Girl Versus Dough

everything bagel popcorn

Everything Bagel Popcorn

I’m not the kind of person who can eat popcorn — or any snack, for that matter — as a meal (homegirl needs real food for breakfast, lunch and dinner) but let me tell you, I can definitely pack it in between those times. Sometimes I eat it plain, sometimes I eat it with a little butter and salt, sometimes I toss it with melted peanut butter and/or chocolate and now, I’m going to be eating it like this. Forever and ever. And ever.

My obsession with everything bagels goes way back (back to the dark ages of photography as well, apparently. Apologies to your eyes), so it’s no surprise that I’m a bit smitten with this combination. There are crumbled-up bagel chips, sesame seeds, garlic, onion and caraway seeds in there. Oh, and butter and salt. I mean… when you’ve got those players in the mix, it just doesn’t get much better.

basil, olive + sun-dried tomato bread

basil sun dried tomato bread on cooling rack

So here’s something I don’t so much love about pregnancy: um, NIGHTMARES.

I’m serious. Apparently this is a thing that can happen when you’re with child — something that’s been happening to me nightly, if not twice nightly. You get these crazy, vivid, out-of-control dreams-slash-nightmares and the worst part is? You can’t do a thing about it. You just have to ride it out.

Which means I’ll be spending a lot of time every night with zombies in my attic and murderers trying to decapitate my husband and/or cat and waking up a sweaty mess with my arms clutching my sides like I’m hugging myself in fear. Fear of the zombies, that is.

The last couple of nights have been a little better — as in, I have more stress dreams than dreams of the undead — and I have decided to credit it to this bread. Because after I made this bread, the zombies went away. Ergo, I’m making and eating this bread every day henceforth until May. And then I might even keep eating it afterwards. Just to be extra-safe, you know.

gluten free buttermilk spoonbread

Gluten Free Buttermilk Spoonbread

I’m just going to come right out and say it:

I’M IN LOVE WITH THIS SPOONBREAD AND I DON’T CARE WHO KNOWS IT.

So there you go. Now you know. Informercial over.

OK but have you ever tried, or even heard of, spoonbread before? I’ve made it a couple of times for the blog, but I have to say this recipe? It’s my fravrit. As evidenced by my declaration above.

whole wheat clementine yogurt cake

slice of clementine yogurt cake on a plate

This week has been one of the slowest weeks of my life in the last year. Truth? I kind of hated it. You see, I thrive on being a busy little bee.

I like to have a mild to moderate level of stress in my life at all times because it keeps me motivated. One day of nothing on the agenda, then two, then three… well, you’ll eventually find me on the couch surfing Pinterest or watching videos of cats on Buzzfeed for hours and hours. At 26 years old, I still don’t yet know how to make the most of my downtime, you see.

It’s not like there wasn’t anything to do, or that I really didn’t do anything. We started decluttering the basement and setting up the spare bedroom (as in, we no longer use an upside-down storage bin as a nightstand but an actual, real-life adult nightstand). I made some foodstuffs, like this cake, and we had visiting family over for a mid-afternoon snack time. We did some boring bank and tax prep stuff (snore) and bought paint samples and a crib for le nursery (yay!). And I did some real hard life-thinking about my 2014 and what I want it to look like (which is to say, come up with things I expect to happen and/or change that will inevitably not turn out the way I planned, but still in a perfectly agreeable manner anyway).

And yet, here I am, complaining because I didn’t feel busy enough.

I know there’s this “word of the year” thing floating around the interwebs and last year, I got so flustered by the idea of narrowing my goals down to one word that I gave up. And in some ways I’m glad I did, because I think 2013 turned out just dandy without one. But this year, I reintroduced myself to the idea — just to have more focus, more clarity on my goals. And before I let myself become flustered again by narrowing a whole year down to one word, my friend Madison came up with two words for her year. And then I realized that’s totally a thing I can do, too.

jam-filled toasted hazelnut bran muffins

Oh, these muffins. These jammy, crunchy, bran-y muffins.

The end.

Just kidding. But basically, all you need to know is that these muffins? The ones I just mentioned that are filled with jam and toasted hazelnuts and wheat bran? They’re tasty and you should put them on your personal carb menu soonest (that’s totally a thing, by the way).

Oh, and they’re also filled with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!® Deliciously Simple™ spread. And that, my friends, is why in addition to the jammy, crunchy and bran-y nature of these muffins, they’re also the softest and melt-in-your-mouthiest muffins I’ve ever made. No lie.

dad’s white chicken chili

In addition to being really into breakfast foods, my dad is seriously into chili.

True story time: One of his semi-real goals is to open up a restaurant that serves chili and hot dogs and call it “Dis Place.” I know. I mean, I don’t know. I don’t know where that idea came from, or why he wants to serve just those two foods, but it’s perfectly quirky and awesome. Just like Dad.

My dad typically makes two kinds of chili: red chili, with loads of beans and ground beef and tomatoes and chopped veggies, and this white chicken chili. The former, I believe, is his original recipe (which I need to share, too, one day) while the latter is a take on Melissa d’Arabian’s recipe. In both cases, my dad is famous for them. Well, in our immediate family, at least. But we’re really big fans.