monte cristo crescent ring.

Oh yes. Yes, I did.

See, there is nothing more festive than a food baked into the shape of a wreath. NOTHING, I tell you. So go ahead and make fun of me for getting all up in the holiday spirit — but you’ll be missing out on this magic.

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double chocolate raspberry muffins.

Before this relationship goes any further, there’s something you should know about me: I’m not a fan of the chocolate-raspberry combo. Something about the mixture of tart raspberries with any type of chocolate — milk, dark, ESPECIALLY white (which, blech, isn’t even REAL chocolate… who thought this was a good idea? A plague on thy house!*) — eeks me out. Frankly, it’s disgusting. It rivals only berries mixed in ice cream, which I also find a travesty.

And now, if you don’t want to be friends anymore, I understand. Just know that my hatred for chocolate and raspberries is equal to my love of all things chocolate and peanut butter, and I do share. So, there’s that.

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toasted coconut monkey bread.

Time for another tale of “How Things Didn’t Go As Planned.” Gather ’round!

Truth: This toasted coconut monkey bread totally didn’t turn out how I intended. I was imagining an ooey, gooey, coconut-y bread with bits of buttery coconut flakes on top. The buttery coconut bits remained, sure, but the bread itself? Not so ooey-gooey (and not so purdy, either). That said, it’s one of the tastiest breads I’ve ever made. It’s light, and tastes distinctly of coconut, and once you bite into the toasted buttery coconut topping, you want to ride a magic carpet ride of coconut bliss to a whole new world of All Things Coconut and never return. So there’s an element of surprise to this bread, I guess. You can set the bar low with its humble appearance, so when your friends take a bite, they’ll be wowed. Wowed, I tell you (though if this bread looked half as yummy as it tastes, I bet they’d still be impressed by its flavor).

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vanilla glaze in action.

I’ve got wanderlust. And I’ve got it bad.

I want to go to a place where the sun shines every single day. I want to go to a place with ancient ruins and mile-long farmers markets. I want to go to a place where they pronounce scones “skawns” and where they sit and drink tea together instead of thumbing their smartphones.

For now, I guess I’ll settle for just the scones.

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triple chocolate chip challah.

Let’s make some lists. I love lists. You probably do, too. So let’s list it up.

Things I’m good at doing:

1. Making brownies while watching “Mad Men” and not missing a minute of it.
2. Eating said brownies while making dreamy-eyed faces at Mr. Draper.
3. Feeding my cat.
4. Sleeping through train horns and thunderstorms.
5. Daydreaming.
6. Twitter-ing when I should be doing anything else.
7. Walking.
8. Drawing bubble letters.
9. Wearing sweatpants.

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almond-apricot coffee cake.

Let’s have a heart-to-heart.

When the going gets tough, I eat a lot of chocolate. Specifically, brownies. Specifically, frozen brownies with peanut butter on top. Maybe with some ice cream on the side.

When the going gets tough, I kick it out with Jillian Michaels, or with some downward dog, or by riding my bike until my hair is glued to my sweaty face and passersby start avoiding my gaze because I’m giving myself pep talks while pedaling up the hills.

When the going gets tough, I call my mama, or I watch “You’ve Got Mail” and give my cat a bear hug — or, I bake.

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