cookies + creme dessert pizza

Please tell me I’m not the only one who grew up going to those Pizza Hut buffets and would always get the dessert pizza.

Let me take you on a walk down memory lane — er, buffet table. There was this huge, long table (or at least it felt that way for wee Stephanie) with a bazillion pizzas on it, and at the end was a dessert pizza. It had a cookie crust, and it was topped with some congealed fruit topping, a microwave sugar glaze and some streusel. In hindsight, it was probably the most disgusting thing ever, but at the time it was allIwantedever because it was dessert. Some things haven’t changed.

I have fond memories of those dessert pizza-eating days, and yet since the buffet location shut near my hometown it’s been a few and far day that I’ve indulged in a sweet cookie pizza. So when Hershey’s and Betty Crocker teamed up to create a new line of frostings and mixes and asked a few bloggers to create new recipes with them, I didn’t skip a beat before deciding that a dessert pizza was in order — and not one with congealed fruit topping on it, thankyouverymuch.

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pumpkin coconut yogurt waffles

Happy Friday, friends! I’m here with a bonus post for all y’alls because a) I like you and b) you need these waffles in your life this weekend. No later. Heck, if you want to make them for dinner tonight that would be cool with me. Just let me know what time to come over, mmk?

Anyway… so, waffles. To be honest, I was never really a big waffle fan until I started making them at home. I always order pancakes over waffles in restaurants, and while I did love me a toasted waffle from the freezer every once in a while (along with Pop-Tarts and Toaster Strudel; how I didn’t end up in a sugar coma on a daily basis is beyond me), it was really all about the pancakes.

Now? Now it’s all about the homemade waffles: crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, plain or chocolate chip or blueberry-filled or topped with syrup or pumpkin and coconut yogurt-flavored, the latter of which I have to say is quickly inching its way up the ladder to Favorite Waffledom.

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cracked wheat bread

Wheat bread and I, we’re likethis.

Almost every morning, wheat bread serves as the vehicle to getting peanut butter toast into my belly for breakfast. For lunch or dinner, it is oftentimes the base of my sandwiches, grilled cheesus, etc. And when I want dessert that is healthy but also not-so-healthy, a spread of Nutella or cookie butter on a slice of wheat bread comes to the rescue.

We’re basically besties. Also, now you know that my diet is like 80 percent toast.

But cracked wheat bread and I? That’s a whole different story. I’d never put cracked wheat into my bread before making this recipe from Red Star Yeast, let alone tried the stuff on its own. But ho ho hooooo, friends, let me tell you — it’s tasty. Dare I say so tasty, my trusted wheat bread may have some stiff competition.

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double chocolate s'mores whoopie pies

It may be mid-September but to me, s’mores season lives on long throughout the fall. And really, if I wanted a s’more in the middle of a snowstorm in January, NO ONE CAN STOP ME.

Sheesh, that was a little dramatic. Sorry about that. Back to the s’mores.

Whenever I think of s’mores I think of that scene in the movie, “The Sandlot” (a pivotal film in my childhood), when Ham explains to Smalls how to make a s’more. “First, you take the graham. You stick the chocolate on the graham. Then, you roast the mallow. When the mallow’s flamin’, you stick it on the chocolate. Then, you cover it with the other end. Then, you stuff.”

Genius, that Ham.

While these double chocolate s’mores whoopie pies aren’t made quite so properly, the stuffing part is still intact. And I think Ham would be OK with that. I hope you are, too.

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girl versus dough turns four {giveaway}

(This giveaway is closed.) I cannot believe that this week (tomorrow, to be precise) marks the four-year birthday/anniversary/blogiversary/blogobirthday (?) of this here blog.

So much has happened between then and now, it’s insane. When I first started I had no idea what I was doing, how to bake a loaf of bread, how to wield a camera or what this bloggy business had in store for me. There have been new jobs, new homes, a new kitten, a lot of kitchen failures (and successes), some sweat, some tears, some memories made and friendships built. In four years this blog has gone from a fun little hobby to a full-fledged career that I love.

Like I said, insane.

And awesome.

Now is when I get sappy and tell you that I couldn’t have gotten to this moment in this space without you guys. But I’m totally serious. There have been several times when I’ve wondered why I’m even doing this whole ding-dang thing, if it’s even worth it, getting ready to throw in the towel — but then I remember my readers, my blogging friends, the food blog community, all of you who inspire me. And I remember that this space is incredibly special to me and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

I wish I could meet you all in person and give you big ol’ bear hugs and tell you how much I love you (in the least creepy way possible). But instead, I shall give you a gift. Actually, several gifts. Because what says “thank you for being here and for being awesome and for putting up with my ramblings and my weirdness and for trying my recipes and liking them, really really liking them” than a giveaway of gifts, amiright??

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blackened salmon + mango tacos

There’s this thing about the new house I can’t handle, and that thing is landscaping.

Don’t get me wrong — the landscaping itself is b-e-a-oootiful (the previous owners had it professionally done #fancy), but you guys, it scares the crap out of me. Maybe it’s because I tried my hand at growing my own herbs for the first time this year and I failed miserably with the basil, but I’m terrified I’m going to wake up one morning and all the plants/pots/flowers/bushes/grass are going to be dead. I’ve had nightmares about it.

In other news, my husband thinks I’m insane. I can’t say I disagree (Type-A maniac, right here).

Here’s the kicker: We have an in-ground sprinkler system and these little drain spouts that go directly into the potted plants, so the whole thing takes care of itself. And yet I’m still sitting here, biting my nails as I stare at the landscaping praying it won’t die on me just when the old homeowners decide to stop by and question who these lunatics are to whom they sold their beloved, perfectly landscaped house.

I know this all comes across as a humblebrag, but I’m seriously not trying to make it so. If it were up to me, I’d have one tree and one pot of flowers in the yard and a garden gnome figurine and that’s it. But that wouldn’t look as nice. So into the landscaping fire I go.

But enough about my crazy paranoia over outdoor decorating. Let’s get to the tacos.

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