Girl Versus Dough

cilantro-lime chicken bake

Cilantro-Lime Chicken Bake

Oh hey, bonus weekend post! I just couldn’t wait until Monday to share this yumminess with you all.

This week in Minnesota has been so offbeat in the weather department. The mornings generally have been damp and cool, but by the afternoon it is right back to being sunny and warm-hot (like hot, but less sweltering). Dare I say these cooler mornings have been making me excited for the fall? Though by midday, I’m enraptured again by the summertime sunshine and warmth. So really, it’s been the best of both weather worlds. Well done, Minnesota.

What does this weather-talk have to do with a cilantro-lime chicken bake, you ask? Well, it’s a casserole, which is a quintessential fall dish for me. But it’s not as heavy and rich as many tend to be; instead, this one is lighter, with bright, bold flavors and an awesome, flavorful roasted tomato sauce a la Old El Paso. In other words, it’s a perfect meal for these offbeat, late-summer days.

roasted blueberry malted milkshakes

Roasted Blueberry Malted Milkshakes

If there is anything I’ve learned from this summer, it’s that grilling and/or roasting fruit is an excellent idea (I hope I’ve learned more than that this season, but you know, I’ll take what I can get). Grilled watermelon? Come to mama. Grilled peaches? Total treat-yo-self business. Roasted strawberries? Uh-huh times a trillion.

But I digress. Because what I’m really here to tell you today is that roasted blueberries are and forevermore shall be one of the tastiest things to come out of my kitchen — second only to roasted blueberry malted milkshakes, that is.

brie + jam pretzel hand pies

brie pretzel hand pies on plate

I wasn’t sure what to call these. Calzones? Stuffed pretzel rolls? Circles of sweet and savory goodness?

But I ate them with my hands and a pie filled with brie and jam sounds pretty tasty, so… hand pies. Pretzel hand pies, to be exact. With brie and raspberry jam in the center. Oooooh yes.

Obviously I’m currently suffering from a case of post-traumatic house-moving disorder, thus my random thoughts and erratic sentence structure. OK, OK, I’m being dramatic. It wasn’t that bad, really. But if someone wants to come unpack all these boxes for me and put everything where it’s supposed to go while I sit here eating pretzel hand pies, that would be swell.

three-cheese crackers

Three-Cheese Crackers

I’ve been staring at the word “cheese” for the last 10 minutes and it’s starting to look funny.

Does that ever happen to you? You look at a very normal, everyday word like “where” or “hotel” and if you look at it long enough, it starts to look like a different word or like a weird, foreign word. And then you wonder if you’ve been misspelling it all your life, or mispronouncing it (like how Elliott says “roon” instead of “ruin” and totally DENIES it, even though everyone knows he does). And then you realize you just spent a whole paragraph telling the interwebs one of your many quirky quirks.

So anyway — CHEESE. More specifically, homemade cheese crackers. Let’s talk about it.

plum-blackberry cream cheese bread + oat streusel

Plum-Blackberry Cream Cheese Bread

I’m officially calling this summer the banner year of busyness. I just returned home from a weekend of potlucking, we’re moving this week to our new (and first — cue the hyperventilating) home and between it all are jobs to attend to, families to visit, friends to see and a whole lot of long to-do lists.

Please don’t misunderstand me — I am in no way complaining about these things, nor do I intend to glorify the idea of busyness. In fact, in my life I strive to do the opposite. For a long time I thought that feeling I got when my heart and lungs felt like they were being slowly strangled by a rope (I think they call it stress) meant I was doing something right — if I feel like I’ve got a lot going on, that’s a good thing, right? That means I’m busy, and our culture tells us if we’re busy that means we must be productive, influential and active members of society. Unlike those hippie-granola types out hiking in the woods right now. Pssh.

thai shrimp fried rice

Thai Shrimp Fried Rice

There are few things I love more in this world than fried rice.

I mean, there are cookies and ice cream and mini pigs and Jesus and my husband, but also, fried rice.

Oh, and the beach and summer night walks and peanut butter and a big cup of coffee in the morning and my family and friends and some other stuff, but then — FRIED RICE.

And if you were to rank all the types of fried rice in the world, this Thai shrimp fried rice would be at the tippy top for me, I love it so.

Basically, this stuff is good. Really good. And I can’t believe I put mini pigs and Jesus in the same sentence.