Mini Cream Cheese Apple Crisps | girlversusdough.com @girlversusdough

Things are getting cream cheesy and apple-y around here! And I LIKE IT. I hope you do, too.

Few things are more necessary to the full fall experience than baking apple crisp (especially with handpicked apples from the orchard) — but why just go the traditional route when we can have mini cream cheese apple crisps, a.k.a. apple crisps with a delicious cheesecake-like topping, in individual bowls (that you can win, BTW!), meaning you don’t have to share? I’ll take that scenario any day.

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Nut-Crusted Cranberry Tart | girlversusdough.com @girlversusdough

It’s nearly the weekend and I’m very excited about it. This weekend doesn’t necessarily hold any special plans, unless you count sleeping in (until, like, 7:30, let’s be real) and wearing PJs past noon and maybe eating this Nut-Crusted Cranberry Tart for breakfast as plans — in which case, I have many many plans for this weekend. I hope you have similar plans for yourself (that include sleeping in way past 7:30).

This beauty of a cranberry tart comes straight from Martha Stewart and is actually a sneak preview recipe from her upcoming season of “Martha Bakes” on PBS, which airs this weekend (another reason I’m excited for the weekend)! So click through and scroll on down for the exclusive recipe (and maybe also more ramblings from yours truly about the gloriousness that is wearing PJs past noon).

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Avery at the Apple Orchard | girlversusdough.com @girlversusdough

Our annual trip to the apple orchard is officially in the books for 2016! Our fridge is now half full with apples that I have big plans for (if Avery and I don’t snack on all of them first because you guys, straight-from-the-orchard apples are TOO GOOD) — apple pie, apple crisp, apple pancakes, apple oatmeal, baked apples, apples with pork chops, the list goes on. Forget pumpkin — I’m all about the apple right now.

We spent a sunny Saturday here in Minnesota picking Haralsons and Honeycrisps from the trees at Afton Apple Orchard and I snapped a few pics, if you’d like to see.

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Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana | girlversusdough.com @girlversusdough

I really wish I could talk about something else besides the weather because it’s usually a lazy go-to topic, but you guyssss! It’s fall! It’s finally fall. I’m too excited not to talk about it.

The air is crisp, the leaves are changing, we have plans to go apple picking this weekend and all I want to do right now is cozy up in a sweater and a scarf and enjoy a warm bowlful of this slow cooker zuppa toscana. YES x 1000. This is my spirit season.

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Pumpkin Spice Puff Cereal | girlversusdough.com @girlversusdough

After waking up yesterday morning and putting on a sweater in hopes of cool-weather cozies (I think grown ups call that “hygge” or something?) only to melt like the Wicked Witch of the West in the sun and heat by the afternoon, I think it’s safe to say that I’m ready for fall.

Other signs that I’m ready? I’ve pulled my leather boots out of storage. I smile like a doofus at the changing leaves on trees. And I’m going to town on this Pumpkin Spice Puff Cereal on the daily.

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Thank You Day with Merci | girlversusdough.com @girlversusdough

Gratitude is something we often have for others, but is not something we often express. I know in our own little family we do our best to say “thank you” as often as we can — it’s important to us to know that we are grateful for each other and thankful for what we do for each other, no matter how simple the act.

But nobody’s perfect. And in the hustle and bustle of life, we often forget to say those two words to those we care about, even if we feel thankful in our hearts. This season of life for us is especially busy — we are building a house, we are working, we are traveling, we are heading from errands to meetings to play dates and back again. I know you probably feel the same way, too. But maybe it’s time to take a moment, just one moment, to show someone in your life that you care about them — with chocolate.

And what better day to do it than today, on National Thank You Day?

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