June 30, 2011

CSA Week 4

What a haul!
In the week 4 CSA bag, clockwise from top left:

lettuce (thankfully this is the last week of lettuce!)
sweet onions
baby leeks
blackberries (what a lovely surprise!)
summer squash

June 29, 2011


What's up? I'm Gaby. I'm chilling in a box.

Bulgur Pilaf with Cabbage

I wasn't sure what I was going to do with the small head of cabbage in the CSA bag. I normally don't like cabbage and I don't have much experience with it. I pulled out Chez Panisse Vegetables and found what sounds like a great recipe for Warm Cabbage, Onion, and Apple Slaw, but alas, I had no apples and was too lazy to go to the grocery, so I decided to see what Mark Bittman had to suggest. I found Bulgur Pilaf with Cabbage, Lebanese Style, one of the variations of his recipe for Bulgur Pilaf with Vermicelli in How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by this dish. Because I added the cabbage at the end, it retained its crunch, which was a nice contrast to the chewy bulgur and the soft onion. While eating this, I couldn't help but think it would be infinitely better with ground pork! Next time!

Bulgur Pilaf with Cabbage, Lebanese Style
From Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick unsalted butter)
1 large or 2 medium onions, chopped (I used my one CSA sweet onion)
1 cup bulgur (I used Bob's Red Mill)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste (I used a little more, because I wanted to use up the tube that has been hanging out in my fridge for too long)
2 1/4 cups vegetable broth, heated to boiling point (I used about 2 1/2 cups)
1 cup shredded cabbage
2 teaspoons pickling spice (Bittman's recipe for pickling spice includes cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, red chiles, mustard seeds, allspice berries, cloves, black peppercorns, coriander seeds, cardamom seeds and dill seeds. I was not about to make a pickling spice for this dish, so I threw in a shake each of ground cinnamon, ground cardamom, and ground ginger and threw in a bunch of fresh cilantro.)
a squeeze of lemon juice (I used white wine vinegar)
dash of Worcestershire sauce
handful of chopped cilantro leaves

1. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes.

2. Add the bulgur and cook, stirring, until coated with the butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, add the tomato paste, and the boiling stock. Stir and add whatever spices you are using. Turn the heat to low, cover and cook for 10 minutes.

3. Stir in the cabbage, the lemon juice (or vinegar), the Worcestershire sauce and the cilantro leaves. Taste for seasoning.

June 28, 2011

Garlic Scape and Basil Pesto Penne

Watch out! Those garlic scapes are intense! They will keep more than vampires away! The cats, naturally, acted disgusted as only cats can act, but Patton didn't seem to be bothered by my sharp, spicy garlic breath. Probably because he loves me unconditionally. The jury's out on the cats.

This pesto recipe is from the Potomac Vegetable Farms Cookbook, which I received as a CSA member this year. Their recipe with my notes is below. I added one pint of quartered grape tomatoes (they were the biggest grape tomatoes I have ever seen!) to the hot penne and the pesto. Add a little pasta water to thin out the pesto.

Garlic Scape and Basil Pesto
From Potomac Vegetable Farms Cookbook

1/4 cup garlic scapes, chopped into 2 inch pieces (I threw in all five of the garlic scapes I received)
1/4 cup basil (I used all of the basil I received)
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (I would have used more lemon juice, but one of the lemons I had bought was a moldy nasty mess)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (I did use more, but I wanted the pesto to be pretty chunky since I would thin it with pasta cooking water)
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (sadly, I didn't have enough cheese in the fridge; I don't think I even had a cup)
Sea salt

1. Process the scapes, basil and lemon juice in a food processor until in small chunky pieces.  With the processor running, slowly add the olive oil through the chute. Scrape down the sides and add the cheese. Add salt to taste and add more olive oil until it gets to the desired consistency.

June 26, 2011

Anise Hyssop Gin & Tonic

My suspicion was correct: anise hyssop tastes delicious muddled in a cocktail! And it happens to be my favorite cocktail, the gin & tonic! The herb doesn't impart a ton of flavor, but it does perfume the drink, so when you take a sip, you smell its anise, minty sweetness.

I would love to give you a recipe for this, but honestly, I have no idea how many ounces of ingredients I use. Let's consider the below more of a guideline.

Anise Hyssop Gin & Tonic
Serves 1


10 anise hyssop leaves
London dry gin of your choosing (I like Tanqueray)
St. Germain
Tonic (I like Q Tonic, but it can be hard to find)

1. Muddle the anise hyssop leaves in the bottom of your glass. I don't have a muddler, so I used the end of a wooden spoon. When muddling herbs, you only want to bruise them so they release their essential oils. You are not trying to break them or make them into a pulp. (For an interesting article on muddling, this one from Jason Wilson at the Washington Post is a good read.)

2. Add some gin, some St. Germain (I typically add about 1/3 the amount of gin), 4 or 5 ice cubes, some tonic and give it a stir. Relax and enjoy summer.

June 24, 2011

Vegetarian Dinner Party

My friend and co-worker, Tieneke, was in town this week, so I decided to have her and another friend and co-worker, Allison, over for a vegetarian feast!

Bright magenta beet dip!

We started with creamy beet and tahini dip, which is from Eating Local, a cookbook published by Sur La Table and which came free with my Valentine's Day present from MM. I have been looking forward to using it when my CSA started. Eating Local is organized by ingredient (mostly vegetables) rather than by appetizer, main course, etc., which is really helpful when you are staring at a bag of vegetables and wondering what to do with them! Another thing I like about this cookbook is the pictures. They are mostly of the vegetables in the soil or just after they have been harvested and they are gorgeous! I usually don't like cookbooks that don't have pictures of the completed dishes, but the photography strategy for this book works well. We all enjoyed this recipe, so we'll see what else I can find to try from this book. (I think the dip got even better after a night in the fridge!)

A little heavy handed with the cilantro...

For the main course, I made caraway-spiced chickpea stew with mint yogurt from Food & Wine's May 2011 issue. I made a couple little changes to this recipe: I used a can of drained and rinsed chickpeas instead of dried ones, substituted vegetable broth when the recipe calls for chickpea soaking liquid and threw a diced sweet potato onto the roasting pan with the carrots. I think sweet potato enhances the flavor of any vegetable dish and I had one lying around, so I thought, why not? I also used fresh mint with the yogurt, instead of dried. I have always read that if you can use fresh, you might as well. I was very pleased with the results. The sweet potato added a welcome creamy element to the dish and the mint yogurt was fresh and flavorful. We all agreed that the cilantro added at the end is not a garnish; it adds a necessary balance to the other flavors, so don't leave it out! If I make this again, the one thing I would probably change is to add less cumin. I find cumin to be an overpowering flavor and it pretty much overwhelmed the caraway flavor that had been infused into the onions.

(My last comment on this dish - it isn't really a stew - at least it doesn't fall into my definition of a stew - but how can I argue with Yotam Ottolenghi? His vegetarian cookbook, Plenty, won a couple awards last year and was very well reviewed by food critics and writers that know a hell of a lot more about food than I do! So I will call it a "stew.")

We had multi-grain rolls with roasted garlic butter to accompany the "stew." After trying frozen Pepperidge Farm Stone Baked multi-grain rolls with a coupon, I have become mildly obsessed with them. They come out of the oven tasting like fresh-baked bread every time. I enthusiastically recommend trying them. For the roasted garlic butter, I followed Joy the Baker's roasted garlic guidelines (but really most "recipes" for roasting garlic are the same). I left the salt and pepper off the garlic because I knew I was going to mix it into salted Irish butter. Yes, luscious Kerrygold Irish butter. I used half a stick (8 tablespoons/4 oz) with one head of garlic.

Glorious creamy vanilla bean ice cream!

For dessert, we had homemade vanilla bean ice cream with macerated strawberries (the strawberries didn't make it into the photo, obviously). I used this recipe from Epicurious for the ice cream (although I changed it to two cups heavy cream, two cups whole milk), mainly because it seemed to be the most pure one I could find and it only used three eggs. Some of the recipes I found used 5-8 eggs. Are you kidding me?? This literally tasted like cold, smooth vanilla cream. It was decadent. Like any more than two scoops in one sitting will overwhelm you decadent. I am really interested to see how lower fat homemade ice cream turns out and maybe even frozen yogurt. I am actually partial to soft serve frozen yogurt (shout out to Mr. Yogato!), so that may be my next foray into frozen desserts!

The macerated strawberry recipe was from Saveur's June/July 2011 issue. They call it strawberry compote, but I think macerated strawberries describes it better. (Aren't compotes usually heated?) The strawberries were great, but the lime is a little strong and it overwhelmed the delicate vanilla of the ice cream. I agree with the recipe head note that they would work well over pound cake - or better yet, try them in strawberry shortcake!

Overall, dinner was great and Patton enjoyed having 4 more hands to pat him! Thanks for making the trek to Arlington, ladies!

Creamy Beet and Tahini Dip
From Eating Local

Makes about 2 cups

1 pound red beets (weight without greens, about 3 medium beets)
1 garlic clove, quartered
1/4 cup well-stirred tahini
3 to 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (you can usually get 2 tablespoons of juice from one lemon; I ended up using 1 1/2 lemons for this dip and then the other half of the second lemon for the chickpea "stew")
Kosher or sea salt
Toasted pita wedges or some other vehicle on which to get the dip to your mouth (I made za'atar spiced pita chips, which is this Food & Wine recipe minus the paprika)

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove all but 1 inch of the beet stems. Put the beets in a baking dish and add water to a depth of 1/4 inch. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake until a knife pierces them easily, 45 to 55 minutes (mine were done at 45 minutes). When cool enough to handle, peel the beets and cut into quarters.

2. Puree the beets and garlic in a food processor until smooth (this takes a couple of minutes and you will probably want to scrape down the sides a couple times). Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the tahini. Add the lemon juice gradually. You may not need it all, or you may want a little more. The tahini requires a lot of lemon for balance. Season with salt.

3. Serve the dip with pita wedges or whatever else you choose. It will keep, refrigerated, for up to one week.

June 23, 2011

CSA Week 3

In this week's CSA bag, clockwise from bottom left:

sweet onion
anise hyssop (If you have never heard of anise hyssop - I certainly hadn't until I received this week's bag - it is an herb in the mint family, but the leaves taste ever so slightly of anise, a little minty, and rather sweet. I am not sure what I am going to do with it, but I suspect that it would be delicious muddled in a cocktail!)
Swiss chard
garlic scapes

June 21, 2011

Barley Risotto with Chickpeas, Edamame and Tomatoes

This is one of the most satisfying dishes I have made in a long time. I was inspired by this post on Smitten Kitchen, but added in a bunch of other items. One of my best decisions was to throw in some toasted walnuts to give the dish a crunch.

This recipe has a little bit of everything: the barley is pleasantly chewy and slightly nutty; the chickpeas are firm, but also creamy; the edamame tastes fresh; the tomatoes contribute a welcome bit of acidity; the walnuts add crunch and earthiness; and the Parmigiano-Reggiano melts beautifully into everything and adds just the right amount of salt. This dish is very filling, and perhaps it is better suited for the colder months when we are looking for something to stick on our bones, but I enjoyed it just fine on one of the last days of spring.

Barley Risotto with Chickpeas, Edamame and Tomatoes
Inspired by Smitten Kitchen, who adapted a recipe from Food & Wine

Serves 4


4 1/2 - 5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (you could really use whatever kind of broth you'd like)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil (I used a non-stick pan, so I didn't need much fat; if you are using stainless or something else, you may need more)
3 baby leeks, sliced into half moons and thoroughly cleaned (leeks love dirt and you don't want to bite down on a grain of sand!)
1 small sweet onion, diced
1 cup pearled barley
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with juice (I like Contadina)
1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 8 oz bag frozen edamame, slightly undercooked (I had bought a bag that you can steam right in the bag in the microwave; I cooked for one minute less than suggested)
2 handfuls walnuts, coarsely chopped and toasted (you can toast in a 350 oven for 10 minutes or in a dry pan over medium-low heat on the stovetop)
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

1. Bring the broth to a low simmer in a saucepan and keep it at a simmer.

2. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large deep skillet. Add the onion and leek and saute until soft, a couple minutes. Add the barley and cook for two minutes, stirring frequently. Add the wine and stir until mostly absorbed. Add about one cup of stock and stir until absorbed. Add the remaining broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until absorbed after each addition, until most of it is used. It will take approximately 25 minutes to cook, but the best way to know if it is done is to just taste the barley.

3. Add the tomatoes and their juice and cook for a minute or two. Add the chickpeas, edamame and walnuts and cook for another minute or two. Remove from heat and add most of the cheese. Taste for seasoning (I didn't need to add any salt or pepper). Serve with the remaining cheese. (I had a little bit of the broth leftover, so when boxing up leftovers, I added a little to each tupperware so when reheated it wouldn't be dry.)

June 20, 2011

Braised Dandelion Greens with Bacon

I don't like bitter greens. I thought cooking them in bacon grease would make me like them. It didn't.

I sauteed the two spring onions and the green garlic in the bacon grease too. They were great until I added the dandelion greens. Then they became bitter too. The bacon tasted great though! Patton and I ate every last bit of it.

June 17, 2011

Roasted Beets and Fennel with Goat Cheese

Not too pretty and not too exciting. 

I roasted the CSA beets and fennel together and threw some goat cheese on top. It tasted great!

June 16, 2011

CSA Week Two

We see some familiar faces in week two's CSA bag!

Clockwise from the left, we have:

red beets
dandelion greens
spring onions
green garlic
baby leeks
head of lettuce
garlic scapes

June 15, 2011

Sesame Soy Braised Bok Choy and Kohlrabi

I knew I had to use the CSA kohlrabi and when at the grocery store over the weekend, I noticed that the baby bok choy looked good. I thought, let's put the two together and use Asian flavors. Luckily, when I got home I found this great recipe on the Blue House Farm website. What was even luckier is that I had all the other ingredients on hand except peanut oil (I used canola oil) and the fresh ginger (I used dried, ground ginger). As you can see from the picture, I cut the kohlrabi in large matchsticks and threw them in the skillet when the bok choy stalks went in.

I was feeling lazy after all that chopping and gathering of ingredients, so instead of making rice, I made a package of the Seeds of Change "Ready-to-Heat" mixture of seven whole grains. I had a coupon to try a Seeds of Change product and I was impressed. It comes in a microwaveable packet and you just tear it slightly to create a vent and stick it in the microwave for 90 seconds. The grains had good texture and were delicious. I will certainly be buying it again.

Overall this dish was great; I love the flavor combination of soy sauce, sesame, ginger and garlic.

June 14, 2011

Bacon, Swiss Chard and Kale Pasta

I had a bunch of kale hanging out in the crisper drawer with the CSA swiss chard and found this recipe on Epicurious. Obviously I thought, "well, bacon's got to make kale and swiss chard taste delicious!" And it did. I have eaten its leftovers for three days. I never get that far! The balsamic vinegar added at the end really adds a depth of flavor to the sauce.

I followed the recipe as written, except I used half a pound of Giada's fusilli col buco pasta, about 2/3 pound of bacon, and I didn't have any Parmigiano-Reggiano on hand, so I used Pecorino Romano.

June 13, 2011

Las Vegas

My cousins and I had a girls' trip to Las Vegas last week and I thought I would share some highlights.

We stayed at the gorgeous Palazzo Hotel.

Exterior of Palazzo
Double sinks
Tub and shower
One of two queen beds
The Palazzo is all suites and we had two queens beds and a sitting area with an L-shaped couch, a work desk and chair and a round table with four chairs. There were also three televisions: one in the sitting area, one in front of the beds and one in the bathroom!

After checking in, we had lunch at Emeril's Table 10 restaurant in the Palazzo. My cousin Taylor and I had fried shrimp po'boys with delicious fat french fries that were crisp on the outside and delightfully creamy on the inside and my cousin Kara had the prosciutto panini.

We had tickets to O, a Cirque du Soleil show at the Ballagio on our first night, so we decided to try out Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill for dinner in neighboring Caesar's Palace. Before dinner, we walked around the Ballagio, the lobby of which has a gorgeous Dale Chihuly sculpture on the ceiling.

Detail of Chihuly sculpture
Paper umbrellas suspended from the ceiling in one of the Bellagio hallways

At Mesa Grill, we started with the goat cheese "queso fundido"  with blue corn tortilla strips. I had the tiger shrimp and roasted garlic corn tamale for my main course (I tried to order something small seeing as this was my fourth, yes fourth, meal of the day). Taylor had the New Mexican spice rubbed pork tenderloin with bourbon-ancho chile sauce, sweet potato tamale and crushed pecan butter, while Kara had the coffee rubbed filet mignon with a side of the smoothest, creamiest mashed potatoes you have ever tasted.

O was amazing - I absolutely recommend checking it out if you are ever in Las Vegas.

Unfortunately we overslept breakfast the next day, so had to settle for lunch at Bouchon. (Long time BlB readers will remember MM and I went to Bouchon in Napa last summer.) They were running their "express" menu which I can't find online anywhere and consists of salads and sandwiches. We all had different sandwiches and if I am remembering correctly, I had an Italian-themed sandwich with salami, capicola, prosciutto, provolone and possibly more items. I think Taylor had a French ham and cheese with mustard sandwich and I can't remember what Kara had. (Sorry!) The french fries were spectacular: thin, crispy and intrinsically salty.
Bouchon's bar

Bouchon is in the Venetian Hotel (which is connected to the Palazzo), and after lunch we checked out the sights and walked around the Grand Canal Shoppes.

You walk by approximately 15 pools to get from the Palazzo to the Venetian.
The lobby of the Venetian
Detail of the ornate ceiling

The Grand Canal Shoppes is the neatest set up. There is an actual canal with water and gondolas and singing gondoliers!
The gondolier is singing; use your imagination.
Me, Taylor and Kara
For our second and final night, we wanted to check out the new Aria hotel and we decided on Sirio for dinner. (We had to have Italian food at least once!) Oh. My. Goodness. The food at Sirio was absolutely delicious. Taylor and Kara started with the romana in bagna cauda salad (which the waiter translated as Caesar's salad) and I started with the rucola e carciofi salad (arugula and artichoke), which was big enough for all of us to share as a starter. We all had pasta for our main course: Taylor had the agnolotti di vitello (veal stuffed pasta), Kara had the ravioli all'astice (lobster ravioli), and I had the risotto pescatora (seafood risotto), which had clams, mussels, swordfish, scallops and more. Again, the portion was so large that this risotto could have easily have fed the three of us, but I wasn't about to complain because it was delicious.

After dinner we headed back to the Venetian to see the Blue Man Group. It was certainly comical, and worth seeing, but O was more impressive.

For our last meal in Vegas, we went for breakfast at Morels in the Palazzo lobby before heading to the airport. I had the decadent banana and mascarpone stuffed french toast. It totally made up for missing breakfast the day before. Kara had the American breakfast (eggs, hash browns, toast and bacon) because (I quote) "[she's] an American." Taylor had the lox and bagels, although according to our waiter, the bagels weren't looking so good, so he substituted toast, which Taylor said worked out just fine. We topped off breakfast with a strong pot of French press coffee. (Our waiter tried desperately to get us to order cocktails, but he lost that battle.)

And just like that our 48 hour trip to Vegas was over and we were back at the airport, although not away from the dinging, musical slot machines.

June 12, 2011

June 10, 2011

Garlic Scape Pesto Penne with Cauliflower

Wow, that's appetizing looking...
In searching for something to do with the five garlic scapes I received in week one's CSA bag, I found that most people suggested making garlic scape pesto. I decided to use Dorie Greenspan's recipe as a guide. (Dorie has a great description of garlic scapes on that page if you aren't familiar with them.) I only had whole roasted, salted almonds, so my pesto had brown specks from the almond skins. I didn't measure anything (I find that when I first started cooking I insisted on measuring EVERYTHING. Now, I get so annoyed at having to wash all the measuring cups and spoons that I just dump in however much I want!) I knew I wanted to use my pesto as a pasta sauce, so I purposefully stopped adding oil when it was thick and chunky, so I could thin it with pasta water later. The pesto by itself was flavorful and packed a punch. The almonds paired beautifully with the fresh, spicy garlic scapes.

I had a head of cauliflower I wanted to use up and didn't feel like turning on the oven, so roasting was out of the question. (Oh, the tragedies of life.) I found this recipe from Smitten Kitchen and decided to try to cook the cauliflower as Deb suggests. I included an onion as in the recipe, but omitted the red pepper flakes (yuck!), the garlic (got enough of that already!), the lemon juice (if I had had a lemon on hand, I would have included), the walnuts, and the cheese. The cauliflower and onion took forever to cook and only got slightly brown. I loved the flavor the white wine vinegar gave the cauliflower and I think if I had had lemon, it would have been even better.

Overall this dish was good and made a ton of food (and I only made a half pound of pasta). The flavor of the garlic scape pesto got really mild with the addition of the pasta water, which was kind of disappointing, seeing as it was so strong and flavorful by itself.

June 9, 2011

CSA Salad Lettuce

I decided I might as well make a salad for lunch at work with the "salad mix" lettuce from week one's CSA bag. I threw in some parsley and dried cranberries, so it wouldn't be all lettuce and whipped up an avocado dressing similar to this avocado dipping sauce. (I didn't have a lemon, so used white wine vinegar as the acid. And I forgot about the garlic. And I didn't feel like cleaning the food processor, so I just whisked it; which means I also didn't include the parsley.)

Boy was I disappointed. The lettuce was sooo bitter. Almost inedible. Luckily, the avocado dressing is flavorful and it masked some of the bitterness. I also may have used a forkful of dressing for every two pieces of lettuce...

June 8, 2011

CSA Week 1

In the bag for week one:

purple kohlrabi
garlic scapes
green garlic
rainbow chard
head of lettuce
salad mix

Stay tuned...hopefully I will be able to use all of it before it goes bad!

June 4, 2011


Someone's not doing a very good job hiding....

June 3, 2011

Roasted Vegetables with Creamy Avocado Dipping Sauce

I know, I know, more roasted vegetables. I will move on eventually.

Hands down, the star of this dish is the avocado dipping sauce. Oh. My. Goodness. I found myself eating it with a spoon while I was waiting for the vegetables to finish roasting. I literally licked the bowl of the food processor clean. So unbelievably delicious! And it couldn't be easier; just throw all the ingredients into a food processor and let it go!

One note about the roasted vegetables: I used golden beets, baby yellow potatoes and kohlrabi (and I threw five grape tomatoes on the pan during the last five minutes, just to see what would happen). In case you have never seen kohlrabi, here is a picture:

Picture from Simply Recipes
Cute, right? I was so intrigued by the way it looked that I just had to try it. And I will tell you, it was actually better raw than roasted. Raw, it tastes a little like broccoli stems with the texture of an apple. After roasting, it didn't have much taste. However, they served as an excellent vehicle to get the avocado dip into my mouth!

And on a not completely unrelated note, Patton loves vegetables. Raw cauliflower stems? Check. Roasted beets? Check. Raw broccoli stems? Check. The core of the fennel bulb? Check. Roasted potatoes? Check. Raw kohlrabi? Check. Parsley stems? Check.

Creamy Avocado Dipping Sauce
Adapted from Best of Mother Earth

Flesh from 1 avocado
1 garlic clove
Juice from 1 lemon
Handful of parsley leaves
1 1/2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Combine all ingredients except olive oil and salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth and while running, slowly drizzle olive oil through the chute. Taste for salt and pepper.

June 2, 2011

Greek Shrimp with Spinach, Feta and Stelline

So I am not going to lie: I wanted to make this so I could use the cute little star-shaped pasta!

This recipe is from the Washington Post and turned out to be a great weeknight meal. (And it does reheat well.) If I were to make it again, I would add more spinach, tomatoes and feta and would consider decreasing the amount of pasta. 

June 1, 2011

Cheesecake Cookie Dough bars

Cheesecake is not one of my favorite desserts. I usually like it when I eat it, but it isn't something I crave or ever have the desire to make or order. But, it has been so hot lately that I liked the idea of a cool treat, and really, isn't everything better with cookie dough?

I found this recipe on the blog, My Baking Addiction. As you can see, my bars don't look anything like the picture on My Baking Addiction's page. We'll call mine "rustic." I think one of my problems is that my ratio of melted butter to graham cracker crumbs for the crust was off. I had too many crumbs and not enough butter, so it didn't hold together well. Second, I could have baked the bars longer, but I was impatient and I had already left them in the oven 5 minutes longer than the recipe indicated.

All in all the bars turned out ok. They taste great right out of the fridge, but the "cookie dough" doesn't taste like real cookie dough; more just like sugar and chocolate, which isn't bad, of course, but it isn't what I expected.