Monday, February 28, 2011

Camera strap cover

I meant to do a tutorial for this. I took all the pictures as I made it, but somehow lost track of the time and never ended up posting it! Now I have no idea where my measurements are, or what steps I did to get the final product. So you'll just have to settle with some pictures, sorry!
I was inspired by the gorgeous camera strap covers over at the Polkadot Bungalow.

Turtle Cheesecake

What You'll Need:
2 pkgs of Chocolate graham crackers
1 1/2 sticks of salted butter, melted

4- 8 oz. pkgs of cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
6 oz. heavy whipping cream

Caramel ice cream topping (I used Smuckers brand)
6 oz. semi sweet chocolate (I used Hershey's chocolate chips)
2 oz. heavy whipping cream
Pecans (however many you like)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
Start by making your crust. Break apart your graham crackers and throw them in the food processor for about a minute. Once all the chunks are gone, add your melted butter and pulse until combined.
Grab your pan. I used a 10 inch cake pan for this. (If you have a spring form pan, make sure to wrap it really well in foil to avoid leaks.) Trace the bottom of your cake pan onto a piece of wax paper. Cut out your circle and place it in the bottom of the pan, trimming if needed.This will keep the crust from sticking to the pan when we flip it out.
Press your graham cracker mixture into your pan. Pack it lightly. Brush off any extra crumbs from the insides of your pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees.
Throw all 4 bricks of cream cheese into your cleaned food processor, running it until the cream cheese is smooth. Scrape down the sides. Add in the sugar, vanilla, sour cream, and eggs, mixing well between ingredients. Make sure to mix well between addition of each egg. While the processor is still running, add your heavy whipping cream. Scrape down the sides of the processor, and run it again until the mixture is smooth.
Place your pan with the crust in a larger pan. (This is for the water bath.) Pour your cheesecake batter into the crust.
Get a pan of hot water ready
Place the pans in the preheated oven and pour enough water in the outer pan to come half way up the sides of the cheesecake pan. Slide towards the back of the oven and bake for 1- 1 1/2 hours at 325 degrees. When the cheesecake is golden brown and no longer sunken in the middle, remove it from the oven. 
Take the cheesecake out of the water bath. Run a sharp knife around the edges of the cheesecake. 

Chill overnight. Once it's completely chilled, cover a flat plate or cutting board with saran wrap or wax paper and place the plate on top of the cheesecake to flip it over. Remove the wax paper from the bottom of the crust. Choose a serving plate and place it on top of the crust. Flip the cheesecake onto the serving plate.
Heat your cream in the microwave in 15 second increments until it is hot. Pour the cream over the chocolate chips and stir until melted. 

Pour your caramel onto the center of the cheesecake and spread it evenly. 

Drizzle your chocolate ganache around the edges of the cheesecake. Top with pecans.
A tip for cutting: Fill a pitcher with hot water. Dip your knife into it to heat the blade and dry the blade on a towel or paper towel. Do this before each new cut.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011



Charlie was born on January 28th, weighing 8 lb. 6 oz. and 20 inches long. So far he's taking up tons of my time and energy, and mama and baby are just enjoying hanging out for a while. I'll be back to the blogging world in a few weeks!