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Homemade Sourdough Bread, Step by Step |

Awwwwwwww man, you guys. This post. THIS BREAD. It’s been a very long time coming.

Remember when I said I wanted to make more basic bread recipes for all y’alls on here? Well, that was the push I needed to finally get my hands dirty in the sourdough bucket, if you will (that sounds so gross, actually. Pretend I never said that).

I don’t know what it was about the good ol’ sourdough that made me so nervous. Probably the same thing that makes me nervous to make things like macarons, cheesecakes and puff pastries — precision, energy and patience that may end up yielding an epic fail. BUT! Having now made the sourdough, I am here to tell you that it is, in fact, not scary at all and while yes, patience is required, truly I tell you it is one of the easiest breads I have made in my years of carbo-loading bread baking.

And if that’s not enough to convince you to drop everything and make yo’self some sourdough today (OK OK, you can have your coffee first), I have some nifty step-by-step photos for you, so it’s like we’re making sourdough together! Which would be my favorite thing, ever. REALLY. Please come over and let’s hang out and bake schtuff.

Here we go!

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fourthofjulyroundup copy

Happy almost Fourth, friendlies! Also, holy moly how is it already July? I know everyone keeps saying that, but for real, I swear it was Memorial Day, like, last weekend. My pasty-white skin also tells me it’s still wintertime (ain’t nobody got time for sunbathing with a bebe, you see), so that’s confusing.

Also, do you say “sunbathing” or “suntanning?” I say sunbathing, but then I feel like that’s a grandma thing to say. But I’m also 90 years old at heart, so, I suppose it’s befitting.

ANYWAY. Let’s talk about some good ol’ Fourth of July grub, shall we? We shall.

I know the holiday is tomorrow so I’m super awesomely sharing these recipes with you at the last minute like a boss, but hey! Most of them are quick and easy and all of them are tasty, so it will be worth changing up whatever plans you’ve got to make one or five of these recipes happen tomorrow. Or I can make them for you and then come over to your shindig as long as you save me one of those neat-o sparkler things and, like, an ice cream sandwich or something. Deal? Cool.

Here are some appetizers/sides/potluckin’ dishes just begging for a mouth party:

stuffed cheesy bread

Stuffed Cheesy Bread
Creamy Shrimp Cocktail Dip
Garlic Mushroom Queso Fundido

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Shrimp Avocado Tostadas |

I’m recovering from one of those weekends.

You know — the kind of weekend when you eat all the foods, all day long. YOU KNOW. They’re the best kind of weekends but they make for the worst Mondays.

Though this Monday? Not so bad — thanks to these om nom nommy shrimp avocado tostadas.

We took our first trip to my hometown in the Chi-town suburbs with the wee one this weekend, about six hours away (!). But she did so well! I think she was probably excited about all the aforementioned food that I would be eating and, thus, she would be eating (she is my daughter, after all; fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree). On Sunday, my parents hosted an open house so all of our hometown peeps could meet Avery and hold her and snuggle with her and smell her head (people do this… I do this. It’s cool.) and so she could show off her cute dress with little sheep on it.

The husband and I also went out for dinner, just the two of us, for the first time since the babe was born and YOU GUYS — I had my first glass of wine in, like, 11 months. Glory glory.

But enough about the weekend. Let us chat about this delectable creation, shall we? Yes, let’s.

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Lime Creamsicles |

Today is kind of a big deal.

Not only is it my husband’s and my fifth wedding anniversary (INSANE), but it’s also the day I introduce you to these lime creamsicles. Oh, hello frozen creations of glorious deliciousness on a stick. Nice to meet you.

Neither of these things have anything to do with each other — though I guess I could swing it and say I made these pops for my husband in celebration of our love? But really, I made them because of Popsicle Week. Priorities. (Love you, babe!)

I really don’t think you had forgotten about the inaugural Popsicle Week, for which I made these pretty Paloma pops, but in case it somehow tragically slipped your mind, here’s a handy list of 2013’s recipes (scroll to the bottom to see!) as well as a running list of this year’s fantastical frozen foods on a stick. There are 37 of them this year, in case you can’t count. THIRTY-SEVEN. So much goodness for your faceness.

That means you can — and I will — have a new popsicle for basically every day of the summer. OK, OK… like half of the summer. Summertime forever! (Hope you heard me, Minnesota.)

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One-Pot Farro with Tomatoes and Feta |

I’m taking some time off the next few weeks to spend with my family and our new bundle of joy. In the meantime, I’ve set up a few posts ahead of time to share. I’m a recent convert to the one-pot/one-pan meal situation and I’m not leaving that train aaaaany time soon (mostly because when it comes to food, I am the most impatient). This one-pot farro with tomatoes and feta in particular is a new favorite dish of ours, both as a healthy meal or hearty side dish in the sum-sum-summahtime.

So there’s this thing called losing all that pregnancy weight. You know, because I can’t just eat all the ice cream sandwiches and cheeseburgers with extra fries on the side my heart — I mean, baby — desires anymore. I know; I’m shedding a tear about it, too. But I also need to shed me some poundage. And so was the inspiration for this delightful little dish o’ health.

I’ve never been a crazy health fanatic — meaning, I don’t obsess over every single food that goes into my belly on a daily basis — but I have always strived to eat a fairly balanced diet with plenty of fruits, veggies, whole grains and lean proteins. This especially has been the case since I was pregnant, knowing that everything that went into my body would be affecting another little body. So yummy, nutrient-packed, very filling (because I was a hungry mungry while preggo like WHOA) meals were and continue to be essential to my weekly menu (with a few treats of the aforementioned ice cream/cheeseburger/French fries nature here and there). This one-pot farro? Hits all the targets. Plus, it’s easy and quick to make. HOLLA.

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sweet corn and jalapeno enchiladas

I’m taking some time off the next few weeks to spend with my family and our new baby girl. In the meantime, I’ve asked a few of my amazingly talented blogger friends to fill in with guest posts. My sweet (and hilarious) friend Stefanie of Sarcastic Cooking is here today with what can only be described as one of — if not THE — best enchilada recipes I’ve ever seen in my life. And that’s saying something, considering I eat so many enchiladas on the regular, they’re basically they’re own food group in my diet. Stefanie has also been one of my greatest sources of advice and support on all things bebe (she has her own adorable wee one, Andy — I mean, look at that face!), so needless to say, I appreciate and respect this gal in so many ways. Take it away, Stef!

Welcome to motherhood, Stephanie! It is a strange little sorority I too was initiated into recently. Steph, you are in the thick of it right now. Let me tell you, it gets better. We new moms need to make t-shirts with that mantra emblazoned upon it… So our kids can spit up on them.

My son was born in December. In Chicago. In the middle of a polar vortex, whatever that is. I spent a good three months indoors with my dog and nonspeaking-only-communicating-via-crying child. I took comfort in long showers when my husband got home from work and Netflix during the snowy days. I was never really much of a shower kind of person. I mean, I bathe for the sake of those around me and all, but I was never a big fan of it. Get in, get out. But, since Andy was born, I find myself taking very long showers just to have some me time. I also find it is a great time to remember what day it is and what I have to do that day aside from devote 100% of my time to a baby.

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