Thursday, September 27, 2012

Chunky Monkey No Bake Cheesecake

For the hubby's birthday I made a cheesecake. He hates his birthday, but loves cheesecake... So that evens things out!

It is a spin on the chocolate mousse cheesecake I posted this summer. It combines Banana Cream Pie with Chocolate Cheesecake!


1 Chocolate Graham pie crust

Cream cheese layer-
8oz of softened cream cheese
4oz of cool whip
1 1.4 oz instant chocolate pudding mix (I used sugar free and it tasted bland so I added a little sugar and that made it better.)
1-2 TBS heavy whipping cream
1/2 TBS sugar (or sweeten to tastes)

Mousse layer-
1 1.4oz sugar free instant banana cream pudding
1 packet of Dream Whip (Found in the baking aisle at my local grocery store)
1.5 cups of cold milk

Ganache layer-
6 oz dark chocolate chips
Heavy Whipping cream (I bought a half pint container and probably used about a quarter of it (approximately 1/4 cup)... Sometimes I just don't measure things, and go by look and texture instead.)

Banana Chips for Garnish


Beat cream cheese with electric mixer until smooth. Add in pudding mix and start by adding 1TBS heavy cream. Add in the sugar and beat until smooth. Add another TBS if the mixture looks too thick. Add 4oz of Cool Whip (half of an 8oz container), beat again until smooth and somewhat fluffy.

Spread in the bottom of the pie crust. Chill in refrigerator while you make the next layer.

Add the contents of both the pudding mix and the dream whip into a bowl. Add the milk and beat for at least 2 minutes, longer if you want it fluffier. Chill this for 5 minutes in the fridge to firm up before adding it to the cheesecake layer. Once it has firmed up, carefully spread it onto the cheesecake layer. Then chill in the fridge while you make the final layer.

Pour the chocolate chunks into a microwave safe dish, set about a TBS to the side for tempering. Pour in some heavy cream... Just enough to lightly cover the chocolate. Microwave for 30 seconds and stir, then again for 30 seconds. Don't worry if it looks curdled or like it isn't melting like straight chocolate, you will smooth it out later. Stir in the reserved chocolate pieces to cool the chocolate down. Depending on your microwave, it may take longer... But after the two 30 second intervals, I reccomend lessening it to 15 seconds at a time, stirring in between. Once the chocolate is melted, begin to beat it with your mixer. As you beat the chocolate, slowly stream in more cream until the chocolate is smooth.

Spread the ganache layer on the cheesecake and chill for at least two hours. Garnish with banana chips!


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Rain rain go away

Ive been checking out the 10 day forecast for Door County on The Weather Channel for the last week. At first it looked like we would be enjoying cooler weather during the Challenge Walk...high 60's. Perfect! Now it looks like rain and much cooler the 50's.

I can deal with the lower temps, but really want the rain to go away.

Say it with me!

Rain rain stay away from Door County this weekend.

Thank you.

I decided to make some head bands in bright orange for the girls. The first few were in a light knit. I switched over to fleece when the weather forecast changed. Thankfully my local Joanne Fabrics had both materials in stock. I also bought some orange fleece on acid. You'll see what I mean when I post pictures from the walk.


Monday, September 10, 2012

John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt

Eleven days til the big 50 mile kick off for the Wisconsin Chapter Multiple Sclerosis Challenge Walk in Door County, Wisconsin. Yesterday, Em and I walked 8 miles to get our legs and minds prepared. I have a song that runs through my head while I'm training, you guessed it...John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt. The cadence of the song keeps me on speed. The last few years I found that a 2.7 to 2.8 mph (including rest stops) is just about right and John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt gets me back on pace if I start to wander.

I looked up the lyrics to copy and paste here, but the official Girl Scout version is different from the way I learned the song.

John Jacob Jingleheimer Scmidt
That's my name too
Whenever I go out
The people always shout
John Jacob Jingleheimer Scmidt
La dah dah dah dah dah dah

repeat to infinity, getting softer on the lyrics and LOUDER on the La dah dah dah dah dah dah, until you are literally screaming. Then reverse...Louder on the lyrics and softer on the La dah dah dah dah dah dah.

When I was a kid, we went camping a lot. Seems like it was the whole summer, but it was probably just a few weeks each year.

At first we had an old army tent. That tent was HUGE. It also had a ton of holes, teeny tiny pinholes and when it know the rest. We used buckets, pots and pans, cups and even the tub we used to wash dishes to catch the drops as they came in. I think we always picked the rainiest days of summer to go camping.

If I had to name my favorite camping area, it would be a toss up. Brunet Island in the North Western section of Wisconsin and Boulder Lake in the Nicolet National Forest in the North Eastern section of Wisconsin. Both had great swimming holes, plenty of hiking and places to adventure in the canoe.

It was during those years that I learned John Jacob Jingleheimer Scmidt, we sang it loud and proud, often attracting other kids from neighboring campsites to join the fun.

Here's a shot of Brunet Island State Park.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Countdown to Challenge Walk

SEVENTEEN DAYS until we start pounding the pavement in beautiful Door County, Wisconsin. Em and I trained in the hillier (is that a word?) sections of Milwaukee County over the long Labor Day weekend. This has not been a good year for training, too stinking hot. Yet, we are excited about meeting up with some old friends and meeting some new ones.

We are staying in a cabin here. Cabin dwellling makes it feel kinda like being on a vacation, until you remember that you are WALKING 50 MILES.

Yet we have a good time, here's some photos from years past.

We are also busy as bees putting together some baskets/crafts for the silent auction. Look at what Em made this weekend.

I've also been sewing like a mad woman, going to take some sample hats out to our friends at Tadpoles in Delafield, Wisconsin. Tadpoles will once again feature our hand football hats (pattern is on Ravelry "Are you ready for some football". This time I'm hoping they will place an order for my reversible corduroy and wool bucket hats. I'll post a photo and a DIY tomorrow.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Oat Streusel Topped Banana Bread

Picture to post soon!

I love baking banana bread, but I have always been too impatient to let butter soften when I have ripe bananas attracting fruit flies! You would think I could plan that better, but that has never been the case. So when I was in college I found this recipe that cured my lack of planning. I've spruced it up with nuts or chocolate chips but the hubby is a banana bread "purest"... He doesn't mind nuts, but isn't a fan of chocolate chips... GRUMBLE... So I hope he likes my latest creation, if not... MORE FOR ME! I added a classic streusel topping and in true Nancy style I didn't measure things, except the butter.

I started with 3 TBS of butter (zapped in the microwave for 10 sec) and then added some brown sugar, cinnamon, oats and flour until the consistency looked right. For those of you who measure, use this recipe.


1/4 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup quick cooking oats