Posts tagged cheesecake
sewing retreat with a side of iced mocha cheesecake

At the end of June, I had the chance to spend some quality sewing time with friends.  Holly, Jeni, Jacey, Anna, Faith and I met up in Wisconsin at the most amazing vacation house. view from the loft of the chalet

charley harper poster

table in loft at chalet

We talked about everything, we ate giant pretzels and amazing belgian frites, we checked out Madison (including a chance to meet George), we dyed fabric, we even managed to fit in a whole lot of stitching.

I finished up a new york beauty that will soon be shipped off to someone special.

new york beauty quilt

I tried fabric dying for the first time.  We used an indigo kit and learned a lot about what works well and what doesn't.  These are my pieces before the dye bath.

ready to dye

Here's the top piece after dying.  I will most definitely be doing more with this technique.


It was fun to see what everyone was working on.  There were a lot of secret projects that I'm sure you will see popping up soon.

jeni's basket of strips

I brought along a cheesecake.  I didn't want us to go without sweets while we were sewing in the middle of nowhere.

iced mocha cheesecake on plate

iced mocha cheesecake


1 cup graham cracker crumbs

1 cup chocolate wafer crumbs

1 teaspoon espresso powder

1 stick butter (softened at room temperature)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

cheesecake filling

3 bricks (8oz. each) of cream cheese at room temp

1 cup sugar

3 large eggs

1 cup heavy cream

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

1 Tablespoon coffee extract


1 1/4  cup heavy cream

7 oz. bittersweet chocolate (chopped)

1/4 teaspoon espresso powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Put a kettle of water on to boil for the water bath.

Mix crust ingredients in bowl of food processor until combined.  Use a straight sided glass or measuring cup to press crumb mixture along the bottom and up the side of a springform pan.  Chill crust while preparing the filling.

Combine cream cheese and sugar in bowl of food processor or mixer until creamy and smooth.  Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next.  Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl between each egg.  Add heavy cream, vanilla, and coffee extract and blend until smooth and creamy.

Wrap pan tightly in multiple layers of aluminum foil to make water tight for water bath.  Pour batter into prepared crust.  Place pan in larger pan (I use an oversized skillet) and pour hot water into the larger pan until it comes about half way up the sides of the cheesecake pan.

Bake 45-55 minutes,until almost done - this can be hard to judge, but you're looking for the cake to hold together , but still have a lot of jiggle in the center.  You don't want it to be completely firm at this stage.  Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let it rest in the cooling oven for one hour.  This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently and reduce chances of it cracking on the top.  After one hour, removed the cheesecake from the oven and lift it carefully out of the water bath.  Let it finish cooling off on a rack on the counter.

Once cooled, cover with ganache.

To make the ganache, mix the espresso powder and cream and bring to a boil.. Pour cream mixture over the chopped chocolate and let sift for 45 seconds then begin to mix.  It will become creamy when fully incorporated.  Pour in center of cheesecake.  Allow ganache to cool, then cover and put in refrigerator to cool overnight.

top of iced mocha cheese cake on plateI was thrilled when Jeni mentioned she could bring along some of her homemade salted caramel sauce because this cheesecake is extra delicious topped with whipped cream and caramel sauce.

It was a blast of a weekend that flew by so quickly, so I can't wait to do it again!

hashtag chalet sewing rock

chalk the walk

My little town is hidden away in the midwest.  We don't have big box stores, or oversized museums, or fancy skyscrapers.  We're all right with that though, because what we do have, is a community.  We catch up with friends at the Lincoln Cafe,

(photo credit to Derek on this one)

we stop for coffee at fuel,

we take walks along tree-lined streets and hang out in the park,

and on the first weekend in May, we Chalk the Walk.

The artists start working on their spots on Saturday morning and then finish up on Sunday.  It's great to stop in on  Saturday morning and see what people will be recreating, and then see the work progress over the weekend.

saturday -

sunday -

saturday -

sunday -

We popped up on Saturday evening, after the artists had called it a night.  During the day the streets are filled with people so it's difficult to get pictures.

There is also an oversize community picture that takes over the entire street and people fill in foot square sections to complete the picture.  This year's picture was from the Wizard of Oz.  Here's lulu working on our square.

Then we stopped in Sunday to see it all finished,

along with checking out the progress on all the other squares.

Oh and I mustn't forget the cheesecake

It was creamy lemony perfection.

Now I must sew tote bags together because they seem to lack the ambition to sew themselves.

happy monday everyone!

five faves time

This week flew by with lots of sniffles and coughs.  Those are two things that are not my favorite, but here are 5 things that are. #5.  these illustrations by Lotta Nieminen

#4.  the celebrity lullaby service on Sesame Street - I love it when Elmo says "Mr. Ricky has done enough"

#3.  I love these little paper houses

#2.  you would have to be crazy not to love this cheesecake

#1.  Jamie Oliver's flashmob in Huntington, West Virginia.  Go Jamie!

Check out everyone else's faves hosted by Pip over at Meet Me at Mikes.