Mini Meyer Lemon Coconut Scones | @stephmwise

There are so many reasons why I love what I do, this crazy-fun food blogging thing — including the fact that I get to make and eat things like mini Meyer lemon coconut scones, take photos of them, write about them and share the recipe with you (and if I could actually share the scones with you in real life, maybe in my living room with a cup of coffee in hand, too, that would MAKE MY DAY). But I also love it because of the people I’ve met and the wonderful community of food bloggers I get to call my friends.

One such dear friend is getting married in just a few short weeks. And so when this community can’t be there in person to celebrate our friend, we instead rally with an online bridal shower of epic proportions. I might be bringing these scones, but they are only a small portion of the mouthwatering yums that are being brought to the virtual table. And the love we all have for this lady is pretty epic, too.

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Potato Chip Buffalo Chicken Nachos | @stephmwise

Potato chips, meet nachos. Nachos, meet potato chips. With a topping of buffalo chicken and blue cheese dip, we’re all about to be the best of friends forever and ever.

At first glance, this may look just like a mess o’ cheese and chicken and chips on a plate. Truth: It is. But that mess is also the most glorious combination of flavors and ingredients to ever grace the nachosphere ← which is totally a place, by the way, and one I like to go to often.

And that combination I speak of includes crispy, thick and rustic BAKED potato chips, spicy and tangy shredded buffalo chicken, melty cheddar and blue cheeses, zesty green onions and a simple yet scrumptious blue cheese dip on the side slash drizzled — or dumped, as is my preference — allll over my plate of nacho heaven. I suggest you follow my lead on that one.

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Cream Cheese Swirl Carrot Coffee Cake | @stephmwise

I have some pretty horrible memories of coffee cake – you probably do, too. Something along the lines of a stale, crumbly pastry filled with some gelatinous mixture reminiscent of cream cheese and a gloopy fruit layer, with a cloyingly sweet glaze on top? Ring a bell? Been there? Yeah, me, too. Let’s not go back there again.

Instead, let’s make new coffee cake memories, starting with this recipe for cream cheese swirled carrot coffee cake = a.k.a., a carrot cake-flavored coffee cake with a decadent cream cheese filling and a delightful streusel topping. And glaze. But not the kind that will make your mouth pucker with the sweetness; rather, it’s the kind that will make you shovel forkful after forkful of this goodness into said mouth again and again.

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Oma's Creamy Potato Salad | @stephmwise

I’ve been elbow-deep in this potato salad before. I kid you not.

There’s a story that’s circulated around my family for years — and that story involves a baby me, sitting in the car seat on the way home from my grandparents’ house for Easter when my parents suddenly smelled something… onion-y. And potato-y. And when they turned around they found me, with both of my baby hands stashed in the Tupperware containing my Oma’s creamy potato salad, munching away on the leftovers. It was then they knew I’d grow up to a be a food blogger.

Just kidding. But it did solidify for me a lifelong love of this potato salad.

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Four-Ingredient Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies | @stephmwise

These cookies are my love letter to peanut butter and chocolate.

When you have cookies that are made with four ingredients, two of those ingredients being peanut butter and chocolate — a.k.a., The Ultimate Flavor Combination, the one for which I have an undying love, the one that will always make me weak in the knees in any and all forms from cakes to ice cream to oatmeal (yes, really.) to these cookies — you know you’re in for greatness.

Should we all take a moment to write our love letters to peanut butter and chocolate? No? Just move on to the cookies? OK. Cool.

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Irish Brown Bread | @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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