The WaffleBlog

Tasty Blogging.

Hey, Wafflers! Word on the street is that some of you aren't feeling the brown header color on our WaffleIron site. We hear you, and we're doing something about it.

Join us on our Facebook page for a quick poll. We've dreamed up some awesome alternatives, and are anxious to get your feedback. It's your chance to help us choose what the site looks like and we couldn't be more excited. Make sure to Like/Follow us for the latest from WaffleTech and tips and tricks for getting the most out of the WaffleIron. We may even do a contest or giveaway from time-to-time (like when the page hits 100 likes...hint, hint...).

If you’re like me, you wish you could do MORE. More of what? Everything, really. More reading, more sleeping, more playing with the kids. More working? Eh, maybe not, but let’s agree this is one of the exceptions... Speaking with my social conscious specifically, I wish I could do more giving. I want to make more time to volunteer, and this bleeding heart of mine wants to be able to give and contribute to every single charity I see or am approached by. While I do a decent amount of this, and try to do as much good with this part of my budget as I can, I’ve also endeavoured to find companies that also endorse and support the philosophy of giving back. Enter AmazonSmile.

If you haven’t heard of AmazonSmile but are a frequent Amazon shopper, stop what you’re doing and get started with Smile right away. As their About page will tell you, AmazonSmile allows you to choose from a list of nearly 1,000,000 charities, and Amazon will donate .5% of all eligible Smile product purchases to the charity of your choice. You’ll literally be doing good - or helping Amazon do good - as you shop! Win-win!

Sounds great! How do I get started?

  1. Change your Amazon bookmark to Sign in using your existing Amazon or Amazon Prime Account
  2. Select a Charity
  3. START SHOPPING! Look for the “Eligible for AmazonSmile donation” label.

Amazon even gives you insight into how many orders you’ve placed and what they’ve donated to your charity. In total, they’ve donated $46 million and counting. I don’t know about you, but that exceeds my charitable giving budget for the year by just a bit.

amazon smile impact

Kids in the Kitchen: Managing the Chaos

- Posted in life by

My kids have stumbled on a new obsession and I daresay it’s the best, and tastiest one, yet: baking! It all started one day when my husband saw my son using his drum as a mixing bowl and then carefully doling out imaginary chocolate chip cookies to his adoring masses (read: his twin brother). I asked if he wanted to make some cookies with mama, and boom! A baker was born and I instantly gained 5 pounds….

Weight gain aside, baking - and cooking - with my toddlers has been one of the best, most-rewarding bonding experiences ever. As with many things in life and parenting, I’ve found this experience to be extremely humbling: I’ve had to surrender myself and my perfect-for-me kitchen to the craziness (and messiness) of twin toddlers and have had to adapt my baking practices and tried and true recipes to fit their needs. Here are a few things we’ve learned along the way:

Baking can be hugely educational. Seriously. Looking even beyond the obvious in terms of fractions and measuring cups/spoons, baking is such a good way to introduce the practical application of many school topics. My two-year-olds love to count, so we make a habit of counting scoops and cups and even cookies as we put them on the pan. We touch everything and talk about how it feels (crunchy, sticky, soft), and make an exercise of smelling ingredients too. My kids tell me what letters they see on the ingredients we use, and are also learning to take turns as we alternate between who adds and mixes what. These things are all so important to their developing minds and they just eat it up (pun intended…).

Kids are messy. The first time I baked with my babes, both were shirtless (boys...need I say more?). Would the health department be happy? No, but they were easy to wipe down and it proved to be a practical accident. The second time we baked together, they were fully clothed, and I vowed never to make the same mistake again. It was a huge disaster, as sugar clung to sweatshirts and outfits ultimately needed to be changed. Now, we bake with aprons and goodness...not only is this practical, it’s super cute. It’s like an added layer of defense against the mess. A cup of brown sugar spilled all over the floor? No problem, let me clean that up for you. You turned on the mixer (again) and sprayed batter all over the tri-state area? I’ll get right on that. Honestly, one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in baking with my kids is not to obsess about the mess and to try to focus instead on the time we were spending together.

Precision is a thing of the past. One of the things I love most about baking is how precise recipes often need to be to turn out just right. An extra teaspoon of the wrong ingredient can turn cookies into bread (my husband’s done this a time or two) and ingredient weight matters as much as measurement. When I bake with my kids, these cares are things of the past. Gone are exacting measurements and all that goes with it. Things are eyeballed a little bit more, some ingredients spill before making it to the bowl, and let’s not forget the endless tasting and sampling tax. Happily, despite these challenges, the things we make nearly always come out edible and honestly, my kids really enjoy the mixing and measuring most of all.

Substitution is king. Since beginning our joint-baking venture, the kids and I have learned a thing or two about ingredient substitutions. There are all sorts of books and apps that offer plenty of suggestions and starting points, and we’ve had a ton of fun experimenting with things on our own too. I’m always keen on making things healthier through the use of added/secret veggies, significantly reduced sugar, oats, and all of that. I love using unsweetened applesauce or baby food in place of oil and butter. I’ve also used applesauce, Greek yogurt, and flax to replace eggs in baking. This is particularly huge for us, as egg-free baking with my littles gives me peace of mind and them the ability to taste a recipe all the way through; it also makes clean-up a breeze.

Have fun. Enjoy yourselves! Invest in some kid-friendly mixing bowls (we have these) and go to town! Your kids will have no idea that you have no idea what you’re doing...bake some cookies, make some homemade playdough, or just give them popcorn, water, and flour (true story) and let them go to town.

A Germaphobe’s Guide to Survival

- Posted in life by

Hello, all. Resident WaffleTech germaphobe here, writing this blog from inside the safety of my sterile bubble (and by sterile bubble, I mean my office, which is all…sterile). If doorknobs and shopping carts and raw meat and cold and flu season give you the heebies and the jeebies, this is THE blog post for you.

enter image description here As I’ve been dabbling in germaphobia for a while now, I thought I’d share my tips and tricks as well as a list of my must-have products.

Step 1: Find an Enabler

Let me tell you the story of the best gift I’ve ever received. It was Christmas morning 2013. All of the presents under the tree had been opened, save one which my husband put in my lap produly. I opened it with care (read: tore into it like a 5-year-old) and found myself staring at a touchless Purell dispenser, meant to be mounted on the kitchen wall and used as double-protection against raw meat and eggs (after a thorough 30-second hand-washing, of course). Over the moon does not begin to describe my elation. Germaphobes, listen: Find an enabler. Although my husband doesn’t share my hatred of all things germy, he indulges and enables me. He sticks out his hand dutifully after leaving a store for a squirt of sanitizer or washes when he returns home, sprays down our sink and countertops with near-religious zeal, and buys me red wipes in bulk.

Step 2: Understand Your Triggers and Be Realistic

Germs are everywhere. We need germs, good and bad. Our immune systems need germs. As as germaphobe, I get this. I’m even okay with it. I daresay I have to be as I have twin boys. They eat dirt and play on the floor. Hands go in mouths, and for some reason I cannot fathom, even their feet end up in their mouths. I try to draw a line between needing to sterilize everything and inviting fever-plagued strangers to come lick my kids. I wipe down cart handles, but pretend to not see the things the twins eat after they’ve fallen off their plates. I wipe or wash (always best) hands in between music class and lunch time but I don’t obsess about every sneeze or cough I hear. I trust you’ll find your balance somewhere short of installing a decontamination shower in your garage.

Step 3: Ignore the Haters

As you embark on your germaphobia journey, understand there will be haters. These germ-loving freaks will caution you against the use of sanitizer and over-washing and weakening the immune system. Ignore them (always a good solution, right?!? That’s how problems go away, right?!?). Buy yourself one of these awesome mugs and fill it with your favorite beverage, glove up, and keep trying to make the world a cleaner place.

New Tools!

- Posted in WaffleTech by

We've launched a couple new tools today!

The WaffleIron is our answer to the age-old question of "How did you get that so cheap?". Around here, our answer is almost always "The Amazon Warehouse." This app monitors the Amazon Warehouse and streams the price changes to your browser. Insanely addictive and wallet-friendly!

Speaking of Amazon - Are you sick of always missing out on the hottest toy? Check out The WaffleTracker.

Just paste any amazon link and give it your email. When the product is in stock, you'll receive an alert. Christmas is saved!

We love Node.js

- Posted in WaffleTech by

There's a reason why huge companies like WalMart and PayPal use Node.js - It's scalable, modern, and easy to work with. Package management is a breeze using npm, and odds are someone has tackled whatever feature you're looking to adopt and has made it freely available.


It's an open source, cross-platform runtime environment for developing server-side and networking applications. Node.js applications are written in JavaScript, and can be run within the Node.js runtime on OS X, Microsoft Windows, and Linux.

Node.js is our preferred language when it comes to modern, streaming applications. It makes creating a two-way real-time stream with the user incredibly easy via packages such as Primus, but we're happy to work within whatever language your project needs.