Girl Versus Dough

saffron risotto with shrimp & pistachios

saffron risotto

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want this year to look like — really, what I want my life to look like going forward. I know some people choose a word to define their year and while I did that last year (served with a side of cake, naturally), I felt like it would be too limiting for me for 2015. I just wanted to go into it with intentions: To eat well, to love better, to pray more, to obsess less, the list goes on.

But then the word “legacy” recently popped into my brain one slow afternoon, while my daughter played with nesting bowls on the rug in the center of our living room and I, as I often do, sat on the couch scrolling through photos on my Instagram feed. And it struck me, quite aggressively and surprisingly, actually: Is this the legacy I want to leave for my little girl? Do I want her to remember me as the mother who loved her unconditionally, who showed her the beauty of this world and fed her delicious home-cooked meals and took her on adventures and sometimes even just sat on the floor with her playing with her bowls? Or do I want to be the mother who stared at her phone all day, itching to get back on the computer during naptime to clunk out that blog post, edit those photos, scroll through another feed?

parmesan pesto skillet rolls

parmesan pesto skillet rolls

Quiz time! (This one is fun, promise.)

Question: What is cheesy and pesto-y and carb-y and one of the best creations to come out of my oven?

If you answered these Parmesan pesto skillet rolls, ding ding ding! You are correct. Gold star for you. No, a roll for you. And one for me, too, because writing quizzes is hard.

You know what isn’t, though? Making and eating these delicious rolls of cheesy, pesto-y, carb-y deliciousness. I know I tell you approximately every day that you need to get A, B or C carbs into your life, but I mean it the most this time. If you’ve got a spare minute to bake this weekend, make that time for these rolls. If you feel like you need to have a side dish to go with that soup on the stove, make it these rolls. If you just want to bake slash eat all the cheesy bread (with extra pesto, please!), get these rolls in your life.

They’re pillowy, they’re tender and soft, they’re filled with cheese and pesto and then also topped with cheese and pesto and you can eat them straight from the oven while they’re still warm and the cheese is ooey-gooey and melty and the light crust is still lightly crusty and no seriously, I’ll be right back because I need to go get another one of these rolls right now. For the love of cheese and pesto.

thin and crispy einkorn pizza crust

thin and crispy einkorn pizza crust

As I mentioned on the Instagram, last week turned out to be an accidental pizza week around these parts. And that was A-OK with me.

On Tuesday, we had some friends over for dinner and we made homemade pizza with my favorite no-knead crust. Then on Thursday, I made this pizza — this deliciously flaky, thin and crispy pizza crust made from einkorn flour (which I will explain more about in a sec, NOT TO WORRY) topped with roasted potatoes (that taste like potato chips on a pizza, major swoooooon), fresh mozzarella, red onion, roasted garlic and fresh rosemary. Then on Friday, I made a dessert pizza with a sugar cookie crust for a client.

You may say all that pizza-ing is just too much; I say it was glorious, and I hope to repeat it one day — nay, week — soon. Probably like next week.

Until then, memories of this pizza in particular will linger as it was my favorite of the whole week. I mean, potato chips on a pizza, guys. You just can’t go wrong with the carbs-on-carbs combo.

2015 girl versus dough reader survey — the results

I just want to start this post by saying thank you. No, THANK YOU. And if I could make that text a billion times bigger and make it shoot out confetti and play a song I would do that. And that would only skim the surface of the level of my appreciation.

Seriously though, I am so grateful to each and every one of you who took the time to take my first-ever reader survey last week. To say that I should have done this a loooooong time ago is an understatement. It gave me so much insight into not only who you are, but why you read Girl Versus Dough among the eleventy billion other food blogs out there. I feel like I really got a good idea of what you are looking for when you come here (carbs, mostly. And this is why we get each other), your own kitchen life (loves to bake and cook! Hates small spaces and lack of time! ← oh, do I hear ya) and how we can work together going forward to make this humble space even greater and more useful while also maintaining the tone and recipes and overall environment you seem to love (which, you guys, I totally shed a tear while reading your comments, for real). It makes me THISEXCITED about the future of GVD and I just really want to virtually bear hug everyone right now about it.

Ummmm all right. Let’s get to the details already.

Most of you get here by way of e-mail updates.

This really surprised me, actually — I always thought people came through readers like Feedly or Bloglovin’. A good chunk of you also come directly to the site, whether you have it bookmarked or just remember to check in (which warms my heart that you think to do so). And then there are a few that come by way of Facebook. If you’re interested in signing up for my e-mail list (and getting a free eCookbook out of it, hey-o!), you can do so here. And if you’re interested in following along on Facebook, you can do so here. Otherwise, keep doing how you do. I’m just glad you’re here.

roasted beet & orange salad with pistachios & feta

roasted beet and orange salad

I’ve always been a big fan of the sheet pan. It gives me cookies, after all — and sheet cakes and breads and sometimes easy dinner meals. But I’ve never really put it to realllll good use, that is, until I opened up the pages of Molly Gilbert‘s new cookbook, Sheet Pan Suppers.

Gah, you guys, this cookbook! Did you know you can make things like baked brie and strawberries, Caesar salad garlic bread, baked apricot French toast, smoked salmon egg boats and orange cardamom pound cake all on a sheet pan? Well, you can. You can also make salad, as demonstrated by this ah-mazing roasted beet and orange number with pistachios and feta.

I can’t even explain fully in words the goodness that is this dish. Let’s just put it this way: It’s a salad, and while I love salads, I’m more of a casserole/pasta/soup/stew/anything with carbs and/or cheese kinda gal in the wintertime, and yet I downed this salad for meal after meal the past few days. It’s hearty and flavorful and unique and all the yumyumyums, really. Plus, it’s pretty. And I am admittedly more interested in salads when they look pretty (that’s normal, yes? Do not answer).

glazed grapefruit poppy seed muffins

grapefruit poppy seed muffins

So. These were not the muffins I intended to post.

The ones I intended? They were healthy. They were made with 100% whole wheat flour and Greek yogurt and less sugar and topped with a sprinkling of turbinado sugar. And those muffins, when they came out of the oven, looked like craggy rocks and tasted like cardboard. Boo hiss.

Instead, I give you these glazed grapefruit poppy seed muffins! The final product. The BETTER product, trust. The product that still has some whole wheat flour in it and less sugar and reduced fat milk but also, all the yums (like that grapefruit glaze, yeahhhhh). Which is really what I was going for all along.