Yes, this is rich, decadent and dreamy – a few bites are sure to satisfy!

Apple Bread Pudding

Pudding Ingredients

1 loaf French Meadow Bakery Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread – cut into 1 inch pieces

1 lb apples – peeled, cored and chopped (“Mom” prefers organic)

¾ cup sugar

3 cups whole milk (“Mom” prefers organic)

4 Tbsp. butter (“Mom” prefers organic)

2 eggs (“Mom” prefers organic)

2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon

Sauce Ingredients

4 Tbsp. butter (“Mom” prefers organic)

½ cup powdered sugar

½ cup whole milk (“Mom” prefers organic)

Preparation

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine bread, apples and sugar. Combine remaining ingredients and whisk together. Place bread mixture in a 9×13 inch baking pan. Pour milk mixture over bread, evenly distributing. Bake for about 45 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. For the sauce, whisk ingredients together in sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to a light boil, lower heat and whisk frequently for about 5-6 minutes until sauce has thickened. Serve bread pudding with warm sauce or over ice cream.

*Recipe and image courtesy of French Meadow Bakery.*

If you are a fan of FuzziBunz® modern cloth diapers, then you are going to LOVE their new & improved Trickle Free Trainers™! Finally – a cost-effective, planet-friendly and just over-the-top adorable training pant! Potty training is never easy, and in between messes and choosing whether to dress your little one in big kid underwear (and deal with the accidents) or a pull-up (which will end up in a landfill somewhere), this is the truly the best of both worlds.

Trickle Free Trainers™ are available in 4 kid-friendly designs, including Super Kid in Training, Beeee-uty in Training, NO Dumping, and Princess in Training, in sizes S, M, & L. What “Mom” loves is that each Trickle Free Trainer™ comes with 2 snap placements, to make sure the fit is right for your child, and will grow with him or her. Additional features of the Trickle Free Trainers™ include:

• Fun child focused digitally printed (no fading or peeling) designs are engaging to toddlers

• Design looks less like a diaper and more like big kid underwear

• Minky fabric on inside allows for wetness to be felt yet cleans up easy in messy situations

• Perfect next-step purchase for loyal FuzziBunz® parents

• Available in a variety prints and white

• Easy dual side snaps makes changing accidents a breeze

For any parent undertaking potty training, the Trickle Free Trainer™ are hands-down a smart, smart buy! Run, don’t walk, to the FuzziBunz® site to buy a couple for your little guy or gal in training!

FuzziBunz® also offers some great tips as you start the potty training process, in their free online potty training guide. Click here to view the PDF.

To locate a retailer near you that carries FuzziBunz® products, or to order online, visit www.fuzzibunz.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this piece.*

It’s easy with the following 7 tips to green up the holiday meal with both food and preparation – paring down, getting back to basics, and what the season is truly about – friends and loved ones!

Green” Your Holiday Meals

1. Eat local. Celebrate gratitude for the local environment by exploring what local foods you can find. Incorporate seasonal vegetablessuch as beets, Brussels sprouts, squash and broccoli. Or find a quick refrigerator pickle recipe for locally grown cucumbers or bell peppers instead of buying prepackaged. See if you can select a turkey from a local farm (try your local natural foods market or visit localharvest.org to locate farmers).

2. Get out the china. Or at least forgo plastic and paperware to reduce waste. If you are short on place settings, borrow (neighbors,family and guests usually are happy to share), or look on Craigslist, eBay or at thrift stores for extras you can reuse. By using items that are colorful but not particularly holiday-themed, you will save – and be able to use them throughout the year. For more napkins, make your own or purchase a stash of bandanas in colors you like from a hobby store.

3. Decorate with plants. Collect some attractive houseplants into an appealing centerpiece by gathering them in a large basket, bowl or even a box decorated with fabric or paper. For Thanksgiving, gather a fall-themed bouquet from your yard, or ask guests to bring autumn leaves, berries or branches to build a centerpiece. For December holidays, use evergreen branches and ribbons to create attractive pieces.

4. Take advantage of turkey sales. Many stores offer great sales on turkeys before Thanksgiving. If you can, buy an extra, and then cookand carve it while you are in the turkey-roasting mood. Then freeze the meat in smaller packages. You can take out what you need for several meals during the busy holiday season, saving time and money.

5. Do not overdo it. Cooking enough to feed an army will only result in added stress and waste if your “crowd” is more like a handful. Be realistic about what you will eat at dinner and what you can consume in leftovers. Send some leftovers home with guests, and freeze some to enjoy later. If you know you will have too much leftover, investigate your community to see if you can donate extras to a soup kitchen. Or invite other family or friends to share in a post-Thanksgiving, post-Christmas, etc., meal.

6. Combine cooking. Plan your cooking to use the oven all at once, rather than heating and cooling the oven many times over the days aheadof the meal. Heat up contributed dishes in an already-hot oven after you remove one dish instead of firing up the microwave. Try cooking side dishes in a toaster oven instead of in the large oven.

7. Wash it up. Resist the temptation to run the dishwasher with just a few items in it and run it only when full. And because using a dishwasher is usually more efficient than hand washing, no need to feel guilty about a stack of dishes on the counter — let them wait for the next dishwasher load.

About the Author

This article was written by national consumer finance expert Kevin Gallegos, vice president of Phoenix operations for Freedom Debt Relief.

This crispy spiced crunch topping graces fresh fruit so beautifully this season! Enjoy!

Spiced Nut and Oat Crunch

Ingredients

2 egg whites

1 tablespoon Wholesome Sweeteners Fair Trade honey

1 teaspoon Fair Trade Certified vanilla extract

1 teaspoon Fair Trade Certified ground cardamom

½ teaspoon Fair Trade Certified ground cinnamon

generous pinch of sea salt

1 cup raw walnut halves

½ cup thick rolled oats

½ cup flaxseed

2 egg whites

2 cups Fair Trade Certified pineapple, mangoes and bananas chopped

½ cup chopped medjool dates(optional)

Preparation

Preheat oven to 300 degrees

In a medium bowl whisk together egg whites, honey , vanilla, spices and salt. Add nuts, oats and flax seeds. Spread onto a greased baking tray (with pan spray) and bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool and sprinkle over fruit salad. Add ½ cup chopped dates if you like and enjoy!

*Recipe and image courtesy of Fair Trade USA.*

Green Car Journal Names Finalists for Annual Award

The results aren’t yet in on the Green Car Journal’s 2012 Green Car of the Year Award, but they have announced their five finalists for the coveted title. And the competition is…interesting. The fact is that there are so many “green” cars on the road these days, and so many ideas of what it means to be green, that most of the vehicles on the list are hardly comparable. However, the Journal will do their best to pick one of the finalists to receive the Green Car of the Year Award, with the winner being announced at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show on November 17th (although all will be honored with a spot on their top-five list for the year).

The contenders this year (all 2012 models) are the Ford Focus Electric, the Honda Civic Natural Gas, the Mitsubishi i, the Toyota Prius v, and the Volkswagen Passat TDI. And you can see why the judges will have a difficult time choosing the greenest of the bunch. Not only do they come with widely varied features, but the methods of locomotion are vastly different. The Focus, for example, is fully electric, meaning no emissions. It comes with all kinds of nifty features for modern drivers (like a smart phone app that tells drivers how much charge remains in their car) and it gets an astonishing 100 miles on a charge.

But then there’s the Mitsubishi i, which is also an electric vehicle. It may only have a range of 62 miles on a charge, but it has an awful lot of options for charging, from a portable plug that works in standard 120-volt outlets, to a jack for a 240-volt charging station, to an add-on quick-charger port that can be used in public outlets to get up to an 80% charge in as little as thirty minutes. All could be pretty handy (and the cute packaging will likely appeal to teen drivers). But while the fully electric vehicles may seem to head the pack, the others have a lot to offer, as well.

The new Prius, for example, is a plug-in hybrid, which means it’s one of the few crossover vehicles that still come with the potential for government rebates and carpool exemptions. Plus, it gets 15 miles out of a charge, which increases fuel efficiency to an estimated 49 mpg. Then there are the alternative fuel options. The Civic comes with nearly zero emissions from its compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel, plus 38 mpg highway and cool extras like eco-assist (to help drivers operate their vehicle more efficiently) and the econ button to auto-optimize fuel efficiency. And the Passat gets an awesome 44 mpg from clean-burning diesel, not to mention all the power that the other cars in their lineup come with.

It’s going to be a tough choice for the judges, but luckily they’re well qualified for the challenge, with well-known names like Carl Pope (chairman of the Sierra Club), Carroll Shelby (yes, that Shelby), and car-enthusiast Jay Leno (amongst others) on the panel.

About the Author

Sarah Danielson writes for Logan Airport Transportation which offers over 100 unique vehicles and superior service at affordable prices.

Whether you’re hitting the trails, headed to the gym, or just running late to work or school, grab one of these healthy and delicious cookies- they’ll power you along for hours, deliciously.

Blueberry Power Cookies

Ingredients

1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix
½ cup whole or lowfat milk
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
1/4 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
½ cup dried blueberries
½ cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

Preparation

PREHEAT OVEN TO 350º
MAKES 4 ½ DOZEN COOKIES
COOKIE SHEETS, GREASED OR LINED WITH PARCHMENT PAPER

1. Place the cake mix, milk, wheat germ, oil and egg whites in a large bowl. Mix with an electric mixer set on medium speed 1 to 2 minutes until blended. Mix in the blueberries, almonds, and chocolate chips with a wooden spoon.
2. Drop the dough by tabespoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto prepared cookie sheets.
3. Bake 9 to 12 minutes or until just set at edges and just barely set at center when lightly touched. Cool 1 minute on sheets, then remove cookies with spatula to wire racks to cool completely.

*Recipe and image courtesy of The Ultimate Cake Mix Cookie Book.*

Three New All-Natural First Aid Items for Babies & Children

Boo Boos Happen First Aid Kit

Yes – because those boo boos DO happen! The Boo Boos Happen First Aid Kit is a must-have for every family and is perfect for tucking underneath a kitchen sink, in a diaper bag, or in the car when you are on-the-go! This zippered recyclable bag includes a 1.5 tube of Topricin Junior and 20 standard size ‘Ouchies’ self adhesive bandages in five bold colors (pastel purple, blue, yellow, green, pink) that kids can decorate themselves with three markers (dark blue, red and purple), which are also included. The pain will be long forgotten as they color and create their own unique bandage!

Topricin Junior is a pediatrician-recommended medicated cream specially formulated for children that targets pain as it rapidly goes to work helping the body to heal the damage that’s causing the pain. It works naturally – utilizing Echinacea, Arnica, and graphites as the key ingredients instead of harsh chemicals.

The Boo Boo Happens First Aid Kit retails for $19.99 and can be purchased at Topricin’s online store at www.topricin.com. Enter in promo code BOO25 to receive 25% off your order.

Omyst®

This soothing & healing 100% organic herbal first aid spray is a dream come true! Simply spray on the infected area – no need to mess with sticky, gooey creams and gels when you need relief! Rashes, insect bites, and pesky paper cuts, beware! Omyst® is made with organic calendula, yarrow, plantain and wild roses, and was created by a registered nurse and healer. It is safe for all ages, even infants and the elderly! You can order this organic herbal first aid spray online at www.omyst.com.

Dr. Sears Family Essentials Diaper Rash Cream

Treat baby’s diaper rash tenderly and with care using Dr. Sears Family Essentials Diaper Rash Cream! Using all-natural ingredients such as Calendula, Cocoa Seed Butter, Sweet Neroli Orange Peel Oil, and Tocopherol, you can help to soothe and relieve the discomfort your little one feels when experiencing a diaper rash! Learn more at www.drsearsfamilyessentials.com.

*Companies generously provided samples and images for this piece.*

Mom” is thrilled to announced that the winner of the Healthy Sunday Night Football Essentials for the Family Giveaway is Cheryl F.! We hope you enjoy your healthy eats and treats as we head into the heart of football season! Thanks to everyone who entered this eco-fabulous giveaway on Tiny Green Mom!

5 EcoChi Happier, Healthier Holiday Tips

1. Make holiday meals memorable – Round or oval tables are the best shapes for feng shui-friendly dining. The absence of sharp corners and hard edges helps energy flow freely and gently through the room. If you do have a rectangular dining table, make sure your guests are not seated too close to the corners, which can cause a feeling of unease during the meal.

2. Delight your guest’s senses – Pine and cinnamon are wonderful choices when entertaining. To create a calm environment during the holiday rush use lavender or lemon for clarity.

3. The entrance, foyer or entrance hallway is called your “Ming Tang” in Chinese. Do not block your Ming Tang with packages, cartons or bags. Keep the pathway to your front door uncluttered. This is where fresh energy and opportunities enter your space and your life.

4. Beautify your side doors. If you regularly enter your home through a side door, give it a beauty treatment by planting lush plants or flowers nearby. Make your guests feel as if they are entering your “castle” no matter which door they enter.

5. Unplug appliances and lights! Even when your appliances, equipment and lights are turned off, if they are plugged into outlets you still are consuming electricity. These are called phantom loads. Plug you holiday lights into a surge protector so when you are not using them you can prevent phantom loads by flipping one switch. This saves energy and saves you money too!

About the Author

Debra Duneier is an accredited LEED® Green Associate, Certified Eco-Designer, Feng Shui Master Practitioner, Creator of EcoChi® and Author of EcoChi: Designing the Human Experience. For more about Green Tips and Debra Duneier visit www.ecochi.com and follow her on twitter @EcoChiTips.

*Image: photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.*

Having family or friends over for a holiday dinner? This salad will knock their stockings off! The maple syrup in the dressing coupled with the mixture of seasonal fruits and nuts create a concoction worthy of an elegant affair or casual merrymaking.

FALL INTO WINTER SALAD

Mixed Green Salad with Pears, Walnuts, Cranberries, and Maple Dressing

Ingredients

2 teaspoons Champagne or white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small shallot, finely diced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
5 cups mixed salad greens, such as chopped endive, frisée, and radicchio
1 Seckel or Comice pear, sliced
1/2 cup raw walnuts halves
1/4 cup dried cranberries

Preparation

1. Whisk together the vinegar, maple syrup, and mustard in a large serving bowl. Whisk in the oil. Stir in the shallot and add salt and pepper.
2. Add the greens and pear and toss with the maple dressing. Top with walnuts and cranberries and serve.

Makes 4 servings: 1 1/2 cups each

Per serving: 280 calories, 22g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 320mg sodium, 19g total carbohydrate, 3g dietary fiber, 3g protein

Little Green Cooking Tip
Prepare and serve a salad in the same bowl, when possible. Then you’ll only need to wash one bowl, not two or more.

A Planet-Friendly Bite
Pure maple syrup is about as natural as it gets. It’s basically sap from maple trees that has been cooked down until it’s a thick syrup. But watch out for maple-flavored syrup; it’s basically corn syrup with just a touch of maple syrup. And pancake syrups can be almost entirely corn syrup with artificial maple flavoring.

*Recipe reprinted with permission from Big Green Cookbook by Jackie Newgent, RD.*