Monday, October 31, 2011

Ultra Chocolate Cheesecake, Ooh Lala

My girls really love to find fun recipes to try out and they both came to the conclusion they had to have a cheesecake. I have had success in the past with the regular New York style so I handed them my Hershey's cookbook and told them to pick.

After much arguing back and forth they finally (with a little help from mom) decided on the Ultra Chocolate Cheesecake with Mocha Crumb Crust. Wow, I feel like I gained a pound just typing the name. But, it sure was tasty!

As long as you follow the recipe and use the proper equipment, making a cheesecake is not as hard as you may think. Read through the instructions thoroughly to know the steps before you prepare. You will want to have a 9-inch springform pan. Making cheesecakes is the only thing I use mine for. I usually don't like unitaskers but this is a must for the proper cheesecake.

First, heat your oven to 350° F.

We will start with the crust.

You will need 1 1/4 cups crushed vanilla wafers. You can smash them up in a bag or use the food processor. I used the food processor:

Next, you will stir in 1/4 sugar, 1/4 cocoa, and 1 tsp of either powdered instant espresso or coffee. Mix in 1/3 cup melted butter and mix until well-blended:

Next, you will add the mixture to your springform pan. Press up around the edges about an inch and the rest on the bottom of the pan so it looks something like this:

Bake for 8 minutes and allow to cool slightly while you prepare the filling.

Beat 3, 8 oz. packages of softened cream cheese and 1 1/4 cup sugar in large bowl until fluffy. Obviously this is a picture of the ingredients before they were mixed. Somehow, I missed taking the pic between mixing the ingredients together and just after poured just make sure you are reading along too so you don't miss that step.

Add 1, 8 oz container of sour cream and 2 tsp of vanilla extract. Add 1/2 cup cocoa and 2 tbsp of all purpose flour. Add 3 eggs then beat well. Make sure that mixture is mixed all the way through. Sometimes, small pieces of cream cheese get hidden in the mixture.

Pour the mixture into the crust:

Bake for 50-55 minutes or until set. I have found that a water bath will keep the cheesecake from cracking. Cracking doesn't effect the taste but I like a pretty cheesecake. Air bubbles in the mixture also causes cracks. Make sure the mixture is completely mixed up before adding the eggs. For a water bath, just fill a pan with at hot water and set the cheesecake, with bottom wrapped in foil, in the pan of water. Put pans in oven and cook.

Remove from oven and let it cool completely. Cover and refrigerate 4-6 hours:

and several hours later after refrigerated:

Ultra Chocolate Cheesecake with Mocha Crust

Mocha crust:

1 1/4 cups vanilla wafers, crushed (around 40)
1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cups cocoa
1 tsp powdered instant espresso or coffee
1/3 cup melted butter


3, 8 ounces packages of cream cheese
1 1/4 cups sugar
1, 8 ounce container of sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup cocoa
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
3 eggs



  1. Heat oven to 350°. 
  2. Stir together vanilla wafer crumbs, sugar, cocoa, and instant espresso or coffee in a medium bowl.
  3. Add butter; stir well until blended. 
  4. Press mixture firmly into bottom and 1 inch up side of a springform pan.
  5. Bake for 8 minutes.
  6. Cool slightly.
  1. Beat cream cheese and sugar until fluffy.
  2. Add sour cream and vanilla and beat until well-blended.
  3. Add cocoa and flour, again beating until well-blended.
  4. Add eggs and beat well.
  5. Pour into crust.
  6. Cover bottom of pan with foil and set in prepared 2nd pan with water that goes about half way up sides of springform pan.
  7. Cook completely for 50-55 minutes. 
  8. Set on wire rack and take knife, running along edges of crust to loosen cake from the side of the pan. Refrigerate 4-6 hours. 

Enjoy your cheesecake!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Rolling Into Halloween

I am SO excited about tomorrow. I haven't dressed up for Halloween since, well, forever! But, tomorrow we are going to a family friendly Halloween party and I've decided to be a roller derby girl, because, well they just kick A$$! So, I have everything ready and bought for that but I'm waiting until the party to put everything on so it will be a surprise. I'll have plenty of pictures. Yay. Did I mention I was totally excited? As a sneak peek, it will look a little something like this:

Happy Halloween

So, what are you going as this year? Whatever it is have a fun Halloween, y'all!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Here's To The Crazy Ones.

1. This is one of those 'so easy why didn't I think of it' crafts that I have to make. Really, so incredibly easy that it just has to be done:

2. I woke up Sunday with the sniffles and it hasn't gotten better yet. My list of things to do is always long (and I usually love the pace) but with a cold it's nearly impossible. But, if I'm feeling down, at least I could look cute. This set is what I would wear if my inside mood was reflected in my clothes (stylishly):

Source: via Pamela on Pinterest

3. I  have been zoning in to a lot of pretty pillows lately. These are probably my favorites and who doesn't love a monkey. Even the word 'monkey' is fun to say:

4. We will be attending a family Halloween party but if I were throwing my own I would totally make this. Kids of the eighties rejoice:

5. I MADE these. So easy. We were in the mood for cinnamon toast and I found this cute recipe on (one of my favorite sites to waste time) Foodgawker!

6. This room is just so light and I am a big fan of the coloring. Really, just downright pretty.

7. Another cute little gift idea. It's not JUST a cookbook:

8. I'm sure many have moved on past grey but I'm still loving how versatile it is. It changes with it's surroundings and it definitely does not have to be dark and dull:

9. One of our many projects has been to find or make side tables for the bedroom. I'm always looking for the perfect ones but the hardest part has seemed to be finding the time to either refurb them or having Corey make them. When we FINALLY get around to it I would love for them to look something like this:

10. and last but not least the inspiration. As an introvert I frequently feel different than many people. But, I have to remind myself that it's okay to be different. If we followed popular opinion we would still think the earth was flat so here's to the MISFITS:

Bye for now. Have a great week!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

These Are a Few of My Favorite Pins

Ready for the top 10? Here we go:

1. Remember when you begged your parents for a tree house but you just never got one or if you did it didn't quite measure up to that picture in your head. Well, you're an adult now, build your own. If I did, it would look like this:

2. I had to include this one just because it humbled me pretty quick. I see myself as a relatively intelligent person but I cannot believe how long it took to 'get' this. How long did it take you?

Source: None via Pamela on Pinterest

3. This is a recipe I tried last night. I've tried to make French Onion Soup once before and it was not a success but this is a great recipe. I loved it!

4. If I had a "my friends follow these things" checklist, this would be on it:

5. I absolutely love reading. I never do it enough but since we are contemplating getting rid of cable altogether I'm hoping to do it more and will push the girls to read more too. This one had me laughing for a while. Proud to say I have never watched the show:

6. So, cute outfit of the week. Love the shirt & shoes especially. This is defintiely something I could wear in Fall in Texas:

Source: via Pamela on Pinterest

7. Although there isn't really any room right now, I'd love to have a way to display the beautiful china we have and a place to keep my cookbooks like this:

8. One of my absolute favorite things about colder weather is drinking hot chocolate. We keep a good stock of instant but also make the real stuff fairly often and I like to try different recipes. This one has Nutella in it. Pass me a cup!

9. I was watching Nate Berkus this week and saw this lady that makes everything. It was awesome. And her website, P.S. I Made This, is so cool with new projects all the time. In this one she makes a decorated hair pin that looks pretty easy. I think I'll try one and add one of the dyed feathers I just ordered on PickYourPlum this week:

10. I've heard this quote before but is very powerful. The answer should be what you strive to do.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Comfortably Cute

This morning was a little crisp. Even though we are getting highs around 90 still some days here I am ready for the cool weather. Today's outfit is a reflection of what I would wear in the most perfect crisp Autumn day. Soft sweater, hair up in a bun, tall boots with cable knit tights. If nothing else this fall I must have those tights!    Time to go find a pumpkin patch and drink some hot cider!

Comfortably Cute

Enza Costa cashmere sweater
€319 -

Acne short skirt
£380 -

H M cable knit tight
£9.99 -

High heels
£110 -

Kate spade tote
$325 -

Breil Milano heart earrings
$110 -

Tasha flower hair accessory
$28 -

Circle scarve
$25 -

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Forget Charlie Sheen's 'Winning'. We're Pinning!

As usual, I've been crazy busy but I am so glad I can pin here and there. It's my new favorite pasttime. Here's my Favs of the week:

1. This weeks first pin is a craft I saw and it has just stuck in my mind ever since. It's super simple yet it has so much impact. I think it would be fun to keep changing and adding new photos every once in a while too.

2. Next up, a DIY on how to make those cute cupcakes everyone loves. The website features a Youtube video on how to frost along with 4 special tips to get the look that you want:

3. This is part of a kitchen that I just love the look of. The color, the nailhead, the simple, elegant look of it. Now, in reality I could NEVER have white in the kitchen but I can dream right?

4. It just wouldn't be right if I didn't include chocolate in the list. Chocolate and toffee bars you can make easily. I'm in!

5. This has got to be the cutest pumpkin because it's made out of a book. Too cool!

6. Last year I bought all new Christmas decorations with everything blue and silver. I may do a door-hanging stocking like this in my color scheme:

Source: via Pamela on Pinterest

7. Another cute Christmas gift idea. Talk about upcyling. These were former socks and sweaters. What a cute idea to repurpose clothing.

Source: via Pamela on Pinterest

8. We are planning on doing a new pergola on our back porch (one day) but just don't want to do something typical. I have never seen one like this in real life but I love it:

9. Maybe it's just me but this sandwich made with sourdough, butter, jack cheese, and applesauce sounds wonderful. My husband and I have fond memories of a restaurant we visited while in Corvallis, Oregon for a wedding called Union 15. There, I had a seasonal salad with wonderful cheese and local apples and it was the BEST salad I have ever had. This sandwich kind of reminds me of that:

10. Last but not least, I decided I liked ending on an inspirational note. This one reminds me of my kids because too many times when I ask if they can do something they say they will "try". This is going to be my response from now on. Hopefully they will decide they can do it!

Well, that's all folks. Have a good week pinning!