crumbly, delicious, get-in-my-belly muffin.

For those days when we can’t give our best. For those days when we’d rather wear the sweatpants and sweatshirt instead of the skirt and heels. For those days when eight hours of “Downton Abbey” sounds so much better than eight hours of being social. For those days when making a sandwich is about all the exercise we can do for the day. For those days when we’d rather curl up on the couch and rest easy, and let tomorrow be the day when we go get ’em again.

These muffins are for those days (and, really, any other day you want to eat something delicious).

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sea salt & pepper crackers.

So.

The next time you’re out with me and we decide to make a trip to, say, the grocery store (I’m a cheap date), and I want to take a stroll through the snack aisle, wherein I discover shelves upon shelves of boxes of yummy crackers, and I tell you that WE NEED TO BUY SOME because these cheese ones look like straws! and these have little animal faces on them! and the lady on the front of this box looks really happy munching on that cracker and I want to be just like her! please kindly direct me out of the store. Then remind me that I wrote this blog post about that one time I made crackers, and how I vowed never again in all the years of my life to buy another box of crackers because they are too darned easy to make at home and taste a million bazillion times better anyway and I can just look at myself in the mirror while blissfully munching on homemade crackers instead of staring at some stranger lady doing it, thankyouverymuch.

Ahem. (I’ve had some coffee.)

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7

sweet potato zucchini bread.

I’ve been having a lot of real-life, grownup talks with friends lately. Conversations full of hugs, laughs, tears, looks of understanding and empathy, prayer. We’re all in different stages of life — some with kids, some without, some married, some single, some with or without houses, homes or Homes (that is to say, where we belong), some with broken families, families that were once broken and have been rebuilt, some with crumbling foundations and others firmly on solid ground — but at the same time, we’re all navigating this Thing They Call Your Twenties together. And all of us feel a little misled, too, that we were to believe this time would be easy, fun, carefree and inconsequential (not to say that it isn’t, sometimes). And yet, it’s seemingly the most defining part of our lives (I can’t say for sure, though, because I’m not beyond it yet).

For some of us, we’re going to make mistakes. We’re going to get bruised or beaten by the pebbles, rocks and boulders life throws at us. Some of us are going to be down for the count for a while, wondering what we did wrong and figuring out how not to fall again in the future — a lesson in which some of us will succeed, some not. Some of us are going to get right back up again and keep trudging through until we get to a better place. Some of us may even breeze through this decade and have it all “figured out” — lucky them. Some of us aren’t so lucky — or maybe we are. Because we have to endure the struggles, we have to grit and bear the growing pains and when things do get easier (and they do, and they will), we are wiser and stronger than we were before.

And through it all, we have good company. We have friends and family who get it. We might not have the answers, but we have shoulders to lean on in the waiting. And for me, in the quieter moments, I have the kitchen, too — just me, my oven and a few hours to measure, sift, stir, pour, bake and slice.

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peach doughnuts with coconut.

I’m generally not a doughnut person. I’m usually not a white chocolate person, either. And I don’t often eat peaches (which is a huge travesty, I know, but it is what it is).

But after a loooooooong weekend of painting, toilet-fixing, painting, a few baking failures, painting, eye-twitching, painting, hair-pulling, painting, mind-losing, oh and painting*… all I wanted was a doughnut. With white chocolate. And peaches. And some toasted coconut for good measure**.

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21

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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7

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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