Brown Butter Apricot White Chocolate Blondies | girlversusdough.com @girlversusdough

I think I’ve jinxed us.

I remembering thinking to myself the other week, “Wow, none of us really get sick all that often. That’s kind of nice.” And then, suddenly, it was a whirlwind of illness. First my mom, then me, then my husband, then my dad, then my brother (and probably a few more people who came in contact with any of us and inadvertently caught the nasty bug, and to whom I sincerely apologize).

Thankfully my daughter was spared, and I thought to myself, “Wow, thank goodness Avery was spared from this horrible virus. That’s kind of nice.”

And she continued to be so. But then last week, she caught something else — teething. Or a really horrible cold. It’s impossible to know the culprit sometimes, but in either case, we’ve had a very sad and sick little one around the house the past few days.

I tried to take her for a walk — maybe some fresh air would do her good. It didn’t. I tried to take her to Target to look at something other than the walls inside our house (and maybe to get Mom a drink from Starbucks, who can say). She fussed. I tried to cuddle her and give her sips of water and milk from time to time. She resisted.

And so, I have resorted to giving it time. Time will heal her. And while we wait, we bake.

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Twelve Months of Motherhood {A Baby Update} | girlversusdough.com @girlversusdough

And just like that, my little one is one.

I’ll continue to say it because it’s just so true: Time flies. It really does. I swear I blinked and yesterday Avery was born. I blinked again, and today she is one year old. Just a moment ago I was the most sleep deprived I’ve ever been in my life, waking up every couple of hours day and night to nurse/swaddle/try to figure out why she’s crying this time (or maybe it was me crying? I forget) while simultaneously cuddling the smallest, sweetest bundle of baby joy. And then, a moment later, she’s wobbly and walking and pointing at “birdies” and clapping her hands and throwing her first toddler tantrums and calling for “mamamamama” and giving me the best hugs and kisses I’ve ever received in my life.

If there is a thesis statement to this post, it is this: Motherhood is the single most difficult and amazing role I’ve ever played. And I am so blessed to be able to play it for my sweet Avery Kate.

Twelve Months of Motherhood {A Baby Update} | girlversusdough.com @girlversusdough

Oooooookay, so before this gets too sappy, I’ll tell you about her party: Um, we didn’t have it. My mom came into town the week before Avery’s birthday to visit and on Thursday night, she very quickly came down with a case of nausea and the shivers. A few hours later, she had the stomach flu. I’ll spare details. Because it got worse: By Friday night, my birthday, it had taken me down. And by Saturday morning, Avery’s birthday and the day of her party, it had knocked down my husband, too. Thankfully we were all pretty well recovered by Sunday, but I also had a fridge stocked full of uneaten cake and appetizers and, on the counter, a few boxes and bags of unopened streamers, pink polka dot plates and yellow pom poms.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Tart | girlversusdough.com @girlversusdough

Good news, friends! It is impossible to eat too much chocolate and peanut butter. I know this because I’ve eaten obscene amounts of it in my day and I’m still here to tell you about this chocolate peanut butter pretzel tart — which is basically a giant, no-bake peanut butter cup with a pretzel/graham cracker/secret ingredient (oooooh, suspense!) crust.

This tart was inspired by two things: One, my aforementioned obsession with chocolate and peanut butter, and two, a very similar tart I had at a local place called Cafe Latte. If you’ve ever been, you know they are well-known for their desserts (including that tres leches cake that I inhale every time I order it). And if you’ve never been there, well, just know that they make some amazingly delicious desserts. The last time I was there, I ordered a peanut butter tart and I kid you not when I say that was months ago and I’ve thought about it nearly every day since, it was so good.

And so, last week I decided enough was enough. I needed that tart in my life again and I could not wait one more day. And in just a few hours, it was so. Except I amped up the crust a bit to make it all salty/savory/SECRET INGREDIENT-y because… well, is there any reason to justify this? I think not.

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Sriracha Peanut Kettle Corn | girlversusdough.com @girlversusdough

I’m no Shakespeare (duh). But if I was, I would wax poetic all day long about popcorn: specifically, this popcorn. It’s sweet and spicy and totally addictive and, well, should I compare it to a summer’s day? It is more lovely and more temperate — AND SCENE.

Truly, though, if your love of the popcorn is anything remotely near the level that mine is (that is to say, I eat a bowl of it at least every other day, true story), I implore you to mix things up for your next bowlful and make this sriracha peanut kettle corn. It might even make you bust out into sonnet, too.

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Matcha Mint Cookies & Cream Ice Cream | girlversusdough.com @girlversusdough

↑ THAT IS VEGAN. ↑

Sorry, don’t mean to shout. Except that I do. Because totally vegan yet totally delicious matcha mint cookies and cream ice cream is worth shouting about. There is no other way to convey its tastiness except for maybe sharing the fact that I’ve been eating it every day by the scoopful (more accurately, scoops-ful).

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Mini Meyer Lemon Coconut Scones | girlversusdough.com @stephmwise

There are so many reasons why I love what I do, this crazy-fun food blogging thing — including the fact that I get to make and eat things like mini Meyer lemon coconut scones, take photos of them, write about them and share the recipe with you (and if I could actually share the scones with you in real life, maybe in my living room with a cup of coffee in hand, too, that would MAKE MY DAY). But I also love it because of the people I’ve met and the wonderful community of food bloggers I get to call my friends.

One such dear friend is getting married in just a few short weeks. And so when this community can’t be there in person to celebrate our friend, we instead rally with an online bridal shower of epic proportions. I might be bringing these scones, but they are only a small portion of the mouthwatering yums that are being brought to the virtual table. And the love we all have for this lady is pretty epic, too.

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