Pumpkin Cranberry Flaxseed Crisps | girlversusdough.com @girlversusdough

I took this weekend as a time for me to reflect on so many parts of my life — a task that was all at once exhilarating and exhausting (and a bit of a challenge with a two-year-old constantly in tow). But with the impending changes to our family on the horizon, it’s time I start planning for the future, both immediate and long-term. I apologize for leaving that so cryptic, but just know that this blog and all of you dear readers and what everything I do means to me was a big part of my time in reflection, because I don’t take this space lightly — even when I say things like “much droolage,” as you’ll note below. Each time I set to write a blog post I envision myself writing a love letter, to my invisible online friends and to the food I created to share here. These pumpkin cranberry flaxseed crisps, in particular, were easy to write about with loving, adoring words. If you try them, I think you’ll wholeheartedly agree.

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Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana | girlversusdough.com @girlversusdough

I really wish I could talk about something else besides the weather because it’s usually a lazy go-to topic, but you guyssss! It’s fall! It’s finally fall. I’m too excited not to talk about it.

The air is crisp, the leaves are changing, we have plans to go apple picking this weekend and all I want to do right now is cozy up in a sweater and a scarf and enjoy a warm bowlful of this slow cooker zuppa toscana. YES x 1000. This is my spirit season.

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Minty Lemonade Slush | girlversusdough.com @girlversusdough

Our little family is heading to the Minnesota State Fair today (barn animals! crowds! butter sculptures! foods on sticks!), as is tradition. And it’s the unofficial official last week of summer. This is a big deal, you guys. Let’s soak it all up, minty lemonade slush style.

This tasty bev is actually in part a homage to our dear state fair, as every year I’ve gone I’ve made a beeline to the Holy Land Deli concession stand in the International Bazaar (near the haunted house and the dairy building, naturally) where they sell the most delicious mint lemonade you could ever have. It’s thirst-quenching, it’s refreshing, it’s sweet, it’s minty, it’s tart, it’s everything you always wanted in a summertime drink. I’ll be making that beeline again today for sure, but to know I can also just walk into my kitchen and have the same experience is a heavenly revelation.

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Spiralized Zucchini Nachos | girlversusdough.com @girlversusdough

Nachos: Let’s discuss.

How do you like ’em? Are you the kind of person who likes every chip to have equal amounts of all of the toppings (um hai, that’s me, Miss Perfectionist/Slightly OCD)? Do you like plain chips with melted cheese, no extra toppings needed? Do you like real cheese or that fake hella-yellow cheese sauce made from… I don’t even know, not cheese? These are the important questions of our time.

For me, these spiralized zucchini nachos are exactly how I want nachos to be: Extra loaded with toppings. Equal distribution. Mega flavor. Lots of (REAL) cheese. And oh so easy!

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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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Sparkling Mango Chili Lime Agua Fresca | girlversusdough.com @girlversusdough

Ahhh, Monday. We meet again.

Does anyone else feel a) like summer is going by WAY too quickly, b) like they haven’t had nearly enough ice cream sandwiches for the season and/or c) like they need a vacation after every busy weekend? And also d) like they need this Sparkling Mango Chili Lime Agua Fresca in their life?

I definitely feel all of the above. Especially the latter. Because one sip of this refreshingly sweet, spicy, sparkly drink and you’ll feel like you should have been drinking these all summer long. Good thing there are still a few weeks left!

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