Irish Brown Bread | girlversusdough.com @stephmwise

If there is anything the Irish know best — well, besides a well-brewed pint of beer and how to make cabbage actually taste good — it’s their bread.

I say this not even being a huge fan of soda bread. It’s just too dry and boring for me, and I’ll always associate it with that one time in fourth grade that I tried to make it for a school project (about… the Irish? I don’t even know) and it baked like a solid rock (and tasted like I’d imagine one would, too). I won’t even talk about that other time in eighth grade when I tried making kimchi. Oy.

Now I know (I hope) my skills in the ways of bread baking have come a long way since my preteen days, but it’s just one of those memories I can’t shake. So when I decided to give Irish brown bread a try, I did so with much trepidation.

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Salted Caramel Cashew Latte | girlversusdough.com @stephmwise

Good friends, I’ve decided, are like salted caramel cashew lattes: They’re sweet, unique, nice to hang out with and give you that added pick-me-up you need to get through the day. And you want to spend as much time with them as possible.

This past week has been so good for my soul. Between a few social gatherings with girlfriends, my husband having the week off of work and these lattes coming into existence, it’s been a bright spot in an otherwise dreary winter (but we’re not talking about that, remember?). It’s just been one of those times when I am extra grateful for the good in my life, you know? That I have my health, a supportive family, sweet friends and a roof over my head. I never want to take these things for granted.

That especially goes for my health. Because I am the worst at handling even the slightest inkling of illness, I make every effort to achieve balance in my diet so I can stay healthy and, therefore, be my best self in all other avenues of my life. You know hangry? Oh, do I know hangry. I also know under-caffeinated, which is equally unpretty, and so I do my best to avoid both at all times.

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French Toast Bagels | girlversusdough.com @stephmwise

When I was a youth, I hated breakfast. I don’t know if it was because I hadn’t tasted the glorious taste of coffee yet (that was at age 15 and I haven’t gone a single day since without it, save a few weeks early in my pregnancy when I couldn’t stomach it but I’d rather not talk about those dark, caffeine-free days), or because I never knew the magic that is a soft scramble or over-easy egg, or because I had one too many run-ins with those chewy chocolate chip granola bars that, at the time, I sort of liked but now I can’t really stand because I’m a food blogger/food snob and I need me only homemade granola bars, thankyouverymuch.

Now that I’m old and wise (er, older and wiser), breakfast has become my favorite meal of the day. I crave it before I go to bed at night. I dream of it in my sleep. I plan my breakfasts days in advance with great zeal — not even kidding. And that’s why I was extra-excited about my breakfast plans this week: Because this week, every breakfast is a French toast bagel. (!!!)

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Parker House Rolls and KitchenAid 11-Cup Food Processor {Giveaway} | girlversusdough.com @stephmwise

(This giveaway is closed.)

Rolls, rolls, rolls! And no, I’m not talking about what happens to my body when I eat too many rolls. Um, awkward.

I’m just saying it’s been a bit of a bread roll party around here, and if that’s OK with you, it’s OK with me. Because when the fluffiest and softest and cuddliest — er, most delicious of Parker House rolls are invited, it’s the best kind of roll party. Whatever that is. Right.

ANYWHO. Let’s talk about (dinner) rolls!

If you’ve never made a Parker House roll from scratch before, now is the time. And if you’ve never eaten a Parker House roll before, the situation is even more dire — because you must. You must try them. They are the epitome of dinner roll goodness. When you think of the perfect dinner roll — all warm and soft and fluffy on the inside with a slight crust and crunch on the outside — you are most definitely envisioning a Parker House roll. You just might not know it. And guess what? They’re the easiest things ever to bake right at home, too. So that’s a win-win-win right there (extra win for the eating part, obviously).

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Parmesan Pesto Skillet Rolls | girlversusdough.com @stephmwise

Quiz time! (This one is fun, promise.)

Question: What is cheesy and pesto-y and carb-y and one of the best creations to come out of my oven?

If you answered these Parmesan pesto skillet rolls, ding ding ding! You are correct. Gold star for you. No, a roll for you. And one for me, too, because writing quizzes is hard.

You know what isn’t, though? Making and eating these delicious rolls of cheesy, pesto-y, carb-y deliciousness. I know I tell you approximately every day that you need to get A, B or C carbs into your life, but I mean it the most this time. If you’ve got a spare minute to bake this weekend, make that time for these rolls. If you feel like you need to have a side dish to go with that soup on the stove, make it these rolls. If you just want to bake slash eat all the cheesy bread (with extra pesto, please!), get these rolls in your life.

They’re pillowy, they’re tender and soft, they’re filled with cheese and pesto and then also topped with cheese and pesto and you can eat them straight from the oven while they’re still warm and the cheese is ooey-gooey and melty and the light crust is still lightly crusty and no seriously, I’ll be right back because I need to go get another one of these rolls right now. For the love of cheese and pesto.

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Carmelitas (Oatmeal Caramel Chocolate Bars) | girlversusdough.com @stephmwise

Oatmeal and caramel and chocolate all rolled into one decadent dessert bar? OKYESPLEASE.

That’s what you get when you bake these carmelitas — a double-layer of oatmeal cookie goodness sandwiching layers of smooth, chewy, ooey-gooey caramel, melted chocolate chips and toasted nuts.

It’s not even Christmas and I’m already getting out my fat pants.

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