nutella babka

Or, alternately titled, “That One Time I Used an Entire Jar of Nutella in a Bread Recipe.” Oh yes.

(And oh no, says bikini season, but that’s not for a while, right? Right.)

Call me a crazy, but I rarely buy Nutella. It’s not because I don’t like the way it tastes — it’s that I do. And when I know there is a jar of it lurking in my pantry, I can’t stop thinking about it. Suddenly, I’m in the kitchen, in front of said pantry. And just as suddenly after that, I’m spoon-and-or-fist-deep in the jar, like Winnie the Pooh with his honey. Only much less cute.

So what I’m saying is, I just HAD to put the entire jar of Nutella into the bread recipe, lest I devour the rest of it in an obscenely short amount of time. Instead, it is now safely tucked inside swirl upon swirl in a streusel-topped Nutella babka… which, come to think of it, only makes it less safe. Um, yes. Did not think through the logic on that one too well.

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crackled easter eggs

I am super pumped to the max (what? forget I said that) to share these pretty lil’ eggs with you all, but first things first: A humongous, gigantimous group hug for all of the wonderful women who threw me a surprise virtual baby shower yesterday. Pretty sure I was grinning like a goofus all day long, overwhelmed by and grateful for all of the love for my baby girl. And the treats! My lans. I’ve posted all of the links at the bottom of this post so once we’re done talking about crackled Easter eggs, you can get your fill of those yums.

OK OK, but these eggs, you guys! Can we just take a moment for some oohing and aahing and egg gazing? Thank you for indulging me (and for sticking around if I haven’t scared you off with the phrase “egg gazing”).

I wouldn’t call myself a crafty person by any means. I mean, I try to do up my house like it could be on Pinterest or Design*Sponge, but in reality yours truly just doesn’t have the time/energy/cha-ching for that. So apologies to those who come visit my house but that poorly spray-painted side table and that picture frame from IKEA I tried to paint Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” on that really just looks like a bunch of random swirly-dos and that janky mobile I made for my future daughter’s nursery will have to do. But HEY — I made crackled Easter eggs and look how fancy they are. And they’re edible, too. I like to think that makes up for/distracts from everything else.

Lest you think these eggs are too complicated to make yourself, let us rewind to the previous paragraph about how I am not so crafty, and I yet I could do this. YOU can do this. So let’s do this together!

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caramelized spring onion + fennel pizza with beer crust #PizzaWeek

I’m officially less than four weeks out from my due date, you guys. It’s getting real. Really real. And the reaction to this impending reality of ours — that is, the oh-my-gosh-we-are-going-to-have-an-infant-we-need-to-keep-alive-soon reality — has manifested itself in very different ways.

My husband, for example, has taken to doing crazy things like organizing the basement and cleaning out the car. If you know my husband, you know this is so far out of character (to explain, in college he had a constant pile of junk next to his bed dubbed “Mount Elliott,” a tradition he has maintained since college). I am obviously taking as much advantage as possible of this boost of cleanliness and orderliness from him, but the craziest part of it all is I don’t even have to ask him to do these things. He is choosing to do them on his own — in fact, I didn’t even come up with the idea to clean out the cars. He’s a new man. I am blissfully (read: ignorantly) hoping this change sticks.

As for me? I’ve been busy inventing new ways to pick things up off the floor (because it’s kind of impossible to bend down when you have a watermelon for a belly) and cooking/baking up a storm. This yummy caramelized spring onion and fennel pizza on a homemade beer crust was my most recent accomplishment — well, that, and picking up a pair of socks off the floor using my big toe.

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tex mex baked blooming onion

I participated in my first March Madness bracket this year. I’m so unaware of what I’m doing I’m not even sure if the sentence I just typed means anything.

But basically, my small group decided to (lovingly, brotheringly, as we do) compete against each other this year. And so, I signed up for a bracket, clicked a bunch of buttons with college names on them and sent it in. Currently, I am in 8th place out of 10 (not surprising). But Elliott is in 9th. VICTORY FOR STEPH.

And again, if it’s any indication of how little I know about what goes on with this March Madness business, I just had to ask the husband when it is over. Apparently, the championship is this Monday. Which is why this recipe for a baked blooming onion comes at the perfect time.

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vanilla almond chai latte

Welcome to vanilla-almondy, cinnamon-sugary, spiced chai latte bliss.

If you’re anything like me, my friends and probably about two-thirds of the U.S. population, you have a slight addiction to coffee beverages from coffee shops. But it’s so yummy, says you. It’s like a daily treat, you justify. And by you I mean me. And then I look into my wallet and realize said treats are making my bank account weep, and not with happy tears.

So I’ve been trying to cut back on the number of trips I make to the drive-thru down the street (yes, I have a Caribou Coffee JUST DOWN THE STREET. It’s torture, you guys. #firstworldproblems) (also, all of these trips currently are for half-caff/decaf beverages, in case you worry I’m being insensitive to my fetus) and instead, make some tasty beverages from the home. Once I stumbled upon the recipe for this homemade latte and took a sip, I felt like I needed a microphone. So I could drop it.

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moroccan spiced nuts

It’s Monday. Again. Another day, another dollar. Good thing I made us some Moroccan spiced nuts for our energy needs.

Oof, that started out kind of Debbie Downer. Sorry about that. Good thing I made us some Moroccan spiced nuts for our energy needs!

Much better.

These little snackaroos are my new favorite thing to munch on, well, pretty much whenever I’m not eating a meal. So that would be around 10 a.m., when I get my first mid-morning hunger pangs because the oatmeal has worn off but lunch is still soooo far away; and then again at 1:30 p.m., because lunch was so delicious that I kind of just want to keep it going; and then again around 3:30 p.m., which I consider my official “snacktime” because everyone needs an official snacktime. Sometimes there’s also a pre-dinner snack. And then sometimes I need a little sum-sumthin’ savory for dessert.

Hey, I’m enjoying these extra snacktimes while I can (ya know, for the babe). Pretty soon I have a feeling I’ll be wanting sleep more than food, in which case we’ll be talking about my nap schedule instead of my snack schedule (JOKES. I wouldn’t do that to you. Though I did just give you a rundown of my snack regimen, so… I heart you. Thanks for sticking with me here).

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