homemade cocktail rye bread + reuben dip

Tell me I’m not the only one who grew up on those mini cocktail rye breads at holiday gatherings. You know the ones — they’re square-shaped and, well, mini and they perform like champs when it comes to bringing spinach dip from the bowl to your mouth. Sometimes they also make fun lil’ cucumber sammies. I love ’em.

I love them so much, in fact, that I fear the day when I will need them for a party and they will be all out at the grocery store (which probably will never happen, because I always see stacks and stacks of them by the deli counter, BUT STILL); or the day when I have a craving for them but there’s a blizzard outside (may it never be again this winter, though); or, more likely, when I’m too lazy to put on real clothes and walk out the door but I still want the cocktail rye bread yum yums.

This is my brain on pregnant.

Anyway, that’s how this homemade cocktail rye bread came to be. And the reuben dip is a bonus recipe because, well, what good is cocktail rye bread without a dip? You’re welcome.

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Mom's Egg Salad -- a simple and easy egg salad recipe inspired by my mom! Put this on sandwiches or greens for a tasty lunch. @girlversusdough #girlversusdough #eggrecipe #lunchrecipe

I thought about naming this recipe something like “Smoked Paprika Egg Salad,” or “Simple Egg Salad with Chives.” You know, something unique-ish and impersonal and potentially more SEO-friendly, blech.

But that wouldn’t do this recipe justice, because the truth is that it is my mom’s egg salad recipe. And I think that title alone speaks volumes.

Between my mother’s recipes, my grandmother’s recipes and even my great-grandmother’s recipes (which are currently a mishmash of half-German, half-English chicken scratch on a handful of torn-out notepad pages that my family members are trying to translate into a cookbook to share with everyone, which I so hope works out because I reallllly miss her Black Forest cherry cake), I could fill this blog with posts until the end of time, no joke. It’s funny, because I never thought I grew up in a particularly culinary family — and in the classical sense, I didn’t. But I most definitely grew up around good food: food that has created memories and has withstood the test of time.

Like my Oma’s aforementioned Black Forest cherry cake that she would make for holidays, and my grandfather would always steal a maraschino cherry off the top before she’d serve it so it always looked a little funny once it made it to the table for dessert. Or my grandma’s boiled beef, which I admit is the worst name in the world but it is truly some of the most tender and delicious meat I’ve ever eaten and probably ever will eat and it never goes to waste at our family dinners. Or my dad’s chili — which, as you already know, is so good it has the potential of creating a booming business.

And of course, there’s my mama’s egg salad. It’s so simple, and yet it’s one of my favorite things that she makes.

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blackberry lacto-fermented lemonade

(This giveaway is closed.)

Do not be afeared by the name of this recipe. Do not, also, be afeared when I tell you that this drink tastes like blackberry lemonade with a yogurt-y tang.

Do trust when I tell you that this drink is, in fact, super duper delicious and if you stick with me here, I have a fun lil’ giveaway that will give you access to said deliciousness and other deliciousnesses, as well.

But let’s back up a bit. My dear gal pal Julia from The Roasted Root (P.S. you should go to there and be ready to drool your face off) wrote a cookbook — but not just any cookbook. She wrote about those fancy probiotic drinks like kombucha, kefir, ginger beer and of course, lacto-fermented lemonade that you can make AT HOME. From scratch. My mind nearly exploded from all the talent that went into creating this book. But I kept my cool because, hello, blackberry lemonade was to be made.

If you flip through the pages of the book, you will find easy lessons on how to make your own ginger beer, or yogurt, or this lacto-fermented lemonade which, according to Julia, is chockfull of good-for-you probiotics. And I really do mean easy. For lacto-fermented lemonade, all it takes is some fresh lemon juice, water, sugar and whey (which is basically that watery liquid that forms on top of yogurt), a couple days’ patience and you’re golden.

But we go even further here and add a fresh blackberry pulp and oh my lans, I am not lying when I tell you I drink this beverage at least thrice a day, it’s so tasty. It’s almost gone and that gives me the sads.

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one-pot pasta with tomatoes + basil

(This giveaway is closed.)

We’ve got a one-pot winner of a dinner over here. Just an FYI.

These past couple of weeks have been kinda sorta insanely busy, to say the least. And it’s in these moments — when I’m so frazzled that I forget to brush my teeth or take off my slippers before leaving the house, yeeaahhh — that simple, easy-to-throw-together meals restore my sanity. Because 1) they’re food, and I like to eat and 2) I don’t have to think about dinner as another to-do on my list. Just put it in a pot/oven/microwave, let it cook, done and done. Time to fill my tummy.

Of course, oftentimes this means dinner comes from a thin box tucked in the back of the freezer containing a frozen disc of something that starts with a “p” and ends in “izza,” or from a box that’s been tucked away in the pantry for a year containing uncooked noodles and a powdery substance they call cheese… or a burrito. From Chipotle. With a generous heap of guac, thankyouverymuch.

And then there’s this one-pot pasta thing which, until recently, was only a good idea I’d heard about or saw pinned a bazillion times on Pinterest. Now, this one-pot pasta thing? It’s a great idea that I’ve (finally) put on our dinner table. And I have a feeling it’ll be back again and again when I need something healthy/my sanity to stay intact.

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Note: Thank you all SO MUCH for your kind words and enthusiasm about my eCookbook news! I’m sorry I wasn’t able to respond to everyone individually but know that each and every comment means the world to me. If you haven’t joined the Facebook team yet, you still can!

garlicky kale with fire-roasted tomatoes + cheesy brown rice farina "grits"

Oof, that title is a mouthful.

And the recipe is, too. A delicious, delicious mouthful.

First things first: Have you ever tried farina? I grew up with the wheat cereal version from the blue and white box with the boy on the front who’s SUPER happy to be eating a bowl of it — which I assume can only be true if he added about a half-cup of sugar and a few dashes of cinnamon on top, as I did. It was the only way that stuff would taste good and not anything remotely like slop.

Maybe it’s because I wasn’t quite aware of its versatility as a youth or I got really, really overloaded on all the sugar (nahhhh, that can’t be it), but I haven’t had a bowl of farina in many moons. That is, until I was introduced to brown rice farina. And everything changed.

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sugar snap pea salad with miso dressing

Life happenings/observations lately:

1) It’s been cold here. You know this. But what you don’t know is that because of said cold, I’ve upped my not-leaving-the-house-today attractiveness by wrapping my yoga pants/baggy sweatshirt-clad self in a blanket, kind of like an adult-size burrito, and walking/sitting like that inside all day. SO COOL, I am. But also, not freezing.

2) If someone could invent a completely non-alcoholic red wine that actually tastes like decent red wine and could ship me about a trillion bottles of it, I’d be so, so happy. Non-alcoholic Manhattans would be great, too. Oh, and sushi. BECAUSE THEY’RE ALL I WANT. Sigh.

3) Can we talk about maternity leggings? I’m not going to lie, guys, they’re amazing. Good talk.

4) I’m turning into that person who watches — nay, binges on — Friday Night Lights greatly in part because I have a weird marriage-crush on the Taylors but also: Tim Riggins. The end.

5) I made this salad, and it was like the salad angels opened wide the heavens and rained down into the salad all the magical deliciousness that a salad could possibly have. The end again.

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