Slow Cooker Pear-Quince Butter | girlversusdough.com @stephmwise

How was your weekend? Ours was pretty great. We bought pumpkins and drank pumpkin beer and ate pumpkin mac and cheese and I almost bought a pumpkin Halloween costume for Avery (but I didn’t, because my deep-down Pinterest-driven-yet-not-so-crafty personality wants to DIY this situation so she will probably end up being a baby for Halloween).

And to answer your obvious question, no I am not yet sick of the pumpkin. Or of the apples, or the pears or the quinces.

Have you ever tried a quince? They’re admittedly not the most beautiful or convenient of fruits, but when they are baked — or in this case, slow cooked with brown sugar and vanilla bean and pears to a sweet, caramelized fruit butter perfection — they are quite tasty. And by quite tasty, I mean erase the “quite tasty” and replace it with “YUMMMMMMMMMMMMM.”

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A Trip to the Apple Orchard + an Apple Recipe Roundup | girlversusdough.com @stephmwise

It’s a funny thing, taking a four and a half-month-old to an apple orchard — because all she can really do is pick leaves off the apple trees and sit on pumpkins — but last weekend, we decided to do it anyway. Because it’s fall and it was beautifully warm and apple picking is what you do is what I told myself when I came home with 10 pounds of apples. Ahem.

A Trip to the Apple Orchard + an Apple Recipe Roundup | girlversusdough.com @stephmwise

Rest assured, if you are an apple hoarder like I am, I have an om-nom-nommy apple recipe roundup at the bottom of this post for you to use them up in — pies and breads and muffins and pizzas, oh my. But I digress. Because I’m first here to bombard you with a gazillion photos of apples, my baby girl, my baby girl with some apples, apples on trees in the backgrounds of photos of my baby girl — you get it.

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Pumpkin Zucchini Bread | girlversusdough.com @stephmwise

(This giveaway is now closed.)

Sweet, pumpkiny, zucchini-y, delicious loafy goodness right thurrrr. That’s what that is.

Have I had too much coffee this morning? Mayhaps. But it’s only because I heart you and I have exciting things to tell you about/give away to you today.

So here’s a fun-slash-kinda ridiculous factoid about me: Apart from that one time I was in my first trimester of pregnancy and was averse to it (it’s like I didn’t even know myself), I haven’t gone a single day without coffee since I was 15. Right? RIGHT? I blame this on my first job being at a coffee shop. Basically my entire life has been caffeinated.

Whether this is a good or bad thing is debatable. Though according to me, I think it’s been just fine. Me has also had two full cups of coffee already, so there may be a little bias.

Pumpkin Zucchini Bread | girlversusdough.com @stephmwise

But I can’t help myself. The best part of waking up is coffee in my cup (and definitely not the kind that goes with that jingle). There are few happier moments in my day than when I take my first sip of hot coffee yum-yumminess with a hearty breakfast sitting in front of me, waiting to be devoured. And if that breakfast is this pumpkin zucchini bread? EVEN BETTER.

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One Pan Creamy Parmesan Garlic Gnocchi with White Beans and Kale | girlversusdough.com @stephmwise

It’s a small travesty that I hadn’t caught onto the one-pan/one-pot phenomenon sooner. But now that I have, it’s pretty obvious I’m in love with it. But how can you not be, when it’s a) less clean-up #WIN, b) quick and easy #DOUBLEWIN and c) made with a small number of ingredients #SOMUCHWINIT’SRIDICULOUS?

And that is the last time I will speak in hashtag. #Promise.

This one-pan creamy Parmesan garlic gnocchi is one such meal that isn’t leaving our regular dinner menu rotation any time soon — not only because it covers all of the aforementioned perks of the one-pan/one-pot meal, but also because it’s so incredibly delicious. (I want to add something here in hashtag SO BAD right now but I will spare you).

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Mini Iced Oatmeal Cookie Apple Pies | girlversusdough.com

There is cause for celebration today for two reasons. One: I’m introducing you to mini iced oatmeal cookie apple pies ← like WHOA. And two: It’s a surprise virtual baby shower for the sweet (and sweets queen) Lauren of Keep It Sweet Desserts! Hooray for babies and baby pies, amiright?

Mini Iced Oatmeal Cookie Apple Pies | girlversusdough.com

If you haven’t had a chance yet to see what gloriousness Lauren crafts up on her blog and her online business, I need you to go to there and check it out. Because between recipes like Margarita Cookie Bars, Brown Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookie Cake and Vanilla Bean Bourbon Nectarine Bundt Cake with Vanilla Bean Caramel Drizzle (drooooooooolfest), this gal knows her desserts. So I hope she really likes these mini pies, too. I know my tummy sure did.

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Classic Italian Bread | girlversusdough.com

Sometimes I wish I had one of those potions from Alice in Wonderland so I can make myself small enough to lay on a slice of this Italian bread like a pillow. A heavenly soft, carbolicious pillow.

But seriously, how wonderful would that be? Because not only are you totally comfy-cozy, you also have a snack right there to munch on as needed. And then when you want to eat the bread as a sandwich or make it into a yummy baked French toast or strata or something, you can take the potion that makes you big again. It’s perfect.

Aaaaaand I’ve lost you. But homemade, soft-on-the-inside-crusty-on-the-outside classic Italian bread, remember? Yes, let’s focus more on that.

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