What better way to tie the bow on October than with pumpkin waffles? Although you probably have a huge pumpkin making an excellent doorstop at your entry, I’d skip using the molding, carved creature and go straight to off-the-shelf purée.

I try to limit the carbs in our house because my toddler has a hard time saying no to them, but it was hard to make that excuse for a waffle filled with nutrition. Pumpkins score big for Vitamins A and C, and feature even more potassium than a banana. I love making pumpkin soup in several variants (apple, bacon and sage), but pumpkin waffles really take the cake. Here I’ve made my own “pumpkin pie” spice, but if you already have a fresh container on hand, feel free to substitute for the combination of spices in this recipe.

This was a satisfying recipe to create because it was inspired by a reader’s request. Thanks for the suggestion, Beka!

Pumpkin Waffles

makes 8-10 round waffles

3 cups unbleached white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
6 tbsp light brown sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2/3 cup oil or butter  (coconut*, vegetable)
4 eggs separated into whites and yolks
3 cups pumpkin purée
1 cup milk

In a large bowl combine the two flours, sugar, soda, salt and spices. In a separate bowl, combine the melted and cooled butter or oil, 4 egg yolks, and milk.

*If you’re using coconut oil for the first time, you should be aware that your kitchen should be warm for the coconut oil to remain in a liquid stage throughout the combining process. You also want to avoid cooking the egg with oil that’s too warm. If your kitchen is on the cold side, stick to melted butter or a neutral oil instead.

In a separate container beat the 4 egg whites until they come to stiff peaks.

Stir the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture until blended. The dough will feel stiff, but don’t worry, it will moisten up during the next step, gently folding in the beaten whites and incorporating everything.

Cook the batter in your heated waffle pan. If you’re not watching your sugar intake or want to get extra fancy, a caramel syrup or cinnamon-spiced whipped cream would make a terrific topping.

Make Ahead

I don’t break out the waffle iron too often and when I do, I like to make a huge batch so many waffles can be frozen for later. If you have the same feeling towards major kitchen appliances, you should know these pumpkin waffles can be warmed up in the microwave and then toasted. These would make a lovely no-cook, post-Thanksgiving morning breakfast.

Recipe adapted from The New Basics Cookbook

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Z has been describing objects as other objects he knows for a while now. Looking at a half grape, he’ll announce, “turtle.” He calls the triangle ruler in our tool puzzle set  a sailboat.  I like to think he isn’t making a confused guess, that he even enjoys making these surprising connections to abstract shapes, learning about the flexible ways in which language can be used to describe things accurately but not literally. Very much a boy, he has recently been interested in all things fireman-related. Under a dimmed lamp light in a magazine I had opened by my bedside one morning, he saw this image and said “fire.”

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I probably inherited the carrot-loving gene from my Mom. When there was nothing in the house to eat, she would default to a shredded carrot salad featuring a sprinkling of dark raisins and oil and vinegar. Since then, I’ve played with her version, bringing in golden raisins and using a lighter touch on the vinegar. Here’s my take, a quick meal to make during the week. If you require more substance, adding tofu to this dish and some sambal would slant it toward Thai flavors.

This salad’s slightly sweet character works perfectly with the tartness of Granny Smith. A hint of vinegar with a little more crunch from the peanuts finishes it off. If you plan ahead, you can shred this the night before and dress it just before you sit down to eat.

Winter carrots tend to be sweeter than summer ones and at least on this front, the East Coast weather gives us an advantage.

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I have my kitchen back! We were finally able to move Z’s sleep area into another room far from the hubub and commotion of our normal lives. Now that he is he no longer inches away from the kitchen, we can resume banging pots and pans in the evening. Even more exciting, we’ll be having our friends over again for more than daytime playdates. Feel the excitement? Yeah, I can barely contain myself.

These ribs will be on the menu for our first adult dinner party in a year. I’ve made them multiple times in the same way in the last eighteen months and that’s saying something because repeat performances are rare in my household. I generally am excited about moving on to the next new thing, but Olive keeps requesting them and I’ve been more than happy to oblige.  The marinade on the ribs creates a slightly sweet glaze and the ginger, garlic and lime cut through that and give the flavor zing.

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Pregnancy and breastfeeding afforded me the luxury of eating anything I wanted without gaining weight; it was a welcome reprieve from counting calories daily and thinking: “If this enters my mouth, how will it effect my “bottom” line? Now that Z is well on his way to being a tall, sporting toddler, stepping his almost two-year-old feet on his new scooter and climbing everything in sight (yikes!), I can no longer eat with impunity. And my bottom line is saying, “perhaps we should rein it in now, Mama?”

These rugelach are unequivocally worth making taste and time wise. Just be careful, they’re deceptively easy to eat hand over fist. Better to cherish them slowly and wistfully, knowing there are so many more left to stretch through your fall days.

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