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.

Read more

32

Vanilla Bean Birthday Cake | girlversusdough.com @stephmwise

Alternately titled, “That One Time I Covered an Entire Cake in Sprinkles and Lived to Tell About It.” ← Because oy, that is one not very easy task (but worth it, for the pretty-ness!).

More specifically, let’s talk about what’s going on behind those sprinkles: A perfect birthday layer cake. As in, a classic from-scratch white cake flavored and flecked with vanilla beans and then frosted with the most decadent, fluffy and smooth vanilla buttercream. It’s truly magical.

Read more

49

Easy Brussels Sprout Tuna Salad | girlversusdough.com @stephmwise

This Brussels sprouts tuna salad was fate. And a few hundred miles away facing another computer screen, my mom is rolling her eyes.

See, my mom knows my love of Brussels sprouts — in fact, she regularly ribs me for it because she knows that on any given night, I’m probably eating them. I can’t help it: halved and roasted, whole and steamed, shredded and raw, my fondness for them knows no bounds.

So as any doting mom would, she recently suggested I try making a Brussels sprouts Caesar salad when she found a recipe for one the other day. And for whatever reason, I didn’t hear her say Caesar salad; instead, I heard tuna salad, and that was it for me. I could think of getting nothing else into my life but the tuna salad (though that Caesar salad is destined for my future, too).

Read more

48

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.

Read more

33

Caramelized Shallot and Smoked Gruyere Gougeres | girlversusdough.com @stephmwise

I refuse to talk about the weather. How winter’s chill has officially cut to the bone, how I can wear a full down jacket with a furry hood, a scarf that wraps around my neck 100 times, extra-thick mittens, fleece-lined leggings, leg warmers and snow boots and STILL shiver me timbers, how all I want to do these days is sit wrapped in a blanket by the fireplace with an oversized mug of hot cocoa with marshmallows on top cupped in my hands and watch the snow fall against the gray sky and reminisce about those dreamy days back in July when I, if I can even believe it, wore flip flops outdoors and my teeth didn’t chatter incessantly. The wonder!

But like I said, I refuse to talk about it. So let’s talk about these tasty caramelized shallot and smoked Gruyere gougeres — a.k.a. perfect little puffy bites of cheesy, caramelized deliciousness — instead.

Read more

37

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. (!!!)

Read more

59