Not Your Mom's Egg Casserole | girlversusdough.com @girlversusdough

In my internet life, it may appear that I am always making new, creative meals for me and my family come breakfast, lunch or dinner. That I never eat the same thing twice. That I never eat a frozen burrito I found at the bottom of my freezer or the last five dino-shaped chicken nuggets from the giant bag I bought for my three-year-old’s dinners or the same, humble whole wheat toast with hurried swipes of peanut butter on top.

In my real life, I think you can guess what is actually true. And breakfast in our household is the worst culprit. That peanut butter toast? I eat it almost every. single. day. And if I don’t, I’m eating scrambled eggs. And that’s about as crazy as it gets when it comes to our breakfast routine.

Here’s why: Because I’m awfully sleepy in the morning. Maybe it’s just me? Maybe I’m the only one who stumbles down the stairs in the AM like Frankenstein’s bride, arms outstretched at the coffee maker willing it to make me coffee immediately? And then, no less than five minutes later, I’m slinging cereal and cutting fruit into itty-bitty pieces and trying to calm the usual morning chaos so I can please, please just have one little sip of coffee before this day starts and suddenly it’s 8 a.m. and the kitchen looks like it exploded and everyone else has eaten breakfast but me and that’s when my old reliable pal peanut butter toast makes its appearance.

It’s times like these when I am grateful for my friend Melissa, who saves the morning for me in the form of Not Your Mom’s Egg Casserole.

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Creamy Rigatoni with Sausage and Fennel | girlversusdough.com @girlversusdough

This pasta. This is last-meal kind of pasta. This is the kind of pasta you eat when you don’t just want any old variety of carbs and cheese — you want grown-up, legit, every-bite-is-a-flavor-explosion kind of pasta. This is it.

I happened upon this recipe for creamy rigatoni with sausage and fennel (oooo, even sounds fancy) about a month or so ago when I was tired of our run-of-the-mill spaghetti night. Don’t get me wrong — homegirl loves her classic old school marinara sauce and long noodles that wrap around a fork combo, with an extra sprinkling or five of grated Parmesan. I’m not above it. But sometimes it just doesn’t hit the pasta spot.

This pasta? With its creamy tomato sauce that hugs every bite of al dente rigatoni paired with sweet Italian sausage and hints of crunchy veg all topped with a waterfall of fresh-grated salty Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley? THIS pasta hits every spot, and then some.

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Overnight Cinnamon Rolls | girlversusdough.com @girlversusdough

Hi.

Hello.

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Like, oh, almost a year. How are you? I missed you. It’s good to be here with you again.

So much has happened since we last chatted. I had a baby (another girl, named Adelaide (Addy) Scout, who is the sweetest little one you will ever meet and she’s already 10 months old and almost walking and what the heck why does time move so fast). We settled into a new home. I’ve been working for General Mills as a recipe development consultant and video storyboard artist (sounds fancy, but basically I draw pictures on an iPad of pretend food and try to make it look somewhat professional) part time, while also taking care of my littles. Avery, who is almost four years old (WHAT I KNOW), has been going to preschool twice a week and growing like a weed — but really. She’s in 5T clothes and she’s not even four years old yet. Anyone want all of the 3T clothes I bought that she never wore? Ugh.

Let’s see, what else… Elliott, my dear husband, has continued working as a physician assistant at an emergency room in the Twin Cities. It’s hard work and he’s often exhausted (and I’m often exhausted from working my job and taking care of small people all day long) so our hobbies these days include crashing on the couch to watch The Alienist and Silicon Valley re-runs and dreaming big dreams for our family. ← THAT is so very vague and elusive and I apologize for that, but I have to withhold details until we’re ready. But trust, I will share everything when the timing is right.

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Lemon Buttermilk Sugar Cookie Tart | girlversusdough.com @girlversusdough

Today’s post is officially my last, y’all. It’s bittersweet, but we have much to look forward to on this side of the screen: Easter brunch, for one (in which this lemon buttermilk sugar cookie tart will make an appearance), springtime, my mom is coming up to visit-slash-help us prep for baby, and OH YEAH — BABY. Baby girl #2 is due any day now, and we are all at once anxious and excited and terrified and thankful. And I’m just large and in charge (except that I’m not in charge of when I actually will have this baby, so hey baby, feel free to come out anytime!). If you’re into bebe things, you can follow me on my personal Instagram (@stephmwise) for all the updates.

But first things first — this tart. It’s exactly what your Easter dessert menu needs — a soft sugar cookie crust topped with a creamy sweet-tart lemon buttermilk filling. Simple, decadent, delicious and gluten free, too! We’re winning on all counts here.

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Salmon and Dill Pancake Blinis | girlversusdough.com @girlversusdough

Popping in on this Minnesota March-y Monday (which basically means it’s anywhere between 30 and 50 degrees F, a confusing time for coats vs. jackets, and sometimes it’s sunny but mostly it’s cloudy and blah and we are ALL ready for spring, amiright) with a recipe for mini pancake blini with smoked salmon and dill and creme fraiche! Sounds so fancy, doesn’t it? But it’s not. I mean, we’re essentially topping a pancake with some semi-fancy-sounding stuff that you can find at Target and then serve it for a semi-fancy brunch or dinner party that’s actually not fancy because the best kinds of brunches and dinner parties involve friends that know you well enough to have them come over in sweatpants. And you answer the door sans makeup with an off-kilter top knot. That’s true friendship, and that’s exactly how I want to serve up these mini pancake blini.

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Heart Shaped Chocolate Strawberry Cake | girlversusdough.com @girlversusdough

Nothing like coming to you with a little Valentine’s Day dessert inspiration the day before! I hope you’ll forgive me when I tell you it’s a chocolate strawberry cake that is halfway homemade but all seriously, truly, decadently delicious. It’s exactly the kind of dessert you want for the day — chocolate-y, a little extra special and made with love (but not so much that you’re in the kitchen all day long and leave no time to hang with your main squeeze/BFF/awesome self).

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