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New no-bake Nutella cheesecake

I saw a recipe on Pinterest the other day for this no-bake Nutella cheesecake.  It sounded like a great pairing.  But, I can’t stand cool-whip.  It tastes like raw chemicals to me.   Yes, I’ve used the stuff before, but I’m trying to cut a lot of junk out of my life.  Obviously, that doesn’t mean cutting the junkfood out of my life; I’m making a Nutella cheesecake for goodness sakes  That’s not an essential, nutrition-packed recipe, now is it?

Anyway, I have amended the original recipe as follows and it is devine.  My kids loved it too.

no bake nutella cheesecake
no bake nutella cheesecake

 No-Bake Nutella Cheesecake with Oreo crust

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 12 oreo {or oreo-like} cookies
  • 3 Tbsp butter, melted

Filling:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup Nutella
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 8 oz whipping cream
  • 3 Tbsp crème fraîche {optional}
  • 4 Tbsp sugar

Garnish: {optiontal}

  • 1 Chocolate bar {I love the intense flavor of a 70% cacao dark chocolate bar, but you can use whatever is your favorite.}
  1. In a food processor, blend the oreos until they turn to a fine powder.   In a bowl, combine the oreos and the melted butter until they clump together.  Spread the mixture on the bottom of an 8″ or 9″ pie pan.  Make sure that you have a thin layer all the way around.  {My crust was thin and did not go up the sides of the pan.}  Set aside.
  2. In the same bowl as you made the crust, add the softened cream cheese and Nutella.  Mix with a hand mixer until well blended.  Add the vanilla and mix again.  Set aside.
  3. {You do not have to clean the beaters from the Nutella mixture.} In another bowl, whip the whipping cream, crème fraîche and the sugar to fairly stiff peaks.  Be careful not to make butter though.
  4. With a rubber spatula, fold the whipped cream mixture into the Nutella mixture until there are no more white streaks.  It makes a lovely mocha-colored mixture.
  5. Add the Nutella cream mixture to the oreo crust.  Even out the top and chill about two hours before serving.
  6. If you’d like to make it fancy, grate a chocolate bar and sprinkle it on top.

 

New no-bake Nutella cheesecake

Recipe Type: Dessert
Cuisine: Chocolate
Author: Ginger Hansen
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
Scrumptious No-Bake Nutella Cheesecake with Oreo Crust
Ingredients
  • 12 oreo {or oreo-like} cookies
  • 3 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup Nutella
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 8 oz whipping cream
  • 3 Tbsp crème fraîche {optional}
  • 4 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Chocolate bar {I love the intense flavor of a 70% cacao dark chocolate bar, but you can use whatever is your favorite.}
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, blend the oreos until they turn to a fine powder. In a bowl, combine the oreos and the melted butter until they clump together. Spread the mixture on the bottom of an 8″ or 9″ pie pan. Make sure that you have a thin layer all the way around. {My crust was thin and did not go up the sides of the pan.} Set aside.
  2. In the same bowl as you made the crust, add the softened cream cheese and Nutella. Mix with a hand mixer until well blended. Add the vanilla and mix again. Set aside.
  3. {You do not have to clean the beaters from the Nutella mixture.} In another bowl, whip the whipping cream, crème fraîche and the sugar to fairly stiff peaks. Be careful not to make butter though.
  4. With a rubber spatula, fold the whipped cream mixture into the Nutella mixture until there are no more white streaks. It makes a lovely mocha-colored mixture.
  5. Add the Nutella cream mixture to the oreo crust. Even out the top and chill about two hours before serving.
  6. If you’d like to make it fancy, grate a chocolate bar and sprinkle it on top.
no bake nutella cheesecake 2web
It’s worth making this mess

 

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mud-luscious & puddle-wonderful.

“The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful.”  e.e. cummings

My two little guys are wonderful.  They love getting dirty and refuse to take baths and showers.  They are full of energy and the more you push them on the more energy they seem to have.  But they didn’t start out that way.

They started as squeezy little bundles of fat, sleep and poop.  {So the dirt is an improvement in some respects.}  I loved what they were and adore what they are becoming.  I wouldn’t trade them for anything.  Boys are special.  {And that’s not to say that girls aren’t special, I just don’t have any for comparison.}

Check out this little cute bundle of fat, sleep and poop.  I am looking forward to capturing him as a ball of energy as well.

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Gotta love the baby feet. I have a thing for feet; it’s weird, I know.


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Returning the super squishy drooliness

My husband and I have decided that two boys are all the kids we need.  We love them mightily and are desperately trying to cherish as many moments as we can with them until they start to like girls, grow facial hair and only need us for the car.  We get glimpses of these older-kid moments now when they whine and roll their eyes.  However, I can still put my eight-year-old in time out.  {I haven’t figured out what I’ll do with a 14-year-old.}  Alas, I have a few more years to cross that bridge.

This digression is leading somewhere… it’s to other people’s babies.  I love babies, but I don’t want to house, diaper, feed, discipline and send to college any more than the two I have.  So, I love taking the opportunity to snap some photos of other people’s kids; I can appreciate the darling, super squishy drooliness and then return them and the tuition payments to their parents.

Here is a particularly squishy, university-bound boy that I had the opportunity to love and then return.

Enjoy my tuition-free snaps.

SPL
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Christmas in August?

 

I just missed the Christmas in July boat, but I’m ready for some cool air to blow right about now.  August is usually the most unbearable month here in Southeastern Virginia.

And, so I thought that I’d deliver a Christmas-y preview of this little six month old love.  He was such a cutie.  We got the session done in record time.

Enjoy.

SPL

Want the free Christmas template?  Click here.

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The enclosure card {updated}

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I heart enclosure cards.  They are great to grab and go on the way out the door to the birthday party.  I have my kids write a small sentiment on the back and voilà; you have a cute personalized card for any occasion.  And, if you know me, you know that we are often running out the door to one birthday party or the other.  We had two this weekend.  These enclosures came in handy for both events.  –And you know what events these kids birthday parties are turning into.–

The enclosure card is a not-so-distant cousin the the carte-de-visite or calling cards of yesteryear.  And, I love yesteryear…  Not that I want to go back in time, but I appreciate things that are classic or timeless.  I want to savor some of these time-honored/tested/worn traditions.  {And that doesn’t mean that everything that is old should be saved either… you can probably think of dozen of ridiculous traditions that we should do away with, but you can ponder that later.}

In our age of smartphones and speed-dialing, I forget my friends’ and family’s phone numbers or even how to spell their name.  It seems like my smartphone is making me less smart {or at least less attentive to others’ personal details.}

So, in lieu of spending hours pondering a card at the store, print and enjoy this freebie.  {Each card measures 3.5″x2″  • the same as a business card.}  In Acrobat Reader, you can personalize them and then print as many as you’d like.  But first, you need the font.  I printed mine on watercolor paper, but they would work just as well on standard cardstock.   They are available in two fairly unisex colors.   Click on the image below to download.  If you print it, please leave a comment below.  I always love to hear how someone is using my designs.

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Enjoy.

SPL

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Party hat template

I am coming out the the crafty closet. Yes, I’m crafty. You got a problem with that?

So,  it’s end-of-the- school-year party time and I got my craft on with some party hats for my son’s class.
I have included the template and directions below.

The hats were a great success, but I could kick myself for not getting a class picture with them on. Too bad.
Enjoy what I do have.

Click the image below to go to the download site.

Party hat template

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No-school photos

I think in my twelve years of school pictures, I liked maybe one or two of them. Actually, my first grade one is the best.

I was a little cuter back then than now.

Anywho, that whole school photo thing was  such a blur of a yearly experience.

I remember every year being lined up in a random school hallway,  given a little black comb, and told to wait patiently for what seemed like the next three hours.  We usually flicked each other’s head or shoulders with the combs before they broke.    And then we would get scolded by one of the teachers assigned to herd us in the hallway, who would say something gentle like, “I don’t get paid enough for this” or “I really could be using this time to teach more about fractions.”    Well, you know it’s bad when I’d rather be enduring a refresher on fractions than standing in that hallway trying not to wrinkle my clothes.

Invariably, about ten seconds before I got to the door I remembered the cheap comb and its real purpose, to fix my hair.  But where was the mirror?  Nowhere to be found.  In the twelve years I had school photos snapped of me, I never remember a mirror.  And,  to top it off, I had hair nearly halfway down my back – this little piece of black plastic was no match for my tangle-prone locks.  Furthermore, what’s the use of trying to fix my own hair without a mirror.  I had to trust that the frazzled photography assistant was telling me the truth when she said I looked “fine.”  {Oh, that’s a four-letter word in my house.  My husband knows not to tell me I look “fine.”  But, I digress.}    And then, before i knew it I had been called into the creepily lit room with the funny umbrellas, muddy backdrop and the brilliant lights; shoved onto a stool; told to say “cheese;” snapped twice; told the purple dots would go away; and sent back to my fractions lesson.  Yup, every year.

Well, that doesn’t happen if you’re homeschooled.  Or, maybe it does, but not if I can help it.

Anyway, I had the opportunity to take some non-school photos for a local homeschool co-op the other day.   And they didn’t get the cattle-call line-up in the hallway treatment from me though.  Each family got about fifteen minutes to pose and just act a bit silly.  We captured more personality than you’d see in most yearbook photos and no one was hurt by cheap combs.

Enjoy.  SPL

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a fabulous b-side

After the dinosaurs went extinct, a baby boy was born in Bethlehem and nearly 1900 years later Thomas Alva Edison invented the phonograph.  As the recording medium grew in popularity, record companies began to produce small 7″ albums often called 45s (the rpm at which they were played.)  There was an A-side and a B-side.  The A-side was reserved for the popular hit, while the B-side was usually a lesser known song or even an outtake or joke.

However, many b-sides in have become great.

“Into the Groove”  Madonna

“I’m Free” the Rolling Stones

“Murder by Numbers”  the Police

“Pink Cadillac”  Bruce Springsteen

“The Sweetest Thing”  U2

“Be-Bop A Lula”  Gene Vincent

“Yellow Ledbetter” Pearl Jam

“Rain” the Beatles

“Don’t Worry Baby”  the Beach Boys

“Unchained Melody” the Righteous Brothers

So why am I fixated on B-Sides? Well, I have two boys, my A-side and my B-side.  My husband is a B-side (second and, even worse, a middle child.)  My second child is unbelievable and I am determined to make him feel just a special as his A-side – first-born brother.  I knew that I had to take a ton of photos of him at his birth, because as in my husband’s family and in many other families, there are albums chock full of photos of the first born and only a small smattering of second-child photos.

So the other day, I had the opportunity to photograph a fabulous B-side baby boy.  He is beautiful and already a huge hit with his parents and family.  Take a look.

Enjoy.  He’s no one hit wonder.  SPL

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Fix-It Friday#82

Here’s another fix-it Friday from the ladies at iheartfaces.com. I have taken this SOOC (straight out of the camera) photo and edited it to look a little snappier.  Check out what the other photographers have done at iheartfaces as well.

SOOC image

my edit

I changed the levels and played with the color balance to give her a warmer glow.  Then I ran Pioneer Woman’s Bring on the Eyes action to enhance those gorgeous baby blues.  And then I boosted the curves a bit to punch up the color even more.

And then I added the iheartfaces free doodle overlays just for fun.

Check out the fun stuff at iheartfaces.com