Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bars

Who doesn’t like cookie dough? And who doesn’t like salmonella? Not to worry: this recipe is eggless, so no salmonella!

choc chip cookie bars

I’m not gonna lie to you: this isn’t my recipe. But it looked so scrumptious I just had to share it with you! And they only take 20 minutes to prepare—plus 3 hours to chill and bake. Looks like I know what I’ll be making this weekend!

For the complete recipe, head on over to The Recipe Critic.

It’s Grocery Shopping Day

And for me, it’s a time for decisions. But first, some background:

I recently moved into my new place. And where before I had two rooms plus a kitchen and bath, I’m now renting a room in a house. I have a bedroom, and share the rest of the house with my landlord. Except even that’s not correct, because he also has one semi-permanent friend staying over, and another one who drops by every two weeks or so and stays sometimes for a couple of days, and sometimes for a week.

All of which add up to a very crowded refrigerator and freezer.

I use the bottom drawer of my dresser for storing things that don’t need to be refrigerated, but there are times when I don’t even have room enough in the refrigerator for a gallon of milk, much less a six-pack of hard cider.

Still, it’s better than living under a bridge, especially now that winter’s on its way. The temperature dropped to 44°F/6.6°C last night, and it’s not expected to get above the mid 50s today.

So when I do get to the store, I’m going to pick up some French bread, pizza sauce, and all the rest of the makings for a couple of French bread pizzas. Sure, it’s easier to buy them frozen and stick them in the oven, but I want my own recipes, not someone else’s. Mozzarella is a given, but maybe some Gruyere as well, caramelized onions, pear slices, spinach and bay leaves.

Oh…and I’ve also got a dynamite recipe for spinach and ricotta calzones I’ll be sharing with you a little later in the week.

Did I say French bread? Forget that: pizza is Italian, so I wonder why nobody ever talks about Italian bread pizza. The store I’m going to makes excellent Italian bread, and so I’ll be making Italian bread pizza!

Thinning The Herd

This morning I decided to go through my Pepperplate account and thin out the deadwood. What qualified a recipe for deadwood status? Things I know I’ll never make. Duplicate recipes (do I really need 78 different versions of oatmeal cookies?), and recipes the tools for which I no longer own (think: rice cooker, crockpot).

I started at 11:30, and finally finished at 2:45 pm. I went from 2328 recipes in Pepperplate to 1649, a decrease of 679 recipes. When you consider that I have Pepperplate on both my iPad and my iPhone, you will understand why I wanted to reduce the space Pepperplate was consuming.

“The time has come,” the Walrus said

“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
Of cabbages–and kings–
And why the sea is boiling hot–

And whether hot dog manufacturers and hot dog bun bakers will ever agree on sizes.

Here’s what I mean:

For most of my life, hot dogs came in packages of 8, while buns came in packages of 6. Or was it the other way around? I really don’t remember. But it really doesn’t matter. The point is that you ended up with either a shortage of one or an excess of the other, which clever marketing technique forced you into buying one more of one of them.

This was probably the shrewdest piece of marketing since some unsung advertising executive decided to put “And repeat” on shampoo bottles.

But the excess problem has been resolved: I can now buy both hot dogs and buns in packages of 8.

So why am I complaining? For the simple reason that when I made my lunch today, I discovered that the packaging geniuses pulled a bait-and-switch: sure, the number of dogs and buns match, but now the dogs are so fat that the buns can’t hold them!

Today’s hot dog buns are barely wide enough to hold a hot dog, let alone the onions, sauerkraut, cream cheese, and jalapenos I want to add to it.

So I guess I’ll just go back to skinny hot dogs. Either that, or wait for the weather to cool and bake my own buns.

seattle dog

NaCHO Nachos, OUR Nachos

Something that helps keep relationships strong is sharing the same taste in food. Last night was my turn to fix dinner, so when Stacey texted me from Wegman’s wanting to know what my plan was for dinner, I immediately replied, “Either nachos or quesadillas.” (I had already asked her to pick up a bag of grated cheddar.)

After several texts back and forth, we had decided on nachos with onions, salsa, cheese, sour cream, and guacamole. I prefer to add chicken, but that’s what we had Wednesday night, and neither of us was in the mood for leftovers.

One of Staceys texts wanted to know about the sauce we had in the refrigerator door. She had typed “salsa,” but her over eager autocorrect stepped in and what I got was “What about the Saudi in the refrigerator? Hot?”

I ate dinner in fear of the NSA sending Homeland Security to burst in on us.

Oh, and the salsa? Wegman’s own brand of peach-mango salsa is om-nom-nom yummy good!

The only downside to the dinner? The oven heats up the kitchen to the point where it’s almost unbearable. Sorry, but no. We have no microwave, so nachos have to be done in the oven. Fortunately, it’s starting to be autumn, which will mean lower temperatures. 

Which, in turn, will mean more baked goodies.

My Recipe

  • One bag of Tostito Scoops brand corn chips
  • 1 8-ounce bag of grated cheese. I use sharp cheddar, but the choice is yours
  • 1 small onion, chopped (we use Vidalia onions)
  • Salsa
  • Guacamole 
  • Diced fresh tomato 
  1. Cover two oven-proof plates with corn chips. Add onions to your taste. Cover with the shredded cheese.
  2. Put in a pre-heated 350F oven for about 15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted. Remove from oven.
  3. Add salsa, tomato, sour cream, and guacamole to taste.
  4. ENJOY!
This is my last-minute recipe. Normally I’d add either some ground cumin, or some chopped cilantro. I’ve also been known to sprinkle lime juice over it all.
 
My nachos go very well with Negro Modelo beer.
 
Some people like to add garlic; I’m not one of them.

On Learning a New Stove

I recently moved from Rochester, NY to Seattle, WA. One of the nuisances we don’t consider when we move is having to learn the peculiarities of a new stove. My old stove was a gas range. Will my new one be gas, or electric? And if it’s electric (which I must admit is a more efficient way to cook), how long will it take me to learn its idiosyncrasies?

What, for example, is a “4.5” on the settings dial? Or how does “medium high” translate into actual heat?

Ovens are pretty simple: they have a temperature right on the dial. And with the help of a decent oven thermometer, it’s easy to check the dial’s accuracy and recalibrate it.

oven thermometer

Oven Thermometer

But I’m not going to worry about that right now. Right now my main goal is finding a place to live. While living in Rochester, I had forgotten that Washington State law allows a landlord to collect an amount 3 times the monthly rent before letting you move in: first and last month’s rent, plus a damage deposit equal to the monthly rent. On top of that, most landlords also demand a $40 application fee to cover the cost of running a background check on potential tenants.

Had I remembered that, I’d have stayed in Rochester until I had saved up enough money to cover those costs.

And that, my faithful readers, is why I have no new recipes for you: I don’t have a kitchen!

Robyn