring myself to admit to a hair professional that I hadn't used shampoo in two months --- sort of like lying about flossing daily when the dental hygenist asks.)
BUT, my hair is cleaner than ever!

You too can be free from the bonds of shampoo and/or conditioner. Shampoo is very good at what it does. It strips your hair of dirt and oils, just like dish detergent does for a frying pan. Many people find this to be excessively drying, and thus they use conditioner to counter it. The kicker is that everytime you shampoo, your scalp says, "Hey! There's no more oil on me. Let's make more!" So your head is a greaseball in a day or two or three, and you have to wash it again. You could stop this cycle just by no longer shampooing it!


  1. Your hair will be cleaner than ever.
  2. Your scalp will be healthier than ever.
  3. You will get to know your hair and scalp more intimately than ever.
  4. You will save mucho bucks.
  5. You won't have to wash your hair anywhere near as often as you do now.
  6. You won't have to submit to buying a bottle of unknown-to-you chemicals.
There are many variations on the basic no-poo scheme. Since everyone's hair and scalp are different, there is no single solution. The basic idea is to stop using shampoo, soap, and conditioners on your head. Instead, wash your scalp (not hair) with a baking soda/water solution. If necessary, balance your scalp's pH by rinsing with an apple cider vinegar or honey/water solution. Someone told me that the combination of baking soda and scalp oil creates a similar chemical reaction as does lye and lard in soap making. When the two combine, it makes a slippery substance that helps dirt be rinsed away.

I have very thick, straight, medium length hair and a scalp that tends toward being oily and acidic. After the initial breaking-in period of about a month, I wash my hair with baking soda once every five days or so.

Here's how I do it:
  1. Dump one to two tablespoons of baking soda in a cup at the beginning of a shower.
  2. Add to it a cup or so of hot water.
  3. Shake until the baking soda is dissolved.
  4. Pour it in small amounts over my scalp, thoroughly massaging the portion of the scalp that the baking-soda-water hits, until it feels slippery (at first it will feel gritty).
  5. Continue the pouring and massaging until my whole head feels slippery.
  6. Rinse thoroughly. It should feel squeaky clean now.
Some others find that it works better for them to put the baking soda in their hand and mix it with a bit of water, making a paste that they massage into their scalp. I have tried this, and it just feels gritty to me, and never dissolves sufficiently.

When you first ditch the shampoo, you will go through a definite breaking-in period that lasts two weeks to a month. Your hair and scalp need too recover from the years of shampooing. For me, this recovery period included my hair feeling very gunky or sticky. It was hard to endure those weeks without going back to shampoo to save me. However, that phase is experienced by everyone who goes through the no-pooing process, and DOES end. My hair is shinier, silkier, less greasy than ever, and I only have to wash it with baking soda once a week or so. And I'm no longer buying shampoo.

Help for curly hair
A good FAQ for no-pooing
Collection of advice from folks on being shampoo-free

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Local Farms

Part of the fun of cooking is finding good fresh raw ingredients. There are plenty of people (myself included in a very limited way) growing food within an easy drive of here. If you live in or around Baltimore, in addition to the several farmers markets, check these out:

Weber's Cider Mill Farm - great peaches, apples, assorted vegetables, baked goods, and cider (conventional)
Larriland Farm - fruit, a few vegetables, pick-your-own (Integrated Pest Management or IPM)
Cromwell Valley CSA - $500 for six months of organic produce, nice variety, fair in quantity (organic)
Nick Maravell's Farms - some of the only local organic grain
Summercreek Farm - Rick Hood's organic farm/csa, also grows some grain
Baugher's Orchard and Farm - peaches, apples, pumpkins, vegetables, pick-your-own (conventional)

I will add to the list as time goes on.

Kilgore Falls

We went to our favorite swimming hole yesterday -- a very secluded little spot on a river in Rocks State Park where it narrows to a waterfall which falls into a deep hole in the rocks and then spreads out to a very calm, wide, shallow stream. It's perfect for swimming and wading. We all enjoyed cooling off in it this morning. The last time we were there, it was a few days past E's due date (still a few days before her birth). It is great for little and big kids. Lots of rocks to toss in shallow, very cool water, but also a large deep area of water to jump into from the surrounding boulders.
It is worth the hour-long drive from Baltimore to spend an afternoon at this fresh water swimming hole. After parking in a tiny lot, you walk a mile or so on a nice wide trail into the woods. A stroller would be tricky to take all the way in because there is one spot where you need to cross the shallow stream by walking on some large rocks. There is no beach when you get to the swimming area, but there are many shaded flat rocks to sit on and relax.
Named City Paper's 2004 Best of Baltimore: Best Swimming Hole

Friday, August 24, 2007

Cooking Projects

As I move our family toward eating real, whole, responsibly-grown, fresh foods, various cooking projects take over our kitchen.

1. Pane Rustica, The Best bread I have Ever made, thanks to Jim Lahey. It is a no-knead, slow-rise, thick peasant loaf with a gorgeous crumb and crackly chewy crust. The super-moist dough bakes in a very hot covered dutch oven (or stoneware pot), steaming itself as it bakes. Once the heat dies down, I'll make this a couple times a week.

2. Easy Sauerkraut, from the original More-with-Less cookbook. One head of cabbage per quart Ball jar, shredded, salted, packed. Wait a week, and enjoy. Too bad we rarely buy meat anymore. Maybe I'll have to learn how to make corned beef.

3. Two new favorite cookbooks: (1) Simply in Season by Cathleen Hockman -Wert and Mary Beth Lind, put out by the Mennonite Central Committee in the spirit of More-with-Less but with a focus on local seasonal foods and (2) Rodale's Basic Natural Foods Cookbook that I happily found at Baltimore's Book Thing: free. In 900-some pages it covers the basics of whole foods cooking.

4. German Soft Pretzels. Want to know the secret to fantastic pretzels: Boil them in baking soda water until puffy and golden before baking in a hot hot oven. Brought to you by the German Agricultural Marketing Board. Every other method that I've tried omits this secret key, instead using an egg-water wash, which makes the end product glossy, but not the same feel or taste.

5. Canning and freezing. Good old-fashioned preserving of the local harvest, using updated USDA standards (most of the time). So far this season, I have canned 12 1/2-pints of peach jam, 10 pints of peach halves, 6 pints of dill pickles, 32 pints of diced tomatoes, 12 pints of tomato sauce and have frozen two dozen diced green peppers, the corn from 18 ears, a peck of peaches, and 6 lbs. of berries. This coming week I hope to can a bunch of tomato paste and ketchup, and in then mid-September applesauce and apple butter.

6. Cheese-making. I make yogurt every week with fresh milk from our favorite farmer's cows. So cheese-making isn't so far a leap, particularly when good cheese is expensive, and we have easy access to good milk. I've made Labneh before, so I tried Neufchatel. It is a lower-fat cream cheese. Next time I won't add as much salt. Then from the leftover whey, I made Ricotta. Did you know "ricotta" means "recooked"? It is made simply by recooking whey, leftover from cheese-making, and then straining out the curds. Quite tasty in a creamy pesto pasta meal. This coming week I have ordered an extra gallon of milk to attempt my first hard cheese.
My current related project is making a cheese press. The best I've come up with so far is a steamer pot lined with a 5-inch tall ring of plastic from a milk jug and a follower made from a double-walled cardboard box laminated with packing tape. This will work for my first trial, but if I get into this, perhaps I'll need to find me some PVC pipe.

7. Ginger Ale. Can you tell that David Fankhauser is my new best friend? We made this ginger ale in less than 24 hours, with less than 10 minutes of work, using ingredients we already had at home: water, active dry yeast, ginger root, sugar, and a clean 2-liter bottle. So easy, so tasty. Why have I never heard of this recipe before? Go try it RIGHT NOW.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Fixing a washing machine

Brag of the day: I fixed our clothes washer. It wouldn't drain anymore, so I read some troubleshooting tips, took the back and bottom off and found the problem, ordered a new drain pump assembly and just finished installing it. And it works! It took me a month to get myself to do it, mainly because I was intimidated by the task and for a while figured we'd just hire someone to fix it, but after I checked around and found that it would be around $200 to fix it, and the washer only cost $300, Adam encouraged me to do it myself. It is very satisfying, and only cost $35, including shipping.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Last summer I discovered that some of the most flavorful popsicles can be made with unaltered fruit puree. It is once again popsicle season -- hooray! Our favorites include cantaloupe puree, watermelon puree, berry puree (especially strawberry). Both E and J love popsicles; as do their parents. It is an ongoing challenge of mine to find ways to get J to eat leafy vegetables -- he gags on them if they are not pureed. Our newest experiment is Watermelon-Kale Pops. They both love them. She doesn't yet know that sweet things aren't supposed to be deep green in color. They are really quite tasty.
Our popsicle mold holds a total of 2 cups of liquid:
Puree 1 cup of watermelon chunks. Gradually add enough chopped kale to the blender to bring it up to 2 cups. Make sure it is very well pureed. No one likes leaves in their popsicles.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Notes on: The Healthiest Kid in the Neighborhood

Ten Ways to Get Your Family on the Right Nutritional Track by William Sears, M.D., Martha Sears, R.N., James Sears, M.D., and Robert Sears, M.D. -- Part of the Sears Parenting Library

Personal notes:

It isn't often that I actually read a book cover to cover these days, and I suppose I technically didn't read this one like that either, but I did wholeheartedly skim almost every part of every chapter and did indeed read a large majority of the book. It was an excellent summary of all the important things I know about nutrition with plenty that I didn't know already.

Summary points:

Feed your family the right carbs. Partner carbs with protein and fiber.
Limit sweetened beverages.
Limit artifical sweeteners.
Feed your family the right fats, more seafood, grow foods, supersnacks, lots of "phytos," immune-boosting foods.
Raise a grazer.
Begin the day with a brainy breakfast.
Buy organic.
Besure your family gets enough omega 3's
Raise veggie lovers.
Eat at family friendly restaurants.

Ideas important to my family:
1. Use substitutes for refined sugar.
*Sip a hot beverage during the day rather than food if not hungry -- herbal teas, hot lemon water.
*cinnamon, spicy foods curb sugar cravings
*fruit toppings
*xylose (xylitol^tm) or honey in moderation
*NEVER artificial sweeteners

Always partner carbs with protein and fiber

2. Never eat:
MSG, hydrolized vegetable protein, BHT or other preservatives
Beverages sweetened with sugar or corn syrup
candy, candy bars
cold cuts and hot dogs with nitrites
fast foods - french fries, fatty meats
artificial sweeteners
food dyes
hydrogenated oils and shortening, cottenseed oil
jello with artificial flavors and colors
packaged high fat, low fiber baked goods

3. Eat Nuts and seeds
Raw is best
Combine nuts for a greater array of vitamins
Eat nut butter (peanut, almond, tahini, etc.)

4. Dice leafy greens very very small and sprinkle into sauces.
Even 1 Tbsp each day makes a difference over time.

5. Whole grain pasta, brown rice, whole wheat

6. Replace sugar and corn syrup with fruits, juice, honey and xylitol in recipes

7. Eat more hummus, edamame, bean dip, whole grain muffins, wild salmon, trout, herring, tuna, less/no refined sugar, raw nuts and seeds, more greens, low-fat cheese, tumeric, chili peppers, and other strong spices

8. Breakfast is important.
Composition: protein (at least 5 g), fiber (at least 3 g), sugars (less than 6 g), omega 3 fats, minerals such as calcium and iron.
Examples: whole grain waffles, blueberries, peanut butter
oatmeal, blueberries, yogurt
w. grain banana nut bread, yogurt
cantaloupe with lowfat cottage cheese
ww tortilla, scrambled eggs, tomatoes
ww toast, veggie omlet and fruit
ww english muffins, PB, banana, milk
yogurt with strawberries, honey, almonds or flaxseed meal
zucchini pancakes

9. FREE FOOD - "eat as much as you want"
naturally a fill up food - high fiber, protein, etc.
chewy, takes longer to eat
high in water content and or protein
examples: beans and legumes, eggs (for kids), fruit, oatmeal, salmon, tofu, veggies, plain yogurt

10. Lunch ideas:
ww tortilla beans, brown rice, salsa, low-fat cheese
ww tortilla turkey hummus, avacado, cheese
homemade muffins, oatmeal raisin cookies, veggie hummus wrap, quesadilla, pita with dark grees, lettuce rollup w/ tomato, olive oil or cream cheese

11. Organic is important
Focus on organic dairy and poultry (free-range)
DHA chicken eggs,
produce: apples, apricots, blackberries, cantaloupe, cherries, grapes, nectarines, peaches, pears, raspberries, spinach, strawberries
dried fruit

Meeting Together

Why do we go to church? Why do we go to the church that we have been going to lately? Why do I feel as though there is no benefit from us going, neither for us, nor for anyone else?

We prayed about this today and read from 1 Cor. and Hebrews, seeking wisdom. Our inclination is to search inside ourselves: what do we feel? What seems rational to us? And inevitably the answers we find are from complacency and fear. I believe that we have continued to attend the church we are attending, despite not believing that they are teaching what Scripture says entirely, despite the lack of physical space for or social welcome of babies and toddlers, despite not being fed in any significant way by the Sunday service due to a lack of real spiritual content.

Some insights from our prayers and readings this morning:
It is important for Christians to continue meeting together for encouraging one another to remain unwavering in the faith. We have a living God who came to earth to intercede for us. We no longer have to make regular sacrifices at the temple. Christ has made the one and only necessary sacrifice for us. It is complete. He is our mediator.
And we have access to the Father through Him now. He asks us to approach the throne to ask for things, to praise, to be near to God and walk with Him as He sanctifies us by the Holy Spirit.
None of this says anything about whether or not we should be attending weekly services at our local church or any other specific congregation. It does say that it is not beneficial for us to live as isolated Christians, nor for us to give up prayer or worship.

Then later today we were discussing how badly the typical American congregation is at lovingly welcoming people who don't fit the American ideal, who have disabilities or who are of low economic status. It's understandable for a social institution to have trouble with accepting people who have unique needs and who don't "fit in" socially. However, Christ interceded for all people. The Gospel is for all people.

We feel this exclusiveness of the congregation we are a part of because of our children. They are not accepted in the worship service. They make occasional noise. They are wiggly. Therefore they may not worship with the congregation, unless they suppress these qualities. Unlikely. I spend so much time pacing the hallways outside of the sanctuary so much that there is almost no point in my even going on Sunday morning, even if I wholeheartedly wanted to be in there.

I attended daily chapel at Bethesda Lutheran Home for people with mental retardation for a summer. What a memorable experience. It was noisy. It was full of movement. And it was real worship. People prayed, praised, gave thanks, sang hymns and spiritual songs, encouraged one another in the saving faith. There were baptisms and communion. The sermon was direct, plain, illustrated on a screen with large plain pictures, and interpreted in ASL for those who would benefit from it. There were seats with headphones for those who needed help hearing. If anyone didn't want to sit in that room with all of those noisy, moving people, they could sit in the lobby and listen.

How are our congregations actively excluding people who are ready for the Gospel? Are we living in expectation and preparation for the work God is going to be doing in the people around us? Are we going to be ready for them (even if they aren't like us)? Or are they going to make us so uncomfortable that we ignore them or purposefully exclude them? Rather than seeking to bring in more complacent middle class Americans, why not open our arms to people who long to hear of God's grace and mercy? I have had a passion for serving people with developmental disabilities for 10 years now, although I have not done any thing about it for the last five. Perhaps it is time for me to use this passion and serve. Stop waiting to be served by the perfect congregation, sitting and complaining. Move, act, respond. Perhaps in our attempt to serve and actively love, we will find the community we have been seeking.

Related Readings / Commentary

Hebrews 10:19-25
19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and having a High Priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Commentary from Matthew Henry: "Believers are to consider how they can be of service to each other, especially stirring up each other to the more vigorous and abundant exercise of love, and the practice of good works. The communion of saints is a great help and privilege, and a means of stedfastness and perseverance. We should observe the coming of times of trial, and be thereby quickened to greater diligence."

1 John 3:22 And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.

James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.

James 4:2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.

Matthew 22 The Parable of the Wedding Feast
1 And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said: 2 “The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, 3 and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come. 4 Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.”’ 5 But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business. 6 And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them. 7 But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. 8 Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 9 Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’ 10 So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests.
11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. 12 So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and[a] cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”

1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

Veggie Breakfast Muffins

I am on a dedicated search for a healthful breakfast muffin that is liked by all members of my family. This one is an extreme adaptation of Morning Glory Muffins.

makes: 20 muffins
30 min prep, 20 min bake

2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups carrots, shredded
1/2 cup cranberries, frozen or fresh (substitute: raisins)
1 1/2 cups applesauce, unsweetened
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups sweet potatoes, mashed (substitute: banana)
2 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or line 20 muffin cups (or two 8"-cake pans).
2. In a small bowl stir together all the dry ingredients.
3. Mix together all the wet ingredients in a large bowl.
4. Add dry ingredients to wet, stirring just until moistened.
5. Scoop batter into prepared cups or pans.
6. Bake 20 minutes (or 30+ min if using cake pans), until tester pin comes out clean.

Try this: Use a spaghetti noodle as a tester pin. Always available, nothing to wash.