Nut-Crusted Cranberry Tart | girlversusdough.com @girlversusdough

It’s nearly the weekend and I’m very excited about it. This weekend doesn’t necessarily hold any special plans, unless you count sleeping in (until, like, 7:30, let’s be real) and wearing PJs past noon and maybe eating this Nut-Crusted Cranberry Tart for breakfast as plans — in which case, I have many many plans for this weekend. I hope you have similar plans for yourself (that include sleeping in way past 7:30).

This beauty of a cranberry tart comes straight from Martha Stewart and is actually a sneak preview recipe from her upcoming season of “Martha Bakes” on PBS, which airs this weekend (another reason I’m excited for the weekend)! So click through and scroll on down for the exclusive recipe (and maybe also more ramblings from yours truly about the gloriousness that is wearing PJs past noon).

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Thank You Day with Merci | girlversusdough.com @girlversusdough

Gratitude is something we often have for others, but is not something we often express. I know in our own little family we do our best to say “thank you” as often as we can — it’s important to us to know that we are grateful for each other and thankful for what we do for each other, no matter how simple the act.

But nobody’s perfect. And in the hustle and bustle of life, we often forget to say those two words to those we care about, even if we feel thankful in our hearts. This season of life for us is especially busy — we are building a house, we are working, we are traveling, we are heading from errands to meetings to play dates and back again. I know you probably feel the same way, too. But maybe it’s time to take a moment, just one moment, to show someone in your life that you care about them — with chocolate.

And what better day to do it than today, on National Thank You Day?

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Caramel Coconut Chocolate Chip Bars | girlversusdough.com @girlversusdough

I am sitting on the floor of our apartment writing to you to let you know two things: 1) We are alive! (despite the fact that I’m waist-deep in moving boxes) and 2) These Caramel Coconut Chocolate Chip Bars? They’re INCREDIBLE. And they’re gluten free, too!

So maybe that’s more than two things, but the point is this: When you decide to move your entire house into a two-bedroom apartment for a short time, or you need an easy and simple and delicious dessert to feed everyone who is helping you move (MANY BLESSINGS TO YOU, Mom and Dad), or you just have an insane hankering for chocolate chip cookies with a little extra something, these bars are for you.

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Blackberry Black Bottom Pie | girlversusdough.com @girlversusdough

The only thing better than pie, in my opinion, is a pie with a layer of chocolate at the bottom. And that’s exactly what this Blackberry Black Bottom Pie delivers.

It also happens to deliver a creamy cheesecake-like layer, as well as a topping of fresh blackberries tossed in a sweet compote. All of this is placed on top of a flaky, buttery crust. It’s exactly what your weekend needs (if you can wait that long). You’re welcome.

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15+ Summer Bucket List Recipes | girlversusdough.com @girlversusdough

The school bell might be ringing soon and the sun might be going down sooner and yes, it might even feel a little chilly at night (which I secretly but not-so-secretly love) but you know what? Summer isn’t over until we say it’s over. For me, there are still several weeks left before we can officially say goodbye to this carefree, bountiful season and hello to apples and pumpkins and colored leaves and chunky scarves and eventually to the Season That Shall Not Be Named – though department stores would have you think otherwise with their Halloween decorations and Christmas music already (TOO SOON) — so while we still have these last few precious weeks, let’s soak them up.

Let’s put our feet in the water. Actually, let’s jump in the water with our clothes on.

Let’s drink all the iced coffees and lick all the ice cream cones and get our hands sticky with popsicle juice.

Let’s run through sprinklers and roll the windows down and feel the wind in our hair and perfect our farmer’s tans and check off all the things left on our summer bucket lists. For me, it’s all of the above plus making and eating a few of my favorite summertime-lovin’ recipes from the blog. I’ve got my work cut out for me but hey! There is still time. Will you join me in making the most of it?

Blueberry Lemon Muffin Bread | girlversusdough.com @girlversusdough

First up on this recipe version of a summer bucket list: Blueberry Lemon Muffin Bread. It’s sweet and full of juicy blueberries and fresh lemon and it’s just like eating the season, but with a streusel topping. GOALS.

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Toasted Marshmallow Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwiches | girlversusdough.com @girlversusdough

There might be such a thing as eating too many ice cream sandwiches. But there is no such thing as eating too many toasted marshmallow peanut butter ice cream sandwiches.

I won’t admit to you how many of these things I’ve eaten without blinking in the last few days, but the answer is greater than 1 and less than 100, to narrow it down. The point is, my heart now beats for a sandwich, and it’s a sandwich in the form of ice cream and cookies.

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