How to Proof or Activate Dry Yeast {VIDEO} | @girlversusdough

Hi hi hiiiiiiiii! It’s Thursday, which is almost Friday, which is almost the weekend, and I’m in South Carolina this week with some blogger friends wearing leggings (mandatory), eating delicious food (naturally) and talking shop/non-shop, nonstop (love). It’s been a great getaway so far and I will share more details later (though you can follow along on the shenanigans via Snapchat –> stephmwise), but for now, let’s talk about the fact that I made you another video (!!!).

I’m really trying to get the hang of this video thing, as it’s, uh, not my forte. This is why I blog behind a computer screen where I can type up words and edit them before I share them with the world (though that doesn’t really stop me from oversharing anyway, but I digress). With video, I can edit all of my blunders, too, but people, there are SO MANY BLUNDERS. Ask the husband, who typically acts as my cameraman/director/warn-er of “babe, you’ve said ‘um’ a dozen times in the last five seconds and also have not blinked.” Bless him. But I’m going to keep practicing, and while video obviously will never take over on this blog, it may make an appearance more often, especially when I feel it is more helpful than just looking at photos.

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Cheesy Roasted Cauliflower Mushroom Stromboli | @girlversusdough

I’m going through a phase where nearly every meal must include cheese.

This phase has lasted my entire life.

I love cheese. I love all kinds of cheese. In fact, when I went to France in college with my mom and her friend and we went to a cheese tasting and everyone else turned up their nose at the “stinky” cheeses, I took seconds. I can hardly resist the cheese samples at our local grocery store. And whenever a recipe calls for cheese, I add more.

We legitimately have a cheese drawer in our refrigerator. There is an entire drawer dedicated to (and filled to the brim with) cheese. Shredded cheese for our scrambled eggs, tacos, etc.; sliced cheese for grilled cheese and sandwiches; blocks of cheese for snacking (like night cheese, for instance); cheese sticks for the tot. You get the idea.

So it’s no surprise that when I decided to make this cauliflower mushroom stromboli, I went heavy on the cheese. But really, do you blame me? Let’s keep that question rhetorical.

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Salted Caramel Layer Cake | @girlversusdough

I still can’t bake and decorate the perfect cake to save my life, but I continue to bake and decorate them because, well, it’s cake. And every once in a while, the occasion calls for one.

Today is one of those occasions, because we are celebrating someone very special who is about to welcome someone also very special into this world. My dear friend Audra, of The Baker Chick, is weeks away from having her second baby, and we couldn’t be more excited for her! It’s why we are gathering together today for a surprise virtual baby shower, brunch-style. And I brought the naked salted caramel layer cake, in all its rustic glory.

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Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Banana Scones | @girlversusdough

I’m snacking on mango slices, baking a cake and writing about these whole wheat chocolate chip banana scones all at once — in other words, I’m living out the thesis of my food life.

It’s a bit of a metaphor for how my brain has felt lately, too — a little all over the place, a little chaotic, a little nonsensical. This week was crazier than expected and so, apologies for leaving you hanging last Thursday (but I hope you were cool with a few extra days to ogle over this gnocchi situation). Hopefully things in my life and on this blog will be back on track.

Now before we get to these scones — the reader survey results! In the Week of Crazy, I realized that I accidentally converged last year’s survey with this year’s survey, so the graphs I was planning to show of each response were all askew. D’oh. Thankfully, I was able to scroll through individual answers from this year, and you guys — thank you. So much. You all are incredibly thoughtful and insightful and downright kind. Overall, it seems like this space is just as enjoyable for you as it is for me, and I’m going to take that into account along with a few of your suggestions and constructive criticisms. (Also, if you want to know more specifics about the results this year, feel free to e-mail me!)

Aaaaaand now, these scones. Whole wheat chocolate chip banana scones, also known as “cookies” to the tot (her words, not mine), which I’m OK with because these are some of the healthiest “cookies” she’ll ever enjoy for breakfast.

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One Pot Creamy Parmesan Garlic Gnocchi | @girlversusdough

NOTE: This is an updated version of an old recipe on the blog. Scroll to the bottom of this post for the new recipe!

Some recipes just need a little refreshing, a little updating, a little reintroduction. This one pot creamy Parmesan garlic gnocchi is one of them, and I hope you agree — it’s good to see it here again.

The original recipe for this creamy, carb-happy dish was made with a prepackaged sauce which, as far as I can tell, has been discontinued. But I didn’t want that to mean that our relationship with the one pot gnocchi should also come to an end, oh no no nooooo. That would just be cruel.

Instead, what we now have here is a recipe that is just as fast (15 MINUTES, YOU GUYS), just as easy (10 ingredients!), and just as delicious but with a homemade sauce instead of one that pours out of a pouch. In other words, this newly revamped one pot creamy Parmesan garlic gnocchi dish = BAE.

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Heart-Shaped Strawberry Pop Tarts | @girlversusdough

I’m obviously no Martha Stewart when it comes to cutesy treats. I can barely frost a cake. But when the idea for these heart tarts came to mind, I couldn’t let my lack of craftiness get in the way.

The idea for these tarts really stemmed from my nostalgic childhood love of the strawberry Pop-Tart. I used to eat them quite religiously for breakfast, warmed up with a glass of cold strawberry milk on the side. Sugar with a side of sugar. It’s how I liked to roll.

These days, I know my limits a little better with sugar, so the Pop-Tart breakfast days are few and far between. But since Valentine’s Day is around the corner, I thought it would be a good occasion to treat myself, homemade heart-shaped strawberry pop tart style. With a side of regular milk and fresh strawberries. It’s a more-than-fair compromise.

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