Happy Monday! I hope you have the day off today and are able to spend the day relaxing or doing something you love. I’m taking the husky to get fixed and my husband is 100% convinced that I’ll spend the entire day sitting in the vet office, biting my nails and waiting for her surgery to be over.

I will actually probably spend the day stuffing my face because I tend to do that when I’m worried. Good thing I have these Mocha-Chip Cheesecake Bars in the fridge, huh?

I made this over the weekend because my husband had 24 hour duty and I do what I always do when he’s gone for 24 hours: sit on my butt and watch a marathon of whatever show I’m currently into. I took time away from that important stuff to make these so it looked like I actually did something.

I really, really love cheesecake and cheesecake is even better when it’s baked in bars instead of a fussy water bath. These bars have a delicious oat crust and crumble. Then the cheesecake itself is coffee flavored with mini chocolate chips. It’s good, really good.

Three years ago: Orange Ricotta Pancakes
Four years ago: Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Five years ago: Devil’s Food White Out Cake

Mocha-Chip Cheesecake Bars


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking cocoa
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
3 eggs
3/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Heat oven to 350F. Grease bottom and sides of jelly roll pan, 15 1/2x10 1/2x1 inch, with shortening or spray with cooking spray. Beat flour, oats, brown sugar, butter, 1 teaspoon coffee (dry), the salt and baking soda in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon, until crumbly. Press about 4 cups of the mixture in pan; reserve remaining crumb mixture.
  2. Beat remaining ingredients except chocolate chips in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until blended. Stir in 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips. Spread over crust. Stir remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips into remaining crumb mixture. Sprinkle over cream cheese mixture; press lightly.
  3. Bake 32 to 40 minutes or until center is set and topping is light golden brown. Cool 30 minutes. Refrigerate at least 3 hours until chilled. For bars, cut into 8 rows by 6 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.


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Have you tried the STAR Butter Flavored Olive Oil?

I saw someone do a blog post about using it to make chocolate chip cookies a couple months back and was immediately intrigued. I really like oil over butter in certain baked goods but I still want that butter taste so this is kind of the perfect product for me. It’s also great because my stove hates me and trying to melt butter on it usually ends with brown butter and I don’t always want brown butter!

I found it at Walmart with all the other olive oils:

I typically wouldn’t use an olive oil for baking since they do have a very distinct flavor but this one is meant for baking. Or cooking. Or whatever you want!

I’ve been in the mood for peanut butter and jelly bars for weeks and finally decided to make them using this in place or the butter I would normally use. They turned out delicious and buttery in all the right ways!

The bars themselves are delicious. Like a peanut butter sandwich but obviously better! The cookie part stays nice and soft with the top bits getting just a tiny bit crisp. And the salty peanuts on top are the perfect compliment to the super sweet jelly. If you’ve never made PB&J bars before, I definitely suggest you try them.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars (with Butter Flavored Olive Oil)


1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup STAR Butter Flavored Olive Oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup strawberry jelly
2/3 cup salted peanuts, roughly chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8x8 square pan with parchment or aluminum foil.
  2. Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Stir in oats. Set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat together STAR Butter Flavored Olive Oil and sugar. Add egg, peanut butter, and vanilla; beat until combined. Slowly add in flour mixture and beat until the flour is incorporated.
  4. Put 2/3 of the dough into the prepared pan and spread to the sides of the pan. Put jelly on the dough and use a spatula to spread it to all the sides. Dollop the remaining dough over the jelly - it doesn't need to cover it completely. Sprinkle with peanuts.
  5. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until the topping is golden brown.
  6. Cool on a wire rack before cutting and serving.


I forgot to blog yesterday.

I mean, seriously. And that never happens. (Being lazy is a different story. That happens all the time).  I swear I’m losing my mind. Last Thursday I forgot to cook dinner. Just forgot. My husband came home and I followed him into the kitchen and then was all “CRAP! I KNEW THERE WAS SOMETHING I NEEDED TO DO!” And then Saturday night he was nice enough to go get me some Chinese food and on the way out the door he asked if I’d make a pot of coffee and I swear it immediately left my brain.

I’m blaming the weather. Or maybe I’m just getting old.

I made these Rice Krispies Treats yesterday because I’m obsessed with Rice Krispies Treatsright now. This was one of those times I told myself I was only going to take a nibble to test it out and then feed the rest to the kids. Do I need to tell you how that turned out?

I used this pudding mix and I suggest you go out and find some immediately and then buy all that’s on the shelf. I’ve been searching for it for a few weeks and finally found it at my Walmart. I bought a couple boxes and then regretted it and went back for me. Sold out. Omg. So yeah, go now. To Walmart. Buy it.

Two year ago: Buffalo Chicken Sliders
Three years ago: Snickerdoodle Pinwheels

Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispies Treats

adapted from Rice Krispies


3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 (10 ounce) package of marshmallows
3 tablespoons Pumpkin Spice pudding mix
6 cups Rice Krispies


  1. In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Stir in pudding mix until combined
  2. Add Rice Krispies and stir until it is well coated.
  3. Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cool completely before cutting and serving.



It is officially acceptable to start posting pumpkin recipes! I started making pumpkin stuff weeks ago but I haven’t even been taking photos because I’m so weird about waiting until October 1. But you better believe I am celebrating with a pumpkin spice latte and one of these babies for breakfast.

Anyway, one of my favorite fall treats is the pumpkin roll but those are kind of annoying to make. You’ve got to roll it in a towel covered in powdered sugar and then wait forever for it to cool and HOPE it doesn’t crack or break apart or anything like that. These bars are for those of us that hate all the pumpkin roll drama but still want the pumpkin cake with some cream cheese.

They are perfection and they taste like breakfast, if that makes sense. Like they aren’t so sweet that they’ll make you feel ill all day if you have one for perfect. It’s basically pumpkin bread and pumpkin bread is a perfectly acceptable breakfast food, right?


Now go make something with pumpkin!

One year ago: Pumpkin Walnut Muffins
Three years ago: Chicken with Cider & Bacon Sauce
Four years ago: Black Bean Burgers

Pumpkin Roll Bars


Pumpkin batter:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 (15 ounce.) can pumpkin
1/4 cup water
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Cream Cheese Filling
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with aluminum foil or spray pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs, pumpkin, vanilla and water until well blended.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin/butter mixture and combine until well blended.
  4. Spread about 2/3 of the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
  5. In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese, 1 egg, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla until smooth.
  6. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over the pumpkin batter. Dollop the remaining pumpkin batter over the cream cheese batter and spread out as evenly as possible. Use a table knife to swirl together the cream cheese and top layer of pumpkin batter.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the center of the pumpkin batter springs back when touched. Cool completely in pan, then cut into bars.



I’m giving away a copy of Carla Hall’s Cooking with Love – make sure you enter! (And did you see that Carla actually commented on that post?! Crazy!)

This is the first year I’ve gotten my hands on meyer lemons. The past couple years I’ve seen them at the store and said, “I’m gonna go right home, find a recipe, and then come back for these!” And then by the time I make it back to the store, they’re gone. The season is just so short! So this year I snatched a bag up as soon as I spotted them.

My husband loves lemon bars and even though he’s doing the Paleo thing, I knew he’d cheat for them. So obviously I made some. Because I live to sabotage his diet. You really can’t go wrong with lemon bars. Sweet and tart all at once with a shortbread crust. I mean, there’s nothing I don’t like about them. If you can find meyer lemons, I definitely suggest trying them out in bars. (I was at the store yesterday and saw them so I’m hoping you will still be able to find them too.)

One year ago: Superbowl Snacks
Three years ago: Italian Bread

Meyer Lemon Bars

from Treats


For the crust:
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar, plus more to sprinkle on the finished bars
pinch of salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into 8 pieces
For the filling:
7 large egg yolks
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup meyer lemon juice (from about 4-5 medium lemons)
finely grated zest from the lemons
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in to 4 pieces
3 tablespoons heavy cream


    To make the crust:
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 9x9-inch square pan with parchment or aluminum foil. Set aside.
  2. Put the flour, powdered sugar and salt in a food processor and process briefly, about 2 seconds just to combine. Add the butter pieces and process until the mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle the mixture into the prepared cake pan and press firmly with your fingers into an even layer over the entire pan bottom.
  3. Bake in a preheated oven until golden brown, about 20 - 23 minutes.
  4. To make the filling:
  5. In a medium saucepan whisk together the egg yolks and whole eggs until combined. Whisk in the sugar, meyer lemon juice, zest, and salt.
  6. Add the butter pieces and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the curd thickens to a thin sauce-like consistency (about 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer), about 6 minutes.
  7. Immediately pour the curd through a fine-mesh steel strainer set over a bowl. Stir in the heavy cream and pour the curd into the warm crust.
  8. Bake until the filling is shiny and opaque and the center 3 inches jiggle slightly when shaken, about 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature. Remove the bars from the pan and cut into squares, wiping the knife blade clean between cuts as necessary. Sift powdered sugar over the bars.