Girl Versus Dough

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.

chicago-style hot dog buns

chicago style hot dogs with chips

Welp, vacation is over and it’s back to real life (until this weekend at the Big Summer Potluck, weeee!). I’m actually writing this post before vacation (working ahead and all) and while I can’t yet tell you for certain that it was wonderful and relaxing and perfectly refreshing, I’m guessing that it was. And if not? Well, we’ve got hot dogs. And that’s a topic that makes anyone happy.

While I may live in the land of Minnesotans now and potentially forevermore, I am a born and bred Illinois gal. I was born in Chicago and grew up in the suburbs and enjoyed many Chicagoland things in my adolescence, like the Art Institute and Giordano’s pizza (the best, in my humble opinion) and Wrigley Field and Soldier Field and Green River pop and Six Flags Great America and Tastee Freez and a bazillion other places and foods, not the least of which was the Chicago-style hot dog.

If you’ve never tried a Chicago-style hot dog, then you haven’t lived. Just kidding. But seriously — they’re amazing. And they all have the same formula: A Vienna beef hot dog on a poppyseed bun “dragged through the garden” with yellow mustard, neon green relish, chopped white onions, two tomato wedges, a dill pickle spear, two sport peppers and a few dashes of celery salt. Ketchup is like saying Voldemort. Don’t even go there.

browned butter dutch baby + roasted vanilla pears

Brown Butter Dutch Baby

I’ve got serious Jazz Hands-itis today, you guys! Because today, I’ve written a guest post for one of my all-time favorite blogs in all the land, A Cup of Jo. I am so honored and thrilled to be sharing a recipe on Joanna’s site for what I consider to be the best Dutch baby pancake I’ve ever had — especially so she can spend extra time with her newly expanded family.

If you’ve never had a Dutch baby pancake before, here’s the basic rundown: It’s a puffy and light pancake that you bake in the oven in a cast-iron skillet. Then, because I can’t leave well enough alone, I suggest you top it with something fruity and delicious, like fresh pears roasted with vanilla beans. Oh, and the browned butter addition also is the business. I don’t even suggest that — it’s required. And just like that, you’ve got a browned butter Dutch baby with roasted vanilla pears. Cue the jazz hands.

So now that I’ve hopefully got your tumbly all a-rumbly for this breakfast treat, head over to A Cup of Jo for the full post and recipe.

Happy Wednesday, y’all!