Girl Versus Dough

ginger pecan scones

Ginger Pecan Scones

Often when I’m typing these posts, I’m singing to myself. These days, it’s generally a mix of Ra Ra Riot, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Cold War Kids and Cloud Cult. Sometimes, when it’s rainy and drab outside, it’s all Bon Iver, and when it’s sunny and warm, it’s Los Campesinos. In any case, the husband likes to surprise me from behind by suddenly applauding at my stellar — read: Terrible — singing, causing me to squeak out the note stuck in my throat with a horrible, piercing sound.

I’d say it’s embarrassing, but I’d be lying. It’s not. Heck, if I didn’t think it’d annoy everyone around my desk at work, I’d do it there, too. But only a few are privy to my vocal talents.

But we’re not here to talk about my singing. We’re here to talk about these Ginger Pecan Scones — or, as I decided to call them after realizing how much they looked like cookies after baking, “scookies.” Let’s see if that catches on.

pesto cornbread muffins

Taking a week off from work is the best medicine.

So is laughter. And visiting friends in the city. And drinking strawberry milk on an unusually warm spring afternoon.

And so is comfort food, like these muffins.

sifted words — haters gonna hate

When I was little, I hadn’t a care in the world. I’d frolic around in sprinklers and on swing sets, and the biggest event of my day was making sure I pedaled my Tonka three-wheeler fast enough to make it home in time for dinner.

My favorite place to be was at my neighbors’ house. I was there often — my two best friends, a brother and a sister, lived over there, so why would I be anywhere else? Plus, they had cool toys to play with that were way more fun than playing alone with the Barbies I had strewn across my bedroom floor.

There was one toy at my neighbors’ house, however, that I hated. It was a video game, actually, called “Sesame Street 1-2-3” or something like that. One of the settings brought you to outer space, where Grover, dressed in an astronaut’s uniform, would float in the air over a series of numbers. There also was a face in the moon. Whenever you got a math problem right, the moon face would shake its head in delight and make a happy noise. But when you didn’t get the problem right, well, all hell broke loose for me. The face would frown, and the sound the game made in response to the mistake was a fiercely negative — and for some reason, frightening — sound for me to hear in my young age.

Every time I heard that sound, I’d scream and run out of the room, tears streaming down between the tiny fingers that covered my face.

cheesy garlic knots

Cheesy Garlic Knots

I’ve had to make a lot of grownup decisions lately.

Like, deciding that I can’t eat cookies and cake and chocolate peanut butter swirl bread three times a day, every day. Well, I could, but I probably wouldn’t like it after a while.

Or deciding to watch my husband’s intramural basketball game in a gym that smelled like 100 smelly, sweaty guys (because there were about 100 smelly, sweaty guys there) watching a sport I know nothing about, when I could have been watching “The Bachelor” at home. But it was important to him to have me there, and therefore, the decision was easy to make.

swedish knäckebröd

Swedish Knackebrod

I’ve had a thing for crackers ever since I made those Blue Cheese & Walnut Crackers, along with my love letter to Ina Garten. There were those, and then, these flat breadsticks. Then this (these?) knäckebröd, which I made because I love those Wasa rye crisps from the grocery store, but mostly because I love the word “knäckebröd.”

(Which means “break bread,” for those sans Swedes in their families.)

chocolate peanut butter swirl bread

chocolate peanut butter swirl bread on cooling rack

I’m not a huge proponent of Valentine’s Day. It’s never been one of my favorite holidays. I’m not going to rattle off a spiel on how bitter I am about how our culture fuels an irrational need for us to spend millions of dollars each year on a single day to prove our love to others, blah blah blah… It’s just that if I could choose tomorrow to be any holiday, I’d choose Christmas, or my birthday, over Valentine’s Day.

Yes, my birthday is a holiday. Enough on that.