Girl Versus Dough

caramel apple cinnamon roll breakfast bread pudding

caramel apple cinnamon roll breakfast bread pudding

It’s Monday, I’m home from a fun-filled weekend up north celebrating the husband’s 30th birthday that consisted of birthday cake and pie and tacos and wavy chips with French onion dip (KRYPTONITE) and yet I still have all the cravings and room in my belly for this caramel apple cinnamon roll breakfast bread pudding situation. It’s too good to pass it by for the sake of the diet.

One bite and you’d understand. So let’s grab our refilled mugs of coffee and hang out and dunk our forks/faces into this deliciousness.

maple vanilla cream stuffed chai doughnuts

chai doughnuts

In a world that makes very little sense right now, we can all count on one thing: Doughnuts are delicious. Especially when they are Maple Vanilla Cream Stuffed Chai Doughnuts. A-men.

These yeasted doughnuts are fluffy and soft and chai-spiced and rolled in cinnamon sugar and then filled with a simple homemade maple vanilla bean pastry cream that you’ll want to spoon straight into your mouth (thank goodness you’ll have extra so you can do so). All you have to do is get up off the couch, get into the kitchen, bake and believe in the healing powers of sweet dough and spice. I know I do.

french onion tartlets

french onion tartlets

You guys — are we cool to talk about Thanksgiving yet? I mean, it is literally the biggest social eating occasion of the year, and I know we all love to hang out and eat. It’s our thing. Ergo, Thanksgiving is totally our thing, so it’s totally OK to talk about it already (it’s November and there are Christmas trees in all the stores already, for Pete’s sake! Give me two weeks and Mariah Carey Christmas will be playing on my Pandora radio).

That’s my line of reasoning anyway to talk to you about these bomb French Onion Tartlets that I need you to add immediately to that Thanksgiving menu I know you’ve already totally planned (ahem). Bonus points if you decide to make them ahead of time, you know, for the research.

tomato grilled cheese soup

tomato grilled cheese soup

I have few distinct memories of those earliest days as a mother — even just two years later, they’ve all blended together into a smoky haze of early-early mornings, nursing and Scandal marathons at 2 a.m., sweet snuggles with a sleepy babe who fit perfectly into the crux of my arm and a veritable parade of generous friends and family wielding casseroles and salads and homemade bread in exchange for their own snuggles with baby (memories that I know will suddenly become reality again for us in several months, gulp).

One thing we never got much of was soup, and I suppose that’s because we were heading into summertime and all that was on everyone’s minds was grilled meat and fresh vegetables and wedges of juicy watermelon (of which I ate PLENTY in those earliest days). But I know that if I was having a newborn in the fall, in these comfy-cozy months, I would want soup — with grilled cheese, of course.

halloween brownie truffles

halloween brownie truffles

Halloween is just around the corner and I’m so excited for it.

Mostly I’m excited because the little one is dressing up as a tiger (and/or a ballerina. We cannot decide.) and going trick or treating for the first time in her life. I can’t even imagine what her reaction will be when she gets a handful of candy from a stranger, and then another one, and another one. I think her head might explode. And then I’ll be sure to let her eat exactly three pieces of candy before bedtime and then sneak away with all the Reese’s peanut butter cups for myself like the good mother I am.

OK, OK, I’ll save those for her, too. Because I’ll have these Halloween brownie truffles waiting for me when we get home.

pumpkin cranberry flaxseed crisps

pumpkin cranberry flaxseed crisps

I took this weekend as a time for me to reflect on so many parts of my life — a task that was all at once exhilarating and exhausting (and a bit of a challenge with a two-year-old constantly in tow). But with the impending changes to our family on the horizon, it’s time I start planning for the future, both immediate and long-term. I apologize for leaving that so cryptic, but just know that this blog and all of you dear readers and what everything I do means to me was a big part of my time in reflection, because I don’t take this space lightly — even when I say things like “much droolage,” as you’ll note below. Each time I set to write a blog post I envision myself writing a love letter, to my invisible online friends and to the food I created to share here. These pumpkin cranberry flaxseed crisps, in particular, were easy to write about with loving, adoring words. If you try them, I think you’ll wholeheartedly agree.