Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars


True confession: these bars are actually semi-homemade. Another confession: no one will care … they are just that good.

I first tasted a chocolate cheesecake bar during my second year of college living in a house with fourteen (yes, you read that correctly) other 19 to 20 year old girls. As you can likely imagine, there was rarely a moment of peace and quiet. In “The White House” (as we and so many other women before and after us affectionately call it), there were more dance parties, late night conversations, hair-brained adventures, and tear-jerking laughter than could be counted. Things were chaotic, at moments dramatic, but overall simply a lot of fun. Perhaps chief among the highlights of living there were our dessert parties. And when I say dessert parties, imagine a large three story house with dessert in every room and hundreds (again, yes, you read that correctly) of people stopping by. Insane.

These bars are the recipe of my dear friend who made them for nearly every party. They are quick, easy (as I already confessed, they are semi-homemade) but they are oh so delicious. I can’t make them without missing the days spent in that big, old white house.

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars
Adapted from my friend Abi’s recipe (source unknown)

1 package pre-made chocolate chip cookie dough (our favorite is Toll House)
1 8oz block of cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1/3 c white sugar

Preheat oven to 375°.

Grease a 9X9 glass pan with butter and set aside.

Remove half of the chocolate chip cookie dough from the packaging and return the remaining half to the refrigerator. Use your fingers to mash the dough into flat pieces. If you bought a tube of cookie dough, use a knife to cut off pieces of the dough and then flatten each piece. If you bought the pre-shaped cookie dough, simply use your fingers to flatten each cookie. Line the flattened pieces in the prepared pan, covering the bottom of the pan with cookie dough. Overlapping is okay, but you don’t want to leave gaps if possible.

Use a mixer to combine the cream cheese, egg and sugar. Blend until smooth, then pour the mixture over the cookie dough.

Repeat the same process of flattening the cookie dough with the dough reserved in the refrigerator. You’ll want to cover the entire cream cheese mixture with cookie dough (or as much as you can).

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the edges are browned and the cream cheese is set.

Let cool on the counter for 30 minutes and then refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Makes 16 bars.


Turkey Cobb Salad


This salad is so easy and so good. The perfect dinner for the end of a spring day spent outside enjoying all that this season has to offer. It may be a salad but this meal doesn’t leave you wanting more as it is chock-full of great ingredients. You can easily throw the whole thing together in 20 minutes and there is no need for a side (besides perhaps a couple slices of rustic bread).

Mom friends, this is an easy meal to adapt for a toddler. I just add a little more of everything except the lettuce and serve it to them deconstructed. So easy and my little one loves it.


Turkey Cobb Salad
Adapted from Everyday Food

4 slices bacon
1 small turkey cutlet
3 T red-wine vinegar
3 T olive oil, divided
1 t Dijon Mustard
1/2 head romaine lettuce, chopped
2 small handfuls of baby spinach leaves
1 ripe avocado, diced
1/2 c goat cheese, crumbled
1 hard-boiled egg, diced
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
Salt and pepper to taste

Place bacon on broiler-proof pan. Turn broiler on high and cook approximately 2 minutes per side. Watch it closely as it will burn quickly. When the bacon is done cooking, roughly chop it.

While your bacon is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small pan. Season the turkey cutlet with salt and pepper and add to pan. Brown the turkey cutlet on both sides and continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 165° or there is no pink on the inside of the cutlet. Chop and set aside.

Combine the vinegar, oil and dijon mustard in a small bowl. Set aside.

Divide  the lettuce, spinach, avocado, goat cheese, egg, and tomatoes between two salad bowls or plates. Top with the bacon and turkey, then drizzle both with your salad dressing.

Serve immediately.

Serves 2.